Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Forgotten Realms Journals
 General Forgotten Realms Chat
 Musings of Katashaka - building a region together
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2023 :  13:23:47  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So, over the past 5 years or so, I've spent time making musings about regions of Toril (and other planets) that have seen little to no development. At times, I've had certain things revealed to me as a result that I'd never noted previously (maybe because I didn't have a product... or I had it and read it passingly 20 years prior). Sometimes that helps development.

I've really liked the development I've done with Seethyr on Anchorome and Lopango in these forums, though I will say he put in the most effort and I don't want to detract from him and his work, and it was an act of grace on his part to let me wade into those waters to help add nuance to some sections that he left undeveloped (because he himself is already doing so much else). Since we're both doing this essentially on the side without any dream of making any realistic profit, we obviously keep getting stalled and can't work totally hand in hand and keep track of what the other is doing. I'd like to offer up similar opportunities to other sages here as I try to develop the large continent directly south of Maztica/Lopango.

I hope to over the next week or two to post a high level design that I've developed for the region, including races involved, names of regions, deities that I've culled from various places, and maybe a link to a map that I've developed if I can get it to "fit" somewhere that will allow me to share it with the disk space I need for free.

What brought me to this point was that I literally just got an idea for a small kingdom that's a twist on some prior developments I've had and I just feel like posting this "story"/idea. I'm writing this on the fly by the way, so forgive typos or unfinished sentences.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6356 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2023 :  20:01:15  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd take all the quotes I can find in realmslore that mentions far off lands across the ocean. Then use that to try and develop events and things for katashaka, because otherwise I think there is zilch in canon you can use.

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2454 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2023 :  20:52:47  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Put the Realm from the cartoon there. It helps reduce the amount of work, and you reconcile the canonical issues, lol

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2023 :  17:44:10  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Put the Realm from the cartoon there. It helps reduce the amount of work, and you reconcile the canonical issues, lol



Actually was considering some of that, but I can't find my dvds.

And darn it, I had been writing something for here yesterday, got sidetracked with work and rebooted. Guess I will restart later.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
Go to Top of Page

DoveArrow
Seeker

97 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2023 :  08:03:26  Show Profile Send DoveArrow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had to look up Katashaka on the Forgotten Realms wiki. I had never heard of it before. My first thought was that I could see why Wizards chose not to highlight this area of the Realms more. Just looking at some of the artwork, it seems that they didn't exactly handle the region in the most culturally sensitive way.

That said, it would be interesting to learn more about the lands where the Chultan people originally came from. One way I think they could handle it sensitively would be if Wizards brought in a team of Black fantasy and RPG writers to flesh out this region of the Realms. Can you imagine what it could do for the game to bring in someone like Tomi Adeyemi to work on such a project? And to get a new fully fleshed out continent in the Realms for the first time in... what? More than 30 years? I would snatch something like that up in a hot second.

Edited by - DoveArrow on 19 Aug 2023 19:02:29
Go to Top of Page

Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2454 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2023 :  17:52:19  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Why they would do that, when they can just ignore it and continue cashmilking the Sword Coast (aka. The Remembered Realms)?

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
Go to Top of Page

Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
893 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2023 :  18:01:39  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Why they would do that, when they can just ignore it and continue cashmilking the Sword Coast (aka. The Remembered Realms)?


The Sword Coast udders must be getting sore and chapped.
Go to Top of Page

DoveArrow
Seeker

97 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2023 :  18:58:40  Show Profile Send DoveArrow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Why they would do that, when they can just ignore it and continue cashmilking the Sword Coast (aka. The Remembered Realms)?



Now you're just bringing me down.
Go to Top of Page

Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
893 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2023 :  21:52:48  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No nice way to say this. Expecting WoTC to represent all Toril respectfully is as fruitful as asking Asmodeus to renegotiate the Pact Primeval. Zero is keeping things honest even if unpleasant.

Edited by - Delnyn on 19 Aug 2023 21:54:15
Go to Top of Page

Seethyr
Master of Realmslore

USA
1151 Posts

Posted - 21 Aug 2023 :  01:06:56  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I thought the plot to the movie Ghost and the Darkness would be a wonderful adventure here. I have a ton more opinions that I’d like to bring up when I have more time. There’s a lot of history here that can be expanded upon and it’s wonderful stuff.

Follow the Maztica (Aztec/Maya) and Anchorome (Indigenous North America) Campaigns on DMsGuild!

The Maztica Campaign
The Anchorome Campaign
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 21 Aug 2023 :  16:26:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DoveArrow

I had to look up Katashaka on the Forgotten Realms wiki. I had never heard of it before. My first thought was that I could see why Wizards chose not to highlight this area of the Realms more. Just looking at some of the artwork, it seems that they didn't exactly handle the region in the most culturally sensitive way.

That said, it would be interesting to learn more about the lands where the Chultan people originally came from. One way I think they could handle it sensitively would be if Wizards brought in a team of Black fantasy and RPG writers to flesh out this region of the Realms. Can you imagine what it could do for the game to bring in someone like Tomi Adeyemi to work on such a project? And to get a new fully fleshed out continent in the Realms for the first time in... what? More than 30 years? I would snatch something like that up in a hot second.



Where I want to take it is not "Africa in the Realms"... per se.. In fact, most of what I've written up has few humans in the area. I actually prefer that the majority of the humans of the area be on the southern portion of the continent and the small continent right off its eastern shore

Since I got sidetracked from what I was going to write here as additional little area... I'll just go into what I was picturing.

I picture the northern portion of the continent being savannahs/plains with myriad rivers running through the region. This is separated into the Western Pridelands and the Eastern Pridelands by a hilly/mountainous region which I refer to as Yithakar, Land of the Earth Emperor.

The western Pridelands is filled primarily with wemics, zebrataurs, warthog/orc like Swinotaurs, Rhinaurs (see Star of Cursrah... a rhino or hippo like tauric race), Noceri (think a minotaur like Rhinoman... or the old disney Robin Hood), nyaalaku (a tauric antelope like race of size medium and large) as well as leonin, tabaxi and rakasta like cat folk, grey furred Rupellian fox folk, and small and tiny rodent folk. There area also small groupings of aarakocra bird folk (stork like Ibideans, vulture like and The area is very tribal, savage, and few cities exist except along the coast (and these are new built). Worship is primarily of racial deities who focus on tribal life in various forms.

The eastern Pridelands tends to be a bit more civilized, with old and large cities separated by wild lands. Nearly all the major cultures here are cat themed, but in different ways.

A leonin society that referred to themselves as "Lenastans" and which had "the Lenastan Triarchy" that was a very warrior oriented society that promoted genetic improvement by pushing out weaker males had existed on the eastern coast in highly defensible lands raised above the surrounding territories. Women were encouraged to share worthy males, with the concept of single pairings existing, but being uncommon. Children belong to their mothers, and they were ruled by a group of three male leaders chosen by a council of the wisest of these women.

This society is now "fallen", or rather forced from its ancestral lands, by a red wizard organized coup when they gathered thousands of malcontent males who had been forced out of their homeland to live in the Western Pridelands and Shimmani, City of the Cat Queens. The fallen "Lenastan Triarchy" is not gone however, for its leadership and a good portion of its citizenry fled and captured a city formerly held by their usurpers. This city is known as Greawlins, and still holds its former sobriquet "The City of Cowardly Lenastans", for some say that the rulership was too weak and unable to hold their ancestral lands.

In the place which the Lenastan Triarchy once held are two separate societies, both of which are allied, but neither of which is particularly fond of the other. In essence, they allied to gain their own ends, but now that their common enemy is gone, each continually eyes the other for weakness.

"The Lenastan Commonwealth" which is a decadent society that has become male dominated and living in the former cities of the "Lenastan Triarchy" atop a large escarpments eastern portion. They are attemption to build something of a democracy, but internal strife and lack of a unified vision threatens to drive them apart. These internal bickerings tend to turn bloody as well, with personal honor turning into easy insults and bloodshed. It is still to be seen if this society will be able to last beyond its third generation.

"The Tharch of New Eltabbar" is on the western side of this escarpment in a large lake with several dozen small to medium sized rocky islands which have been developed into a patchwork city of sorts connected by bamboo bridges, water surrounded bamboo and wood houses on stilts, and numerous ferries and other small boats. This is a society of red wizards which is attempting to rebuild something resembling their former capitol, and they have since expanded into the lands below their escarpment to establish small farming communities worked by those they have enslaved.

The northern portion of the eastern Pridelands hold two large cities that are both centuries old, and which have been subtly working against each other for as long as people have memories of the places.

Shimmani, "City of the Cat Queens", is ruled by a strange form of Lamia which possess the ability to change their tauric halves. Its rumored that they can change their bottom halves to be various cat forms (lion, panther, leopard, tiger), goat, antelope, goat, boar, fox, and even snake. These lamia rule their city and run it like a brothel that only serves those clientelle who perform services for them. Demon Worship is rampant in this city, though most of these temples are dedicated to female demons, but Graz'zt has a rather large temple as well.

Latoombe, City of Tricksters, is a city ruled by a council of rakshasa which also possesses many shapeshifting cat folk including many lyncanthropes (such as weretigers, werepanthers, werejaguars, and wereleopards) whose humanoid form is often that of a gnoll or tabaxi. By far, the most seen citizenry are simple catfolk calling themselves tabaxi, tigrans, and lenastans. Another common folk of this city are the Paka, an anthropomorphic cat folk of all colors normally found amongst cats great and small, many of whom are warlocks or priests beholden to powers of the nine hells. The Paka are shapechangers which can take on human form, but which also have the ability to see and hear through the eyes of nearby cats and other feline creatures, as well as the ability to dominate such creatures to their will. There is also a type of catfolk that the red wizards call the Ghirrash, a black-furred, sometimes tiger striped (both white and orange), and sometimes leopard spotted breed of humanoid cat folk who some believe to be related to the displacer beasts due to their four arms and natural displacement ability. Whether these cat folk are truly related to the shadowbeasts known as the Ghirrash is debatable, as these Ghirrash lack many of the traits common to creatures of the shadowfell, and they actually call themselves the Pumaji. There is also a race of catfolk similar to the Pumaji in coloration, but rather than 4 arms, they have two arms and 4 snake-headed tentacles that grow from their shoulders, and their tails sometimes end in rattles. This race is known as the Kamadji, and many notice an obvious similarity between them and the kamatlan cat. Also, unlike the Pumaji, they lack the displacement effect. Because of all of these strange "mutations" of cat beings, there are those that believe the rakshasa rulers of Latoombe may have uncovered lost secrets of the creator races and have been experimenting for centuries to produce new servants. The enmity between the rakshasa rulers of Latoombe and the lamia rulers of Shimmani is near legendary, and this has led many to believe that the rulers of Latoombe are all male. This is of course untrue, with there being just as many male rakshasa lords as female ones amongst the rulers of this society. It should also be noted that the rakshasa rulers of this society are rumored to have been cursed by the "Cat Queens", and they are much less powerful than standard rakshasas, and its believed that they must periodically possess a new mortal body in order to survive, because for some reason they lack the ability to return to the nine hells.

Separating the eastern and western Pridelands is Yithakar, Land of the Earth Emperor. Despite the dangers of the cities of Shimmani and Latoombe, it is actually Yithakar, land of the Earth Emperor, which has proven to be the most dangerous threat, as well as being the most closed off region. This mountainous region is ruled by the elusive yak folk which inhabit it, but there are numerous minotaurs and ibixians, a type of humanoid goatmen. A race of tauric goat folk, whom the red wizards mistakenly refer to as bariaur, also occupy this land. There is also a larger, shaggier breed of gnolls which form two separate sub-races, one all white furred with a more pointed snout and pink nose and the other black furred with a brown belly, chest, snouts and inner ears (treat each race as . These two groups of gnolls, while amenable when necessary, do not like to interact. This is due to religious differences between them.

In fact, religion is a controversial issue between all of these different cultures in Yithakar. While worship of the “Faceless One” is the primary religion of the region, it is also common for them to worship Ogremoch, the Prince of Elemental evil earth. In addition, demon worship, particularly that of Eltab, Fraz'urb-luu, Yeenoghu, Orcus and Baphomet, is very common throughout the countryside. The various minotaur and ibixian tribes worship either Eltab, Baphomet, or Orcus. The gnolls split their worship between Fraz'urb-luu and Orcus for the white furred tribes, and these tribes seem to produce more spellcasters in the form or sorcerers, warlocks, and priests. The brown and black furred tribes worship Yeenoghu, and produce few spellcasters beyond druids and priests. It is not unknown to find summoned marrashi, armanites, bulezau, succubi, and even occasionally more powerful demons such as goristro working with the beast men of this region. As a result of these demons, it is commonplace for there to be fiendborn children amongst these populations, and many tribal leaders exhibit fiendish blood. In fact, the race of tauric goat folk that inhabit this region can trace their ancestry back to armanite breeding with minotaurs, ibixians and captured centaur and hybsil slaves, and then said offspring breeding amongst each other as well as bulezau, and as a result these individuals sport horns of extremely varying qualities (ranging from bull type horns, curling ram horns, multi-pointed antlers, twisted antelope horns, and simple spikes).

With such a fractious population, some wonder how the groups work together. It is quite simply fear of their yikaria lords that holds them together. Many yak folk reside in the bodies of their citizenry, and they do so in secrecy. Thus, noone in a community quite knows who is in a neighbor's body at any given time Furthermore, attacks upon possessed members of the community who are discovered often end with the yak folk leaving the body, only to have some prepared contingent effect spiriting them away to safety. The attackers and all of their loved ones become the center of attention for the communities of Yithakar, as commands are delivered anonymously to tribal leaders to hunt them down. This eventually leads to their sacrifice to whatever entities the community that captures them holds dear. Large groupings of yak folk can also typically call upon earth elementals and even genies for aid. Many who turn upon them find themselves sacrificed to the “Faceless One” if they are captured by these servants of the yikaria.

It is this secrecy and ability to infiltrate other societies which makes them a danger, though proving that they've had involvement afterwards has been hard, especially since they work to lay blame for their actions on other parties. In fact, the war between the cities of Latoombe and Shimmani is believed by the red wizards to be fueled by the actions of Yak folk spies possessing the bodies of individuals in the cities.

On the western side below the Pridelands is the Wakanari Lowlands, which are a vast section of swamps filled with lizard folk, grippli, grung, Crocodilian like Khumati (name given to them by Faerunians based on a similar looking planar race), Stork like Aarakocras known as Ibideans, etc....

That's a rough start... there's also the Wakanari Highlands, the region known as Skystrike Pass, and Manu Ni Maloa, "Land of the Nyamma-Numo". This covers the northern half of the continent at a high level. Obviously, I'm picturing a beastlands territory more than anything for this area.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
Go to Top of Page

Thuumhammer
Acolyte

Canada
19 Posts

Posted - 24 Aug 2023 :  03:32:33  Show Profile Send Thuumhammer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I might have time to add a thing or two. Is the priority lore or game-able material?

Currently living in a version of 1372DR that operates under 5e mechanics. Strange indeed!
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 24 Aug 2023 :  15:42:14  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
At this point... anything. This is literally a "throw it against the wall and see if it sticks" session. There's some things I'm wanting to stick with in the above, but details can vary (for instance, Latoombe may only be rumored to have a whole council of lesser Rakshasa lords... and maybe its only 2... exactly what kinds of races are in Yithakar is up for debate, but I like the idea of yak folk, minotaurs, and probably ibixians to make it a somewhat odd look of "here's the cow/goat folk... and they're pretty much evil"). Rules sometimes help develop ideas too, so having some rules, items, creature designs, etc... isn't out the window.

I actually have 3 "tharchs" in the general area. All are smallish settlements, and while they are allied.. their physical separation has made their communities divergent. In fact, each new tharch was created because members of the community literally didn't like what their fellows were doing and decided to move on. For instance, the first of these was the Tharch of Lopango, which was created by Thayans in exile (Mulan and Rashemi) allied with Metahel humans from the city of gold region. Contrary to normal Mulan cultures, the red wizards started mingling with locals of Maztica, Lopango, and from the Poscadari basin in Anchorome. They started training many non-Mulans in the magical arts. Essentially, they dropped their racist viewpoints and just wanted to focus on humanity. They also adopted many of the local religions, and contrary to Thayan culture, they have become very religion oriented... almost zealots.

So, a group of Mulans ... AND.... some Rashemi and Metahel humans ... both groups separately believing they should try to remain racially pure formed the Tharch of the Western Pridelands under the leadership of a warrior wizard. Just a single generation later however, many mulans were mingling with both Rashemi and Metahel. This has led this "red wizard" (they call themselves that, but they have no allegiance to Thay any longer) culture to focus on mingling melee and magic. Ironically, this Tharch has also embraced a tiny race of mouse folk (muislings) and respect the bravery of these warriors, even to the point that they have allowed a few of these mouse folk to even study magic. Also, this tharch is perhaps the most welcoming to the mixed races of the Western Pridelands, and its cities are populated to a very large degree by "visitors" who come here to trade. This gives this tharch a very "Mos Eisley Cantina" look, and of all these "red wizard" tharchs... this one is the least likely to produce evil individuals. In fact, one might even say this community is good, since it often serves as a neutral meeting location for tribes with conflicts to negotiate peace, trade agreements, adjusted borders, etc.... They still value arcane casters as leaders, but these arcane leaders are focused on magical tactics, architecture for defense, developing trade, etc.... Also, while religion is not a major focus, this community has focused on worship ONLY of the Metahel Pantheon, especially since they received aid while in Abeir from lesser versions of avatars of this pantheon possessing individuals. This is the tharch of the Western Pridelands.

As a sidenote, it might be interesting to make the Tharch of the Western Pridelands break away even more from Thayan tradition. Perhaps they reject the notion of slavery, but incorporate the concept of a "blood price"... as in if you are rescued you must repay your rescuer in a form of indentured servitude for a set term (and can't be treated anything like a slave... no whipping, etc...) OR pay a price... usually not monetary unless its a LOT of money... but instead in service to the tharch as a soldier, mercenary, etc... against a specified threat. On this, the goal I'd have would be to show them trying to reform, but not be instantly perfect. They may also have adopted this ideal from the tribes near them, who may have been opposed to the concept of slavery, but who also valued people "earning" if they were helped by others. Perhaps when they tried to enslave neighbors it so upset the nearby tribes that they were forced to adopt the prevailing view.

Further sidenote: If I did do this idea with the blood price... then the aforementioned "Lenastan Triarchy" made up of Leonin lion folk acting like a shared emperorship... maybe they DID do slavery. So that makes it possible for the Tharch of New Eltabbar to remain slavers and just as despicable (to just even more cement how even though these tharchs are allied... they are distinctly different). This might also further fuel why noone came to the aid of the Lenastan Triarchy... because everyone had problems with them and their attitude that they were so much better than their neighbors.

A generation or two later after the formation of the tharch of the western pridelands, mulans of Lopango and Western Pridelands, and some from Esh Alakar and Balduran Bay in Anchorome, as well as a transferred portion of the shaar in Abeir... they all arranged a coup over a group of Leonins (Lenastans) by using numerous small groups of exiled Leonins as mercenaries to recover their homeland. This has become the Tharch of New Eltabbar. Its red wizards most closely resemble the red wizards of Thay in attitude of the three communities, but their civilization is still fledgling. They have established two someshat major cities below their escarpment and along the sea coast. Lasmodu was a city they built prior to their invasion, and it has underdark connections which lead up to the village of Gaurau on the escarpment. The city of Zargazu was a city that they built along the coastline, and then they established some small villages for farming around an interior lake. There is also another underdark connection to this side of the escarpment near the village of Brosden.

Some metahel and Rashemi of the tharch of the western pridelands became upset when racial intermingling began with the mulans as well (though they had no problems with Rashemi and Metahel interbreeding... as they believe that they may already share blood). They were also upset with the idea that only "spellhurlers" were "intelligent" enough to be their leaders. They broke off and began settling a nearby island, so there are small "somewhat viking like" holdings on this island on the edges of it, with the residents primarily living from the sea's bounty and becoming master sailors and occasional raiders. The interior of this island is relatively unexplored and rumored to be dangerous.


Map Link with some extra location names added

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EaNEYyErJA1gPg4zT-iItkmp5CbRcHpr/view?usp=sharing

Map Link with notes on types of races in general areas

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1i3kOCAsA36zWclfRxPVmaHeXjRFkLqpy/view?usp=sharing

Will try to come back later to post more ideas, but figured this is a good start.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 24 Aug 2023 18:47:40
Go to Top of Page

TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
956 Posts

Posted - 24 Aug 2023 :  22:58:36  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
FWIW, I thought the Nyambe setting for 3E was very well done and was Africa without being Africa from my perspective at least.
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 25 Aug 2023 :  01:30:13  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

FWIW, I thought the Nyambe setting for 3E was very well done and was Africa without being Africa from my perspective at least.




Where was that published? Or are you talking the place near Kara-tur... thought it was another name though.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 25 Aug 2023 01:30:55
Go to Top of Page

Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2454 Posts

Posted - 25 Aug 2023 :  02:01:15  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's a setting for Pathfinder, IIRC

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 25 Aug 2023 :  13:54:10  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, found something about it

https://www.enworld.org/threads/lets-read-nyambe-african-adventures.660676/

This is actually one of the things I'm personally trying to avoid to some degree. I don't want a direct correlation to Africa, but I don't mind beasts/animals of the region and beastly humanoids of the region. Partly, I am not fluent in the culture. Partly, no matter what I write, someone will have a problem with its portrayal. Mostly, I want to try and stay away from real world analogues ported into the realms, because its been done a lot already.... but I also want to dance on that border somehow. I also want to distinguish this area from both Malatra and Chult, both of which are analogues of a savage world in which dark skinned humans dwell, so why repeat it. This is partly why, if you read through what I've posted so far.... other than zebrataurs having both black and white skinned peoples... I haven't really mentioned any humans other than newcomers from Faerun, Maztica/Lopango, and/or "what Faerunians are calling Anchorome"... and zebrataurs are not human, they just have a human torso. I should specify here that I picture the lamia cat queens of Shimmani as having tabaxi/leonin type torsos... or torsos that more closely match whatever they change their bottom half to... so they are not your typical lamia. In fact, I prefer to make them not able to take on a human form. The predominant races here are all catfolk (in humanoid or tauric form), followed by a plethora of other beast folk.

Now, I would like there to be possibly some human cultures on the continent (or the one or two to its east), but the ones on this continent... I'd prefer they be at the bottom half which I haven't even remotely detailed. I'd also prefer they be relatively advanced SOMEHOW (not saying Wakanda.... just saying not savage hut dwellers), and in fact I'd prefer that they have links to the human creator race.

On this part about the links to the human creator race... even though the northern portion is primarily "beast humanoids"... it may be that in the past these were humans, but its been not centuries... but millenia... since they transitioned into these forms. Below is something I wrote up a few years back... which has a hint in it that many of the humans of this creator race went to Abeir with the first sundering/Tearfall.

Long ago during the time between the “Days of Thunder” and the “Dawn Ages”, Katashaka held a powerful and extremely inquisitive race of humans. This race would be known to many as a creator race in later times, though knowledge of them was little and far between. They had learned of a form of magic involving strange symbology, truenames, dreams, nightmares, and use of one's own will and imagination to force changes upon the world. These humans were in fact members of the original creator races, and it is believed that it was they that created many of the strange mammalian humanoid races of Toril that still inhabit the world.

When the Sarrukh and Batrachi empires grew and began to encroach upon their lands, these humans discovered Olurobo, the lord of dreams and nightmares, and his children, the nyama-nummo, or powerful dream spirits. Using special glyphs, totems, tattoos, and masks to depict the powerful, bestial nyama-nummo, they were able to call upon the power of collective nightmares. Gozirra, the giant spineback reptile which spit lightning and roared thunder; Tarrask, the giant rending horror; Kaeng, the gargantous, bonespur covered ape; Chup'po'clops, the great spirit spider; Gabara, the giant fire-breathing snapping turtle; Groedan, the giant pterasaur with the resounding shriek; Ghidoera, the many headed dragon-like beast; Kwaa'tal, the great feathered serpent; E'bearah, Vaerin, Mandaa, Kamaecuras, Baeragon, Gorasaur, Kumonji, Moegarra, Moettrah, Titanasaur, Khedorah, Norgraa, Ang'guer'ruu, these were all powerful creatures from the dreamtime which could be drawn forth at time of need to serve these humans. Many of these nyama-numo were also of simpler form, being spirits of the various animals in the surrounding world such as the great cats, savage canines, strong bears, inquisitive monkeys, the many horned beasts, fantastic birds, and even the strange reptiles, amphibians, and spirits of the oceans. The human dream shamans simply needed to open themselves to acting as a conduit to these powerful spirits, offering their own bodies as an anchor through which these primal entities could focus a melding of their souls. The greatest of these dream shamans could even serve as a powerful avatar allowing the huge nightmare beings to physically enter the real world, if only for a short time before the human conduit would have to rest and rebuild their bond with the realm of dreams, though they did discover that the interaction could be prolonged through blood sacrifice.

Many sought the power of the dream shamans, and they did bond themselves with various beast totems in order to obtain characteristics of said creatures. Over time, these characteristics began to breed true within the human tribes, such that after several generations what was once a human tribe would no longer be seen as part of the human race. Humans began to disappear, replaced by the monstrous creations that they had made of themselves in an attempt to perfect themselves. It is whispered even that these savage folk turned upon many of the remaining purebred humans when the humans began sacrificing them in order to appease the nyama-nummo. The nation of Mhairshalk, former powerhouse of the Sarrukh, had fallen, but its successors would prove no less of a thorn in the side of inhabitants of Katashaka. Eventually, the Batrachi Empire, Annam's brood, and even the feathered serpents of the Aearee intruded upon the disparate peoples of Katashaka. But then the batrachi did release upon the world many powerful entities, and the powerful dream shaman rulers of the humans did bind themselves with great beings from the dreamtime in order to protect their people. The battles that occurred are not well documented, but the destruction was believed to be vast and world threatening. Eventually, Asgoroth the World Shaper did breath its breath upon a celestial entity, causing it to burst and its blood drenched shards to fall unto the world. Shortly after this occurred, the majority of the humans of Katashaka simply were gone.

When the majority of human population disappeared, each of the fractious groups of Katashaka further separated themselves, eventually forming the melting pot of beast-like humanoids which would eventually become modern Katashaka. For millenia, the Tabaxi, a small remnant of this human population still thrived in the dark jungles, still serving “the sleeper”, a powerful dream shaman who had attained immortality through the sacrifice of his mortal servants. But, even these humans had been led away over four millenia ago by the servants of Ubtao. Still, it is whispered that deep in the jungles, some remnant of those ancient, nigh immortal humans still lies sleeping away the millenia, ready to draw upon the power of gigantic nightmares, the nyama-nummo, to defend their ancient homeland.

Into this world which has been lacking human involvement for millenia, a motley collection of human immigrants have come. Unlike their Lopangan forebears, these Mulan and Metahel immigrants seek to keep their races more pure. In the northwestern Pridelands of Katashaka, they brought progress in the form of knowledge, for many of the bestial tribes had sunk to their baser natures as hunters and gatherers. The humans brought prosperity in the form of agriculture and protection for the weaker races from those who simply viewed them as something to kill and eat. They brought freedom in the form of establishing safe gathering places wherein these races that were once deep in conflict could interact without fear of reprisal. In the northeastern tharch of New Eltabbar, on the other hand, they have introduced an insular society surrounded by enemies whose overwhelming hatred of one another is one of the main reasons that they have not united to destroy the debauched, narcissistic humans.



Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 25 Aug 2023 14:01:56
Go to Top of Page

TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
956 Posts

Posted - 25 Aug 2023 :  21:45:29  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's it. I think it's clearly African inspired and there are some real-world-ish analogues, but I think those are at a high level. I'd compare it to Theros being inspired by Greek myth. That said, I think the peripheral regions are the closest to real world analogues vs. the core FWIW. They used to have a bunch of stuff for free online and still do FWIW: https://www.atlas-games.com/nyambe/.
Go to Top of Page

TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
956 Posts

Posted - 25 Aug 2023 :  21:47:55  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's it. I think it's clearly African inspired and there are some real-world-ish analogues, but I think those are at a high level. I'd compare it to Theros being inspired by Greek myth. They used to have a bunch of stuff for free online and still do FWIW: https://www.atlas-games.com/nyambe/.
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36784 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2023 :  04:42:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've heard only good stuff about Nyambe, but I've never looked into it, myself. I have the main book, somewhere -- it was one of the ones I grabbed one Free RPG Day when the store owner told me to help meself to whatever I wanted on his shelf of third-party stuff.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
956 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2023 :  15:19:04  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I thought the lore and new monsters were solid. I was less sold on some of the character mechanics, but all in all I thought it did a fine job of bringing elements of African myth and marrying them with D&D.
Go to Top of Page

Seethyr
Master of Realmslore

USA
1151 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2023 :  19:18:47  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here’s a free adventure for Nyambe that they released that you could adapt.

https://www.atlas-games.com/pdf_storage/NyambeGiraffes.pdf

Follow the Maztica (Aztec/Maya) and Anchorome (Indigenous North America) Campaigns on DMsGuild!

The Maztica Campaign
The Anchorome Campaign
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 07 Sep 2023 :  16:02:27  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Muislings of the Wakanari Highlands

While not many have heard of the Wakanari Highlands, those who have speak most of the doings of the Council of the Reborn Phoenix and its sphinx constables and stewards that serve them to govern its citizens from great floating earth island palaces floating high above its escarpments. Those who have delved further readily know of the numerous tabaxi, tigran, and lenastan catfolk warriors living alongside the mix of tucati, pa'ratxi, peakocra, and ibidean birdfolk. Others speak of the strange living flower folk known as the Watili, said to have been transformed by their goddess Watil, though others say it was the jaguar goddess of rainbows, Ix Chel, who also later led them to the Wakanari Highlands. Those who study beasts are fascinated by the number of strange griffins, winged leopards and tigers, and other small forms of winged cats that would be known as tressym in other areas of Toril.

Few, however, speak of the most numerous and perhaps most impactful citizenry of the Wakanari Highlands. Of whom do I speak, you ask? Well, the tiny folk known as the muislings, of course. The rodent folk known as the muislings come in a variety of forms in Katashaka, resembling what Faerunians would call striped mice, hamsters, and jird gerbils, though throughout the continent there are rumored to be numerous other subraces of these beings. However, in the other regions of Katashaka, the muislings live a near savage existence, serving as prey for their numerous predators and often barely surviving past adulthood. The muislings of the Wakanari Highlands are valued members of their community, and unlike their more savage kin, they are allowed to educate themselves and many even pursue the art for which they have a natural inclination, that of artifice.

The muislings, no matter where they are found, have a tendency towards building contraptions from the materials available to them. They are less inclined to the metalworking arts, such as the battlesmith and the armorer, but they excel as plumaweavers, hishnashapers, hornsculptors, alchemists and artillerists. The form of the items that they infuse is often a reflection of the society in which they grew up. For instance it is not unusual for artillerists from the Wakanari Highlands to use small walking glassteel eldritch cannons that they use as mounts that are seemingly powered by liquid propellants. In the wilds, these same artillerists might commonly use tiny walking cannons made of carved wood that can fire and move amongst the trees of the jungles in which they live without being easily seen and which are seemingly powered by compressed air that releases in a thundering crack. This is even reflected in their mode of dress, as the muislings of the Wakanari Highlands tend to dress in brightly colored clothing made from alchemically prepared flower petals and small fluffy feathers, whereas wilder brethren tend to wear leafwoven clothing as it helps camouflage them in the wilds.

Their natural tendency towards artifice is seen throughout their communities as many muislings choose to learn the ability to create homunculus servants, and these servants are usually larger than themselves and can help them perform tasks that would be considered minor by other races. However, muislings also possess some ability to work with small animal-like creatures, and as a result they are often seen working with birds, rabbits, and even small cats that would normally consider small rodents to be prey. Also, because of these inconspicuous spies, it is often hard to sneak up on a group of muislings without being detected.


For more on plumaweavers, hishnashapers, and hornsculptors as artificers see the DM's guild product below

https://www.dmsguild.com/product/375827/True-World--Artisan--An-Artificer-Specialization-for-Plumaweavers-Hishnashapers-and-Hornsculptors

Muisling Racial Abilities

Ability Score Increase: Choose two from intelligence, wisdom, charisma, and constitution and increase each by 2. Your Dexterity score increases by 4. Your strength score is decreased by 4.

Size: Muislings are typically six inches to a foot tall. They weigh roughly 2 pounds. Your size is tiny.

Creature Type: You are a humanoid

Speed: base walking speed is 30 feet when on all fours. If on two legs, this is decreased to 20.

Mouse Mobility. You can move through the space of any creature that is of a size larger than yours. You gain the equivalent of the rogue class ability known as uncanny dodge, which does not stack with other versions of uncanny dodge. As long as you are wearing light or no armor, you may add your wisdom modifier to your armor class, and this does not stack with the monk's unarmored defense ability (but can stack with a barbarian's unarmored defense).


Tiny Hands, Tiny Weapons. Due to being size tiny, the base damage of any wielded weapon is reduced by one die size (d4 becomes d3, d6 becomes d4, d8 becomes d6, etc...). In addition, bludgeoning, piercing, slashing, or unnamed bonus damage added to melee or ranged attacks, such as sneak attack, are reduced by a die size as well. Muislings typically make up for this by using finesse or ranged weapons that rely on their excellent dexterity scores.

Tiny Bodies. Your maximum hit points at 1st level and every level gained after first level are reduced by two (ex. so a 3rd level muisling character will have 6 less maximum hit points). In addition, your carrying capacity is reduced by a multiple of five (i.e. a person with 10 strength can normally carry up to 150 pounds (15 lbs x 10), so a muisling of similar strength has a carrying capacity of only 30 pounds). Due to your size differences, you cannot wear normal armor or wield normal weapons, and getting armor crafted for a creature of your size typically costs ten times as much as normal unless it is crafted by their fellow muislings.

Muisling Proficiency. Gain proficiency with two types of artisan's tools and choose one from either acrobatics, stealth, animal handling, or survival

Muisling Artifice. Choose one of the following artificer infusions. You may use this infusion as if you were a 2nd level artificer and this does not count against the number of infusions you can normally create. If you have levels in artificer, then you use your level as an artificer to affect this infusion. The list of infusions you may choose from are: enhanced arcane focus, enhanced defense, enhanced weapon, homunculus servant, repeating shot, replicate magic item:alchemy jug, replicate magic item:cap of water breathing, replicate magic item:goggles of night, replicate magic item:rope of climbing, returning weapon

Speech of Song Birds and tiny Furry Beasts You have the ability to speak in a limited way to small birds that do not hunt mice and to tiny beast-like creatures that are furry (such as a tiny cat, tressym, al=mi'raj, etc..). The creatures should not be of greater than normal animal intelligence and it is up to your DM if the creatures can understand you. When working with creatures of this type, you gain advantage on animal handling checks.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 07 Sep 2023 :  17:01:46  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
on the above, thinking about dropping the damage by two die types even (so d8 becomes d4), just because I picture these muislings as even smaller than kercpa. If I did that, then for balance purposes I'd have to give them something else.... maybe something like evasion or advantage on dex checks... and maybe some bonuses to perception checks, etc... This would still allow this tiny mouse to use a two handed sword and do the equivalent of a D8 damage... granted with minuses due to his strength penalties, so they aren't encouraged to use weapons that they can't use weapon finesse with.... but still if they had an 8 inch or so long two handed weapon that they stuck in someone's chest, it should be able to kill them.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 07 Sep 2023 17:07:51
Go to Top of Page

Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
955 Posts

Posted - 18 Sep 2023 :  20:32:32  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great ideas,including human descended beast-folk - I guess this connects to a degree the human and cat-men Tabaxi?

With Nyama-Nummo, I like the idea they are collective nightmares, manifest invoking Olurobo power, while also based on Kaiju, and some native kaiju like creatures of D&D lore (Tarrasque and Chupoclops).

Though I wonder, were Chup'po'clops and the Tarrask based on the nightmares caused by the legendary creatures (Chupoclops and Tarrasque), or eventually became them?
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2023 :  16:19:10  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

Great ideas,including human descended beast-folk - I guess this connects to a degree the human and cat-men Tabaxi?

With Nyama-Nummo, I like the idea they are collective nightmares, manifest invoking Olurobo power, while also based on Kaiju, and some native kaiju like creatures of D&D lore (Tarrasque and Chupoclops).

Though I wonder, were Chup'po'clops and the Tarrask based on the nightmares caused by the legendary creatures (Chupoclops and Tarrasque), or eventually became them?



Yes, so perhaps these nyama-nummo or "kaiju" were humans who imbued the power of nightmares into themselves... much like a human ascending to godhood. In some respects, these "created nightmares" may have started to gain power of their own via belief and even leaving behind the mortal that was their creator. Then some of these created nightmares may have even discovered that they could breed offspring on the humans in the area. There's a lot of story we could do with this. Not sure exactly where to take it though, so at present, just leaving it more nebulous. So, like you say, Chupoclops... was he an ascended human nightmare or did a human learning of binding vestiges figure out how to bind the vestige that was Chupoclops using a form for "dream magic"? I don't intend to answer that question, but rather leave the idea open.

On the humans and the beast folk/tabaxi.. yes, that's EXACTLY where I was wanting to go. In some instances, these changes may have been "blessings"/"punishments" from the gods (similar to how Zaltec changed the humans of Maztica into orcs, ogres, jagres, and trolls). In this aspect, I want to take certain gods that are believed to be "dead" elsewhere and have them actively worshipped in Katashaka (one primary one being Kiga the Predator as a leopard/black panther goddess from Zakhara who can serve as a competitor to Zaltec and Malar).... so perhaps some of the catfolk were humans punished or blessed by a deity as a result. I picture there being several groups of catfolk all over Katashaka, but having them have different origins (for instance, Rakasta-like folk calling themselves Tigrans, Leonin-like Lenastans, spotted tabaxi, other motley "catfolk, shapechanging Paka, katanga/hengeyokai, wemics, other tauric cat folk NOT based on lions, etc..)

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 19 Sep 2023 16:32:00
Go to Top of Page

Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
955 Posts

Posted - 22 Sep 2023 :  15:35:19  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think it's good decision to keep it ambigious with entities like Chupoclops/Chup'po'clops started out as Nyama-Nummo, or influenced their creation.

Though I'm curious if Gozirra for example, was inspired memory, prehaps primal/unconcious/genetic memory of Blazing Rorn the Fury (a very interesting of undersused Primordial inspired by Godzilla, especially the King of the Monsters Burning Godzilla form) (unless Gozirra was "created" after Primordials were freed by the Batrachi), though Rorn is connected to fire, extreme heat and earth, not lightning; or alternatelly Gozirra could be either inspired by Reptillian Gargantua (especially seeing the connection of these to lightning and thunder), or the Reptillian Gargantua being descended from a channelled Gozirra.

A similar relationship could be between Humanoid Gargantua and Kaeng, and Insectoid Garantua and Moettrah.

With feline races, I thought also about Lamia - normally, D&D Lamias are somewhat...demon tainted. Fendish Codex I suggested they might descended from Pale Night herself. Their reproductve cycle is strange, and complicated - at least in 2E (as detailed in 1993's "The Ecology (Love Life) of the Lamia" found in Dragon #192), the standard Lamias, despite usually looking like females, are all hermaphrodities; if they repeoduce with ech other, they spawn S'air - basically lion-goats without humanoid features at all, who are named after a type of demon from the Bible of the same name. To create a Lamia, they must reproduce with a human (or I guess demi-human). Lamia Nobles have separate sexes, but if they reproduce with each other, the child will be a normal/common Lamia; they must again reproduce with humans, to create more of themselves.

I have an idea here, Lamias populating the rest of Toril are of the kind corrupted by Pale Night (possibly by her magic, by reproducing with some Lamias, or both); those on Katashaka being the uncorrupted Lamias, including of other types than the leonine one.
With "demoiac lamias" being specifically a demonically corrupted strain of the leonine lamias.

Edited by - Baltas on 22 Sep 2023 17:49:41
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2023 :  00:44:20  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

I think it's good decision to keep it ambigious with entities like Chupoclops/Chup'po'clops started out as Nyama-Nummo, or influenced their creation.

Though I'm curious if Gozirra for example, was inspired memory, prehaps primal/unconcious/genetic memory of Blazing Rorn the Fury (a very interesting of undersused Primordial inspired by Godzilla, especially the King of the Monsters Burning Godzilla form) (unless Gozirra was "created" after Primordials were freed by the Batrachi), though Rorn is connected to fire, extreme heat and earth, not lightning; or alternatelly Gozirra could be either inspired by Reptillian Gargantua (especially seeing the connection of these to lightning and thunder), or the Reptillian Gargantua being descended from a channelled Gozirra.

A similar relationship could be between Humanoid Gargantua and Kaeng, and Insectoid Garantua and Moettrah.

With feline races, I thought also about Lamia - normally, D&D Lamias are somewhat...demon tainted. Fendish Codex I suggested they might descended from Pale Night herself. Their reproductve cycle is strange, and complicated - at least in 2E (as detailed in 1993's "The Ecology (Love Life) of the Lamia" found in Dragon #192), the standard Lamias, despite usually looking like females, are all hermaphrodities; if they repeoduce with ech other, they spawn S'air - basically lion-goats without humanoid features at all, who are named after a type of demon from the Bible of the same name. To create a Lamia, they must reproduce with a human (or I guess demi-human). Lamia Nobles have separate sexes, but if they reproduce with each other, the child will be a normal/common Lamia; they must again reproduce with humans, to create more of themselves.

I have an idea here, Lamias populating the rest of Toril are of the kind corrupted by Pale Night (possibly by her magic, by reproducing with some Lamias, or both); those on Katashaka being the uncorrupted Lamias, including of other types than the leonine one.
With "demoiac lamias" being specifically a demonically corrupted strain of the leonine lamias.



Baltas.... I really like that idea of the lamias here NOT being corrupted by demons. I also have them readily mating with most of the beast humanoid cat folk as well as the various tauric races of the region and with the minotaurs and ibixians of Yikaria. Essentially, their "region" which actualy consists of several small cities surrounding a larger one, are focused entirely on seeking and giving pleasure. But without fail, any child born to a lamia, by law, is THEIRS and theirs alone. I had read that same dragon article that you had and my thoughts were to subtly twist a bit of that lore... as in they can mate with humans AS WELL AS these other races to produce new lamia offspring. Perhaps this is related to the other races having once BEEN human... perhaps not.... again, leaving it unanswered on purpose. Just like in that article, I picture these lamia able to change their bottoms to match the race that wishes to mate with them, within a certain range of "beastkind".


On Gozirra and linking him to Rorn the Fury who was a primordial... well, I had obviously been making references to various "Godzilla" like names... but I like turning it into this. In fact, I like the ideas of these humans using dream magic to imbue the power of primordials trapped in sleep in Abeir. I'm not quite sure where to take this yet, but I'm putting THAT in my back pocket and gonna chew on it a bit. That opens up some interesting ideas that humanity may have maintained a link even AFTER the sundering.... and this may be why humans disappeared (which I had hinted that they went to Abeir).

I also don't mind the idea of these humans channeling powerful beings then "spawning" abominations in the form of weird kaiju like beings. Maybe they corrupt eggs with magic. Maybe they actually mate with other powerful creatures (dragons are known to mate with things.. just saying...).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 30 Sep 2023 :  17:39:51  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, this discussion of the people long ago using essentially something like binding with powerful beings or with animal spirits, etc.... and then the discussion of the "lamia" of the City of the Cat Queens being a non-demon corrupted version... its kind of opening my eyes to a theme I may want to follow with here. To give you an idea... giving some more examples.

The Wakanari Highlands are ruled by "The Council of the Reborn Phoenix".... which I will note I should call "The Council of the Reborn Phoenii" ... because its a council of some strange individuals. It started with the country being ruled by "enlightened" sphinxes and lammasu having subsumed rulership of ... in theory... an old area once held by the Aearee, and they took over ruling the strange bird folk that still lived there. Eventually they would bring in some cat folk from the surrounding lands who were seeking benevolent leaders. At a point, conflict arose with surrounding groups, and a Sphinx leader summoned a phoenix to send against his enemies. The Phoenix was killed, but its egg recovered, and the sphinx leader used a ritual to "bind" the immortal spirit of the phoenix to himself. This ritual was repeated with his mate. Each such binding changed the base being in some was such that they no longer resembled their original selves. Over millenia, other powerful beings, such as a dragonne would attempt to modify the ritual (much like how each lich tends to develop their own ritual of lichdom), and so more members were added to the council ruling the Wakanari Highlands.

So, this brings me back to Latoombe, City of Tricksters. I wanted a "council of Rashasa lords"... but I also didn't want them to be as powerful as Rakshasa are in 5e. I was also fine with these lords having normal claws, etc... so that it raises questions about them. So, what if there is a being entrapped IN that city who is a Rakshasa Lord? What if these "Rakshasa Lords".... and maybe they call themselves something entirely different like "Tabaxi Tizarashi" or "Cat Lords" .... are binding/pacting to a powerful rakshasa spirit in order to gain their power. Maybe this being is acting as a "Warlock Otherworldly Patron" who for whatever reason that I make up... can ONLY work with cat folk ... Maybe even he can only work with beings that share his bloodline. This opens up a possible interesting storyline for this entrapped being as well.

To try and open up this storyline a little further... we have some beings... Paka .... that have D&D origins in Ravenloft. So, rather than having this Rakshasa "bound" physically somewhere Katashaka... perhaps its more like there's some portion of the city that acts as a conduit to Ravenloft.

I'm actually relooking at the Paka from Monstrous Compendium Appendix 3 and realizing that the original TSR ones did NOT change into small cats. I think it was a third party resource that gave them that ability. They appear to be something more akin to a shifter from Eberron that can entirely pass as human, except that they have a strange affinity with cats which enables them to command them, see through their eyes and ears (making them good spies in a city of cats, etc...).

So, perhaps Latoombe, City of Tricksters has direct ties to Ravenloft... even having been "copied" into Ravenloft, and taking its Rakshasa lord there an entrapping him. So, he is attempting to leave his land of imprisonment by somehow working as a warlock patron to the local populace (perhaps this requires a walk in the mists to find his altar and drink his blood). His warlocks are a power in the city, and the paka are some of his chosen people... but so are the cat folk. But, to try and give the city a bit less of a "one trick pony" feel, his people don't "rule" the city. The main goal was to make the city a city of "tricksters"... a place where you can't necessarily trust what you are shown. So, having other power groups (such as perhaps followers of Kiga the Predator with true born lyncanthropic wereleopards/weretigers, etc... who are also human could be fun). Having some kind of sorcerer's society made up solely of cat folk sounds like fun or a bard society which intermixes with other nearby cultures and acts as spies.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 30 Sep 2023 19:01:34
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11737 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2023 :  17:54:05  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Within the central portion of Katashaka, I was wanting to create a land "cut off" from the rest of Katashaka to a degree and filled with giant, powerful creatures worshipped by different population groups... true beast cults... as well as other regions which just hold some form of society which has isolated itself. I was naming this overarching territory "Manu Ni Maloa, Land of the Nyamma-Numo".

This region is cut off by large mountain ranges as well as massive rifts that extend for hundreds of miles caused by some disaster millenia ago

One of these isolated realms that I was picturing was

Maemirzuutha Jungles, Azure Jungles of the Giant Wand Wielders

So, my original intentions were to take the 3.5e eldritch giants and put a colony of them here. However, in looking at the 5e release that just came out "Glory of the Giants"... they introduce something that I think would work quite well, in the form of "Fomorian Nobles"... or fey looking giants who did not fall to Karontor's tricks and turn into the ugly fomorians that we know. But, rather than try and shoehorn one thing, I'd rather throw in multiples to try and create more of a lore/history perspective that might make it more interesting. So, a society of giants who have a focus on magic. Some of them are "eldritch giants" with a light sky blue or pale mauve skin... built sturdily ... and some are Fomorian Nobles (thin, extremely long pointed ears, and skin ranging from pale to nut brown. These giants are served by a lesser caste of giant "jungle giants" in 2e or "forest giants" in 3e ... a yellow skinned, green haired giant who were taken from their home in Zakhara long ago from the fallen giant Empire of Nog.

So, with this is mind, let's start development.

First, the Azure jungles... these giants live in a hilly landscape surrounded by a wall of mountains and separated into two regions by a cleft in the land created by some form of impact long ago. This impact left behind some form of material which has imbedded the hills on their southern border, and its this material that has created a strange interaction with the jungle landscape. Much of the foliage has an odd blue and/or purple hue to it rather than the traditional green of most jungles. The eldritch giants first came to this land to mine this material, because it seems to have some form of powerful arcane properties (needs development)

The eldritch giants had worshipped a powerful being known as Utgor-Vali who I reference in my Metahel Panthen of FR product. He is meant to resemble Utgard-Loki of Norse Lore as a deceptive giant god. The events of Rak Nir Ruik have already happened in this pantheon (the metahel version of Ragnarok, which has happened, but lo and behold... it was a trick staged by Sifya the Warmother, working with Valigan the Runtborn Giant and Alaeralie the Deceptress working as turncoats in the enemy ranks, to turn the tables on the enemies of the Asagrimm... aka metahel version of the Aesir). During this godly battle, Utgor-Vali was killed by a fourth turncoat, Skaragos the Executioner, who had joined with Heleshkiga (a metahel version of Ereshkigal and Hela combined, but also somewhat resembling the raven queen), and Alaeralie had subsumed some of Utgor-Vali's power of illusion.

Why do I mention all of that? Because it would be my intention to make the "giant god" Utgor-Vali a vestige. Meanwhile, some of the eldritch giants believe that Memnor is the resurrected version of Utgor-Vali. These two factions consider each other heretics (those that speak to the vestige of Utgor-Vali claim that Memnor is a corrupted version of Asagrimmr created when Kezris the Spirit Wolf tried to swallow the Allfather of the Metahel). But, there are warlocks who serve Utgor-Vali and there are clerics, paladins, sorcerers, wizard/illusionists, and arcane tricksters amongst the eldritch giants who serve Memnor. Over time the two communities have separated over this minor schism, but this doesn't preclude working with another for trade, etc... It's just that one faction of the eldritch knights lives in Uedgard and another lives in Maemirgard.... giant fortresses separated by hundreds of miles.

The Fomorian Nobles meanwhile are relatively new arrivals (still having been here several centuries) and its said that they were the ones that brought news of Memnor to the giants of this region. They were drawn here from the Feywild when they heard of the magical accomplishments of these giants and the nearness of a very powerful arcane material that was being mined here. They arrived just a few years and/or decades after the end of Rak Nir Ruik, which most believe ended when the world had a sudden collapse of all magic (which corresponded to the death of Mystryl), arriving in a flying city. [Whether this city is a captured cloud giant city or a repurposed Netherese City or a city transported here from the feywild might all be valuable ideas and worth considering]. This city still flies above their own "newly" constructed city of Zuutha'Ar that's below it.


The "jungle giants" worship a Metahel "goddess" known as Lamasgrboda (see my Metahel Pantheon of FR for more details, link at end). She's meant to be a "comparison" to the myths of Lamashtu and Loki's wife Angrboda on purpose, and I would have her worshipped long ago in Zakhara (and possibly still, but only by jungle giants). She is a "mother of monsters" style of goddess, and the giants believe that she may have birthed many of the gigantic monstrosities found in Manu Ni Maloa which are known as Nyamma-Numo. These jungle giants were living in the wreckage of their fallen empire of Nog when a "Black Cloud of Vengeance" threatened to destroy their community (for more on Black Clouds of Vengeance, https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Black_cloud_of_vengeance ). Suddenly an ancient portal opened nearby and an eldritch giant leading others of his kind opened, and they directed the jungle giants to flee through it in order to save themselves. This is the story of how the jungle giants came to the Azure jungles, and they have since been set to serve as warriors to roam the fringes of this society, hunting dinosaurs, hydras, and lizard folk from the swamp to the south. These yellow skinned/green haired giants have gone on to setup several small settlements in the blue tinged hills north of that swamp, and they work as overseers over the mining operations which persist there to this day, using slave labor in the form of captured lizard folk, orcs, troglodytes, girallon, etc.... They often hunt the giant crocodiles and hydras of the Mi'taka Marsh, for they favor their flesh as a delicacy, often doing so from the back of a dinosaur such as a tyrannosaurus or a triceratops. But the eldritch giants often pick individuals of this separate society to come serve them as servants, guards, and/or huntmasters.


Some quick blurbs about the 3 main cities
[Uedgard] - The residents of this city are primarily eldritch giants who believe that Utgor-Vali was not killed, but rather entrapped. Many of them are warlocks in service to his vestige and they use a corrpted version of runic magic to call upon and bind his vestige to themselves. This city is built on a lake which is said to have mystical properties that confer great wisdom and some believe that a portal periodically opens at its base to the place where Utgor-Vali is kept imprisoned. This city is constructed deep in the jungle, and it was constructed with the aid of dinosaurs serving as beasts of burden.

[Maemirgard] - The residents of this city are primarily eldritch giants who believe that Memnor is the actual form of their god, who faked his own death in order to escape the ruins of Rak Nir Ruik. This city is much older than Uedgard and it was built in an area protected by mountains at its back and a deep and broad rift in the earth to its front (though many miles separate their city from the edges of this rift). A giant built bridge crosses this rift to the south, and it was via this bridge that materials mined from the azure hills to the south were transported to their homes. This giant city is not just built ABOVE the ground however, for their are numerous large tunnels leading into the underdark below this city, some opening into the rift. The giants of this city are said to breed a dire version of wyverns which serve them as mounts as well. This city is not surrounded by jungle, for it has been cleared for miles in order to serve as farmland in order to feed the population, and most of its structures are simple and sturdy, purpose built buildings for warehousing crops, materials, or housing their slaves.

[Zuutha'Ar] Named for its founder, Zuutha, this city is built by the fomorian nobles, and it is a deceptively large but sturdy city. Built to inspire awe at its majesty, in many ways it would resemble the structures of the ancient elven empires, but increased in scale. To add to this, floating above this city is a flying city which can house several dozen fomorian nobles as well. This city is much smaller than the cities held by the eldritch giants, and its rumored that these Fomorian Nobles are much less insular than their neighbors. Its believed that they have even opened communications with some cloud giant colonies in order to engage in trade, and some say they possess a portal to the feywild that can serve as a method of escape if they are ever invaded.

For more on the Metahel gods (the metahel being a group of humans found in City of Gold who resemble a viking like culture stranded on the coast of Anchorome), see my DM's Guild entry
https://www.dmsguild.com/product/363274/The-Metahel-Pantheon-of-Anchorome




SIDENOTE: regarding Rak Nir Ruik and dates... I tried to set dates for this within relatively recent memory. For those who are familiar with Faerunian happenings, some of this may ring a bell. Here's what I had written up, with dates correlating to the death of two sun gods and an eclipse and then later correlating to the fall of Netheril/Mystryl's death. Now, these dates are "how the mortals understand what happened"... it doesn't mean that they are right.

[i]But the metahel do have at least one significant record in their recorded history, and its actually the start of their modern day calendar, for the start of Rak Nir Ruik. It started in what would be considered -1076 DR, and this is considered 0 RNR. The local sun, which had kept their homeland warm with its yellow light, suddenly began to burn with a pitch black flame. For the next five years, the inhabitants of Aurune shivered in their homes, and all whispered that the god of Beauty and Light had died, and all knew that the Winter of the Wolf had come. Then the unthinkable happened. Rak Nir Ruik, started, as the local sun disappeared and the true sun was swallowed by Kezris the Spirit-Wolf.... and all knew that Asagrimmr had died.

The Last Battle of the Gods lasted for centuries of human time, but they knew it had ended the day that magic suddenly stopped working. The people knew despair, for surely they would all die without the gods. But, the gods had not all died as predicted, and soon they recovered hope again...

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2024 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000