Sahuagin and the great flooding

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ripvanwormer
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Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:40 pm

Supplement II: Blackmoor mentions (page 21) a "great flooding of the land" when the polar icecaps melted "during a great struggle of the gods to control the planet." This sounds a lot like the Great Rain of Fire in the Mystara setting, but Supplement II notes that history doesn't agree when this might have happened, and it actually might have happened twice.

The Mystara sourcebook The Sea People (PC3) also mentions a similar event. In a time so ancient it isn't even given a date, but before 5000 BC, the historical timeline describes the creation of the world. "At first it is covered entirely in water, but arguments among the Immortals lead to the formation of the continents, It is a time of elemental upheaval as the young world is shaped by the Immortals, with no two Immortals agreeing how it should be." Eventually there's a truce, and intelligent races are able to exist on land and sea. The book seems to imply that there wasn't any intelligent life before the truce, but perhaps there were slow periods in the time of struggle when various Immortals (or other agents) tried to introduce intelligent life, only to have most of them wiped out during one cataclysm or another.

This also reminds me of our earlier discussion about an ancient war between elementals. Perhaps the elemental conflict extended to the mortal world, the struggle over which elements would achieve dominance causing the literal reshaping of the planet as well as the reshaping of the Elemental Planes.

Supplement II continues to explain that after the waters fell (perhaps corresponding to the Time of Truce described in The Sea People), the gods took care to ensure that some of the world's sentient life was preserved, while others sought to change the life to ensure that sapience would survive in the event of another flood. So it was that the gods of Law and Neutrality created sea elves and mermen, while the gods of Chaos created the sahuagin.

The Sea People says that it was during the Time of Truce that the shark-kin, whom I think of as Mystara's answer to the sahuagin that Frank Mentzer wasn't permitted to use when he rebooted the D&D game, left the sea and went to live on land.

Havard, in his blog, describes an ancient race known as the Sar-Aigu, who in ancient times "found the courage to rise from beneath the waves and build their stronghold on land, on the peninsula which would later be the site of Castle Blackmoor. They remained there until driven back into the sea by a greater evil. They were never heard from again, though they may still be lurking down there in the deep." Perhaps this could be made to correspond with PC3's description of the shark-kin leaving the sea during the Time of Truce.

The Sea People has the shark-kin returning to the sea in 3000 BC after the Great Rain of Fire melts the ice-caps and raises the ocean level, which again matches well with the story in Supplement II. If the shark-kin were, circa 4000 BC, effectively the same as sahuagin, they may yet have occasion to rise from the waves and conquer the land in the millennium between the time of DA1 and the Great Rain of Fire, only to retreat again with the next rising of the waters, finally to evolve into the modern race of shark-kin, who only grow legs and return to the land during times of leadership crisis, and are certainly less purely evil that the sahuagin are said to be.

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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by Aldarron » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:06 pm

Nicely done tie in. Works pretty well if your world of mystara is the all inclusive sort that incorporates as many of the tsr worlds as possible. Of course, it's anybodies guess what world the supp II reference author (Kask?) had in mind in 1975, but the quote could be made to apply to a stand alone blackmoor world too. Interesting.

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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by BlackBat242 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:30 am

Yes, Tim Kask edited Supp II... but we might not need to guess... just go to Tim's Q&A thread on Dragonsfoot & ask him direct.

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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by Havard » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:49 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Supplement II: Blackmoor mentions (page 21) a "great flooding of the land" when the polar icecaps melted "during a great struggle of the gods to control the planet." This sounds a lot like the Great Rain of Fire in the Mystara setting, but Supplement II notes that history doesn't agree when this might have happened, and it actually might have happened twice.
Brilliant find!Thanks for directing my attention back to Supp II. There is alot of information in that book that has never been used anywhere else. The reference could be made to the GRoF, but could it also refer to some previous period? (se below)
The Mystara sourcebook The Sea People (PC3) also mentions a similar event. In a time so ancient it isn't even given a date, but before 5000 BC, the historical timeline describes the creation of the world. "At first it is covered entirely in water, but arguments among the Immortals lead to the formation of the continents, It is a time of elemental upheaval as the young world is shaped by the Immortals, with no two Immortals agreeing how it should be." Eventually there's a truce, and intelligent races are able to exist on land and sea. The book seems to imply that there wasn't any intelligent life before the truce, but perhaps there were slow periods in the time of struggle when various Immortals (or other agents) tried to introduce intelligent life, only to have most of them wiped out during one cataclysm or another.

This also reminds me of our earlier discussion about an ancient war between elementals. Perhaps the elemental conflict extended to the mortal world, the struggle over which elements would achieve dominance causing the literal reshaping of the planet as well as the reshaping of the Elemental Planes.
I love the idea of connecting the Elemental Conflict to events on the Prime Plane! One immediate idea is that a period when the world is covered by water could also refer to the last Ice Age. The world is technically covered in water, even if the water is frozen...

My main reason for suggesting the Ice Age is that this could be the link to the end of the Cthonian Age (10.000 BC - my hypothesis).


<snip>
Havard, in his blog, describes an ancient race known as the Sar-Aigu, who in ancient times "found the courage to rise from beneath the waves and build their stronghold on land, on the peninsula which would later be the site of Castle Blackmoor. They remained there until driven back into the sea by a greater evil. They were never heard from again, though they may still be lurking down there in the deep." Perhaps this could be made to correspond with PC3's description of the shark-kin leaving the sea during the Time of Truce.
I like this idea, but I wonder if we can make it fit with the timeline...

The Sea People has the shark-kin returning to the sea in 3000 BC after the Great Rain of Fire melts the ice-caps and raises the ocean level, which again matches well with the story in Supplement II. If the shark-kin were, circa 4000 BC, effectively the same as sahuagin, they may yet have occasion to rise from the waves and conquer the land in the millennium between the time of DA1 and the Great Rain of Fire, only to retreat again with the next rising of the waters, finally to evolve into the modern race of shark-kin, who only grow legs and return to the land during times of leadership crisis, and are certainly less purely evil that the sahuagin are said to be.
Aha, now I think I understand what you are saying. So we are not neccessarily linking the Time of Truce BC3000 with the Sar-Aigu, but rather have the BC3000 event a repetiition of something that happened on several occasions with this race? It does make sense to equate the Shark-Kin with the Sahuagin IMO, although the Shark-Kin seem less likely to be connected to the Temple of the Frog than the Shark Kin?


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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:43 pm

Oh, sorry I wasn't clear. BC 3000 isn't the Time of Truce. The Time of Truce is something that happened much earlier, in a time so early it isn't even given a date, after the Immortals warred over the shape of the world. I'm speculating here that the early Immortal war was the first "great flood," and the Time of Truce was the time immediately afterward, when the "gods" were creating marine humanoids in order to ensure something would survive if there was ever another.

I'm also suggesting that the shark-kin were sahuagin during the Blackmoor era; they didn't evolve into the shark-kin known today until after the Great Rain of Fire forced them to return to the oceans a second time.

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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by Havard » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:06 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Oh, sorry I wasn't clear. BC 3000 isn't the Time of Truce. The Time of Truce is something that happened much earlier, in a time so early it isn't even given a date, after the Immortals warred over the shape of the world. I'm speculating here that the early Immortal war was the first "great flood," and the Time of Truce was the time immediately afterward, when the "gods" were creating marine humanoids in order to ensure something would survive if there was ever another.
Ah, okay. This fits more with my previous understanding of the timeline, looking at the writeup for Manwara etc as well. Would you link this truly ancient time to the Elemental Wars? I guess that would make sense...

I'm also suggesting that the shark-kin were sahuagin during the Blackmoor era; they didn't evolve into the shark-kin known today until after the Great Rain of Fire forced them to return to the oceans a second time.
I like that! 8-)

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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by Big Mac » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:07 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:The Sea People says that it was during the Time of Truce that the shark-kin, whom I think of as Mystara's answer to the sahuagin that Frank Mentzer wasn't permitted to use when he rebooted the D&D game, left the sea and went to live on land.
"Frank Mentzer wasn't permitted to use shark-kin"? By who? And why?

The name "shark-kin" doesn't sound like anything from outside of D&D. Was this race something borrowed from another company without permission?
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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by ripvanwormer » Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:08 pm

Big Mac wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:The Sea People says that it was during the Time of Truce that the shark-kin, whom I think of as Mystara's answer to the sahuagin that Frank Mentzer wasn't permitted to use when he rebooted the D&D game, left the sea and went to live on land.
"Frank Mentzer wasn't permitted to use shark-kin"? By who? And why?

The name "shark-kin" doesn't sound like anything from outside of D&D. Was this race something borrowed from another company without permission?
"Mystara's answer to the sahuagin that Frank Mentzer wasn't permitted to use" is the salient phrase here. When Mentzer wrote the BECMI rules he wasn't allowed by TSR's legal department to use the monsters, rules, or artifacts from the OD&D Blackmoor, Eldritch Wizardry, or Gods, Demigods, and Heroes supplements because that was the line TSR had drawn between D&D and AD&D. The BECMI rules were created for the purpose of establishing a distinction between the D&D game, which Dave Arneson had co-created, and the AD&D game, which Gary Gygax was the sole credited author of. TSR was in a legal dispute with Arneson and didn't want to give him any royalties for AD&D, so BECMI D&D was created for the purpose of establishing the legal fiction that D&D and AD&D were completely separate games. This is why there are a number of monsters and classes in BECMI that are equivalent to AD&D things but with different names.

AD&D has sahuagin. BECMI has shark-kin instead.

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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by ExTSR » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:25 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:"Mystara's answer to the sahuagin that Frank Mentzer wasn't permitted to use" is the salient phrase here. When Mentzer wrote the BECMI rules he wasn't allowed by TSR's legal department to use the monsters, rules, or artifacts from the OD&D Blackmoor, Eldritch Wizardry, or Gods, Demigods, and Heroes supplements because that was the line TSR had drawn between D&D and AD&D. The BECMI rules were created for the purpose of establishing a distinction between the D&D game, which Dave Arneson had co-created, and the AD&D game, which Gary Gygax was the sole credited author of. TSR was in a legal dispute with Arneson and didn't want to give him any royalties for AD&D, so BECMI D&D was created for the purpose of establishing the legal fiction that D&D and AD&D were completely separate games. This is why there are a number of monsters and classes in BECMI that are equivalent to AD&D things but with different names.
AD&D has sahuagin. BECMI has shark-kin instead.
I drew directly on OD&D and its Supplements in various ways. However, when something was used in 1e, that was legally off-limits for BECMI.

I disagree strongly with the disparaging term "legal fiction", since BECMI and 1e are vastly different. BECMI does more. ;>

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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by ripvanwormer » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:31 pm

ExTSR wrote:I drew directly on OD&D and its Supplements in various ways. However, when something was used in 1e, that was legally off-limits for BECMI.

I disagree strongly with the disparaging term "legal fiction", since BECMI and 1e are vastly different. BECMI does more. ;>

F
Thanks for the clarification; if I'd realized you would read this thread, I would have let you field the question instead of trying to answer it myself. The issue was whether it had already been claimed by AD&D, then, not just what supplement it was from. I didn't mean to imply that BECMI was an inferior or identical game. It was the edition I learned D&D with, and I've always had a strong emotional attachment to it.

I should have said "BECMI was created to establish D&D and AD&D as separate games."

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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by Big Mac » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:15 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:The Sea People says that it was during the Time of Truce that the shark-kin, whom I think of as Mystara's answer to the sahuagin that Frank Mentzer wasn't permitted to use when he rebooted the D&D game, left the sea and went to live on land.
"Frank Mentzer wasn't permitted to use shark-kin"? By who? And why?

The name "shark-kin" doesn't sound like anything from outside of D&D. Was this race something borrowed from another company without permission?
"Mystara's answer to the sahuagin that Frank Mentzer wasn't permitted to use" is the salient phrase here. When Mentzer wrote the BECMI rules he wasn't allowed by TSR's legal department to use the monsters, rules, or artifacts from the OD&D Blackmoor, Eldritch Wizardry, or Gods, Demigods, and Heroes supplements because that was the line TSR had drawn between D&D and AD&D. The BECMI rules were created for the purpose of establishing a distinction between the D&D game, which Dave Arneson had co-created, and the AD&D game, which Gary Gygax was the sole credited author of. TSR was in a legal dispute with Arneson and didn't want to give him any royalties for AD&D, so BECMI D&D was created for the purpose of establishing the legal fiction that D&D and AD&D were completely separate games. This is why there are a number of monsters and classes in BECMI that are equivalent to AD&D things but with different names.
This sounds a bit backwards to me.

If AD&D had to be "legally different" to Dave Arneson's D&D, then why would there be anything in AD&D that was also in OD&D? Why wouldn't BECMI be the same as OD&D, if they were trying to make that into Dave Arneson's version of D&D and 1e as a "legally different game"?
ripvanwormer wrote:AD&D has sahuagin. BECMI has shark-kin instead.
So did Frank invent the shark-kin or were they already in B/X or OD&D?

And where to sahuagin come into it? Do the 3rd Edition Blackmoor products use them instead of shark-kin?
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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by Big Mac » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:38 pm

ExTSR wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:"Mystara's answer to the sahuagin that Frank Mentzer wasn't permitted to use" is the salient phrase here. When Mentzer wrote the BECMI rules he wasn't allowed by TSR's legal department to use the monsters, rules, or artifacts from the OD&D Blackmoor, Eldritch Wizardry, or Gods, Demigods, and Heroes supplements because that was the line TSR had drawn between D&D and AD&D. The BECMI rules were created for the purpose of establishing a distinction between the D&D game, which Dave Arneson had co-created, and the AD&D game, which Gary Gygax was the sole credited author of. TSR was in a legal dispute with Arneson and didn't want to give him any royalties for AD&D, so BECMI D&D was created for the purpose of establishing the legal fiction that D&D and AD&D were completely separate games. This is why there are a number of monsters and classes in BECMI that are equivalent to AD&D things but with different names.
AD&D has sahuagin. BECMI has shark-kin instead.
I drew directly on OD&D and its Supplements in various ways. However, when something was used in 1e, that was legally off-limits for BECMI.

I disagree strongly with the disparaging term "legal fiction", since BECMI and 1e are vastly different. BECMI does more. ;>
Thanks Frank.

BECMI doing more is something I've kind of been learning fairly recently (since I joined The Piazza). AD&D is 3 books and BECMI is 5 boxed sets, so there is obviously more space to do stuff. So I don't know why they went for "Basic" and "Advanced" when both games are pretty complex. I think I see why WotC decided to not maintain two forks.

Anyhoo, getting back to the shark-kin, was there any special inspiration for them and how they were supposed to fit in with the ecology? Were they supposed to be the same critters as the ones in the Blackmoor suppliment?
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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by ripvanwormer » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:01 am

To clarify, I didn't mean to imply that Frank Mentzer was the creator of the shark-kin. They're from the Creature Catalogue, not from the colored boxed sets. But they fill a niche in the BECMI rules similar to what sahuagin fill in AD&D (with a similar name and game statistics).
And where to sahuagin come into it? Do the 3rd Edition Blackmoor products use them instead of shark-kin?
Yes, d20 Blackmoor uses sahuagin, also known in that setting as the Sar-aigu. d20 Blackmoor isn't necessarily Mystara, although it uses a few monsters (thouls, for example) that originated in the BECMI rules.

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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by Yaztromo » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:56 pm

Luckily as fans we can ret-conn a lot of things across many editions and games ;)
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Re: Sahuagin and the great flooding

Post by Havard » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:42 pm

Sahuagin actually predate AD&D and originated in Supplement II: Blackmoor.

I don't know exactly why Sahuagin did not appear in BECMI. As Ripvanwormer says there was a desire from TSR to make D&D as much of a separate game from AD&D as possible. I think Frank based most of his work from the core OD&D rules and extrapolated from that. I know he specifically didn't consult any AD&D material, but it is possible that he avoided the Supplements as well. Although Thieves, Druids etc are clearly used.
Yaztromo wrote:Luckily as fans we can ret-conn a lot of things across many editions and games ;)
We can, but to be honest, I like that these differences were fused into settings like Mystara. It really helps make each setting distinct, which is something I like.

D20 Blackmoor incorporated alot of generic D20 SRD material into Blackmoor, not all of it really feeling like it fit with the setting. I do like though, that instead of just using plain old Sahuagin, they created a separate race with its own mythology with the Sar-Aigu. It clearly draws on older ideas from Dave Arneson and retains its unique feel rather than just being copied from mainstream D&D.

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