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Wallara and the Dream World

Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:12 pm
by Havard
What is really known about the origin of the lands of Wallara? The history of the Wallara from Dragon #186 briefly mentions the Wallara Chameleon Men being among the oldest races of Mystara and being a quite advanced race before being hit with the Spell of Forgetting weaved by the Herathians. It also mentions how Spirits walked alongside the Wallara back in thos times when they built the city of Rislivar.

It used to annoy me a bit that the entire culture of aboriginal Australia was wasted on such a small part of Mystara. But then I started thinking. I assume that the Dream World of the Wallara is the same as the Spirit World of the Ethengars. What if the appearance of Chameleon Men, Marsupial Animals and other spirit creatures are indeed simply a result of the Dream World manifesting in that area? If so, could it be that the Dream World has also had similar manifestations on other parts of Mystara?


Re: Wallara and the Dream World

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:06 am
by Sturm
Nice idea.
Here ( and in Threshold issue #5 I pretty much assumed chameleon men can be found in several places of southern Brun and Davania. I placed also some in the Hollow World in Threshold issue #9.
At the very least, all around the Trident Bay... (Thorf just made an updated map: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=10232&p=168150#p168150)
They also appear in B8 with a leader named The Lord of Shadow and Hue, so in northern Karameikos/Darokin, near Tuma. For more about Tuma see Zendrolion's writings here and here:

Re: Wallara and the Dream World

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:26 pm
by VoidWalker
Wallaras are fleshed out slightly in the Mystara and Savage Coast Monstrous Compendium Appendixes - in the latter, they also changed the artwork from the former's "rainbow colored Aborigine with an afro" to a more visibly reptilian form.

The largest source of information on them that I know of is their depiction in Orc's Head Book One: Sourcebook, one of the Odyssey books from towards the end of AD&D. There's a very large History and Culture writeup (even if the latter makes me wince a little; I'm Australian, and this is basically Atruaghin Clans level lazy cultural pilfering) in that book. Would it be helpful if I posted the information from it here?

Re: Wallara and the Dream World

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:33 pm
by Sturm
Sure, I read it time ago but I do not recall the specifics now.

Re: Wallara and the Dream World

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:36 pm
by RobJN
Havard wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:12 pm
could it be that the Dream World has also had similar manifestations on other parts of Mystara?

How well does it mesh with the PC1 notion of Dreamlands? (and/or Blackmoor's Ephemeral Plane?)

Are they too different from each other to bother with, or could some Grand Unified Field (of Dreams) Theory* be cooked up?

*No, I am not ashamed.

Re: Wallara and the Dream World

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:03 am
by VoidWalker
Alright, here's the history of the Wallaras, lifted straight from the Orc's Head Sourcebook; there is no mention made of the Dream World beyond it being central to their perception and the cosmos, with the obvious inferral that the Dream World is just cultural memories and their present-day clerical practices befuddled by the lingering effects of the Spell of Forgetting.

Wallara History:
Wallaras are descendants of an ancient native tribe of hunter-gatherers. There was a time when the wallaras walked side by side with the spirits that created them. They were in tune with the land, so much so that wallaras equated their life and well-being with that of the land and its wealth. The wallaras viewed themselves as the protectors of nature, which had been entrusted to them by their creators. In their small city of Risilvar, which they built in the hills to be close to their Immortal patrons, they flourished and learned much about the universe.

They were a wise people, a race that could pierce mysteries that other races did not even suspect existed. Although they were a peaceful people, the wallaras soon attracted the enmity of the Herathians, who had many dark secrets to hide. The wallaras knew of the aranean nature of the Herathian wizards, for they had often watched the intelligent, giant spiders from afar, but the wallaras saw the creatures as just another incarnation of nature, not as a threat. The Herathians never understood the wallaran way of thinking, and as the years passed the aranean’s discomfort, believing their concealment was at risk, grew to be unbearable for them.

A frightening psychosis arose among the araneans as a result. At greatest risk were the older creatures, often the most powerful ones. These great wizards created a spell to remove all knowledge of the araneans’ true identity from the minds of the wallaras. The mental uneasiness prevalent among the Herathian wizards at the time caused them to miscalculate the severity of the spell’s effect.

The result was catastrophic. While removing knowledge of the araneans from the wallaran minds, the spell backfired. The wallaran racial memories kept shifting—over and over, distorting and nearly wiping them from their minds. The Herathians were at a loss to halt the spell, and the hapless wallaran civilization fell back to the stone age. Only obscure, jumbled memories and legends of their past survive in their minds.

This tragedy caused the Great One—the Immortal patron of the wallaras—to seek revenge. A plague of dragons attacked Herath. The araneans were experienced and organized enough to survive the wrath of the Great One, although at a dreadful cost to their nation. Herath faced such horrendous devastation that Korotiku met with the Great One and explained the error of his aranean followers. It cost the Trickster dearly to persuade the Great One to halt the attacks, in addition to a promise from Herath never to interfere with the wallaras again.

Aranean priests were informed and soon Herathians began rebuilding their nation. The Herathian priests also destroyed all traces of the spell of forgetting, and forever banned further research on its effects, for fear that someday it might be used against Herathians too.

Meanwhile, the wallaras were condemned to become primitive nomads, seeking the secret of their past. They believed that, indeed, spirits once walked the land, but that was during the Time of Dreams, the time when the Immortals created them. They thought for a long time that the spirits lived in the rocky hills and no one was allowed to go there. Centuries later, when the Mendoo discovered the lost city of Risilvar, they found pictorial stories of their past and opened the city as a hallowed place for all wallaran tribes. Many took up residence there. Others settled in small villages in the outback, and a few returned to their nomadic ways.

Today the wallaras are slowly relearning the past and fragments of their ancient civilization are beginning to reappear. The remainder of the Forbidden Highlands, mostly south of the Forbidden River, is still taboo. No one enters that region for fear of the evil spirits living there. Wallara Mendoo have received messages from the sky that beyond the river lies the land of the balandas, the evil spirits that steal people’s souls. In truth, this reference is to the Herathians.

The wallaras are still not as close to the Immortals as they used to be. The Immortals are convinced that closeness to them is not necessarily a good thing, as this proved to be the wallaras’ undoing. Wallaras are still a wise people, but they no longer have the curiosity to see through mysteries other than those of their own land and people.

The land of Wallara is presently at peace. Other than the Herathians, Wallara has two neighbors: the gator men of Gurr’ash at the northeastern end of the outback, and the phanaton people at the western edge. The phanatons are friendly and some trade exists between the two races—the wallaras trade opals, quartz stones, emu eggs, giant termite larvae, and crocodile skins for phanaton goods.

For wallaras, gatormen are an embodiment of Genjoo, the Crocodile Spirit. Because of this, wallaras respect the gatormen, despite their occasional savagery. They maintain a curious trading system with the gatormen, but only the wiser tribesmen may enter the Wallaroo Grasslands bordering the gatormen’s bayou, and always under the guidance of Mendoo and bardic traders.

Re: Wallara and the Dream World

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:14 pm
by Sturm
Well it is more or less how I remembered. How would you improve this to better use the real Australian cultures? I have only a superficial knowledge of them I'm afraid.

Re: Wallara and the Dream World

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:47 pm
by Havard
Thanks for the summary Voidwalker! That is going to be very helpful. :)

Sturm: I don't know about improving upon this, but I think it has potential to expand on it.

I think the Dream World of the Wallara has interesting similarities to the Spirit World of the Ethengar, although as the Wallara might experience it differently, they might also be able to draw on different properties of the Dream World than the Ethengar.

One thing I was thinking about is that the Dream World could be connected to many different parts of Mystara and that Australian style animals (Marsupials etc) could therefore be found in different parts of the world (and the Hollow World) wherever the Dream World is strong. This would not include other forms of the Spirit World however.

I think Bruce Heard and Tim Beach ignored some interesting things about Risilvar when they fleshed out Wallara. The Dravi civilization is also tied to Risilvar, but the Wallara writeup apparently make no references to that?

I like the trading contact between the Wallara and Gator Men. I wonder if the Wallara are able to manipulate other races and creatures too, by knowing the spirit animals connected to those creatures.


Re: Wallara and the Dream World

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:18 am
by Sturm
I think they could have good relations with the phanatons too. Maybe this was mentioned somewhere. Fairies too could have a special connection to the Dream/Spirit world which could be indeed a part of Faerie..
I certainly agree they could be around in many other places of Mystara and the Hollow World.