Old Alphatia: Other Races

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Old Alphatia: Other Races

Postby Cthulhudrew » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:19 am

Been doing some thinking about Alphatians for another project I'm working on, and I noticed something interesting in the History of Alphatia section of the Player's Guide to Alphatia:

(p.4) "The Alphatians built an empire on their world, subjugating other races. The greatest of these subject races was that of the Cypris..."

But that's the only other race we ever hear of, canonically. Now, both the Alphatians and Cypris are human (or at least, very nearly human) races, but what other races might have existed on Old Alphatia?

I've revised my theories about the Ochaleans over the years, but my present thinking about their relations to Alphatians (and apparently very different language and culture) is that they were also one of the subject races; the physical features of that human race, much like the Pure Alphatians, has mostly been subsumed by interbreeding among the Cypri Alphatians, but large swaths of their culture remained and were propagated to the new world of Mystara.

IIRC, there are some elves and dwarves in module M1: Into the Maelstrom, which may or may not have been native to Old Alphatia.

It would be interesting if there were other races, perhaps not some we are familiar with, that existed on Old Alphatia. Any thoughts about some creatures that may already exist in Mystara lore that might not have been Mystara natives, but instead were Old Alphatian? Or perhaps some creatures/races from other campaign settings that might be introduced as survivors of Old Alphatia? Or even some brand new races?
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Re: Old Alphatia: Other Races

Postby Sturm » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:26 am

I wrote a personal take on the history of Old Alphatia many years ago: http://pandius.com/oldalph.html
I imagined that the inhabitants of their planet were all humans, but of six different cultures... even if the Atlantian and Cypric culture survived better than the others, some descendants of the Pelasgians should live in Aquas, of the Gaians in Citadel and Ochalea, of the Esperians in Blackheart.
there were non-humans inhabitants in neighbors planets of the alphatian original system, however, and some of them could have come to Mystara too, particularly the Shedus that are depicted in Alphatia's symbol.
Even if I didn't wrote it in the file above, I also imagined IMC that several AD&D and 3ed only creatures were known only in alphatian territories because they brought them from their home world... Never did a comprehensive list but I'd like to, if I find the time...
I prefer the classic OD&D monster to be very ancient, however..

Edit: Also Zzonga should came from their world...
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Re: Old Alphatia: Other Races

Postby Carillion » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:39 pm

IIRC, there are some elves and dwarves in module M1: Into the Maelstrom, which may or may not have been native to Old Alphatia.


You do recall correctly! On the Kingdom of Belthar, which lies where the old Alphatian Empire used to be, there exists a clan of 15,000 dwarves (there are however, no elves in the module). Given the high number of dwarves, the most obvious explanation is that their ancestors were part of the old Alphatian empire, just as the ancestors of the humans living on Belthar were.

In my campaign, the dwarves of Denwarf-Hurgon on the West coast of Alphatia are descended from the Dwarves who lived under the old Alphatian Empire, and are not related to the dwarves living in Rockhome at all.
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Re: Old Alphatia: Other Races

Postby Cthulhudrew » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:02 pm

Carillion wrote:You do recall correctly! On the Kingdom of Belthar, which lies where the old Alphatian Empire used to be, there exists a clan of 15,000 dwarves (there are however, no elves in the module). Given the high number of dwarves, the most obvious explanation is that their ancestors were part of the old Alphatian empire, just as the ancestors of the humans living on Belthar were.


This definitely jogs my memory more- I think I had an idea for some kind of dwarvish/Old Alphatian ties myself at one point.

In my campaign, the dwarves of Denwarf-Hurgon on the West coast of Alphatia are descended from the Dwarves who lived under the old Alphatian Empire, and are not related to the dwarves living in Rockhome at all.


:!: :idea: :!:

I... don't know why this never occurred to me! That makes a lot of sense. Perhaps some of the dwarves there were brought over by Alphatians at a later date (as per the official timeline) for some reason; to help bolster the existing dwarves, conflicts with the Old Alphatian dwarves, maybe the Rockhome dwarves are better craftsmen...

But this makes a lot of sense. The population figures for Denwarf-Hurgon- low as they are- were still way too high (IMO) for the short period of time the dwarves had to populate that region. If there were an already existent Old Alphatian dwarvish race there, it would make more sense.

And it also begs the question of what are the Old Alphatian dwarves like? I'd imagine more like the Kogolor dwarves than the traditional Rockhome version (given the distinct- and Kagyar related- history of the Denwarf dwarves).

Wheels... spinning... in my head now!
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Re: Old Alphatia: Other Races

Postby ripvanwormer » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:04 pm

Eldersphinx wrote about an Old Alphatian race here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4267&p=56534&hilit=eldersphinx+races#p56534

See also Demihumans of Skothar.
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Re: Old Alphatia: Other Races

Postby Carillion » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:17 pm

And it also begs the question of what are the Old Alphatian dwarves like?


In my campaign, they have some of the traits of "pure" Alphatians. On Mystara, the dwarves have similar hair and eye colours to humans - and so it was on old Alphatia. Therefore, some of the dwarves in Denwarf-Hurgon have purple eyes, pale skin and black hair. Their Dwarvish language is also completely different from that of Rockhome.

Now, as you say, there have been migrations from Rockhome to Denwarf-Hurgon, but in my campaign, this was to existing dwarven colonies and not to uninhabited mountains.

In my take on all of this, the dwarves living in old Alphatia ended up getting involved in the civil war between the followers of fire and the followers of air. Some of the dwarves who aligned themselves with the flaems (the fire followers) arrived on Mystara at the same time as the dwarven followers of air and their human allies, and were driven far underground by them. These dwarves are the ancestors of the shadow dwarves whom Bruce Heard briefly wrote about in his article about Stoutfellow on his blog here:

http://bruce-heard.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/lower-stoutfellow-alphatias-underworld.html

Eventually, the Dwarves of Denwarf Hurgon became ashamed that the dwarves of old Alphatia had effectively waged a civil war with each other over human politics, and quickly wrote their part in the civil war out of their recorded history. This is why nobody at circa 1000AC knows who the shadow dwarves are, save for a very few dwarven scholars living in Stoutfellow, who keep this a very closely guarded secret. They do not want anybody to know that the shadow dwarves are distantly related to them.

Of course, the shadow dwarves have not forgotten any of this, and have not forgiven the other dwarves either....
Last edited by Carillion on Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old Alphatia: Other Races

Postby Cthulhudrew » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:36 pm

Better watch it, Carillion- you just might get picked out to contribute a "My Mystara" article for the magazine!

Really, though, this is fabulous stuff. Will post some more of my own thoughts when I get home.
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Re: Old Alphatia: Other Races

Postby Justinov » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:26 pm

Carillion wrote:In my campaign, the dwarves of Denwarf-Hurgon on the West coast of Alphatia are descended from the Dwarves who lived under the old Alphatian Empire, and are not related to the dwarves living in Rockhome at all.


I have to say that I really love this explanation as well....
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,/But I have promises to keep,/And miles to go before I sleep,
[Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - By Robert Frost]

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—/I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference.
[The Road Not Taken - By Robert Frost]
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Re: Old Alphatia: Other Races

Postby Havard » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:40 pm

I am taking a look at developing Old Alphatia.

Here are the races I have been able to find so far:

  • True Alphatians
    • Followers of Fire (Flaems) I think these should be considered True Alphatians, but being referred to as the Followers of Fire at this time. Flaems is a name they would have adopted on their journey to Alphatia.
    • Followers of Air
    • Followers of Earth: a minor group (Speculation)
    • Followers of Water: a minor group (Speculation)
  • Cypri: These are the copper skinned, lower status humans. On Mystara, most Alphatians have at least some Cypri blood.
  • Ochaleans: These appear to be an entirely separate group with an Asian-inspired culture. Did they remain completely neutral in all of these conflicts?
  • Belthans
  • Gammarians
  • Delthans
  • Merchant Guild: Another reference to M1. Probably not a race, but it is interesting seeing groups not tied specifically to magic.
  • Sky Pirates: As with the Merchant Guild above.
  • Metamorph: This is speculation, but PC4 suggested that Alphatians used to be natural shapechangers, something that gradually devolved into a form of Lycanthropy. I could never get this to quite work, but I think a race of shapeshifters could fit well at home on Old Alphatia and Metamorphs do seem to fit the bill. I think there could still be Metamorphs that would be native to Mystara as well though.
Belthans, Gammarians and Delthans: Are these separate races, or just factions that were formed after the destruction of Alphatia? I am also wondering about the names. Could Belthas, Gammaria, and Deltharia have been separate planets in that solar system or were they regions of Old Alphatia?

NEW RACES:
  • Pegataur, Belthans
  • Kubbit, Blue
These two are non-cannonical additions of mine. We know that Pegataurs and Kubbits were created by Alphatians after they arrived on Mystara. However, they could easily have attempted similar experiments earlier in their history with somewhat different results. These Pegataurs would not be fused with Shye Elves, so could human candidates have been used? Similarly, a much older attempt at creating Kubbits could have resulted in this blue variety.

Genasi is another unofficial candidate that seems ideal for bringing into Old Alphatia. At the same time I would like to keep this mostly BECMI oriented as usual.


MONSTERS:
  • Giants (Exceptionally large Cloud Giants mentioned in M1)
  • Dragon, Blue
  • Dragon Turtle
  • Giant Rocs
  • Hippogriffs
The above are some monsters are taken from M1. I am guessing all kinds of Elemental creatures would have been around. Probably also most animals, fish, birds etc. We probably don't want to make Alphatia that weird. I think the weirdness can come from the wizards so dramatically changing the world through elemental magic which is probably something that could be seen even before the destruction of the world.

Some further thoughts: I used to think of Old Alphatia as a mostly peaceful world untill the conflict between the followers of Air and Fire suddenly came out of nowhere and exploded upon the world when the Followers of Air released their Epic spell. But what if we are talking about centuries of warfare between the two sides? Was the Spell of Air the first time that elemental magic had altered the landscape? Or are we talking about a world that has already been torn apart with elemental magic? Rivers of lava, Avatar-style floating continents everywhere, wonderful unnatural fountains and gigantic statues and stone formations resembling any form?

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Re: Old Alphatia: Other Races

Postby LoZompatore » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:53 pm

Hi Havard, have a look also on pages 56 and 57 and following footnotes 28 and 29 of the current issue (#15) of Threshold Magazine.
In my opinion the cited references would enable to add the Proto-Nithians (and Thothians and Alasyians) and the proto-Thyatians (and Kerendans, Hattians and Espans) among the denizens of Old Alphatia.
Notice, in particular, that the Alasyians are connected to the element of Water while the Thotians are connected to the element of Fire.

Moreover:

- The Yasuko of Davania seems to be related to the Ochaleans (PWAII or PWAIII)
- The Immortal Alphaks built the island of Alphaks' Volcano by opening a gate to the Elemental Plane of Earth (M1) around AC 970 (DotE) and then connecting it to the Plane of Death (i.e. some external Plane dominated by Entropy) (M1)
- The scholar who suggested the peaceful competition between the Schools of Fire and Air in Old Alphatia came from "a neutral faction" (DotE), so it could be possibly related to Earth or Water.
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Re: Old Alphatia: Other Races

Postby Robin » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:31 am

I remember that it were the Ancient Nithians who contacted the Old Alphatians, thus causing them to later go to Mystara...maybe some of the resided (temporarilly) in the Old Alphatian dimension, maybe some still do in an way off corner.
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