From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

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From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:20 am

Working on some Mystara related stuff again recently, and came across an interesting tidbit I'd never really paid any attention to in the timeline of the world:

3000 BC: The shark-kin, after spending thousands of years on the land, return to the sea. (PC3)

I'll have to dig out PC3 before making too much more headway with this one, but I find it interesting. The Shark-Kin seem to be primarily a Sunlit Sea race (they make no appearance, for instance, in the Red Steel Accessory, though as that was AD&D 2E, that could simply have been due to lack of apparent need, as the Shark-Kin are/were essentially the BECMI version of Sahuagin, already present in AD&D.)

Given, at least, that we know the Sunlit Sea/Sea of Dread to be one of their primary homelands, and that several of the islands in the Sea are still their ancestral homes where they must occasionally return to during their "Leg Possession" periods, then presumably those lands are the ones they inhabited during the aforementioned thousands of years (ie, let's say 6000-3000 BC).

I'm just kind of curious as to what their relationship may have been with others inhabiting those regions around the same time (Neathar, Oltec/Azcan, Brute-Men, Lizardmen, etc.) and what their possible origins may have been, not to mention their oddities of having periodic Landbound episodes in their histories.

Anyway, just curious if anyone has any thoughts. I suppose this could be relevant to the Thanegioth project, and possibly to the Nithian TImeline one as well, at least as regards a prelude to Nithian times.
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by multizar » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:33 am

IMO, the Thanegioth project needs shark-kin. We have used them in our campaign before.

I agree that they are the Mystara version of Sahuagin.

Is there a write-up on them in PC3? I am at work and do not have the book with me...
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by dudemonkey » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:27 pm

Are you guys at all familiar with Nick Logue's work? He's got a really, really awesome idea for a shark god named Dajobas who basically eats other gods. It's like the Leviathan idea from PWA but with much more conflict (ie, much more potential for adventure). Nick also laid out some shark-kin like monsters and some competing pantheons, and it would fit very well with either the Isle of Dread (Paizo's version) or the Thyatian Hinterlands.

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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by OldDawg » Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:58 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:
The Shark-Kin ... make no appearance, for instance, in the Red Steel Accessory, though as that was AD&D 2E, ...
Absence from RS is insufficient to justify their restriction to the Sunlit Sea, particularly in light of comments below. As a rule, aquatic races are often overlooked in products period.
... that several of the islands in the Sea are still their ancestral homes where they must occasionally return to during their "Leg Possession" periods, then presumably those lands are the ones they inhabited during the aforementioned thousands of years (ie, let's say 6000-3000 BC).
It is explicit in PC3 that the first two aquatic races to reach the Sunlit Sea are the Aquarendi and merrow.

Official Sunlit appearances are:

Aquarendi: 2000 BC [1st]
Merrow: 1680 BC* [2nd] [Time of the second great break up]
Tritons: 200 BC
Devilfish: 800 AC

The shark-kin could not have inhabited the Sunlit Sea (or more acurately, neighboring waters) during 6000-3000 BC (or 3000-1700). That some individuals now have ancestral islands in the region does not require that these places were always so. In RW migratory animals, shifts in breeding sites are a known result of several factors. In the case of the shark-kin, best to think of sea turtles which have been displaced by ocean currents, and then colonize new areas by following analogous cues or directions.
I'm just kind of curious as to what their relationship may have been with others inhabiting those regions around the same time (Neathar, Oltec/Azcan, Brute-Men, Lizardmen, etc.) and what their possible origins may have been, not to mention their oddities of having periodic Landbound episodes in their histories.
Descriptively, the shark-kin are actually lizard-like not ichthyan in most regards, and I consider them part of the ancient lizardmen races in the Carnifex Age that survived and devolved. [Time of Truce: "... Shark-kin leave the sea and live on land."] I put the original homewaters as the protective Addakian Sound.
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:57 am

OldDawg wrote:Descriptively, the shark-kin are actually lizard-like not ichthyan in most regards...
Interesting. To me, descriptively they seem very much like humanoid shark-people, down to similar abilities (blood lust) and their empathy with sharks. The only description I find that indicates any connection to lizardmen is a throwaway line in the "Shark-kin" entry on p.42 of PC3, which mentions that "(they) are distantly related to lizardmen, a race that first appeared in the sea..."

That word "distantly" is pretty vague. As vertebrates, naturally, all of these various races (Aquarendi, Merrow, Shark-kin, lizardkin) are related distantly. On the other hand, I suppose they could be some evolved form of Plesiosaur. Hmm.

On a related note, has anyone ever written up/thought of writing up Shark-kin style "subspecies" like Bruce did for the Rakasta and Lupins? That could be interesting. Whether providing different mechanics, or just providing some racial cultural differentials between tribes of shark-kin.
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Mortis » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:29 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:On a related note, has anyone ever written up/thought of writing up Shark-kin style "subspecies" like Bruce did for the Rakasta and Lupins? That could be interesting. Whether providing different mechanics, or just providing some racial cultural differentials between tribes of shark-kin.
Interesting idea - you could go from dogfish upto the whale shark (hammerheads and rays would be fun too)

Not that I've got the time tho' :mrgreen:

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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Gawain_VIII » Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:01 pm

Mortis wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:On a related note, has anyone ever written up/thought of writing up Shark-kin style "subspecies" like Bruce did for the Rakasta and Lupins? That could be interesting. Whether providing different mechanics, or just providing some racial cultural differentials between tribes of shark-kin.
Interesting idea - you could go from dogfish upto the whale shark (hammerheads and rays would be fun too)

Not that I've got the time tho' :mrgreen:

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You're right... it does sound interesting. Sounds to me like Andrew's already volunteered for it.

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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Chimpman » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:50 pm

I'm getting to be quite a necromancer, I guess ;), but I found this thread and thought that it might have some relevance to a Hollow Moon discussion as well.

Rotipher has two shark-kin cultures placed in the Hollow Moon (nearly on opposite sides of the interior) - one in Mare Crissium, and the other in Mare Humorus. Because of this, I was thinking that there were at least two events on the surface of Mystara in which shark-kin were threatened enough for the immortals to move them to the HM. ...And there must have been enough time between these events for the shark-kin culture to change enough to warrant a second moving to the HM.

Of course other possibilities exist as well. Shark-kin could have migrated from one mare to the other once in the HM (unlikely I think , since there are several other seas in the area and shark kin are not mentioned as having inhabited them). It's also possible that the immortals split the original group in two for some reason, but again I find this unlikely (or at least less interesting).

Also, if someone could point me in the direction of the Thanegioth project, I'd love to see that work.
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Havard » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:51 pm

Chimpman wrote:Also, if someone could point me in the direction of the Thanegioth project, I'd love to see that work.
I'm guessing they are talking about the GazFx1 threads from the GazF Project forum.

I'm glad you ressurrected this thread Chimpman, I must have been busy when that one was posted.

Some thoughts on the Shark-Kin:
Entering the Sea around 3000 BC, this screams of having had contact with the Blackmoorians at some point.

I thought about tying the Shark-Kin to Milen's Leviathan. As mentioned elsewhere, I have the Leviathan being worshipped by certain pirate cults and Shark-Kin groups who follow in the wake of the Leviathan. This would probably not explain their origins.

I do think we should make room for Shark-Kin outside the Sunlit Sea though. There is just too much room in Mystara to keep such a race limited to just a small area.

Subraces, Bruce Heard style, including bloodlines would be cool. 8-)

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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Chimpman » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:01 pm

Havard wrote:Subraces, Bruce Heard style, including bloodlines would be cool. 8-)
:shock: Ohhh! Now there's something I never thought of. That would be cool - something akin to the lupin or rakasta articles. In that case the Hollow Moon shark-kin might also be completely different breeds. In keeping with (what seems to be) the current theme of the HM one of those breeds could be extremely ancient (and primitive) while the other could be more modern. I'd argue that the Humorum shark-kin were the first arrivals (and base them on great whites).

I'd love to see someone put this article together!
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Havard » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:25 pm

Chimpman wrote:
Havard wrote:Subraces, Bruce Heard style, including bloodlines would be cool. 8-)
:shock: Ohhh! Now there's something I never thought of. That would be cool - something akin to the lupin or rakasta articles. In that case the Hollow Moon shark-kin might also be completely different breeds. In keeping with (what seems to be) the current theme of the HM one of those breeds could be extremely ancient (and primitive) while the other could be more modern. I'd argue that the Humorum shark-kin were the first arrivals (and base them on great whites).

I'd love to see someone put this article together!
This website might be a good place to start: http://dsc.discovery.com/sharks/types-of-sharks.html

I recommend keeping the number limited to 10 or so, and perhaps focusing on the most well known shark types like Great White, Mako, Hammerhead, Tiger Shark, Whale Shark etc.

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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:18 pm

Chimpman wrote:Because of this, I was thinking that there were at least two events on the surface of Mystara in which shark-kin were threatened enough for the immortals to move them to the HM. ...And there must have been enough time between these events for the shark-kin culture to change enough to warrant a second moving to the HM.
The Shark-kin are currently endangered due to humans encroaching on the sacred isles that they need to journey to as part of their land-adapted life-cycle process (IIRC, they walk on land in order to elect new leaders or something; I'd have to double check). The implication in PC4 is that this has been going on for some time, and is reaching a real serious point; so that could cover at least one of the crises that you mention.

Perhaps the Shark-kin originally emigrated from elsewhere to the Sunlit Sea for similar reasons?
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:20 pm

Havard wrote:This website might be a good place to start: http://dsc.discovery.com/sharks/types-of-sharks.html

I recommend keeping the number limited to 10 or so, and perhaps focusing on the most well known shark types like Great White, Mako, Hammerhead, Tiger Shark, Whale Shark etc.
I've got a list of notes here that I compiled when I originally conceived the idea; don't recall if I went beyond making lists of Shark Types or not (though I could just open the document and see). I'd be happy to work with someone on this if they want to see it come to fruition; if I do it myself, it will probably never get finished... :cry:
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Chimpman » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:44 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:I've got a list of notes here that I compiled when I originally conceived the idea; don't recall if I went beyond making lists of Shark Types or not (though I could just open the document and see). I'd be happy to work with someone on this if they want to see it come to fruition; if I do it myself, it will probably never get finished... :cry:
I don't see any problem with posting said notes here and having it be a group project. Like you, if I take on anything more by myself I'm going to be crushed under the weight. But contributing to a group project on the boards... I could manage that.
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:58 pm

Looks like my notes are shorter than I'd thought; I really hadn't gotten far with this project.

Here are the major types of Shark-Kin that I came up with, along with possible "subtypes" in each category (and I hadn't even come up with coll sounding fantasy names for most of them yet...)

“Lamniforme” – Most common, includes: “Whaler Shark-kin” – carcharhiniformes

Carpet shark-kin?: (I like these as sort of chameleon-like Shark-kin. Possibly some kind of Troglodyte or Chameleon man crossbreed?)

Bullhead shark-kin?

Angel Shark-kin – crossbred with Devilfish? Devilfish servitors?

Sawshark-kin?

Hexanchiformes- most primitive types. Shark-kin ancestors?

(Added hyperlinks to wikipedia entries where I drew inspiration from for others to see/compare/comment)
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Chimpman » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:00 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:Working on some Mystara related stuff again recently, and came across an interesting tidbit I'd never really paid any attention to in the timeline of the world:

3000 BC: The shark-kin, after spending thousands of years on the land, return to the sea. (PC3)
Hmmm... could the shark-kin have originally been an offshoot of the beastman race? One that actually mutated to the point that they could no longer live primarily on land and had to "migrate" into the sea? Not having opened PC3 in a while I'd have to go back and double check if that is even a possibility. Could other sea races have had similar origins - such as the kna?
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:25 pm

Interesting that you should inquire, particularly considering your recent posts on the Kopru.

IMC, the kopru initially settled the Serpent Peninsula region during the reign of the Carnifex; it was a joint settlement between the Carnifex (who ruled on Davania) and the Kopru (who held dominion over the central seas between the southern continent and the northern). With Carnifex servitors to attend to their land-based needs (soldiers, laborers; chiefly troglodytes), the kopru began to take over the SP. Eventually, they encountered a group of Brute-Men (who were being displaced by more modern Neathar), and decided the mammals made better servants than the lizard-like Troglodytes.

For a variety of reasons (which I won't go into here, but dealt chiefly with the Time Travel artifact beneath the SP), the kopru gave up their attempts to dominate the northern continent, and the Carnifex eventually had to turn to more insular problems as well (the Lhomarrians).

The Kopru took some of their mammalian servants with them, however, and performed experiments on them to make them more adapted to living beneath the sea- these were the ancestors of the merfolk.

I had envisioned them also having similar sorts of servants pre-mammal contact in their undersea realms; basically, early versions of the shark-kin. Once the kopru turned increasingly to their merfolk servants, the shark-kin were left to their own devices and evolved into their more modern forms elsewhere.

But as I had it, the shark-kin- with their more reptilian ancestry- were descended from the serpent/lizard/reptile folk that seem to be the greater legacy of Davanian evolution (at least in fan canon). Whereas the Beastmen have always seemed to be more or less basically mammalian (although the kobolds are a questionable part of that concept; and the trolls are kind of an anomaly as well).
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by OldDawg » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:35 pm

FWIW, I have the shark-kin as part of the lizardkin that predated the appearance of men, i.e. like the devolving lizardmen they have some connection with the Carnifex-era. I place their 6000 BC concentration (not necessarily unique) in the Addakian Sound (as part of the Davanian lizardkin fauna). Breeding would have been in the Addakian Mountains (ancestral homing direction ~ highest rocky point to the northeast). Those seeking a pelagic existence would have entered the Western Sea - the modern Sea of Dread likely would have been too cold to support dwelling.

At some point after 3000 BC, the shark-kin and other lizard folk would have been displaced, thus entering the Sea of Dread.

As far as migrations go, I think it proper to tie the shark-kin with the lizard folk that would plague the Most Limpid City of Thanapolis (X6), the Malpheggian lizard folk that dwelt in the pre-Nithian Known World (and predate Makai arrival), and the ***aquatic*** lizard men of Ierendi as well as the legendary lizard men of the wandering islands (Gaz4).

Their full-on "sharkiness" could have been present pre 6000 BC, or could have been subsequent to the befriending of sharks (more recent, forget the Immortal).

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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Chimpman » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:57 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:Interesting that you should inquire, particularly considering your recent posts on the Kopru.
:) Yeah, I was just thinking out loud (and was thinking more of the beastman-worg connection I proposed a few weeks ago, than of kopru). However, (strangely enough) I never made the connection that beastmen = mammals. In my mind they were always a mish-mosh of things including amphibians, avians, and mammals (although I don't think I've ever lumped reptilians into that bucket).
Cthulhudrew wrote:The Kopru took some of their mammalian servants with them, however, and performed experiments on them to make them more adapted to living beneath the sea- these were the ancestors of the merfolk.

I had envisioned them also having similar sorts of servants pre-mammal contact in their undersea realms; basically, early versions of the shark-kin. Once the kopru turned increasingly to their merfolk servants, the shark-kin were left to their own devices and evolved into their more modern forms elsewhere.
I like this line of thought just as well. Another thing I was thinking was that since the shark-kin are an amphibious race (not amphibian - I just mean they can dwell both above and below the water), they make a good go-between for the kopru. A creature that can move across land as well as in the sea might make for a good first draft servitor - at least until the kopru had well established land dwelling puppets. At that point the more primitive minds of the shark-kin might have been more trouble than they were worth to control.
Cthulhudrew wrote:But as I had it, the shark-kin- with their more reptilian ancestry- were descended from the serpent/lizard/reptile folk that seem to be the greater legacy of Davanian evolution (at least in fan canon). Whereas the Beastmen have always seemed to be more or less basically mammalian (although the kobolds are a questionable part of that concept; and the trolls are kind of an anomaly as well).
Slightly OT here, but although typically lumped in there with the rest of the humanoids, I never really considered kobolds to be of beastman stock (probably because I never lumped reptilians into that bucket). I'm still not quite sure how they came about, but I'm leaning toward the idea that they are a created race (much like gnolls). Possibly something that early dwarves and gnomes cooked up.
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Chimpman » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:12 pm

OldDawg wrote:FWIW, I have the shark-kin as part of the lizardkin that predated the appearance of men, i.e. like the devolving lizardmen they have some connection with the Carnifex-era. I place their 6000 BC concentration (not necessarily unique) in the Addakian Sound (as part of the Davanian lizardkin fauna). Breeding would have been in the Addakian Mountains (ancestral homing direction ~ highest rocky point to the northeast). Those seeking a pelagic existence would have entered the Western Sea - the modern Sea of Dread likely would have been too cold to support dwelling.
All of the above points would lend themselves to the argument that shark-kin could have been some of the kopru's earliest puppets... an idea I'm liking more and more.
OldDawg wrote:At some point after 3000 BC, the shark-kin and other lizard folk would have been displaced, thus entering the Sea of Dread.
Some recent discussions might suggest that after Taymora fell into the sea circa BC 1700, the Sea of Dread area would have become more volcanically active (either as a cause or effect of aforementioned sinking), thus making it more attractive for creatures like the shark-kin and their kopru masters.
OldDawg wrote:As far as migrations go, I think it proper to tie the shark-kin with the lizard folk that would plague the Most Limpid City of Thanapolis (X6), the Malpheggian lizard folk that dwelt in the pre-Nithian Known World (and predate Makai arrival), and the ***aquatic*** lizard men of Ierendi as well as the legendary lizard men of the wandering islands (Gaz4).
In the time frame we're discussing (BC 3000 - BC 1700 or thereabouts), there would have been no Ierendi. This raises an interesting question, namely when did those lizardmen become aquatic? If I had to guess, again I'd say around BC 1700 during the formation of the Ierendi isles. In that case (a minor distinction, I know) the shark-kin would actually be more closely related to the land dwelling lizardmen, with the aquatic versions being perhaps an example of convergent evolution.
OldDawg wrote:Their full-on "sharkiness" could have been present pre 6000 BC, or could have been subsequent to the befriending of sharks (more recent, forget the Immortal).
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Re: From Whence Came... The People of the Shark?

Post by Havard » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:54 am

*bump*
Havard wrote: Some thoughts on the Shark-Kin:
Entering the Sea around 3000 BC, this screams of having had contact with the Blackmoorians at some point.

I thought about tying the Shark-Kin to Milen's Leviathan. As mentioned elsewhere, I have the Leviathan being worshipped by certain pirate cults and Shark-Kin groups who follow in the wake of the Leviathan. This would probably not explain their origins.
Resurrecting the thread and quoting myself! ;)

The recent talk about the Hinterlands and Davania has made me think about this again. Why did the Milennians decide to travel so far inland before setting up their Empire? I am thinking that the Shark Kin who followed the Leviathan made up a culture of their own, raiding even far inland, through rivers, where the Leviathan itself could not follow. I am thinking that this could have impact on the Hinterlands even today.

Thoughts?

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

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