Karameikos BC1000

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Karameikos BC1000

Post by Havard » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:41 am

I am planning to run a one shot dealing with the events preceeding the Gnoll Invasions of the Traldar Kingdoms. How much is known about Karameikos in this period? The lands of the Traldar resemble Hero Age greeks, though the people have become enslaved by the Hutaakans. Hutaakans rule through various means, among other things by withholding the knowledge of producing metal weapons.

City States at this time:
Fort Doom = Halag
Kelvin = Lavv
Karakatos = Krakatos
Specularum/Marilinev = Marilinev
Riverfork = Achelos

Threshold is perhaps still the site of the pyramid relvealed in K:KoA? Im thinking the fan created Lusigd is founded here during Halav's reign. What about other settlements?

Callarii elves will not appear for another 200 years, but the Vyalia live in the easternmost Dymrak woods. Which monsters live in the wilderness?

Any help is appreciated!

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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Andaire » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:29 pm

Well at least culturally it's easy to picture them, since we have the HW Traldar to model them after.
The lay of the land is a little more obscure, beyond what you mentioned. BTW what was the extent of the Traldar lands then? Did it go east to Rugalov? Did it stop west at Halag?
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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Chimpman » Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:37 pm

Here's something that I wrote on that time period a while back which might help: Imperialism and Conquest. It's a very general overview of the KW at the time (and not complete by any means). One thing that might help you is to take a look at surrounding nations. The Shires and Atraughin are both conquered by humanoids at this point, and probably a good portion of Darokin (and Alfheim) as well.

The dwarves of Rockhome are in an expansionist period at this time. In just under 70 years they will occupy the Shires, so I think it can be assumed that dwarves are out and about in the world (and not just holed up in Rockhome). There may be dwarven traders around. Perhaps they do a good business with the Hutaaka of the region?

There are probably plenty of elves around as well, though they won't officially colonize Alfheim for another 200 years or so. This also means that Nithia/Ylaruam is still a lush and fertile land, and not the desert we know today, while the Alfheim area is still scrub lands and plains. There are elven colonies left on Minrothad and Ierendi after the sinking of Taymora, so I think that the elves would still have a very good sea presence. There is probably trade with the elves as well. It may be that they help the Traladarans flee Karameikos by sea.

Nithia is at its height, so there may be Nithian traders in the region as well. Minroth has been colonized for 100 years at this point. The Nithians probably also have a strong presence in both Thyatis and Ierendi as well.

So the Karameikos that I see during this time period is really feeling boxed in. It's under Hutaakan rule. There are Imperialistic Nithians to the east, and humanoid hoards to the west, and possibly even expansionist dwarves to the north. There's not really a lot of places that a Traladaran could flee to (which is probably why they flee by sea when the time comes ;) ).

Hope some of this helps.
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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Havard » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:58 pm

Andaire wrote:Well at least culturally it's easy to picture them, since we have the HW Traldar to model them after.
The lay of the land is a little more obscure, beyond what you mentioned. BTW what was the extent of the Traldar lands then? Did it go east to Rugalov? Did it stop west at Halag?
Good questions Herve! I think Chimpman's post has some of the answers. I was thinking about having a settlement near Rugalov as well as other coastal cities which to a large part were abandoned when these Traldar followed King Milen across the sea.
Chimpman wrote:Here's something that I wrote on that time period a while back which might help: Imperialism and Conquest. It's a very general overview of the KW at the time (and not complete by any means). One thing that might help you is to take a look at surrounding nations. The Shires and Atraughin are both conquered by humanoids at this point, and probably a good portion of Darokin (and Alfheim) as well.
That is an excellent writeup John! Knowing what the neighbours is up to is always useful. I was trying to come up with a name for Darokin. Maybe just the Northern Plains? Or something more dramatic?
The dwarves of Rockhome are in an expansionist period at this time. In just under 70 years they will occupy the Shires, so I think it can be assumed that dwarves are out and about in the world (and not just holed up in Rockhome). There may be dwarven traders around. Perhaps they do a good business with the Hutaaka of the region?
Great idea! Thunder Rift is also a Hutaakan Valley at this time (soon to be completely wiped out by Gnolls) which would be even closer to Rockhome, meaning Dwarves could possibly access the Traldar Kingdoms from there (via portals or more mundane means).
There are probably plenty of elves around as well, though they won't officially colonize Alfheim for another 200 years or so. This also means that Nithia/Ylaruam is still a lush and fertile land, and not the desert we know today, while the Alfheim area is still scrub lands and plains. There are elven colonies left on Minrothad and Ierendi after the sinking of Taymora, so I think that the elves would still have a very good sea presence. There is probably trade with the elves as well. It may be that they help the Traladarans flee Karameikos by sea.
Great input. I am a little worried about how lush Nithia should be. I mean we do want it to resemble ancient Egypt right? Ofcourse ancient Egypt was more fertile than Egypt is today. Vyalia, Verdier and Meditor elves will be present. I like the idea of them aiding Milen and his followers. I am thinking the coastal Traldar are the only ones who have contact with Sea Elves though.
Nithia is at its height, so there may be Nithian traders in the region as well. Minroth has been colonized for 100 years at this point. The Nithians probably also have a strong presence in both Thyatis and Ierendi as well.
Seems likely. I'm guessing the Nithians will be friendly with the Hutaakans.
So the Karameikos that I see during this time period is really feeling boxed in. It's under Hutaakan rule. There are Imperialistic Nithians to the east, and humanoid hoards to the west, and possibly even expansionist dwarves to the north. There's not really a lot of places that a Traladaran could flee to (which is probably why they flee by sea when the time comes ;) ).
I like it when things actually make sense! I read somewhere, perhaps in Ville's Nithia discussions that there are still Toralai Neathar in Thyatis? I also believe there should be a large presence of Giant races there (no pun intended).

With all the Orcs and goblins in the Known World at the time, I guess I could justify having such creatures looming around in the woods? I really want to present the Gnoll invasions as a shock to the Traldar though, so I don't want them to be overly familiar with all kinds of creatures. OTOH, the adventure I am planning will probably be focused on trying to get rid of oppressive Hutaakans and life before the invasions so I want the PCs to have a certain variety of opponents to face before I throw Gnolls at them (if we even get that far).

Would there be Halfling refugees from the west?

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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Chimpman » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:44 pm

Havard wrote: Great input. I am a little worried about how lush Nithia should be. I mean we do want it to resemble ancient Egypt right? Ofcourse ancient Egypt was more fertile than Egypt is today. Vyalia, Verdier and Meditor elves will be present. I like the idea of them aiding Milen and his followers. I am thinking the coastal Traldar are the only ones who have contact with Sea Elves though.
You know, some of our previous discussions are really starting to help me envision this time period. The maps I drew up for Nithia 1000 BC may be a little too lush. With the sinking of the Bridge of Oost in 1700 BC, I think the overall climate would change drastically. I still think there should be fertile "green" hexes all around the river Nithia at this time, and possibly even forested hexes around the mountain regions. But the warm and wet weather caused by ocean currents being penned in by the land bridge are gone, so I'm thinking now that it's not quite as wet as it was before. I'd probably go back to that map and add some plains hexes... maybe even a desert or two (representing something like scrub lands). What do you think?
I like it when things actually make sense! I read somewhere, perhaps in Ville's Nithia discussions that there are still Toralai Neathar in Thyatis? I also believe there should be a large presence of Giant races there (no pun intended).
Yeah, I want to say the same thing. The Thyatians weren't brought over for another 400 years or so i think.
With all the Orcs and goblins in the Known World at the time, I guess I could justify having such creatures looming around in the woods? I really want to present the Gnoll invasions as a shock to the Traldar though, so I don't want them to be overly familiar with all kinds of creatures. OTOH, the adventure I am planning will probably be focused on trying to get rid of oppressive Hutaakans and life before the invasions so I want the PCs to have a certain variety of opponents to face before I throw Gnolls at them (if we even get that far).
I think it's also safe to assume that dwarves and humanoids of this period are constantly fighting. A Dwarven/Hutaaka alliance (along with several geographical barriers - ie Malpheggi swamp) may be what keeps Othrong penned up in the Shires. Actually now that I mention it, the lizardmen might provide the barrier needed to keep humanoids out of Karameikos from the west, while the dwarves do battle with them in the mountainous regions. Small bands could still get through, but not enough to threaten the Traladaran culture in the way that the gnolls will.

Unfortunately no one (of consequence) is in between Nithia and Karameikos when the gnolls break free.
Would there be Halfling refugees from the west?
Yeah, I like this idea. I think it makes a lot of sense. There could even be a few of the Gentle Folk left. They disappear in 1000 BC (I'm assuming due to the humanoid aggression of the time), but it might be fun to throw a few of them into the mix as well. Unlike the other elves (who are on their way in), these guys are on their way out though.
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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Chimpman » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:15 pm

Havard wrote:That is an excellent writeup John! Knowing what the neighbours is up to is always useful. I was trying to come up with a name for Darokin. Maybe just the Northern Plains? Or something more dramatic?
Hmmm... The southern portions of Darokin may fall in the Realm of Othrong, but I'm not sure how far north of the Cruth range that would extend, nor how far west. The northern portions might be claimed by Oenkmar (found and taken by the humanoids in 1190 BC, which incidentally is when the quest for the Blue Knife ends). The area in between? I'm not sure. The Barrens? Orclands? Dead Plains? Something of that sort. Incidentally, there are also some humans living in that region, at least until the gnoll invasion. Those ancient Daro flee north into orc territory (I'm assuming Oenkmar) where few survive.
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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Havard » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:30 pm

Chimpman wrote:
Havard wrote:That is an excellent writeup John! Knowing what the neighbours is up to is always useful. I was trying to come up with a name for Darokin. Maybe just the Northern Plains? Or something more dramatic?
Hmmm... The southern portions of Darokin may fall in the Realm of Othrong, but I'm not sure how far north of the Cruth range that would extend, nor how far west. The northern portions might be claimed by Oenkmar (found and taken by the humanoids in 1190 BC, which incidentally is when the quest for the Blue Knife ends). The area in between? I'm not sure. The Barrens? Orclands? Dead Plains? Something of that sort. Incidentally, there are also some humans living in that region, at least until the gnoll invasion. Those ancient Daro flee north into orc territory (I'm assuming Oenkmar) where few survive.
How about something like The Plains of War? I assume that they have also previously been home of Doulakki or other City States similar to those of the Traldar.

As much as I can, I prefer describing regions comparable to modern day nations. While not very realistic, it does help keeping things simple.

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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Chimpman » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:39 pm

Oh... I like the Plains of War :D
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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Havard » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:04 pm

Chimpman wrote:Oh... I like the Plains of War :D
Glad you like it! I'm hoping my players will too, if I hand them a map of Traladara BC1000 with a label like that in the northwestern corner :twisted:

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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Havard » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:06 pm

Some more thoughts have been forming on this period.

First of all, I want more emphasis on the Greek Mythology/Hero Age feel to the setting. I would like to draw visual inspiration not only from movies like 300, Troy and Alexander, but also Clash of the Titans and the computer game Age of Mythology.

I'm thinking Sylvan creatures were more numerous in this age. I'm not talking about Fey as much as Fauns, Centaurs, Dryads, Hsiao, Pegasi and Griffons. Having the woods filled with such races and monsters will help strengthen the greek flavour. Other monsters present will be Medusae, Hydras, Harpies, Cyclopes, Giants, Minotaurs, Giant Scorpions, Kraken, Tritons, Nixies and Merrow. Some of these races will join with the Gnoll invaders (Minotaurs, Cyclopes) and may be mistaken as Nithian experiments, giving rise to the term Beastman Invasions.

With the Nithians and Hutaakans we could also play on Egyptian Mythology. Mummies, Lamia, Gatormen, Sphinxes etc could be used as representatives of these realms, not mentioning the Hutaakans themselves.

Also, I would like to give the Traldar Beastman Wars a more mythological aspect itself. IMC I am beginning to see this as a long lasting conflict which can be divided into various stages. The first deals with the final confrontation with the Hutaakans, ridding the lands of these now oppressive tyrants. This battle is followed by the first wave of Gnoll invaders. Other waves follow. This is the age where Halav, Petra, Zichev and Orcus rise to Immortality.

Many Immortals will be involved on both sides of this conflict, lending their allies to each side. In greek myth style, this should be "known" by the participants and various groups will be seen as the servants of Immortal X etc. From the Traldar perspective, some Immortals will be believed to wish to protect their servants, while others will seek to destroy or punnish them because they have been angered, because of jealousy or for other reasons.

I'll be using the Tarsian Twelve as a starting point for which Immortals would most likely be involved at this time.

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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by happylarry » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:42 pm

haven't had time to check this - but what about some of those artifacts listed in the masters set? as I remember aren't a few of them greek inspired?

some of them might still be buried in AD1000 under ancient ruins...

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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Andaire » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:56 pm

Every time you add to your list of ideas, I spend a moment wondering whether you're writing about Karameikos, BC 1000, or HW Traldar Lands, anytime.
I don't know whether this is a good thing or not :?
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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Havard » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:21 pm

happylarry wrote:haven't had time to check this - but what about some of those artifacts listed in the masters set? as I remember aren't a few of them greek inspired?

some of them might still be buried in AD1000 under ancient ruins...
Good idea! I will check out the Master Set. Also, this leads me to the point of magic items. Greek era magic items might also be appropriate, such as winged boots etc.

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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Havard » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:27 pm

Andaire wrote:Every time you add to your list of ideas, I spend a moment wondering whether you're writing about Karameikos, BC 1000, or HW Traldar Lands, anytime.
I don't know whether this is a good thing or not :?
I see what you mean. How much difference between the two groups would there be though? The biggest one I see is that the HW Traldar worship the Traladaran Three. Otherwise they should be fairly close to the Traldar on the OW around the invasions?

What I see as more problematic is differentiating between Traldar and Milennians. I have decided to go with the Traldar being "Hero Age" Greeks and the Milennians being Classical Greeks, though what that would mean in an every day gaming environment I really don't know...

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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by happylarry » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:48 pm

a few heroic / classical differences in game terms (without checking the history so apologies in advance)

1. bronze instead of iron weapons
2. greater emphasis on personal bravery (subjectively)
3. magic would look different - more elemental / foreign / evil ... (take your pick)
4. a dangerous time of small villages rather than a settled time of great cities
5. clerics more like shamas - classical RW cults like Artemis etc. belong later
6. small shrines not big temples
7. oral songs/ sagas rather than books

enough?

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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Planefarer » Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:33 pm

Havard wrote:Im thinking the fan created Lusigd is founded here during Halav's reign.
I don't know if Lugsid has been developed by fans, but it has its origin in canon, since it is a frequently referenced area in the clues the players can find in their attempts to locate the lost temple where the Shield of Halav can be found in the Hail the Heroes adventure.
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Re: Karameikos BC1000

Post by Havard » Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:40 pm

Planefarer wrote:I don't know if Lugsid has been developed by fans, but it has its origin in canon, since it is a frequently referenced area in the clues the players can find in their attempts to locate the lost temple where the Shield of Halav can be found in the Hail the Heroes adventure.
Ah, thanks! I had forgotten about that. The name doesn't strike me as particularly Greek-sounding though. Would it be unreasonable to assume that this town was founded during Halav's reign rather than before?

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