GAZ7 The Northern Reaches Forgotten Realms tie-in

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GAZ7 The Northern Reaches Forgotten Realms tie-in

Postby Big Mac » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:15 am

The product blurb for GAZ7 The Northern Reaches says the following in the bullet points on the back cover blurb:
GAZ7 The Northern Reaches wrote:Gates to the FORGOTTEN REALMS Campaign Set


How much of a Forgotten Realms tie-in does GAZ7 have?

What part of the Realms do the gates link to?

Is there a reciprocal Mystara tie-in in a Forgotten Realms product? If so, how much of a mention does Mystara get?
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Re: GAZ7 The Northern Reaches Forgotten Realms tie-in

Postby Cthulhudrew » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:48 am

Big Mac wrote:How much of a Forgotten Realms tie-in does GAZ7 have?

What part of the Realms do the gates link to?

Is there a reciprocal Mystara tie-in in a Forgotten Realms product? If so, how much of a mention does Mystara get?


Gaz7 was one of several Gazetteers to provide this sort of thing - I'm pretty sure it started with Gaz7, but it may have begun in Gaz6. In any event, it was something that appeared throughout the rest of the Gazetteer line.

All it amounted to was a single page "Adapting Gazetteers to AD&D Campaigns" guide, which gave suggestions as to conversions between the two systems (levels, alignments, morale, etc. - mechanics that were different between AD&D and D&D), and usually a paragraph or two noting some instances of how and where you could tie the product in to different AD&D settings.

In the case of Gaz7, it suggested that the Northern Reaches could be tied to the either the Sea of Moving Ice or the lands of the Moonshae Northmen in the Realms via the outer plane of Yggdrasil, the World Ash. (It also suggested Yggdrasil might provide access to the lands of the Snow Barbarians on Oerth/Greyhawk).

To the best of my knowledge, there were no AD&D products that explicitly mentioned ways of connecting/tying into Mystara. AD&D was always TSR's biggest selling line, and so it was more important for them to try to make non-AD&D products (like the Gaz line) be able to be made useful to AD&D players than it was the reverse.
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Re: GAZ7 The Northern Reaches Forgotten Realms tie-in

Postby ripvanwormer » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:14 am

The Yggdrasil connection would also connect the Northern Reaches to Planescape, assuming the Yggdrasil mentioned in GAZ7 is the same one that appears in Planes of Chaos, Dead Gods, and other sources.
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Re: GAZ7 The Northern Reaches Forgotten Realms tie-in

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:04 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Big Mac wrote:How much of a Forgotten Realms tie-in does GAZ7 have?

What part of the Realms do the gates link to?

Is there a reciprocal Mystara tie-in in a Forgotten Realms product? If so, how much of a mention does Mystara get?


Gaz7 was one of several Gazetteers to provide this sort of thing - I'm pretty sure it started with Gaz7, but it may have begun in Gaz6. In any event, it was something that appeared throughout the rest of the Gazetteer line.

All it amounted to was a single page "Adapting Gazetteers to AD&D Campaigns" guide, which gave suggestions as to conversions between the two systems (levels, alignments, morale, etc. - mechanics that were different between AD&D and D&D), and usually a paragraph or two noting some instances of how and where you could tie the product in to different AD&D settings.

In the case of Gaz7, it suggested that the Northern Reaches could be tied to the either the Sea of Moving Ice or the lands of the Moonshae Northmen in the Realms via the outer plane of Yggdrasil, the World Ash. (It also suggested Yggdrasil might provide access to the lands of the Snow Barbarians on Oerth/Greyhawk).

To the best of my knowledge, there were no AD&D products that explicitly mentioned ways of connecting/tying into Mystara. AD&D was always TSR's biggest selling line, and so it was more important for them to try to make non-AD&D products (like the Gaz line) be able to be made useful to AD&D players than it was the reverse.


The back cover blurb promised "gates". There is a big thing in the Forgotten Realms backstory with the world being linked to lots of other worlds (in the past) but those gates being lost. (That's why it is the "Forgotten" Realms.) I was expecting this Gazetteer to have a specific gate that linked a specific part of Mystara to a specific part of Toril.

I wasn't thinking it would be a "use this book to be part of Forgotten Realms". That's not the same thing as a "gate".

Having said that, a connection via Yggsdrasil to the Sea of Moving Ice the lands of the Moonshae Northmen or the lands of the Snow Barbarians on Oerth would still be useful. But it's not really what the back cover blurb promised.

I guess what I was hoping for was some canon NPCs who had travelled from The Northern Reaches to a part of Toril...or vice versa. Or maybe a cave that teleports people between the two worlds or something specific that could be used to allow a trip from Mystara to Forgotten Realms and back (or a trip from Forgotten Realms to Mystara and back).

EDIT: Having said that, I did recently ask: Can GAZ products flesh out Ghostwalk nations? So if the "Adapting Gazetteers to AD&D Campaigns" page gave information on using the fluffy stuff from the GAZ products anywhere else, that might help me make a nordic region similar to The Northern Reaches to the north of where the Ghostwalk map ends.
Last edited by Big Mac on Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GAZ7 The Northern Reaches Forgotten Realms tie-in

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:06 am

ripvanwormer wrote:The Yggdrasil connection would also connect the Northern Reaches to Planescape, assuming the Yggdrasil mentioned in GAZ7 is the same one that appears in Planes of Chaos, Dead Gods, and other sources.


I guess it would have to be, if it was a plot-device to get from there to the Sea of Moving Ice or the lands of the Moonshae Northmen. (The same applies if it was a bridging mechanism to get to the lands of the Snow Barbarians on Oerth.)
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Re: GAZ7 The Northern Reaches Forgotten Realms tie-in

Postby Morfie » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:05 am

Y'know, I would've sworn this topic had been discussed before, and that I had commented in it. But for the life of me, I cannot find it... *Dreaming*
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Re: GAZ7 The Northern Reaches Forgotten Realms tie-in

Postby JamesMishler » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:06 am

I would say that the gates from the Northern Reaches of Mystara would be more likely to be found in the lands north of the Moonshae Islands in the Forgotten Realms; after all, the Northmen of the Moonshaes are relatively recent additions to the region, invading from the more northerly island of Ruathym.

The origins of the Northmen of the Realms is a mystery. They first arrived on Ruathym from the west, in sailing ships, and from there spread to the mainland; from the mainland they spread north into Icewind Dale and east, where they became the ancestors of the Uthgardt; they also travelled far to the east and south, and were supposedly the founders of Dambrath and the ancestors of the Rus/Rashemi.

So obviously, the major gates between the Trackless Sea of Toril and the Northern Reaches of Mystara are sea based, as the Northmen (descended from Antalians) arrived from the sea. So I would place random gates opening and closing in the Northern Sea of Dawn, between the Isle of Dawn and the Ostland Isles; perhaps also up into the Alphatian Sea. Thus, the Antalians are ancestral to the Northmen of the Trackless Sea of the east. Some tribes also returned to the sea to the north and then settled Gundarlun. The modern Illuskans of the Sword Coast are descended from a mix of Northmen and Netherese, and the language of the Ruathen is mis0identified as a dialect of Illuskan (descended from Netherese), while in fact, from the history presented, Ruathen/Northmen influenced Illuskan, but is a distinct language (unless the Netherese are descended from continental Northmen, which is not impossible)...

As to the Rus/Rashemi people, they are rather more likely descended from the Rus of Earth, a people descended from a mix of Swedish Varangians (eastern Vikings) and Slavs; while I can see far-wandering Northmen reaching Dambrath in the far south, I can't see them crossing the entire length and breadth of Faerun to get to the lands where now are found the Rashemites...
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Re: GAZ7 The Northern Reaches Forgotten Realms tie-in

Postby ripvanwormer » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:46 pm

The Raumvirans, ancestors of the Rashemi, are first noted to have settled in what is now Rashemen 5000 years prior to the beginning of the DaleReckoning calendar (Grand History of the Realms, page 26).

The Northlanders settled the island of Ruathym "from the west" circa 3100 years before DaleReckoning (Grand History of the Realms, 29). These people founded Illusk about a century later (ibid.). They're said to have helped found Dambrath in -69 DR after traveling from Ruathym to the Eastern Shaar via a portal (p. 58). Maybe the "portal" was Yggdrasil? Or even Bifrost, which is said to connect Asgard to many mortal worlds.

So yes, it looks like the Rashemi and Illuskans have separate origins.

The Raumvirans were hired as mercenaries in the Orcgate Wars from -1076 DR to -1069 DR, and honestly I'd be tempted to ignore the references to them having been in Faerun 4000 years longer than that and just have them brought through a portal during this period. Perhaps their services were bargained for with Baba Yaga. I can believe the Witches of Rashemen preserved some of Baba Yaga's secrets in their lore. The orcs came through a(n Imaskari) portal from another world at the beginning of this war, so why not the Rashemi? Perhaps the native Raumviran tribes interbred with Kievan Rus, though for this to work the portal would have to not just cross worlds, but also time.

The Northlanders reached Ruathym about 4471 years ago (from 1371 DR), which is about 4859 years ago in Mystara's shorter years (from AC 1010), or approximately BC 3850. Assuming there weren't any timey-wimey shenanigans, if they came to Toril from Mystara they were likely Skandaharians a little more than a century after the events of the DA modules. There's no fan consensus on which Immortal corresponds to Tyr (different fan sources suggest Forsetta, Ixion, or Thor, Halav, or Gorm). If he was introduced to Faerun by Skandaharians from the ancient Blackmoor era, though, Tyr might be identified with Fronaus from ZGG's line. Of course, Tyr could have been introduced to the Realms in another way.

If there are portals in the ocean, I think the tritons might likely have created them, as they're said to have emigrated from the Elemental Plane of Water (Volo's Guide to Monsters, 115). Perhaps the Skandaharians used tritonic portals to travel first to the Elemental Plane of Water, then to Toril. Perhaps the portal was guarded by the Midgard linnorm.
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Re: GAZ7 The Northern Reaches Forgotten Realms tie-in

Postby Big Mac » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:56 pm

Morfie wrote:Y'know, I would've sworn this topic had been discussed before, and that I had commented in it. But for the life of me, I cannot find it... *Dreaming*


The search system is broken at the moment (and won't be fixed until we are able to move The Piazza off of the V4 server and onto the V5 server). I didn't see a similar topic when I posted this, but Paul Westermeyer created another topic, in the Spelljammer forum based on something said in this topic.
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Re: GAZ7 The Northern Reaches Forgotten Realms tie-in

Postby Big Mac » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:03 pm

JamesMishler wrote:I would say that the gates from the Northern Reaches of Mystara would be more likely to be found in the lands north of the Moonshae Islands in the Forgotten Realms; after all, the Northmen of the Moonshaes are relatively recent additions to the region, invading from the more northerly island of Ruathym.

The origins of the Northmen of the Realms is a mystery. They first arrived on Ruathym from the west, in sailing ships, and from there spread to the mainland; from the mainland they spread north into Icewind Dale and east, where they became the ancestors of the Uthgardt; they also travelled far to the east and south, and were supposedly the founders of Dambrath and the ancestors of the Rus/Rashemi.

So obviously, the major gates between the Trackless Sea of Toril and the Northern Reaches of Mystara are sea based, as the Northmen (descended from Antalians) arrived from the sea. So I would place random gates opening and closing in the Northern Sea of Dawn, between the Isle of Dawn and the Ostland Isles; perhaps also up into the Alphatian Sea. Thus, the Antalians are ancestral to the Northmen of the Trackless Sea of the east. Some tribes also returned to the sea to the north and then settled Gundarlun. The modern Illuskans of the Sword Coast are descended from a mix of Northmen and Netherese, and the language of the Ruathen is mis0identified as a dialect of Illuskan (descended from Netherese), while in fact, from the history presented, Ruathen/Northmen influenced Illuskan, but is a distinct language (unless the Netherese are descended from continental Northmen, which is not impossible)...


I certainly find the idea of a mass migration from Mystara to Forgotten Realms interesting. It's a shame I don't know the canon of both settings well enough to look for any potential conflicts.

Presumably, Nordic Mystaran Immortals would need to be reimagined as Deities by anyone who migrated over to the Realms. (Perhaps this would be something that Ao would do.)

JamesMishler wrote:As to the Rus/Rashemi people, they are rather more likely descended from the Rus of Earth, a people descended from a mix of Swedish Varangians (eastern Vikings) and Slavs; while I can see far-wandering Northmen reaching Dambrath in the far south, I can't see them crossing the entire length and breadth of Faerun to get to the lands where now are found the Rashemites...


That sounds logical.

If we are to believe that the Nordic Deities can be accessed from multiple worlds in the D&D multiverse, you wouldn't expect every Nordic NPC or PC to have a Mystara-to-Toril connection. :)
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