GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Continuing the Gazetteer and Module Tradition Beyond the Known World.

Moderators: Seer of Yhog, Gawain_VIII, Havard, OldDawg

LordJuss
Hobgoblin
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:22 pm
Gender: male

GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by LordJuss » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:44 am

This thread is to work out the parts of Gaz XF1 that deal with Teki-Nura-Ria (introduced in X8: Drums on Fire Mountain) and the surrounding area.

Thanks,

LJ.

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3226
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:18 pm

As discussed, I'll take this one.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3226
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:27 pm

Putting my money where my mouth is - I sat down and re-read the module in depth. Here are my notes (it was a good read, too!):

Notes from Module X8 (Drums on Fire Mountain)

The Island

• Teki-Nuri-Ria is volcanic, with two dormant volcanoes (Ni-malowa and Ki-ata). Complexes were excavated underneath both in ages past by the Ancestors (the vanished race that I named the M’kar). The fact that the complexes are both largely intact, yet are obviously centuries old, would indicate that the volcanoes haven’t erupted in a very long time.
• One kara-kara village is mentioned; although there is an abandoned one that the PCs can visit. Given the number of kara-kara living there (about 180 or so), there may be another village (180 seems to be a bit much for one village on a tiny island, but that’s just me).
• The waters around Teki-Nuri-Ria are explicitly stated to be stormy, and the kal-murus are indigenous to them.
• There are two swampy regions. The southern one was once a bay, but had silted over some time ago, and is now a foot-deep brackish swamp, filled with mangroves.
• The northern swampy region has a wooden walkway and platform extending into it. The walkway is weathered, but the module doesn’t say who built it, or why. Although the kara-kara are primitive, they may have been able to build it (since they do build houses). The M’kar could easily have built it, but it is unlikely that such a structure would have survived centuries of exposure.

The Kara-kara

• The kara-kara are distantly related to orcs. Their language can be understood by those who speak orcish.
• They ride giant horned chameleons.
• They possess a written language, but are very primitive (they will not be able to rebuild the rope bridge in the module if the PCs cut it). They cannot forge metal, and gold and silver are worthless to them (no value as tools).
• Kara-kara are highly superstitious: They fear the dark, and believe that shadows roam at night, but that low fences or enclosures made from bones will keep them away. It also says that they “will not go above ground at night”, which implies that they either flee to the caves at night, or their houses have cellars or burrows where they hide.
• The kara-kara believe that the M’kar are their ancestors.
• Kara-kara will not enter the tomb of a manwu-papa (witch doctor) unless accompanied by one.
• At least one manwu-papa was cremated, which indicates that they both bury and burn their dead. Perhaps cremation is a special honour?
• Pigs are sacred, as manifestations of Tapu. Jawbones from pigs adorn at least one manwu-papa tomb. The module also says that every island inhabited by kara-kara will have wild pigs on it. Personally I would modify this and have each tribe have a special totem or animal spirit guardian; otherwise the tribes all look the same.
• They have an annual four-day ceremony, where they gather in the volcano and drum all day.
• The module mentions that other islands are inhabited by kara-kara, and that inter-tribal warfare occurs.
• Although the kara-kara are more of a threat under KalnaKaa's guidance, the Thyatians have known about them for some time (they were previously considered a nuisance, which indicates that the kara-kara have a history of attacking Thyatian shipping in the region).

Key NPCs

• Rollo Bargmann: A Thyatian (Hattian) merchant of good repute. He is well known in Thyatian society, as the module states his house is “well known” in Thyatis city.
• Malmir: A veteran elvish sea captain who works for Rollo. He likely gets along very well with his master, as the module states that Rollo will believe any information related by the PCs that Malmir has personally vetted.
• KalnaKaa: The devil-swine sorcerer who masquerades as Tapu, the kara-kara pig god. The module states that he was driven from his home after contracting lycanthropy (he was attacked by a test subject), and has sworn revenge against his former countrymen by using the kal-muru and kara-kara to attack shipping.
• ISSUE: The module implies that KalnaKaa is Thyatian (as he is attacking Thyatian shipping in the region – Minrothad would have a presence too, but is not explicitly mentioned), but the name obviously doesn’t fit, especially given that his daughter, Maerie, has a more conventional name. I recommend that KalnaKaa be a pseudonym – perhaps it is a kara-kara title that he has appropriated for himself, possibly meaning “he who is an incarnation of a god”, or something like that.

The Ancestors/M’kar

• The module says they were destroyed by their excesses and attacks from the kara-kara.
• They “took to living underground”, which indicates that they lived aboveground at first. The most logical reason for the retreat into the complex was the arrival of the kara-kara.
• They were quite tall – passageways are 15’ high, and many rooms have 20’ ceilings. I would probably have them be around 10’ tall.
• Some of their spirits live on as shadows.
• They were proficient in magic (two attested enchantments that the PCs must get around were created by 14th and 20th level mages).
• Magic was commonplace in their society – some examples:
1. Passwall spells to control access to parts of the island, which could be controlled by wearing coloured cloaks. KalnaKaa has the only known master cloak, but several lesser cloaks are intact, and numerous shredded ones can be found in lairs. This suggests that the cloak was a common item.
2. The use of living statues, illusions, flashing lights, and other diversions.
3. The thrones of illusion (used by KalnaKaa) and of scrying – obviously these were for monitoring the frontiers of the complex to keep out intruders. Given that the kara-kara destroyed the M’kar, these were probably later creations, as the M’kar would never have needed to build them if they were the only inhabitants.
4. The sentries in the Passage of the Dead (a lightning bolt trap to kill intruders).
• They were very artistic/visually oriented (cf. the illusions and light tricks above) – there are a couple of examples of ornate pillars, a glass floor supported by columns made to look like seaweed, patterns of beads on strings decorating the ceiling, colourful mosaics made with precious stones, etc.
• They became decadent towards the end, and this is reflected in their art – a painting with disturbing images and colours.
• No M'kar remains are to be found anywhere.

Other Issues:

• There is a room full of bones in the complex under Ki-ata, which turns into skeletons and a bone golem. Yet, the drawing in the module depicts human skeletons (not M’kar), and the text doesn’t state that the bones are strange-looking. So, if the bones are not M’kar, whose are they?
• There is a purple worm under Ki-ata. Are we to assume that purple worms can burrow under the seafloor, hundreds of feet below sea level, for hundreds of miles? Not saying they can’t, but given the location of Teki-Nuri-Ria, it can’t be on the continental shelf.
Last edited by Seer of Yhog on Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Hugin
Messenger of Odin
Posts: 4154
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 9:40 pm
Gender: male
Location: Fergus, Ontario

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Hugin » Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:52 pm

Great job, Geoff! I think I'll have to give this module another read too - it's been a long time.

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3226
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:03 pm

Thanks! It really was a lot of fun reading through it again. I'd love to actually run the adventure, though. In another couple of years, with my sons, perhaps...
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 20080
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Havard » Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:19 pm

Seer of Yhog wrote:Putting my money where my mouth is - I sat down and re-read the module in depth. Here are my notes (it was a good read, too!):
Great summary Geoff!

I'll comment on a couple of things...
• Kara-kara will not enter the tomb of a manwu-papa (witch doctor) unless accompanied by one.
Kara-Kara as a playable race/class and Manwu-papa as another class (or perhaps just Wokans?) would be interesting options for the gaz..
• There is a room full of bones in the complex under Ki-ata, which turns into skeletons and a bone golem. Yet, the drawing in the module depicts human skeletons (not M’kar), and the text doesn’t state that the bones are strange-looking. So, if the bones are not M’kar, whose are they?
Except for the reference about high ceilings, is there any reason why the M'Kar could not be humans? Perhaps the Kara-Kara have mixed human and Orc blood?
• There is a purple worm under Ki-ata. Are we to assume that purple worms can burrow under the seafloor, hundreds of feet below sea level, for hundreds of miles? Not saying they can’t, but given the location of Teki-Nuri-Ria, it can’t be on the continental shelf.
Where do Purple Worms come from anyway? What of Mystaran Purple Worms are a kind of spawn of the Burrowers? Perhaps a Great Burrower lies beneath the island?

BTW in your post you make references to Kara-Kara living on several islands. I would say the fact that they appear in AC9 makes it likely that they are found in many places (in the Sea of Dread), though perhaps Teki-Nura-Ria is where they originated from?

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.

User avatar
Andaire
Stone Giant
Posts: 743
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 11:21 pm
Gender: male
Location: Paris, France
Contact:

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Andaire » Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:24 pm

Could the M'kar have been ogre magi? IIRC there are/were ogre magi in Ochalea.
Does the module say for how long the kara-kara civilization has existed, or can we somehow determine it?
Information Wants To Be Free
Hervé Musseau http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1223372668

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3226
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:48 pm

Havard wrote:Kara-Kara as a playable race/class and Manwu-papa as another class (or perhaps just Wokans?) would be interesting options for the gaz.
It could work. The module said that manwu-papas are treated as 4th level clerics, and some great leaders might be 6th (spell list provided). I think kara-karas should be treated as orcs, stats-wise, except that they have no infravision (and no penalties in sunlight). So, manwu-paps would be shamans, I think. But I think the kara-kara could have human blood, as you outline below.
Havard wrote:Except for the reference about high ceilings, is there any reason why the M'Kar could not be humans? Perhaps the Kara-Kara have mixed human and Orc blood?
That's what I would be inclined to think, but the pictures of the M'kar statues show that they didn't look very human. They had six-fingered hands, earlobes down to their necklines, and unnaturally high foreheads and long chins. Here's a link to a pic of the cover - you can see a half-buried statue head in the sand. There are more drawings inside. The best approximation I can come up with is that they looked like they were stretched vertically. All that aside, this was the reason why I speculated that they came from another dimension in the first place, because they didn't really fit in Mystaran ethnology otherwise. Still, that's up for discussion.
Havard wrote:Where do Purple Worms come from anyway? What of Mystaran Purple Worms are a kind of spawn of the Burrowers? Perhaps a Great Burrower lies beneath the island?
I have no idea, but now seems like a good time to start thinking about it.
Havard wrote:BTW in your post you make references to Kara-Kara living on several islands. I would say the fact that they appear in AC9 makes it likely that they are found in many places (in the Sea of Dread), though perhaps Teki-Nura-Ria is where they originated from?
Maybe...or they could have come from Davania - perhaps they were an offshoot of the "jungle orcs" who mixed with some humans before migrating out to sea?
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
outlander78
Troll
Posts: 415
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:30 pm
Gender: male

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by outlander78 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:55 pm

X8 is my all-time favourite module.

Bring on those crazy Hawaiian orcs!

One note - Manwu-papa are Kara-Kara priests, not a separate race.
Please try my old school computer game and let know what you think.

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3226
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:00 pm

Andaire wrote:Could the M'kar have been ogre magi? IIRC there are/were ogre magi in Ochalea.
Does the module say for how long the kara-kara civilization has existed, or can we somehow determine it?
No - no idea as how long the kara-kara have been on the island. They've been there long enough to forget that they killed off the M'kar, and for them to think that the M'kar were actually their ancestors. Given that the kara-kara have developed writing, they probably have a greater chance of recording important events in their history (in stone). However, something as momentous as killing off a powerful race would surely have been recorded - but it hasn't (that we know of). it doesn't even exist in their oral history.

So, I would argue that the kara-kara writing system was developed after their arrival, at a time when they had already forgotten about their victory over the M'kar. How many generations would it take for a great battle (or series of battles) to be forgotten? The US War of Independence would still be remembered, even if no one ever wrote about it, because of what it meant to the people at the time (although it would probably have acquired some mythic aspects by now). Would anyone still remember the 30 Years War (early 1600s)? Maybe.

Based on that highly unscientific analysis, I would suggest that a war might survive for about 500 years in oral tradition, before other wars and events displace it in common memory (shoot this idea down if you like). Now, how long would it take for a system of writing to evolve? Several generations, at least. So, I would probably say that the kara-kara have, at minimum, been on the island for about 1000 years, give or take a century.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3226
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:12 pm

ANOTHER THOUGHT

The kara-kara would differ from orcs as a PC race in that they have that ritual that gives them extra hit points. We would have to decide whether that's cultural, or racial. If it's cultural, only kara-kara who maintain their traditional ways of life would have this benefit (similar mechanics to the SoP). Otherwise, kara-kara could be quite powerful at upper levels.

I had a brief image of an adventuring party in the wilds of Norwold, beset by giants. The fighter falls in battle, and the party cleric (er, shaman) leaps up, bone through nose and drum in hand, calling out to Tapu to protect and heal the great warrior while dancing. :D
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 20080
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Havard » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:30 pm

Seer of Yhog wrote:
Havard wrote:Kara-Kara as a playable race/class and Manwu-papa as another class (or perhaps just Wokans?) would be interesting options for the gaz.
It could work. The module said that manwu-papas are treated as 4th level clerics, and some great leaders might be 6th (spell list provided). I think kara-karas should be treated as orcs, stats-wise, except that they have no infravision (and no penalties in sunlight). So, manwu-paps would be shamans, I think. But I think the kara-kara could have human blood, as you outline below.
Modified Orcs and Shamans work for me :)
That's what I would be inclined to think, but the pictures of the M'kar statues show that they didn't look very human. They had six-fingered hands, earlobes down to their necklines, and unnaturally high foreheads and long chins. Here's a link to a pic of the cover - you can see a half-buried statue head in the sand. There are more drawings inside. The best approximation I can come up with is that they looked like they were stretched vertically. All that aside, this was the reason why I speculated that they came from another dimension in the first place, because they didn't really fit in Mystaran ethnology otherwise. Still, that's up for discussion.
Ah, thanks for the linky reminder. I had never really thought about that statue thing on the cover. You know what, making them human would mean we loose out on the opportunity for a new race here. Lets go with the M'Kar as a separate race. They could be of planar origins, but I would not rule out more of them existing somewhere else on Mystara... ;)
Maybe...or they could have come from Davania - perhaps they were an offshoot of the "jungle orcs" who mixed with some humans before migrating out to sea?
Even better. This would provide us with another idea for a new Davanian culture... :)

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.

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3226
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:47 pm

Havard wrote:Ah, thanks for the linky reminder. I had never really thought about that statue thing on the cover. You know what, making them human would mean we loose out on the opportunity for a new race here. Lets go with the M'Kar as a separate race. They could be of planar origins, but I would not rule out more of them existing somewhere else on Mystara... ;)
Well, the ocean is big, and there are lots of islands. I had the M'kar make it as far as the Isles of Steam, so anything is possible.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Cthulhudrew
Green Dragon
Posts: 4361
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:13 pm
Gender: male
Location: Long Beach, CA

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Cthulhudrew » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:36 pm

Havard wrote:Ah, thanks for the linky reminder. I had never really thought about that statue thing on the cover. You know what, making them human would mean we loose out on the opportunity for a new race here. Lets go with the M'Kar as a separate race. They could be of planar origins, but I would not rule out more of them existing somewhere else on Mystara... ;)
Maybe they were originally from the Alphatian region of space?
Moderator of the Mystara and Greyhawk forums. My moderator voice is gray-green.
Image

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7925
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Chimpman » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:23 am

Seer of Yhog wrote:Well, the ocean is big, and there are lots of islands. I had the M'kar make it as far as the Isles of Steam, so anything is possible.
Ahhh, I knew I would be glad I read through this thread :twisted: I now have more fodder for 2300 BC. Enter the M'kar and the Kara-kara.

The Beastmen are gathering at Urzud circa BC 2400, which could mean that the Kara-kara are very distant relations of the orcs indeed. Possibly a case of convergent evolution, which might be supported by the fact that the Kara-kara have no penalties to sunlight. They could have acquired their language (and writing skills, and even some mixed blood) at a much later date - perhaps from orcish adventurers from the realms of Othrong and Wogar.
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

mktriton
Orc
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:31 pm
Gender: male

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by mktriton » Fri May 01, 2009 8:14 pm

Havard wrote:
Where do Purple Worms come from anyway? What of Mystaran Purple Worms are a kind of spawn of the Burrowers? Perhaps a Great Burrower lies beneath the island?


I would suggest the following, now the purple worm can exist in the elemental plane of earth, so why not as an explanation have that it was onced summoned to create tunnels by never unsummoned or recalled back to where it came from as it summonor died.

OldDawg
Troll
Posts: 389
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:18 am
Gender: male

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by OldDawg » Sat May 02, 2009 4:07 am

The working GazF assumption is that the M'Kar were human, last of the Blackmoor-era technology clingers (or secondary adopters of tech) that survived/succeeded the destruction of Taymor only to be wiped out during the humanoid migrations.

-OD
Moderator for Greyhawk and GazF forums. My moderator voice is cyan.

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3226
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Seer of Yhog » Sun May 03, 2009 2:23 am

OK - fair enough for continuity's sake, but how should we treat the slightly inhuman physical representations of the M'kar?
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

LordJuss
Hobgoblin
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:22 pm
Gender: male

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by LordJuss » Fri May 22, 2009 9:40 pm

Hi all,

Just to say I am still here. Had a baby three months back so everything's been somewhat put on hold while my life goes mental!

Anyway, I'm still gently working on the Isle of Dread. I'll post what I've done thus far once I've edited it a bit.

Cheers,

LJ.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 20080
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Havard » Sat May 23, 2009 12:22 pm

LordJuss wrote:Hi all,

Just to say I am still here. Had a baby three months back so everything's been somewhat put on hold while my life goes mental!

Anyway, I'm still gently working on the Isle of Dread. I'll post what I've done thus far once I've edited it a bit.
Congratulations LordJuss! :)

Its impressive that you are able to keep the project going. Looking forward to seeing what you want to share for us :)

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.

User avatar
Hugin
Messenger of Odin
Posts: 4154
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 9:40 pm
Gender: male
Location: Fergus, Ontario

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Hugin » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:38 pm

Congratulations LordJuss! Nice to hear you're still able to get a little project time in still. Please do post it when you're ready.

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3226
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:37 pm

I'm re-posting this from Piazza v 2.0, as it summarises the various things we discussed...

Kara-kara as a PC Race

We agreed that the kara-kara could be played as PCs, with the manwu-papa as a character class (a type of shaman) available to that race. Other classes would be fighter, and possibly thief. Kara-karas are essentially orcs, but they lack infravision (and thus suffer no penalties in sunlight). A possible explanation for this was that the kara-kara could have some human blood in them. Otherwise, their origins could probably be traced back to the jungle orcs of the Davanian coast, who likely mixed with local human tribes - Manacapuru or Yasuko, proabably.

The key difference with the kara-kara is that they have a ritual that gives them extra hit points. We would have to decide whether it is cultural, or racial. If it's cultural, only kara-kara who maintain their traditional ways of life would have this benefit (similar mechanics to the SoP). Otherwise, kara-kara could be quite powerful at upper levels. We would also need to rule on whether the added hit points increase at higher levels - I think they should.

The M'kar

A big question is who the M'kar (called the Ancestors in the module) actually were. The module refers to them specifically as a race. They had six-fingered hands, earlobes down to their necklines, and unnaturally high foreheads and long chins. Based on the interior illustrations, they looked like highly elongated humanoids. GIven that they are not mentioned anywhere else in canon, they either come from another world (which is what I originally speculated) - possibly Alphatian space, as some have suggested - or we could somehow fit them into Mystaran ethnology.

The official GazF assumption is that the M'Kar were the last of the human Blackmoor-era technology clingers (or secondary adopters of tech) that survived the destruction of Taymor, only to be wiped out during the humanoid migrations. However, this has to be reconciled with their appearance. Perhaps the use of Blackmoorian technology mutated them somehow, even giving them psionic abilities that functioned in a similar manner to magic? This could fit, given that many of their magic effects revolve around illusions, imagery, etc - things that hit the senses. More discussion is needed.

History

The best estimate as to how long the kara kara have been on the island is roughly 1000 years, give or take a century. They have a writing system (and thus can record important events), but inaccurately believe they are descended from the Ancestors (as opposed to having wiped them out). Thus, their arrival must have predated the development of their alphabet to such an extent that any oral history passed down from the last surviving kara-kara who participated in the migration and subsequent battles was heavily modified. This warping in itself can take generations.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

lordnordeth
Goblin
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:56 pm
Gender: male
Location: Halifax NS

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by lordnordeth » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:25 pm

Hi all,
Been lurking around here for a few weeks now, and decided to chime in.

I have to say first of all, I'm REALLY impressed with the scope of the work you guys have undertaken, and the quality of the work you've produced.

While reading through the thread, my impression of the M'kar was that they were a mutation (either Genetic, as part of the "Science of Blackmoor" or as a result of the Cataclysm, and the changes to the world afterward). One thing I was thinking is that it could have been a deliberate, self inflicted, mutation, to enable them to survive after the destruction of Blackmoor (afterall, weren't the Dwarves also deliberately mutated by Kagyar to be able to adapt and survive the radiation inflicted on the world after the event?) What's to say that the remaining Blackmoor scientists didn't use remains of leftover experiments from some lost, distant outpost to genetically alter themselves to be better suited to survive the new living conditions they were facing, and that the m'kar are not decendants of those altered survivors. Possible reasons for the radical alteration in appearence are that the research was unfinished, and the mutation proved unstable, it could also account for the race "dying out" and/or mutating into the lesser form, now known as kara-kara.

Just a few ideas from another Canuck...@ Seer of Yhog- Hope you're fairing well after the Tornadoes in Ontario yesterday, I'm presently battening down the hatches and preparing for Hurricane Bill on Sunday or Monday.

If you like the idea's, feel free to use/change/modify anything you see fit, and if not, thats cool too.

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3226
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:14 pm

I think we can go with the mutation idea, because I want this to be consistent with the Gaz-F universe. Six-fingered hands are synonymous with mutations in pop culture, anyhow! :D

I would go further, and suggest that the M'kars' mentalist/psionic inspired strain of magery is also a product of theitr mutation. It's possible that they never needed to use spellbooks. It's also possible that thry were incapable of speech, too. I envision them to be a bit like those bald-headed aliens with the throbbing veins in that early original Star Trek episode (was it the first one?)
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Gawain_VIII
Storm Giant
Posts: 1579
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 9:36 pm
Gender: male
Location: Oklahoma, USA
Contact:

Re: GazXF1 Sea of Dread: Teki-Nura-Ria and environs

Post by Gawain_VIII » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:21 pm

Seer of Yhog wrote:I envision them to be a bit like those bald-headed aliens with the throbbing veins in that early original Star Trek episode (was it the first one?)
That was Balok of the First Federation in the episode "The Corbomite Maneuver". This was technically the third episode, but was the second one aired on TV as the unaired pilot "The Cage" counted as episode 1 (even though it was never part of the original run).

Roger
"Time does not heal all things--only swift and decisive action does." --Roger LaVern Girtman, II, 17 April 2010
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Classic Campaigns, my Mystara fansite
Moderator of The Piazza's Mystara and M3e Project forums.

Post Reply

Return to “GazF Mystara”