Borean Valley & Hyboria questions

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Borean Valley & Hyboria questions

Postby Yaztromo » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:27 pm

Is there canon or fan generated material about these regions?
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyperborea

Postby Havard » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:36 pm

Hyboria (multiple articles):
http://www.pandius.com/hyboria.html

Borea (Multiple articles):
http://www.pandius.com/nor_wild.html

I believe some of the GazF books also touch briefly on the Borean Valley. On Hyboria, I recommend in particular the Hyborian Timelineby SB Wilson. I believe he had some other cool ideas posted too, such as Inuit Dwarves etc...

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Re: Borean Valley & Hyperborea

Postby Cthulhudrew » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:04 pm

I'd always wanted to use the Clark Ashton Smith Hyperborean Cycle stories as inspiration for developing the region. In particular, there is a throwaway line in one of the stories (I cannot recall which; I'd have to reread them) that is phrased in such a way that might suggest a malignant intelligence manifest in the glacier that steadily enroaches upon Hyperborea from the north. I really liked the idea that it might be sentient, rather than just a glacier.

Plus, the character of Satampra Zeiros is a great picaresque rogue.

There's a really good map that he provided (also available on that wiki page). I believe all of the short stories can be found and read on the Eldritch Dark website. If you can find a copy of it, though, there used to be a really good Hyperborea paperback that collected all of the stories (a Google search doesn't turn it up, though, and I had to work really hard to get my copy over a decade ago; fortunately I worked at a book store at the time and we had a good special order person who found it for me).
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria

Postby Yaztromo » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:09 pm

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=3932
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3586
I posted these references to "Urzud, the Land of Beastmen" in the "2300BC project" as it could be an interesting reference for 1000AC Hiboria.

The hope is to inspire somebody to put these lands on the GazF pipeline... ;)
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria

Postby Morfie » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:17 pm

The Italian Mystara people have this for Hyborea: http://www.roberto.roma.it/public/download/Hyborea.pdf

I don't understand Italian but it looks great! :D


For the Borean Valley IMC, I will be using a combo of Ravenloft and Ghostwalk.
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria

Postby Chimpman » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:02 pm

Morfie wrote:The Italian Mystara people have this for Hyborea: http://www.roberto.roma.it/public/download/Hyborea.pdf

I don't understand Italian but it looks great! :D

Wow! :cool: I agree. Can we get someone to translate this? Or is there an easy way to translate an entire pdf? I'd even love to take a look at an automated translation as a first pass.


Morfie wrote:For the Borean Valley IMC, I will be using a combo of Ravenloft and Ghostwalk.

That's a cool idea. I really like Ghostwalk, and I try to fit it in (or at least aspects of it) wherever I can.
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria

Postby Havard » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:39 pm

Chimpman wrote:
Morfie wrote:The Italian Mystara people have this for Hyborea: http://www.roberto.roma.it/public/download/Hyborea.pdf

I don't understand Italian but it looks great! :D

Wow! :cool: I agree. Can we get someone to translate this? Or is there an easy way to translate an entire pdf? I'd even love to take a look at an automated translation as a first pass.


I agree that it looks great! Based on what GP said in another thread, I suspect alot of it is translated into Italian from the material on Padius. SB Wilson is credited.

That said, there are some interesting things there, like the mention of the Hollow World and the inclusion of Frosthaven into the region...

As well as the gorgeous layout and artwork ofcourse. :)


Morfie wrote:For the Borean Valley IMC, I will be using a combo of Ravenloft and Ghostwalk.

That's a cool idea. I really like Ghostwalk, and I try to fit it in (or at least aspects of it) wherever I can.


Interesting. I see the Borean Valley much more like a Brokenlands x 1000.

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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria

Postby agathokles » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:59 am

It is indeed a translation of S. B. Wilson's work, which in turn is based on a FR book. There are some additions and changes to detach the material from its FR source, adopting more Norse-like names, and integrating with the Hollow World (seen as a legend).

Indeed, Borea would need a more complete coverage, taking into better account Urzud and the Beastmen.

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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria

Postby Yaztromo » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:05 am

Chimpman wrote:
Morfie wrote:The Italian Mystara people have this for Hyborea: http://www.roberto.roma.it/public/download/Hyborea.pdf

I don't understand Italian but it looks great! :D

Wow! :cool: I agree. Can we get someone to translate this? Or is there an easy way to translate an entire pdf? I'd even love to take a look at an automated translation as a first pass.


Morfie wrote:For the Borean Valley IMC, I will be using a combo of Ravenloft and Ghostwalk.

That's a cool idea. I really like Ghostwalk, and I try to fit it in (or at least aspects of it) wherever I can.


Of course I understand Italian, and I'd say that this is a great starting point for a FanGazzetteer, but it's not a finished work.
There are no "special" places (like Urzud or other Blackmoorian sites etc.), there are no well described "special" rules for weapons and armour at coldest temperatures (swords will seize in the scabbards, armour plates will stick to the skin at <-50 degrees C, while probably bone tools and weapons will work better - this can be done in a similar way as it is done in Ylaruam Gazzetteer), there are no "interesting" artifacts (Hel's Cradle? Clay of life?), there are no "special" classes adapted to the situation... but the editing and images are absolutely fantastic!
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria

Postby Yaztromo » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:19 am

Personally, I'd expect more undead creatures, connections to the dimension of Nightmares, some strange location with some powerful wizard that decided he wants to experiment in peace and far away from everybody else, large natural resources (gold rush?), tailor made magic for shamans, druids or similar, some explanation of why we had souls led by Hel reincarnating here and not breeding true for a long time, Urzud ruins, Blackmoorian sites, more "natural", secluded creatures (like yeti, ice trolls, Neanderthal, Beastmen... that are just quickly mentioned), creatures based on a different biology, adapted to the situation (icemen?)...
The organizations (kingdoms etc.) look a bit too organized for me (with settled cities, proper governments etc.), while I'd expected a much looser situation in this part of the world, so sparsely populated and with resources so spread across a very big surface that it looks difficult for me to imagine fair sized cities and proper borders (and that's actually what used to be the situation north of Artic Polar Circle in this world).
Said that, I don't see Inuit-like dwarves (I don't know... maybe the beard doesn't fit the role?), but more halflings (short and round faced)... however, if this is somehow covered by canon or published fan production, it's appropriate that we keep it...
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria

Postby Yaztromo » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:47 am

This part of the world could be, from time to time, a source of barbarian/beastmen/orc migrating waves to the rest of the world (as it used to be for South Siberia & nearby areas... this could be linked to some kind of artifact or other magic...
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria

Postby Yaztromo » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:05 pm

Yaztromo wrote: some strange location with some powerful wizard that decided he wants to experiment in peace and far away from everybody else

I have to admit that this is very biased, as one of my historical characters actually estabilished his base in the far nothern frozen lands while he experimented with dangerous stuff, like other dimensions, other worlds and time/reality warping magical effects...
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria

Postby RobJN » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:18 pm

My own work for this part of the Mystara is still some ways off. On Thorn's Mystara, Borea is strewn with Radiance-wasted battlegrounds. All sorts of mutant and Radiance-adapted life forms populate the more habitable zones. "Normal" Inuit- like cultures keep to the coasts, with Frost giant kingdoms found in the high mountains.

As I said, still LOTS to think about, especially with regards to Blackmoor weaponry and artifacts, and how the cultures there would regard them...
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria

Postby Yaztromo » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:21 pm

I made a quick search, and here are some geographical issues, impacting also this part of Mystara...
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=8374&start=0&hilit=Hyboria
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria questions

Postby Yaztromo » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:06 pm

Stolen from another thread:

yellowdingo wrote:Blackmoor influences
The Region previously known as the Borean Valley where for three centuries a Holy war of extermination was waged by the Church Controled Blackmoor against the Beastmen will have been a grave yard of Blackmoor Battlefield technology.

Crusaders in Powered Armour with Flameweapons riding personal flyers are the sort to easily exterminate barbarians but it is a battle that drags out three centuries - implying 'armsdealing to the beastmen' by blackmoorean merchants. Imagine ancient (3000-4000 year old) millitary bases with bunkers filled with abandoned tech. Stockpiles, Resupply drops, Black Ops.

I recommend A Timetravel Adventure DA20 Holy War where the Adventurers must make a decision between the millions of Chaotic Beastmen (Children of Hel) who will be slaughtered and the Absolutist Authoritarian Theocracy that Blackmoor has become during these three hundred years of Church-mandated Crusade. With this much slaughter there must be Ghosts and Horrors even after 4 & 1/2 thousand years. Posessed Power Armour looking for a Warrior to lead a renewed war against the Beast races.

I would Suggest this:

Code: Select all
CMF10 - Pit of Hel (A suit of Blackmoorean Powered Armor, long possessed by the insanity of three centuries of slaughter takes control of a mighty Warrior compelling him/her to build a military unit from scrounged Blackmoorean Weapons scattered at sites across the Borean Valley to lead an army against a non-human (therefor beastman offspring) Kingdom in the Wyrmsteeth/Northern Reaches/Borean Valley region.
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria questions

Postby Cthulhudrew » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:52 am

I haven't taken an in-depth look at it yet, but for some more ideas on things to do with Borea/Hyboria, you might check out Xoth.net. The guy's developing game supplements based loosely on Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborea and Conan's Hyboria.
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria questions

Postby Cthulhudrew » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:28 am

I found the passage and the story I mentioned above, wherein the encroaching glacier that eventually swallows up Hyperborea is suggested to be a malign supernatural intelligence of some sort. It's from The Ice Demon:

Deeming that this thing was no natural occurrence, but a sorcery that had been exerted by the great glacier, and that the glacier itself was a live, malignant entity with powers of unknown bale, they did not slacken their flight. And the ice had suffered them to depart in peace, as if to give warning of the fate of those who dared to assail it.


I've always thought that would make for a really interesting campaign backdrop; essentially a villainous landscape. Maybe it's some kind of cold demon, maybe it's some sort of Immortal, an alien, an evil Genius Loci. Perhaps it is an elder Ice Elemental of some sort. I just kind of liked the notion that it was an elder intellect that was not well disposed of towards mankind, and that was- in its inexorable, ponderous way- gradually spreading out and driving the living out of its demesnes.
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria questions

Postby Yaztromo » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:39 pm

Actually, my mentioned character (the one that retreated to Hyboria for experimenting magic) created a "living gold" race, that was supposed to gather all the gold in the rivers etc. to prevent a "gold rush" Alaska-style and keep the neighborough quiet for his experiments.
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria questions

Postby Yaztromo » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:42 pm

I just found by chance this awesome historical-geographical article in the Pandius site: http://www.pandius.com/blk_pcat.html

It's a great proposal for placing Blackmoor on the map and for clarifying its relations (and routes) with Borea and Hyboria.
I really like it!
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyperborea

Postby OldDawg » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:07 am

Havard wrote:
I believe some of the GazF books also touch briefly on the Borean Valley.
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Indeed, Gaz F5 The Western Alliance mentioned the threat of undead creatures to the whole of the Hill and Dale, with few explorers brave enough to venture there and fewer still returning.

The Alliance members burned, salted, and derubbled a stretch of land along side the Borean Tier (foot hills leading into the Valley) as a safeguard (wide open view) and pay for regular patrols during all but the winter months to be on the look out for incursions.

In many ways this zone is the equivalent of the Wall in A Game of Thrones/ASOIAF, with those footing the bill for the patrols not truly grasping the magnitude of trouble waiting. [In as much as my first encounter with GoT was the HBO series two seasons ago, I can safely say this was a parallel, not derivative, concept.]

In terms of the background concepts I was using as I built up GazF, Borea was basically divided into three zones:
  • Southern "Upper Valley": This area (the cup of the valley on world maps) is contested lands between human barbarians and humanoid tribes.

  • Middle Valley: This area is directly west of the Western Alliance. The southern barbarians and humanoids avoid the lands, and it has a haunted eerie feeling with large swaths of territory marked by sterile soil, other areas by "ghost grass" or "bleeding grass". Blackmoor-era city structures survive along the rivers - buildings half-sheared off by the passage of post-Rain glaciers and weathered and rusted. And nestled within the ruins are 4000 years worth of undead waiting to be disturbed.

    Basically, it was going to be the zombie-apocalypse scenario for Mystara.

  • Northern Coastal Valley: This is where the Borean Valley reaches up to the northern sea. Much of the area is encased in ice, and the Borean River actually flows below the ice in some parts. - Only bits and pieces of the Blackmoor era survive this far north [I assume Blackmoor City is/was at the current polar opening and was the epicenter of a "Big Bang"]. Ice worms and the "Thing" type setting, intended as part of a larger northern treatment.

Anyway, that was my working framework.

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Re: Borean Valley & Hyperborea

Postby Yaztromo » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:26 pm

OldDawg wrote: "ghost grass" or "bleeding grass"


Can you please expand on this?
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Re: Borean Valley & Hyperborea

Postby Havard » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:47 pm

OldDawg, you are back! :)




OldDawg wrote:Indeed, Gaz F5 The Western Alliance mentioned the threat of undead creatures to the whole of the Hill and Dale, with few explorers brave enough to venture there and fewer still returning.

The Alliance members burned, salted, and derubbled a stretch of land along side the Borean Tier (foot hills leading into the Valley) as a safeguard (wide open view) and pay for regular patrols during all but the winter months to be on the look out for incursions.

In many ways this zone is the equivalent of the Wall in A Game of Thrones/ASOIAF, with those footing the bill for the patrols not truly grasping the magnitude of trouble waiting. [In as much as my first encounter with GoT was the HBO series two seasons ago, I can safely say this was a parallel, not derivative, concept.]


Sounds like a pretty fascinating region for adventures, launch quests across this Borean Tier!

In terms of the background concepts I was using as I built up GazF, Borea was basically divided into three zones:
  • Southern "Upper Valley": This area (the cup of the valley on world maps) is contested lands between human barbarians and humanoid tribes.



I wonder if these human tribes would be related to the humans of Christian Constantin's Midlands or Mishler's Galannor. A revised version of Galannor where their main opponent is Southern Borea rather than Hule might work better with later developed fan material.


  • Middle Valley: This area is directly west of the Western Alliance. The southern barbarians and humanoids avoid the lands, and it has a haunted eerie feeling with large swaths of territory marked by sterile soil, other areas by "ghost grass" or "bleeding grass". Blackmoor-era city structures survive along the rivers - buildings half-sheared off by the passage of post-Rain glaciers and weathered and rusted. And nestled within the ruins are 4000 years worth of undead waiting to be disturbed.

    Basically, it was going to be the zombie-apocalypse scenario for Mystara.


  • Fascinating! Though Mystara sounds like the kind of place that would develop societies even withing such a hostile realm?



  • Northern Coastal Valley: This is where the Borean Valley reaches up to the northern sea. Much of the area is encased in ice, and the Borean River actually flows below the ice in some parts. - Only bits and pieces of the Blackmoor era survive this far north [I assume Blackmoor City is/was at the current polar opening and was the epicenter of a "Big Bang"]. Ice worms and the "Thing" type setting, intended as part of a larger northern treatment.


  • Okay, doesn't fit 100% with my placement of Old Blackmoor, but it doesnt sound like that would not be impossible to reconcile. Perhaps ice dwelling creatures are still making expeditions into this region? Sounds like a good opportunity for tie ins with the Frost Giant kingdoms and the Qaurik lands?


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    Re: Borean Valley & Hyboria questions

    Postby ripvanwormer » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:55 pm

    Whether or not present-day polar opening was the location of ancient Blackmoor City, there could still be Blackmoor-era technology/colonies near there. If nothing else they could have created a research station similar to the one in John Carpenter's The Thing and had to deal with a horrific Nightmare monster which, after slaughtering all the researchers, went dormant until the present day.

    So I imagine a gazetteer like this would be equally useful to everyone. The fact that Blackmoor City and its surroundings were blasted beyond all recognition means that the ruins could as easily be from any city.
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    Re: Borean Valley & Hyperborea

    Postby OldDawg » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:33 am

    Yaztromo wrote:
    OldDawg wrote: "ghost grass" or "bleeding grass"


    Can you please expand on this?


    Nothing concrete beyond the concept of undead/poisonous vegetation. "Ghost grass" is literally the phantasmal remnant of grass, waving fields of white, which living horses cannot consume despite their allure.

    "Bleeding grass" or trees, are physical. They've absorbed the death and violence of the post-rain rule and exude a ruddy oil that makes them toxic. I.e. their leaves and blades "bleed".

    Havard wrote:OldDawg, you are back! :)


    So it seems. Can't say how frequent I'll be in posting, but I'll try.

    Havard wrote:
    In terms of the background concepts I was using as I built up GazF, Borea was basically divided into three zones:
    • Southern "Upper Valley": This area (the cup of the valley on world maps) is contested lands between human barbarians and humanoid tribes.



    I wonder if these human tribes would be related to the humans of Christian Constantin's Midlands or Mishler's Galannor. A revised version of Galannor where their main opponent is Southern Borea rather than Hule might work better with later developed fan material.


    Both. I have to admit, I never put a lot of attention to this particular area beyond a cursory world view. I penciled in rough ideas from Mishler's barbarian tribes work (you can see Galannor labeled on my working map of Brun) plus some other stuff (e.g.some small throwaways from canon material) that I can't readily recall at the moment. I do remember that with Constantin's work, there were a sufficient number of issues I had flagged that would require a significant reworking before some version could be integrated into GazF Continuity.

  • Middle Valley: ...

    Basically, it was going to be the zombie-apocalypse scenario for Mystara.


  • Fascinating! Though Mystara sounds like the kind of place that would develop societies even withing such a hostile realm?


    Back when I was actually cranking these things out every 2-3 months, Borea was on my master schedule for a Crucible treatment of undead - even had the thing timed to come out on a Halloween :ugeek: Sadly, real life side-tracked pretty much everything, and I just wasn't able to put in the time on things.


  • Northern Coastal Valley: .... Ice worms and the "Thing" type setting, intended as part of a larger northern treatment.


  • Okay, doesn't fit 100% with my placement of Old Blackmoor, but it doesnt sound like that would not be impossible to reconcile. Perhaps ice dwelling creatures are still making expeditions into this region? Sounds like a good opportunity for tie ins with the Frost Giant kingdoms and the Qaurik lands?


    Yeah, Blackmoor has probably been the biggest divergence point in our respective treatments of Mystara, but I don't see any particular problems with your suggestions above. I had frost giants making forays along the ice - even Shonak tribesmen traversed the northern region to go from the Norwold coast to territories in western Brun annually (much like Eskim, Inuits, and some Russo-Siberian groups do).
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    Re: Borean Valley & Hyperborea

    Postby Havard » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:29 pm

    OldDawg wrote: Can't say how frequent I'll be in posting, but I'll try.


    That is great news! :)

    Havard wrote:I wonder if these human tribes would be related to the humans of Christian Constantin's Midlands or Mishler's Galannor. A revised version of Galannor where their main opponent is Southern Borea rather than Hule might work better with later developed fan material.


    Both. I have to admit, I never put a lot of attention to this particular area beyond a cursory world view. I penciled in rough ideas from Mishler's barbarian tribes work (you can see Galannor labeled on my working map of Brun) plus some other stuff (e.g.some small throwaways from canon material) that I can't readily recall at the moment. I do remember that with Constantin's work, there were a sufficient number of issues I had flagged that would require a significant reworking before some version could be integrated into GazF Continuity.



    Excellent. If there is something that I have always liked about the GazF series is that it has managed to both respectfully integrate existing fan created and published material, while at the same time creating its own consistant framework.

    Back when I was actually cranking these things out every 2-3 months, Borea was on my master schedule for a Crucible treatment of undead - even had the thing timed to come out on a Halloween :ugeek: Sadly, real life side-tracked pretty much everything, and I just wasn't able to put in the time on things.


    That would have been a perfect match :)


    Yeah, Blackmoor has probably been the biggest divergence point in our respective treatments of Mystara, but I don't see any particular problems with your suggestions above. I had frost giants making forays along the ice - even Shonak tribesmen traversed the northern region to go from the Norwold coast to territories in western Brun annually (much like Eskim, Inuits, and some Russo-Siberian groups do).


    Yeah, as Ripvanwormer states above, the exact location of Blackmoor rarely comes into conflict with later material. Northern Brun is an often overlooked region, and I can see the ideas you present here work quite well with SB Wilson's Hyborea material, as well as the locations for races like the Qauriks and Firelords from AC9 as presented on Zompatore's Brun maps.


    -Havard

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