[Malatra] Ancient Aliens

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[Malatra] Ancient Aliens

Postby Havard » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:12 pm

In this thread about the DMs Guild and Malatra, Big Mac mentioned the Aliens of Malatra.

Big Mac wrote:
Tim Baker wrote:I'd never even heard of Malatra until it was mentioned a week or two ago in context of the DMs Guild.


It is one of the more obscure Dungeons & Dragons campaign settings. I didn't know about it until well after I joined The Piazza.

It is hidden inside the Malatra jungle in Kara-Tur on a peninsula surrounded by ancient invisibility devices that were set up by alien spacefarers who were hoping to hide out on Toril. But those ancient aliens are gone. Inside that area is a "Lost World" jungle where people have to avoid being eaten by predators.

I was actually attracted to Malatra by some more modern aliens: the oscray. (They are refugees from the Second Unhuman War who were trying to hide from the Elven Navy and who accidentally crashed into Malatra and got marooned. The oscray are similar to the scro, from Spelljammer.)


What is known about the ancient aliens who visited Malatra before the Oscray? Is there any way to connect them to the Galactic Federation of Blackmoor, the Machine Race from Tale of the Comet, Expedition to Barrier Peaks or any race from Spelljammer? Or the Gods from Maztica for that matter?

What were they up to on Malatra?

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Re: [Malatra] Ancient Aliens

Postby ripvanwormer » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:42 pm

You mean the Nubari. There's some discussion about them in this thread. They're magical, spelljamming aliens as opposed to the sci-fi-style aliens of the Blackmoor setting/Expedition to the Barrier Peaks/Tale of the Comet. They had a sort of magical technology (different from, but not superior to, the technology of the modern Forgotten Realms) and ceramic tools. They lived in harmony with nature and ruled several paradisiacal worlds that were consumed by a great war, which a pacifist faction fled to Malatra to avoid. They were a slaver race, having enslaved a kobold-like race called the butu to be their servants and pets. They're essentially human, though with only four fingers and elongated heads. They used their magic to create the Malatra plateau and at some point experienced a disaster that reduced their culture to a primitive state. Some of them were transformed into the aarakocra of the Forbidden Mountains.

They look different from the Rael of Tale of the Comet. The Rael have six fingers on each hand, while the Nubari have four. The Rael have whitish-purple skin, while the Nubari have dark brown skin. The travellers from the Federation have green skin. If you ignore the physical differences and treat the Nubari "magic" as misunderstood technology, I suppose they might be the same as the Rael; both are similar to humans and tend to be non-violent.

We don't know who the Nubari were at war with; perhaps they were at war with themselves. But choosing an enemy for them is a good way to tie them to other settings. Perhaps they were at war with the Overseer from Tale of the Comet, for example, or with the ogres of the Radiant Empire.
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Re: [Malatra] Ancient Aliens

Postby apotheot » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:04 am

Rip's information is only somewhat accurate. The Nubari, or Ancients as they are called in the setting called themselves the 'Sarxens' and they were magically strong and experimented with on a people called the Tarn. Eventually the Ancient's society moved away from such endeavors, but the Tarn survived and eventually became an enemy that destroyed the Ancients. Now called the Tamara, or People of the Tiger, the enemy pursued the Ancients even to their hiding place which was Malatra. They destroyed their burgeoning civilization there but were not able to wipe out all the Ancients had built. In more recent times, the Tamara returned to Malatra and the fight against this 'Ancient Enemy' is what takes up most of the last 1/3 of the Living Jungle adventures. Much of this information can be found in the Jungle Tales newsletter or within the campaign itself.
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Re: [Malatra] Ancient Aliens

Postby Big Mac » Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:59 pm

Sorry for not mentioning the name in my other post. Perhaps I should go back and edit it (and ask for a moderator to rename this topic) to make things easier for people.

I did wonder, at one point, if the nubari had some sort of relationship to the juna (from Spelljammer), but if the Nubari were four fingered humans, they almost certainly can not be the same race as the juna. (I think the juna only had three* fingers.) But I wonder if they were both around at the same time, as both were wildspace races.

* = I'm starting to wonder if there was a TSR writers bible that said that ancient aliens should all have a different number of fingers from each other. ;)

Havard wrote:What were they up to on Malatra?


They actually built some sort of special magical invisibility device on the Malatran peninsula, that is very similar to the magical device that makes the near-side of the moon Selûne look uninhabitable to people looking at it from Toril (or the wildspace between Toril and the moon).

It is impossible to see the Malatran Peninsula from space. When spacefarers look, they just see Kara-Tur and the normal parts of Malatra that surround the Malatran Peninsula. And if spacefarers try to land ships, they get slowly diverted off of their course, so that they never realise they didn't land exactly where they were aiming at. People walking towards the Malatran Peninsula on the ground, or flying on the back of a creature or flying carpet also get diverted away from the Malatran Peninsula by the magic of the nubari.

The magic that protects the Living Jungle is just starting to fade. That's how a small fleet of oscray ships managed to accidentally stumble onto the Malatran Peninsula, while trying to hide from the Elven Navy. The ships all crash-landed, and the helmsmen all died, so I'm wondering if the ships each got hit with spelljammer shock, when they passed through the magical shield. :?
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Re: [Malatra] Ancient Aliens

Postby Big Mac » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:40 pm

apotheot wrote:Rip's information is only somewhat accurate. The Nubari, or Ancients as they are called in the setting called themselves the 'Sarxens' and they were magically strong and experimented with on a people called the Tarn. Eventually the Ancient's society moved away from such endeavors, but the Tarn survived and eventually became an enemy that destroyed the Ancients. Now called the Tamara, or People of the Tiger, the enemy pursued the Ancients even to their hiding place which was Malatra. They destroyed their burgeoning civilization there but were not able to wipe out all the Ancients had built. In more recent times, the Tamara returned to Malatra and the fight against this 'Ancient Enemy' is what takes up most of the last 1/3 of the Living Jungle adventures. Much of this information can be found in the Jungle Tales newsletter or within the campaign itself.


Thanks for this.

I'll have to update my List of Living Jungle Adventures and work out what ones I need to read, in order to get everything from the Tamara story arc.

Were the Tarn also aliens, or were they natives of Kara-Tur that the Nubari took into space? (Three different space races is pretty awesome, considering this wasn't supposed to be a Spelljammer campaign.)

I just noticed you are new to The Piazza (and I think I recognise your name from the Living Jungle group). Thanks for signing up here. You might want to pop over to the Introduce yourself here topic and say hi to the general community. :)
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Re: [Malatra] Ancient Aliens

Postby apotheot » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:32 am

Thanks for this.

I'll have to update my List of Living Jungle Adventures and work out what ones I need to read, in order to get everything from the Tamara story arc.

All the information given is from Jungle Tales, some of which are available on the Yahoo group.

Were the Tarn also aliens, or were they natives of Kara-Tur that the Nubari took into space? (Three different space races is pretty awesome, considering this wasn't supposed to be a Spelljammer campaign.)

Tarn were originally an alien race, though they were likely humanoid.

I just noticed you are new to The Piazza (and I think I recognise your name from the Living Jungle group). Thanks for signing up here. You might want to pop over to the Introduce yourself here topic and say hi to the general community. :)[/quote]

Right, I just joined relatively recently after the death of the good old WotC boards, but had been a lurker for some time prior. If you have any LJ adventures not currently listed in the Yahoo group archives let me know (I'm on Facebook and believe i have communicated with you on the Malatara fan page). I have a number of them, but am reluctant to share due to the scarcity of them, trading however...
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