Arcane Age play in Anok-Imaskar

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Big Mac
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Arcane Age play in Anok-Imaskar

Post by Big Mac » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:25 pm

According to Forgotten Realms Wiki Anok-Imaskar is an ancient empire that existed in Kara-Tur, from −2487 DR to −1943 DR.

Is enough known about this empire to allow someone to attempt an Arcane Age style game set in the past?

How different was Anok-Imaskar from the various nations of Kara-Tur?

What are the unique selling points that could make this empire an interesting backdrop for a tabletop game?
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Re: Arcane Age play in Anok-Imaskar

Post by ripvanwormer » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:27 pm

I don't think it's mentioned at all outside The Grand History of the Realms. It's basically an earlier version of Shou Lung.

Neither Kara-Tur: The Eastern Lands nor The Horde boxed set mention it.

I don't think there are any unique selling points that would make it substantially different from modern Shou Lung. The borders were somewhat different and the technology more primitive, that's all.

Thinking about it further, though, the very beginning of the nation would be something of a post-apocalyptic setting, with an ambitious artificer-lord stitching together a new nation and creating a new mythology to support it, meeting with emissaries from the Celestial Bureaucracy, putting down rebellions, building alliances. The PCs could help build the nation and earn immortality together.

Kara-Tur: The Eastern Lands gives a much more mythological view of Shou Lung's origins:
Soon, from the dust of the Red Earth, humans rose, but they were a quarrelsome and contentious lot, more beasts than men. The Celestial Emperor, ruler of the bureaucracy, believed this wrong, and desired that men should live in the Image of Heaven. And he set about to make the Will of Heaven clear to all by sending his emissaries to the lands below, each to teach one aspect of the True Path. These emissaries were the First Emperors of Shou Lung, and are known by legend as the Nine Immortals.
While The Grand History of the Realms ties the origins of the Shou directly to the collapse of the Imaskari Empire that preceded it:
Following the fall of Inupras and the collapse of the western Imaskar Empire, the eastern provinces of Khati and Katakoro endure. Bearing Dhonas’s Shroud, one of the seven False Imaskarcana, the artificer Kujawa claims the Dragon Throne at Thakos and declares himself Emperor of Anok-Imaskar. Scholars mark this as the start of the First Age of Shou Lung.
Despite the name, I think this was a Shou civilization, not an Imaskari one.
Last edited by ripvanwormer on Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Arcane Age play in Anok-Imaskar

Post by Seethyr » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:24 am

I’m wondering if this was Tan-Chin’s place of origin. If so, we could probably deduce a bit of information from the Horde adventure trilogy.
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Re: Arcane Age play in Anok-Imaskar

Post by Big Mac » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:39 am

ripvanwormer wrote:I don't think it's mentioned at all outside The Grand History of the Realms. It's basically an earlier version of Shou Lung.

Neither Kara-Tur: The Eastern Lands nor The Horde boxed set mention it.

I don't think there are any unique selling points that would make it substantially different from modern Shou Lung. The borders were somewhat different and the technology more primitive, that's all.
Thanks. That seems like it is (mostly) a dead end. I'll have to thorougly read up from my copy of Grand History of the Realms and try to extrapolate from that.

The borders and primative technology are an avenue that could be explored though. Do we have any sort of timeline on when Shou Lung things were invented?

Can we use the timeline of real Asian countries to infer backformations in equipment and weapon design for rolling back time?
ripvanwormer wrote:Thinking about it further, though, the very beginning of the nation would be something of a post-apocalyptic setting, with an ambitious artificer-lord stitching together a new nation and creating a new mythology to support it, meeting with emissaries from the Celestial Bureaucracy, putting down rebellions, building alliances. The PCs could help build the nation and earn immortality together.

Kara-Tur: The Eastern Lands gives a much more mythological view of Shou Lung's origins:
Soon, from the dust of the Red Earth, humans rose, but they were a quarrelsome and contentious lot, more beasts than men. The Celestial Emperor, ruler of the bureaucracy, believed this wrong, and desired that men should live in the Image of Heaven. And he set about to make the Will of Heaven clear to all by sending his emissaries to the lands below, each to teach one aspect of the True Path. These emissaries were the First Emperors of Shou Lung, and are known by legend as the Nine Immortals.
While The Grand History of the Realms ties the origins of the Shou directly to the collapse of the Imaskari Empire that preceded it:
Following the fall of Inupras and the collapse of the western Imaskar Empire, the eastern provinces of Khati and Katakoro endure. Bearing Dhonas’s Shroud, one of the seven False Imaskarcana, the artificer Kujawa claims the Dragon Throne at Thakos and declares himself Emperor of Anok-Imaskar. Scholars mark this as the start of the First Age of Shou Lung.
Despite the name, I think this was a Shou civilization, not an Imaskari one.
I like this "Dust of the Red Eath thing. I wonder if that could be some sort of "Realms shattering event" that blasted the Kara-Tur area before the rise of the Shou Lung nation.

The editors at Forgotten Realms Wiki seemed to think that the people living in Anok-Imaskar were Imaskari and Shou rather than just Shou. They also said that Anok-Imaskar was predated by Imaskar. And the article for Imaskar suggests that the borders of Imaskar came close to frontiers of Kara-Tur.

Perhaps Anok-Imaskar was a nation that covered some of the eastern areas of what was Imaskar and some of the western areas of Kara-Tur.

I wonder if Anok-Imaskar might have predated The Dragonwall. Perhaps The Dragonwall helped cut off the Imaskari parts of Anok-Imaskar from the Shou parts. :?
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Re: Arcane Age play in Anok-Imaskar

Post by Big Mac » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:46 am

Seethyr wrote:I’m wondering if this was Tan-Chin’s place of origin. If so, we could probably deduce a bit of information from the Horde adventure trilogy.
Forgotten Realms Wiki has an Ambuchar Devayam article (they say that Tan-Chin was Ambuvhar Devayam's previous name. Sadly, the article is flagged because the person who write it didn't add any citations to show where they took the various factlets from. (There may well be a lot of fanon in there.)

Given that Rip said that The Grand History of the Realms was where Anok-Imaskar was created, I'm not sure of the references to Tan-Chin having artifacts from Anok-Imaskar. :?

However, it might be possible to reexamine the appropriate sources to double-check the claims in this article (and find out how much is canon and how much is fanon).

Thanks for suggesting this. I think liches are a great way to bring forward plotlines from lost civilisations.
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Re: Arcane Age play in Anok-Imaskar

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:25 am

Big Mac wrote: Forgotten Realms Wiki has an Ambuchar Devayam article (they say that Tan-Chin was Ambuvhar Devayam's previous name. Sadly, the article is flagged because the person who write it didn't add any citations to show where they took the various factlets from. (There may well be a lot of fanon in there.)
Ambuchar Devayam is from the series of adventures that supported The Horde boxed set, apparently (Black Courser, Storm Riders, Blood Charge).

It looks like he lived about 600 years after the fall of Anok-Imaskar.
Given that Rip said that The Grand History of the Realms was where Anok-Imaskar was created,
I don't know if this is the case. I looked in the Horde and Kara-Tur boxed sets but didn't check the modules or Lost Empires of Faerun.
I like this "Dust of the Red Earth" thing. I wonder if that could be some sort of "Realms shattering event" that blasted the Kara-Tur area before the rise of the Shou Lung nation.
It could refer to the cataclysm that transformed the Imaskari empire into a desert.
Perhaps Anok-Imaskar was a nation that covered some of the eastern areas of what was Imaskar and some of the western areas of Kara-Tur.
It included what is now modern Shou Lung, plus Ra-Khati and Katakoro, which had been part of the Imaskari Empire.

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Re: Arcane Age play in Anok-Imaskar

Post by ripvanwormer » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:06 am

ripvanwormer wrote:I don't know if this is the case. I looked in the Horde and Kara-Tur boxed sets but didn't check the modules or Lost Empires of Faerun.
For what it's worth, I can't find any mention of Anok-Imaskar in either the modules or Lost Empires of Faerun.
Big Mac wrote:I'm not sure of the references to Tan-Chin having artifacts from Anok-Imaskar.
What the text actually says is that Tan Chin discovered Imaskari artifacts in the ruins of Thakos. Thakos had once been the capital of the eastern Imaskari Empire, then it became the capital of Anok Imaskari, and finally it became the capital of Ra-Khati.

But they were Imaskari artifacts, not Anok-Imaskari artifacts.

Anok-Imaskar lasted from -2487 to -1943 DR.

Tan Chin's mortal lifetime is given in Grand History of the Realms, which states he assumed the throne of Shou Lung in -1377 DR and was driven from his throne in -1289 DR.
Big Mac wrote:I wonder if Anok-Imaskar might have predated The Dragonwall. Perhaps The Dragonwall helped cut off the Imaskari parts of Anok-Imaskar from the Shou parts.
No, the Dragonwall was created in -1365 DR, during Tan Chin's reign. Tan Chin created it, along with his friend Kar Wuan, using the Jade Mirror to transform the dragon into the wall. Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms states the purpose was to keep the horse barbarians out of Shou Lung.

Ra-Khati isn't really an "Imaskari part," since culturally it's basically Tibet (complete with a Dalai Lama).

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