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[Nation] The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:10 pm
by Chimpman
Well, I stumbled on a project that I had started several years ago and then never finished. I figured I should post what I had here. Hopefully in doing so it will give me a little more incentive to finish it up.




Mistress Kerghyd


Society Government Religion Locations Foreign Lands Foreign Relations Magic

Adventure Ideas

NPCs References

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:11 pm
by Chimpman
Mystara 2300 BC



“The Moadreg are a proud people, you must never forget that. My grandfather’s father told the tale of the Reckoning, when the elves betrayed Blackmoor and tried to destroy the earth. My grandfather’s father survived that day… we survived. Gathering up what knowledge we could, we rebuilt our world. The Wasting came, and yet we endured. It forced us from our primal lands and still we thrive. Now, here, on this new continent we will regain our former glory.

“Never forget what we lost during the Reckoning, when fire rained down upon our heads. Though we saved many of the old secrets, we lost still more. Our fathers knew this well and many of them despaired… but here in this land we can see how great our victory actually was! The creatures around us, who claim to be civilized, see how far they have sunk in comparison. They are like animals to us.

“And yet… their numbers are great, while ours continue to diminish. Yes, it is true. The Wasting still claims us… see my hand, it is crumpled and twisted. My left eye is cloudy and gray. And still with all of my frailties am I not greater than any of these animals surrounding us? That is what it means to be Moadreg.

“Now, be attentive! Your countenance is important, both when dealing with your own kind as well as with others. Mark my words well, young one. You are always being watched. Act accordingly. Not only must you maintain an air of superiority and power over the lesser races, but you must also be mindful of the other holdfasts. Each holdfast seeks to increase their prestige in the eyes of the First house… and sometimes they will do this at the expense of one of the other holdfasts.


Mystara BC 2300 is a time of immense upheaval. Just 700 years after the destruction of Blackmoor, the catastrophe is still fresh in the minds of those who survived. The Great Rain of Fire is still remembered (firsthand by some of the longer lived races such as the elves) and its effects are still felt across the world. Although the Great Rain of Fire’s destruction was beyond compare, its aftereffects were just as violent. Those that survived were subjected to the wasting disease. Life became painfully short as the flesh literally wasted away from the bones.

There were ways to fight the Wasting (as it was called) else none would have survived at all. The forerunners of the Taymorans turned to necromantic magics and entropic immortals in order to sustain themselves. The most powerful individuals sustained themselves with the life force of others, many of them becoming vampires and nosferatu. Others embraced lichdom.

The southern elves had a schism over a debate about whether to return to the old ways of the immortals, or to continue seeking solace form Blackmoorian technologies. Those who shunned Blackmoor left their brethren and migrated northward. With the help of the immortals it is said that they found ways to contain the Wasting, and even to remove it from the environment around them.

The dwarves of Skothar had no such dilemma. To them Blackmoorian technology had become a way of life, and there was no question about shunning it. They continued to use Blackmoorian technology, and their numbers continued to dwindle. During their struggle for survival they discovered a new form of magic. Radiomancy they called it, and it was more powerful than any magic they had ever known before. The Radiomancers worked great miracles to save their people from the Wasting, and for a time they even succeeded. In the end they did more harm than good however, as their newfound powers tapped into the forces that were actually the cause of the Wasting disease. It seems strange that they did not discover this fact (for nearly every other race that had dealings with them knew, or at least guessed at it), but perhaps their lust for power blinded them to it. Wherever the dwarves went, they were shunned and persecuted by all around them and their numbers continued to dwindle.

Giants and humanoids fared the best during these times. The giants seemed to be immune to the Wasting, while the humanoids actually seemed to thrive under it. Giant nations sprung up filling the void when human and elven nations crumbled. The humanoids increased in number (and in species) and spread destruction wherever they went.

In the year 2300 BC many of these forces converged on the southeastern tip of Brun (what would 3000 years later become known as the Known World). The Taymoran city states were emerging as a major power. Though they spent many of the previous centuries fighting amongst one another it was during this time period that their powers began to coalesce. City states were merging to form larger nations, and their influence was spreading.

The order brought to the world by the Taymorans, was not a pleasant thing however. Their rule was often violent and bloody, and few foreign nations could stomach having the undead as neighbors. The giant nations of inner Brun fought with the Taymorans for territory. So too did the Azcan tribes (broken since the fall of Blackmoor) as well as scattered remnants of the reptilian kingdom.

Elven merchants frequented the ports of Brun bringing exotic goods and the news of southern lands. In actuality these merchants were the forerunners of the elven migration and were seeking lands that they could claim as their own. The elven merchants made themselves an indispensable power in southern Brun. To those who would listen they also offered the promise of a cure. They claimed that they could rid the land of the Wasting through ancient magical rites taught to them by the immortals.

Dwarves began to appear in the northern mountain ranges. They led vast slave armies composed of giants and humanoids, and poured out of the mountains looking for riches and gold. Rumors were that the dwarves were fleeing even more armies of giants and goblin-kin, and perhaps elves as well, but none could say if those rumors were true. Dragons would descend upon their holdfasts, and so would the elves, but even though the dwarves were few in number, they were strong in the ways of magic. Time and time again they would defend their territories, even gaining some in the bargain.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:20 pm
by Seer of Yhog
Interesting - more, please! :D

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:17 pm
by Havard

This sounds a bit like my Years of Fire campaign outline.

Also, it would tie in quite well with some of the ideas from James Mishler's History of the Isle of Dawn. I particularly enjoyed James' tales of Thinker and Laughing Axe from that timeline.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next! :)


Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:32 pm
by Chimpman
Havard wrote:Cool!

This sounds a bit like my Years of Fire campaign outline.
Hehe... I thought exactly the same thing when I read the outline ;). Actually this dates back to (I'm ashamed to say) probably 2003, when myself, Guilio, Giampaolo, and others were talking about setting campaigns in different eras in Mystara's history. Although James Mishler's work undoubtedly colors some of what I've done, I think my own work will tie in closer to Giampaolo's Taymora gaz. Finding this old work was also one of the things that got me excited about doing maps (Taymora 2300 BC)in that time period as well.

Timelines and Races are on the way, with Government being close to done. After that things are less finished.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:40 am
by RobJN
Wow. Great flavor!

My head has been so stuck in either Blackmoor or the 1000 AC "present day" that it never really occurred to me to set adventures (or even a whole campaign) during another era "in between."

I look forward to seeing what all you've developed.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:02 pm
by Chimpman
Thanks guys! I have to admit that I really like this era and I'd love to be able to get to additional nations/cultures. First I need to finish this one up though ;)

Oh, and there's a cookie around here somewhere for anyone who guesses my inspiration for the Moadreg (outside of Gaz 6 of course). It may become more apparent as I post more.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:05 pm
by Chimpman

BC 3000 - The current Known World is in its Ice Age. The Blackmoor world, in the far northeast, comes to an abrupt end: Some Blackmoor devices explode, causing the Great Rain of Fire, shifting the planet's axis. Blackmoor becomes the north pole and its civilization disappears. One of the devices is located in the Broken Lands (see module X1). The world slowly becomes habitable as ice recedes from the region.
Gaz6 - pg 45

The polar shift changes the climate drastically for the colony of Brunian dwarves (ancestors of the Kogolor), thrusting their civilization into a wintry turmoil almost overnight. The Brunian dwarves struggle to find food and shelter in an increasingly hostile environment. To make matters worse black clouds blot out the sun, and disease ridden winds sweep across the Jaenif Sea.

Seeking to evade the Wasting disease caused by the Great Rain of Fire, the elven colonists on Brun retreat into caves. Over the next several decades they will traverse farther and farther into the depths of Mystara in order to escape a grim fate. Life underground is hard for the elves. Several clans devolve into degenerate cave dwellers - barbarians little better than animals. Other clans, in order to preserve their society, turn to dark entities for sustenance. These clans will eventually become the Deep Elves.

BC 2990 - Civilizations across the entire face of the planet stagger after the destruction of Blackmoor, and many of them falter. Hardest hit were those nations closest to the disaster on Skothar and Brun. To make matters worse a strange rotting disease slowly kills many of the survivors.

The Brunian dwarves realize they can no longer survive in their current homeland. Their elders plead with the immortals to show them a means of deliverance.

A few clans of dwarves living in northern Skothar manage to survive, although their civilization is shattered. Giants and humanoids proliferate, both being strangely immune to the wasting disease.

BC 2986 - A young Brunian dwarf, by the name of Lugett Yardrak, begins recieving visions from the immortals. Comforting him, a great being of light promises that Lugett will one day be the savior of his people, and will remove the pall of the Wasting from around their necks. The being urges Lugett to gather supporters and follow the eastern coast of Brun southward where they will be given a home to dwell.

BC 2985 - The Brunian dwarves find themselves beset by tribes of beastmen and cold loving giants. Several of their crumbling settlements are destroyed and the dwarves are forced to flee for their lives into the wilderness. With the guidance of his immortal parton, Lugett organizes a miraculous victory and drives off the savages.

BC 2977 - The dwarves under Lugett begin to skirt the coast of eastern Brun in search for a home. Their numbers dwindle as they compete for ever shrinking territory with local tribes of giants, beastmen, and the remnants of elven civilization in the area. In desperation they continue to move southward.

BC 2954 - Still following his visions, Lugett leads his followers to the promised land in the Wyrmsteeth Mountains of Norwold, and brokers a deal with the gnomes already living there. Both peoples have similar mindsets and complimentary societies and they work together to salvage their civilization after the catastrophe nearly 50 years previous.

BC 2950 - Despite having found a home, the Brunian dwarves continue to decline due to sickness. The Wasting claims dwarves from all walks of life, from young to old. Their cousins on Skothar fare even worse, and increasingly turn to the practices of radiomancy and golemworks in order to survive.

Peoples elsewhere on Mystara do not fare much better.
Even the far flung elves in Vulcania are beginning to feel the Wasting's effects. As the populace wears thin many people become desperate to save themselves and turn to ever more drastic measures.

BC 2874 - Foul winds continue to blow from across the seas, bringing sickness to the dwarves whenever they come. Lugett recieves more visions telling him that his people's salvation lies deep in the mountains, beneath the caverns of the gnomes. He spends the next several decades writing his visions down and studying them extensively.

BC 2853 - Lugett begins his quest, travelling into the depths of the world. He leaves all of his notes behind to his son Kardrof, and is never seen again.

BC 2800 - Elves on Vulcania divide on the issue of magic verses technology, with the returnists migrating to the northern continent. The surviving Thonians on southern Brun turn to dark magic and entropic immortals. In order to escape the death of their culture, they turn to the embrace of undeath. Powerful wizards and clerics accept the Embrace of Blood (vampirism) in order to sustain themselves.

In Skothar, dwarven wizards cling tight to their faith in Blackmoorian technology and devise ways to combat the wasting disease.

BC 2749 - Having studied his father's visions, Kardrof Yardrak, along with several of his companions, set off to journey deep within the Wyrmsteeth Mountains. Their kin, weakened by the Wasting, sink into despair, sure that they will never see their loved ones again. Nevertheless they allow the brave adventurers to choose their own fate.

BC 2743 - After nearly six years of wandering through dark tunnels, Kardrof Yardrak and his companions find what they seek, although not what they expected. They stumble upon a city of Deep Elves far below the surface. The inhabitants seem to expect the arrival of the dwarves and are gracious hosts. Both races have struggled with the Wasting over the centuries since the Great Rain of Fire, and they have much in common. Kardrof vows to learn all he can from the elves.

BC 2723 - Kardrof's expedition returns from the depths of the mountains, although Kardrof is not with them. His companions are hale and healthy, and bring with them secrets for combating the Wasting. The teachings and faith of the Deep Elves is slowly dispersed through the dwarven population, while their origins are kept secret.

BC 2650 - Although the Skotharian dwarves make some progress in fighting the wasting disease they realize that they are loosing the battle. It is generally believed that they have remained too close to the site of the disaster. The dwarves resolve to leave their homeland in search of a less deadly abode.

BC 2602 - The Moadreg cross over the Bridge of Oost and begin exploring the new lands of Brun.

BC 2600 - Dwarves settle in the Norwold area and begin to build an empire. Although their numbers continue to dwindle they are able to subjugate tribes of humanoids and giant-kin with their superior arcane power. Despite moving a great distance from their homeland, the wasting disease still plagues them and many of their sorcerers unknowingly exacerbate the situation by practicing the arts of Radiomancy. Radiomancy is becoming ingrained into their society, as the dwarves use its magic to power their spells as well as their creations. Many wizards still make an annual pilgrimage to their homeland, where their magic is strongest.

Throughout most of the rest of the world, the effects of the wasting disease lessen. It can still be felt (especially in Brun), but slowly populations are beginning to grow again.

BC 2576 - Rafiel takes an interest in the Moadreg and prompts them to begin building a wondrous artifact on the Bridge of Oost called the Gate of Light. Dwarven radiomancers break their traditional seclusion and form a community around the artifact.

BC 2550 - The Moadreg conflicts with their neighbors intensifies. Giants, elves, even dragons in the area, take an immediate disliking to the plague bearing dwarves. Some of the giant tribes begin to work together to repel the new invaders.

In an effort to prevail against their enemies, the dwarves make dark pacts with beings of other worlds.

The dwarves also start massive breeding programs which eventually lead to the creation of the Kobold (which means “ours” in the Kogolor tongue) species.

BC 2500 – The continental ice sheets recede allowing the Moadreg and their allies to fall back into currently unclaimed territories south of Norwold.

BC 2473 - Dranwyrf unites the clans and makes a final stand in the Makkres Mountains against the giant and elven hordes persecuting his people. The combined strength of the dwarves crushes their enemies like copper on an anvil. Dranwyrf is named First King of the Shimmering Lands and the site of the battle becomes Drangyr, the first gatherhold of the Moadreg.

BC 2400 - Massive volcanic eruptions in Vulcania destroy the elvish civilizations on that continent and send gouts of black ash swirling into the atmosphere. The resulting clouds plunge the world into decades of darkness and despair as the climate shifts and hunger and death plague the lands.

The beastmen of the frozen north begin to breed true and start exploring the more desirable territories to the south. The tribes gather at Urzud.

BC 2350 - Most of the Taymoran nobility has now joined the ranks of the undead under the tutelage of the original Nosferatu.

BC 2319 - Construction on the Gate of Light is completed and the Moadreg now have a permanent gateway connecting to their ancestral lands. The power of the radiomancers grows and the wasting sickness begins to reach out from Moadreg lands to other territories.

BC 2300 - The Blighted Lands begin to seep through the Gate of Light and spread across the Bridge of Oost. Elves appear sailing white ships from the south, and begin to trade with Taymora.

This is the present day for the Mystara 2300 BC campaign setting.

Future Events

BC 2200 - Over the next hundred years the Taymoran empire reaches the height of its power. The Sheyallia elves migrate to the area and are offered the lands in the east, giant and Antalian clans are brought to submission, and the necromancer kings begin to extend their power beyond the borders of the Known World. In addition the Taymorans begin breeding programs that will eventually lead to the creation of several new races including lycanthropes and the Albarendi.

BC 1800 - The dwarves have been completely decimated by a combination of internal plagues (spurred on by their use of the radiance) and external conflicts. Those dwarves who finally turn from the wicked ways of their ancestors are taken by Kagyar and fashioned into a new breed – one that is resistant to the dangers of the radiance. Those who are overlooked by Kagyar become the Moulder Dwarves, the Mordrigswerg. They are broken and scattered and for generations are mistakenly considered to have been destroyed by their brethren.

BC 1700 - A series of catastrophes, both natural and artificial, shatter the Known World and send a large portion of its southern lands, including Taymora, beneath the waves.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:10 pm
by Chimpman

Many races inhabit the depths of the Shimmering Lands. Natives, immigrants, and even former slaves all live together under a common umbrella. With the Wasting disease spreading and their neighbors growing more and more hostile, the inhabitants of the Shimmering Lands must overcome their differences if they are to survive.

The dwarves first journeyed to Norwold over the Ostland land bridge from the Dawn Lands. Forced to leave their native lands by the dreaded Wasting, a disease that slowly eats away mind, body, and soul, the dwarves have only recently found a new home to call their own. Initially claiming the colder northern realms of Brun, the dwarves have been fighting a loosing battle with the native inhabitants of that realm, mostly tribes of elves and giant-kin. Finally driven to desperation the disparate clans have begun to combine their efforts in defense of their new lands and are beginning to hold their own.

Most dwarves prefer to live quiet and isolated lives in secluded estates hidden in the wilderness. Those that cannot be masters of their own domains swear fealty to those that can. Even so, the population that makes up dwarven estates is only a fraction of the total. Dwarves who are underprivileged and unlucky enough not to have the money or means for solitude end up living in the few scattered cities of the Shimmering Lands.

Dwarven culture is not monolithic, but instead made up of several varied beliefs that have meshed together throughout the years as different dwarven clans merged throughout the long pilgrimage that brought them to Brun. One thing that they all have in common though is the dreaded Wasting disease. It is a plague brought with them from their ancestral lands in Skothar and affects all dwarves in some shape or form. The most common manifestation of the Wasting is physical deformities, though mental deterioration often takes hold in older generations as well.

Giantkin (Half-Giants)
Magical experiments and breeding programs of the dwarves have created a race of hardy and obedient servants. Although still large, the giantkin do not tower over the smaller races as their ancestors did and kin to the north still do to this day. Giantkin stand 8 to 10 feet tall with corded muscles throughout their bodies.

Though many of their kin remain slaves to the dwarves, a few of their number have been granted their freedom and have chosen to remain in the Shimmering Lands, to eek out their own existence. This commonly occurs with the demise of their current master, as few dwarves are concerned enough with the fate of one of their fellow’s slaves (being concerned more with the fate of their own slaves) to reestablish mastery. Many giantkin end up in the few organized settlements scattered throughout the Shimmering Lands. Although they hold little love for dwarves, they find that gnomes are tolerable enough and often get along well with the smaller creatures.

Gnomes migrated to these lands from the frozen northwest. Those that have settled in Moadreg lands are treated as near equals by the dwarves. The gnomes are hardy and can endure the harsh conditions of the world, and as such they take on all societal roles that the dwarves either shun or are unable to perform.

Many swear fealty to one of the dwarven Houses and serve them directly, though most gnomes are content to live on the surface of the land, beholden to the dwarves but for the most part left largely to their own devices. In fact gnomes hold many positions of prominence in the Shimmering Lands and are largely responsible for keeping the country cohesive. They are the merchants, tradesmen, and administrators of the country.

Like the dwarves, gnomish culture is a union created from several different tribes. Unlike the dwarvish culture however there are many commonalities between the tribes that bring the gnomes closer together. Gnomes tend to enjoy the company of their peers, and often work together – even when a single gnome is enough to accomplish the task at hand. The gnomes of the Shimmering Lands also hold a singular distinction, of all of the (flesh and blood) races in Brun, the gnomes are the only one that has proven resistant to the Wasting. Whether this is a cause of their fey heritage or some other factor is unknown.

Shade (Ghostwalk)
These creatures hail from the Gate of Light, and from the Blighted Lands beyond. While at times they can appear substantial, they are in fact mere shades of living dwarves. Many are ancestors of the dwarves who first began the migration to Brun, but did not make it to their promised land.

Drawn to the radiance in all of its forms, shades require that magical substance in order to survive. With the radiance nearby, shades take on a more solid existence and can interact with their surroundings just as well as the truly living can. As the power of the radiance fades, so too do shades, becoming little more than insubstantial shadows. Despite this, they are valued members of society. Shades are revered and consulted as oracles in some communities. Their ties to the past make them excellent guides for the future.

Soulbound (Warforged)
The soulbound appear to be constructs made of stone, metal, and even sometimes pieces of wood and other materials. Often they are shaped in the likeness of a great dwarf warrior or mage and are encrusted with jewels and precious metals of all kinds. These are living constructs, that have been imbued with the soul of a Moadreg dwarf whose body was too weak or frail to continue its existence on its own.

All soulbound bodies have one thing in common, a large centralized crystal, most often embedded in their torso, which is the receptacle for housing the dwarven soul. The transference process is difficult, and many dwarves lose their memories once placed into their new bodies, at least for the short term. In some cases, over time, a soulbound may come to remember its former life, but most often they continue in their new existence without much thought for the past.

Every hundred years a soulbound must be infused with the power of the Radiance, or it will cease to function. Unknown to the dwarves, each time this is done, a portion of the soulbound’s soul is consumed. Over time this loss of soul leads to increasingly chaotic behavior and eventually insanity.

The results of unions between dwarves and other worldly creatures, tieflings have become more prominent in the Shimmering Lands, especially in locales where Yardrak dwarves hold sway. In many instances these tieflings are nearly indistinguishable from other dwarves, especially considering the heavy and concealing clothing that most dwarves wear.

Although tieflings of the Shimmering Lands may have the appearances of their dwarven brethren, their outlook on life is very different. Of all the dwarf-kin, tieflings are by far the most social, even rivaling the cooperative behavior of the gnomes. Unfortunately for those around them, most tieflings are less altruistic than their gnome neighbors. Though some are able to overcome the urges of their heritage, most are thoroughly and unrepentantly evil.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:53 pm
by Chimpman

Although individual aspirations may differ all Moadreg are creatures driven by ambition. They strive to attain pinnacle achievements in whatever field it is that they pursue, be that arcane craftsmanship, mastery of the Radiance, or besting fiends in the art of pact-making. During the pursuit of these goals the one thing that Moadreg despise the most is interruption. Thus they spend a great deal of preparation time making sure that their estates are running smoothly, and that all of their needs will be taken care of at the slightest whim. Servants, both magical and mundane exist on the estate with one purpose, to serve and to be seen as little as possible.

Estates can be quite large, sometimes encompassing dozens of miles, both above and below the ground, with the more remote estates being the most desirable. Neighboring estates are rarely ever closer than a dozen miles from one another (preferably with dense wilderness in between) and usually belong to close family. When the need arises a dwarf will send his servants to communicate with his neighbors. They may cooperate in order to organize common defenses, extract suitable taxes from surrounding populations, and occasionally combine their efforts on some mystical project. It is a grave need indeed however, that will actually bring the dwarves together in person.

Moadreg do marry and raise families, although it is not uncommon for a husband and wife to retain their own independent estates in addition to a familial one. It is common practice to spend only enough time together as is required to start a family. Children are usually left in the care of servants on the family estate while their parents retire back to the confines of their own domains. Once children reach adulthood they are expected to provide for themselves and either establish estates of their own or to take control of an existing one (vacant or otherwise). It is not uncommon for a vacant Moadreg estate to go unnoticed for an extended period of time. It is an unfortunate fact of life that the Moadreg are sickly people, and often a dwarf will succumb to illness and not be missed by his peers for several decades.

Most dwarves prefer to live solitary lives, though few actually view themselves as ever being truly alone. Not all dwarves are lucky, or powerful, enough to maintain their own estates. Those who cannot attain their own private domains, live in more cosmopolitan communities throughout Moadreg territory. These towns and villages house the middle class of Moadreg culture, the artisans, merchants, and skilled laborers required to make any advanced society run. Other races find themselves living alongside their more reclusive neighbors in such communities, with gnomes making up the majority. Unlike their dwarven counterparts, the Moadreg gnomes are very outgoing and have a strong sense of community.

Though dwarven clans are often referred to, they represent a common ancestry and pattern of beliefs, more than they do any social or political structure.

NOTE: This section needs to be cleaned up a bit. My original intention was to have the term Moadreg refer to the dwarven inhabitants of this land (a precursor to the word Mordrigswerg). In some instances I use it also to refer to other races (most notably gnomes). I haven't decided yet whether the term should apply to any citizen of the country or simply just to the dwarves, though I'm leaning toward the former.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:34 pm
by Chimpman

The Shimmering Lands are governed by two major bodies. The Elder Conclave is the smaller of the two, composed entirely of dwarves from the most ancient of Moadreg houses. A semi-secretive organization, the Conclave is mostly uninterested in the daily routined needed to keep the country running, instead focusing its attention on foreign affairs. The Golden Parliment is larger, dominated mostly by gnomes and dwarves from less prestigious houses. The Parliment concerns itself with all of the internal operations in the Shimmering Lands.

Elder Conclave
Formed after battle at Drangyr, by Dranwyrf himself, the Conclave meets infrequently, and then only to discuss matters mostly related to foriegn affairs. The Conclave has control over the Shimmering Lands military whose generals report directly to one of its members. Power within the Elder Conclave is determined by how much of the military reports to an individual member.

The Elder Conclave may also make decrees to the Golden Parliment on issues germain to the running of the internal government, however most of these are concerend with upholding the sanctity and privacy of dwarven estates. Other matters are beyond the Conclave's notice.

The Conclave is currently made up of seven members, three from Clan Felweg (Dranwyrf Korrskill - the Leading Elder, Engdyr Heldfyst, and Kyrreh Drashmehr), two from Clan Yardrak (Aynmegk Yardrak, and Lhenty Ghorrash) and two from Clan Karlheig (Gherihk Gyrbain, and Urrigh Wanwyrf).

The Golden Parliment
The Golden Parliment is made up mostly of gnomes and does most of the hands on work of running the nation. They interpret the edicts handed down by the Elder Conclave by enacting laws, as well as running the organizations dedicated to enforcing them.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:12 pm
by Chimpman

Belnos (Asterius)
Patron of Trade and Money, Patron of Communication, Protector of Merchants and Thieves
Level, Alignment and Sphere: 25th (Eternal, NG), Thought
Symbol: a silver coin
Portfolio: trade, profit, communication, travel, cleverness, merchants, thieves

A remnant of old Blackmoorian faiths, Belnos is worshiped mostly by gnomes and the lesser classes in the Shimmering Lands. He shares a grudging mutual respect with Kagyar as both are distrustful of the technomantic devices that destroyed Blackmoor. Belnos is venerated mostly by gnomes, but is gaining a substantial following with giant-kin as well. His main concern is the preservation of aspects of Blackmoorian culture while at the same time purging from it all traces of the technology that caused the Great Rain of Fire.

Angrboda (Demogorgon)
(The Bane of Souls, The Dark Lady)
Patroness of Corruption and Diseases, Patroness of Witchery
Level, Alignment, Sphere: 30 (Eternal), CE, Entropy
Symbol: a black pentacle on red field
Portfolio: witchery, diseases, corruption, destruction

Angrboda is always worshiped in her female aspect within the Shimmering Lands and never as his male aspect. The Moadreg despise undeath, viewing its embrace as a weakness, and often look down their noses at cultures like Taymora where it is practiced. Angrboda is thus not associated with undeath, though she is often associated with disease and corruption (and prayed to as an appeal against the Wasting).

Angrboda has gained a foothold in dwarven society and is not letting go. Many houses appealed to her to deliver them from their enemies circa BC 2400, and she responded by sending her minions to augment the dwarven armies - a move that was instrumental in their subsequent successes. She knows that radiomancy is the cause of the Wasting, and plans to use her followers to bring its corruption to all corners of the world.

Garal Glitterlode
Patron of Gnomes, Patron of Invention and Crafts, Supreme Technician
Level, Alignment, Sphere: 12th (Temporal), CG, Matter
Symbol: A gold coin; or two joined cogs
Portfolio: Gnomes, inventions, science, mechanics, crafts, thinkers

One of the major deities of the gnomes, Garal and Belnos share some similar interests, although Garal is more permissive on the issue of technology. Like Belnos, Garal is also venerated mostly by the gnomish population. Unlike Belnos, Garal is less concerned about the preservation of Blackmoorian culture, and more concerned about the preservation of its knowledge and technology - including the secrets that caused the Great Rain of Fire.

Patron of Dwarves, Patron of Craftsmen, Protector of Miners
Level, Alignment, Sphere: 28th (Eternal), N, Matter
Symbol: hammer and chisel crossed
Portfolio: dwarves, crafts, metallurgy, sculpture, knowledge, miners

Kagyar is a new addition to the Moadreg pantheon and as such only has a minimal following in the Shimmering Lands. Many of those who follow him publicly proselytize the coming end of the world and are seen as misfits and troublemakers. He preaches a return to pre-Blackmoorian ways and shuns the use of the radiance. Kagyar is aware of the Dreamer, although he is unsure what its exact nature is. He opposes that entity at every chance he is given.

(Father Time)
Keeper of the Gates of Time, Patron of History and Philosophy
Level, Alignment, Sphere: 36th (Hierarch), N, Time
Symbol: an hourglass or a water clock
Portfolio: flow of time, wisdom, history, philosophy, good government, patience, persuasion, diplomacy

Khoronus is one of the old Blackmoorian immortals, and as such he is given lip service by many in the Shimmering Lands, however true worship of this immortal is fading. Gnomes find him hard to fathom, and many dwarves simply don't have the time or patience for him. When the battle of Drangyr was won with the help of entropic immortals many turned from Khoronus toward other pursuits.

(Oruguz, The Goat, The Black Prince)
Lord of Demons, Patron of Violence
Level, Alignment, Sphere: 25 (Eternal), CE, Entropy
Symbol: a goat's head with ram horns

Although the lord of undead, Orcus is never worshiped as such in the Shimmering Lands. His faith originated with lycanthropic refugees from Taymora, and slowly infiltrated its way into many prominent merchant houses. As with Angrboda, worship in Orcus swelled circa BC 2400 when desperate dwarves turned to him for deliverance and succor.

The Dreamer (Rafiel)
Patron of Science
Level, Alignment, Sphere: 21 (Empyreal), LG, Energy
Symbol: a book with a star on its cover
Portfolio: radiance, magical and scientific knowledge

On the edge of true senscience, the Dreamer is barely aware of its surroundings. Drawn to the radiance in all forms, those who revere the Dreamer,mostly radiomancers and practitioners of ancient Blackmoorian arts, perceive it as a force of nature that guides them in their chosen craft. Although lacking true self awareness, the Dreamer often finds itself at odds with many other immortals in the area, most notably Kagyar and Belnos.

The Dreamer is most active on the Bridge of Oost near the Gates of Light. Many radiomancers claim to hear imperceptible whisperings from the Dreamer when the Gates open each year. Some say that the whisperings grow stronger and more perceptible with each subsequent year.

Patroness of Fate, Keeper of the Future
Level, Alignment, Sphere: 17th (Celestial), N, Entropy
Symbol: a head of a woman with a black veil that hides the face
Portfolio: future, fate, death, divination, visions

An obscure immortal, Skuld owes her worship in the Shimmering Lands to the morbid curiosity that many dwarves have about the future. This curiosity most certainly stems from their survival of the Great Rain of Fire, and a desire to prevent such a catastrophe from ever happening again, or at least weathering it if is preordained. Whatever purpose Skuld has for the Moadreg is her own secret.

Patroness of the Kopru, The One Who Waits In Ambush
Level, Alignment, Sphere: 15th (Celestial), NE, Energy
Symbol: an eye with a hypnotic spiral at the center
Portfolio: kopru, domination of the weak, power, corruption

An alien entity, some say that Slizzark is only worshiped by the insane. This may be true, though none can doubt the impact that her followers have had in defense of the Shimmering Lands. She is revered by many in Clan Karlheig, who view her dogma of domination as an analogy for dwarven rule over the rest of the world. Slizzark often sends kopru and other minions to act as her mouthpiece to her Moadreg followers. Although never particularly interested in dwarven followers, Slizzark never passes up an opportunity to exert her own form of domination over others.

Patron of Power and War, Patron of Fire
Level, Alignment, Sphere: 32 (Hierarch), NE, Energy
Symbol: a burning pit
Portfolio: power, conquest, fire and fire creatures, darkness, war, destruction

Only a minor dwarven deity before Blackmoor's fall, Zugzul has risen to the premier immortal in the Moadreg's pantheon since the Great Rain of Fire. Driven from their homeland by that catastrophe, the Moadreg have needed to fight for every inch of land that they now claim. Their neighbors despise them, blaming them for the dreaded Wasting disease that afflicts the world. On one side they are beset by giants and barbarians, and on the other by the undead plague of Taymora. This is the world that the Moadreg live in, and this is the world in which Zugzul thrives.

Zugzul can hardly be said to have the dwarves best interest at heart. He promotes the expansion of the Wasting because it foments unrest in the Shimmering Land's neighbors, and is probably one of the Dreamer's biggest silent supporters. He is the architect of every major conflict that the Moadreg have gotten into over the past 500 years, and shows no sign of stopping. Either his chosen people will emerge from his forge victorious, or they will become fuel for hotter fires.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:55 am
by RobJN
Great stuff, I really love the tone you're setting with this material.

Have you a map of this setting, so's I can wrap my head around what's where?

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:58 am
by Chimpman
RobJN wrote:Great stuff, I really love the tone you're setting with this material.

Have you a map of this setting, so's I can wrap my head around what's where?
Sure, but keep in mind that this is a work in progress and truth be told I'm no where near happy with the map yet.

So what you are seeing is a modification based off of one of Thorf's KW maps, with input from other sources, namely maps of the Taymoran era done by people like GP, Geoff Gander, and James Mishler.

This first map is of Mystara (KW region) in BC 2300. The main differences that you can see are an extension (eastward) of present day Ylaruam, the absence of the Land of Black Sands in Ethengar, a land bridge that stretches from the KW through the Norther Reaches and connects to the Isle of Dawn, and various other changes involving lakes and rivers and such (which are totally incomplete).

The land bridge I'm calling the Bridge of Oost (from which Oostland will be derived in later centuries), and I make reference to that in various places in previous posts. That gray portion on the Bridge of Oost is the area around the Gate of Light, and the location from which the Wasting disease is centered. The idea is that as the dwarves gain in power the radiance extends further and further into neighboring lands. This will eventually be the downfall of the dwarves as their neighbors finally band together to destroy them.


I'm thinking that the Shimmering Lands (Moadreg territory) will start somewhere in mid Ethengar and cover present day Rockhome, Northern Reaches, across the Bridge of Oost and onto the Isle of Dawn (but not too far inland). The southern extent will be the border with present day Ylaruam, which in BC 2300 is Mogreth (lizardman) territory. The northern border of Taymora is below that. North of the shimmering lands is inhabited by giant tribes and elves, and portions of the IoD may be as well. West across Ethengar is the humanoid kingdom/city of Urzud.

I'm also including a map of the same region in BC 1000 for comparison. The shorelines here should look much more familiar.


I'll provide maps with actual borders and other locations labeled once I'm closer to completion.

EDIT: The above map images have been updated to account for some of the issues already discussed.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:30 am
by yellowdingo
Its a brilliant idea.

However I recomend a MegaCity/Capital which will sit over the Site which for future Ethengar becomes Black Wasteland. I think you have here a Blackmoorean Reactor?/Fold Engine which is ultimately corrupted and Takes the city in a "Volcanic erruption" from the Sphere of Entropy.

Megacity Population (179,200): That is 35,000+ families living on one acre properties in a Massive 4 mile radius city with a subterranean "Reactor", ect.

That city might sit at the time might sit on the coast as a port which means you need to bring the sea in a little.

An erruption of Enthropy suggests that any New Mountains at the fringe will have been errected to prevent the subterranean spread of what is only limited in area on the surface. So consider the Plains of Ethengar (AC1000) to be a cover over Enthropy that has corrupted the SUbterranean realm out to the limits. - The Enthropy kills the forest/Swampy bayou that occupies the region - The dwarves have settled here in the wilderness to Bulid a civilization?

Rockhome as a lake that feeds the swamp of Ylarum is an idea. When the Enthropy undermines the Ethengar side of the lake wall the Lake Drains below the spill level required to supply ylarum.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:23 pm
by Chimpman
Thanks dingo! You've provided me with quite a few ideas.
yellowdingo wrote:However I recomend a MegaCity/Capital which will sit over the Site which for future Ethengar becomes Black Wasteland. I think you have here a Blackmoorean Reactor?/Fold Engine which is ultimately corrupted and Takes the city in a "Volcanic erruption" from the Sphere of Entropy.
We're thinking along very similar lines here, though with regard to the Moadreg I want to shy away from mega cities. The dwarves (though not the gnomes and others) are modeled after Azimov's Solarians who tend to be slightly anti social and as solitary as circumstances will allow. But I will say that there is something under that mountain (probably Blackmoorian in nature) and there are dwarves there, and more likely than not they will be the cause of the formation of the Land of Black Sands ;)
That city might sit at the time might sit on the coast as a port which means you need to bring the sea in a little.
This is also a really great idea. Most of the coastal modifications have been expansions, but there is no reason that we can't have some contractions here and there. I'm sure that the volcanic forces in the KW that caused the sinking of Taymora would have been putting vast amounts of pressure on Mystara's mantle, very likely deforming it in many ways. This could account for a pre-1700 BC valley/bay in that region - especially if the World Mountain is volcanic in nature. I'm going to have to go back to my Ethengar Gaz and double check if anything there could support that.
An erruption of Enthropy suggests that any New Mountains at the fringe will have been errected to prevent the subterranean spread of what is only limited in area on the surface. So consider the Plains of Ethengar (AC1000) to be a cover over Enthropy that has corrupted the SUbterranean realm out to the limits. - The Enthropy kills the forest/Swampy bayou that occupies the region - The dwarves have settled here in the wilderness to Bulid a civilization?
If this is true, then the present day (AC 1000) modrigswerg are living in exactly that area of underground entropy! This is a very interesting thought - one that I hadn't considered, but that I like quite a bit. One of the things that I'm trying to found the Shimmering Lands on is use of the Radiance (which subsequently causes the Wasting disease that affect much of the populace). At some point the Gates of Light will be shut down (and sink beneath the waves), and Kagyar's dwarves will be made immune to the Wasting. The other dwarves (who become the modrigswerg) may actually crave it however, and move to those regions underground that are still contaminated by it. Great idea!

I've also been wondering about those fringe mountains/hills, so if your theory is right I can remove those from the BC 2300 map as well.
Rockhome as a lake that feeds the swamp of Ylarum is an idea. When the Enthropy undermines the Ethengar side of the lake wall the Lake Drains below the spill level required to supply ylarum.
I've been tinkering with this ideas as well, however keep in mind that in BC 1000 (Nithia's time) the river Nithia is still flowing strong. It is not until after the elves move in that the area starts to dry out. However I'm a big fan of catastrophes :D and here's what I've been thinking: During the upheaval circa BC 1700s either the natural (or possibly man-made, Blackmoorian in origin) dam holding the Rockhome lake in bursts, causing a massive torrential land based flood to sweep across Ylaruam and out to the sea. This flood would vastly change the face of Ylaruam/Mogreth. So to accommodate this occurrence I'm thinking of the following changes to the maps I presented above:

BC 2300
1) The eastern swamp may actually extend inland quite a bit further.
2) There may be more topographical features in the Nithain valley (especially through the backwards S of the river). Perhaps some hilly terrain - maybe the stable land where the Mogreth build their major temples and cities.

BC 1000
1) The flow of the river Nithia should change here, giving it a much straighter path through Ylaruam.
2) The canyon walls (on either side of Ylaruam) may be added to this map to represent what was carved out by the mega-flood.

Geoff, if you're around, what do you think about this idea? Could a mega-flood have put the last nail in the Mogreth's coffin?

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:45 pm
by Seer of Yhog
I don't think I ever gave too much thought to what finally killed Mogreth, but a flood of epic proportions would certainly do it! Something that momentous would certainly have lived on in popular tales:

"And so there came a time, towards the end of the Bright Days, when the world did not stand as solid as it might. The ground shook, mountains rolled, and from the innermost west there came a great tide, a wall of water the breadth of the Valley of the Lizard Kings, and as tall as their tallest tower. Like the thundering of ten thousand horses it sounded, and before it none could stand. Like a vast plow it carved its way across the foul kingdom, scattering lizards and thralls like sticks in a gale, and toppling the mighty cities that were built in elder days. In its wake it left plains of steaming mud and debris, and the River Issuss was no more."

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:50 pm
by Chimpman
:twisted: Oh... I like!

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:18 am
by Seer of Yhog
Glad you do! Of course, that wasn't the end of all the lizards of Mogreth, and they became a nuisance for other peoples over the centuries (as possibly related by Al-Kalim in the work, "Of the Reptiles and Their Ways"), but the above passage would probably have come from the Nithian-era Ctesiphon Scrolls, one of the best surviving records of Mogreth. The Ylari probably have legends about the Valley of the Lizard Kings, thinking it to be an actual semi-mythical place hidden somewhere in the mountains. Perhaps there is a remote remnant of Mogreth persisting in the Gaz era, but the original Valley as described in the old tales would have been the Second Empire of Mogreth.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:48 am
by Havard
The more I read about this, the more fascinated I become. I particularly like the maps!
This is really helpful in understanding this obscure period of Mystara's history. :)


Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:01 pm
by Chimpman
Thanks guys, I'm glad you're enjoying it. By all means speak up if you see something you like (or don't like) or have something of your own to contribute. Faiths are up next, and I have some amount of work done on foreign relations and various NPCs, but I think those will take a little more time to complete. I may post some of that piecemeal. Right now I'm spending most of my time on the Taymora 2300 BC Map. Rob's question has spurred me on to get that complete - besides which I really need it myself to start ironing out places and locations of importance.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:07 pm
by Chimpman

The Ancients
Belnos, Garal Glitterlode, Khoronus, and Zugzul form this pantheon, held together by a belief in the old Blackmoorian technomancy and the superiority of that society. A fifth entity known as the Dreamer, mysterious and insubstantial personifies the power of the radiance, a source of energy that radiomancers are able to draw upon from beyond the Gates of Light. Different sects hold individual immortals in higher esteem with Asterius often being seen as an outsider, even by those who venerate him above the others. Most residents of the Shimmering Lands pay lip service to the immortals of this faith, even if they are not devout followers.

Cult of Dominion
A secretive sect, the Cult of Dominion worships Slizzark. Most members of the Controllers Guild are indoctrinated into the cult when they become full fledged members, and many in clan Karlheig are brought up from birth at least with some understanding of the faith. Coastal settlements have more active sects, presumably because they have greater access to Slizzark's servitors, many of whom favor watery environments.

Fiery Forge
Worshippers of the Fiery Forge venerate Zugzul. In him they see the forge that will shape dwarven lands as well as the dwarven spirit. Many of these sects also combine worship of the Warrior with that of darker beings such as Demogorgon, Orcus, and sometimes even Slizzark. The worst kinds of fanatical zealots are drawn to this religion, believing that it is the Moadreg's destiny to rule over the lesser races in the world. The majority of these practitioners are dwarves, as few other races are tolerated.

Khoronus, Skuld, and Kagyar all have oracles about the lands. These individuals are reclusive even by most Moadreg standards. Hermits and madmen, most oracles are shunned except by the most desperate, or the most greedy of souls. The old saying applies - be careful what you seek, for it may find you.

Silver and Gold
A pragmatic religion, the Church of Silver and Gold takes its name from its two patron immortals, Asterius and Garal Glittlerlode. The two share equal prominence within the church, where devotion and pride in one's craft is just as important as making a profit. This faith, which is mostly practiced by traders and merchants, is the one that outsiders come into contact with the most frequently. It is also fairly widespread throughout the gnomish population within the Shimmering Lands, although most folk are less than zealous in their devotions.

Way of the Stone
A relatively new faith practiced mostly among the disenfranchised dwarves of the Shimmering Lands, the Way of the Stone is a naturalistic philosophy preached by priests of Kagyar. Both Belnos and Garal Glitterlode sometimes feature as supporters of Kagyar, who admonishes his followers against the evils of Blackmoorian technology and extols the virtues of living a life that is in tune with the stones of the earth. Although in other faiths Garal is often a supporter of technomancy, when depicted by the Way of the Stone he encourages his followers to rely more upon their innate ingenuity rather than the crutch of Blackmoor's doomed technology.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:46 am
by Chimpman
I've updated the map images above to account for changing climate and the aforementioned mega-flood.

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:56 pm
by Seer of Yhog
I like the map!

Re: Mystara 2300 BC - The Shimmering Lands

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:54 pm
by Chimpman
Tale from a Stone Giant Hetman

"Now listen to me! This happened when my father's father, Raggnet Jaggedarm, was young. He was a warrior in the Granite Guard, and was sent by the then hetman, Korrl the Grimm, to treat with the Frost Jarl and his people. The Frost Jarl was wicked. The north wind was his servant and he sent it down the mountainside, freezing everything in its path. Many of our tribe he slew, and others he took captive and made them into slaves. Korrl called a moot of five tribes and gathered a host to lay waste to the Frost Jarl and his evil. But Korrl was also wise and knew that many of the Stone Folk would be slain if they swung clubs with the frostlings, so he sent Raggnet and his finest warriors to speak with the Jarl and treat for the release of our people before our host descended upon him.

"This my father's father did. Down from the mountain and through the green valleys thick with pines he led his men. For days they journeyed through the wilds until finally they came upon the base of Old Snow Man, the foot of the Frost Jarl's domain. That night they camped, with Old Snow Man looming above them as far as they could see. Even though the moon was full they cut trees and made a fire, to show the Frost Jarl where they were, and they set sentries to watch for his approach. For three nights they did this... but the Frost Jarl did not appear.

"Raggnet awoke on that third night, a witness to something horrifying. One of his men had killed two others, slitting their throats as they slept. Raggnet struggled with him, preventing him from killing a third. The warrior's face was blank. His eyes were dead though he still drew breath, and Raggnet and his men could do nor say nothing to stop him. In the struggle the warrior was killed, but as soon as his knife fell to the ground another warrior grasped it and killed the one standing next to him. A madness had taken them all. My father's father was hit, and he stumbled into a copse of nearby trees.

"It was there that Raggnet saw him. A short creature... smaller than a man, but thicker. Scars covered its face, as if runes had been branded directly onto its skin, and its yellow beard was sparse and unkempt. The creature looked right into Raggnet's eyes and laughed, and as it did Raggnet could feel if worms were crawling on the inside of his skull. It was a struggle for Raggnet to move, but somehow he did. Rising to his full height he wrenched a tree out of the ground and raised it above the creature's head. The creature did not move, it simply stood there looking at Raggnet, laughing even as my father's father smashed its skull.

"This tale Raggnet told to my father, and to me as well. What he did not say... until he was near to returning with the stone, was this; That laugh he heard the creature make... that laugh he could hear in his dreams every time the moon was full, until the day the stones took him. Dwarf, these creatures are called. Mark them from my words. They are rotten outside and within, and are worse by far than any Frost Jarl. They can steal your soul with a look, and make you into a puppet for their whims. Kill them when you see them... if you can. For if you can't your fate will be filled with horrors far worse than death."