[Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Rebuilding the world in the wake of the Great Rain of Fire.

Moderator: Seer of Yhog

[Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:25 am

I thought I'd share with you what little information Geoff and I have generated on Taymora (this version being based on the real world Minoans). This first post is reserved for a thread index.

Image

Locations

Taymora Table of Contents
DM's Guide

History
Peoples
Society
Geography
Secrets
NPCs
Immortals
Monsters

Player's Guide
History
Calendar
Races
Classes
Arms and Equipment
Backgrounds
Organizations
Faiths
Last edited by Chimpman on Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:50 am, edited 4 times in total.
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7283
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Mystara 2300 BC] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:29 am

This overview is not quite in a complete state yet, but I think it's close enough to share.

Taymora
Empire of the Dead
Location: Continent of Brun, on the southern coast.
Area: 177,141 sq. mi. (283,426 sq. km.)
Population: Estimated 5,310,000 (73% human, 13% lupin, 10% elf, 4% other).
Languages: Taymoran
Coinage: Gold, silver, and copper coins. Blood vials are also considered a valid form of currency.
Taxes: Blood tax.
Government Type: Independent City States.
Industries: Agriculture
Important Figures:

Overview
Located along the southern coast of Brun, Taymora is an ominous land ruled by vampire queens. In the wake of the Wasting disease, the Taymorans turned to the dark arts of necromancy in order to preserve their culture. Now, despite the lessening effects of the Wasting, the vampire rulers of the land cling on to the power they have. Taymoran city states fight amongst one another as often as they do with their neighbors, as the each of the cities fight for dominance and the chance to build a lasting empire.

Geography
The land of Taymora exists in what is essentially a large basin, bordered by the [Cruth] and XXX Mountains. The mountainous highlands are dominated by lakes and rivers, the runoff of which flows down to the midlands and feeds into the various marshes and bogs of the area. Coastal regions are gentle with many shallow bays although eastern Taymora is flanked by the XXX trench. The center of the basin is known as XXX’s Anvil, one of the hottest locales on Brun, and is the lowest point on the continent sitting well below sea level.

Flora and Fauna
Taymoran bogs are replete with mosses of all kinds, and many varieties of berries grow within their borders. Birch, Poison Sumac, and Black Alder also grow in the midlands. The higher altitudes see more pines, while the lower altitudes including the Anvil are dry and more barren. Mule deer, antelope and quail are common, as are bears and wolves. The Taymoran riding boars were domesticated from a species in the western mountains which is still actively hunted, both for sport and food. Flying predators dominate the highlands, although dragons are rare. Giants and tribes of lizardmen (mostly Mogrethian outcasts) roam the northern wilds.

History
The Taymorans have several well established city states on and near the southern coast of Brun, each of which is led by a wizard queen or occasionally king. During the early years, when the Taymorans first began to establish themselves in this area, they had to contend with a very pervasive form of the Wasting disease. Much of the populace would succumb to the disease and be dreadfully deformed before undergoing a slow and painful death. To combat this some of the nobility embraced the kiss of undeath, becoming nosferatu and vampires. Now, even though the effects of the Wasting are felt far less severely, the Taymoran populace suffers a new plague - that of their undead masters.

Throughout much of their history the city states competed and made war with one another, and that trend continues even now. Some of the more powerful states however, have been able to conquer their neighbors, and if the undead rulers have their way Taymora will soon be unified under the leadership of one of them. Which one will emerge victorious, none can say.

Peoples
The Taymorans are humans with light skin and dark, curly hair. They are a mostly agrarian people, although several cities along the coast make a living from foreign trade. Vampires form the noble caste and walk openly among the people, although other forms of intelligent undead are less common.

Lupins are also fairly common, even in the eastern territories, having migrated into the area from the west before the Taymorans themselves arrived. Several western towns and villages are primarily lupin, although most of those have adopted much from Taymoran culture.

Elves may also be seen in many of the coastal cities. These traders from across the Sea of Dread are some of the forerunners of Ilsundal’s migration, however many have already integrated into Taymoran society.

Customs
The Wasting effected Taymoran culture profoundly early in its history. Taymoran nobility turned to the curse of undeath to preserve themselves from obliteration. Taymoran serfs pay a blood tax to their lords and in exchange the vampiric nobility performs rituals that safeguard the populace from the worst effects of the Wasting. Now that the disease is in decline however, what was once a necessity has become a plague of its own.

Taymoran society is matriarchal and very structured. Females in are not restricted to the social class that they are born into and have the opportunity to move into the higher ranks. Male roles tend to be more static, with male heirs typically being apprenticed into their father’s profession. Nobility is based on familial affiliations. Each noble family line controls one aspect of Taymoran society, be that the military, mercantile trade, agriculture or anything else, and each in turn support the reigning monarch of their city state.

Dwellings are communal, with several related extended families all sharing the same abode. In smaller villages this might mean that the entire population dwells under one roof. Separate buildings usually have separate functions. Cities are typically designed in spirals or concentric rings, and most structures from political offices to the lowliest of farmer’s huts are designed as circles with living areas around the outside and an open courtyard in the middle.

Religion
Religion is important to Taymorans, and most are devout worshipers of Nyx. That dark immortal led the Taymoran people through the devastating times of the Wasting which nearly threatened to end Taymoran culture before it even began.

Bulls are sacred animals, having prominent roles in many Taymoran religious rites.

Settlements of Note
Soleclea (pop. XXX): Like Tamoraz, Soleclea has struggled against the oppression of the vampire queens for decades, however unlike its sister city to the south, Soleclea still remains firmly in the grasp of the undead. Adding to the unrest in the city is a developing movement around the patriarchal cult of Sol. Should the populace finally succeed in throwing off their vampiric oppressors, the established matriarchy may have serious opposition to their rule.

Tamoraz (pop. XXX): The citizens of Tamoraz lay claim to being the first Taymoran settlement in the area. Tamoraz is certainly one of the largest and oldest city states along the southern coast of Brun, and has over the last several decades won its freedom from the rule of the vampire queens. Now it serves as a shining beacon to other Taymoran cities, of what they can become once their plague of undeath is shed.

Tycur (pop. XXX): Unlike the westernmost cities of Taymora, Tycur tolerates no opposition to its vampiric queen. Citizens think very little of their own plight and gladly pay the Blood Tax in return for the benefits and protection that the queen provides to them. Near the palace is another imposing structure that shoots up into the sky, the Tower of Night. From the topmost reaches issue forth terrible black clouds that keep the city in a perpetual twilight even during the brightest hours of the day.

Appearance and Dress
Most Taymoran clothing is made from light linens and accentuated by leathers and wools. Silk garments are rarer and may only be seen among the nobility. Those higher up in the social circles of society can often afford to add more expensive dyes to their clothing, with blues and purples being the color of choice among royalty.

Men typically wear only a loincloth, although these may be extensively decorated, but will sometimes don a knee length tunic. Women wear pleated skirts and blouses. Women of power, especially those of royal blood or priestesses of Nyx, will wear garments that bear their breasts as a display of their authority.

Weapons and Armor
Taymoran infantry wear leather cuirasses or plates of bronze armor. Conical helms made of boar tusks, and small circular shields round out the typical military uniform. Spears and short swords are weapons most commonly carried by soldiers. The double bladed axe is a sacred symbol, and a weapon reserved for the clergy or those that serve them directly.

Foreign Relations
One of the factors that began to unify the city states was the emerging Inti to the west. An aggressive and expansive nation, the Inti invasion is constantly being fought against. Urzud humanoids are rarely encountered, although when they are the outcome is never forgone. Sometimes the Urzud can be dealt with in a civilized manner and sometimes not. Conflicts in the east sporadically break out with Mogreth as both the lizard empire and Taymora vie for dominance over the human settlements between their two nations.

The Shimmering Lands and its inhabitants are avoided by choice, tolerated when necessary, and eradicated when possible. The dwarves carry with them the lingering rot of the Wasting, and many Taymorans still fear its touch. Some of the Taymoran leadership has dealings with certain dwarven households, buying slaves from them and hiring them to create magical items that the Taymora cannot create for themselves.

The sea holds both one of Taymora's greatest adversaries as well as one of its strongest allies. The kopru and their puppets fight a constant battle with the undead of Taymora, who they see as abominations that resist their control. The nosferatu have similar views of the kopru who constantly try to dominate subjects that rightfully belong to Taymora. From Vulcania come the elves on their long migration, and although they have no love for undead things they have always dealt with Taymora up front and honestly. Many elves have settled on islands in the Sea of Dread and are willing partners in the fight against the kopru.

Names
Prefixes: Ari, Aran, Arud, Ban, Dur, It, Jad, Kik, Kit, Kub, Mij, Nash, Pames, Pijas, Pit, Tar, Tit, Wid, Yid, Yik, Yish
Suffixes (male): aba, abira, aja, are, ara, aros, ase, eru, ijos, ira, iros, iku, ina, ipi, ros, ti, tos, uja
Suffixes (female): adnh, ane, aru, ash, esh, ish, jas, sab, uru, ush

Language
Taymorans speak the Taymoran language. Some few have also learned to speak Inti, as well as ancient Blackmoorian.

Character Classes
Clerical professions are common, especially in the higher echelons of Taymoran society, and are often dominated by women. Practitioners of the arcane arts are less prevalent, but nearly just as respected.

Warrior professions also pervade Taymoran society, since many of the city states constantly battle their neighbors or one another. Men tend to gravitate more towards these roles, but warrior women are not unheard of. Stealth and intrigue are prized skills in Taymora, so classes that make use of such abilities are also common.

After 2300 BC
The city states of Taymora exist to one degree or another until their ultimate destruction in BC 1720. Over the resulting centuries the states grow, expanding both their power and their territories. On several occasions two or more form brief alliances, however true imperialism eludes them. With the decline of the Wasting, Taymoras vampiric elite find themselves under increasing pressures and are eventually routed from a majority of the populace.

BC 2000 sees an influx of a new race migrating from the west. Minotaurs fleeing the native lands flock to the Taymoran cities and due to prevailing religious trends are easily integrated into society. Many often end up serving the Taymoran nobility as elite guards and soldiers.

In BC 1750 the first geological catastrophe of that era sinks much of southern Brun beneath the waves. Much of Taymora is destroyed, however a portion survived until BC 1720 when Mt. XXX explodes sending the remnants of the nation to the bottom of the ocean.

Some legacy of these people continues on down through the ages however, as the ancestors of the Traladarans and Millenians. Darker remnants are rumored to plague Traladara and Karameikos thereafter, as well as portions of the Sunlit Sea.
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7283
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Mystara 2300 BC] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Seer of Yhog » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:02 am

A great start! The model on the cover has my vote, too! :D :D
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!
User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Black Dragon
 
Posts: 3146
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: [Mystara 2300 BC] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Hugin » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:21 pm

Seer of Yhog wrote:A great start! The model on the cover has my vote, too! :D :D

What can I do but agree!
User avatar
Hugin
Green Dragon
 
Posts: 3807
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 9:40 pm
Location: Fergus, Ontario

Re: [Mystara 2300 BC] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Mike » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:19 pm

Is that wolf whistling or howling? :P
User avatar
Mike
Bugbear
 
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:49 pm
Location: The Sylvan Realm (Beaverton, OR)

Re: [Mystara 2300 BC] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Seer of Yhog » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:57 am

Errr..howling, of course! Yes. We're civilised, grown men here. Definitely.

Merely expressing my appreciation of the natural human form, as it were.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!
User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Black Dragon
 
Posts: 3146
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: [Mystara 2300 BC] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Havard » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:26 pm

Great stuff! Love the cover! :)

-Havard

The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.
User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
 
Posts: 16339
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Location: Norway

Re: [Mystara 2300 BC] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:46 am

Thanks guys. I tried something different with this cover and actually did use a model for the woman. Most things I've drawn, I do freehand on a sketchpad before scanning them over and coloring them in on the comp. This time however I did everything on my digital notepad.

Believe it or not, the model I used was a pic of Jolene Blalock - heavily modified of course.

EDIT: This picture of Jolene, in fact.
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7283
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Mystara 2300 BC] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Gecko » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:07 am

Chimpman wrote:Believe it or not, the model I used was a pic of Jolene Blalock - heavily modified of course.

EDIT: This picture of Jolene, in fact.


wow, the face really does look like her's, great likeness John!
User avatar
Gecko
Storm Giant
 
Posts: 1543
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:51 am
Location: Marooned in California

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Seer of Yhog » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:40 pm

Hey John - do you have a PDF compilation of the Taymora Gaz available? Just wondering, as my player has just met Jadikira (per my campaign thread), and now I'm mining information to feed her dream sequences. I can share my description of Tamoraz.

[edit]...I guess this is a case of WYSIWYG. No problem. Looks like I may be designing a bit of Taymora, then. ;)
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!
User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Black Dragon
 
Posts: 3146
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:45 pm

Mostly WYSIWYG. I do have some PDFs on the Aresh region (in the Frontierlands) which might have some Taymoran overlap, but I think that's about it. IIRC I had worked up some BBEGs from Taymora that may or may not be useful to you.

I'd love to start tossing around ideas for Taymora. Doing that might just get me back into the swing of things (so that I can complete the last 10% or so of the Shimmering Lands Gaz and finally release that).

In that vein (yes... pun intended): One idea I've been toying with is the concept of currency. I like the idea that blood is actually used as currency among the nobles (it's probably also what they collect from the populace in terms of a "tax"). I also like the idea of a matriarchal society (at least in early Taymora) so most rulers of the time would be Vampire Queens (again all mostly priestesses of Nyx). That might change once Thanatos gains more followers in the nation. With regards to the map I think I had planned for some of the southeastern city states to be ruled by Thanatos worshiping Vampire Kings instead of the traditional Queens.
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7283
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Seer of Yhog » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:15 pm

Hmmm...food for thought. I'll post the text from the dream sequences here, in the hopes that it spurs more thinking. If it seems disjointed, it's because this is email traffic blended into a single narrative.

*****

[The character - Marguerite - puts on the serpent ring she "found" in her solo adventure. She keeps it on.]

After about an hour or so Marguerite is probably used to the ring (whether she thinks about it much, or admires it, is up to you). A few people notice it, while a smarmy classmate derides it as cheap jewellery because it isn’t encrusted with diamonds. There matters rest, until one night…

Marguerite wakes up after a particularly vivid dream about being in a boat on the ocean. She’s only ever seen drawings of the ocean, but everyone has always described it as being mind-bogglingly vast. Huge waves, like green mountains of water, smashed against the side of the boat, rocking it like a carriage on a bumpy road. She tumbled out of bed…


…and onto the deck of a ship! The crispness of Fall in the air was gone, replaced by warm winds that carried floral scents she had never smelled before but which made her dizzy. The waters were still and azure blue, and the sun blazed white hot overhead – higher than it ever appeared in the sky at home.

Where was she, and how did she get here?


Looking around the ship Marguerite could see sailors running about the deck, securing lines and managing the sails. Most of them were dark, stocky, powerfully-built men who moved with a cat-like grace. They spoke to each other, but although their lips moved Marguerite heard nothing. Birds circled overhead, but whatever noises they made were also muted. One man rang a silent bell, gesturing to the fore. The ship was entering a wide bay around which nestled a brightly-coloured town, whose winding streets climbed up from the great white stone piers into the hills and stopped only at the foot of a great, jagged escarpment that encircled everything. “Tamoraz,” says a woman’s voice at Marguerite’s shoulder. There is no one there.

The ship pulls into the harbour and the crew casts their lines. Once the ship is made fast and the gangplank is extended, Marguerite goes ashore.

The stone pier feels reassuringly solid underfoot, compared with the rocking of the boat. More people – dockworkers or some kind, Marguerite probably assumes – bustle around her, unloading sacks, barrels, and strange urns that she has never seen before [ED: amphorae]. Other ships are docked along the pier, and workers mill about them, too. Everyone seems to be heading towards the mainland proper.

Marguerite follows along, and after about five minutes (it’s a very long pier) she reaches the port itself. She walks up a ramp and finds herself in a large square, filled with people, that faces the sea. Squat stone buildings, covered with some kind of coloured clay or cement and decorated with all sorts of marine designs, frame the square. As with the ship all is silent here, but everyone around her is obviously having very animated discussions. No one seems to see her; although no one actually bumps into her, either.

She can actually get a better look at the people now, as well. Most people here seem to have bronzed complexions (definitely not like most people in Corunglain), with dark, wavy hair. Most of the men are bearded, while the women wear their hair in elaborate braids [ED. Here I attached a picture of a Minoan fresco]

Men wear light tunics dyed in bright colours, while the women wear sleeveless dresses belted at the waist, accessorised with necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Those who wear anything on their feet, wear sandals. This is obviously a market of some kind, as intricate carpets bearing goods of almost every sort are scattered throughout. She sees jewellery, spices, livestock, perfumes, and dyes on offer – and there are more merchants on the other side of the market.

There are other folk here, too. On the other side of the market, close to a ramp leading to another pier, a small group of elves have a number of items on display. It’s hard to see what they are selling from here, but these elves are unlike any Marguerite has seen before. The cut of their clothes is very different from what Amalys [ED. the elf in the party] wears, and they are very, very pale. Not far from the elves is another knot of strangers – lizard men dressed in elaborate robes who are gesturing to a group of people in front of them. From the occasional glances the elves and lizard men direct towards each other, there is no love lost.

“It’s all so very strange, isn’t it?” asks the woman’s voice. “I could show you more. Much more. Would you like to see it?”

Marguerite tells the disembodied voice she does. She hears a polite chuckle. “Very good. Very good. Why don't you come see me, then. Just follow the street that leads straight up into the foothills. Eventually you will see a low, round hill surrounded by a stone wall. Go through the gate and you will see my villa. I will meet you there.”

Although there are several streets leading off from the market, only one heads directly towards the hills. This street is broader than the others, easily twenty feet across, and set among its paving stones at regular intervals are shoulder-high stone plinths, each bearing a man-sized statue of some kind. The ones closest to the market depict tradespeople, farm animals, and other things that are recogniseable to Marguerite. However, as she goes further from the market the statues begin to change – first to images of sea creatures like octopi, squid, sharks, and giant crabs, then to robed men and women in various poses and holding objects like scrolls, censors, bells, and torches.

By this time the buildings on either side have begun to change, too. Gone are the low stone houses and shops; now the road is bordered by extensive walled gardens whose perfumes make Marguerite's head spin, and reflective ponds. A handful of rafts and other pleasure craft skim the surface of the ponds, their occupants in animated, silent conversation. Up ahead, another broad street intersects the one Marguerite is following, and where they cross an ornamental gate, flanked by soldiers in burnished bronzed armour, dominates the scene. The warriors stand at attention, never moving a single muscle while townsfolk buzz around them like bees.


[marguerite can do whatever she wants here - [ED: player hasn't responded yet, but the general assumption is she's still going to meet this woman]]

Beyond the gate the gradual incline becomes steeper, and the scenery changes yet again. Walled enclosures flank the road now, and there is hardly any foot traffic. Those who do walk on the road wear prominent medallions or badges on their clothing.

[you can make an Intelligence roll to see if anything comes to mind - no response yet]

And then, on the right-hand side, a walled hill comes into view, just as the voice said it would. The hill is almost perfectly rounded, and topped with a pillared villa built of a white stone that seems to shimmer in the bright sun. A broad staircase leads from a gate to the front door.

[ED: Sent a picture of the Palace of Knossos, but noted it would be more modest]

Standing at the top of the stairs is a young woman in a purple dress, her dark, wavy hair drawn up in combs. Her pale features break into an engaging smile as she holds out her hand. “I am so delighted you came,” she says. “And I am so happy that you found my ring.”
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!
User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Black Dragon
 
Posts: 3146
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Seer of Yhog » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:17 pm

Big change is that I decided the ring and dagger would both be Jadikira's. Throwing in Mogreth too would have been too much, and besides there's plenty of time to add it in.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!
User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Black Dragon
 
Posts: 3146
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Seer of Yhog » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:18 pm

And yes, Jadikira is a nosferatu, c. BC 2000. The plot is in motion.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!
User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Black Dragon
 
Posts: 3146
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:51 pm

I like this plot line a lot :twisted: . So what kind of information are you looking to develop this with? Will the PC be spending more dream time (I assume it's some kind of dream...) in ancient Taymora?
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7283
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Seer of Yhog » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:34 pm

Yep. About every month or so (game time) Marguerite finds herself transported back to a dream version of ancient Taymora. This is Tamoraz as Jadikira remembers it, of course, and since she was queen of the city for a few centuries, she knows it quite well. If Marguerite tries to leave the city, she will find herself coming back into it. Jadikira will try to become Marguerite's most helpful, silent friend. At first she will eagerly share her knowledge (in reality, things that mean nothing to her) to help Marguerite out - possibly including teaching her ancient Taymoran (she has a few empty language slots). The information she does decide to provide will be useful, but before long she will begin holding out, and try to get Marguerite to find her lost treasures.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!
User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Black Dragon
 
Posts: 3146
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:40 pm

So, do you have an outline of events (or places in the city) you want to take the PC through? I'd love to come up with a bunch of major NPCs in the city, along with notable sites, organizations, etc.

We may also be able to build off of the Tamoraz map from PC3... Actually, doing a city project (like for Urzud of Isshum) based on that map sounds like a good idea as well.
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7283
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Seer of Yhog » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:35 pm

Oh - I'd forgotten there was a Tarmoraz map. Must dig that out. More comments to come.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!
User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Black Dragon
 
Posts: 3146
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Seer of Yhog » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:13 pm

The first visit or two will be at Jadikira's villa, which lies in the wealthier, outer part of Tarmoraz.

I see the original city looking like a "C", framing a deep-water bay and surrounded by cliffs breachable in only a few places. This saved the city in its youth. The area surrounding the bay is where the markets and businesses are, as well as lower-class dwellings. A number of roads stretch out from the market like rays, with the major one leading more or less to the northeast. About halfway between the piers and the outer wall is a ring road which divides the inner and outer city. The outer city is almost entirely made up of estates, parks, and a handful of defensive towers originally constructed to delay attackers who managed to breach the outer walls. These fell into disuse once the vampires took over, and now most of them are haunted ruins.

This bizarre arrangement is a product of the city's evolution. Originally it was a mundane village, but as it grew its defensability came to the attention of a prominent vampire queen, who used her magic to enspell the leaders and take over - whereas every other attacker tried by force, and failed. Recognising the value of Tamoraz, the vampire queen left the people pretty much alone (aside from the blood tax), and decided that she and her followers would establish their estates in a band of territory surrounding Tarmoraz. This served two functions:

1. It was a visible reminder to the people that they were being protected (and therefore dissuaded most people from leaving).
2. It allowed the vampires to track who left the town to go inland - some people who passed through the estates were harvested, and those who tried to escape in order to get help were never heard from again.

With the vampiric lords protecting them, the towers fell into ruin (and were subsequently used as larders and other things). Meanwhile, life was pretty good in the inner city, and Tamoraz prospered under its protectors. The vampires were pretty nasty to outsiders, so the lands outside Tamoraz acquired a fearsome reputation - until the vampire queen decided to expand her holdings.

NPCs

Initially we would be looking at Jadikira and maybe a personal assistant - a lesser vampire in her service. Over time the player could be exposed to the head of the merchant's guild, the general, the human governor who handles the mundane stuff, and one or two dissidents.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!
User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Black Dragon
 
Posts: 3146
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:36 pm

I wanted to try and get some discussions going about Taymora again, so I thought I'd start with a list of active immortals.

Immortals

Idu (Ixion)
Worship of The Great Bull, was brought into Taymora mostly by tauran refugees from the Realm of Gildesh in Davania. Idu has since become an opponent of Tanit and her vampire followers, as well as a symbol against oppression in Taymora in general. His worshipers are more prevalent in the west, especially among the free states (those that have thrown off their vampiric rulers). The city state of Taymoraz has made him their primary patron.

In most other states - north, south, and east - the worship of Idu is forbidden, and his followers are actively persecuted. Prophecy warns that unless Idu can defeat Tanit and all of her spawn, Taymora will be destroyed in a cataclysm of earth and fire.

Tanit (Nyx)
Tanit is the Mother of Night, and the patroness of the vampire queens of Taymora. It was their faith in Tanit that saved the Taymorans from the Wasting after the Great Rain of Fire. Tanit is also credited with leading the Taymorans out of the west to find their new home along the southeastern coast of Brun.

Tanit's chief rivals are Idu (who seeks to overthrow the rule of the undead) and Thanatos (who seeks to wrest control of Taymora from her followers - creating an even darker and more foreboding land of undeath in the process). Her religion is matriarchal (in opposition to both Idu and Thanatos), and most vampiric queens (in the western, northern, and southern city states) are high priestesses of her religion.

Thanatos
Also an immortal of undeath, Thanatos is more concerned with destruction rather than with building a lasting civilization of undeath. As such his followers (mostly confined to the eastern states) are constantly attacking their neighbors (both within and outside of Taymora).

Mahes
Another religion that originated in Davania, the worship of Mahes has since grown in the realms of Intua, Taymora, and the Frontierlands. Mahes the Hunter is worshiped mostly by those living on the fringe of society in Taymora - folk who prefer the challenges of the wilderness to living in one of the city states.

Though Mahes does not oppose Tanit directly, the tenets of his religion espouse self reliance and independence, both of which frustrate the vampire queens to no ends.

Protius
The worship of Protius ultimately derives from Evergrun and Vulcania, where sea going elves sought his protection during their travels. The elves brought worship of Protius with them as they sailed the seas to new lands. Although many elves are itinerant wanderers (the forefront of Ilsundal's migration), some have settled in southern Taymora and begun integrating into Taymoran society.


***********************************
What other immortals (major or minor) do you think could be operating within the borders of Taymora?
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7283
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:12 am

Here are some (very rough) ideas about Taymoran history. This is a first pass - I just want to lay down some ideas before we start fleshing things out a bit more.

Timeline
BC 4000: Blackmoor begins its rise to greatness after having discovered and plundered the City of the Gods.

BC 3500: Blackmoor and elven cultures meet at the height of their power and begin periods of intermittent warfare and trade. Several elven clans adopt Blackmoorian ways and colonize the northern lands.

BC 3000: Blackmoor comes to an abrupt end in the Great Rain of Fire, and the civilized world is devastated. The planet’s axis shifts and it is thrust into an Ice Age. Glaciers expand, the oceans recede, and land bridges are revealed between the Known World and the Isle of Dawn. Radiance fallout expands from the center of the disaster and is carried by winds to all corners of the world for the next few centuries.

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.

BC 2950: Giant kingdoms begin to reclaim territories lost to human nations during the rise of Blackmoor.

BC 2940: Thonian colonists on Brun have been suffering greatly from the Wasting disease, coupled by attacks from giantish neighbors. Their culture is crumbling and it looks as if it could be destroyed entirely.

BC 2938: Tayma, a high priestess of the Thonian colonists, sets out on a quest to save her people. Prompted by dreams sent from a mysterious immortal, she seeks the lair of the dragon Ghaerathelix.

BC 2933: After many years of searching, Tayma finally discovers the location of Ghaerathelix’s lair. She spies upon the ancient gold for many months, in an attempt to uncover his secrets. Her labors prove fruitful when Tayma witnesses the dragon transform himself in a magical ceremony. Realizing this is the secret her immortal patron wished her to find, Tayma flees into the forest to ponder her discovery.
Now transformed into a powerful undead being known as a night dragon, Ghaerathelix changes his name to honor his own immortal patron, calling himself Ghaeranatos.

BC 2900: Taurans fleeing the Golden Realm of Gildesh in Davania, arrive along the shores of Taymora bringing with them worship of the Great Bull in the Earth (Ixion)

BC 2928: Satisfied that she has deciphered Ghaerathelix’s ceremony Tayma returns to her people, only to find them enslaved by giantish overlords. Determined to free them, the priestess calls upon her mysterious immortal patroness and performs the dragon’s ritual upon herself. The Ceremony of Blood is devastating – transforming Tayma into the Original Nosferatu and leaving the nearby giants as bloodless, desiccated husks. Tayma’s newfound powers make her immune to the effects of the Wasting, but also visit upon her an insatiable desire to consume the blood of others.

BC 2913: Tayma is able to perfect the Ceremony of Blood so that it protects the rest of her people from the effects of the Wasting. By sacrificing a portion of their own life’s blood, all participants of the Ceremony are cleansed of the disease, however to be effective the Ceremony must be performed on an annual basis.

BC 2876: With the help of her newly revealed patroness Tanit, the Night Mother, Tayma begins to consolidate her power among the Thonian colonists. She brings several more villages under her sway and begins the process to cleanse them of the Wasting.

BC 2839: Though healthy once again, the Thonian colonists, now calling themselves Taymorans in honor of their savior, are still not numerous. They face renewed attacks from giants on all sides.

BC 2800: The Azcans have shattered the Oltecs, however their victory is short lived. Their culture degrades under the aftereffects of the Great Rain of Fire, and in order to escape their impending doom they flee below ground, under the Great Escarpment.

BC 2795: Determined to grow her empire, Tayma begins making overtures to the neighboring Maharian peoples. With her growing allies she is able to stay the attacks of the giants, and expand her influence to several growing cities.

BC 2746: Unable to protect the increasing number of followers that she is accumulating from the Wasting, Tayma begins recruiting the best and brightest from Tanit’s priestesses. They mount a campaign against the neighboring giantish nations in preparation for performing Tayma’s original Ceremony of Blood once again.

BC 2732: Several successful campaigns against the giants have left the Taymorans and their Maharian allies with new territory for expansion… but most importantly to Tayma, they have provided many giantish slaves to be consumed in the upcoming ceremony.

BC 2730: Tayma once again performs the original Ceremony of Blood, draining her giantish slaves of both blood and life force, and creating several more nosferatu under her command. The Maharians are appalled by these blood sacrifices, but Tayma and her “daughters” quickly quiet all unrest. The nosferatu begin to build their nation under the shadows of the Black Mountains.

BC 2729: Ghaeranatos learns of Tayma’s theft. Furious, he rushes to destroy the upstart, but is repelled by Tayma and her Daughters. Licking his wounds, the night dragon slinks away to plot his revenge.

BC 2684: The nation of Taymora thrives under the guidance of Tanit’s Favored One, and her Daughters of Night, but unrest lies just below the surface. Maharians, once allies of the Taymorans have become a subjected people, and the night dragon Ghaeranatos has been calling giant clans to his banner.

BC 2630: Intent on destroying his enemies in one fell swoop, Ghaeranatos and his giantish hordes descend upon the Taymoran capital. Maharian rebels take this opportunity to throw off their chains and attempt to destroy their overlords. Forewarned by Tanit, Tayma and her daughters are prepared for the night dragon’s attack, but not for the treacherous Maharians. The Taymorans are ousted from their home and begin a quick retreat from the area to avoid the vengeance of the night dragon and his hordes.

BC 2629: Destruction of the Black Mountains civilization continues, forcing the newly freed Maharians to flee from their home. These people eventually become the Urduks.

BC 2608: Taymorans have spent the last several decades fleeing from the wrath of Ghaeranatos and his forces, steadily being pushed toward the southern coast of Brun. To combat the night dragon Tayma institutes the creation of the lesser daughters of night, the vampires.

BC 2582: Tayma gathers her forces south of the Aterok Mountains. Her new vampire nobility manages to turn the tide against Ghaeranatos and his giants, and the Taymorans once again look to settle down.

BC 2570: The city of Taymoraz is established along the southern coast of Brun, and Tayma again asserts her control across the land. Taymorans and their remaining Maharian servants, conquer nearby tribes of lupins who have migrated from the Savage Coast, and taurans who fled the Realm of Gildesh in Davania.

BC 2510: Tayma mysteriously disappears, and her Daughters of Night quickly divide her kingdom between themselves. The newly established Taymoran cities along the coast of Brun become states unto themselves, and fight with each other just as often as they do with the giants or lizards from Mogreth. Taymoraz, Tycur, Salkish, Yidaru, and Karisata all rise up as regional powers under the control of one of the Daughters of Night.

BC 2460: Devastated at the hands of the night dragon Ghaeranatos and desperate to stop the tidal wave of human expansion, the giant kings call upon the fey court for assistance. Their pleas are heard, and the Troll Queen comes to their aid.

BC 2450: The Inti emerge from the Great Plateau and begin to rebuild their empire underneath the sun. They come into conflict with nearby giants from Grondheim and Taymorans.

BC 2408: 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. Twaal propaganda claims responsibility for this righteous retribution against their enemies.

BC ???: More disharmony as followers of Thanatos begin to insinuate themselves into Taymoran society. These are the vampires - disenfranchised "children" (many of them males) of the Taymoran Queens who are tired of taking orders from the Tanit Theocracy. Several city states in the southeast fall under their sway and begin to foment unrest in Taymoran society.

BC 2396: The Makai and other free slaves organize themselves into the Dawn Corsairs. Ilsundal’s elves succeed in creating a friendly buffer state between their own people and Mogreth, possibly creating another ally against Adhuza. The Corsairs begin pillaging Mogrethian and Taymoran settlements along the coast.

BC 2395: The Dark Years end as the last clouds of ash settle from the sky.

BC 2370: The Troll Queen consolidates her position, becoming undisputed ruler of all Grondheim.

BC 2340: Soleclea deposes its queen, becoming the first Taymoran city to free itself from the bonds of their vampiric rulers.

BC ???: With the effects of the Wasting withering away, the citizens of several city states begin to question why they should still give allegiance to the vampires and nosferatu who rule their nation. A few of these city states (some in the west) begin to rebel.

BC 2300: Present day.


Thoughts? Ideas?
Last edited by Chimpman on Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7283
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby RobJN » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:20 am

Chimpman wrote:Here are some (very rough) ideas about Taymoran history. This is a first pass - I just want to lay down some ideas before we start fleshing things out a bit more.

Timeline
BC 2900 (circa): The proto-Taymorans have been suffering greatly from the Wasting disease, coupled with attacks by giantish neighbors. Their culture is crumbling and it looks as if it could be destroyed entirely.
[Some folks have suggested that the Taymorans are descended from Thonian stock - a group who perhaps colonized Brun sometime before the GRoF. Do we have any idea who these people were?]

Thorn's Mystara places a Blackmoor research colony and demonic vaults in the Lost Valley some time between the second and third Afridhi Wars. The Great Rain of Fire disrupts the harmony trap keeping the demons sealed in the black dragonstones. Some of the essences seep out of the stones, seeking out hosts...

Chimpman wrote:The Original Nosferatu is created by Tanit/Nyx, who gives her a plan to save her people from destruction.
[Other timelines have differing dates for the Original Nosferatu (anywhere between BC 2700 to BC 2350)... however I think it appropriate to move this back to BC 2900 given one of the top premises of the Mystara 2300 BC setting - salvation from the Wasting. I think it likely that this "savior" would have emerged much closer to the GRoF.]

The Wasting brought on by the Radiance is very similar to the effects of the demonic corruption on Mystara's source of magic.... In fact, some would say they are one and the same. The only way a magic user can cast spells without suffering from the corruption is with a demonic host. If the demon were to have a taste for blood....

Could a powerful demon have begun whispering to the would-be Nosferatu Queen, twisting her connection to Tanit and offering a "vision" of a new life in the new world, free of corruption...?

Chimpman wrote:Thoughts? Ideas?

Just a few, up there ;)

Mind you, the demonic meddling is purely a holdover from Thorn's Mystara. But even without the demonic vault, Belerophon Colony's placement in the Lost Valley might serve as a source of Thonians on Brun after the Great Rain of Fire.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3429
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:56 am

RobJN wrote:
Chimpman wrote:Timeline
BC 2900 (circa): The proto-Taymorans have been suffering greatly from the Wasting disease, coupled with attacks by giantish neighbors. Their culture is crumbling and it looks as if it could be destroyed entirely.
[Some folks have suggested that the Taymorans are descended from Thonian stock - a group who perhaps colonized Brun sometime before the GRoF. Do we have any idea who these people were?]

Thorn's Mystara places a Blackmoor research colony and demonic vaults in the Lost Valley some time between the second and third Afridhi Wars. The Great Rain of Fire disrupts the harmony trap keeping the demons sealed in the black dragonstones. Some of the essences seep out of the stones, seeking out hosts...

Well, the references I'm looking into now (pure fanon speculation mind you) suggest that the Taymorans and Urduks came from the Black Mountains (just above the Gulf of Hule).

By the way, these are the references I've been looking at:
[ http://pandius.com/taymtim2.html
2'800 BC: The surviving Thonians on southern Brun start rebuilding their civilisation, though most of their technological lore is lost. For the next three centuries, they remain isolated from neighbouring cultures. Many of the people still suffer from destructive forces unleashed by Blackmoor, forces which cause them to slowly rot and die.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2535&p=32511&hilit=Taymora#p32636
Lastly, I'd say that the Taymora are of Neathar stock, both for their likely M-Greek culture and for their birthplace (the "north"). Given the fact that the Neathar-stock Urduks migrated in the Sind region in BC2500 (the same date as the Taymora migration) and that the HW pre cataclysmic migration map shows a Neathar people nucleus north of the Black Mountains, I'd suggest that the Taymora and Urduks actually moved south-west together from this area, taking different paths along the way and ending to settle different regions of Southern Brun.]

Hmmm... now that I look at it more, I suppose those two quotes might not necessarily work together. The Neathar stock need not necessarily be Thonian, in other words. Still thinking about this.

Anyway, the Lost Valley itself is in the Black Peak Mountains in Karameikos - a completely different range. However... perhaps that's the reason the Taymorans made the journey to southern Brun in the first place... if they remembered that there was a Blackmoorian outpost there (in the Lost Valley), that could have been the impetus needed to get them moving in that direction.

I'm not sure I'd want the Taymorans to find the Lost Valley though... so maybe by the time they decide to make the trek down south, they've already lost the exact location of the site. I like that idea a lot. I think I'm going to play around with it.

But that still leaves me with the question of what the Thonians were doing near the Black Mountains (if that's even where they started out).

RobJN wrote:The Wasting brought on by the Radiance is very similar to the effects of the demonic corruption on Mystara's source of magic.... In fact, some would say they are one and the same. The only way a magic user can cast spells without suffering from the corruption is with a demonic host. If the demon were to have a taste for blood....

Could a powerful demon have begun whispering to the would-be Nosferatu Queen, twisting her connection to Tanit and offering a "vision" of a new life in the new world, free of corruption...?

Hmmm... another great idea! What if Tayma (the Original Nosferatu) somehow becomes corrupted... led away from Tanit's original teachings? That would be reason enough for her "daughters" to imprison her and claim control of the newly fledged Taymora as their own. I think I'm going to play around with that idea too. :twisted:
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7283
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:05 am

Ok, just some random ideas I had to throw out:

I'm thinking that Tayma (led on a quest by the promptings of Tanit) manages to steal the Ceremony of Sublimation from a dragon in the area. Again, under the direction of Tanit, Tayma modifies the Ceremony to use blood rather than gold - and in doing so she becomes the Original Nosferatu.

Going back to her people, Tayma modifies the Ceremony again. She requires a sample of blood from everyone to be affected, so she institutes the Blood Tithe. All who donate blood are cleansed of the Wasting during the ceremony. To spread her cure, Tayma recruits others - creating lesser nosferatu and vampires. The undead continue performing the Ceremony and consume any excess blood as their reward.

As the centuries go by, and the Wasting declines, there is less and less need for the undead nobility to perform the Ceremony. Nonetheless, they continue with it - not wanting to give up their positions and the power that it grants them. They still collect the Blood Tithe, but more and more of it goes directly to the vampires rather than into the Ceremony.

It's at that point that something goes wrong. For whatever reason Tayma's daughters (the other leading nosferatu) betray her, imprisoning her and usurping control of the nation. Each goes their separate way, ruling one of the city states that has developed along the southern coast land of Brun.

Now the question is - did the daughters betray Tayma because she knew the Ceremony had run its course and was going to put a stop to it? Or did they betray her because she was about the change the Ceremony again (perhaps once more at Tanit's bidding) and the daughters were afraid of what might follow?
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7283
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby RobJN » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:38 pm

Chimpman wrote:Now the question is - did the daughters betray Tayma because she knew the Ceremony had run its course and was going to put a stop to it? Or did they betray her because she was about the change the Ceremony again (perhaps once more at Tanit's bidding) and the daughters were afraid of what might follow?

This almost reads like something that could be left open to individual DM's evil imagination...
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3429
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Next

Return to 2300 BC

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest