[Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

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

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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Gecko » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:31 am

Chimpman wrote:
Gecko wrote:If they came from the Northwest but originally from Skothar, then they came the long, hard way....

I think there are two migrations (well... the earlier one would probably be better categorized as a colonization). The first being pre-GRoF from Skothar to Brun. The second being post-GRoF from inland Brun to the coast. The second one is the one I was referring to when I said they came from the northwest (per PC3 - the Taymorans migrated to southern Brun from the northwest).


ah, ok. So many details, I don't know how you keep them all straight.

Gecko wrote:I like the idea of them bringing in distinct technologies, but if these Thonians brought in horse domestication to Taymoran culture, why do the Atruaghins (descendents of your Oltei-Taymorans) not have the technology until Tahkati domesticates the horse and uses it to unite the Atruagi c.1675BC? Would the eventual destruction of Taymor been enough to set the people back so far as to have them lose the skill and concept of horse domestication?


Yes, horses should be absent from the BC 2300 setting for exactly the reason you mention. We discussed reasons why horses might be absent in another thread (I think we were talking about the ancestors of the Ethengari)


I thought I remembered a discussion about it but I couldn't find the thread with a quick search (just this short thread about the origin of the Kerendan Horse Culture).

but the same reasoning could apply here as well. One reason might be that the people sacrificed all of their horses to power some spell that would keep them alive during the formative years after the Wasting began. Or perhaps horses are more susceptible to radiance poisoning than are humans and they all died shortly after the GRoF. Or perhaps all the grass and grains that they would have eaten in the area were killed off by the Wasting. Could be lots of reasons.


All sounds like plausible ideals. Just a thought, might there be any possible plot connection to other equine creatures (or reasons for them to distrust humanoids)? Centaurs or Chevalls or were-horses or what not? I don't know if any of them were around back then or not but I thought I'd throw that snippet out there to see if sparks any ideals amongst you experts. :)
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:14 am

Gecko wrote:Centaurs or Chevalls or were-horses or what not? I don't know if any of them were around back then or not but I thought I'd throw that snippet out there to see if sparks any ideals amongst you experts. :)

:twisted: Here's another one of those gems that just pop up when you start talking about something. Nothing comes off the top of my head, but let me ruminate on the idea for a bit...
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:51 am

Sturm, you've got a lot of cool ideas here. I'm going to try and take it slow and think about each one of them in detail. One thing I'll say up front is that I love the amount of thought and detail that you've put into fleshing out each sub-culture: I'm definitely seeing the building blocks for a setting full of intrigue (which is a good thing :D )

Sturm wrote:Common Thonians cultural traits:
- Brought several knowledges from Skothar as phonetic writing, money, horses, advanced metallurgy, therefore considered themselves superior to other neighbour human populations.

Gecko raised a point here about the horses, which I agree with. Horses are absent from (or at least not used as transportation animals in) southeastern Brun until BC 1675 when Takhati Stormtamer domesticates them. Actually the term domestication implies that horses are around, but just in a wild state. So it may be that after the GRoF, most domesticated horses die off (for whatever reason) and those populations that survive become wild (and folks may have so much trouble trying to stay alive that they can't spend resources on a luxury animal like a horse). Anyway, other animals take the place of the horse in this setting - in Taymora (and up through the north all the way to Urzud) dire wolves serve as mounts. The Setting Overview doc goes into more detail on that topic.

That's not to say the Thonians didn't bring horses with them... just that they wouldn't have that particular technology in BC 2300. Likewise the advance metal working is probably something they would have lost by the time they move to the coast lands (since canon says that the Nithian Empire is the first culture to re-invent iron weapons). I've taken a somewhat lenient stance on that position since there is at least one dwarven city in the Shimmering Lands that maintains the old art. There might be others who still know how to work iron, but such secrets would be highly prized (and well kept). In Taymora I think many iron weapons may still be hanging around as heirlooms and prized possessions, but the skills to create those weapons again have been lost for the time being.

Sturm wrote:What's left of that: I suppose hulean and midlands cultures were influenced by these people, in Taymora the only city in which some of their cultural traits could be preserved should be, I think, Tamoraz and maybe the area to the north east of it...

I agree. Tamoraz is probably the pinnacle of old Thonian culture, though Thonians and Mahakians are also probably the most dispersed people in these lands (being the immigrating conquerors circa BC 2500).

Tamoraz may also hold the last remnants of old Thonian/Blackmoorian lore - something the vampire/nosferatu rulers would hold onto for their own advantages. Such lore might have been used against Tayma herself - imprisoning her so that her Daughters could usurp control of the nation.

Anyway, I like where you're going with these write-ups. I know these are just a starting point, but I am curious to see where they will take us (for example how each of these cultures will merge into/contribute/influence the larger umbrella Taymoran culture).
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Gecko » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:19 am

Chimpman wrote:
Gecko wrote:Centaurs or Chevalls or were-horses or what not? I don't know if any of them were around back then or not but I thought I'd throw that snippet out there to see if sparks any ideals amongst you experts. :)

:twisted: Here's another one of those gems that just pop up when you start talking about something. Nothing comes off the top of my head, but let me ruminate on the idea for a bit...


Actually when I wrote "Chevall" I was thinking of the "Nuckalavee" (I always get those two mixed up).

The Nuckalavee's amphibious nature always seemed out of place (hoofs don't seem very conducive to swimming), but your earlier post gave me an idea. Maybe a group of Centaurs, being decimated by the wasting (radiation fallout) after the GRoF tried to "flee to the sea" but somewhere something happened that instead of turning them into aquatic centaur's, it instead turned them into the ancestors of the Nuckalavee. :?: Of course that's assuming that there were centaurs around back then (were there?).
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:43 am

Not so many comments on this one, though I do have a few stray ideas:
Sturm wrote:Mahakians
- Matriarchy much stronger than among Common Thonians i.e women rule all aspects of everyday life and female Immortals are considered more important than male ones. Only women can attain high positions in government and clergy, but in everyday life males have equal rights.
- Had a collective economy and collective fields and houses with personal properties only for small items.
- Female clerics uphold the unwritten laws, mostly based on compensation for the victims and familiar responsibility, i.e. family members too will respond for the actions of a close relative.
- Have almost none sexual rules, i.e. even if there are couples that doesn't implicate exclusivity, therefore biological paternity isn't even understood as a concept. No formal rites for marriage and divorce.
- Vegetarians, do not eat fish nor land animals, but breed many for milk and eggs.
- Do not fear death as they strongly believe is only the beginning of a new life, so have joyous funeral celebrations. Bodies are put in boats headed to the sea.

Although I think Tayma should (at least in part) have some Thonian heritage, I also feel like she would have been greatly influenced by many of these cultural traits. She may be of mixed heritage (especially if the Thonian colonists intermingled with the Mahakians even before the GRoF). Regardless, I see the newly emerged Taymoran people as having many of these Mahakian beliefs.

Sturm wrote:Soleclea and Tycur should be IMHO the cities most influenced by this culture.
Humans in the sindian-hulean area could also have been influenced by it.

Good choices, as these are two of the core cities in Taymora at the time. With Soleclea being the only freed city, I can see many cultural struggles going on there. My original thought was that some patriarchal influence (Male + Sun/Fire = Ixion) had helped this city gain its freedom from the traditional matriarchy (Night + Death = Nyx), so there could still be struggles there between the traditional cultural elements and the new patriarchal elements trying to consolidate their power over the city.

Tycur on the other hand (still under the control of one of the Daughters of Night) would be the more traditional of the two. Pseiros (although smaller) would also fall in this category I think, as well as a few of the other small (village size) city states in the area.

Also based on location alone, these people could be candidates for the ancestors of the Albarendi (as could Eokai, the Oteino, or the Mawa).
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Sturm » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:39 pm

Ok about horses, had missed that...
About patriarchy I'm not sure Ixion in this historical phase should be so hostile to Nyx (see below) although a faction of his church could well be.. the more violent patriarchal ideology should come from Thanatos (IIRC it still exist among hattian storm soldiers, so...)
About albarendi, they could be from any taymoran culture.. I think they should be from all of them and also have some nithian and alphatian later contribution... it's so much time from Taymora to Honor Island that is obvious that their culture should have changed much.. yet the wizards could still have secret societies that mirrors the different cultures that created them...

Common cultural traits of all Taymora (thonian-maharian mostly):
- Use of spirals as decorating elements
- Taurans and bulls should be an important element too, but if they are linked to the sun cult how they are treated? I think the sun cult could be permitted in Taymora, just subjugated to Nyx. Ixion himself could have accepted this to at least have his cult survive.. as you supposed he could even have developed an attraction for the goddess of the night that will end badly :-) Yet there will be in the empire a sect of sun extremist that wants to fight Nyx.. and Ixion isn't disavowing them...
- What about the bull-leaping dance? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull-leaping). It could exist as a symbol of the goddess of the night dominating the bull god..
- The legend of the minotaur: I think each Queen of the Night should have her pet taurans guarding her labyrinth, i.e. her inner sanctum containing her magic, treasures and most prized slaves... and here you could have an adventure with an inti or proto-nithian Sueseht (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theseus) sent to freed prisoners or maybe, with a different twist, sent to freed a tauran priest of Ixion :-)
- Double Axes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrys) were prominent in cretan decorations, probably associated to bulls but also to the worship of a goddess.. here returns the link between Ixion and Nyx...

elements from the above mentioned cultures that are spreading to the whole Taymora:
- Matriarchy, or at the very least equality, in particular matrilineality (descent through the mother) and property inherited from the mother.
- Bovines as sacred animals, so never hunted.
- Vegetarianism, or at least hunting and fishing permitted only in certain "sacred" times
- Construction of elaborated megalithic tombs (that always comes in handy as dungeons :-)
- Female clerics uphold the unwritten laws, that could be based on retribution or compensation, or both, according to regional differences
- Absence of strict sexual morality, marriage do exist but divorce is easy to obtain from either party.
- Developing several beautiful craftsmanship with stone, ivory, bronze, amber, silver and gold
- Developing sailing skills on the coast and exploration of foreign lands
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:21 pm

Hey Sturm, still going through these:
Sturm wrote:Albai
- Have domesticated buffalos but do not eat them, they breed them for milk and cheese. Differently from their relatives in nowadays Darokin, they now have a religious prohibition from hunting bovines and most mammals, but they fish and hunt birds.

I wonder if instead of horses, the eastern Taymorans might ride some form of domesticated bison. This cultural quality might also have been influenced by a population of taurans in the area. Perhaps there are larger pockets of taurans (originally from Gildesh circa BC 2900) in Albai lands?

Sturm wrote:- They build strong, rounded stone castles on hills. Male warriors are chosen as town leaders, have no unified government. Personal property is standard for items, houses and animals but have collective fields and grazing lands.
- Like to travel in neighbor lands, sometimes as mercenaries, sometimes as pirates, sometimes as traders. Have no money, use barter or foreign coinage.
...
I'd give Tarishish, Salkish and Aresh to this culture..

The Albai (and therefore the eastern Taymorans) sound like they might be more martially minded. Not a bad thing especially if you live on the border with Mogreth (though the Frontierlands do form a buffer of sorts). It could be that even before the Taymorans came the Albai had to defend themselves from the lizards and other threats.

Their culture is also very similar to that of the Dawn Corsairs, so perhaps they share some cultural heritage.
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:20 pm

Sturm wrote:Common cultural traits of all Taymora (thonian-maharian mostly):
- Taurans and bulls should be an important element too, but if they are linked to the sun cult how they are treated? I think the sun cult could be permitted in Taymora, just subjugated to Nyx. Ixion himself could have accepted this to at least have his cult survive.. as you supposed he could even have developed an attraction for the goddess of the night that will end badly :-) Yet there will be in the empire a sect of sun extremist that wants to fight Nyx.. and Ixion isn't disavowing them...
- What about the bull-leaping dance? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull-leaping). It could exist as a symbol of the goddess of the night dominating the bull god..

I'm thinking along similar lines here. I need to go back through my notes and look at all of the information we came up with for the taurans, but basically these folk fled from the Realm of Gildesh (and therefore from Ixion's worship) shortly after its founding. As such they may not have been active worshipers of Ixion/Idu, although they would have brought knowledge of that immortal with them here.

It may be that these taurans are fairly happy to have another immortal (Nyx/Tanit) over Ixion in their current pantheon. As time goes by and the Nyx priesthood becomes more tyrannical, some portion of the tauran population may seek to bring worship of Ixion back to the forefront of their religious practices. In BC 2300 this sect would be in the minority (but present).

Sturm wrote:- The legend of the minotaur: I think each Queen of the Night should have her pet taurans guarding her labyrinth, i.e. her inner sanctum containing her magic, treasures and most prized slaves... and here you could have an adventure with an inti or proto-nithian Sueseht (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theseus) sent to freed prisoners or maybe, with a different twist, sent to freed a tauran priest of Ixion :-)

I'm thinking along these lines as well (I'll detail those thoughts a bit more later) - but keep in mind that in the strictest sense minotaurs do not exist. They will not exist until BC 2000 when a group of enduks is cursed for killing Gildesh*. While the coast of Brun may see true minotaurs in the years to come, the taurans who have settled here now are from a different line of bovine folk and more bestial in appearance.

* I'd actually love to see some adventures leading up to this event in BC 2300 - but as of right now I haven't put a lot of thought into it.

Sturm wrote:- Double Axes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrys) were prominent in cretan decorations, probably associated to bulls but also to the worship of a goddess.. here returns the link between Ixion and Nyx...

I agree here as well. One thing we are missing is the worship of a "snake" diety (IIRC Minoans also had some serpent god - at least there are plenty of images of women holding snakes in both hands). Perhaps this could be a representation of Ka? In any case this should be a minor immortal in their pantheon.

Sturm wrote:elements from the above mentioned cultures that are spreading to the whole Taymora:
...
- Vegetarianism, or at least hunting and fishing permitted only in certain "sacred" times

I like this idea... especially if we can tie it in to vampirism (which might seem strange, but hear me out first ;) ). What if blood is sacred to these people since it is blood that keeps the Wasting disease at bay. In that case the Taymorans may have developed a culture where the shedding of blood is only done during sacred rituals. In that sense killing animals (and shedding their blood) might be seen as a form of sacrilege. It would also mean that the shedding of blood is left strictly in the hands of the nobility (nosferatu and vampires).

Times when folks are permitted to hunt and fish might correspond to the sacred times of the year when blood is collected for the Ceremony of Blood (at which point the humans are also expected to donate...).

Sturm wrote:- Developing sailing skills on the coast and exploration of foreign lands

Yes, although I expect this part of their culture to be in its infancy. I would say that it's only with the introduction of the elves of Colhador that Taymora starts to have any real sea power at all. Coastal vessels (mainly for fishing) would exist, and perhaps a small merchant fleet. The real power in the seas at this time is Adhuza however, and to a lesser extent the Dawn Corsairs.
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Sturm » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:46 pm

I like bison riding albai, I agree that they should have a culture similar to frontierlands and dawn corsair people..
Good idea also about the shedding of blood and surely Ka could be present too.. Now I'm away but next week could be able to start basic cultural description of individual cities..
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:43 pm

I've been spending some time thinking about the timeline - especially in light of Sturm's latest contributions - and I think there are some areas that need work (or re-work). The way I see it there are two major eras in Taymoran history: 1) Pre-Taymorans (after the GRoF, but before the Taymorans migrated to southern Brun, and 2) "Modern" Taymorans (after the Taymorans migrated to southern Brun and established their power base there).

Up until now I've been focusing mostly on #1. Who were the Taymorans? How did vampirism get integrated into their culture? Why did they move from inland Brun to the coast? There are still a few holes to fill in, but I think I've developed some answers that work for tese questions.

Item #2 however, has got me to thinking some more. The one issue I'd like to try and resolve is how did the Taymorans come to dominate the area, expecially given the fact that there are so many other cultures inhabiting it. This is especially problematic if we consider that Taymora is a loose confederacy of city states (just as intent on fighting each other as they are at fighting outsiders), and not a unified nation as such. Here are my general thoughts on how to resolve this:

BC 2582 - BC 2570: Taymorans move to southern Brun
I've got the Taymorans entering the area in BC 2582 and establishing the city of Tamoraz in BC 2570 (which pushes the boundaries of canon a bit - PC3 has them migrating into the area circa BC 2500, but that also gives us a bit more time to play with). I'm thinking that the point when Tamoraz is established would mark the beginning of Tayma's campaign to conquer the surrounding lands.

BC 2570 - BC 2430??: Taymoran Conquest
I think we can use Tayma as the unifying force behind the early Taymorans. She should be the one pushing to conquer the natives, as well as the one imposing "Taymoran" culture on her new subjects. There are probably several campaigns that take place in this time period:
- campaign against the Albai
- campaign against the Eokai
- campaign against the Oteino
- campaign against the Tudaka
[not so sure about the Mawa... perhaps they were not conquered, but were assimilated through some other means?]
Given the above dates, this gives us 140 years of war and conquest. Too short? Too long?

BC 2430?? - BC 2380??: Taymoran Consolidation
Tayma spends time consolidating her power base and bringing these conquered cultures under her firm grip. This would mean extending the period of time that Tayma is active before her "daughters" imprison her.
Given the above dates, this gives us 50 years of consolidation (and possibly putting down a rebellion or two). That's about a generation under Tayma's control. Again, too short? Too long?

BC 2380?? - BC 2300: Taymoran Fracture
Tayma is imprisoned (or otherwise removed from power) and her daughters fight for control of her empire. The centralized government falls, leaving sects of nobility in control of their own city states.
Given these dates, this is 80 years of City States - definitely a generation plus some. That would mean that most (mortal) citizens of Taymora would have lived their entire lives under the rule of a City State and have no direct memory of a more centralized government.

Thoughts?
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Sturm » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:07 pm

I think time periods could work as you wrote them.. The conquest itself could have gone as the romans did in Italy and beyond.. A complex sequence of victories, defeats, alliances done and broken, until their superior organization, and the division of their opponents, prevailed..
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Sturm » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:00 am

Also, I was wondering on how much control the taymoran city states could have of their countryside... I think not so much beside major towns and villages and roads... I imagine that clans of the various cultures described above still control independently several wilderness areas together with or in conflict with other creatures too, in particular fairies, giants and reptilians aided by Grondheim and Mogreth...
I would create also an organization, maybe called the Sacred Huntress, dedicated to Nyx as moon goddess. This organization, composed of female nosferatus and humans with ranger-like abilities, could have been created by Tayma herself to subdue and control the countryside.. after the division of Taymora, would each local branch of the organization be in conflict with the others to expand the power of each city or would the organization stay united, forming the last group still faithful to the dream of the ancient queen?
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:54 pm

Sturm wrote:Also, I was wondering on how much control the taymoran city states could have of their countryside... I think not so much beside major towns and villages and roads... I imagine that clans of the various cultures described above still control independently several wilderness areas together with or in conflict with other creatures too, in particular fairies, giants and reptilians aided by Grondheim and Mogreth...

I agree. In general I think the northern territories would be a bit more wild than the southern ones, and the east would be a bit more wild than the west (the center of Taymora - around the Poisoned Plains - may be the wildest section of all). There's probably also a larger sphere of influence centered around some of the bigger cities. I definitely like the idea of bands of brigands/freedom fighters scattered throughout Taymora, as well as foreign influences encroaching in (Grondheim, Mogreth, Intua, etc...).

Most Taymoran settlements would be walled. In the case of the larger cities, this would primarily be to defend against attacks from enemy nations (or other city states). In the case of the smaller villages it would be to protect folks from all the scary stuff out in the wilderness. It should probably be pretty scary to travel through certain portions of Taymora... even for Taymorans.

Sturm wrote:I would create also an organization, maybe called the Sacred Huntress, dedicated to Nyx as moon goddess. This organization, composed of female nosferatus and humans with ranger-like abilities, could have been created by Tayma herself to subdue and control the countryside.. after the division of Taymora, would each local branch of the organization be in conflict with the others to expand the power of each city or would the organization stay united, forming the last group still faithful to the dream of the ancient queen?

Love this! I kind of like the idea that the organization doesn't report directly to any of the City State Queens, so they may still be trying to bring about Tayma's original vision. This would put them into conflict with most of the currently entrenched nobility. It's nice to have conflict :twisted: On the other hand the Sacred Huntresses would be useful to the city states (they help keep order throughout the countryside) - so the queens have a reason to let them keep operating.
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Sturm » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:18 am

Chimpman wrote: It should probably be pretty scary to travel through certain portions of Taymora... even for Taymorans.

Indeed, I suppose monsters too should abound in this age.. There is a list?
Love this! I kind of like the idea that the organization doesn't report directly to any of the City State Queens, so they may still be trying to bring about Tayma's original vision. This would put them into conflict with most of the currently entrenched nobility. It's nice to have conflict :twisted: On the other hand the Sacred Huntresses would be useful to the city states (they help keep order throughout the countryside) - so the queens have a reason to let them keep operating.

Great, this mix of cooperation and conflict makes the things more grey than black and white and I think that's always good in a setting :)
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:31 pm

Sturm wrote:
Chimpman wrote: It should probably be pretty scary to travel through certain portions of Taymora... even for Taymorans.

Indeed, I suppose monsters too should abound in this age.. There is a list?

They should... though I don't have a list of the monsters common to Taymora (yet ;) ).

Here are some thoughts (we can add to this):
  • "Dire" animals are more common - larger wolves, bears, boars (some of which have been trained by various nations of the time to replace horses)
  • Lycanthropes (at least some version of them) are just starting to be created. Most in this era would be unique or semi-unique, and should be different from the modern versions of the disease (larger and more bestial).
  • Magical beasts (like displacer beasts, chimera, wyverns, etc) are probably common (and diverse).
  • Anything that can be explained by radiance mutation is probably common (but becoming less so as each year passes).
  • Bovine creatures (like the gorgon) should be around - possibly brought here by tauran immigrants?

You've suggested this for the Shimmering Lands as well (though I haven't done it yet) but it might be a good idea to develop some wandering monster tables for the area.
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Sturm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:27 pm

Yes, I would divide creatures and monster in groups, as they could be allies or not, and so competing groups would probably try to dominate a certain area... Lupins and taurans could be in several places allied with rebellious humans, and/or giants and fairies or even brutemen, chameleon men and sasquatchs...
Aranea? Hivebroods? Beastmen? these folks could be around or not?
Lizard men, trogs, caymans and frogfolks should be around, I suppose..
Radiance robots from Blackmoorian times in the poisoned plains? :)
Do Beholders exists at all in this age? I think they are extra-planar so maybe not...
Werecreatures and undeads should be agents of the Nosferatu queens against the countryside rebels, I think.. Some lupins and taurans too..
rakastas?
Magical beast I think it also depends on their origin... if connected to the fairy realms (as IMHO griffons, hippogriffs, pegasis, unicorns) they should be in "fairy" areas, if not I think they should be divided in other sub-groups.. I'll think a bit more about that...
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:02 pm

Sturm wrote:Yes, I would divide creatures and monster in groups, as they could be allies or not, and so competing groups would probably try to dominate a certain area... Lupins and taurans could be in several places allied with rebellious humans, and/or giants and fairies or even brutemen, chameleon men and sasquatchs...

All of these could be around I think, though giants and fairies would be most common. Chameleon men could be around (though I see them as coming from the west - along the Savage Coast). One interesting thing about chameleon men in this era is that the aranea of Herath haven't cursed them yet (Herath won't even exist for another 300 years or so). We might be able to do some interesting things with these folks - though I think most would be merchants and travelers through the area.

Sturm wrote:Aranea? Hivebroods? Beastmen? these folks could be around or not?

Aranea - These can definitely be around, though they would be old-school aranea (no secondary shape nor shape changing abilities). The aranea will make up a substantial population of Adhuza... so any in the Taymoran region could be considered "Adhuzans"

Beastmen are around... they serve as mercenaries for the dwarves on occasion, and I think they would roam around just about anywhere looking for good places to raid or pillage. They would most likely be found in small nomadic bands... but some may be "colonizing" new territory as they push out further and further from Urzud. Note also that humanoid strains have already begun to form. We will have some proto-humanoid strains starting to stabalize at this time, but there should also be plenty of chaotic beastmen forms around as well.

Hivebrood - I'm not a fan of hivebrood on Brun. I like them better on Skothar... and maybe early Alphatia. I think we talk about them in the BC 2300 Alphatia thread, but I'll have to go back and re-read it.

Sturm wrote:Lizard men, trogs, caymans and frogfolks should be around, I suppose..

All but the caymans. The caymans are created by Herathian wizards (Herath doesn't exist yet). Unless the particular caymans you want could be creations of an even older species - the carnifex. We've talked about the Herathians using carnifex lore when creating their servitor races and I quite like that idea. Since Mogreth is a legacy of the carnifex, I suppose some form of caymans could exist there as well.

Sturm wrote:Radiance robots from Blackmoorian times in the poisoned plains? :)
:twisted: I like that!

Sturm wrote:Do Beholders exists at all in this age? I think they are extra-planar so maybe not...

They could exist here, but I wouldn't give them any substantial population. Extra-planar creatures could really show up anywhere, so that explanation could work for them.

Sturm wrote:Werecreatures and undeads should be agents of the Nosferatu queens against the countryside rebels, I think.. Some lupins and taurans too..
rakastas?

Agreed. For rakastas, they don't seem to ever have a large presence on Brun (at least not in the Known World). I was thinking this would be another race that would fall under the dominion of Adhuza, but there could be other small populations around elsewhere as well.

Keep posting - I'm going to try and capture all of these ideas in a single document (which will eventually be morphed into our Taymora Gaz). It may take me a few days to get it organized, but I'll share it once it's ready.
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Re: [Nation] Taymora & Beholders?

Postby Gecko » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:47 pm

Chimpman wrote:
Sturm wrote:Do Beholders exists at all in this age? I think they are extra-planar so maybe not...

They could exist here, but I wouldn't give them any substantial population. Extra-planar creatures could really show up anywhere, so that explanation could work for them.


I always figured Beholders were not native to Mystara, being from Veydra, and that they didn't arrive in any significant numbers until the Overlord's invasion in the 6th Century AC.

Of course if you have them as originally being allies of the gemstones, maybe only some of them were sent to Veydra alongside the gemstone dragons - with the remaining dying out in Mystara in the interveining centures, then being re-introduced in the VIth Cent.
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Sturm » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:39 pm

Ok that's useful also because knowing what monsters are around it's easier to populate the map... let's examine creatures by groups.. sorry if it's a bit too much, reply when you have the time to do it...
- Beholder, they should be almost unknown then, but we could put a Beholder lich technomage survived somehow a war against blackmoor in the poisoned plains, with minions :)
- No hivebrood, but giant insects, oozes and worms should be present.. poisoned plains mostly? formians an other intelligent insects?
- Fungoids or other intelligent/ semi-intelligent mushrooms? their kind should have spread a lot after the Great Rain of Fire when the sun was blocked.. fungus forests still presents? or mostly in the underdeep?
- Constructs, I'd say some remnant blackmoorian robot is in order.. what other types of constructs - golems could the nosferatu queens do? Are they employed only in the palaces or in the outside too? or maybe only to guard tombs?
- How common is the evocation of outsiders? I do not see Nyx as being much in favor, but Thanatos seems to be the type to encourage demons summoning..
- Gates or places where elementals are common?
- There are places where dinosaurs and the like still live or only in Adhuza? (As we know there are dinosaurs in the Isle of Dread till the present). What about pleistocene megafauna? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleistocene_megafauna
- What types of undead could be employed by Nyx and what by Thanatos? Hel? It seems that Nyx prefers intelligent ones.. she could be hostile to the use of the unintelligent ones.. Where she stands about incorporeal undeads?
- Are taymoran giants and fairies united or divided? Maybe some are in Taymora because they escaped from the Troll queen, becoming allies of the nosferatu queens, or at least of the sacred huntresses...
- If aranea and rakasta come from Adhuza they could be present in the islands around Suthus, but they could also have a secret hideout on Taymora proper, where to fight the humans in service of their kopru masters...
- What's the city where chameleon men are most common? What's their attitude towards Nyx, the Troll Queen, Adhuza? You supposed that the Lord of Shadow and Hue in southern Grondheim could be an opponent of the Troll queen... but they do not seem very close to Nyx or Adhuza either.. maybe they could like the Inti more...
- Are lupins integrated in taymoran society or persecuted? If it's the latter, they should be present among the rebels..
- I think most taurans should be integrated, serving as guards for the nosferatu queens and elite of the armies, but some of them should also be rebels in the name of Idu..
- If beastmen are around are they open to alliances with taymoran rebels? Maybe the Troll queen uses them to attack and infiltrate Taymora?
- Caymen IIRC are put in the Blight Swamp by some canon adventure, so a strain of them could be around...
- Manscorpions too IIRC are canonically placed in the area by some canon product, so some of them could exist in the area...
- Dragons, it seems that Veritaph could be the mastermind behind all taymoran rebels.. given his association to Idu, he could be allied to the Inti... Hierophonem instead seems a likely ally of Mogreth... and then there are the Night Dragons.. are the nosferatu queens powerful enough to battle such enemies?
- Shapeshifters (other than werecreatures): I find quite likely that both the church of Nyx and the fairy folks would use such infiltrators...
- In hills and mountain there should be pockets of rock baboons, sasquatch, brutemen and snow apes from lost ages.. some of them could be allies of giants and or fairies...

About magical monsters, we could group them based on their supposed origin:
Natural/very ancient: Roc, Owl bear, Hydra, Wyvern, Carrion crawler, Choker, Decapus, earthquake beetle, fyrsnaca, lochnar, roper, sphinxes, skinwing, thunderhead wyvern, white fang snake, scamille, bargda, dragonfly, deep glaurant.
From the fairy realms (Dreamlands or Nightmare): Pegasus, Griffon, Hippogriff, Manticore, Nuckalavee, Seergar, pocket dragon, dragonne, vulturehound, gakaraks, pegataurs, tabi, gremlins, harpies.
From the astral or outer planes: Displacer beast, blink dog, mind flayers, demons, catoblepas? brain collector, baldandar.
From the elemental planes: Basilisk, cockatrice, lava lizard, water weird, rockfang, sea serpent, geonids.
Connected to Taurans?: Gorgons.
Radiance created?: rust monster, hook horror, hulker, Ash Crawler, stirge, sabreclaw.
Mogrethian/Carnifex: Naga, Hypnosnake, feywings, killer frogs, surtaki, xytar, lamara.
Created by Thanatos?: Nightgleet, yowler, dusanu, death demon.

Many of these could be present only in particular areas..
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Re: [Nation] Taymora & Beholders?

Postby Chimpman » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:19 am

Gecko wrote:I always figured Beholders were not native to Mystara, being from Veydra, and that they didn't arrive in any significant numbers until the Overlord's invasion in the 6th Century AC.

Of course if you have them as originally being allies of the gemstones, maybe only some of them were sent to Veydra alongside the gemstone dragons - with the remaining dying out in Mystara in the interveining centures, then being re-introduced in the VIth Cent.

I'm not up on my Dragonlords lore, so I'll have to rely on the expertise of others in this case. Regardless of any documented appearances of beholders on Mystara - if they are not natives of the world, then one or two could theoretically pop up now and again if it suits our purposes. I like the idea of keeping them very alien anyway. I don't think there should be any large populations of these guys around, but a stray beholder here or there (especially if we can explain it through some other-planar travel) could be cool.

Now that I think about it... they kind of remind me of draeden... I wonder if they could be related somehow...?
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:53 am

I may break the reply for this one into several posts...
Sturm wrote:- Beholder, they should be almost unknown then, but we could put a Beholder lich technomage survived somehow a war against blackmoor in the poisoned plains, with minions :)

Sounds like a great idea for an adventure in the Poisoned Plains! It might also be the reason the the Daughters of Night created Tayma's Rest in the area - an undead, technomage, beholder makes for a formidable guardian...

Sturm wrote:- No hivebrood, but giant insects, oozes and worms should be present.. poisoned plains mostly? formians an other intelligent insects?

Giant insects make sense. Formians and other intelligent insects I would save for another land - again possibly Skothar or ancient Alphatia.

Sturm wrote:- Fungoids or other intelligent/ semi-intelligent mushrooms? their kind should have spread a lot after the Great Rain of Fire when the sun was blocked.. fungus forests still presents? or mostly in the underdeep?

I like the idea that fungoids take over (or at least become more dominant) in those years after the GRoF, when the sun was blocked out. They could have had a minor resurgence 100 years ago as well (circa BC 2400) when Vulcania exploded (once again covering the world in ash and darkness - and destroying the southern elven civilization). I don't think they would continue to dominate once the sun came back, and there would have been several hundred years for normal life to recover (sans the event in BC 2400).

These creatures could definitely survive underground, and indeed I image that is where they retreated to once the sun made a comeback. As such they could be very near the surface wherever entrances to the Shadowdeep exist. They could also play a key role in Intua - especially in the Shadowdeep lands that the Inti still control.

Sturm wrote:- Constructs, I'd say some remnant blackmoorian robot is in order.. what other types of constructs - golems could the nosferatu queens do? Are they employed only in the palaces or in the outside too? or maybe only to guard tombs?

Constructs fall more under the purview of the dwarves of the Shimmering Lands than they do of the vampiric lords of Taymora. I'd limit Blackmoorian constructs in this land to those that survived the blast (and thus might still be operating under their own power/control). Anything damaged that needed repairs, as well as anything that is created new, should require the knowledge of the dwarves.
That's not to say that a vampire queen here or there couldn't employ some Shimmering Lands dwarves just for such a purpose. Sounds like a good way to add some color into one of the Taymoran City States. But I don't think it should be widespread.

Sturm wrote:- How common is the evocation of outsiders? I do not see Nyx as being much in favor, but Thanatos seems to be the type to encourage demons summoning..

Agreed. This should be Thanatos' domain. As such these creatures could be summoned by the vampires of eastern Taymora.
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:13 am

Sturm wrote:- Gates or places where elementals are common?

I can think of a few places:
- Koskatep (though this is technically outside of Taymora during this era).
- The location of Rugalov Keep (as yet unmarked, and also outside of Taymora - IIRC directly northeast from the Poisoned Plains)
- The mazes of Noctis Labyrinthus. These are rumored to lead to another world (Vaniae or M-Mars, which at this time is a lush blue world still full of water).
- There could be others - especially related to fire and earth. Veritaph's temple might be one of these. We could also look at the overlay map for locations marked with whirlpools... perhaps those are caused by portals leading to other planes or worlds.

Sturm wrote:- There are places where dinosaurs and the like still live or only in Adhuza? (As we know there are dinosaurs in the Isle of Dread till the present). What about pleistocene megafauna? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleistocene_megafauna

Definitely Thanegia (the island that will one day become the Thanegioth Archipelago). I haven't given much thought to elsewhere. Mogreth could harbor some animals that would be considered dinosaurs, and others like them could be scattered throughout the continent. I wouldn't make them (at least not the large ones) as prevalent as they are on the Isle of Dread or the Hollow World.

Sturm wrote:- What types of undead could be employed by Nyx and what by Thanatos? Hel? It seems that Nyx prefers intelligent ones.. she could be hostile to the use of the unintelligent ones.. Where she stands about incorporeal undeads?

Great question! ... though I'm not sure I've got a great answer.
Nyx - Nosferatu would be her favored undead, and I assume she would make use of vampires as lessor servitors. If we go with the take of Nyx as an undead society builder, then most intelligent undead (that can reproduce) might be employed by her.
Thanatos - Some vampires have been won over to his cause, and he is also the creator of the night dragons. Liches make sense as well, as do the less intelligent undead. Thanatos is about death and decay - and as such he has no desire for society building... only destruction.

Sturm wrote:- Are taymoran giants and fairies united or divided? Maybe some are in Taymora because they escaped from the Troll queen, becoming allies of the nosferatu queens, or at least of the sacred huntresses...

I would say they are divided. Many of them hate the Troll Queen and would have fled from her... however it doesn't mean they get along with each other (or even their neighbors). Some might find common cause with human allies - either a specific city state or with the huntresses as you say. Again I think using these creatures would be a good way to customize a region or city state within Taymora.

Sturm wrote:- If aranea and rakasta come from Adhuza they could be present in the islands around Suthus, but they could also have a secret hideout on Taymora proper, where to fight the humans in service of their kopru masters...

Exactly what I was thinking :twisted:
Some of these might be tied to various sects of freedom fighters - helping to battle against the vampiric rulers of the land - but their true masters would be the kopru...
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:34 am

Sturm wrote:- What's the city where chameleon men are most common? What's their attitude towards Nyx, the Troll Queen, Adhuza? You supposed that the Lord of Shadow and Hue in southern Grondheim could be an opponent of the Troll queen... but they do not seem very close to Nyx or Adhuza either.. maybe they could like the Inti more...

Interesting idea. If he did ever ally with the Inti, then I think he would consider them temporary allies at best. He may share some things in common with the Blind Fathers that control Intua from deep underground...

Sturm wrote:- Are lupins integrated in taymoran society or persecuted? If it's the latter, they should be present among the rebels..

I think this should depend on the region they're in and the city state that has control of them. The lupins were definitely conquered by Taymora... and many of them suffer because of that. Lately (in some city states) lupins are beginning to disappear - being taken for use in experiments leading to the creation of lycanthropes (which is my explanation for why lupins hate lycanthropes so much ;) )

This is another way to customize our city states. I think in some states they would be integrated fairly well, while in others they are treated as second class citizens, or even as slaves.

Sturm wrote:- I think most taurans should be integrated, serving as guards for the nosferatu queens and elite of the armies, but some of them should also be rebels in the name of Idu..

Yup. I'm on the same wavelength.

Sturm wrote:- If beastmen are around are they open to alliances with taymoran rebels? Maybe the Troll queen uses them to attack and infiltrate Taymora?

I think they are less likely to ally with rebels... unless the rebels have something worthwhile to offer them. I find it more likely that the Troll Queen would hire them to make punitive raids into Taymoran lands.

Sturm wrote:- Caymen IIRC are put in the Blight Swamp by some canon adventure, so a strain of them could be around...
- Manscorpions too IIRC are canonically placed in the area by some canon product, so some of them could exist in the area...

Both are possible. I see manscorpions living mostly in the Sind/Savage Coast regions, though they could possibly visit the Inti and beyond. In this era the manscorpions do not have an aversion to light or the sun (Ixion hasn't cursed them yet) so they would live out in the open.

Sturm wrote:- Dragons, it seems that Veritaph could be the mastermind behind all taymoran rebels.. given his association to Idu, he could be allied to the Inti... Hierophonem instead seems a likely ally of Mogreth... and then there are the Night Dragons.. are the nosferatu queens powerful enough to battle such enemies?

Veritaph is as you say - I see him manipulating the area for his own ends (whatever those actually are). He may be trying to help the Taymoran people, or he may be working toward his own goals.
Hierophonem I'm not so sure about. I don't think he would willingly submit to Mogreth... though he may have friendly dealings with the lizard folk of that nation. I see him as more of an independent quantity.

As for the night dragons... a large part of early Taymoran history is based on their struggle with these creatures - and one in particular, Ghaeranatos, from whom Tayma stole the secrets of becoming a nosferatu. Tayma was eventually able to defeat Ghaeranatos (if he is dead or not is another matter), but with her gone who is to say whether he daughters could do the same.
Now the night dragons have however, taken another path. They work in secret, attempting to undermine and destroy Taymora from within. Synn may be among them (I see her as an offspring/protege of Ghaeranatos). Perhaps she was created by him. Perhaps she is actually his daughter (before being transformed). In any case I think the night dragons would be operating in eastern Taymora (where Thanatos worship is stronger).

Sturm wrote:- Shapeshifters (other than werecreatures): I find quite likely that both the church of Nyx and the fairy folks would use such infiltrators...
- In hills and mountain there should be pockets of rock baboons, sasquatch, brutemen and snow apes from lost ages.. some of them could be allies of giants and or fairies...

Agree on both counts.
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Later than expected, but....

Postby Seer of Yhog » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:54 pm

Here is the fictionalised version of the dream sequence my player had with Jadikira...useful for tone and characterisation.

Marguerite’s Dream

“I trust you have enjoyed what you have seen of my city so far,” said Jadikira. “And there is more I would show you, if you desire it.”

“Tamoraz is…unlike anything I’ve seen before,” said Marguerite slowly. “But where *is* this place?”

Jadikira leaned back on her couch and cocked her head. “Tamoraz is a city-state, my realm, on the southern coast of Taymora.”

Marguerite furrowed her brow. She had never been enthusiastic about geography (Master Verwoerd had been a terrible bore - there were worse fates than being stuck with him, but not many – and had it not been for Aden slipping her chocolates each class she would surely have succumbed), but she had studied it as thoroughly as any of her other courses. She was pretty darned sure Taymora was not on any of the maps she had seen – even that very colourful historical one that showed Darokin’s “warring states” period. “I’ve…never heard of it,” she said at last.

Jadikira drew back. “Never heard of…” she cut herself off and exhaled slowly. “Very well. Taymora is a broad land of rolling plains and hilly forests, south of a great mountain chain that separates us from the arid interior plains dominated by the Intuans, and the unruly hordes of Grondheim. To the south is the Dread Sea, upon which we voyage but seldom due to the machinations of the sea peoples. Does that…help you?”

Marguerite tried to place the lands Jadikira described on a mental image of the Known World she had seen in class. Nothing…except…the Dread Sea was probably the Sea of Dread, and if Taymora was between the sea and a mountain chain then that meant the mountains she was talking about would be the Altan Tepes, which were….far to the south. She seemed to recall there wasn’t much land between the Altan Tepes and the sea – unless you counted the islands of Ierendi and Minrothad – so that meant… “I think Taymora is gone,” said Marguerite slowly, “and has been for a long time. I’ve never heard of the other places you mentioned, either.”

Jadikira blinked. “Gone?” She snapped her fingers and called out in a language Marguerite didn’t understand. A dark-skinned girl with curly black hair wearing a plain white cotton dress padded silently into the room, bowed low before Jadikira, and asked a question in a soft voice. Jadikira held up two fingers and said a handful of words. Marguerite listened carefully, but was unable to determine what language her host could possibly be speaking. The girl bowed low once more, and backed out of the room. “I must apologise, Marguerite, for being such a poor host. Here I am, pressing you about what you know, and I haven’t offered you some refreshment!”

The girl returned moments later bearing two cups on a gold tray. She set the tray down on a low ebony table between the two women, and artfully set down the cups in front of each. The girl bowed low before Jadikira, removed the tray, and backed out of the room. Marguerite looked at the cups on the table. Both were silver, and beaded with condensation, but the one in front of Jadikira had a lid on it. Marguerite fanned herself lightly. Come to think of it, it was quite humid here – it only got this warm in Corunglain on the worst of late summer days, but judging by how people dressed here Taymora must be warm most of the year. Her drink looked like some kind of orange syrup, with powdered cinnamon on top. “I think you will find your drink most refreshing,” said Jadikira. “I find the cinnamon adds a bit of bite that makes for a nice contrast.”

Marguerite took a sip, and her eyes widened. Aside from her father’s honey cakes and the occasional sugar candy, she had never had anything so sweet and rich in her life. Whatever fruit it was made from was incredibly thick, and she could feel it settle into her stomach. The drink cooled her down instantly. “What is this?” she asked with a smile.

“I take it you have never tried mangoes before?” asked Jadikira. “They grow on some of the islands in the Dread Sea, and in certain places in Taymora where conditions are just right. I have a few plantations, myself. I can’t say I have much of a taste for fruits, but I make an exception for these.” She picked up her cup, lifted the lid, and took a sip.

“What are you drinking, and why is it covered?” asked Marguerite.

“Oh, this? It’s a concoction of sorts. I have a skin condition of sorts, as you might have guessed,” said Jadikira, gesturing at herself. Her skin was indeed very pale, compared to the other people of Tamoraz Marguerite had seen. “I burn easily, and I am susceptible to other things. Fortunately, there are herbal and magical remedies available that make my life a little less uncomfortable. However, I need to take them regularly…or at least I did, if Taymora is no more as you say.”

“That’s what I’m curious about, actually,” said Marguerite. “If Tamoraz and Taymora don’t exist anymore, what am I doing here?” She took another sip of the mango drink. It really was quite delicious, and part of her hoped that, even if Taymora seemed to have been destroyed, mangoes still existed somewhere.

Jadikira smiled broadly. “That is, in fact, why you are here. I created several items of power - long ago, now, it seems – and used them to store portions of my essence, if you will. I know something terrible is going to happen to Taymora, and obviously it did, and I did not survive. So I suppose you can consider me a fragment of my real self – a bundle of memories and emotions and a small portion of my power embedded in my…your…ring. So perhaps I am in your imagination, and you are equally in mine. Although I can’t remember all the details – perhaps those memories are stored in another item – I do know that I hoped to meet someone like myself someday.”

Marguerite gaped. This was all too strange. Yet the strange glass sphere surrounding the ring had melted away harmlessly as soon as she had held it, and for some reason the ring felt *right* on her hand. Like it was meant for her. And this strange Jadikira seemed to know about the ring and her dagger. If this is a dream, then it can’t do me any harm to play along, she thought. It might even be useful.

“I would like to propose something to you,” said Jadikira, “I think we can help each other. From what you have told me the world has changed greatly since my time, and no doubt if Taymora is forgotten, then its works must surely be lost, too.” She leaned forward to took another sip from her covered silver cup. “My people had already been studying the magical arts for nearly a thousand years in my own time. How would you like to learn the secrets of a lost nation, Marguerite? I can teach you things your instructors never dreamed of. I can give you spells no living wizard has uttered for centuries. I will do all this for you, Marguerite, if you help me. All I need,” Jadikira paused to take another sip, “is for you to find two things for me – my staff, and my tiara. That’s all. Will you do this for me?”

Marguerite paused. If this was just a dream then there was no harm in agreeing. But if it was real…if she really *was* talking to the dream image of a long-dead sorceress queen of a city-state that vanished ages ago, then the secrets she could learn would set her apart from everyone else. She had never thought of herself as greedy or ruthlessly ambitious, but at the same time magic opened doors to her that she had never imagined existed before, and riding the flows of magical energy was a thrill in itself. The prospect of having access to unique secrets was too enticing to ignore. “Yes,” said Marguerite with a smile, “I would be happy to help you.”
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Re: [Nation] Taymora - Empire of the Dead

Postby Chimpman » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:14 am

:twisted:
I like that a lot GG! So I assume your player's character already has 2 of the 4 items she needs (a ring and dagger)? That's definitely something we can play with when we start looking at magical item creation... I wonder what happens when all four items are brought together? I wonder if Jadikira could be having the same kinds of conversations with the folks in possession of those other 2 items. If Jadikira's intellect really is broken up and separated amongst multiple items, the poor former queen might be playing at cross purposes with herself! Of course, in the end one person would possess all 4 items... but there might be some heavy competition to acquire them all...
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