Raiding Ethengar (in Mystara) for The Horde

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Raiding Ethengar (in Mystara) for The Horde

Postby Big Mac » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:05 am

Havard mentioned the Ethengar in his Horde-Like Cultures in other settings thread, but I just saw GAZ12 The Golden Khan of Ethengar mentioned in the 1989 blog entry of Crazy Monkey's History of D&D.

Now I'm wondering what could be raided from GAZ12, have the Mystara serial numbers filed off and be reused as content for The Horde campaign setting. What sort of stuff is in the book?

And does Mystara have any other products that deal with the Ethengar?
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Re: Raiding Ethengar (in Mystara) for The Horde

Postby Havard » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:49 am

Sorry if this sounds nitpicky BM, but whenever I see these "Raiding Mystara" threads, I become a bit sad because I love Mystara so much.

Perhaps I am overly sensitive, but I think an invitation to use Mystara material with X-setting material in order to create something that can be useful for both Mystara fans and fans of setting X might make it more encouraging for fans of both settings to cooperate. :)

Dont get me wrong though, I think this type of threads is a really good idea, but perhaps a different choice of words would mean a lot to some of us. Perhaps it is the decades of TSR treating Mystara like a red headed step child that still has some resonating pain in some of us.


As to Ethengar products, I recommend the Mystara Modules and Placement thread which helped me find some of the following:
  • Gazetteer 12 - The Golden Khan of Ethengar
  • BSOLO - Ghost of Lion Castle
  • X3: Curse of Xanathon (Begins in Vestland, but parts are set in Ethengar)

I cannot remember if X10 had a sequence in Ethengar?

Certainly the Almanacs did.

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Re: Raiding Ethengar (in Mystara) for The Horde

Postby snorri » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:37 pm

As far as I can remmeber, yes, X10 had a short part in Ethengar - the nomads being rather pro-Mster of nomads (of course).
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Re: Raiding Ethengar (in Mystara) for The Horde

Postby Big Mac » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:37 pm

Havard wrote:Sorry if this sounds nitpicky BM, but whenever I see these "Raiding Mystara" threads, I become a bit sad because I love Mystara so much.

Perhaps I am overly sensitive, but I think an invitation to use Mystara material with X-setting material in order to create something that can be useful for both Mystara fans and fans of setting X might make it more encouraging for fans of both settings to cooperate. :)

Dont get me wrong though, I think this type of threads is a really good idea, but perhaps a different choice of words would mean a lot to some of us. Perhaps it is the decades of TSR treating Mystara like a red headed step child that still has some resonating pain in some of us.


Whenever you "see these threads"? I've only ever posted two threads containing "Raiding" and locations in Mystara. (I've also posted about raiding Talislanta and Hellas in the past.)

I don't know what TSR may have said about Mystara, but I can assure you that fans of many of the 2nd Edition AD&D campaign settings have also felt neglected for years. In fact, a lot of the 2nd Edition campaign settings got a lot less coverage than Mystara and many of them have a much more scattered fanbase. The "TSR was killed by two many settings" mantra that went around during the early 3rd Edition era made fans of most settings feel they were being blamed for somehow harming D&D (when in fact we all paid our hard earned cash to TSR and spent years talking about how cool their products were).

Mystara is relatively strong. It has a much stronger fanbase both on The Piazza and elsewhere. The total number of posts for The Horde are less than 0.5 percent of the total number of posts for Mystara. This thread was just me trying to help use content from one D&D campaign setting to add to content for another. It wasn't intended to endorse any sort of TSR policy on Mystara. If you really want an apology, I'll give you one, but to be honest, I think that WotC has treated almost every campaign setting except mainstream Forgotten Realms the same way as Mystara, so I don't really get the "red headed stepchild" thing when Mystara is in such a good position, from a fanbase point of view.

I think it would be good to be able to create fanon material that fans of both Ethengar and The Horde (and also other horde-like cultures) could use, but I also think it would be useful for fans of either product line to be able to grab canon ideas from the other product line file the serial numbers off and use them in a gameworld they were not originally meant for. And threads for grabbing ideas from other products are going to need to be one-way processes. Fans of the original setting are not going to be getting so much from a Ethengar-to-Horde conversion or a Horde-to-Ethengar conversion, because most of the things that might come up are going to be things that are already in the original setting. That is why I used the term raiding. It is an idea-raid.

Havard wrote:As to Ethengar products, I recommend the Mystara Modules and Placement thread which helped me find some of the following:
  • Gazetteer 12 - The Golden Khan of Ethengar
  • BSOLO - Ghost of Lion Castle
  • X3: Curse of Xanathon (Begins in Vestland, but parts are set in Ethengar)

I cannot remember if X10 had a sequence in Ethengar?

Certainly the Almanacs did.


I still haven't started buying Mystara material. In part because the setting seems to be more complex that Forgotten Realms. If I was to look at those Mystara books, how much stuff would be so tied to Mystara that it would not be usable elsewhere and how much would be stuff that could inspire similar ideas in another setting?

Thanks for the thread-link. I had seen that one in the distant past. I'm not sure how BSOLO, X3 and X10 might dovetail with GAZ12, as my Mystara-fu is not very good. Would GAZ12 stand up on its own as a setting?

snorri wrote:As far as I can remmeber, yes, X10 had a short part in Ethengar - the nomads being rather pro-Mster of nomads (of course).


Thanks Snorri. Are X3 and X10 related to each other, at all? Does X10 have anything like returning NPCs from X3 or previously used locations?
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Re: Raiding Ethengar (in Mystara) for The Horde

Postby Cthulhudrew » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:43 am

Big Mac wrote:Thanks Snorri. Are X3 and X10 related to each other, at all? Does X10 have anything like returning NPCs from X3 or previously used locations?


X3 and X10 didn't have any connection that I can recall (aside from being set in the Known World). I don't even think the name of the King of Vestland in X10 is the same as that in X13.

(Of course, they changed the name of the King of Vestland between module X13 and the publication of Gaz7 as well; and I'm near certain the name of the king in Gaz7 is not the same as either of the previous sources. Ugh.)

X3 and X13, however, are connected. While written by different authors, X13 definitely assumes that X3 came first, historically. It specifically references Duke Stephan Rhoona as an NPC who will side with the new king. One could likewise infer that the Ethengar participation in the behind the scenes plotting of X13 is connected with the Cult of Cretia's attempt to take over the town of Rhoona in X3.

(Interestingly, X13 was written by the same author as X11: Saga of the Shadow Lord, and- while the plots are not related, and X11 doesn't involve Ethengar- they both use the same Pregenerated PCs and their histories in X13 reference the events of X11.)
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Re: Raiding Ethengar (in Mystara) for The Horde

Postby Big Mac » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:31 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Thanks Snorri. Are X3 and X10 related to each other, at all? Does X10 have anything like returning NPCs from X3 or previously used locations?


X3 and X10 didn't have any connection that I can recall (aside from being set in the Known World). I don't even think the name of the King of Vestland in X10 is the same as that in X13.

(Of course, they changed the name of the King of Vestland between module X13 and the publication of Gaz7 as well; and I'm near certain the name of the king in Gaz7 is not the same as either of the previous sources. Ugh.)


I know that the Mystara timeline shifted along the product line. If X10 is in a later era than X3, I suppose that a king might have died or been overthrown. But I would expect that to be explained somewhere appropriate (like GAZ7). This sort of detail is where I struggle to get to grips with Mystara and really really wish that WotC had licensed some experts to make a 3rd Edition Mystara line to help people like me find a new entry point into the setting. (The Mystara 3E Conversion Project is my big hope now. That and an encyclopedia of Mystara canon, to help me navigate through canon conflicts, would really help me.)

But, to get back on topic how does Vestland relate to the Ethengar? Could the Horde-like culture be an explanation for changes with the King of Vestland somehow? Has there ever been a discussion of this at the Vaults or the Mystara forum that might help this to be used as inspiration for The Horde campaign setting?

Cthulhudrew wrote:X3 and X13, however, are connected. While written by different authors, X13 definitely assumes that X3 came first, historically. It specifically references Duke Stephan Rhoona as an NPC who will side with the new king. One could likewise infer that the Ethengar participation in the behind the scenes plotting of X13 is connected with the Cult of Cretia's attempt to take over the town of Rhoona in X3.

(Interestingly, X13 was written by the same author as X11: Saga of the Shadow Lord, and- while the plots are not related, and X11 doesn't involve Ethengar- they both use the same Pregenerated PCs and their histories in X13 reference the events of X11.)


How far away from Ethengar are X13 and X11? Are we talking of neighbouring kingdoms? I was recently skimming through the campaign setting book for The Horde and there are a number of horse using cities on the borders of the road from Kara-Tur to Faerun that seem like they are supposed to be a blending of barbarian, Kara-Tur and Faerun concepts (as if the trading nations are bringing "civilisation" to the nomads). I'm not sure I've got that right, but that is the gut feeling I get from it.

What is your take on the X13 and X11 areas? Do you think there is any interaction going on between the Ethengar and other city-based cultures?
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Re: Raiding Ethengar (in Mystara) for The Horde

Postby Cthulhudrew » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:37 pm

Big Mac wrote:I know that the Mystara timeline shifted along the product line. If X10 is in a later era than X3, I suppose that a king might have died or been overthrown.


X10 initially was shifted forward 200 years from the present timeline in the early Gaz series (presumably so that the sweeping changes a massive war would have wouldn't be campaign changing). It was later shifted back, with the advent of Wrath of the Immortals (and a general trend in TSR to make massive world changes). Canonically, now, X10 takes place around 1005-1006 AC, just a few years after the 1000 AC Gazetteer date.

However, there are no changes to the rulers of Vestland or Ethengar resulting from the war, canonically; they are still ruled by the same leaders in the Poor Wizard's Almanacs that begin in 1010 AC.

This sort of detail is where I struggle to get to grips with Mystara and really really wish that WotC had licensed some experts to make a 3rd Edition Mystara line to help people like me find a new entry point into the setting.


The big part of the problem is that the world was developed piecemeal, and not with an overarching vision, at least at first. There were modules that came out, and then X1 was the first time we ever really were given a larger "campaign" setting for them to take place in (to go along with the Expert set's expansion beyond the dungeons of the Basic set to more wilderness oriented adventures).

Even then, it wasn't until the Gaz line was started- much later- that thought was given to putting the various nations into context with one another and attempting a coherent chronology.

As you say, though, it can be difficult to get a feel for if you don't know the setting and have access to the various products (which are obviously no longer in print, and some aren't even available as pdfs for purchase.)

But, to get back on topic how does Vestland relate to the Ethengar? Could the Horde-like culture be an explanation for changes with the King of Vestland somehow? Has there ever been a discussion of this at the Vaults or the Mystara forum that might help this to be used as inspiration for The Horde campaign setting?


Vestland is located to the immediate east of the Ethengar plains. As for the changes in the king of Vestland, that's a more complicated issue. X13's storyline is that the king of Vestland and his heir die, and the PCs become involved in a plot to find a missing/hidden heir to the throne and restore him to it. The king there doesn't really bear any resemblance to the king in Gaz7. In fact, the culture of Vestland as given there seems more progressive and somewhat more modern than the culture of Vestland in Gaz7, which is much more Viking-esque.

It was really just a case of the writer of the Gaz deciding to do his own thing and not pay attention to the module. He mentions it, but gives a rather half-hearted explanation for the differences. It's further complicated by PWA1010, which attempts to explain that the two kings of Vestland are the same person, but the timeline doesn't quite work there, either.

I made an effort at reconciling the differences myself at one point.

How far away from Ethengar are X13 and X11? Are we talking of neighbouring kingdoms?


X13 is set in Vestland (with a short jaunt to the Heldann Freeholds to the north), while X11 is set in distant Wendar and Denagoth (see map).

What is your take on the X13 and X11 areas? Do you think there is any interaction going on between the Ethengar and other city-based cultures?


Ethengar sits roughly in between, directly bordering Vestland. I doubt there is much (if any) contact between Ethengar and Wendar, though, given the vast mountains that separate them and that the Ethengars are a plains based horse culture.

Ethengar does have contacts (and a history of conflict) with other neighboring cultures, notably the Glantrians to the west and the Heldann to the north. The Glantri/Ethengar border, in fact, does have some settlements that are or would seem to be similar to the sort of cultural blending you're talking about: Bramyra, a Glantrian town (later Principality) is largely made up of people of Ethengarian ancestry.

Also one of their other, older Principalities- Krondahar- was founded by Ethengarians, and is still suspect by many Glantrians for harboring Ethengarian sensitivities. It's sort of like Kublai Khan's China in many ways.
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