[New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

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[New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:12 am

T. H. Lain wrote some Dungeons & Dragons novels, back when Greyhawk was the core setting for D&D: These use the GH-lite characters used in many of the core D&D books, so they should be Greyhawk novels.

Has anyone got these novels?

Do they actually connect to Greyhawk? If they do, how good is the connection?

Do they give you any details about Greyhawk that are interesting?

Has anyone ever tried to use the background information from these novels to enhance their Greyhawk game?

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): Moving this to Other Worlds and retagging this as [New Koratia] as there does not seem to be a Greyhawk connection.
Last edited by Big Mac on Wed May 22, 2013 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by JasonZavoda » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:51 am

Big Mac wrote:T. H. Lain wrote some Dungeons & Dragons novels, back when Greyhawk was the core setting for D&D: These use the GH-lite characters used in many of the core D&D books, so they should be Greyhawk novels.

Has anyone got these novels?

Do they actually connect to Greyhawk? If they do, how good is the connection?

Do they give you any details about Greyhawk that are interesting?

Has anyone ever tried to use the background information from these novels to enhance their Greyhawk game?
I don't believe Greyhawk was the core setting. Instead they used some deities from the Greyhawk pantheon that had been excised from the setting and added no new Greyhawk setting material. I might be wrong here because I lost all interest in WotC releases before these novels were released.

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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:47 pm

Big Mac wrote: Do they actually connect to Greyhawk? If they do, how good is the connection?
As Jason said, there are no Greyhawk details in these novels apart from the names of deities.

I don't think they even happen on anything recognizable as Oerth. The local city is called New Koratia. There was an article on the Wizards of the Coast website at the time detailing the land in which those novels took place. You can see it archived here.
The city of Koratia was established at the mouth of the River Delnir some eight hundred years ago on the southwestern frontier of the Kingdom of Soes...
I'm pretty sure novels that take place in something called the Kingdom of Soes have nothing to do with Greyhawk. I don't think it would fit in Western Oerik either, without some serious revision.

T.H. Lain was a house name used by a number of different authors, including Philip Athans, Cory Herndon, Bruce Cordell, Ed Stark, Johnny Wilson, Nate Levine, Murray Leeder, Dave Gross, and Jess Lebow.

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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:50 am

JasonZavoda wrote:I don't believe Greyhawk was the core setting. Instead they used some deities from the Greyhawk pantheon that had been excised from the setting and added no new Greyhawk setting material. I might be wrong here because I lost all interest in WotC releases before these novels were released.
Greyhawk was the core setting back when WotC published D&D Gazetteer:
D&D Gazetteer blurb wrote:Welcome to the world of the D&D game!

...

Inside is everything you need to launch your own version of the first campaign world, including:
  • A full-color map of the land of the Flanaess, also showing the continentes and seas of the planet Oerth.
...
And those characters (later featured in those novels) were there in the PHB (which had a Greyhawk coin in the equipment section). Maybe someone made a "Bobby Ewing move" on the characers and pulled them out of Greyhawk. I'm not sure why. :?
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Do they actually connect to Greyhawk? If they do, how good is the connection?
As Jason said, there are no Greyhawk details in these novels apart from the names of deities.

I don't think they even happen on anything recognizable as Oerth. The local city is called New Koratia. There was an article on the Wizards of the Coast website at the time detailing the land in which those novels took place. You can see it archived here.
The city of Koratia was established at the mouth of the River Delnir some eight hundred years ago on the southwestern frontier of the Kingdom of Soes...
I'm pretty sure novels that take place in something called the Kingdom of Soes have nothing to do with Greyhawk. I don't think it would fit in Western Oerik either, without some serious revision.
Thanks for the link. I've never seen that before. Looks like they were building something very similar to Nentir Vale. I wonder if the Kingdom of Soes could fit onto one of the other worlds in Greyspace. :?
ripvanwormer wrote:T.H. Lain was a house name used by a number of different authors, including Philip Athans, Cory Herndon, Bruce Cordell, Ed Stark, Johnny Wilson, Nate Levine, Murray Leeder, Dave Gross, and Jess Lebow.
TSR did the same with Michael Andrews. I hate it when publishers do that. I'd rather know who actually wrote a book.
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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:02 pm

Big Mac wrote:Thanks for the link. I've never seen that before. Looks like they were building something very similar to Nentir Vale. I wonder if the Kingdom of Soes could fit onto one of the other worlds in Greyspace. :?
Probably. There are blank spots on the map of Ginsel.

I tend to think New Koratia is too "mundane" to work as an alien world, though. Ginsel itself is portrayed as having a relatively D&D-standard culture, and Roger E. Moore speculated that it was probably founded as a colony by either the Suel or Oeridians (or both), so it could work, but I'd prefer other planets to have cultures that couldn't exist on Oerth. My Ginsel will have distinct native races and even the Oerth-derived civilizations will have grown different enough over the millennia that PCs can tell at a glance that they aren't in Kansas (or Verbobonc) anymore.

New Koratia seems to be the kind of place that would fit perfectly on Oerth itself, though, except for the nagging problem that it isn't there, and there isn't really room for it. The best I can think of is to make it either a breakaway kingdom on the island of Thalos (in western Oerik) or to change New Koratia to Greyhawk or Gradsul.

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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:58 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Thanks for the link. I've never seen that before. Looks like they were building something very similar to Nentir Vale. I wonder if the Kingdom of Soes could fit onto one of the other worlds in Greyspace. :?
Probably. There are blank spots on the map of Ginsel.

I tend to think New Koratia is too "mundane" to work as an alien world, though. Ginsel itself is portrayed as having a relatively D&D-standard culture, and Roger E. Moore speculated that it was probably founded as a colony by either the Suel or Oeridians (or both), so it could work, but I'd prefer other planets to have cultures that couldn't exist on Oerth. My Ginsel will have distinct native races and even the Oerth-derived civilizations will have grown different enough over the millennia that PCs can tell at a glance that they aren't in Kansas (or Verbobonc) anymore.
You could be right. The unusual shape of Ginsel, alone, should have an impact on the culture. New Koratia would need to be on the outer part of the world to be more "mundane".

I would prefer other Greyspace worlds to have cultures that work as if they were sub-settings for Greyhawk. I would kind of like to see a blending of Greyhawk and non-Greyhawk themes. I would prefer to see the same gods get reused (I think the multi-pantheon thing that Forgotten Realms has is a bit of a problem when taken to the sphere level, because you could infer that all the unknown lands on Toril and all the other worlds in Realmspace could have multiple new pantheons). It might be fun to tweak the pantheon slightly, but the idea of a long-forgotten colonisation from Suel or Oeridians sounds good. You could maybe even have other races get into wildspace (especially if they were "assisted" by raids by slavers).
ripvanwormer wrote:New Koratia seems to be the kind of place that would fit perfectly on Oerth itself, though, except for the nagging problem that it isn't there, and there isn't really room for it. The best I can think of is to make it either a breakaway kingdom on the island of Thalos (in western Oerik) or to change New Koratia to Greyhawk or Gradsul.
I think that keeping it on Oerth would be preferable. It makes it more Greyhawk than Greyspace. And while Greyspace needs stuff, I"m guessing that these books will be groundling fantasy. (I think the other worlds of Greyspace are going to be far to spacefarer aware.) So New Koratia could potentially be used as a Greyhawk sub-setting.

What about the South East area of Hepmonland? I thought that only the North West corner had been developed. :? Has Canonfire done a project to fill in the rest of Hepmonland, or would there be space there?

South of Thalos, you have the Tharque Empire, with a few smaller (but still big) islands to the west of the main island. If you think New Koratia would need to be a breakaway kingdom perhaps it might fit over there.

Changing New Koratia to Greyhawk or Gradsul would seem to be a waste of a city map. But if the city is called that, it does beg the question: "Where is the original Koratia?" :shock: :?
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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:17 pm

Big Mac wrote:You could be right. The unusual shape of Ginsel, alone, should have an impact on the culture.
And the lack of a moon, and the distance from the sun. We've had a discussion elsewhere about whether or not celestial bodies seem smaller the further away you get in the Spelljammer universe, but I think the general assumption should be that they do. If not, wouldn't every planet in Greyspace seem the size of a moon from Oerth?
(I think the multi-pantheon thing that Forgotten Realms has is a bit of a problem when taken to the sphere level, because you could infer that all the unknown lands on Toril and all the other worlds in Realmspace could have multiple new pantheons).
Greyhawk does that too, though. For example, the Olman and Touv peoples have their own, completely separate pantheons, and before the Twin Cataclysms the Oeridian, Suel, Baklunish, and Flan pantheons were largely or entirely separate. The Baklunish pantheon is mostly separate to this day, although in the Flanaess ethnic groups have blended.

I think some of the gods labeled as "common" might be known on other worlds in Greyspace, but it's reasonable to assume some of the worlds might have their own pantheons as well.

I also think it's likely that even those worlds that have been colonized by humans from Oerth probably had native populations before that, and that native species should still be on those worlds to some extent.
What about the South East area of Hepmonland? I thought that only the North West corner had been developed. :? Has Canonfire done a project to fill in the rest of Hepmonland, or would there be space there?
There's a complete map of Hepmonaland in The Scarlet Brotherhood by Sean K. Reynolds. The northern portion of that island continent is inhabited by Olman and Suel barbarians, some yuan-ti, and some Scarlet Brotherhood influence. The southern part of the continent is mostly Touv. The Olman have a Central American culture, while the Touv are kind of quasi-African, with a unique fantasy pantheon.

Wherever New Koratia is, the people there worship gods of the Flanaess, including Pelor and Nerull (Flan deities), Wee Jas (a Suel deity), Moradin (a dwarf deity), and Pholtus (an Oeridian deity). You'd have to assume that a colony of people (including many dwarves and elves) from the Flanaess, some time after the post-Migrations era mixing of ethnic groups, traveled to the Touv lands, drove away the native Touv and made them stay away, and founded a society more or less like the one they left.
South of Thalos, you have the Tharque Empire, with a few smaller (but still big) islands to the west of the main island. If you think New Koratia would need to be a breakaway kingdom perhaps it might fit over there.


The islands might be a possibility. The WotC page that I linked to above mentioned "rich lands across the Southern Sea" and "war galleys from the South," and you can't get too much further south than that. It might refer to a more southern island, however. If the Southern Sea is the Gulf of Ishtar, the war galleys might have come from the region north of the Barbarian Seameast, which might be wealthier than we generally assume.

Tharquish is supposed to be similar to the Roman Empire in culture, though, and it probably doesn't have the same mix of deities that the Flanaess has. The Black Moon Chronicles that inspired this part of Oerth posited a monotheistic faith called the Order of Light, as well as a more pagan Black Moon cult, an imprisoned demigoddess called the Oracle, the worshipers of Lucifer, the neutral-aligned Dragon-Knights, Pharoah-worshipers, and the order of the mage-deity Methatron.
Changing New Koratia to Greyhawk or Gradsul would seem to be a waste of a city map.
Assuming you already have a map of Gradsul that you like, yeah. The advantage to making it Gradsul is that the area is already integrated into the Greyhawk setting, and the rich lands across the sea could be the Sea Princes.
But the city is called that, it does beg the question: "Where is the original Koratia?" :shock: :?
According to the page I linked to above:

"The city staggered along through the reigns of eight more kings and ten more barons before being utterly destroyed in the Conflagration of Tael -- an enormous firestorm conjured up by the royal wizard, who felt he'd been cheated by the king. The entire Kingdom of Soes was plunged into a long period of civil war, until one man finally drew the warring noble houses together. Dammeral Ramas, after being crowned King of Koratia, announced his plans to build a new capital.

"A site was chosen some fifteen miles up the River Delnir, where ships from the Southern Sea could still dock, but the surrounding land was unsullied by Tael's magical fires."

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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:33 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:You could be right. The unusual shape of Ginsel, alone, should have an impact on the culture.
And the lack of a moon, and the distance from the sun. We've had a discussion elsewhere about whether or not celestial bodies seem smaller the further away you get in the Spelljammer universe, but I think the general assumption should be that they do. If not, wouldn't every planet in Greyspace seem the size of a moon from Oerth?
I quite agree with that. A planet was originally thought to be a wandering star. I don't see that it needs to be any larger than a star.

I'll be going through the T. H. Lain novels soon. I'll have a look to see if they mention a moon or any other celestial objects.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:(I think the multi-pantheon thing that Forgotten Realms has is a bit of a problem when taken to the sphere level, because you could infer that all the unknown lands on Toril and all the other worlds in Realmspace could have multiple new pantheons).
Greyhawk does that too, though. For example, the Olman and Touv peoples have their own, completely separate pantheons, and before the Twin Cataclysms the Oeridian, Suel, Baklunish, and Flan pantheons were largely or entirely separate. The Baklunish pantheon is mostly separate to this day, although in the Flanaess ethnic groups have blended.
Good point. Mind you, I've always felt that the Greyhawk cultures seem more mixed, while the Forgotten Realms cultures seem deliberately divided.
ripvanwormer wrote:I think some of the gods labeled as "common" might be known on other worlds in Greyspace, but it's reasonable to assume some of the worlds might have their own pantheons as well.
I think that some of the gods labled as "uncommon" might be much better known on the other celestial bodies of Greyspace than on Oerth itself.

Inserting gods from other campaign settings onto the other worlds of Greyspace would certainly give a good reason for SJ PCs to be able to worship other gods within the sphere.
ripvanwormer wrote:I also think it's likely that even those worlds that have been colonized by humans from Oerth probably had native populations before that, and that native species should still be on those worlds to some extent.
I do think this is a failing of SJ stuff. If the gods of Oerth created Oerth, they also created all the other celestial bodies. So all of them (including the asteroids) should have the sort of historical timeline you would expect of a fantasy world.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:What about the South East area of Hepmonland? I thought that only the North West corner had been developed. :? Has Canonfire done a project to fill in the rest of Hepmonland, or would there be space there?
There's a complete map of Hepmonaland in The Scarlet Brotherhood by Sean K. Reynolds. The northern portion of that island continent is inhabited by Olman and Suel barbarians, some yuan-ti, and some Scarlet Brotherhood influence. The southern part of the continent is mostly Touv. The Olman have a Central American culture, while the Touv are kind of quasi-African, with a unique fantasy pantheon.

Wherever New Koratia is, the people there worship gods of the Flanaess, including Pelor and Nerull (Flan deities), Wee Jas (a Suel deity), Moradin (a dwarf deity), and Pholtus (an Oeridian deity). You'd have to assume that a colony of people (including many dwarves and elves) from the Flanaess, some time after the post-Migrations era mixing of ethnic groups, traveled to the Touv lands, drove away the native Touv and made them stay away, and founded a society more or less like the one they left.
I'll have to read the books to see if they mention any other parts of Greyhawk culture. For example: Do the people of New Koratia think of Wee Jas as a Suel deity or do they think of Wee Jas as a Koratian deity?
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:South of Thalos, you have the Tharque Empire, with a few smaller (but still big) islands to the west of the main island. If you think New Koratia would need to be a breakaway kingdom perhaps it might fit over there.


The islands might be a possibility. The WotC page that I linked to above mentioned "rich lands across the Southern Sea" and "war galleys from the South," and you can't get too much further south than that. It might refer to a more southern island, however. If the Southern Sea is the Gulf of Ishtar, the war galleys might have come from the region north of the Barbarian Seameast, which might be wealthier than we generally assume.

Tharquish is supposed to be similar to the Roman Empire in culture, though, and it probably doesn't have the same mix of deities that the Flanaess has. The Black Moon Chronicles that inspired this part of Oerth posited a monotheistic faith called the Order of Light, as well as a more pagan Black Moon cult, an imprisoned demigoddess called the Oracle, the worshipers of Lucifer, the neutral-aligned Dragon-Knights, Pharoah-worshipers, and the order of the mage-deity Methatron.
I need to improve my GH-fu. I might need to have another pop at learning French, so that I can stumble my way through the Black Moon Chronicles.

Hmm. I wonder if anyone has ever suggested a fanon link between the Black Moon Chronicles area of Oerth and Ekbir. That might be poetic. :)
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Changing New Koratia to Greyhawk or Gradsul would seem to be a waste of a city map.
Assuming you already have a map of Gradsul that you like, yeah. The advantage to making it Gradsul is that the area is already integrated into the Greyhawk setting, and the rich lands across the sea could be the Sea Princes.
True. Swapping would work for a lot of people.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:But the city is called that, it does beg the question: "Where is the original Koratia?" :shock: :?
According to the page I linked to above:

"The city staggered along through the reigns of eight more kings and ten more barons before being utterly destroyed in the Conflagration of Tael -- an enormous firestorm conjured up by the royal wizard, who felt he'd been cheated by the king. The entire Kingdom of Soes was plunged into a long period of civil war, until one man finally drew the warring noble houses together. Dammeral Ramas, after being crowned King of Koratia, announced his plans to build a new capital.

"A site was chosen some fifteen miles up the River Delnir, where ships from the Southern Sea could still dock, but the surrounding land was unsullied by Tael's magical fires."
I should have noticed that. :oops:

There might be enough to make a map of the larger area hidden within the novels.
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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by Giant Space Hamster » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:12 am

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): Moving this to Other Worlds and retagging this as [New Koratia] as there does not seem to be a Greyhawk connection.
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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:22 am

Big Mac wrote:Good point. Mind you, I've always felt that the Greyhawk cultures seem more mixed, while the Forgotten Realms cultures seem deliberately divided.
I think one reason for that is that the Forgotten Realms comprise a much larger area than Greyhawk proper, so there's much more room for divisions. But there are some major geographic/cultural divisions in the Flanaess, too. The Baklunish are pretty isolated culturally from the eastern cultures. The Lortmil Mountains divide the Sheldomar Valley from the former lands of the Great Kingdom, and the Keoish have their own language with a different history than the Aerdi tongue.

Faerun is bigger than the Flanaess, but the Faerunian pantheon is a mixed blend of several earlier pantheons (the Netherese, Jhaamdathian, Talfiric, and Calishite pantheons) just as the Flanaess pantheon is a blend of the Suel, Oeridian, Flan, and Baklunish pantheons (but there are still different sets of favored gods in each nation, often derived from the particular ethnic mix that settled it).

And of course the Forgotten Realms campaign has Maztica, Zakhara, Kara-Tur, Malatra and so on, regions that are pretty well developed compared to the sketchier distant lands of Oerth.
I think that some of the gods labled as "uncommon" might be much better known on the other celestial bodies of Greyspace than on Oerth itself.
Quite possibly, although note that there aren't any gods explicitly labeled "uncommon" in the Greyhawk campaign. The label "common" means that a god transcends ethnic divisions, but it doesn't mean that other gods are actually uncommon; it just means they're associated with lands settled by a specific ethnic group. I would only expect such gods to be found on other worlds if ethnic groups from Oerth settled those worlds (or, perhaps, those worlds originally introduced the gods to specific Oerthly ethnic groups).
I'll have to read the books to see if they mention any other parts of Greyhawk culture. For example: Do the people of New Koratia think of Wee Jas as a Suel deity or do they think of Wee Jas as a Koratian deity?
Judging by the material on WotC's website, they seem to know the history of the Suel empire only in vague terms, and they may not even know the name "Suel."

Here's the relevant quote from the archived WotC article: "Wee Jas is primarily a goddess of magic, with death as a secondary aspect. Indeed, her death aspect is minor, and it was not originally part of her portfolio. A cleric explained to me that ages ago, some great cataclysm overcame her worshipers, and they turned to her for assurance about their dead comrades." That's the story of the Rain of Colorless Fire, but the narrator of that article (Maelin Skanders) doesn't know those words. Actual clerics of Wee Jas may know more, though.
Hmm. I wonder if anyone has ever suggested a fanon link between the Black Moon Chronicles area of Oerth and Ekbir. That might be poetic. :)
Oh, because Ekbir was France's piece of the planet in the Living Greyhawk campaign?

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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:30 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Good point. Mind you, I've always felt that the Greyhawk cultures seem more mixed, while the Forgotten Realms cultures seem deliberately divided.
I think one reason for that is that the Forgotten Realms comprise a much larger area than Greyhawk proper, so there's much more room for divisions. But there are some major geographic/cultural divisions in the Flanaess, too. The Baklunish are pretty isolated culturally from the eastern cultures. The Lortmil Mountains divide the Sheldomar Valley from the former lands of the Great Kingdom, and the Keoish have their own language with a different history than the Aerdi tongue.

Faerun is bigger than the Flanaess, but the Faerunian pantheon is a mixed blend of several earlier pantheons (the Netherese, Jhaamdathian, Talfiric, and Calishite pantheons) just as the Flanaess pantheon is a blend of the Suel, Oeridian, Flan, and Baklunish pantheons (but there are still different sets of favored gods in each nation, often derived from the particular ethnic mix that settled it).

And of course the Forgotten Realms campaign has Maztica, Zakhara, Kara-Tur, Malatra and so on, regions that are pretty well developed compared to the sketchier distant lands of Oerth.
Is the land area of Toril that much bigger than the land area of Oerth? Or is it just that the FR developers have moved much more outside of the main campaign area of Faerun, while GH developers have concentrated more detail into the Flanaess instead of building onto its edges? I know that there do seem to be natural obstacles at the western side of the Flanaess, which seem (to me) to be there to discourage PCs from going any further west.

I'm hoping that Wizards of the Coast get back to Greyhawk, at some point, so that more detail can be added to the setting (either to the Flanaess itself or to the subsetting areas). With D&D Next seeming to aim for going back to the classic feel of things, I'm hoping that this might also apply to any new material written for classic settings. If they write new GH canon in the spirit of the setting, it will hopefully be stuff that players using older rules can grab for their games.

If they brought back something like Chainmail, it would be great to see it accompanied by something similar to the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, to make the area into something that was truly elevated to sub-setting status. (I would even love to see the RPGA do something like a Living Chainmail game, so that people could have organised play wars on Oerth.)

I don't know if there would be a place for New Koratia in the Chainmail area (or in one of the other areas of Oerth) but if they could retcon it into the setting, that would really help tie up loose ends. So I'd love to see something like that done. Although, for now, I'm going to treat it as a non-specific campaign setting. Maybe as Greyhawk with the serial numbers filed off. (I know that some of the Mystara fans spoke to designers of one of the Mystara subsettings - it might have been Thunder Rift or Savage Coast, about its status. From what I recall, the setting I'm remembering was never marketed as Mystara, but was always intended to be connected. Maybe we can get in touch with some of the T.H. Lain authors and see if anything like this was decided by one or more of them.)
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I think that some of the gods labelled as "uncommon" might be much better known on the other celestial bodies of Greyspace than on Oerth itself.
Quite possibly, although note that there aren't any gods explicitly labeled "uncommon" in the Greyhawk campaign. The label "common" means that a god transcends ethnic divisions, but it doesn't mean that other gods are actually uncommon; it just means they're associated with lands settled by a specific ethnic group. I would only expect such gods to be found on other worlds if ethnic groups from Oerth settled those worlds (or, perhaps, those worlds originally introduced the gods to specific Oerthly ethnic groups).
I'm definitely in favour of some of the other worlds of Greyspace being a "point of origin" for worship of certain gods. Everywhere kind of needs to have a "staring role" to be the most important place to its own people.

Perhaps some gods could also gain worship in two places. I can imagine a scenario, where somone interested in the stars forms some sort of primitive connection with Celestian and can then be contacted via dreams or visions and eventually spontaneously converted into a cleric of Celestian. I could even imagine a scenario where different communities worship the same deity in different ways.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I'll have to read the books to see if they mention any other parts of Greyhawk culture. For example: Do the people of New Koratia think of Wee Jas as a Suel deity or do they think of Wee Jas as a Koratian deity?
Judging by the material on WotC's website, they seem to know the history of the Suel empire only in vague terms, and they may not even know the name "Suel."

Here's the relevant quote from the archived WotC article: "Wee Jas is primarily a goddess of magic, with death as a secondary aspect. Indeed, her death aspect is minor, and it was not originally part of her portfolio. A cleric explained to me that ages ago, some great cataclysm overcame her worshipers, and they turned to her for assurance about their dead comrades." That's the story of the Rain of Colorless Fire, but the narrator of that article (Maelin Skanders) doesn't know those words. Actual clerics of Wee Jas may know more, though.
Perhaps clerics of Wee Jas would know more. Perhaps an event like this would be a big drain on the worshippers of Wee Jas throughout Greyspace. Perhaps it would even be a disruption (even if it was only a minor disruption) outside the crystal sphere.

I wonder how much of the dealings of the multiverse a cleric would need to know. Perhaps the higher level clerics would have more understanding of The Great Wheel, the celestial bodies within their own crystal sphere and the other pockets of worship that their deity had elsewhere. But maybe this might depend on the individual deities and how open or how secretive they are. Maybe some of them just want their clerics to shut up and obey orders.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Hmm. I wonder if anyone has ever suggested a fanon link between the Black Moon Chronicles area of Oerth and Ekbir. That might be poetic. :)
Oh, because Ekbir was France's piece of the planet in the Living Greyhawk campaign?
Yes. The fact that both were associated with France would be poetic. But it would also be practical, because French fans would be able to read more material for both areas in their own language.
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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by ripvanwormer » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:43 pm

Big Mac wrote:Is the land area of Toril that much bigger than the land area of Oerth? Or is it just that the FR developers have moved much more outside of the main campaign area of Faerun, while GH developers have concentrated more detail into the Flanaess instead of building onto its edges? I know that there do seem to be natural obstacles at the western side of the Flanaess, which seem (to me) to be there to discourage PCs from going any further west.
Oerth's diameter is 8,021.5 miles according to The Adventure Begins (8,021.41 to be precise, according to Oerth Journal #3 and #4), and Toril's diameter is 8,880 miles according to Ed Greenwood, so the planets aren't very far apart in size, but Toril is a little bigger.

The 3rd edition campaign setting book says that Faerun is more than 3,500 miles from east to west and 2,500 miles north to south. The Darlene map of the Flanaess covers 3893.76 miles from east to west and 2,910 miles from north to south. So the Flanaess is actually a fair amount bigger than Faerun, which surprises me, though they're not that far off and the Flanaess number includes some of the Baklunish territory and Sea of Dust and some of the Solnor Ocean, and parts of Hepmonaland and the Amedio Jungle to the south (but the Faerun number probably includes Chult). So they're probably pretty close.
I don't know if there would be a place for New Koratia in the Chainmail area (or in one of the other areas of Oerth) but if they could retcon it into the setting, that would really help tie up loose ends. So I'd love to see something like that done.
I think the best places would either be a sub-kingdom in Thalos or maybe part of eastern Shaofeng (the Celestial Imperium) in a part where Oeridians and Suel settled. Since the Oeridians once inhabited a great deal of western Oerik and some of the Suel might have fled west rather than into the Flanaess, it's possible to have a Flanaess-style culture in that region, to the west of the Sea of Dust, rather than making the whole Imperium pseudo-Chinese.
Although, for now, I'm going to treat it as a non-specific campaign setting. Maybe as Greyhawk with the serial numbers filed off. (I know that some of the Mystara fans spoke to designers of one of the Mystara subsettings - it might have been Thunder Rift or Savage Coast, about its status. From what I recall, the setting I'm remembering was never marketed as Mystara, but was always intended to be connected.
You're thinking of Thunder Rift. The Savage Coast was always explicitly part of Mystara.
I'm definitely in favour of some of the other worlds of Greyspace being a "point of origin" for worship of certain gods. Everywhere kind of needs to have a "staring role" to be the most important place to its own people.
It's possible. Someone would have to do a lot more fleshing out of Greyspace to figure out where such things might be likely. I guess I can imagine Procan and other oceanic deities being worshiped in Conatha first, and some Conatha natives being brought to Oerth. Some dragon deities might have been worshiped in Edill first. The elven pantheon, and perhaps related gods like Ehlonna, might have been known in Greela first, and the orc and goblin pantheons might have been known first in Borka. I've long held the theory that Kiaransalee is a native of pre-cataclysmic Gnibile. In Maldin's campaign, the Suel are natives of Kule.
Perhaps clerics of Wee Jas would know more. Perhaps an event like this would be a big drain on the worshippers of Wee Jas throughout Greyspace. Perhaps it would even be a disruption (even if it was only a minor disruption) outside the crystal sphere.
The Rain of Colorless Fire might have weakened the Suel deities in general, if their power is in proportion to their number of worshipers.

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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:02 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I don't know if there would be a place for New Koratia in the Chainmail area (or in one of the other areas of Oerth) but if they could retcon it into the setting, that would really help tie up loose ends. So I'd love to see something like that done.
I think the best places would either be a sub-kingdom in Thalos or maybe part of eastern Shaofeng (the Celestial Imperium) in a part where Oeridians and Suel settled. Since the Oeridians once inhabited a great deal of western Oerik and some of the Suel might have fled west rather than into the Flanaess, it's possible to have a Flanaess-style culture in that region, to the west of the Sea of Dust, rather than making the whole Imperium pseudo-Chinese.
I'll have to do more research into Thalos and Sheofeng, to see if I can find an empty spot that looks good.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Although, for now, I'm going to treat it as a non-specific campaign setting. Maybe as Greyhawk with the serial numbers filed off. (I know that some of the Mystara fans spoke to designers of one of the Mystara subsettings - it might have been Thunder Rift or Savage Coast, about its status. From what I recall, the setting I'm remembering was never marketed as Mystara, but was always intended to be connected.
You're thinking of Thunder Rift. The Savage Coast was always explicitly part of Mystara.
Thanks. I think that New Koratia being a "Thunder Rift for Greyhawk" is probably the best way for me to be able to use this. But I might also look at the level of "Greyhawk-ness" in New Koratia and use it as a guide to how many nods to Greyhawk need to be found in other parts of Greyspace.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I'm definitely in favour of some of the other worlds of Greyspace being a "point of origin" for worship of certain gods. Everywhere kind of needs to have a "staring role" to be the most important place to its own people.
It's possible. Someone would have to do a lot more fleshing out of Greyspace to figure out where such things might be likely. I guess I can imagine Procan and other oceanic deities being worshiped in Conatha first, and some Conatha natives being brought to Oerth. Some dragon deities might have been worshiped in Edill first. The elven pantheon, and perhaps related gods like Ehlonna, might have been known in Greela first, and the orc and goblin pantheons might have been known first in Borka. I've long held the theory that Kiaransalee is a native of pre-cataclysmic Gnibile. In Maldin's campaign, the Suel are natives of Kule.
If you look at Roger Moore's Gates in the World of Greyhawk article, I think you could have non-spacefaring connections between the various worlds of Greyspace. But care would be needed to not make those connections "trump" the things going on in the canon material.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Perhaps clerics of Wee Jas would know more. Perhaps an event like this would be a big drain on the worshippers of Wee Jas throughout Greyspace. Perhaps it would even be a disruption (even if it was only a minor disruption) outside the crystal sphere.
The Rain of Colorless Fire might have weakened the Suel deities in general, if their power is in proportion to their number of worshipers.
True. I guess that you would need to back-calculate these sorts of things to work out what Oerth was like in the distant past.
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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by Havard » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:43 pm

Weird how these novels feature characters that have also appeared in Greyhawk (Iconics) and the Greyhawk Pantheon, but that the mini-setting itself otherwise seems completely unrelated to Greyhawk. Also, since the setting covers such a limited area and is fairly generic, it seems pointless to try to create a new world based on it alone.

Actually, the area is so small it seems it could be fit to one of Greyhawk's southern coasts if one wanted to...

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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by Big Mac » Tue May 27, 2014 12:39 am

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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by Havard » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:59 pm

Any idea if the Kingdom of Baele from the XBox Game D&D Heroes is connected to the TH Lain Setting? Lidda does make an apperance in the game. As mentioned in the linked thread, the game also makes use of various Greyhawk/Core D&D 3E deities as well as iconic Greyhawk monsters (Drow, Yuan-Ti etc)...

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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:41 pm

Havard wrote:Any idea if the Kingdom of Baele from the XBox Game D&D Heroes is connected to the TH Lain Setting? Lidda does make an apperance in the game. As mentioned in the linked thread, the game also makes use of various Greyhawk/Core D&D 3E deities as well as iconic Greyhawk monsters (Drow, Yuan-Ti etc)...
Oops. Sorry I missed this post.

The theory I am operating from now, is that WotC decided to set this New Koratia stuff in Greyhawk...then decided to distance it from Greyhawk...and then decided to restate that it was part of Greyhawk towards the end of the novel line.

There are definite ties to Greyhawk locations, but the authors could have done a much better job if they had used specific Greyhawk locations throughout the entire series of novels. The novels clearly want to focus on the action, and not spend a lot of time on explaining the background of the locations, but they could have done the same thing if they were using a developed Greyhawk location (or even new towns and cities in an existing kingdom).

I believe that Chris Pramas said that Chainmail was originally tied to Greyhawk, then split off, then tied back again. I would guess that the Kingdom of Baele would follow a similar development (either being stated as part of Greyhawk or not part of Greyhawk, depending on when it was published). Perhaps, if we can get dates from Chris Pramas (or infer dates of Greyhawk connections from the TH Lain novels) we can plot when a Greyhawk tie-in would be seen as a desirable thing for a product including any of the Iconics.
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Re: [New Koratia] Are the T. H. Lain novels any good?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:27 pm

Todd Lockwood was just sharing some design sketches of Regdar on Faceborg.
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