[New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

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[New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by Havard » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:30 pm

So the Duchy of Koratia was the setting used for the TH Lain novels featuring Lidda, Tordek and the other Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Iconic charaters. It was the southern part of the Empire of Soes. Since Greyhawk was said to be the default setting of D&D 3rd Edition and the TH Lain novels used the iconic characters, the Greyhawk Gods and cosmology, many assumed that Koratia was found somewhere in Greyhawk. On the other hand, there is no official location for Koratia in Greyhawk. Here is a map of the Duchy of Koratia:

Image

I don't think a discussion of whether New Koratia really is part of Greyhawk is all that interesting. However, if someone wanted to fit New Koratia into Greyhawk, how would you go about and to it? Ripvanwormer offered one suggestion in this thread:
ripvanwormer wrote:I'm sort of willing to pretend that New Koratia is part of the same continent as Aquaria at this point.
That might be possible. On the other hand, given how small the Duchy of Koratia is, could it be possible to place it in Ulek, Nyrond, or Medegia maybe? I dont know enough about these realms to tell if that would be completely inappropriate? Another option could be to place the Duchy of Koratia in the Sundered Empire/Chainmail Setting? A somewhat related question is whether you also want to connect all of this with the Kingdom of Baele from the XBox Game, or the setting used for the Scourge of Worlds DVD?

I am interested in your thoughts on this! :)


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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by Big Mac » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:02 pm

The cleric in the TH Lain novels hails from a faction that split up. The eastern branch moved to the north east part of the Flanaess.

That puts New Koratia somewhere west of that...but I'm not sure how far west. And I can't tell where the Southern Sea is supposed to be.

But I'd be inclined to put New Koratia somewhere between the Flanaess and the Sundered Empire.
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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by Havard » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:25 pm

Big Mac wrote:But I'd be inclined to put New Koratia somewhere between the Flanaess and the Sundered Empire.
Wouldn't that be culturally inappropriate though? Most of those lands seem to have Asian type names....

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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by ripvanwormer » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:46 pm

Image

This is rough, but it looks like the area only takes up about four 30-mile hexes on the Darlene map, so yeah, honestly you could probably fit it in the Principality of Ulek if you squinted and changed some names. It wouldn't be in the Kingdom of Soes, for example, and the Merciless Range would be the Lortmils.

If you're going to do that, though, it might be better to change all the names and pretend the stories took place in a canon city like Gradsul or Gryrax. Or Greyhawk, for that matter.

The Oeridians are supposed to be from further west in Oerik, and some of the Suel could have fled west instead of east. The Celestial Imperium is implied to be Chinese in flavor, but as an empire it could encompass a number of different cultures. It's conceivable, then, that the Kingdom of Soes could be part of or adjacent to the Celestial Imperium on the western side of the Sea of Dust. The biggest problem is the Flan deities worshiped in New Koratia; there shouldn't be any Flan in that region, so although those gods might be worshiped there, it probably wouldn't be under those names (it'd likely be Sol instead of Pelor, for example). In general, I'd expect the resulting culture to be somewhat of a funhouse version of Flanaess culture, with some Chinese influence from their Celestial/Suhfangese overlords.

In this thread I suggested a few other possibilities. The Tharquish Empire might fit, if you ignore that it's supposed to be Roman/Latin in culture in the Black Moon Chronicles.
ripvanwormer wrote: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.
The other possibility I suggested was a breakaway kingdom on the island of Thalos. Perhaps the Kingdom of Soes is part of the same island but with an independent monarch.

I'm going to defer to Big Mac, who has read the books (since I haven't), but I think it might be reasonable to assume the books' mention of Ratik being east of the Kingdom of Soes might just be a mistake from an author who plainly knew little about the geography of Oerth. On the other hand, Oerth is round, so technically things that are to the west are also to the east if you go far enough. If the main characters traveled east the long way around the world, they'd eventually reach Ratik even if it would have been more efficient to go west.

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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by Dykstrav » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:25 pm

Hey folks, hope you'll pardon a little thread necromancy! I've just gotten my hands on these novels myself and am currently adapting them to an upcoming Pathfinder campaign.

I've been thinking over how to put the novel settings into Greyhawk and I've been having a tough time reconciling it without ignoring either large chunks of Grehawk canon or the material in the novels. Later in the series there's talks of other cities, continents, ect. that haven't been established. I think I've found a solution that I'm satisfied with.

Instead of trying to shoehorn the novel material into the existing setting, I'm going to assume that the novels take place on an alternate world that's Greyhawk-adjacent. I recall reading somewhere that Oerth is one of five related worlds—Arth, Earth, Irth, Oerth, and Urth. There's enough references to planar travel (City of Fire, Plague of Ice) that I'll assume they have some contact with Oerth, at least enough to have the same deities, spells with names in their titles, and the like.

I know this doesn't strictly adapt the novels into Greyhawk but it's an approach that I like better than trying to reconcile contradictory source material. It also gives me the chance to make some overland maps for the campaign.

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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:07 pm

Dykstrav wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:25 pm
I recall reading somewhere that Oerth is one of five related worlds—Arth, Earth, Irth, Oerth, and Urth.
In a 1984 interview for Polyhedron Newszine, Gary Gygax revealed several "alternate Oerths" while explaining the setting for his Heroes Challenge game books.

Gary Gygax wrote:"By the way, action takes place on Yarth, a place somewhat similar to Oerth, the setting of Greyhawk, et al. It has fewer magical properties than Oerth but more than Earth. It is not impossible that additional works will be contracted for in months to come, action being set on Yarth or perhaps another alternate world, Aerth. On Earth, magic is virtually non-existent. On Uerth, dweomers are weak, chancy things. Yarth has a sprinkling of things magical, and Oerth is pure magic."


Here's a map of Yarth, which you'll note includes a version of the nation of Ratik. As discussed in this thread over here that I'm linking to now, Ratik is the only canon Greyhawk location shared with the T.H. Lain novels. So it seems consistent to believe that the T.H. Lain novels take place on Yarth.

As I said in the other thread, Pelor (and likely other Greyhawk deities as well) is canonically worshiped on multiple worlds. The demigoddess Mayaheine was a worshiper of Pelor on a world other than Oerth.

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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by vestcoat » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:13 am

The alternate-Oerth solutions that GH fans and authors resort to so often are such a cop out. GH has already been stuffed with Blackmoor, Lendore Isle, chunks of Kalibruhn, Starship Warden, Aquaria, Black Moon Chronicles, Keep on the Borderlands, Isle of Dread, RPGA modules (Puppets, Fright at Tristor), countless generic modules (everything from Tomb of the Lizard King to the Fantastic Location series), dozens of 3e hardbounds, Castle Zagyg, and tons of horribly researched canon (I'm looking at you, Bruce Cordell, Slade Henson, and Zeb Cook).

Suddenly we don't have room for Soes and Koratia? Poppycock.

Most of the world is still barely detailed. Make it fit. Explaining the weirdness and adapting more authors make Oerth the vibrant setting it is.

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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by Icarus » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:54 am

I think that it's more largely that it doesn't fit in the Flanaess.
When most people think of something fitting in GH, they think of the Flanaess, and not into Central- or Western Oerik.
Because what they're trying to do is make it correspond or coexistent somehow. they want it to fit into the facts of the world as we know them, and people often forget that things can exist outside of the Flanaess.


I, for one, wish there were a way to tie the T.H. Lain novels to GH that placed them, and all of their kingdoms and everything, in Central or Western Oerik … THAT would be awesome.
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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by Havard » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:21 pm

Icarus wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:54 am
I think that it's more largely that it doesn't fit in the Flanaess.
When most people think of something fitting in GH, they think of the Flanaess, and not into Central- or Western Oerik.
Because what they're trying to do is make it correspond or coexistent somehow. they want it to fit into the facts of the world as we know them, and people often forget that things can exist outside of the Flanaess.


I, for one, wish there were a way to tie the T.H. Lain novels to GH that placed them, and all of their kingdoms and everything, in Central or Western Oerik … THAT would be awesome.
What are the main features you feel don't fit? Do you see anywhere in Central or Western Oerik that might work?

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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by Big Mac » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:46 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:46 pm
Image

This is rough, but it looks like the area only takes up about four 30-mile hexes on the Darlene map, so yeah, honestly you could probably fit it in the Principality of Ulek if you squinted and changed some names. It wouldn't be in the Kingdom of Soes, for example, and the Merciless Range would be the Lortmils.

If you're going to do that, though, it might be better to change all the names and pretend the stories took place in a canon city like Gradsul or Gryrax. Or Greyhawk, for that matter.

The Oeridians are supposed to be from further west in Oerik, and some of the Suel could have fled west instead of east. The Celestial Imperium is implied to be Chinese in flavor, but as an empire it could encompass a number of different cultures. It's conceivable, then, that the Kingdom of Soes could be part of or adjacent to the Celestial Imperium on the western side of the Sea of Dust. The biggest problem is the Flan deities worshiped in New Koratia; there shouldn't be any Flan in that region, so although those gods might be worshiped there, it probably wouldn't be under those names (it'd likely be Sol instead of Pelor, for example). In general, I'd expect the resulting culture to be somewhat of a funhouse version of Flanaess culture, with some Chinese influence from their Celestial/Suhfangese overlords.
If you look at the original concept art for Regdar, Todd Lockwood was giving him some interesting racial features and he got kind of lightened up. So maybe he might have fitted in a bit better with a placement of New Koratia near to the Celestial Imperium, if there had not been executive meddling in his design. (There are novels that don't really mention much about geography, so the Greyhawk links only come from some of the authors. Were they trying to "restore the original Iconics plan" for these novels? Or were they just making up things as they went along and creating maps that don't fit the Flanaess? Maybe we will never know.)

Jozan's appearance is less of an issue, as his order are supposed to have fled west across the surface of Oerth. So he would work well as a descendent from humans that came from somewhere in the Flanaess.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:46 pm
In this thread I suggested a few other possibilities. The Tharquish Empire might fit, if you ignore that it's supposed to be Roman/Latin in culture in the Black Moon Chronicles.
ripvanwormer wrote: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.
The other possibility I suggested was a breakaway kingdom on the island of Thalos. Perhaps the Kingdom of Soes is part of the same island but with an independent monarch.

I'm going to defer to Big Mac, who has read the books (since I haven't), but I think it might be reasonable to assume the books' mention of Ratik being east of the Kingdom of Soes might just be a mistake from an author who plainly knew little about the geography of Oerth. On the other hand, Oerth is round, so technically things that are to the west are also to the east if you go far enough. If the main characters traveled east the long way around the world, they'd eventually reach Ratik even if it would have been more efficient to go west.
I can't remember where the Ratik connection came in, but Jozan's order were related to another order that had a connection to the Snow Barbarian regions.

Maybe we need a topic about locations in the New Koratia novels. :?
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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by Big Mac » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:58 pm

Dykstrav wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:25 pm
Hey folks, hope you'll pardon a little thread necromancy! I've just gotten my hands on these novels myself and am currently adapting them to an upcoming Pathfinder campaign.
Hey Dykstrav! Thanks for coming over to The Piazza to talk to us about your choices with the TH Lain novels. You might want to pop over to the Introduce yourself here topic, say "hi" to the community and tell people about the sort of things you like to talk about.
Dykstrav wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:25 pm
I've been thinking over how to put the novel settings into Greyhawk and I've been having a tough time reconciling it without ignoring either large chunks of Grehawk canon or the material in the novels. Later in the series there's talks of other cities, continents, ect. that haven't been established. I think I've found a solution that I'm satisfied with.

Instead of trying to shoehorn the novel material into the existing setting, I'm going to assume that the novels take place on an alternate world that's Greyhawk-adjacent. I recall reading somewhere that Oerth is one of five related worlds—Arth, Earth, Irth, Oerth, and Urth. There's enough references to planar travel (City of Fire, Plague of Ice) that I'll assume they have some contact with Oerth, at least enough to have the same deities, spells with names in their titles, and the like.
That's one way to solve the problem.

I suppose you face the risk of going from having too many things to shoehorn in, to going to having not enough things in your campaign. But, if you are willing to create new material to fill in the blanks, it could be a lot of fun for your players.

And if you are using Pathfinder content, doing it your way, might leave you will enough room so that you can run Pathfinder Adventure paths, erase the Pathfinder Campaign Setting elements and replace Pathfinder deities with Greyhawk deities. :)
Dykstrav wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:25 pm
I know this doesn't strictly adapt the novels into Greyhawk but it's an approach that I like better than trying to reconcile contradictory source material. It also gives me the chance to make some overland maps for the campaign.
We don't all have to do things the same way. Perhaps your way will be more successful than the way involving a shoehorn.

And if you are going to make overland maps, they could be useful to other GMs (as well as your players). I'd love to see them, when you have them.

Worse case scenario is that, if what you are doing starts getting too different from what Havard was aiming at is that we move to talking about your stuff in a separate topic. (Then people can do both things in different topics and still borrow ideas from each other.)
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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by Big Mac » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:02 pm

Icarus wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:54 am
I think that it's more largely that it doesn't fit in the Flanaess.
When most people think of something fitting in GH, they think of the Flanaess, and not into Central- or Western Oerik.
Because what they're trying to do is make it correspond or coexistent somehow. they want it to fit into the facts of the world as we know them, and people often forget that things can exist outside of the Flanaess.

I, for one, wish there were a way to tie the T.H. Lain novels to GH that placed them, and all of their kingdoms and everything, in Central or Western Oerik … THAT would be awesome.
One of the novels that featured Jozan heavily has that plot where his order split into two and his lot travelled west while the other lot travelled east.

I don't recall the exact wording now, but it might work better for New Koratia being in Central or Western Oerik.

From what I recall of Greyhawk, the books talk about the human races of the Flanaess being decendeded from a number of older human races (with talk of various mixes of the older races). If that's the situation in Eastern Oerik, I don't see why we couldn't have slightly different mixes (with or without a couple of new root races) in Central and Western Oerik.
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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by Big Mac » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:04 pm

Havard wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:21 pm
What are the main features you feel don't fit? Do you see anywhere in Central or Western Oerik that might work?
I think it might be worth looking at the various maps in the TH Lain novels (especially at the coastlines) to see if any of the coastlines look similar to sections of Central or Western Oerik.
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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by apotheot » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:10 am

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Re: [New Koratia] Adapting the TH Lain novels to Greyhawk

Post by Icarus » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:36 pm

Havard wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:21 pm
Icarus wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:54 am
I think that it's more largely that it doesn't fit in the Flanaess.
When most people think of something fitting in GH, they think of the Flanaess, and not into Central- or Western Oerik.
Because what they're trying to do is make it correspond or coexistent somehow. they want it to fit into the facts of the world as we know them, and people often forget that things can exist outside of the Flanaess.

I, for one, wish there were a way to tie the T.H. Lain novels to GH that placed them, and all of their kingdoms and everything, in Central or Western Oerik … THAT would be awesome.
What are the main features you feel don't fit? Do you see anywhere in Central or Western Oerik that might work?
Primarily, the Kingdom of Soes ... frankly, if it had any other name, or if we could somehow find a thing that made Soes=Ahlissa or whatever, there wouldn't be a single question about this whole thing.

To be honest, I'd just as soon see it in the Flanaess, but, there's certainly no reason someone couldn't put it in Western Oerik and still have it be GH.
I mean, it doesn't need to be written for GH to be played in GH, but, I recognize the "sticking point" for most people is the over-pomped concept of "canon". I realize it's not an "officially published source", but, then again, neither is the Nyambe: African Adventures material I use to supplement Hepmonaland.
There's absolutely no reason to not use these four small hexes, or parts of them, or just the sstory but not geography, or anything part someone likes, as part of a GH game.
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