I thought the Piazza needed a Chorane thread.Otherlands, by Haring, Bennie, and Terra. Page 6 wrote:Until magic using creatures found Chorane, of course, it was still too dark for plants to grow grow (except for certain types of fungus) anywhere but very close to direct passages to the surface, so in the dark recesses of Chorane - that is, most of it - the surface is still solid rock. Since Amesh and his followers found their buried refuge some 700 years ago, however, the use of magical light spells and items has greatly expanded the areas in which fungus and plants can be grown. As a result, more and more rocky surfaces are being broken up. In some areas almost one inch of topsoil has developed.
I've been thinking a bit about Chorane lately, and this thread in the Mystara forum made me think of the above description. Chorane is cool. Literally, because its under Krynn's southern ice cap. But its also the only setting I can think of off the top of my head that could and should have stone age artificers. And Chorane is mostly stone age - the Ameshites make a small number of steel goods that basically serve as toys for the powerful, while the dwarves trade away scraps to Yaluu. Everyone else is using fur, leather, and stone.
So following off of Big Mac's Selasia thread I figured I'd do a similar discussion thread for Chorane. The basic premise is that the world is this tiny chasm under the south pole. There's snow on top and lava below. Cave entrances are found all around the primary chasm, and there's two other major chasms that some of the caves also connect to.
Chorane is divided into five factions. The humans factions are all related, and are as follows:
The Ameshites: Pious "my way or the highway" types. When the Cataclysm came they were the ones that stayed loyal to their version of Paladine, whom they call Parthenu. They have developed a strict moneyless theocracy, and wage eternal war on their freethinking neighbors the Yaluu and Vodar. The book bends over backwards to portray them as the "good guys."
The Vodar: They have a stake in philosophical neutrality. They never do anything without arguing about it forever, and would rather keep arguing then make a misstep. The arguments are further exacerbated by the fact that their communal decision making process requires unanimity. If someone dissents, then they keep mulling things over. Despite this, the book doesn't really have anything bad to say about them. They're the underdogs of the human factions. Indecision is their most morally questionable practice from a modern and D&D alignment perspective. Running Chorane I'd have most of the human players be from the Vodar, and paint them as the "best of bad options" group. These are also the group best suited to building peace between the human factions, if you wanted to run things that way.
The Yaluu: The ancestors of the Yaluu caused the schism in Chorane's human population after the cataclysm. They saw the disasters as proof the gods had abandoned the world, so they abandoned the gods. The Ameshites couldn't let that happen, and the perpetual war between the human groups started. They're big on showing off status, and a pretty "live and let live group." Unfortunately that attitude extends to things like slavery, and combined with the series of military-charismatic dictatorships they've had since the split the book pigeonholes them into the "bad guy" role.
There are two nonhuman factions, as follows:
Kendar: They're kender, except with a self preservation instinct. This seems to have come with a trade off though - the kendar will not believe anything they have no personally experienced. None of the kendar have ever communicated with a deity or seen a miracle performed, so they are almost all atheists. Despite this, they ally with the devoutly religious Ameshites. Ameshite myths are good stories, and the kendar love good stories.
Theiwar: Dwarves. Chorane is on the border of their underground territory, but they do not care about anyone that lives in it. However, the ruler of the Chorane Theiwar clan has ambitions, and appreciates his position as leader of one of the few clans that can practice war against enemy combatants. They've allied with the Yaluu, though this alliance does not count for much. The dwarves sell the Yaluu scraps and sometimes send an advisor. In exchange, the Yaluu mind their own business.
There's three other major intelligent things that appear in the write up:
Dragons: Advertised as a selling point on the back of the book, there are three kinds of dragons appear on Chorane's encounter table. Those are black, white, and gold dragons. There is a write up about how a Yaluu leader has been sacrificing people to a black dragon in exchange for some kind of support. The write up also talks about Chorane being where dragons go to get away from it all and retire.
Wyverns also appear on the encounter table, though they are not mentioned elsewhere.
Razhak: Rock people that live for thousands of years. They have barely noticed that people live in Chorane.
Ursoi: Bear people. Lawful neutral wandering monsters. They are not integrated into the setting at all.
Now in the above summary I let slip a little of my own personal commentary on the setting. Though I think this is a flawed setting, there's a lot of cool stuff here. For those of you that have read the setting, what do y'all think of it? If you ran it, how did it go? What, if anything, did you change? Did other Dragonlance products ever refer to it?