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 Post subject: DCC #35: Gazetteer of the Known Realms
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:33 pm 
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Thanks to everyone for your feedback on the Known Realms. If you have any questions regarding the people, places and dungeons of Áereth, feel welcome to post them here. Jeff, Mike, Joseph and I will all check in to try to answer your queries.

Thanks again,
//H

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 6:17 am 
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When I flipped through the Main Books (Gazetteer and GM's Guide) I noticed the absence of any specific languages! I wasn't able to locate any Info on what language people speak in the Northlands as opposed to those in the Southlands. Do all geographic regions share ONE language - like Southlander in the Southlands, or the "north tongue" in the Northlands?
I understand that the setting is deliberately "generic" to accommodate different play styles and rules. But maybe you can shed some light on this matter - especially how a COMMON language evolved on Áereth.
Thanks! :wink:

(I noticed the topic about "languages in the Known Realms", but is this official?)

FURTHERMORE:
Are there any plans to do a sort of "region" specific sourcebook? Maybe, say, on the Empire of Crieste or so?
An all together different idea would be to include a "hollow world" within Áereth - just like in the fantastic supplements to Mystara a long while back.
Just a thought, though... :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:42 am 
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Yeah I did notice a distinct lack of languages. I'm sure the community will come up with something.

As a stop-gap I've developed three forms of common. Northern Common, Southern Common and Xulmec Common Tongue.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:47 pm 
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Offhand I can't remember how it's referenced in the books (certainly not comprehensively, as you've noted), but the Xulmecs would definitely speak their own language, which would simply be called Xulmec.

Xulmec (which would sound like Nahuatl*) is derivative of Old Naga. In my homebrewed version of this, nagas would speak Naga in lieu of Common, but that's just me and not necessarily official canon. The idea is nagas as they are now (as they are in the Monster Manual) are not necessarily as they were back in their heyday. It should be noted that the Xulmec tongue doesn't have a standard written format. It's logographic, like old hieroglyphics, with conceptual symbols in lieu of an alphabet of characters. I one brainstorm for the Southlands, I envisioned Xulmecs as automatically being considered effectively illiterate, like the barbarian class feature, in exchange for the Xulmec-specific feat that's listed in the GM's Guide.

In any case, a large number of Xulmecs speak Common as well, especially in Teotcoatlan, Athua, and Kaatlan.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nahuatl

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:42 am 
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So, in your view, is there one pervasive common trade tongue that perpetuates throughout the Known Realms world?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:48 am 
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In my opinion, Common is...well, the most common tongue, found throughout the Northlands, though there may be a whole host of regional dialects (such as how Italy has a ton of colloquial versions of Italian). A scattering of people native to the Southlands would speak Common (and certainly in the Criestine Colonies).

Mike, how about the Lostlands?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:03 am 
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Quote:
though there may be a whole host of regional dialects

Yes, I am thinking along the same lines here. Even though I would incorporate regional variants and dialects they would not warrant extra language slots. Just like everyone can understand German, even when there are huge differences in tone and pronounciation.
So, also for convienience' sake, I will incorporate a Common Language for most all the Northlands (this is where my group currently is). But these different dialects should become part of the roleplaying! Ever had players or GMs who could imitate dialects or foreign languages? It is really adding to the gaming experience and NPCs will be more memorable this way!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:31 am 
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With Jeff's help on the Xulmec, this is what I'm using for my campaign. I have no background nor do I know anything about linguistics, so this is pure fantasy.

Major Languages of the Known Realms

Northern Common (Criestine but also called Nordos)
Southern Common (Khonsar, also known as Southron)
Xulmec


Criestine (Northern Common, Nordos)
Criestine is the official spoken and written language of the Empire. While most areas have languages that date back to their tribal origins, they have adopted Criestine as their language. However, the original languages of these people do alter Criestine considerably and it is sometimes difficult for someone from a county in Luithea to understand or comprehend what a speaker from a coastal village in Thire is trying to communicate.

Khonsar (Southern Common, Southron)
Khonsar is predominantly spoken in the Southlands, where its roots began with the slave folk of Khonsuria. Khonsar is an offshoot of Sphinx language and finds many of its roots there. While the sphinxes of Khonsuria traditionally used a hieroglyphic language, Khonsar evolved into a more traditional written language that resembles written Criestine to accomodate increasing trade between the north and the south.

Xulmec
Xulmec has a common tongue that is spoken by most of the its peoples. It should be noted that the Xulmec tongue doesn't have a standard written format. It's logographic, like old hieroglyphics, with conceptual symbols in lieu of an alphabet of characters. Many Xulmec traders are fluent in both Criestine and Khonsar. (Thanks to Jeff for this)


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 Post subject: Devils and Talons, Oh My.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:04 am 
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DCC #35 author Mike Ferguson is unstoppable, as evidenced by the upcoming...

November and December releases!

Dungeon Crawl Classics #36: Talons of the Horned King
Dungeon Crawl Classics #40: Devil in the Mists

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:00 am 
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Hello guys,

I don't have my materials with me at work today, but can you tell me if there is a nation, realm, etc. that outlaws magic-users? Maybe a theocracy where wizards are proscribed?

-jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:44 am 
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Jason,

The Theocracy of the Lance would be a good choice. You could rule that a new bishop came to power and declared all non-divine magics an affront to the magics handed out by the Gods...

//H

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:49 am 
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Harley Stroh wrote:
Jason,

The Theocracy of the Lance would be a good choice. You could rule that a new bishop came to power and declared all non-divine magics an affront to the magics handed out by the Gods...

//H


Perfect! Thanks Harley.

EDIT: Actually, I've decided that the Black Watch harasses magic-users and the law of the Theocracy doesn't really go out of their way to stop them.

The Black Watch considers (due to the misguided retoric of their current leader, Sir Lee Night) all magic-users to be demon worshippers and that their power (casting spells) is the direct result of pacts made with demons.

Fun stuff.

-jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 9:28 am 
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Nice! You have a ton of fun, real world material to draw on too. Plus you get a lot of fearsome Black Watch folks calling themselves "Mage Hammer" and the like.

:twisted:

//H

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 Post subject: Urdu river flows uphill?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:03 am 
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Hey guys,

Got an odd question here. In the Gazetteer, it distinctly says that the Urdu River has its headwaters at the Saramanthian "capital" of Tiam'Tze. It also states that it runs to the Saltwitch Swamp. The map shows the river flowing *over* the Dragonspire Mountains, which are described as being a "line" between the east and the west, with high passes and sharp peaks.

There's no note that the Urdu has magical properties that makes it flow over high passes, nor does it mention that it flows under the mountains, and the map has no depiction of a large valley through which it flows... in fact, according to the map, it is flowing perpendicular to the mountain ridges and valleys!

So what's going on here?

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 Post subject: Forest of the Sylvan Downs?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:47 am 
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Another geography questions...

The forest of the Sylvan Downs, between the Saedre River and Dundraville, is unnamed and not described in the Gazetteer.

Considering the nature of the Sylvan Downs, I'm guessing it is home to a moderately civilized elven society, but that too is not named in the Elven Nations entry.

Is it something as simple as the "Sylvan Wood"?

There are also several other major forested sections in the North that are not named:

The woods north of Lastever;

The forest north of the Black Fens;

A forest north thereof;

A forest north and west of the Frosteye Mountains;

The forest west of Ibenfang in the Scourgelands;

The forest north of Cinai;

A forest east of the Morro River, in the northern Kingdom of Morrain;

A forest north of the western arm of Valfors Bay;

A forest west of Elraydia;

Two small forests in the south-eastern Warlands;

The forest on the Isle of Nos Caen;

The forest on the (nameless) isle north of Nos Caen.

I realize there's plenty of room designed into the Known Realms for DM's to make their own stuff up, but if there are official names and (even simple) descriptions, I'd love to see them...

Also, while it is obvious which sections are heavy forest, and which are plains/fields, there's a darker green in between (in the "satellite picture" style) that seems to be "light forest." Is this what it was intended as?

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 Post subject: Valfors-Kolheim Water System
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:11 am 
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Well, if you can't tell, I'm working on a map of the Known Realms... this is so I can plot out languages, histories, borders, and so forth. I love workign with those kinds of elements of a campaign setting...

Anyhoo, in the Northlands, the hands-down largest water system is the Valfors-Kolheim system. From the way the water appears to flow, Valfors Bay isn't properly a bay, it's a lake or small sea. The Morro River flows into Valfors, which, through northern and western arms, flow into the Great Northern Sea and the Kolheim River, respectively. The Saedre and an unnamed river (perhaps the Chaelflow or the Fogflow?) join the Kolheim in the far south, which means the rive rmust be a massive estuary along its final 80 miles or so through the Amn'Crith Forest.

It is thus possible to travel by water from just short of Zan Tarkhaal, through Morrain, past Ternyziem, through the Warlands and the Kingdom of Uther, to the Straits of Ymtal.

Another important waterway in the North is the Fartrader River System, which flows from Scar Lake in the north, along the Red Death, into the Wyrm's Deep, and thence down the Fartrader to Arvale City and the Lirean Sea. Forget Leherti. The Tarkhan needs to find ship-builders and build a riverine fleet, sail right past Ilnoth, and burn Blessings-Be and Arvale City!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:22 am 
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James,

If your late getting out any product I'll know why. :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:58 am 
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Treebore wrote:
James,

If your late getting out any product I'll know why. :wink:


Nope, can't blame Known Realms. I must say, though, you've got a touch of Cassandra going there. There's another reason why, I'm afraid, the schedule in fact will be pushed back a bit... more on that later in the week. There are good reasons and bad reasons... neither of which are for discussion here, frankly. I take up enough of the Necro and Troll boards as it is without freeloading on the Goodman boards! (Though that too will, ideally, be resolved soon.)

In short, while the release schedule will be lighter, AGP is still going forward. The products that will be pushed back are in the Wilderlands of High Adventure line... generally in favor of products for the Wilderlands of High Fantasy. WoHF instead of WoHA because, frankly, that's what most people seem to want right now. Lighter schedule for AGP because, well, right now I can't say. But when I do, I think no one will blame me...

Yeah, that's the short of it. Y'all will read the long of it on Wednesday...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 11:54 am 
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Well, I think you know I spend way to much time on the various boards, so Ill be looking for the announcement.

Plus I think slowing down your product line a bit is wise. It looked like you were setting yourself up for over load to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Urdu river flows uphill?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:57 pm 
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James Mishler wrote:
Hey guys,

Got an odd question here. In the Gazetteer, it distinctly says that the Urdu River has its headwaters at the Saramanthian "capital" of Tiam'Tze. It also states that it runs to the Saltwitch Swamp. The map shows the river flowing *over* the Dragonspire Mountains, which are described as being a "line" between the east and the west, with high passes and sharp peaks.

There's no note that the Urdu has magical properties that makes it flow over high passes, nor does it mention that it flows under the mountains, and the map has no depiction of a large valley through which it flows... in fact, according to the map, it is flowing perpendicular to the mountain ridges and valleys!

So what's going on here?


Good eye, James. Due to scale it didn't make it to the final maps, but there is a sharp valley running across the mountains. The valley itself is unnatural, but that's for another day.

//H

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:15 pm 
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James Mishler wrote:
Another geography questions...

The forest of the Sylvan Downs, between the Saedre River and Dundraville, is unnamed and not described in the Gazetteer.

Considering the nature of the Sylvan Downs, I'm guessing it is home to a moderately civilized elven society, but that too is not named in the Elven Nations entry.

Is it something as simple as the "Sylvan Wood"?


First off, thank you for your attention to the details of the setting, James. That's an enormous compliment.

The forested area of the Sylvan Downs is composed of 5 different dales/downs each calling its own particular section of the wood by their own name, even though the forest is continuous. As a single entity, both the nation and the forest are known simply as the Sylvan Downs, with the distinction (forest vs. nation) being made in context.

James Mishler wrote:
There are also several other major forested sections in the North that are not named ...


Nods. When it dawned on us just how cartographically "dense" the Northlands were, we had to drop some of the names and even town placements. With the exception of some of the very remote swaths of forest, most have names; I'll try to supply these, time pending.

One important detail about the setting: a lot of it is relatively "new" to the experience of the modern human nations. Dragons, elves and fae have known the forests since the dawn of time, but this isn't the case for the humans. The dark ages have resulted in the great loss of a good deal of knowledge, that modern-era humans are only now beginning to regain, either by exploring the wildnerness, or recovering ancient tomes from past ages.

To wit, exploring PCs should have the chance to name the forests themselves. The dragons might have their own name for it, but you can discuss that with Smaug over tea. ;)

This is somewhat akin to going hiking in the Rockies. You stand atop a mountain and see forests on all sides, but heck if you know their names, apart from "national wilderness area X." There is a ton of land out there, and for lack of a better phrase, a great deal of "geography."

My ideal Known World map would have all of this information (Dragon names, Fae names, Elven names), coded with degrees of who knows it and Bardic Knowledge/Sage check DCs for the same, but that's a little unwieldly from a mapping stand point.:)

//H

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 5:17 pm 
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On the bottom right below the Lostlands, theres the corner of a landmass referred to on the map as the Darklands. I couldn't find any mention of that in the gaz, but was curious what is meant to be there.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 6:41 pm 
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Eryx,

If you check most features on the top 1/3 and bottom 1/3 of the top and bottom map, respectively, you’ll find that almost none of the features appear in the Gaz. This is a consequence of space constraints --- we went over our word count by at least a quarter, and needed to draw the line somewhere.

This has the benefit of opening key lands to GM development, or for inserting home worlds. Nothing canon has been printed about the Darklands, so they are entirely open to your development without fear of "Darklands: the Sourcebook" to trump you.

//H

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:18 pm 
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Quote:
Nothing canon has been printed about the Darklands, so they are entirely open to your development without fear of "Darklands: the Sourcebook" to trump you.

Although it's entirely possible that Harley and GG will put out Darklands: the cereal, which would follow Áereth-O's® and Northland Mini-Wheats®.

Image

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Last edited by Jeff LaSala on Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:19 pm 
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Harley Stroh wrote:
Eryx,

If you check most features on the top 1/3 and bottom 1/3 of the top and bottom map, respectively, you’ll find that almost none of the features appear in the Gaz. This is a consequence of space constraints --- we went over our word count by at least a quarter, and needed to draw the line somewhere.

This has the benefit of opening key lands to GM development, or for inserting home worlds. Nothing canon has been printed about the Darklands, so they are entirely open to your development without fear of "Darklands: the Sourcebook" to trump you.

//H


I figured that that was the case. I guess begging for some insight was cut from that area, is a no go? ;)

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