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Thread: What`s Missing in Cerilia?
04-24-2004, 09:30 AM #1
The BR campaign setting has a wide variety of cultures, concepts and
themes. However, some things aren`t in the campaign materials that might
be useful, or that figure prominently in other settings. In several cases
these things are specifically and purposefully excluded (psionics, frenetic
gnomes, a system of unarmed martial arts) but in other cases they might
have been included in the setting. For instance, the Cerilian human
cultures represent a nice range of European cultures, but an Italian/Roman
culture is missing, and that`s an influence I`ve noticed several times when
fiddling around with the campaign materials. One might argue that there
are bits of Italy or Roman Empire influence in a couple of the existing
human cultures--the way Celtic culture exists in several BR races--but I`d
counter that such an influence is relatively slight if it exists at all,
and in the main what I`m talking about here is the existence of a whole
culture, not simply hints of it.
Similarly, there are no Greek or Egyptian cultures in Cerilia for all that
those cultures have broad impacts on several of the cultures that are
represented in the campaign. These cultures might exist on other
continents of Aebrynis, or they might be seen in the extinct Masetians, but
they are absent from the campaign materials, and any such inclusion must be
an extrapolation. Along those lines, there are no "wood elves" in Cerilia
per se, or other types of elves that exist in D&D. Rather, Cerilian elves
are generally of a type. Their differences exist, but by and large those
differences are pretty minor, and have more to do with provincial
boundaries than they do with a culture at large. Would the inclusion of
wood elves or drow improve the setting?
What cultures might be included in the BR setting that aren`t? Which ones
do you specifically miss? Optionally, if one were rewriting or putting
together an alternate continent for the campaign materials that would
include all the influences that aren`t in the existing materials which ones
might one include? What other things that exist in other campaign settings
(an Underdark, a planar system, non-human races like thri-kreen or orcs)
might be useful in BR?
04-24-2004, 03:10 PM #2
There is an Underdark ^_^Thread Slaying Specialist.
04-24-2004, 03:16 PM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
- Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I would add in a French culture. I miss the frenchies. The Brechts seem more Italian to me, so I would also toss in some Spanish culture as well I think. I never like the drow overly much, but some sort of unseelie or shadow world elves might work if handle with care.
Most of this inclusion would seem to fit best in Aduria IMO, and is something I have often thought about working on, but since Cerilia still has holes in it that you could push a siege tower through, I've tried to keep my attentions there."You need people of intelligence on this mission... quest... thing."
04-24-2004, 06:30 PM #4
I also miss a heavy jungle/rainforest type terrain. Pretty much every
other type of terrain is represented on the continent except that one, and
I`ve several ideas for awnsheghlien that would be inspired by creatures
from that kind of region. It`s hard to justify them existing in the
temperate (and colder) climate of Cerilia.
04-24-2004, 06:59 PM #5
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
Masetians could be the ancient greeks (look at the image of Masetium in the Blood Enemies... the central building looks like the Parthenon). masetians could also be egyptians... El Shieghul lives inside a pyramid (unless I am mistaken, that's from the COTS book)
04-24-2004, 07:38 PM #6
Heh, the masetians are really more like the Atlantians. Supposedly living on a island before they were wiped out.
The Greeks... hmm, well they were a bunch of city states essentially, so not too sure where they would fit in exactly in a realm scheme. So, their ideas, theories, cultural habbits, ect. were very diverse. Examples: Sparta compared to the Athens, one is very militaristic and the other spawned the great thinkers whom we base rhetoric, philosophy ect upon. Each little city state had its own patron diety, though some had the same ones and they all were worshiped in the city.
Its likely that these city states wouldnt have been more than a few provinces, and some of them would be mountains. I'll hold off saying where i think we can find them as I want to address the Itallians next.
Ok, the itallians: If it wasnt for the desire of Rome to become such a great power, and its extensive use of Greek Technology and Ideas, Itally would never really meant that much in Western Civilization. So, I'd have to argue that Aduria is the perfect place for such a Roman Empire to exist, well until the destruction of Azrai and the other gods, that probably put a big crimp on their style, and marked the decline of the Empire.
Side note: ***Especially when you consider that many of the leaders and thousands of their regulars were killed, and those who made it back were blooded and probably giving into the taint of Azrai. Seeing them turn into awnshegh would probably not have been what the regular people would have wanted to see or be ruled by.***
Anyway, If you are willing to consider Aduria the home of the Italians and the Roman Empire, than it would be fitting that in some part of Aduria there is a Greek Civilization considering that the romans stole so much from the greek anyway heh."Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus
"Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius
"Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer
04-24-2004, 08:50 PM #7
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
> I also miss a heavy jungle/rainforest type terrain. Pretty much every
> other type of terrain is represented on the continent except that one,
> I`ve several ideas for awnsheghlien that would be inspired by creatures
> from that kind of region. It`s hard to justify them existing in the
> temperate (and colder) climate of Cerilia.
Is not the Docandragh and the Rain Serpent Mountains similar enough to a
04-24-2004, 10:27 PM #8
First of all: Drow **hisssss** no!
I think what one needs to keep in mind is that the world of Aebynis is a lot older than the current Birthright timeline would suggest. Although its the early 16th century by Haelyn's count, and the early 21st Century Masetian, these times only date from human events in Cerilia. Elven memory in cerilia goes back another 16,000 years or so if you look at PS: Tuarhievel, and then there is still the indication of "more stuff happened before then but we don't know what or when." So assuming that humans have been around not even as long as elves (18,000 years perhaps which would place their emergence around the formation of the Sidhelien superkingdom in Cerilia), would mean that 89% of human history on Aebrynnis occured outside of Cerilia. That would be plenty of time for empires and cultures to rise, fall, and extert influnce over each other.
Your missing cultural elements could fall within that scope. Also, take a look at the developemental situation in Cerilia. Anuire, Brechtur and Khinasi are all moving into a rennaissance of sorts. The Brecht and Khinasi being spurred by greater freedom and a sort of cultural revival that has occured since liberation, and all three being spurred by the same regional rivalries that can be said to have spurred Europe. That's what having a lot of jealous potentates trying to one up each other can be good for sometimes (of course at other times it can be very, very bad). Even the Rjurik and the Vos can be said to be jumping on the developemental bandwagon, as the Rjurik Highlands highlights the growing tensions between cities of the highlands and the traditional nomadic life. In Vosgaard a similar tension seems to be developing between the Nona and the Torva segments of society.
What this seems to imply is that Cerilia is moving forward and is on the cusp of moving in the same direction as Europe was in the late middle ages to early rennaissance (there was even a protestant reformation in Anuire, if you look in the Book of Priestcraft). So, as Europe was removed at that time from ancient greece and Rome by a millenium and a half to a millenium or so. The Cultures of modern Cerilia should be removed from their "classical" cultures by about the same amount of history. This would place Masetia right smack in that category, as it would place the Adurian Empire that the New Cerilians were fleeing from. The parent cultures of the New Cerilians would have also fallen into this category at the time (is there anything to say that all of the Andu, Rjuven, etc. left Aduria, or did some remain behind? If so, how does their modern culture differ from that of their Cerilian cousins now?) However, current Cerilians have moved far past this point.
By the by :P , the Brecht have always seemed much more Dutch to me (at least in values and government), and the masetians were I believe (if I recall correctly) originally envisioned as being a classical Persian culture, which makes sense as they were supplanted by a very Arabic one.
04-24-2004, 10:40 PM #9
An interesting topic.
I agree with Bearcat that a lot of the old "classical" type civilizations might be gone. In my campaigns, I've placed a Roman-type culture and a Sumerian-type culture in Aduria, but these civilizations are dead now and replaced by others. I've also included an Egyptian culture and a Hindu culture in Djapar. I've also typically placed plenty of jungles in southern Aduria and Djapar.
I've typically seen the Masetians as being ancient Greek, though I've used Persian influences with them just because, as Bearcat says, the writers originally envisioned them as Persian.
04-24-2004, 11:27 PM #10
Perfectly said, Bearcat!
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