Results 1 to 10 of 33
12-19-2007, 12:12 PM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
Discussion thread for Djapar. If you would like to add a comment, click the Post Reply button.
05-24-2008, 03:49 PM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
- Upstate New York, USA
Thoughts about Djapar
I've been going through what we know about Djapar and what we can safely assume or extrapolate. Unlike Aduria--which was intimately involved in Deismaar and the events of the War of Shadow--Djapar is isolated from the central mythical events of the Birthright Campaign. Therefore we have a dual challenge and opportunity: the challenge is to link it enough to the ideas (bloodlines, mebhaighal, the shadow world, regency, etc) of Birthright so that there is an organic link and that fans of BR can enjoy Djapar. The opportunity is to take those same core ideas and put whole new spins on them... let them run loose and see where they go.
As I see it, there are two worst case scenarios here:
1) Djapar comes out looking like some pale oriental/arab imitation of the richness of Cerilia.
2) Djapar comes out looking no different from Kara-Tur or Al-Quadim.
So, here are some of the ideas I've been thinking about:
1. Due to the distance from Deismaar, the non-participation of the Djaparan states in the War of the Shadow and the closing of Djapar to Cerilians, traditional blooded individuals are incredibly rare. OR they come from an alternative source (remember how Azrai endowed the Lost with bloodlines before Deismaar? Could Basaia have done the same?).
2. Djapar is a human-centered continent, without elves, dwarves, goblins, gnolls, ogres, giants, orogs or dragons. Halflings, coming from the Shadow World, may exist in Djapar. Remember that this was the big surprise for the Five Tribes when they arrived.
3. Mebhaighal is an Aebrynis-wide phenomenon and occurs (along with manifestations, gauradalaights, ley lines, etc) in Djapar. Cerilia has a number of creatures born of mebhaighal, such as elves, fey and dragons, which may have parallels in Djapar. I'm reading Oriental Adventures (3.0) and I'm fascinated with the idea of nature spirits, but more to come about that.
4. The Shadow World—and its taint—will exist in Djapar. Without access to True Magic (see below) or elven knowledge, humans may be less able to deal with the threat of the Shadow World.
5. Without blooded humans or elves, True Magic is probably unknown. Lesser Magic, being products of the ancient Masetians and Vos, may come in a widely different form.
6. We know that the Basarji worship Basaia. Due to the closing of Djaparan ports by Basaian’s the Old Gods may still be worshipped in Djapar. Whether prayers are answered by the New Gods instead is another question. The Basarji may be strictly monotheistic.
7. The Basarji need not simply be copies of the Khinasi. There will be continuities, but there are several reasons why they may differ: (a) hundreds of years of separate history; (b) Cerilian cultural influence on the Khinasi from especially the Masetians and Anuireans; (c) Djapar cultural influence from whomever the Basarji share a continent with; (d) the worship of Avani versus Basaia; (e) the first Khinasi immigrants may not have been representative of all of Basarji society (as, for instance the Puritans who settled New England and the convicts who were sent to Australia were both from English society, but neither completely represented the totality of English society).
I will post new ideas (as opposed to these extrapolated thoughts and assumptions) shortly as this post is long enough as it is.
05-24-2008, 04:00 PM #3
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
- Upstate New York, USA
New Ideas for Djapar
1. Blooded individuals do exist in Djapar, but are the descendents of heroic individuals who were the children of the Old Gods (in particular Basaia) and human worshippers. Every bloodline is named and distinct. The Basarji may be ruled by caliphs--priest-kings in a Dark-Sunish sort of way who trace descent to the goddess Basaia herself.
2. Mebhaighl in Djapar is called Ki and infuses the land and society in distinct ways. True magic is unknown and lesser magic is embodied in new ways: instead of projecting ki outwards (like Cerilian/Adurian Magicians), Djaparan practitioners (monks) channel it inwards. It is associated with a repressed dualistic philosophy that the Basaian Church deeply opposes.
3. Instead of elves and dragons, Djapar has nature spirits and couatl (respectively) who have distinct, complex relationships with their human neighbors. They are more powerful (and are often worshipped) in lands with high source ratings, while the Temples of Basaia are more powerful in lands with high population ratings. A new class--a modified Oriental Adventures Shamman--serves to take the place of wizards and serves as an intermediary between humans and spirits.
4. Pre-Deismaar, Basarji lands were dominated by an empire with an officially dualistic philosophy, and rising monotheistic Basaia worship. Djaparan troops did not come to Deismaar because they were fighting their own War of Shadow against necromantic armies devastated the empire and led to the rise of militant monotheism. The death of the Emperor coincided (luckily for Djaparans) with the death of Azrai. Tidal waves, earthquakes, storms of blood and pestilence rained down after Deismaar. Both forces were in disarray, aiding the eventual rise of the fundamentalist Basaians.
5. As a result of the War of Shadow and its aftereffects, the Shadow World has merged with the lands to the east of the Basarji territory. This creates a large territory like the Mistmoor, the Taurheivel province of Sideath, or the elven land of Taur Anwnn, where Shadow World freely mixes with Aebrynis. This area, called the Shadowlands, is the home to all sorts of undead and monsterous creatures.
6. To the southeast of the Basarji are an Indian-influenced culture perhaps there is a mountainous area with a Tibetan/Chinese culture to the east.
7. The Basarji are divided between inland nomads and coastal cities. They are heavily influenced by Middle Eastern cultures (like Al-Quadim or the old Arab Nights book) and (to a lesser extent) Chinese/Japanese culture from Oriental Adventures.
8. New Classes: (heavily modified) Samurai, Shamans and Sohei from Oriental Adventures. New Prestige Classes: Witch Hunters, Jurists and Ninjas.
9. New Races: Spirit Folk (half-human, half-spirit)
05-24-2008, 05:00 PM #4
This is the introductory section from my Djapar writeup - it is made to be used in conjunction with my Aebrynis maps.
The continent referred to as Djapar by Cerilians is unbelievably vast, and in truth only the northwestern tip should be called Djapar. This area is still inhabited by the Basarji, the ancestors of Cerilian Khinasi. The area is distinctly Oriental (Arabian) in style, and is suitable for use with Al-Quadim setting material.
The Basarji have lived in Djapar for uncounted millennia, and claim that they are the original inhabitants of this land. In this they are only partially correct, for while they may well have been the first humans to settle the region, there is ample evidence of older non-human civilization in the form of ruined cities in the deep desert. Some of these ruins are so massive that they must surely have been built by giants, while others are equal in dimensions to human cities but alien in their architecture. There are even rumors of cities built of pure brass hidden somewhere in the wilderness.
It is believed that Djapar was once a much more fertile place, where it rained regularly and the seasonal rivers carried water all year round. For some reason the rains stopped and the rivers dried up, and as a result it appears that the ancient civilizations collapsed, leaving the region a desolate wasteland, until the arrival of the Basarji.
Djapar is a harsh land, where the sun shines mercilessly from a clear sky day after day. Only along a narrow strip of coast plain and along the seasonal rivers running from the Amayati mountains, is the land anything more than arid steppes or outright desert.
Djapar is a big place, being half the size of Cerilia. It is bordered by the sea to the west and south, by the massive Amayati mountains to the north, and by the impenetrable deserts of Sadiar to the east. Not surprisingly, most of the travel and trade within Djapar and with the outside world take place by sea.
The Basarji are physically similar to their Khinasi cousins, but many Khinasi also have traits from the Masetian civilization, and they are generally taller and with a lighter skin tone than pure-blood Basarji. The difference isn’t too pronounced though, and a Khinasi could easily pass for a Basarji or vices versa.
The Masetian influence on Khinasi culture can be felt rather more strongly when it comes to language, religion and culture. The Basarji worship one god, and one god only (although they grudgingly acknowledge the existence of other gods), that being the old goddess Basaïa. Once a benevolent goddess of the sun and fire, Basaïa has grown vengeful and bitter over Avani’s usurpation of her portfolio.
The Basarji people of Djapar is divided into two groups which share a common ancestry. The city-dwellers live in a number of city-states along the fertile strip of land along the coast, much like their Khinasi kin in Cerilia. The semi-nomadic Basarji in the arid interior live near the seasonal rivers in the water-carrying season, and follow their herds during the three quarters of the year when the rivers dry up.
Both groups trade with each other and other cultures – the nomadic Basarji carrying goods overland between Djapar and Vendiya or Tho’no’ong (they alone know the paths that will take them safely across the deep deserts), and the city-dwellers mostly looking to the sea to carry their goods.
05-25-2008, 05:01 AM #5
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
- Upstate New York, USA
I like quite a lot of what you've got here. I think it's a great starting place. I was also thinking of the Basarji being divided between city-dwellers and nomads (much like Al-Quadim was) and the sea emphasis. Likewise I was thinking about legends of "the Ancients" who built ruined cities in the desert.
I like this line: "Basaïa has grown vengeful and bitter over Avani’s usurpation of her portfolio." I think it captures the changes in Basaia that I have also envisioned.
When you wrote this line--"Djapar is a big place, being half the size of Cerilia"--did you mean "Djapar is a big place, being half again the size of Cerilia"? Because Cerilia is notably a small continent.
I agree that the flavor should be distinctly Arabian, but I feel that the rule elements could be drawn from wider sources. I also think that the rest of Djapar might benefit from being drawn from Asian influences (your "Vendiya or Tho’no’ong" are Indian- and Southeast Asian-influenced, respectively?)
05-25-2008, 01:02 PM #6
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- Zagreb, Croatia
I wouldn't call Djapar only the northwestern tip of the continent and if i did, it's still the size of Cerilia, not half nor double.
The idea of a continent double or triple the size of Cerilia and with only one god is kind of weird. Make the north/northwest part of the continent largely influenced by Basarji culture and goddess Basaia with a few minor gods (and some southern/eastern culture gods).
Make an assumption that in the name of Basaia only the true worshipers were sent to Cerilia to spread the faith and influence of Basarji culture. "Infidels" were not welcome. The rest of the continent, because of the lessened proximity to Cerilia never had any real chance for settling. Maybe they've settled Ninshon and Kyoro, perhaps even eastern Aduria or went the other side and found Tollanar.
Vendiya (which looks like upside down India), Tho'no'ong and Zhon'ong sound something like Indian/far East cultures, much like Ninshon and Kyoro.
Tollanar could be something like native American culture and Ameyatl sounds pretty familiar then, too.
These could be used with Al-Qadim/Kara-Tur/Maztica CS templates, but compared to Cerilia and Aduria, they look pretty uninteresting and just copy/pasting doesn't help.
Now, back to the topic: blooded individuals, Masetians, could have mixed with Basarji and then told them of Cerilia and the War of the Shadow (make them the previous inhabitants of Aduria's Gold Coast). That mixing was their doom, cause as soon as the powerful Basarji caliphs, or whatever, found out about what the blood meant, they've decided to put an end to weak Masetians and get the new power. Djapar became battlefield with newly discovered secret weapons which spread quickly throughout the continent.
Bloodtheft rituals were conducted to steal the blood from captured Masetians to invest in whole families without the loss of their power on multiple subjects.
There could be some hunt involved, perhaps Basarji in Aduria that were sent to capture more blood....Rey M. - court wizard of Tuarhievel
05-25-2008, 06:34 PM #7
This is my take on how bloodlines were distributed; they are not unique to Cerilia (even if Cerilians would have you believe just that):
Physical proximity to Deismaar was an important factor for determining who got imbued with divine essence, but not the only one. Those embodying the gods’ ideals the most absorbed more power than other, less devoted creatures.
This means that some champions that were far from the battle also received bloodlines (although of lesser strength that had they been present).
So at least IMC there were created some blooded individuals in Djapar (and Aduria for that matter). But not outside the area of influence of the Adurian/Djapar/Cerilian pantheon. Not sure everyone would like this take - some seem to prefer a more Cerilia-centric bloodline view.
05-25-2008, 06:40 PM #8
I use "Djapar" to refer to the north-western tip of the greater continent (so I were thinking half the size of Cerilia). I'm sure that Cerilians also use it to refer to entire landmass, not knowing its extent or content. In that case the land area would be many times bigger.
NOTE: You should bear in mind that my version of Cerilia is slightly enlarged (average province size 50x50 miles as opposed to 30x30 miles). If you don't buy this assumption you can still use the material I suppose, but the world map goes out the window...
05-25-2008, 06:46 PM #9
Filling out the continent was done in a flash - as was naming. So I used real-world analogues and ripped of other settings. In detailing each area, I put effort into making it recognizable, without being identical to the "parent" culture...plus add some twists.
05-25-2008, 06:49 PM #10
Recall that my work has the Old Gods surviving (after a fashion)
The old gods also have a place in the religious life in Cerilia, but not to a great extent. After Deismaar, the old gods slowly regained part of their power over a period of time spanning several centuries.
This was made possible by the prayers of the still faithful; in Old Aduria the people never forsook the gods of their ancestors. Now the old gods are active again, but they have yet to regain their full might.
They generally have but a very small following in Cerilia, being mostly confined to Old Aduria and some other remote regions.
Indeed, their death and resurrection not only deprived them of much of their power, but it also left them changed – Anduiras of today is a far cry from the Anduiras of old.
So Basaïa is not alone in Djapar...but is the most important one. Other gods worshiped Anduiras as the patron of warriors and Vorynn as the Sire of Sorcery (for example).
Other areas of the continent are distinctly oriental in texture, and have different pantheons.
Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)