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  1. #11
    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    Its been awhile since I posted on this so forgive me if I repeat anything.

    It looks like Havens of the Great Bay places the Brecht on the west coast, so I'll be placing them south of the Rjurik in the basin across from the Celts.

    I think the Vos should be somewhat mixed with the Celts, because of the tattoo magic and the connection with the Picts. Although the Picts were in the north and were a tribe of their own. Perhaps the Vos ended up migrating from the northern Celt lands to some location, not sure. The Celts are going to be a very strong magic land with it being the only land not touched by the shadow, as far as we can tell and it being very wild so in the Shadow World I am thinking it is the one place where the Faerie world holds up from the shadow. I am still working on the Vos placement and tie with the Celts, just some ideas.

    The Celts being wild, unconquered, high magic, very green, very fae, with elements of Arthurian legend probably more primordial so closer to the Stone Henge druid bit since there is a close mix with Vos and Rjurik cultures it seems to fit. An Ershegh is going to be a guardian the lord of the Unicorns protecting this land from the shadow with the "Mists" or powerful wardings. Not the Golden Unicorn, but like the dragons there are more than one and they are guardians. Just an idea. Anyway the mists sometimes cross over into the mainland especially where the Rjuriks were. Lost in the mists are the lost forces of the shadow forever trapped in the mists always trying to invade the island and when the mists cross the mainland the shadow warps it and the lost soldiers also corrupted raid the Rjurik homelands. Now they are called the Venlands cause of the Ven (shadow soldiers or Wendol) come from the mists and raid these lands. There is an Ershegh that was a king in the old Rjurik lands that stayed to keep the shadows forces at bay while the last Rjurik fled. He stayed to fight to the last, never dropped his sword and was turned into the Valkyr a guardian that fights the Ven when they invade his lands.

    The lower parts of the Celt island are more Arthurian than the north. The north most point where the woods are is where the Unicorn lord is. A magical forest of great power. The lords of the south can be tested by the Green Man or the Green Knight. OK that is a ripoff of myth but I like it. The land itself manifests this ersheghlien depending on the form and what is needed. Since the land and king are one it is an easy event to justify.

    Andu lands have been colonies of Anuire, but also a kingdom that hasn't fallen ever of the old Andu tribe closest to Roele. Aquataine (name will change concept from the devs) and their queen Eleanor. This is the kingdom of courtly love, a champion knight or paladin borrowing from the myth of Lancelot. I like the idea of giving Eleanor long life so she's been alive since the Roeles were around, but she wasn't at Deismaar, however her bloodline is 80ish. She is a most attractive bride for the lords of Diemed, Avanil and Boeruine as they vie for her favor. Her kingdom is strong as is her knighthood. The rest of the lands are a mess, I haven't gotten into them yet but I figure Aquataine is a beacon. A possible tie in with the celt king should one ever unit the island playing with the Arthurian legend with Lancelot and Eleanor as Guenevere. Of course this would all be loosely connected with names changed so its more Birthright than old earth myth.

    There is a river that goes deep down into the western mountains where Old Masetia is. It could be a valley as well. So I am thinking its a part of that culture that survived the cataclysm. However I am going with an Egyptian motif with the valley being the Valley of the Kings with a necropolis there and an old Lost One holding up residence there.

    The big mountain patch I just thought of the other day is a place for a great old Wyrm that served as Azrai's true Champion as opposed to little Raesene. At first I was thinking of going with a WoW like Deathwing dragon with the jaws being molded with bloodsilver. Not sure about that.

    Aduria is known as the Empires of Blood or the Land of Blood. I was thinking it was because most of Azrai's blood was absorbed by this continent, therefore the land itself is corrupt, hence the affect it has on the wardings from the Celt island. The shadow world counterpart is much worse as well on Aduria. Beastmen were aboriginal to the lands and have been corrupted into many different types. Just an idea. Kinda like that Hydrakin.

    As far as how things are now with the Brecht, Rjurik, Vos lands I think they are all changed. Only the Andu have a hold on the ancestral lands. The Venlands and the Valkyr ershegh maybe he has some followers left, like the women as Valkyrie soldiers, but I think he is still on the mission of holding the Ven at bay so they don't travel around the horn to the west. I figure he's close to the north point in those mountains, but I figure he can fly and patrol.

    The Unicorn Lord is likely a powerful old true wizard or maybe some kind of aspect. He is much larger than any normal horse I am thinking maybe 2-3 stories perhaps. He pretty much stays in his glen maintaining the mists to protect the land from Azrai's blood.

    The Wyrm I have looking at Cerilia. I am thinking he's a good intro for a campaign from Anuire. Certainly way to powerful, but an idea. The grand scheme is that the humans moving to Cerilia was planned so they would destroy the elven hold so that centuries later the empires of shadow could move in once the elves were scattered and weakened. Something like the Celt island protection and the fae with elves having some power over the shadow forces.

    By the way something to consider and I hadn't realized this until rereading things. Azrai wasn't always the lord of shadow. At first he was the God of Knowledge and Pride. It would seem the shadow corrupted him as well.

    Anyway just some rough ideas I've been playing with in my head for this setting. I'll likely redo the map borders again to reflect some of this. Originally I had all but given up sharing ideas, but today I saw may views on this thread so I figure I'll just go ahead and play around a little more.
    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

  2. #12
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    For a campaign that I played with briefly, Azrai was the god of beauty, intelligence, leadership, death, destruction, chaos and the domination of all life.

    I noted to the players (who abruptly woke up from their 'let me explain the basic campaign setting' doze as I went through Azrai and asked me to rewind and say his portfolio again, sloooowly) that 'he had a bad day'.

  3. #13
    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    Haha.

    I found the bit about Azrai while reading the artifacts from the BoP for a new priest character I am playing to find if any items matched up with him. Under the Vipers Eye description it goes into some detail about Azrai, Vorynn, and the Vos of Aduria and the 1st Lost One.

    When looking at the portfolios of the gods and then comparing the new and old gods and add in the powers class of the new ones it raises some questions. When reading the description of Avani in the BoP there is a discussion about her portfolio that some believe she is the direct descendant of Basaia while others believe she has other gods essence absorbed into her as well. This would explain why Ruornil is a weak god and Avani is also a god of magic. It would also explain Avani being the god of reason, perhaps some of Azrai's portfolio of Knowledge.

    I also go into some guess work as to the mixing of the essences and how the new god's children come about. The characters that ascended absorbed a lot of god stuff and not all of it fit with their nature. So I believe this divine essence compelled the gods to create children in order for it to manifest itself in another that wouldn't reject it. I am sure the new gods are still a messy mixture of god stuff since the ebb and flow of temples and empires manifest themselves throughout history.

    Taking a step back to an earlier topic. Under the Viper's Eye description it mentions the corruption of the Vos by Azrai after he is lord of shadow. Vorynn is mentioned as an introspective god that the Vos lose patience with, hence turn to Azrai for quick results to power. After reading this I had the notion to tie in my personal background with the Magian and his homeland. That being perhaps the Vos were a promising young race, but still immature regarding the responsibilities of magic, hence Vorynn appeared aloof, but really he was trying to help them learn magic in an evolutionary way that took generations to master so the balance of nature wouldn't be destroyed. Like the lands where the Magian comes from that race is much more mature and has mastered those lessons long ago. I am going for a very ancient China like land where nature and people are one and magic is normal here with the Magian's homelands. Very diverse as well with many tribes therein, so I am not sure the details, only general ideas, especially the more I think about it. But this generational evolutionary outlook would explain why the Vos lost their patience and how Azrai corrupted by the shadow won them over from Vorynn.

    With Azrai being corrupted by the shadow, it begs the question, what is the shadow? It would seem to me to be a force of darkness that opposes the force of light. Very simple to explain, but we tend to take for granted the personae that are called deities as the cause of the nature of things, hence Azrai being the shadow, rather than one of its victims. It can be borrowed from Tolkien's Silmarillion about Morgoth being a very powerful aspect and then his works eventually turn to power, which is the corruption of his nature. Along these lines with knowledge being a frontier portfolio in that knowledge without limit such as looking into the knowledge of the shadow can be a corrupting endeavor. Such a thing could be said that an opening of Pandora's box for the sake of knowing what is inside. Just some thoughts.

    Regarding the whole Deismaar thing with the mixing of the gods. It would seem Moradin remains the same, like an unchanging mountain.

    Also I have been wondering as I look into what orogs are. It seems they are nothing more than underground orcs. If this is true, what is the big deal with such anti-orc notions for Cerilia? Is it the Forgotten Realms version of orcs that is detested? The Tolkien orcs seem to be interchangeable with the goblins depending on where they live. I haven't done much research on that, so I could be wrong, but if its a matter of being subterranean vs. surface dwelling the distinction between them is a fine line.

    Now what to do with the beastmen and where to place the Vos...

    Are the beastmen a single tribe of ape-like men a primitive animistic tribal culture? Or, do we have a bunch of different types of beastmen based on different animal types a sort of corruption by the shadow to create its initial army fodder for its grand war. If that, then were the Vos involved with their knowledge of magic, hence their more savage nature today? I always considered having the Vos around those interior lakes of Aduria, so them being close to the beastmen fits along those lines. Something magical about the waters in the lake I guess, and pools of water being a source of divination, though considered a lesser magic, is a road to greater magic. This could play into the pictograph tatoos and such the Vos mingling with simpler tribes. Or being corrupted into simple tribes of beastmen. My initial thought about the beastmen from Aduria brings me back to my He-Man days and the orange character named Beast Man. A furry man with a tribally painted face. Anyway still working on ideas.
    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

  4. #14
    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    This is my more recent ideas about the origins of the tribes in Aduria. I am left handed and use a mouse with my right so its not the prettiest borders.

    I am not sure about the M'Bolan yet. I am pretty sure they begin in the north where I have their lands start. As far as the great desert I don't know. Are they nomads too?

    I tried to go with natural boundaries as a guide.

    Depending on what I do with the interior where the Vos / Beastmen are I may reshape the Brecht basin into those grasslands some. Or I may take away the south part of the Brechts again and give that to the Vos or even Mhora origins tribe part of the Andu. That or give them the interior where the grasslands are south of Andu with a pass somewhere in the mountains.

    The Andu I may have take up the bit of coast on the north up and around the mountainous horn where the Rjurik are giving that land to the origins of the Boru perhaps. Leaving the Rjurik with the mountainous woody areas all around.

    Over all still just sketching things out.
    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

  5. #15
    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    Heh, forgot to attach the map above.
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    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

  6. #16
    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    Here are some specific locations that I mentioned 2 posts ago. There are a total of 9 red dots all in the northern part of Aduria so as to help you find everything. I also used the spray can with gray color to give an idea of the mists around the Celt island.

    The red dot on the Celt island is where about I'd think the Unicorn Lord is. The Green man/knight manifests only when he is needed as he and the land are basically one. The mists are a massive ward held by the Unicorn Lord to protect the island from the corruption of the shadow and this protection extends into the shadow world preventing the Faerie world from corruption as the last bastion of that world from the shadow.

    The mists travel into the old Rjurik lands now called the Venlands and the old lost legions of the shadow are forever trapped in the wards and can come out only when the wards touch the mainland as it is corrupted by the blood of Azrai.

    The red dot in the north on the horn is about where the Valkyr is the last Rjurik king to defend his people's flight from the shadow and now defends the encroachments of the Ven from the mists.

    Also something I had thought about and forgotten is the Celt island looks like it broke off from the mainland, perhaps something done by the Unicorn Lord to defend this land?

    The two red dots in the Andu zone is about the 2 points I think that Aquataine could be. I figure its located on prime real estate, between 2 rivers seems like a nice spot, but I am unsure of that huge marshland on the coast. Still working on that a little.

    The 4 red dots are the location of the Old Egyptian Masetian valley of Kings and necropolis. I figure the Necropolis is in the southern most part.

    The red dot in the mountainous zone is just to signify the approximate spot where the great wyrm resides, but I am sure he can call the entire range of mountains or even the continent his home.
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    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

  7. #17
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    I had Azrai and the Lost create 'beast-men' by corrupting the clans who didn't flee to Cerilia into 'better' forms - like gnolls for example. They were, quite literally men who were part-beast. So I had the beast-man' title include all sorts of were-beasts and all the host of 'not quite people' creatures with most only found in a limited region rather than refer to a specific race. In my campaign Azrai's intention wasn't to conquer Cerilia and the gods, he just wanted to restore it to its 'proper' place in the Spirit World and to then continue in its 'progression towards the infinite' rather than being 'fixed in immutable inferiority'. He had 'good' intentions if one worked from the basis that Azrai, as the most powerful god and the most able to shape the spirit world to his whim, should be in charge of the destiny of all life.

    Orogs were quite a late addition to 2e from (hazy) recollection, I think that the 'no orcs' rule was simply to differentiate and simplify Cerilia a little by removing a superfluous race in a similar manner to 'no kobolds or gnomes'. Without orcs orogs became a quite distinct society rather than an add-on to orcs, goblins meanwhile took over the role of orcs without loss.

  8. #18
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    So no interest in including the Yikarian Empire in Aduria? This is one of few aspects of Birthright outside of Cerilia that actually got published. That said, the version I wrote up for the wiki did need a lot of tweaks to make it politically interesting for Birthright.

    Sorontar

  9. #19
    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    Admittedly the Yikarian empire was at first glance from Dragon Magazine 241 an Al-Qadim expansion item, but after closer reading it is designed for multiple worlds. Outside of you having it in the wiki I figured it was just someone else's made up idea for Aduria and I completely dismissed the idea from the Dragon Magazine.

    After a closer look it is an interesting fit. The world pillar mountains can be where I have the dragon marked on that last map. From there it fits right in with the Yakmen sapping the blood strength from the regents in the north keeping them weak. Also the idea that the blood of Azrai corrupts the land fits in with this abomination becoming a race, and can be borrowed to create other beastmen zones. Also the Aquataine kingdom being untouched by this influence can fit as they are farthest removed from the mountains thereby they haven't been sapped.

    With this said, does my dragon idea and Masetian Valley of the Kings conflict with this? Possibly, however both of these things can be in a dormant mode as dragons sleep and undead need not move both for centuries at a time. Until they awake or are awaken.

    Does the dragon fit somewhere else? Like I suggested I am sure anywhere can fit for him, I just hadn't had any ideas for the mountain range yet, but he does still seem to fit as Aduria is vast.

    Does the Masetian valley fit? I think so with the river and all like a Nile. Again I am using the various Mediterranean city states to represent this culture and they varied from Rome, Greek, Egyptian, Pheonecian, Mesopotamian Fertile Crescent influences all there. With the area I designate for the Masetians it allows room for variations all along the coast to where the current Gold Coast is on that old map. With them being seafaring traders I am sure that each city state varied with its own cultural base and interactions with the places from which they traded. Again, I just think because of Deismaar these cultures were not able to become as dominant as they were on earth, but as evident in the Khinasi expansion they were well on their way.

    The Forgotten God is a pretty wicked character. Something along the lines of what I expected for Adurian power characters. 12th level priest, 12th level wizard, 18th fighter. I figure this is one of the more lower level major players characters for Aduria. Farther south I am sure has some other wicked abominations I am sure.

    The Yuan-ti empire I am thinking is similar to the old south american empires with architecture and culture and human sacrifice. It was once a grand culture but fell to the Yuan-ti influence with the corruption of the shadow, prior to Azrai's whole shadow campaign. I borrow this idea from the Cerilian chronicles in dragon 241 where they have the rise and "fall" of human empires in Aduria -3700 to -515 on that timeline. Perhaps this is where the shadow was awoken?

    On the east coast on the south where the djinni-persia empire is I figure that's some Basarji colonizations from Djapar like we have in Cerilia in Khinasi. The djinni are very much related to the winds along this coast or something like that. Either guardians against the shadow or agents of it as evil spirits. Hence my earlier map with the air, fire, water, earth elements plotting to play that idea out a little.

    The middle zones on the east coast south of the Masetians and north of the Djinni-Persia and south of the "World Pillar Mountain" range (or glob) I just was thinking along the lines of the African gold coast. Not as an aboriginal race, rather colonial like expansion of some african tribes from another continent. The interior being a savannah where they get to deal with Lion beast men or something. Yeah it reeks of Monte Cooks Unearthed Arcana doesn't it?

    Still working on the M'bolan tribes. Maybe they are african based or something else?

    Back to the Yikarian Empire. One problem with this group is it only goes into their relation with the kingdoms of the north. So if you accept where I conceivably plot them out on the map, then they are rather limited to the old Andu tribes, anuirean colonies, and the Kingdom of Aquataine. Leaving the rest of their neighbors an unkown void. Then again that gives us the freedom to do what we want I suppose. It sure does make the Gorgon's crown look pretty pathetic doesn't it?

    Regarding beastmen I had the idea that the marshlands could give us some Lizardmen or the like to deal with. Perhaps to be like the goblins of cerilia giving Aduria a more primordial origin than the Cerilian Fae origin. So looking around the entire map you can see other marsh lands that could be Lizardman strongholds. This gives me an idea that the Yuan-ti are not native to this land either and come from elsewhere. I am leaning toward the continent where the Magian is from, but not his exact lands or culture, more as an antagonist to his homeland's empire.

    @AndrewTall
    I think you are right about the orog thing. I hadn't really looked them up since back then I didn't have access to the internet and it wasn't as sophisticated as it is today where we can type in orog and get some results. I was always like, what the heck is an orog and I always pronounced it like oorog. Heh, perhaps the spawn minions of the "Bal"rog from the deeps? That play on words fits with the Tolkien bit of underground and dwarves.

    I was thinking the beastmen could be a mix of both really. I like the native beastmen furry dudes with tribal paint, perhaps giving Azrai the notion of "enhancing" humans to this superior races. Then ending up with the hydrakin mixes of abominations and werebeasts and such. So Aduria could be vastly like the Harrowmarsh in many places with Awnsheghlien running rampant making it impossible to establish rule. Thereby being like the Vos expansion in that adventure becomes the way of establishing realms. Most assuredly in the Beastman zone.

    Perhaps as a rough estimate in domain mechanics we could say for each province and province level and holding, and holding level you have to slay some rampant awnsheghlien in the lands where you are hoping to expand? Since they hold influence as perhaps chaotic, which opposes your rule and you have to remove them first. If they were a den mother you get to deal with a bunch of Grendels plaguing your realm for decades. Yeah Aduria seems pretty cool.

    Looking at you mentioning the Vos involved with the beastmen, I am in a state of wonder. I know its your ideas, and they rock and thanks for sharing. I am wondering if that fits into the timeline with the Cerilian Chronicles. The flight from the shadow starts about -800 from the first point and the Vos are corrupted just before Deismaar. That doesn't exclude the possibility, but I get the sense the beastmen, for the most part, were around Aduria for much longer than thisssss. (sorry that Yuan-ti empire is getting to me.)

    Regarding the spirit world, are you making a distinction between that and the shadow world/world of the fae? Just wondering where the notion of the spirit world came into play unless we are getting into the outer planes. I am sure a plot with Azrai could entail that kind of thing for sure. Just want to know if I am understanding you correctly.
    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

  10. #20
    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    I forgot to address this as I wanted to make some mention. Certainly I am a long way off from making Aduria politically interesting, but I am working to fill in some of the foundations left for us by the developers. They way I figure it, exploring the frameworks gives me some inspirations to put in spots here and there. From there hopefully I'll be able to make progress.

    One exception to this is the Aquatiane kingdom that I can easily integrate into an Anuirean campaign, just have to draw up the kingdom. The politics are already there. Hopefully with my link with Arthurian bits those ideas can spread over through the lands next to the Andus and into the Celts island. With a potential Guenevere queen, perhaps not destined to marry Arthur, but have political ties maybe sending her champion Lancelot over to help him out or some such thing. King Arthur of the Celts seeks to unify his island into one kingdom. The Wards possibly falling opening the island up is the reason for the imperialistic changes of the Celt island? Hence we have factions opposing it, similar to Tuarhieval's plights.

    Venland could have some people left over, mostly oppressed by the mists and Vens and most warriors gone and dead. The Valkyr limited in his sphere of influence can only do so much. The north Rjurik lands I'd guess are part of the old Anuirean colonies especially between the two rivers, or, or, or that could be a prime spot for Aquataine giving it a much closer proximity to the Celts and farther from the old lands of Andu plagued by lizardmen and the yakmen empire. Hmmm. I kinda like that giving it more independence from Anuirean influence of their colonial exploits. A potential rival to Anuire and even the old Anuirean Empire.

    I would like to get into plotting out the origins of each of the Andu tribes. Mostly the Mhora since they seem to have celtic blood or cultural influences. Perhaps just a celtic prince went off to marry some Andu tribe chief or something prior to the wards going up.
    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

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