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 Best "medieval" kingdom (besides cormyr)

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Blackharp Posted - 26 Nov 2017 : 14:21:57
I would like to know the most traditional medieval kingdom feel region in the Realms, complete with nobles and knights and dragon's lairs... in sum, all the classic tropes. I'm aware that Cormyr is the default answer here. I'm looking for alternatives.

Thanks!
21   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
cpthero2 Posted - 21 Sep 2018 : 00:18:54
Acolyte Blackharp,

I really feel that Tethyr is one the most fleshed out, fascinating, and entertaining of the "classical" kingdoms, with the criteria you set forth (not my #1 place in the Realms, but I do love it greatly). The following aspects are powerful in their contribution to make Tethyr a rich, vibrant, and believable nation in the Realms:
  • Governmental Design
  • Judicial System
  • Sensible, cohesive, and voluminous history
  • Economic Depth is reasonable
  • Sociological consideration, i.e. Gnomish vineyards


  • The sense that there is a real nation with Tethyr as it is described, is strong. There is every bit of range in what society has: good guys, corrupt officials, religious development that impacts the nation (such as when Siamorphe took issue with royalty in the recent past), a strong economy that is reasonably elaborated and described in a manner that ties it in with Amn, Erlkazar/Turmish, the Great Sea, Sword Coast, and further!

    I could carry on at length, but I feel that if you don't already have "The Lands of Intrigue" boxed set, you should strongly consider attaining it. I love it!

    Best regards,


    AuldDragon Posted - 21 Aug 2018 : 20:11:10
    quote:
    Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

    It's a three-headed dragon. The first appearance that I know of was in Dragon 163 -- the first issue I bought.

    I'm pretty sure they were reprised in one of the Monstrous Compendium annuals, as well.



    The three-headed "dragon" in the annuals is the Gorynych, from Slavic lore (the Russian Zmei Gorynych, for example, which appeared in the 1956 movie Ilya Muromets, which was featured in an episode of MST3K as "The Sword and the Dragon"). It's not a true dragon with age categories, though. I believe it showed up in BECMI or the Rules Cyclopedia, as well, but I'm not sure.

    The Dzalmus is probably inspired by the Zoroastrian Zahak/Azi Dahak.

    Jeff
    BadLuckBugbear Posted - 19 Aug 2018 : 22:24:50
    FR does not much resemble Medieval Europe, but of course scholarship tells us that Medieval Europe only somewhat resembled the pop culture and literary images most people think of first.

    The OP did mention dragons' lairs, though, so I assume he wants a fun mix of history and fantasy, legend and folklore and literary tropes.

    The Dales seems like a good fit.


    Icelander Posted - 17 Aug 2018 : 13:55:48
    What do people mean when they say 'medieval kingdom'?

    If we mean 'monarchy where the level of technology is similar to Earth during the time period from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the Renaissance', then most of the Realms falls outside of that technological level.

    Articulated plate armour, steel crossbows (i.e. heavy crossbows) and galleons (or any ship with advanced rigging, as seen in all Realms novels or sourcebooks dealing with sailing) all belong to the Renaissance and are really outside what we can honestly call 'medieval' technology. They are all 15th century technology or later. As are, really, the kind of international trade network that the Heartlands and Inner Sea lands have.

    Most of the Realms seem to have a 16th to 17th century technology base, with guns and cannon less relevant in the Realms than they were on Earth during the time we had similar technology. This is because gunpowder doesn't function in the Realms and such weapons require an alchemical/magical substitute called smokepowder, which is at least an order of magnitude more expensive (and has been listed at x100 to x1000 historical gunpowder prices in some sources).

    Still, combat magic amply compensates for the paucity of cannon, while the expense of muskets has prevented the decline of professional warrior elite like knights, as very large, cheaply raised armies of peasants with muskets are not practical in the Realms. Just because the military and social changes of the Early Modern Era will not occur in the Realms unchanged doesn't mean that Faerunian society has much in common with medieval society.

    Places with medieval technology in the Realms include:


    • Typical orc tribes or other humanoids

    • Taangan before the rise of Yamun Khanan (but not necessarily any more, with the founding of Hubadai's kingdom)

    • Very poor and isolated human communities, like on the Ride, the Tunlands, the North, Vaasa, Damara, Narfell, Rashemen, etc.


    ---

    If people are using 'medieval' as some kind of synonym with 'feudal', they should probably be aware that even during the medieval era, feudalism did not work like they are imagining it in a lot of places, many places weren't meaningfully 'feudal' at all and, in any case, few kingdoms of Faerun are feudal.

    Cormyr is a centralised monarchy with no feudal elements beyond using terms from it (but they mean different things in Cormyr). The nobles are an aristocracy with privileges, but they do not rule fiefs granted by the king and they certainly are not able to grant land themselves. The throne has powers far beyond any feudal king and the aristocracy have more in common with 18th and 19th century aristocracy than feudal nobles.

    Impiltur is also a centralised monarchy where the nobles have been brought under direct rule. It's complicated by the Council of Imphras II, but that just means that the powers of the centralised monarchy are temporarily divided between a queen-regent and a council of regency, not that these twelve lords are feudal subjects of the crown or feudal rulers of their own demesnes.

    Tethyr and Damara are two realms where kingless years have allowed something closer to actual feudalism to develop, but the new rulers are in both cases working hard to re-establish 'proper' absolute monarchy again and eliminate the aristocracy as an independent power, bringing them to heel as is usually done in Faerunian monarchies.

    Feudalism in Faerun otherwise seems to be mostly confined to smaller fiefdoms in the North, Western Heartlands and the Border Kingdoms, where there is no strong central government to limit the power of local nobles.
    Blackharp Posted - 02 Dec 2017 : 13:33:54
    Thanks Martinsky. Those analogies to real countries was a very good way to put things in perspective. Thanks for all the advice and information everyone!
    Martinsky Posted - 01 Dec 2017 : 00:29:26
    Almost all the realms are medieval based on feudal gouvernement. They even discourage of using gunpowder or smokepowder and restrict them alot to keep the medieval feeling of the Realms.

    The other big thing that difference the realms from real world, it in the realms in most of state populaton dwelve in city or near, and in country it mostly land of monster and brigand or barbarian. City are like island of civilization in lot of region. In real world mediaval major part of popualtion was rural.
    Westerns hearthland and hearthland are like western europe, and celtic on Moonshae. Damara Impiltur are like slavic Novgorod and teutonic order, or Poland, Russia medieval. Land of intrigue and Chondath, CHessentha are more south europe like Spain in west coast and Greek in Chessenta. Other region to east and south are more like arabic, middle eastern and cossack. North are more viking like.
    The only big monarchy feudalism I can think outside Cormyr are Tethyr with duchy and lord land subdivision, Damara with barony, Moonshae with fief and Mott & bailey style around a big stone castle capital. It have some other minor petty kingdoms to. Outside those monarchy it have mostly just city-state with diffenrent alliance a little like holy Roman empire. Amn are a big city state merchant like alliance like Venice, but with Portugal or North spain style too.
    Markustay Posted - 28 Nov 2017 : 22:22:14
    I have about a half dozen 'started' maps of Impiltur I've done over the years, trying to fulfill an ancient promise to George. I did d a map way back when, but it wasn't all that much better than the one that came with his article, and my 'skills' weren't anywhere near where they are now (that map is actually embarrassing to me at this point).

    His latest project has me re-doing that region once again (a bit more than just Impiltur - I've had to extend my mapping project far to the east... which I needed to go to eventually anyway). I've completely changed the scale since I released that WIP two years ago - there will be more map sections to do now, but I will have more room (and that's mostly because of damn Cormyr - everywhere else I had plenty of room, but no matter how big I make Cormyr, it comes out crowded-looking). Regardless, every map I do now contributes to all the others, so nothing is ever truly 'back-burner' anymore - I just keep moving forward, all over the place, and once I start releasing the regional 'travelogues', each will be done faster than the last, because of that. In fact, I see the index being the hardest part of all that, and as I've said already, I am considering making the maps hot-linked to the FRwiki, which will be a nice, symbiotic relationship (and save me from doing a ton of work they've already done).

    I think once the new Impiltur map(s) come out, and some more lore by GK, Impiltur will finally become a place where folks will want to run their games, as it always should have been.
    Dalor Darden Posted - 28 Nov 2017 : 21:12:21
    quote:
    Originally posted by Blackharp

    I'll have a closer look at all those recomendations. Impiltur in particular captured my interest. I think I am usually very biased towards the sword coast because of the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights games, as well as the recent publication history of WotC.
    I wanted to set my next game somewhere else and Cormyr was too "civilized" for my tastes.

    Thanks everyone for the replies! By all means keep them comming if it proves useful for other people.



    I made a Black and White map of Impiltur you are welcome to based off of Markustay's map of the area...although I'm betting he has a much better map of the place than me
    Markustay Posted - 28 Nov 2017 : 04:09:04
    Yeah, they are also in the Horde article in Dragon #349, on page 61. That would be the newest (3e) write-up.

    And its spelled 'Dzalmus' - my bad.

    Its basically King Ghidorah from kaiju fame. Maybe they fight the Krakentuas... who knows.

    And with the correct spelling, I can now find references on Google. You'd think the Hordelands would also have a Mongolian Death Worm (Taangan Death Wyrm?)
    Wooly Rupert Posted - 28 Nov 2017 : 03:29:46
    quote:
    Originally posted by BadCatMan

    quote:
    Originally posted by Markustay

    There are Dazalmus directly to the north - dragons with THREE heads!

    BTW, you should write those up for the Wiki, because when I Googled it I got nuthin'.


    If that's a request, I'll do it. But the hell's a dazalmus?



    It's a three-headed dragon. The first appearance that I know of was in Dragon 163 -- the first issue I bought.

    I'm pretty sure they were reprised in one of the Monstrous Compendium annuals, as well.
    BadCatMan Posted - 28 Nov 2017 : 01:15:18
    quote:
    Originally posted by Markustay

    There are Dazalmus directly to the north - dragons with THREE heads!

    BTW, you should write those up for the Wiki, because when I Googled it I got nuthin'.


    If that's a request, I'll do it. But the hell's a dazalmus?
    Blackharp Posted - 28 Nov 2017 : 00:05:58
    I'll have a closer look at all those recomendations. Impiltur in particular captured my interest. I think I am usually very biased towards the sword coast because of the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights games, as well as the recent publication history of WotC.
    I wanted to set my next game somewhere else and Cormyr was too "civilized" for my tastes.

    Thanks everyone for the replies! By all means keep them comming if it proves useful for other people.
    Markustay Posted - 27 Nov 2017 : 20:41:05
    Impiltur will be getting even more detail within the next few months. There's a project I've had to put to the side in order to get other (nearly complete) things done, but hopefully I will have the better part of my obligation complete on time.

    BTW, Zero, it was the 5th edition continental map I believe you were waiting most eagerly for, correct? I got the better part of it done yesterday. The thing that stopped me the last time was Mike Schley's new take on Chult (which had just come out), and I was awaiting to see if they were going to do anything 'to the right' (east) of that before I moved forward (which I thought there was a good chance of, since Ed is doing things in the Lapaliiya region).

    On the other hand, THEY might be waiting on ME.

    quote:
    Originally posted by BadCatMan

    Ulgarth is more exotic and distant, but feels a lot like the medieval crusader kingdoms founded from conquered lands in the Middle East. A feudal kingdom with all the tropes and added spice, chivalrous, religious knights struggling against the heat and the heathens (orcs, barbarians, etc.) alike. No known dragons though.
    Welcome to Ulgarth
    What you talkin' 'bout, Willis?

    There are Dzalmus directly to the north - dragons with THREE heads!

    BTW, you should write those up for the Wiki, because when I Googled it I got nuthin'.

    Edited the monster's name.
    Zeromaru X Posted - 27 Nov 2017 : 19:03:53
    Every time I read about Impiltur, I become more and more interested in running a campaign there.

    As for the original question, I guess that any kingdom within the Western Hearlands and/or the Sword Coast is classic medieval stuff.
    moonbeast Posted - 27 Nov 2017 : 12:43:11
    And don't forget the "kingdom" of Elturgard, which is really not a kingdom (it has no hereditary king according to current 5E books). it's more of a theocratic city-state ruled by a Paladin order, who are led by a High Overseer. I changed the name slightly in my mostly-canon 5E campaign, re-titled it the Palatinate of Elturgard.

    P.S. IMHO having some powerful city-state that is governed by a Chivalrous Order (e.g. paladins) is very much like Medieval Europe, it reminds me of the powerful orders like Teutonic Order, and also the Knights of Saint John/Malta/Rhodes.
    Ayrik Posted - 27 Nov 2017 : 01:52:50
    I say it doesn't get more "Medieval" than Zhentil Keep. Although, of course, to the denizens of the Keep all those nobles and knights and dragon's lairs tend to be seen in a much less flattering light.
    BadCatMan Posted - 26 Nov 2017 : 23:55:53
    Ulgarth is more exotic and distant, but feels a lot like the medieval crusader kingdoms founded from conquered lands in the Middle East. A feudal kingdom with all the tropes and added spice, chivalrous, religious knights struggling against the heat and the heathens (orcs, barbarians, etc.) alike. No known dragons though.
    http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Ulgarth
    Bladewind Posted - 26 Nov 2017 : 23:49:21
    Lots of places that give the classic medieval kingdom with a slight twist.

    Sembia and Moonsea area (gothic knights, nobles and machiavellian schemes)
    Tethyr and Western Heartlands (questing knights, old vs new nobility politics and land inheritence schemes)
    Cormyr and the Dales(crusading knights, crown vs powerful noble houses and counter-espionage)
    Westgate and the Dragoncoast (conquering knights, monstrous merchant cabals and assassinations)
    Impiltur and the Reach (paladin-knights, royal bloodlines and abyssal politics)
    Markustay Posted - 26 Nov 2017 : 21:48:57
    If you prefer early-medieval over late-medieval, I hear the Moonshaes are nice this time of year. A bit more of a Celtic/Arthurian vibe going on there (true Arthurian, not this modern crap with chrome armor).
    George Krashos Posted - 26 Nov 2017 : 21:27:45
    Impiltur for the win! And you get demons as well, just for added spice. Behind Cormyr, one of the most detailed kingdoms in the Realms.

    -- George Krashos
    Dalor Darden Posted - 26 Nov 2017 : 21:18:52
    quote:
    Originally posted by Blackharp

    I would like to know the most traditional medieval kingdom feel region in the Realms, complete with nobles and knights and dragon's lairs... in sum, all the classic tropes. I'm aware that Cormyr is the default answer here. I'm looking for alternatives.

    Thanks!



    Sespech would be an awesome choice...as well as Tethyr I think.

    Impiltur is also amazing as a Medieval Setting, and just north of it is Damara.

    All of those off the top of my head.

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