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 RealmsLore: Real Life Equivalent Nations in Toril?
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Gavinfoxx
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Posted - 16 Oct 2010 :  20:54:35  Show Profile  Send Gavinfoxx an AOL message  Send Gavinfoxx an ICQ Message  Click to see Gavinfoxx's MSN Messenger address  Send Gavinfoxx a Yahoo! Message Send Gavinfoxx a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So far, it seems that Toril has LOTS of places that have real world equivalents...

Going by this map of toril for the basic geography (IE, based on the 3.5e map mostly, ~1372 timeline)

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y178/MarkusTay/Map%20Snippets/Abeir_Toril_Names2.jpg

What are the equivalent nations?

I've put together a small list with the help of a website, can I have some help figuring out the extra details and the (presumably many, many things I missed...)


Amn = Spain under the Inquisition

Calimshan = Arabia & Ottoman Empire. Maybe Spain under the Moors

Zakhara = Arabia #2

Anauroch = Numidia

Ulutiun Areas = Eskimo tribal areas of N. America

Chessenta = Ancient Greece #1

Threskel = Ancient Greece #2

Chult = African Jungles

Shaar = African Savanna

Tethyr = North Africa, maybe Spain under El Cid

Cormyr = Idealized Medieval France or maybe England

Dalelands = Switzerland

Damara = Germany, with slavic influence

Taan / Hordelands = Mongolia

Shining Lands = India

Yeshimal Mountains = Himalayas

Mulhorand = Ancient Egypt

"The North" = home of germanic type berserker & barbarian stereotypes, but not seafaring...

Ruathym = Norway, full of seafaring viking berserker barbarian types

Rashemen = Kievan Russia

Sea of fallen stars = Mediterranean Sea

Sembia = Merchant Italy #1

Chondath = Merchant Italy #2

Shou = China #1

T'u Lung = China #2

Koryo = Korea

Thesk = Areas through which the Silk Road travels

Turmish = Turkey #1

Thay - Turkey #2 Except run by Nazis somehow...

Unther = Mesopotamia

Vaasa = Finland

Western Heartlands = England #1

Moonshae Isles = England #2

Malatra = Vietnam

Wa = Shogunate Isolationist Japan

Kozakura = More Diverse Feudal Japan

Maztica = Aztec Central America


Lots of help would be appreciated!

BTW, I'll be updating and editing this post as people help me with this! Thanks!

Edited by - Gavinfoxx on 17 Oct 2010 18:39:47

Skeptic
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In most cases, things are not so simple, in others you are just wrong.
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Cleric Generic
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Posted - 17 Oct 2010 :  00:34:49  Show Profile  Visit Cleric Generic's Homepage Send Cleric Generic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah. The convention is that the various bits of the Realms have no real world analogue. You might not see much evidence of said convention, especially in some of the older books I've seen, but usually the resemblance is fairly superficial.

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The Sage
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Posted - 17 Oct 2010 :  01:41:10  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The original, core part of the Realms is not analogous to our world, and our-world norms can't be assumed to apply. Some of the places, like Kara-Tur [which was a TSR add-on to Ed's Realms], are among those exceptions that are based on Earth, in their published forms, for various reasons... excepting the Shaar.

Any given cultural fact about medieval or Renaissance Europe probably does not apply to the Heartlands: Ed's Realms is created to deliberately discourage assuming and instead encourage players to engage actively with the setting and find out its unique details and nature. Also, the influences on the Heartlands are far more from fiction than from history, so that reading the half-dozen most Realmslike fantasy authors will give you a better [though still very inaccurate] picture of the Realms than understanding any amount of European history.

Gavin, I'd recommend you read through Ed's April 13th '06 replies here at Candlekeep, for his thoughts on the sources of inspirations for some of the areas you've mentioned here. They are required reading for any particular Realms devotee who wishes to have access to accurate facts as they've been determined by Ed himself. These replies clearly prove just how invalid some of the more "nonsense" claims actually are.

And finally, consider this, from Ed's '06 replies:-

"...but it should always be remembered that the Realms is NOT an analogy or copy of Earth; what we may see as medieval in some ways, and Renaissance in others, when looking at Faerūn, is inevitably seeing things from our point of view: the Realms may develop in very different ways than the real world did."

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Gavinfoxx
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Posted - 17 Oct 2010 :  04:37:28  Show Profile  Send Gavinfoxx an AOL message  Send Gavinfoxx an ICQ Message  Click to see Gavinfoxx's MSN Messenger address  Send Gavinfoxx a Yahoo! Message Send Gavinfoxx a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not too familiar with how to efficiently browse these forums and how to search correctly for those posts -- could you help link me to the thread or those threads that discuss this topic?

I sort of found them... and I know that Ed's realms weren't quite this way, but it does seem that the Realms has, indeed, evolved this way, for better or worse...

Edited by - Gavinfoxx on 17 Oct 2010 05:53:42
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Quale
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Posted - 17 Oct 2010 :  10:36:51  Show Profile Send Quale a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The core of the Realms is supposedly not similar to Earth and alien, but when you look in the books you'll notice that they're full of things that existed either in history, mythology or fantasy.

Unfortunately most real-world elements were thrown in together without much logic. I my home realms I fixed the most parts, cause in the end it makes running the game easier knowing how a particular place looks like, the architecture, styles of clothing etc.

Anyway officially these places have some real world elements ...

Illuskans, Northmen, Reghedmen, partially Uthgardt and even some giants have elements from the Norse cultures, and some Germanic names, even in Lantan

Ulutiun and the Ice Hunters, Eskimo-like

Bedine of Anauroch, Tuareg-like

Netheril had a few Latin and Greek-sounding names

Some Talfiric people have Celtic names, and the Ffolk, Moonshaes are full of Celtic elements, they also migrated to the Utter East. Bloodstone Dwarves have celtic names too.

The Dalelands are cantons, I don't think there's any other similarity with Switzerland

Some Damaran names are Slavic (Russian, Ukranian)

Rashemen is partially like the Kievan Russia

Chessenta and Threskel are Greek-like

Chondath is somewhat like the Italian mercantile city states, but their names are pure fantasy, partially English-like. What's weird is that the dark-skinned Turami have more Latin-sounding names, tough their society is democratic and meritocratic.

Amn could be considered like the medieval Spain, only replace the monarchy with aristocracy, replace the church with Waukeen and Helm, and keep the Al-andalus elements, increase the importance of trade and money, and the thief guilds. And their names are not Spanish-like.

Tethyr is a mix of everything, I view is sort of Frankish, but what if Charles Martel was defeated, and the Moors ruled for some time

Calimshan has Arabic and Ottoman elements, Arnaden tribes don't know

Unther and Mulhorand are obvious, the Shining Lands have Indian elements (religion), and the Mar people of the Utter East. Yehimals are more like the Himalayas, not the Icerim.

Murghom and Semphar have Arabic elements, Howard's Turanians are a better fit for them.

The Golden Way in Thesk is like the Silk Road. Raumviran people are kind of eastern-slavic. Hordelands tribes are Turkish/Altaic/Mongol etc. The Gurs are gypsy-like. Ama basin people seem Siberian.

Chultans and Tashalans are Africans more or less.
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Snowblood
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Posted - 17 Oct 2010 :  13:39:37  Show Profile Send Snowblood a Private Message  Reply with Quote
you are going to find real world analogues if you look hard enough..after all we are humans and we draw from what we know to construct the new...nothing is ever created in a vacuum, so if a culture is created that seems to draw cultural parallels to 'real world' nations and ethnicities then it is to be expected. Yes some parts of the realms eg Mulhorand and Wa are direct 'rip-offs' from real word cultures...but remember it is the Forgotten Realms...an amalgam of cultures from all over the multi-verse...particularly after the Spell-Plague when the great squiggly eraser of Wizbro ripped through the old Realms and erased most of the more obvious 'realworlders' and replaced them with new replicants or drastically altered the ones they left behind...eg they bring back Netheril but have to wipe out Halruaa ..ya can't have two Netherils......they wiped away the entire Mezzo-American culture trees and most of the southern African style cultures and replaced them with another Netheril clone and a blasted waste land full of magically scarred 'Athasian' like mutations.........so no the realms is not a real world mirror...definately not any more....any obvious culprits have been removed, altered or ignored (see all of Kara-Tur & Zhakara)...

Aryvandaar, Ilythiir, Arnothoi, Orva, Sarphil, Anauria/Asram/Hlondath, Uvaeren, Braceldaur, Ilodhar, Lisenaar, Imaskar, Miyeritar, Orishaar, Shantel Othrieir, Keltormir, Eaerlann, Ammarindar, Siluvanede, Sharrven, Illefarn, Ardeep, Rystal Wood, Evereska are all available here for download:http://phasai.deviantart.com/gallery/

Edited by - Snowblood on 17 Oct 2010 13:42:48
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Faraer
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Posted - 17 Oct 2010 :  15:39:39  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gavinfoxx
I sort of found them... and I know that Ed's realms weren't quite this way, but it does seem that the Realms has, indeed, evolved this way, for better or worse...

There's been material added that goes against Ed's design principles in this -- a lot of it listed in the first half of Quale's post -- but much more that's hewed to them, and many of the 1990s drifts were reversed in the 2000s. Apart from the specifically Earth-analogue places added to the Realms by TSR, from the Doug Niles Moonshaes to Zakhara, likening Faerūn to our-world places will lead you directly away from understanding it.
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Gavinfoxx
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Posted - 17 Oct 2010 :  18:42:08  Show Profile  Send Gavinfoxx an AOL message  Send Gavinfoxx an ICQ Message  Click to see Gavinfoxx's MSN Messenger address  Send Gavinfoxx a Yahoo! Message Send Gavinfoxx a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you sooo much Quale! I've edited it a bit more based on your (and a few others) ideas!

Mostly, I want to do this as a basic guide for my GM, so he doesn't have to drench himself in realmslore to run "The Realms" as the realms, but can get a decent chunk of the flavor and inspiration.
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Ayrik
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Posted - 17 Oct 2010 :  19:14:43  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, there is always this old scroll ... aha, a bit of a misleading title but very much the same topic.

Eat lots of garlic - it keeps the elves and vampires away.
Don't stick your sword into dragons, you just don't know where they've been.
Avoid stepping on halflings. They stick to your boots, will smell awful, and are impossible to scrape off.
Ah, of course. Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.
[/Ayrik]
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Gavinfoxx
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Posted - 17 Oct 2010 :  19:52:53  Show Profile  Send Gavinfoxx an AOL message  Send Gavinfoxx an ICQ Message  Click to see Gavinfoxx's MSN Messenger address  Send Gavinfoxx a Yahoo! Message Send Gavinfoxx a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Arik, that is an AWESOME list! Wow, it reaaalllyy outdoes mine!

Edited by - Gavinfoxx on 17 Oct 2010 19:53:11
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Ayrik
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Posted - 17 Oct 2010 :  20:04:04  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's not "my" list, I didn't take a single pen to that scroll. But I'm glad it helps you.

[Edit]

I also find the separate interpretations, where they match and where they differ, somewhat interesting.

Eat lots of garlic - it keeps the elves and vampires away.
Don't stick your sword into dragons, you just don't know where they've been.
Avoid stepping on halflings. They stick to your boots, will smell awful, and are impossible to scrape off.
Ah, of course. Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.
[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 17 Oct 2010 20:05:50
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Gavinfoxx
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Posted - 17 Oct 2010 :  21:17:51  Show Profile  Send Gavinfoxx an AOL message  Send Gavinfoxx an ICQ Message  Click to see Gavinfoxx's MSN Messenger address  Send Gavinfoxx a Yahoo! Message Send Gavinfoxx a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To be frank, I mostly got stuff from that FR character generator thing, and have been editing it based on feedback on wotc forums / giantitp / here / the old threads here of this topic that I found, mostly where 'The Sage' copied and pasted that entire post verbatim 3 different times, so I could search for old threads with this topic by copypasting parts of that post into the exact phrase only search engine.

Edited by - Gavinfoxx on 17 Oct 2010 21:18:51
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Quale
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  12:47:38  Show Profile Send Quale a Private Message  Reply with Quote
depends what version of the Realms you want play, ''pure Ed'' or TSR, TSR has potential but you need to deal with inconsistencies and historical ''vacuums'', Ed's version is great, but there's not enough material published, e.g. if had lore about other human cultures like we have on Turmish (Polyhedron articles) or Cormyr ...

anyway that old list is weird even by TSR standards, Sossal Norway, Thay is Caanan , cause it's north of Egypt?, Nelanther is not just pirates, there's a darker, mysterious, lost-civilization vibe to them

good choices for Halruaa, Impiltur

it's better than the one posted in the Dragon Annual language article, where the Netherese were Baltic or something and Telfir Greeks, at least the Netherese of all should be unique, though MT says they were related to the Gurs

to really make it work, you need to change some maps and geography, and even more entire countries to the other side of the continent, start with paleolithic and neolithic human migrations and downplay the influence of demihuman races (e.g. elven wars), also some places like Netheril and its survivors need to stay unique, or the Border Kingdom (though they can be a zone between several major cultures)

and I made a superficial post about Chult, they look African, the stuff about Mezro and the barae is fantasy, for their neighbors you can borrow from Howard's serpentpeople
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The Sage
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Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  13:46:32  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gavinfoxx

To be frank, I mostly got stuff from that FR character generator thing, and have been editing it based on feedback on wotc forums / giantitp / here / the old threads here of this topic that I found, mostly where 'The Sage' copied and pasted that entire post verbatim 3 different times, so I could search for old threads with this topic by copypasting parts of that post into the exact phrase only search engine.

I keep these kinds of replies handy because topics like this always seem to pop up every so often. So instead of retyping the same thing over and over, I merely copied the reply from what will eventually be the entry for the same topic in my Candlekep's Guide to Forgotten Realms FAQ, and posted it here.

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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Gavinfoxx
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Posted - 18 Oct 2010 :  20:08:02  Show Profile  Send Gavinfoxx an AOL message  Send Gavinfoxx an ICQ Message  Click to see Gavinfoxx's MSN Messenger address  Send Gavinfoxx a Yahoo! Message Send Gavinfoxx a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage
I keep these kinds of replies handy because topics like this always seem to pop up every so often. So instead of retyping the same thing over and over, I merely copied the reply from what will eventually be the entry for the same topic in my Candlekep's Guide to Forgotten Realms FAQ, and posted it here.



That's no problem, really, it did help me search around...
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