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 Any idea why the T'uLung emperor was in Mulhorand?
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BadCatMan
Learned Scribe

Australia
335 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2017 :  11:37:44  Show Profile Send BadCatMan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
One aspect to this that I was presenting was this concept that while everyone sees the sun (even Abeirans), depending on your religious belief you will see a different deity interacting with the sun. So, for instance, the Mazticans see Tezca in the sky, but the Azuposi see the spirit known as Sun Father. The Metahel see a deity I based on Frey that I named "Fraeyollo" (I made up a whole Norse like pantheon for them, using slightly altered names, different history, etc...). The Mulhorandi see Ra (and are surprised to see him alive again... I did this due to the SCAG having Ra back), with Horus riding beside him. The red wizards of the United Tharchs see Lathander, but some even see Horus-Re looking vengeful at the same time. Some individuals have come to accept all of these religions, in which case they actually saw multiple deities in the sky.

Anyway, what if something like this also exists in Kara-Tur, and it helps FUEL belief in the Celestial Emperor. If you believe, then when you look into the Sky, you can see Heaven. Outsiders that look up are confused, because they cannot see what the people of Kara-Tur see. Similarly, maybe outsiders who don't believe cannot see the Moon Women, the Rice Spirits, the Jade Ladies, the Ladies of Compassion, the Lords of Karma, the Spirit Warriors, etc... without some kind of magical aid. To an outsider, they see some commoner interacting with a spirit, and its like they're interacting with something invisible.... yet see invisibility still doesn't reveal them (true seeing would). Maybe make some "spirit interaction" spell that's low level (1st level maybe... maybe even a cantrip), but that exists over all of Kara-Tur kind of like a giant mythal that casts this spell on anyone who believes.


This is similar to my personal view that the gods are created/defined by the beliefs of mortals and thus beliefs are only locally true for each culture and race. For example, each has their own sun god, and there are multiple sun gods, all being sun gods. Then the heresies and shifting beliefs of mortals change their sun gods.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
Oh, and thank you for the GHotR reference. So, the Nine Immortals came to be emperor at different times. From a "chicken/egg" perspective that can be important.


Chicken and egg indeed. As Markustay said, Shou history is mostly falsified, exaggerated, and censored, especially the official histories. Hence why I arranged the Chan Cheng article as I did. It's necessary to distinguish proper history from myth and legend, and take it all with a bucket of salt.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
And that leads to another question.... if there is an actual heaven to correspond to Heaven , should there be an underworld in the underdark to correspond to the Underworld ? Might the underdark of Kara-Tur be filled with spirit beings (nature spirits <including elementals and dragons>, demons, the dead, etc...).


I think so. It's not clear where the Underworld lies exactly; I had to make the assumption that it's a part of the Spirit World through interpolation. That it's in the local Spirit World version of the Underdark is a natural next step. The Kozakurans seem to believe it's underground, with a supposed access in a local volcano. However, the Shou think it's off to the west. So, Faerūn? :D

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
I would note that if you do this, I would actually have Kara-Tur filled with a lot more dragon spirits, but that they also aren't nearly as strong as a traditional dragon (though some are). In essence have something on the power level of faerie dragons and pseudodragons that might be nature guardians over a collection of lightly timbered hills with a spring, or some larger dragon with wood-like scales protecting a forest, etc... instead of pixie like beings.


I think this is the case, it's the usual belief in place spirits. I imagine, rather than having dragons in every body of water, most of the dragons lie in the Spirit World, and rarely manifest bodily in the real world.

BadCatMan, B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7599 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2017 :  13:41:39  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just got an idea while doing something else. Based on the idea that heaven is visible in the sky, and the known idea that Kara-Tur has gliders and the ministry of flight... what if there are "air wu-jen" who have some far off Monastery of "some dragon spirit of the air" and one of the things they've been exploring is flying to heaven via glider. Yeah, I know its very "avatar: the last airbender", but at the same time, it adds a lot more reason for seeking flight by glider. Hell, it may not even be wu-jen... it could be elemental monks.. and DM's guild also has something akin to bending rules for 5e.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2017 :  23:25:39  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
'The Underworld' could just be the Underdark of the Shadowfell (so basically, just another place within the 'Plane of Shadows', where a LOT of 'spirit types' (undead) originated from. Whats that called again? The Underdshadow, or some-such?

On the other hand, for Kara-Tur (OA), I might be tempted to just use my concept of the Border-Ethereal (the 'Milltemarches'), and say THAT has a corresponding 'heaven' ("Above") and 'hell' ("Below"). In fact, the whole of the Mittlemarch could just be K-T's 'Spirit Realm', being a transitive plane that connects all others. Of course, unlike the canon Border-Ethereal, mine also connects to the astral, and this would all make more sense with that bit added (so it would also be a conduit to the godly realms as well, or at least to the Outlands, where most K-T deities reside, IIRC).

To the commoner of K-T (or any OA setting), they wouldn't really know about all those other planes and worlds - they would just know that 'divine beings' (Kami) step-out from the 'Spirit Realm', so they would assume they all came from there, not realizing its just a planer 'super-highway'.

So some being would enter the Border Ethereal and go 'up' to heaven, and others would go 'down' to the Underworld. One main entrance, many paths leading away.

Although, I am still seeing the 'Shadoworld' (Shadowfell) as the best bet for planer underdark setting. It still all works though, if you take my version you enter the Mittlemarch, and you have three main paths you can take - up, down, or forward... forward leads you further into the Ethereal (and eventually into the Phlogiston between worlds), the downwards path take you into the Shadowfell itself, and 'up' lead to the Astral, of course, which eventually leads to 'the Heavens' (the Outer Planes). Thus, the 'Border Ethereal' really just becomes the Border to everything 'spiritual' (KT's 'Spirit World'). Its basically just the 'Wood Between the Worlds' - you step outside 'physicality' into the spirit realm and from there you can travel anywhere.

So we don't have to define the 'Spirit World' as an actual place, so much as it is just a concept of OA. Its just the entrance to everywhere. I feel this smooths the rough edges of combining Asian cosmology with D&D mythos. The 'Celestial Bureaucracy' can exist alongside the concept of The Great Wheel.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 20 Jun 2017 23:29:13
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2017 :  23:31:33  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and the whole "up, down, or forward" is more a metaphysical kind of thing, not those actual, physical directions. You can move in all those directions in a normal, physical way within the Border Ethereal (Spirit World), and still be within it, and moving about it - its still a plane unto itself, with its own geography and inhabitants.


Think of it like a super-highway (the greatest one in the universe). The highway itself can still be huge - I don't know how big they get in other countries, but I know at some places the NJ Turnpike is 16 lanes or more, and has its own spots for gas stations and rest stops, as part of the highway itself. And yet, you can get off at any exit and go 'somewhere else'. So its like that - you can go wherever you like, or just stay on the road itself forever (a nigh-infinitely wide and long 'road').

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 20 Jun 2017 23:36:55
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Auppenser
Acolyte

5 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2018 :  21:38:47  Show Profile Send Auppenser a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, I love this thread. I'm in the middle of writing stories for a character who was born in 1359 and raised in Mulhorand, trained by an exiled, enslaved Kozakuran in the art of the sword while growing up in Mulhorand, and then travels to Kara-Tur in search of more information on Spelljamming. This thread has a little bit of everything I care about in developing her.

I'd always clung to that little nugget about the T'u Lung emperor being in Mulhorand as something that could matter for her life, in a big or a small way, and this thread has done more to help me think about that than any which has come before. I'm going to try to write the story in a way that leaves the specifics vague, so as to be flexible later.

But thanks to everyone who participated in this thread, it's been a gold mine.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7599 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2018 :  22:36:58  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I really liked this thread as well, and surprisingly it started from something that I didn't see going anywhere. Sometimes its those weird little threads that you pull on that bring you to interesting places.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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BadCatMan
Learned Scribe

Australia
335 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2018 :  03:26:20  Show Profile Send BadCatMan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You might be interested in the Bushido mercenary company from Gold & Glory then. Kara-Tur soldiers fighting as mercenaries in the Old Empires in the early 1360s DR, with a mostly samurari theme.
http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Bushido_(organization)


BadCatMan, B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7599 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2018 :  13:16:31  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey Auppenser,

I got your private message, but your account must be setup to not allow email responses. We're all very much a close group here for the most part, so I feel like most won't mind my introducing them. By all means, ask and usually someone will answer if they have time. As far as who are really good Kara-Tur resources here, I would definitely count BadCatMan. From what I gather he maintains the FR Wiki (god bless this man), and a lot of what I've picked up regarding Shou Lung has been via reading something here and then looking it up on the Wiki. Of most of us here, he's also one of the ones who is most likely to stay truest to canon. Another good resource is Markustay, but he.... like me.... tends to drift into concept first and then research to make sure it works after. ZeroMaru X is also one who is great for ideas, but they tend to come from a 4e viewpoint, which isn't bad, but sometimes involves some discussion on how earlier editions portrayed things (which actually is kind of fun... it makes you go back and reread things that you assumed you knew). Wooly Rupert, Brian R. James, and George Krashos tend to be in that middle ground between canon and wildly flinging ideas. The ones who stick more to canon tend to be less vocal, but when they do talk its more researched.

Oh, and if you lean into the "Utter East" (i.e. that stretch of coastline between the shining south and Zakhara), by far the two best resources I've seen here are Markustay and BadCatMan.

If you ever stray into other far flung areas, such as Maztica, there is no better resource that I've met than Seethyr.

Oh, and if you ever want to talk conceptual magic and balancing magic, that's my strength. I've got a mind bent towards "finding the flaw" in magic mechanics. It tends to make my mechanics wordy though. I am a bit weak on the changes in wording on 5e spells though (you see the same rough wording on things across 5 editions and you begin to lose the changes). Diffan's also a really great resource for this kind of thing, but more towards mechanics in general.

BTW, if anyone doesn't like how I kind of described you, please don't take offense, its just kind of how I have seen conversations go over the years. I know myself as a person who is often taking an idea and running with it, only to end up fact checking and backing up and then backing up more, until it works. A lot of the initial concepts I throw out need work, BUT I find doing the work fulfilling.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31639 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2018 :  15:40:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Wooly Rupert, Brian R. James, and George Krashos tend to be in that middle ground between canon and wildly flinging ideas.



That's an interesting description!

I tend to think of it as playing in the gray areas, myself -- finding those spots that canon doesn't cover, then working something into there. I consider that a gray area because it's clearly not canon, whatever I come up with -- but I try to make it something that adheres to what canon is available and doesn't break anything.

Like my livegolems -- there were constructs used in the Great Conflagration. Making a small number of them warforged-esque isn't canon, but nothing in canon contradicts the idea.

Unless, of course, it's one of those thought exercises where I'm deliberately putting a non-canon spin on something, like my rewrites of the Spellplague.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 11 May 2018 15:43:25
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Auppenser
Acolyte

5 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2018 :  22:07:23  Show Profile Send Auppenser a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hey Auppenser,

I got your private message, but your account must be setup to not allow email responses. We're all very much a close group here for the most part, so I feel like most won't mind my introducing them. By all means, ask and usually someone will answer if they have time. As far as who are really good Kara-Tur resources here, I would definitely count BadCatMan. From what I gather he maintains the FR Wiki (god bless this man), and a lot of what I've picked up regarding Shou Lung has been via reading something here and then looking it up on the Wiki. Of most of us here, he's also one of the ones who is most likely to stay truest to canon. Another good resource is Markustay, but he.... like me.... tends to drift into concept first and then research to make sure it works after. ZeroMaru X is also one who is great for ideas, but they tend to come from a 4e viewpoint, which isn't bad, but sometimes involves some discussion on how earlier editions portrayed things (which actually is kind of fun... it makes you go back and reread things that you assumed you knew). Wooly Rupert, Brian R. James, and George Krashos tend to be in that middle ground between canon and wildly flinging ideas. The ones who stick more to canon tend to be less vocal, but when they do talk its more researched.

Oh, and if you lean into the "Utter East" (i.e. that stretch of coastline between the shining south and Zakhara), by far the two best resources I've seen here are Markustay and BadCatMan.

If you ever stray into other far flung areas, such as Maztica, there is no better resource that I've met than Seethyr.

Oh, and if you ever want to talk conceptual magic and balancing magic, that's my strength. I've got a mind bent towards "finding the flaw" in magic mechanics. It tends to make my mechanics wordy though. I am a bit weak on the changes in wording on 5e spells though (you see the same rough wording on things across 5 editions and you begin to lose the changes). Diffan's also a really great resource for this kind of thing, but more towards mechanics in general.

BTW, if anyone doesn't like how I kind of described you, please don't take offense, its just kind of how I have seen conversations go over the years. I know myself as a person who is often taking an idea and running with it, only to end up fact checking and backing up and then backing up more, until it works. A lot of the initial concepts I throw out need work, BUT I find doing the work fulfilling.



Thanks for the advice!
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Auppenser
Acolyte

5 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2018 :  22:09:41  Show Profile Send Auppenser a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BadCatMan

You might be interested in the Bushido mercenary company from Gold & Glory then. Kara-Tur soldiers fighting as mercenaries in the Old Empires in the early 1360s DR, with a mostly samurari theme.
http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Bushido_(organization)





Thanks for the suggestion!
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BadCatMan
Learned Scribe

Australia
335 Posts

Posted - 12 May 2018 :  02:34:45  Show Profile Send BadCatMan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

As far as who are really good Kara-Tur resources here, I would definitely count BadCatMan. From what I gather he maintains the FR Wiki (god bless this man), and a lot of what I've picked up regarding Shou Lung has been via reading something here and then looking it up on the Wiki. Of most of us here, he's also one of the ones who is most likely to stay truest to canon.


Thanks, I feel like I've reached a special level of internet fame. :D But I'm not the only one maintaining the wiki, and nor even the busiest this year, regrettably, as I've been forced to cut back. There are about a half-dozen of us who regularly contribute quality lore to the wiki, including Zeromaru X. The whole team deserves credit. :)

A few weeks ago, a newbie got all keen about developing the Kara-Tur and Shou Lung pages on a continent scale, but they seem to have been overwhelmed by the scale of the project and bailed. That happens too often, unfortunately. So, a recommendation to anyone who's interested in getting into the wiki and is looking for a project, start small, slow, and focused, then work your way up and out. Begin with the little things, and the big things will get easier.

BadCatMan, B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc.
Scientific technical editor
Head DM of the Realms of Adventure play-by-post community
Administrator of the Forgotten Realms Wiki and Candlekeep Wiki
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