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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
583 Posts

Posted - 09 Aug 2019 :  19:11:41  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Ideas for Anchorome

Since Sleyvas’ post about the Abeil of Abeir in Anchorome, I figured a more generic thread might be appropriate where ideas can stray beyond the bee folk. The Anchorome I have envisioned and homebrewed expands on City of Gold (FMQ1) and canonical information about Balduran and Fort Flame. These are all ideas I truly hope to write up at some point in the near future.

Like Sleyvas with the Abeil, I would love to see what additional ideas and alterations group think can do. Remember, this continent is virtually untouched.

1. Monsters of Anchorome. I’ve posted about this in a number of places so I won’t go into it, but essentially I’ve tried to bring 30+ new creatures from Native (north) American myth into Anchorome. I tried to hit upon creatures never brought up before.
2. The 1e adventure UK7 Dark Clouds gather introduced a creature called the ba’atun - creatures that essentially look like the flying baboons from the Wizard of Oz but come from an alternate world/plane. Their leader can possess others and in the adventure they give some cloud giants and aarakocra a really hard time. Almost whole cloth, this adventure could be adjusted to fit the setting.
3. Speaking of aarakocra, if I could ever get in touch with Gray Richardson I’d love to hear more of his thoughts on the aeree and I want to one day take on the undertaking of make a Serpent Kingdoms-esque book for the aeree (Avian Kingdoms?). Obviously their last eyries are located in NW Anchorome
4. If you’ve ever read The Mound by HP Lovecraft, there is an underground civilization that worships Cthulhu and the other Great Old Ones that can dematerialize and have other powers. Juergen Hurbert on the Piazza forums thought these might be easily represented with the “elan” race from one of the 3e era psionic books. Funny thing is even further below them, there are more ancient civilizations which if adapted to Anchorome, might be perfectly replaced with the batrachi.
5. Mysteries of Anchorome: I’ve been working on a hodgepodge of cool locations, mostly where I’ve gained inspiration from Dragon Magazines of long past. So far there is a huge waterfall with a natural portal to the Plane of Radiance (an alternate one called the Limitless Light from Dragon Magazine), and a huge herd of magical horses known as the nic’Epona from old Planescape material. I’m working with another author on a darfellan enclave in the nearby seas who are locked in a struggle for survival against sahuagin. There’s also some less developed ideas like a mechanical forest where rogue modrons are in hiding, and a “whispering pines” region of trees that have all been awakened. Finally, other Dragon magazine goodies have added to the brainstorm and I’m thinking of a swamp that reduces any who enter to cellular sizes where all the monsters are amoebas and euglena and such. There might also be a region that never evolved out of an age of mammals.
6. Esh Alakar. I have to find myself a truly excellent cartographer who can specialize in dungeon mapping because Esh Alakar, a canonical ruin in Anchorome has become a ruined spellweaver pyramid with an extensive underground region remaining. I’d like the dungeon to have a lot of mathematical puzzles to it at least in the way it’s organized (using the Fibonacci sequence, a hyper cube, etc).

Anyway, if this sounds like a brainstorm, that’s because that is exactly what it was. Hopefully some decent books come from some of them that are enjoyed by someone. I’d also like to apologize that I didn’t provide proper references or links, I’m doing this from my phone while away in the mountains!

All "Maztica Alive" products can be found below, linked to the campaign guide.

TWC1 The Maztica Campaign Guide

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8139 Posts

Posted - 12 Aug 2019 :  15:45:48  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Love brainstorming, so many good ideas come from it.

Some of the things I've been thinking about doing after seeing your product and rethinking my own ideas.

I know you're not big on the idea of red wizards in the area, but I do want to put red wizard in Esh Alakar. However, as discussed, I also want it to be that they've only say delved a portion of this "super dungeon" (like maybe 5%, but that 5% opened onto OTHER ideas). They have established themselves in this portion and made it safe to inhabit for themselves.

What else have these red wizards done? Well, this section of Esh Alakar had a portal. This portal opened onto an old spell weaver port up in the top of some mountains (these mountains being roughly to the east of the Pasocada Basin on the other side of a section of desert). So, what type of port would be up in the top of some mountains? Well, a sky port of course. Much like how the netherese sought to delve the stars, so did the spell weavers of Esh Alakar. However, they didn't have spelljamming helms. They had something of their own design, and which after a millenia or two.... quit working. But the SHIPS were made from glassteel, and the ships survived. What kind of ships then? Well, they don't necessarily resemble modern "naval vessels". They're more like flat topped submarines with "oars" attached on each side and the capability to raise up masts for sails. At the back is a large "tail fin" like a mix of fish and dolphin with a set of 4 flukes that can either go side to side or up and down. The top deck also has a glassteel "shields" that can be raised over it if the masts are down to make the ship more resemble a submarine (a clear see through submarine). Anyway, the red wizards find this place with ….. let's go with 20 ships.... still intact. However, NONE of the ships have any kind of motive power. The oars don't work anymore, neither does the tail fin, and they don't have any lift for transporting into wildspace or even the sky. But, the red wizards are nothing if not interested, and they adapt technologies of anchorome. They develop "plumafeather sails" that can be attached to the ships and allow them to ride the air after learning of this art from an enclave of theirs down in Lopango. The ships are slow and of little use for transport beyond Toril and its moons, but that's big enough for what I want to do. They also develop magics to work he oars and tail fins as if they are constructs, and they discover the ability to invade the nearby oceans to a degree. They also develop an extreme interest in glassteel, and they spend the next century trying to unravel the art of making this material while in Abeir using sand from the nearby desert. Which leads into the next piece.


In flying the skies, they discover something very interesting. You know how the moon has an illusion which hides its surface activities from the people on Toril? Well, it appears that there's an "earth mote" that resembles an "earth island" from the planet of Coliar that's very near to that spellweaver sky port (almost like it descended into said area due to conflict? Maybe so?). However, its hidden by illusion from the top and bottom and can only be seen from the sides (i.e. by someone flying in the area). This would seem to hint that the aearee either had spelljamming technology of their own and travelled TO Coliar or that the original Aearee actually came to Toril FROM COLIAR. So, my personal favorite at this moment is that they came FROM Coliar to Toril after Sarrukh started investigating Coliar with their lizard men. The red wizards discover this small "earth island" and also discover that the Aearee who were on it have been gone a long time. Also, several OTHER cultures have apparently also found it in the past. Here's what I've written up so far

Earth Island of Ko'el'ee'arr – This earthmote is riddled with internal tunnels whose magical lighting had failed millenia prior. Wall carvings in the stone seem to indicate that this plateau has been the home of more than one race, but it was originally inhabited by a bird like folk, more than likely the aearee. These wall carvings show these bird folk in conflict with a lizard folk like race, though the actual appearance of these lizard folk varies. Some appear to have odd frills upon their heads, and some carvings even appear to show the various lizard folk fighting one another. Other carvings show snakemen, naga, and winged snakes. Even more strangely, other carvings show both races revering strange dragons with what appear to be feathers. Gems within the city activate programmed illusory “instructors” which have helped detail the basic history of these bird folk, though their language does not convert easily with modern spellcasting. Other areas show signs of habitation by avariels, and similar gems seem to indicate the use of a portal by these avariels that exists on the earth island, but translation magic on languages from so long ago do not seem to work very well. Strangely enough, these translations seem to mention “Mystra”, but use the term not as a “being” but as a “location”. Its also clear that these recordings are from before the existence of the goddess Mystra, who has been around less than 2 millenia. The red wizards have so far been unable to make this portal work, but admittedly they have not seriously tried it since returning from Abeir. Several destroyed glassteel vessels seem to indicate that this city came into conflict with the ancient ones of Esh Alakar. Other structures built on the surface seem to indicate that a small group of arcane giants interested in runecraft once inhabited the floating earthmote, but what happened to them is unclear. The island is inhabited by a large number of dire boars, bison, and rams that have since gone wild and probably transported here to serve as a ready food source. Long empty cages seem to indicate that some kind of large birds were once kept and possibly bred here for food, ranging from the flightless axebeaks and emu to larger bird or birdlike creatures such as giant eagles, griffons, and hippogriffs. The red wizards of Luneira, having gathered much lore on realmspace, believe that this earth island was flown here millenia ago from Coliar and may be the source of the original aearee.

One important factor in keeping this city hidden has been the use of an elaborate illusion covering the bottom and top side of this city to appear covered in whisps of clouds and having a sky blue coloration.


Another thing that I'm wanting to do is BELOW that earth island (which will float above a section of desert inhabited by dog men and nahopaca, but also near the mountains), the red wizards start collecting the slag glass that they're creating from their experiments into trying to learn how to create glassteel. They essentially create a SMALL lake by moving sand, putting down glass chunks with clay, then pushing the sand back over it. They then build a town which is surrounded by concealing rocks and small stretches of illusions effectively working with the concept of mirages.... such that their town just appears to be more desert. This will be the "city on the great glass lake", and it will be inhabited by humans(of primarily mulan, metahel, and nahopaca descent), gnolls, and centaurs who are operating mining concerns in the nearby mountains using dog men as slaves (they may also have captured desert dwarves, short ones, other human ethnicities, etc..., but they try to stick to the dog men as they are little missed).


As another thing, I've got a lot of ideas for fort flame being extremely multi-cultural now (with refugees from transferred bits of Toril), and I plan to have a Thayan enclave there (note, just an enclave, not ruling... they're trading and working with the people there). This enclave was established PRIOR TO the spellplague, with many Mulan and Rashemi refugees from the Thayan civil war basically coming here on the promise of land for the taking. They were seeking a new home, because they'd given up on winning against Szass Tam (and this is where they pushed off FROM to move into other areas just prior to or after the spellplague when they found themselves in Abeir). Using their enclaves, the red wizards traded for raw construction material in Faerun (timber, bricks, nails, tools, weapons, slaves, junk metals, chemicals that would aid building a society, rope, clothing, etc...) and secretly transported it to Fort Flame via a portal. The area around fort flame will essentially become flooded with immigrants from transferred portions of the Chultan peninsula (Samarach, Thindol, and Tashluta so primarily Tashalans, Nimbrese, and Chultans) that were overrun by Abeirans, mulans, rashemi, metahel, etc... and many of those that make it there will die out... but a new society forms. Some of these immigrant peoples will also come to the great glass lake once they earn the trust of the red wizards (picturing the city on the great glass lake to have a population nearing say 30 thousand).

Which kind of leads into another thing. The metahel to the east of the Pasocada Basin. They arrived in Anchorome via a portal unexpectedly (maybe.... still considering), much like those Rus did in Rashemen and other "Illuskan" folk did in the Shaar.... maybe a century prior to 1357 (maybe even less... maybe just 2 generations or so). Is this portal also how the Azuposi suddenly found themselves underground in Anchorome years ago when Masauwu/Skeleton Man guided them to the surface near Michaca? Anyway, the metahel came from an environment with lots of forest and materials, to an environment lacking wood, surrounded by desert, but at least they were on the sea shore when they emerged. What few resources they have go into manufacturing whaling vessels, and they slowly build a society. They had a violent flare up with their neighbors before establishing peace with the Azuposi and learning from them how to survive. Then from those same tunnels (which do they connect all the way back to Esh Alakar via the underdark? Maybe so...) come some red wizards. The red wizards view these folk as similar to their old Rashemi slaves, and in exchange for raw materials they change the lives of these Metahel. Once again, they can build ships. They can expand. They learn of "Fort Flame", and some Metahel travel there for a better life, taking on the role of mercenaries and ship architects. Other Metahel travel south to the Lopango, where they establish the city of New Kensten on the southern shore of Lopango near a volcano with their red wizard allies. Some take up harems of captured slaves, and their population changes appearance somewhat, but they work to keep their core values. Eventually they also travel down to Katashaka as well, where they start to establish their OWN cities on the shoreline separate from the Mulan folk who saved them from a life of drudgery. These cities do allow small Thayan enclaves, for they recognize the value of having magical allies.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8139 Posts

Posted - 12 Aug 2019 :  16:53:26  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and on that flying earth mote.... possibly within it is a sleeping "air dragon" of Coliar... and maybe there is more to those Coliar dragons that make them different. Maybe they have feathers.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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