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Brother Ezra
Learned Scribe

USA
268 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2005 :  01:15:19  Show Profile  Visit Brother Ezra's Homepage  Send Brother Ezra a Yahoo! Message Send Brother Ezra a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I just received my copy of Unapproachable East today (yeah, I know, I’m a little behind in my Realms products ). Overall, from what I have read so far, it seems like a very well-done product, and contains more lore than rules, which is fine with me.

However, after reading some of the information in various chapters concerning ancient Narfell and Raumathar, I am confused and concerned. Please have a look at the following points and see if you can shed some light on the issues raised:

1. The Great Conflagration: Most 2nd edition sources that I have state the year of the mutual destruction of Narfell and Raumathar as DR –150. However, UE states that is was DR –160. Is this a retcon or a typo?
2. Winterkeep: The Horde boxed set states that the site of Winterkeep was the winter palace of the Raumatharan kings. UE states that it was the capital of Raumathar. I know that when two sources conflict, the most recent one takes precedence, but I find both ideas rather strange. If it were a winter royal palace, wouldn’t the kings want to go SOUTH in the winter, instead of north to the shores of the Great Ice Sea? Most people in the northern hemisphere prefer to travel to warmer climes when winter sets in (Florida in the U.S, Spain or Greece in Europe, etc.). I also find it an unlikely spot to place a capital city; it sits on the shores of the Yal Tengri, but very few other cultures are accessible on the Great Ice Sea (Sossal is to the north, but that’s about it). Wouldn’t it have been more sensible to establish their capital city on the eastern shore of Ashane, where water-bourne shipping could reach the southern realms of Mulhorand and Unther? Also, Winterkeep is a rather remote location, far from any other mentioned Raumatharan city. While there may have been other nearby settlements that haven’t been detailed, I can’t image why you wouldn’t place it in the more southerly regions of the empire, where trade routes, shipping points and agricultural production centers are more numerous.
3. Dun-Tharos: This is my big problem. UE states that Dun-Tharos was the capital of ancient Narfell. Okay, that’s cool. The problem is that it’s smack-dab in the middle of a huge forest (Rawlinswood)! Being the capital of a large, expansionistic nation, having a very large, dense forest surrounding you presents enormous logistical problems! I cannot for the life of me figure out a rational explanation for this seeming incongruity.
4. The Nentyarch: A minor foible, I concur, but really! A leader of a powerful sect of nature-loving druids decides to take his title from the rulers of a nation of demon-worshippers?! Why would a druid that despises the qualitites represented by the term 'Nentyarch' want to use that as their title?

The collective knowledge and wisdom of the scribes would be greatly appreciated on these points.

"Suffering is the touchstone of all spiritual growth."
-St. Sollars the Twice-Martyred

George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5765 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2005 :  04:30:59  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brother Ezra

However, after reading some of the information in various chapters concerning ancient Narfell and Raumathar, I am confused and concerned. Please have a look at the following points and see if you can shed some light on the issues raised:



Ahh, welcome to my world!*cracks fingers*

quote:

1. The Great Conflagration: Most 2nd edition sources that I have state the year of the mutual destruction of Narfell and Raumathar as DR –150. However, UE states that is was DR –160. Is this a retcon or a typo?



I think it is an error, but one continued on from FRCS IIRC, not created in UE. The original reference to this event (FR10 Old Empires) said c. -150 DR. "Sea of Fallen Stars" subsequently said
-150 DR, "Races of Faerun" says -150 DR. I'm hoping this gets 'fixed' in "Lost Empires" on the basis that the Great Conflagration was a huge, decade-long war lasting from -160 to -150 DR, thereby causing the dates confusion. Works for me.

quote:

2. Winterkeep: The Horde boxed set states that the site of Winterkeep was the winter palace of the Raumatharan kings. UE states that it was the capital of Raumathar.<snip>



Okay, we've got in the -900s DR, Narfell (territory encompassing the uplands of Impiltur, the Rawlinswood, Forest of Lethyr and Ashanath and likely most of Thesk), Rashemen (territory much as in the modern-realms) and Raumathar (territory stretching from Almorel, the Lake of Mists to the Great Ice Sea on the eastern side of the Sunrise Mtns - basically where the Endless Wastes are today). Don't forget, we also have an un-receded Great Glacier at this point. To fix your Winterkeep problem, I'd say that the capital is a moving one - in other words, similar to a Royal Court that goes from palace to palace and wherever it and the ruler is, is the 'capital' of the empire. I have a lot more thoughts here but not enough space and time to frame them properly.

quote:

3. Dun-Tharos: This is my big problem. UE states that Dun-Tharos was the capital of ancient Narfell. Okay, that’s cool. The problem is that it’s smack-dab in the middle of a huge forest (Rawlinswood)! Being the capital of a large, expansionistic nation, having a very large, dense forest surrounding you presents enormous logistical problems! I cannot for the life of me figure out a rational explanation for this seeming incongruity.


We are talking a very long time ago. It is likely that in the 1400+ years since the fall of Narfell, and the rise of druidic faith in the area, that the infrastructure (towns, settlements, big roads, etc) has all disappeared and gone back to nature (also, with all the evil demons running around in the area, it's not surprising that the place was left alone, relatively free of human inhabitants and allowed to go wild). You can't judge Narfell by the way the forest looks today.

quote:

4. The Nentyarch: A minor foible, I concur, but really! A leader of a powerful sect of nature-loving druids decides to take his title from the rulers of a nation of demon-worshippers?! Why would a druid that despises the qualitites represented by the term 'Nentyarch' want to use that as their title?


I had something on this from Ed saying basically that a 'nentyarch' was a worker of arcane magic while a 'hierarch' was a worker of divine magic. I've since lost track of which e-mail contains this short snippet. It's not really helpful in terms of the question you pose and you do have a valid point, but I wouldn't think it's a game-buster ...

-- George Krashos


"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Brother Ezra
Learned Scribe

USA
268 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2005 :  07:51:58  Show Profile  Visit Brother Ezra's Homepage  Send Brother Ezra a Yahoo! Message Send Brother Ezra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks George! I was hoping to see a reply from you, knowing your knowledge of the area.

1. Works for me too. Makes sense, and nothing needs to be changed.

2. I like the idea of a mobile capital. But one minor point of disagreement. Rashemen as a national entity, did not emerge until DR -75. Prior to the Conflagration, the territory of Rashemen was a major battleground on many occasions, and was swapped back and forth between Narfell and Raumathar over the course of their existence. But considering that, it may have made sense for the Raumatharans to have moved their capital, particularly if it once existed on contested or threatened ground.

3. If I had read your response about three weeks ago, I most likely would have said "Yeah, you're probably right." But now I have a copy of the "official" Forgotten Realms map, dated DR -626 (courtesy of WotC previews page), and in it, Rawlinswood not only exists, but is far bigger than the present day! In fact, Rawlinswood and the Forest of Lethyr seem to be one massive forest (is it canon that this was once known as 'Auldgloam', or is this fan-created?). So while your suggestion would make sense, it doesn't appear to solve this problem.

4. Definitely not a campaign breaker. I just get nitpicky sometimes.


"Suffering is the touchstone of all spiritual growth."
-St. Sollars the Twice-Martyred
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2005 :  09:52:19  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If i may offer an opinion?

I would have thought that Nentyarch is merely the title for a supreme ruler in this corner of the East. The current Druidic line which bears the title continues to do so because they wish to show their authority over these lands.

For example: You may have hated the last King whom you killed and overthrew for his excesses (like meddling with fiends), but that doesn't mean you'll take a different kind of title, you'll still want to be King for the power it's going to give you over your subjects.

It makes sense to me at any rate. Let me know what you think.

GH

Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye - Granted by Ed Greenwood, 30th January 2005
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5765 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2005 :  10:22:46  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brother Ezra

Thanks George! I was hoping to see a reply from you, knowing your knowledge of the area.



Glad to be of service.

quote:

2. I like the idea of a mobile capital. But one minor point of disagreement. Rashemen as a national entity, did not emerge until DR -75. Prior to the Conflagration, the territory of Rashemen was a major battleground on many occasions, and was swapped back and forth between Narfell and Raumathar over the course of their existence. But considering that, it may have made sense for the Raumatharans to have moved their capital, particularly if it once existed on contested or threatened ground.



You are quite right that Rashemen as a nation didn't exist before -75 DR, but that doesn't mean that the Rashemi tribesmen (who have been there since -5000 DR according to UE) didn't consider the area to be called Rashemen. America was around for a long time before there were the United States of America. Races of Faerun explicitly notes the connections between the Rashemi (Rashemen) and the Raumvirans (Raumathar). And for my purposes, it's handy that they both start with "ra". You see, when the great warrior Shemen led his tribe west into new lands, those lands became known as "Shemen's lands" or "Rashemen" in their tongue. Of course, when his descendant Umathar led a part of the tribe east and south and found service with the Imaskari, eventually the lands his people settled, "Umathar's lands" or "Raumathar" in their tongue, came into being also ... but I digress.

As for the Narfelli, I'm still thinking about them - at this point I don't want them to be from the same tribal groupings that make up the Rashemi/Raumvirans. I'm actually contemplating making them an offshoot of the Angardt barbarians of Netheril, who travelled east around -3000 DR or so, a couple of centuries after the founding of Netheril (maybe after the first big orc horde attack). This tenuous link may explain the Narfelli aptitude for magic although I can't recall if it was the Angardt or Rengarth tribe that was the super anti-magic barbarians!

So basically, Narfell and Raumathar from -900 DR or so onwards are not the beginning of human history in the East, but more like the beginning of proper, organised human realms - brought about by their exposure to the Old Empires of Mulhorand and Unther following the Orcgate War.

quote:

3. If I had read your response about three weeks ago, I most likely would have said "Yeah, you're probably right." But now I have a copy of the "official" Forgotten Realms map, dated DR -626 (courtesy of WotC previews page), and in it, Rawlinswood not only exists, but is far bigger than the present day! In fact, Rawlinswood and the Forest of Lethyr seem to be one massive forest (is it canon that this was once known as 'Auldgloam', or is this fan-created?). So while your suggestion would make sense, it doesn't appear to solve this problem.



Yeah, I hear what you are saying (I consulted on the map after all!) and upon further reflection it might simply be the fact that Dun Tharos' location made it brilliantly defencible with one big wide boulevard/road from that little eastern side kink in the forest to its location. Raumathar's tendency to launch sweeping raids from the north (through Rashemen) and the south (through the Priador) made an 'open' capital out on the plains of Ashanath a dicey proposition. At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Auldgloam is Ed Greenwood canon material. That was his name for the big, joined forest. And actually, I'm stoked that it's joined up in -650 DR as that allows me to go with my original reason for the coming into existence of the area between the two forests: settlers (from Impiltur) blazing a trail and expanding it over many years. Created by a glacier?! Naaaah.

Oh and crud - they spelt Raumathar wrong on the map.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Brother Ezra
Learned Scribe

USA
268 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2005 :  14:17:48  Show Profile  Visit Brother Ezra's Homepage  Send Brother Ezra a Yahoo! Message Send Brother Ezra a Private Message  Reply with Quote

quote:

You are quite right that Rashemen as a nation didn't exist before -75 DR, but that doesn't mean that the Rashemi tribesmen (who have been there since -5000 DR according to UE) didn't consider the area to be called Rashemen. America was around for a long time before there were the United States of America . Races of Faerun explicitly notes the connections between the Rashemi (Rashemen) and the Raumvirans (Raumathar). And for my purposes, it's handy that they both start with "ra". You see, when the great warrior Shemen led his tribe west into new lands, those lands became known as "Shemen's lands" or "Rashemen" in their tongue. Of course, when his descendant Umathar led a part of the tribe east and south and found service with the Imaskari, eventually the lands his people settled, "Umathar's lands" or "Raumathar" in their tongue, came into being also ... but I digress.

As for the Narfelli, I'm still thinking about them - at this point I don't want them to be from the same tribal groupings that make up the Rashemi/Raumvirans. I'm actually contemplating making them an offshoot of the Angardt barbarians of Netheril, who travelled east around -3000 DR or so, a couple of centuries after the founding of Netheril (maybe after the first big orc horde attack). This tenuous link may explain the Narfelli aptitude for magic although I can't recall if it was the Angardt or Rengarth tribe that was the super anti-magic barbarians!

So basically, Narfell and Raumathar from -900 DR or so onwards are not the beginning of human history in the East, but more like the beginning of proper, organised human realms - brought about by their exposure to the Old Empires of Mulhorand and Unther following the Orcgate War.



That is a very elegant and sensible way of explaining the linguistic similarity in the racial appellations. Consider it added to my campaign background. I also noticed the “Ra” prefix in both names, but was originally trying to associate them through a common link to the Mulhorandi god Ra (Re). I thought that perhaps mercenaries returning hime after the Orcgate War would have taken to the worship of Re, but since he died in the war, I was doubtful of how I could make it work. I like your explanation better.

With regards to the Nar, I do like the idea of them coming from the same cultural and racial tradition as the Raumvira. It adds extra irony and tragedy to the tale of two nations, both with a common heritage, similar development and almost identical structure, who became the most bitter of enemies. Perhaps looking at their rival nation was akin to looking into a mirror and seeing the worst aspects of yourself reflected back at you.

One quick side question. In making distinction between the tribal/racial and national identities of each group, is it correct to say that the racial names of the groups were Nar, Raumvira and Rashoum, and the national identities, respectively, are Narfelli, Raumatharan and Rashemi?

quote:

Yeah, I hear what you are saying (I consulted on the map after all!) and upon further reflection it might simply be the fact that Dun Tharos' location made it brilliantly defencible with one big wide boulevard/road from that little eastern side kink in the forest to its location. Raumathar's tendency to launch sweeping raids from the north (through Rashemen) and the south (through the Priador) made an 'open' capital out on the plains of Ashanath a dicey proposition. At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Auldgloam is Ed Greenwood canon material. That was his name for the big, joined forest. And actually, I'm stoked that it's joined up in -650 DR as that allows me to go with my original reason for the coming into existence of the area between the two forests: settlers (from Impiltur) blazing a trail and expanding it over many years. Created by a glacier?! Naaaah.



I’m a little closer to buying into this idea after some consideration. The Ashanath, being the preferred field of battle for most of the confrontation, would not be an ideal location for either nation to place their capital. However, a single, wide boulevard might make the city brilliantly defensible, it also makes it remarkably prone to siege. A fairly small force that gains control of the ingress/egress point could cut the city off from their sole line of supply. Troops attempting to emerge from the boulevard into the open plains would be bottled up in tight formations, and very susceptible to area attack spells and ambush from snipers hidden on either side of the wood.

Since Dun Tharos is fairly far from the established ‘front’ of the war, this possibility may have never occurred, and thus never became an issue. But if I were a Raumathari general, I’d definitely be looking for a way to gain control of the entrance to the Auldgloam and starve the inhabitants of Dun Tharos with a prolonged blockade.

Side question number two: Non-disclosure agreements may prohibit an answer, but can you tell us if Lost Empires of Faerun will have any information about the Narfellian site of Mintas Rhelgor?

quote:

Oh and crud - they spelt Raumathar wrong on the map.



Try not to be too upset. It certainly wouldn’t be the first misspelling on an FR map…

"Suffering is the touchstone of all spiritual growth."
-St. Sollars the Twice-Martyred
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Brother Ezra
Learned Scribe

USA
268 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2005 :  14:30:23  Show Profile  Visit Brother Ezra's Homepage  Send Brother Ezra a Yahoo! Message Send Brother Ezra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gerath Hoan

If i may offer an opinion?

I would have thought that Nentyarch is merely the title for a supreme ruler in this corner of the East. The current Druidic line which bears the title continues to do so because they wish to show their authority over these lands.

For example: You may have hated the last King whom you killed and overthrew for his excesses (like meddling with fiends), but that doesn't mean you'll take a different kind of title, you'll still want to be King for the power it's going to give you over your subjects.

It makes sense to me at any rate. Let me know what you think.

GH



That does make sense. Even after Nero and Caligula, Roman leaders still took the title 'Emperor'. If true, then Raumathar would most likely have had a 'Nentyarch' as well.

Thanks for the suggestion!

"Suffering is the touchstone of all spiritual growth."
-St. Sollars the Twice-Martyred
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2005 :  18:11:34  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You're welcome Brother Ezra. Trying hard to actually express some more opinions on these boards. Less lurking, more posting.

I personally was very interested in the idea of the druidic Nentyarch, and the fact that he has levels of Sorceror in 3.5... perhaps because he investigated some of the magic of Ancient Narfell by practising it himself?

He is in my mind at least, a morally ambiguous ruler, just like Maalfir of Hilsfar, someone who has a more neutral alignment yet is capable of some great evils.

Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye - Granted by Ed Greenwood, 30th January 2005
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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1189 Posts

Posted - 15 Feb 2020 :  22:56:16  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Master Krashos,

I really like your take on the "moving" capital. This is serendipitously what England use to do with Parliament before the Houses of Parliament existed as they do now. Not until the mid-1500's did King Edward VI give them a chapel permanently, and from there, additional places until now days. I'll stop English history there, but suffice to say, that your idea is well rooted in real world history! :) Well played good sir!

Anyhow, I just had to compliment you on that. Very interesting.

Sorry for being a couple weeks late on my post here. ;)

Best regards,




quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Brother Ezra

However, after reading some of the information in various chapters concerning ancient Narfell and Raumathar, I am confused and concerned. Please have a look at the following points and see if you can shed some light on the issues raised:



Ahh, welcome to my world!*cracks fingers*

quote:

1. The Great Conflagration: Most 2nd edition sources that I have state the year of the mutual destruction of Narfell and Raumathar as DR –150. However, UE states that is was DR –160. Is this a retcon or a typo?



I think it is an error, but one continued on from FRCS IIRC, not created in UE. The original reference to this event (FR10 Old Empires) said c. -150 DR. "Sea of Fallen Stars" subsequently said
-150 DR, "Races of Faerun" says -150 DR. I'm hoping this gets 'fixed' in "Lost Empires" on the basis that the Great Conflagration was a huge, decade-long war lasting from -160 to -150 DR, thereby causing the dates confusion. Works for me.

quote:

2. Winterkeep: The Horde boxed set states that the site of Winterkeep was the winter palace of the Raumatharan kings. UE states that it was the capital of Raumathar.<snip>



Okay, we've got in the -900s DR, Narfell (territory encompassing the uplands of Impiltur, the Rawlinswood, Forest of Lethyr and Ashanath and likely most of Thesk), Rashemen (territory much as in the modern-realms) and Raumathar (territory stretching from Almorel, the Lake of Mists to the Great Ice Sea on the eastern side of the Sunrise Mtns - basically where the Endless Wastes are today). Don't forget, we also have an un-receded Great Glacier at this point. To fix your Winterkeep problem, I'd say that the capital is a moving one - in other words, similar to a Royal Court that goes from palace to palace and wherever it and the ruler is, is the 'capital' of the empire. I have a lot more thoughts here but not enough space and time to frame them properly.

quote:

3. Dun-Tharos: This is my big problem. UE states that Dun-Tharos was the capital of ancient Narfell. Okay, that’s cool. The problem is that it’s smack-dab in the middle of a huge forest (Rawlinswood)! Being the capital of a large, expansionistic nation, having a very large, dense forest surrounding you presents enormous logistical problems! I cannot for the life of me figure out a rational explanation for this seeming incongruity.


We are talking a very long time ago. It is likely that in the 1400+ years since the fall of Narfell, and the rise of druidic faith in the area, that the infrastructure (towns, settlements, big roads, etc) has all disappeared and gone back to nature (also, with all the evil demons running around in the area, it's not surprising that the place was left alone, relatively free of human inhabitants and allowed to go wild). You can't judge Narfell by the way the forest looks today.

quote:

4. The Nentyarch: A minor foible, I concur, but really! A leader of a powerful sect of nature-loving druids decides to take his title from the rulers of a nation of demon-worshippers?! Why would a druid that despises the qualitites represented by the term 'Nentyarch' want to use that as their title?


I had something on this from Ed saying basically that a 'nentyarch' was a worker of arcane magic while a 'hierarch' was a worker of divine magic. I've since lost track of which e-mail contains this short snippet. It's not really helpful in terms of the question you pose and you do have a valid point, but I wouldn't think it's a game-buster ...

-- George Krashos




Robert McDonell
Higher Atlar
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