One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Has anyone developed anything on the Reich of Darak Urtag or the Celestial Kingdom of Shaofeng, or for that matter, anything west of the Baklhaut Mountains? I would be interested in working on something out there, maybe even a collaboration.
An ancient sprawling empire that is in decline from its glory years. The Upper Khanate of Nweng and the Lower Khanate of Nwong seceding from the empire 'several centuries ago' suggests that they are not as strong as they used to be, or they would have held them. Decadence, or pure evil, from his Serene Highness the Celestial Emperor's Court would be the obvious reason for the fracture.
An alternative would be a new religion that swept the region, spread from the Upper to the Lower Khanate, with the chance to sweep and overtake the Celestial Empire with its fervor, ala Islam in Northern Africa and Western Asia during the dark/middle ages and beyond.
The fact that a second and greater wall was built between The Celestial Court of Shaofeng and the March of Zhang Kiri suggests a fear from that direction as well, either that it will be over run by the orcs of Darak Urtag and funnel them straight to them, or that the fervor has spread in that direction and a new wall is in the process of being built to the south to protect them from the Upper Khanate. Possibly a combination of orcs and religious fervor as well.
Your ideas and feedback on these presumptions?
Internal divisions, I would say provinces, in my opinion, for what its worth, cantons would be in a more 'democratic' type nation.
Social Classes/Rulership/Religion: The Celestial Emperor, a figure looked at as divine like the Chinese/Japanese Emperors, at the top. Hereditary feudal nobles owing their allegiance to the CE ruling the Duchies and Marches, (Princes, Dukes, and Counts). Maybe with the March of Myrchang and the March of Zhang-Kiri ruled by Palatine Counts with semi-autonomous governments.
(Alternately, it could also be modeled somewhat on the Holy Roman Empire, and Eastern Europe, with hereditary nobility that are Electors who elect their next Emperor when the old one dies. The Kings of Poland were rarely Polish during the late Middle Ages/Renaissance, usually Germans, or Hungarians that were elected by the Boyers.)
The provinces would have their various Baronies that are vassals to their Princes, Dukes, and Counts, with Knights and Squires beneath them. The 'peasants' should be broken into classes as well I think, with the lowest of the low doing the most menial tasks that are looked down on by all, like the Indian Caste system, with the professionals and merchant families at the top, followed by the artisans and then the menial. (gee, just like real life, isn't it?)
Religion I believe would be the equalizer here, with the clergy vying with the nobles for power, and the lowest of the low with ability to climb to the top of the priesthood. Papal lands with Archclericies, and Abbies with church land
My God is this going to be a major undertaking!
I'm blowing my own brain out here, I'll take a time out and check out your feedback. If you want to contact me directly, jkarns @ comcast dot net.
Elector idea could be unique which I like, not that another strictly feudal system could not work but I tend to like ideas that help regions stand out a bit.
I am a little nervous about having another declining decadent empire; sounds like GK asian style. Their can be reasons an enlightened empire would release provices; create vassal buffer states or frontier provinces have become an economic drain so they where offered freedom. Perhaps from a defensive geographical or mililtary stand point it makes sense to construct a wall behind the released provinces.
Feudal system needs more of an asian flavor; asian noble titles?
Religion is another area that gives us a real chance to do something special rather then simply "asian" the usual GH deities. Their are enough GH deities out there to do something really special - State religion - Monotheistic or go the other way - a hundred deities.
BTW: tigger e-mailed you my address; look forward to working on this with you.
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