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    Canonfire :: View topic - [OWDP] Zahind
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    [OWDP] Zahind
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:45 am  
    [OWDP] Zahind

    I'm sure Wolfsire will be on point as far as the Zahindi are concerned, but I thought I'd start things off with some little snippets from my current projects.



    For ease of reference, I'm going to be using Wolfsire's regional names here. This map is supposed to be of the southeastern corner of the CI. "Sa'han" would be to the NE. "Kushmur" would be to the SE.

    The "red dot" is a city I'd been developing as an ancient trade center.

    I'd envisioned this region as the primary focus of Paynim and Oerid migration ca. 3000 years ago. The Paynim that turned northeast crossed "Sa'han," and entered the Risari highlands via a few mountain passes there. They eventually settled along the Gulf of Ghayar, where they became the ancestors of the modern Baklunish peoples.

    I had some Oeridians push into the western Sulhauts, founding small kingdoms there. One such kingdom, Baena, I've started an [OWDP] thread for.

    My conjecture was that while the majority of the Paynim/Baklunish went N/NE, the majority of the Oeridians either settled in the area, or moved SE into what is now NW Zahind (or "Kushmur" on Wolfsire's map). Remember, the legends surrounding Johydee mention a half-dozen other Oeridian groups that were on the move...

    Understand, I'm talking in generalities, and primarily about initial migrations. The nomidic peoples of central Oerik likely came to this area in waves - Paynim, Oeridians, etc. mixing and branching out into the surrounding regions.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:52 am  

    Nice topo. But boy am I confused. Is that supposed to be the SE corner of the Celestial Imperium or the SE corner of Sa’han? Is CI a mega region, or fairly small? I think maybe it should be the NE corner of a large CI and corner SE of Sa’han. Is that valley just NW of Kushmur Behow, or is that off the map to the South?

    Here is my working map for the races of Zahindia:

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=2568&sid=e1c91fd67d453a841b69d786f189dd6b

    One guiding principle for me is to remain as faithful to canon/EGG as possible, so I grabbed on this from Mona’s Bounds, which is supposed to be taken from Sea of Dust, I think (I’ll be reading that soon):

    “Northwest of Mulwar, the immense Chomur spreads nearly the width of all Aerdy between three distinct mountain ranges. Chomur is more a wild region than an actual state, and many Suel refugees fled here during and after the horrible wars that shattered the Suloise Empire. In fact, the northern inhabitants of this land are nearly pureblooded Suel, even after all of these years. These people often war with their southern neighbors, and are despised by nearly every native resident of the land. It is also said that Oeridians mix openly with the darker natives of Chomur. Little else is known about this mysterious place, save that it is inhabited in parts by several organized tribes of hobgoblins.”

    When I tried mapping the nations, based on the descriptions given, that first Northwest ended up being NE. The point is that the Oeridians are in the southern part of Chomur, or Chomur sans Kushmur. Kushmur was part of Chomur that I broke off from the North for a Suel Kingdom. IMO they were bound to get organized and based on the location, control trade to a degree.

    In regards to that, one of the things that I think needs to be addressed for development of the rest of Oerth is that the areas covered by the names are huge, so they need to be broken up into nations comparable to those in the Flanaess, which is why I have new regions.
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    Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:06 pm  

    MAP OF NORTHERN KUSHMUR

    You'll note that I included the "red dot" from the map I posted above on this map as well. It should give an adequate point of reference.



    So as to dispell any confusing, I've butchered Wolf's map of Zahind. The map from Post#1 goes in the green box. The one from this post goes in the red one.

    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:07 am  
    Milestones

    There are two points in time when great upheavals shifted the various populations of eastern Oerik around.
    - The struggle between Light and Darkness, which precipitated the Baklunish Hegira. I tie these events to the Oeridian diaspora as well (ie.. the Johydee legends).
    - The Twin Cats / Great Migrations.

    What's interesting, at least as far as our discussion so far, is that while I've been concerning myself with the former, you've been talking about the latter. This is great stuff, as we've got some areas where our independent development can overlap without fear of contradiction.

    A case in point. In the region where my two maps overlap, I had planned on place a large number (literally hundreds) of monastic shrines. These were put there by monk-like Oeridians, but show a connection to the native Zahindi cultures of the period.

    Fast forward to the Great Migrations. You've called for a Suel kingdom in Kushmur (a name which we need to eventually change, IMHO). Nifty. You lay your work over mine and who knows what will pop out.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:08 am  

    I thought that was where the map was. They both look very nice. If you have more for Zahindia, and the regions surrounding, please share.

    I have at least two temples in the area so far. On along the road between Kushmur and Behow I placed a small one from a Dungeon adventure featuring a yeti and farther south the temple from the module Desert Nomads.

    I went with Kushmur because it sounds like Hindu Kush, Cashmere and Chomur. At this point I see no reason to change it, but I am open.

    That brings up a point that I was waiting to discuss with Duicarthan, which is what exactly did he have in mind as far as consistency (and an article in general). There will certainly be contradictions, and I do not want to compromise much the principles that I am working with avoid that. (Canon, EGG, utilization of India themed modules, even if they are from the Known World or Forgotten Realms, reliance on older maps that developed this area, consistency with others’- not necessarily in that order).

    Compare what I have done with Tal Meta's Sunela Coast. They are really nothing alike. According to his map, my work is very different from what Duicarthan had in mind for the area. I am fine with being the heretic, as well as trying to minimize that. I think some guidelines need to be developed.

    I’ll cross post this over to the GH Forum sticky.
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    Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:12 am  

    I don't have any other maps yet. I'd only been concerned with these areas, so I never went much farther south. Sorry.

    Kushmur is ok, I guess. But you'll immediately get people comparing it to Cashmere. I just thought that if a better one presented itself you might make a switch. I certainly don't have a good suggestion. I'm horrible at naming things.

    I think consistency is good. There really isn't any canon about these areas. Nothing - unless, as you have done, you consider other sources (which I have no problem with). And, making sure we take into account which regions overlap is also a good idea.

    I don't really like the idea of using Known World / Forgotten Realms sources, though. Once you start going that far, I'd prefer new development. Let's keep Oerth Greyhawk, and let Faerun say in the Realms.

    BTW, I have no problem with throwing other peoples' work out the window. There's a Canonfire! article on Komal which I totally ignored - it didn't fit canon, and... well, getting it to fit just was too much work.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:59 am  

    ephealy wrote:
    Kushmur is ok, I guess. But you'll immediately get people comparing it to Cashmere. I just thought that if a better one presented itself you might make a switch. I certainly don't have a good suggestion. I'm horrible at naming things.

    ...

    I don't really like the idea of using Known World / Forgotten Realms sources, though. Once you start going that far, I'd prefer new development. Let's keep Oerth Greyhawk, and let Faerun say in the Realms.


    Calling to mind Cashmere was the idea. YMMV. I am open to new ideas.

    I would much rather not use KW/FR either, but for my purposes, which are not necessary those of others, my intent was to bring together all the indian themed modules into this area. Of course the modules will have to be adjusted. I located Hule on the map, but it does not need to be named that, but I like it becaue of my fondness for Hool. Changer woudl be nothing like the Dale Lands, which IIRC is where one small Dungeon mod is set.

    Last, but not least, http://www.greyhawkonline.com/wogcomic/title/wogstrip112b.htm

    Wink
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    Plar of Poofy Pants
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    Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:34 pm  

    If it matters, Lo Nakar is in the upper left corner of your "overview" map, just about where the purple and dark purple lines meet for the first time, just to the right of the green box and just above the yellow line.

    Or, Lo Nakar may not figure. As you will.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:39 pm  

    Not sure what Lo Nakar is. I didn't see a reference to it in this thread.

    BTW, I have tentatively placed an ancient (ca 3000 years ago, perhaps) Oeridian nation in the same region. Consider the Ensaed location in this thread: LINK
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:36 pm  

    ephealy wrote:
    Not sure what Lo Nakar is. I didn't see a reference to it in this thread.

    BTW, I have tentatively placed an ancient (ca 3000 years ago, perhaps) Oeridian nation in the same region. Consider the Ensaed location in this thread: LINK


    Lo Nakar is the proverbial "Last City of the Suel". It's been floating around on the web for a few years, after being originally posted on the AOL boards. There's an "Overview of Lo Nakar" here on Canonfire. Gary Holian seems to be a fan, though I've never quite figured out why.

    Anyways, use it or not, as you like.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:42 pm  
    GreyIndia

    Subj: India, Greyhawk Style: I
    Date: 10/11/96 9:47:32 PM
    From: TSR Roger
    Posted on: America Online

    It seemed a good idea to put a bunch of notes in here about what an India-like group of cultures might be like in a Greyhawk campaign. I am not sure how popular such a setting would be; certainly, it would be very interesting in the "Christmas-tree ornament" style of play, in which a limited India-derived setting (a palace, a city, a dungeon, etc.) is accessed for a time by a group of PCs operating out of the Flanaess. Would it hold up as its own setting? We can set that question aside and just focus on creating one or more states with a Hindu flavor without being sacrilegious and actually using the Hindu pantheon. (Oerth has its own gods, flavored as they are by Earth.)

    There are three other Indian settings that I can find in TSR's gaming literature of use here. The D&D game's Known World (later ported over to the AD&D game as the Mystara campaign) has the Kingdom of Sind, a large country currently dominated by Hule to the west of the "European" Known World states. Sind is described in the D&D <Champions of Mystara> boxed set, in the <Explorer's Manual>, pages 7-25 (this has the earlier Dragon Magazine information), and in the three Poor Wizard's Almanacs, in the Sind section.

    The AD&D Ravenloft (revised) campaign boxed set, the domain of Sri Raji is described in the <Domains & Denizens> booklet, page 41. The module <Web of Illusion> takes place there, involving a rakshasa and weretigers, and some of the figurines in the Monstrous Compendium Ravenloft Appendix III: Creatures of Darkness, look good for Indian regions.

    Finally, in the Dangerous Journeys Epic of AErth book, there are a number of India-style countries: Delhi, Kashmir, Hind, Ceylon, Bengal, and numerous kingdoms south of Tibet and Nepal. Burma has Indian influence, as do other states. These might have interesting bits to borrow.

    These posts will focus on ways a DM can put together an India-style adventure, perhaps connected to the Hellfurnaces posts left here earlier. If anyone else has good bits to add, please do! This board has gotten veeeeery sleepy lately.



    Subj: India, Greyhawk Style: II
    Date: 10/11/96 9:57:45 PM
    From: TSR Roger
    Posted on: America Online

    Some of you may recognize these notes from an earlier Greyhawk folder (much earlier, around April of this year!). I've tried to update that material a bit and will add more stuff. Let me know if any of this is useful for you.

    Several Dragon Magazine articles are extremely useful for an India-style campaign:
    * Dragon issue #84, page 30: "Never the Same Thing Twice"--describes rakshasa in a new way and gives several new types of them, with a big illo of one (traditional type).
    * Dragon issue #189, page 34: "Rhino's Armor, Tiger's Claws"--describes medieval Indian armor and weapons, nicely detailed. One item is corrected in a later issue's letter's column.
    * Dragon issue #225, page 22: "Caste of Characters"--Indian cultural kits for all character classes. First of a trilogy of Indian articles.
    * Dragon issue #226, page 42: "Arcane Lore"--spells for Indian campaigns.
    * Dragon issue #229, page 33: "Bazaar of the Bizarre"--26 groups of magical items for an Indian campaign.

    The AD&D 2nd Edition <Legends & Lore> (pages 122-137) has a detailed look at the Hindu pantheon with many religious and cultural notes, such as on applying the caste system to a campaign. Similar material, written for the AD&D 1st Edition game, appears in the Deities & Demigods Cyclopedia (later renamed Legends & Lore), with some monsters therein. See also the ancient D&D Original Set Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes, pages 7-12. Obviously, the Hindu gods should not appear in a Greyhawk campaign, but the pantheon and its deities may serve to inspire an appropriate set-up.



    Subj: India, Greyhawk Style: III
    Date: 10/11/96 10:15:39 PM
    From: TSR Roger
    Posted on: America Online

    Any country or setting clearly reflecting India would have to have a similar climate, flora & fauna, etc. India is a tropical country with deserts, scrub terrain, hills, enormous mountains, broad grasslands or savannas, huge river valleys, some broadleaf forests, and rain forests. I'll dig up the weather notes and post them here when I can.

    Among the vast array of fauna that characterizes India are shrews, moles, bats, bears (black and sloth), tree shrews, lorises, rhesus monkeys (more on these later), lesser pandas, langurs, pangolins (scaly anteaters), pikas, rabbits, squirrels, flying squirrels, lizards, turtles, snakes (from poisonous cobras to boa constrictors), mice, rats, river dolphins, porpoises, whales (offshore), dogs, wolves, hyenas, mongooses, badgers, civets, polecats, weasels, otters, vultures, rhinos, tapirs, goats, boars, zebu (sacred cattle), deer, antelopes, peacocks, frogs, crocodiles, horses, fish (every sort), elephants (more on these later, too), house cats, and other sorts of hunting cats like caracals, golden cats, tigers, lions, and leopards.

    Many of these animals are prominent in Hindu myths and in secular writings like "The Jungle Book" (remember Baloo? Kaa? the singing monkeys?). A good fantasy India should have most of these, I think.

    Among the monstrous creatures of fantasy India would be those taken from Indian mythology and legend (rocs, rakshasa, nagas), those taken from other countries' mythologies and legends but thought to exist in India (leucrotta, from Roman "science" and folklore, and Pliny's pygmies, assumed to live here), and monsters that could be construed as Indian (weretiger, werebat). The giant and miniature versions of the above animals could also appear, plus the monstrous versions of things like rats and bats (giant rat, mobat, brain mole), crossbreeds like the owl bear, and odds and ends like giant ants and beetles, giant eagles, wargs, and extinct mammals like the hornless rhinos (including the baluchitherium!), spotted lions, sabertoothed tigers, etc.

    India is home of the much-beloved Indian elephant, and there's no reason not to include extinct types of elephants and near-elephants, like the deinothere ("down-tusked elephant"), steppe mammoth ("giant mammoth"), gomphothere ("four-tusked mammoth"), stegadon ("long-tusked elephant"), and shovel-jawed mastodon. These creatures could exist in domesticated form in various Indian regions, each region or state supporting its own "elephant" as superior to all others. (It's a fun thought!) Maybe one state will support the baluchitherium as the best domestic animal!




    Subj: India, Greyhawk Style: IV
    Date: 10/11/96 10:24:31 PM
    From: TSR Roger
    Posted on: America Online

    As I was looking over the animal list, I remembered some children's cartoon movie from long ago (someone must know what it's name was) about a monkey that went on a quest and learned wisdom. I think the monkey's voice was by Frankie Avalon. Anyway, the point of this is.... um.... oh! Yes, the point of this is that the only nonhuman race that I found in the Indian literature that looked like it could be a great player-character race was the rhesus monkey.

    The rhesus monkey is sacred in India today, because monkeys and their god, Hanuman, aided Rama in his struggle to get his woman back from the evil rakshasa. The monkeys helped save the day, and now you can find them everywhere in the cities and countryside, having a good time of it. (Well, I read that some are disliked because they damage crops, but mostly they have fun.)

    Given the structure of the Complete Book of Humanoids, you could create a rhesus monkey race (calling it the "golden monkey" just to be fantastic about it). Off the top of my head, these would speak with high, squeaky voices, have fantastic running and climbing and brachiating (swinging through trees by arms) movement, way high Dexterities, lousy strengths and little carrying ability, a nasty bite (1-2 hp), low Charisma (humans won't follow them as leaders, but other golden monkeys might) and average/so-so other scores, with a max of 14 or so. They could be thieves (maybe 16th level max), fighter/thieves (2nd level fighter only--too small!), or cantrip-using thieves (no multiclassing, but divides all XP by two and throws away half in order to gain the use of one cantrip per day per thief level).

    More later--I've been summoned to the kitchen for a late-night snack.



    Subj: India, Greyhawk Style: VIII
    Date: 10/16/96 8:18:00 AM
    From: TSR Roger
    Posted on: America Online

    The following is background material on how an India-like state could logically have come into being in the Greyhawk setting. Again, I would place it south of the Sea of Dust. This is the material that the DM would know, but the players would not. Much of this does not come into direct campaign play, but it sets the stage for the society and its people to develop.

    Millenia ago, there was a vast mountain-enclosed region bordering the sea where scattered tribes of humans and other races lived. The people were of a great many sorts, far more than usual, each having arrived here from their original tribal lands by means they themselves were unable to explain. These barbaric tribes warred with each other over land and food, building small villages and planting crops when the wars had temporarily ended.
    There arose among these people an extraordinary individual named Akajahatma (ah-KA-ja-HAHT-ma), a wizard who explored the region and the lands beyond it. In time his studies revealed the secret of his homeland: It was a great Fading Land, a region of Oerth where the interplanar boundaries were very thin. Sections of this region would at times overlap with regions of other worlds and planes, allowing peoples and monsters to cross over to Oerth. This had been going on for longer than could be guessed. Little wonder that so many types of people, of every skin color and size and ability, lived here now.
    Akajahatma soon realized there was more going on. At rare times the Fading Lands here would overlap with outer planes, allowing fiends to enter. Stories of rampaging monsters and demons were common in this region; it would be only a matter of time until the interplanar boundaries weakened again and massively overlap parts of the Abyss, leading to the doom of everyone who lived here. This had to be prevented at all costs.
    Akajahatma journeyed to hundreds of other lands and planes seeking ways to prevent this. In time, he returned to his land as a quasi-deity, possessed of great supernatural ability, knowledge, and wisdom. He then began to put a great plan into action to seal off this region's contact with other planes and strengthen the interplanar barriers. He would do it by teaching the peoples of this region to work together as a single society and direct their prayers and innate magical abilities toward building the interplanar barriers. This could only be accomplished by creating an extremely rigid and conservative social order. As the alternative was complete destruction, there seemed to be little real choice in the matter aside from flight.
    Akajahatma walked among the peoples of this region, teaching them the basic principles of his plan, cloaked in philosophy. The killing of other intelligent beings was prohibited unless they refused to work toward the ultimate goal of unifying the region. Social order would be maintained at all costs. Migration out of the region was forbidden, as every intelligent being would be required to direct mental and spiritual energy toward building the interplanar barrier. A single unified religion would be established--and Akajahatma would be the head deity of that religion.
    (con't.)



    Subj: India, Greyhawk Style: IX
    Date: 10/16/96 8:34:44 AM
    From: TSR Roger
    Posted on: America Online

    (con't.)
    Many tribal peoples of all races took up Akajahatma's call for unity. He forged alliances by sheer force of will and charisma. He began assuming a particular form, that of a blue-skinned giant with six arms, to emphasize the work and effort that would go into building the barrier. His followers understood that their prayers, directed toward Akajahatma, gave him more divine power to weave the interplanar boundaries together and keep out the demons and monsters who would otherwise invade. Very few of them grasped the full scope of the plan, however.
    Akajahatma quickly realized that some races and peoples were not cooperating with the plan. He ordered his followers to drive these peoples out of the region or destroy them, leading to centuries of warfare against all chaotic peoples. Lawful peoples, whether good, neutral, or evil, became the backbone of Akajahatma's lawful-neutral religion. As Akajahatma's divine power grew, his perceptions of the problem of the region sharpened, and he discovered that the mental and spiritual energies of the humans, demihumans, and humanoids here would not be enough. He cast about for a new plan, and decided that he would have to advance the intelligence and wisdom even of the animals of the region, bringing them up to huamn levels over time to become new followers of his religion. Otherwise, the barrier would be overwhelmed, and all would die.
    The method he settled upon to bring up the animal races was to gather the souls and spirits of his followers when they died, sending them back to Oerth to appear in the body of an animal. The animal would become more intelligent than usual, but would not be guaranteed to know all that had happened to it in its previous life. By this method of reincarnation, however, the animals could be taught speech and the principles of Akajahatma's teachings. The killing and eating of animals was then banned to all his followers, and the process of reincarnation was revealed to his priests. In time, Akajahatma hoped even the animals would send their mental and spiritual energies to him, and the breach between the planes would be sealed forever. But it would take many centuries more to complete, and it would have to be maintained forever in the face of great opposition from evil forces.
    Indeed, Akajahatma's plan had already been discovered by various beings in the Abyss and elsewhere. Assaults against the growing spiritual barrier were increasing, as larger and more powerful groups of demonic creatures attempted to break through and invade Akajahatma's homeland. Chief among these were the rakshasas, who longed to feed upon the multitudes here. Occasional battles between powerful beings turned into short-running interplanar wars. Akajahatma began recruiting heroes among his followers, and soon he was joined by a growing legion of enormously powerful beings who took up the burden of defending the land while Akajahatma focused on building the barrier to seal off the other planes.
    (con't.)





    Subj: India, Greyhawk Style: X
    Date: 10/16/96 8:48:51 AM
    From: TSR Roger
    Posted on: America Online

    (con't.)
    The current society of the region is that of a theocratic empire, a single kingdom ruling over many different states and provinces according to religious principles. The warring peoples of this region had long ago ordered themselves into castes (which means "color") according to who conquered whom. Each caste was composed of a variety of peoples of different races who held certain functions in the overall society. The various caste levels, speaking very roughly, were, in descending order: 1. Priests of Akajahatma and other gods; 2. The emperor, his subject kings and queens, and warriors; 3. Merchants; 4. Laborers; and 5. Pariahs, the peoples who had given everyone else the most trouble and now held the lowest rung as low-class workers.
    The first animal race to be "uplifted" by reincarnation to intelligence was that of the golden monkeys, who were the most like humanity of all the animals. Elephants are gaining strength as the next most powerful animal race. Only a few other individual animals at random can speak--cattle, goats, etc. All animal life is considered sacred, but animals, like people, must work to keep the society going: cattle plow fields and give milk, monkeys are warriors, etc.
    The theocratic empire is in many ways stagnant. The numerous temples across the land are magnificently carved, but the style of the temples is fixed and varies little. The people think in fairly lawful, rigid ways. Social disruption is the greatest evil, as this will interrupt the sending of spiritual energy to Akajahatma and weaken the interplanar barrier, possibly leading to invasion from other planes and destruction. Civil disorder, rebellion, marrying out of caste, murder, illegal migration out of the empire, sailing, flying, and any other sort of illegal travel are all banned and punishable by slavery (i.e., reduction to the pariah caste). Slavery is the best alternative to killing now, as criminals and pariahs can at least work for the good of their society and might be redeemed later.
    (con't.)





    Subj: India, Greyhawk Style: XI
    Date: 10/16/96 8:57:45 AM
    From: TSR Roger
    Posted on: America Online

    (con't.)
    The India-like region does allow fishing and the eating of fish, as these are regarded as too low in intelligence to be worth bringing up; the people need protein, too, to supplement their basically vegetarian-and-dairy diets. Eggs may be eaten, but not chicks. Birds and mammals are the most protected groups, but reptiles (e.g., naga) enjoy some respect and protection.
    The temples here are built in a particular domed style because it was found that this best focused the spiritual energy of the people who prayed inside, sending this energy on to Akajahatma. There is a fantastic number of temples in the region, as the more temples there are, the stronger the energy that can be sent above to build the barrier. Each temple as acts as a spiritual anchor for the barrier, preventing interplanar breakthroughs in certain regions.
    The barrier is strong enough now to make teleportation into this region fairly unpredictable and difficult. Gates, which are of a higher level of magic, may be opened by spell or device, but random openings of gates are very infrequent. Some gates are deliberately opened by outer-planes monsters into this region, so demonic hordes can attack temples and attempt to weaken parts of the barrier. Defending temples has become a full-time occupation for warriors, wizards, and priests here. (Wizards are nearly all on the level of the merchant caste.)
    While general emigration is banned, heroes may gain permission to leave the empire to explore other lands and gain knowledge or devices to bring home and strengthen their society. Nearly all such heroes are lawful, but chaotic malcontents also flee the region (what few of them are left, as even the elves here are lawful).

    That's about it for now. How does this look?



    Subj: India, Greyhawk Style: XII
    Date: 10/16/96 9:05:59 AM
    From: TSR Roger
    Posted on: America Online

    Last note: Psionics are well known in this region though not commonly seen, as they are a highly lawful discipline. They are regarded a powerful expression of spiritual power. The DM can tinker with the idea of having some priests be split- or mixed-class priest/psionicists, or just allowing for certain individuals to have a minor psionic power or two.


    Subj: India, Greyhawk Style: XIII
    Date: 10/16/96 12:47:36 PM
    From: TSR Roger
    Posted on: America Online

    More thoughts:

    Akajahatma is now a greater deity, the chief of the regional pantheon of hero-gods and allies. Some gods are nonhuman, once being demihuman, humanoid, or nonhuman heroes who advanced to divine level. Several low deities were once golden monkeys, and one was an elephant (now the chief elephant god).

    Golden monkeys belong to the warrior caste. Elephants are entering the worker/laborer caste. It would be interesting to have elephant player characters, using the <Complete Book of Humanoids> system, but this might be too much for some tastes. (Having played SF games like GDW's Traveller for a long time, weirdo PCs are fairly okay with me.) Many sorts of humanoids, such as hobgoblins, goblins, orcs, ogre magi, firbolgs, dwarves, elves, halflings, and so on are worked into this society in different castes, with many variations on each race and some subraces going into different castes. The whole social picture is extremely confusing, as it probably should be: red-skinned dwarf warriors with black beards, yellow-green goblin merchants, dour albino Suloise who tried to invade the region from the north after the Rain of Colorless Fire (and are now nonmagical pariahs), and hundreds more. Two-headed ogre magi, four-armed orcs, the works. Every one of them is worked into the culture just as similar races are worked into the AL-QADIM setting, with no innate racial hatreds but plenty of cross-caste and intra-caste jealousies, quarrels, feuds, grievances, fights, etc. that must be overcome on a day-to-day basis. What a place to live!

    Of course, no one gets outside the country, so almost no one outside knows what's going on inside. The only boats allowed must remain close to shore to fish. Trade can be conducted from seaports, but only outsider ships may sail back and forth; no regional ships are built or leave to trade elsewhere.


    Subj: India, Greyhawk Style: XIV
    Date: 10/16/96 4:51:57 PM
    From: TSR Roger
    Posted on: America Online

    A collection of random notes:

    Though Akajahatma is the chief deity of this region's pantheon, he seems remarkably tolerant of the worship of other deities. He has learned much about the nature of the multiverse in the thousands of years he has spent weaving the magical interplanar barrier over and through his land, and the resulting religion he began has become extremely complex--so much so that numerous sects and cults of it exist all across the lands. The various aspects of this religion are debated by everyone of every caste, and priests can easily collect crowds on every street by bringing up a particular philosophical point and starting to debate it with passers-by. Outsiders who can speak one or more of the dozens of languages spoken throughout this region find this difficult to get used to; much of this religious teaching completely goes over an outsider's head.

    The people of this region appear very talkative and exceedingly polite, but know little or nothing of the world beyond their local neighborhood. A farmer could easily know thousands of lines of holy scripture and debate fine points of theology with a patriarch, but he has no idea of the history of his empire or even its full boundaries. The material world is not of major concern to many citizens beyond the basic needs to eat, sleep, etc. It is the spiritual, immaterial world that fascinates them. They appear tolerant of frustration and exhibit great self-control, expecting that their lives will be nothing but hard work. Yet they are aware of the "other world" and wish to learn more about it through their religion, seeking the truth of what makes the multiverse what it is.
    Priests in this region are synonymous with teachers, sages, philosophers, and keepers of knowledge. All priests read and write numerous local languages and regularly walk among the populace to teach or tend to the many temples. Believing that the Fading Lands in which they live have made the material world even less dependable and faster-changing than otherwise, they seek the essence of that which does not change, anything that is stable and not of their world.
    Akajahatma passes along much of what he has learned to his followers. 99% of this knowledge is of no practical use, from the viewpoint of anyone studying this who is not from this region or born into this religious culture. However, this is the very knowledge that enables the people to pray in such a way as to send their spiritual energy to Akajahatma to build the barrier.
    (con't.)



    Subj: India, Greyhawk Style: XV
    Date: 10/16/96 4:54:01 PM
    From: TSR Roger
    Posted on: America Online

    Most of the gods of this region are depicted as dancing or meditating. The dancing, accomplished with many arm, finger, and facial gestures, is actually a reflection of the magical somatic gestures the gods use to weave the barrier against other planes. Some gods are depicted in battle against monstrous rakshasa and fiends, tampling armies of low-level demons.



    Subj: India, Greyhawk Style: XVI
    Date: 10/16/96 5:08:49 PM
    From: TSR Roger
    Posted on: America Online

    Titanic statues of the gods of this region are the norm. The sheer audacity of Akajahatma's plan to seal the rift in the planar barriers through the efforts of all his followers, fighting back hordes of demons and nightmare monsters in the process, has inspired religious sculptors to carve stupendous statues of their favorite deities into cliffs, mountainsides, and so forth.

    The populace is generally forbidden to have armor or large weapons, primarily to prevent outbreaks of violent bloodshed in the many daily squabbles that go on between different ethnic groups here. Some outsiders compare the region's people to the members of one huge extended family crowded in a small house. Everyone learns to be polite and get along--or else. Compassion for living things is a major virtue, and citizens learn to be truthful, respectful, and show charity to those of lesser castes--while upholding all that is required of them in their own castes, and not forgetting their place in the larger scheme of things.

    The military is known for both its ferocity in battle and its tendency to stop fighting too early, as if expecting the other side to realize it has been beaten and should respectfully surrender and end the war and go home. When this does not happen, the army is confused but angered and will again attack, then cease fighting early to let the other side think about things. This can go on for some time.
    Only against outer-planar monsters do heroes and soldiers toss aside all compassion, and they attack until slain or the enemy is driven off or destroyed. They do not fear death, knowing they will be reincarnated and help uplift either animals or higher beings, further serving their empire and deities. They may tend to lump all odd extraplanar beings together as "demons" and merely kill them all unless shown that they are attacking potential lawful allies.
    Adventurers from this region are not welcome in Sigil. They do too much damage.

    Spelljamming is banned throughout this region. It is regarded as disruptive to the social order and might allow for excessive trade or emigration, producing instability. Spelljammers are also terrifying military weapons, and they are attacked on sight. Smart wildspace crews stay away from this area.

    Extraplanar travel (the Planescape campaign) is greatly restricted; even adventurers ask permission of their priests to do it, and the priests must ask permission of the gods, who will consider it.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:08 pm  

    I realize this is a very old thread, so I'll preface this by acknowledging that. Wink

    I have some ideas about the Zahind region based on Roger Moore's work that Nellisir posted, and the Gord the Rogue write-ups that Erik Mona wrote about back in the AOL days.

    Basically I view Roger Moore's writeup as the distant past, prior to the Twin Cataclysms. After around a thousand years, Akajahatma's work was nearing completion, unfortunately, the Suel Imperium had plans for the region and after a series of violent wars conquered and subjugated Zahind. The Suel were cruel overlords and looked down upon Akajahatma's ways. The societal changes the Suel made caused great disruptions in Akajahatma's work, and it might have been undone forever if not for the Twin Cataclysms. In the aftermath of the Suel Imperium's collapse, the formerly monolithic Zahind theocracy has been split into four nations. Akajahatma's religion is practiced in all of them, but there are now different sects and beliefs, and the worship is unfocused, delaying the sealing of the barrier by a thousand years. Violence has sprung up between the various nations as each tries to assert their dominance and re-establish the Theocracy. To make matters worse, Akajahatma can no longer attend to the problems himself as he has ascended past the level of demigod, so he must rely on his demigod and hero-deity servants, many of which have become impatient and seek to come up with their own solutions and they do not all agree on the best way to solve the problem.

    So basically, Zahind under Akajahatma would be very much like India during the Maurya Empire during the rule of Ashoka the Great (Akajahatma being a stand-in for Ashoka). Akajahatma reminds me in many ways of Buddha, so it seems fitting.

    The period of Suloise domination would be loosely similar to Vedic Period India, where the Aryan people subjugated the Indus Valley civilization. Yes, I know that in real-world history the Vedic Period predated the Mauryan Empire, but this is a fantasy world, it doesn't matter if it's not exact. Wink

    Post-Suloise Zahind (a.k.a. the modern day), broken in up into several nations, would be much like the 16 Mahajanapadas and the Middle Kingdoms of India's "Golden Age".
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    Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:44 pm  

    Keep an eye out for Arrows of Indra, which is an old-school game based on Indian mythology. Soon as it comes out, I'm planning on using it to do a jaunt into Zindia for my own players. Should be a hoot, if it's as good as it looks.

    http://rpgpundit.xanga.com/768235016/item/

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    Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:24 pm  

    Bluebomber4evr wrote:
    I realize this is a very old thread, so I'll preface this by acknowledging that. Wink...


    -Re-using old threads is great. Makes it easier to find stuff.

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    Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:25 pm  

    Is Oerth Journal totally defunct? Or just on "labor of love" schedule?
    GreySage

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    Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:05 pm  

    lazycat1984 wrote:
    Is Oerth Journal totally defunct? Or just on "labor of love" schedule?


    OJ is always accepting article submissions. When we get enough, we will put out another edition. Right now, though, we are focusing our resources on the first edition of the Canonfire Chronicles. Since all the effort necessary to produce these fanzines is volunteer, we don't get them out as often as we'd like. Wink

    We're glad you are anxious for new editions, though. We'll try to keep you posted, but know that we are still working on continuing the quality of past editions.

    SirXaris
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    Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:50 pm  

    SirXaris wrote:
    lazycat1984 wrote:
    Is Oerth Journal totally defunct? Or just on "labor of love" schedule?


    OJ is always accepting article submissions. When we get enough, we will put out another edition. Right now, though, we are focusing our resources on the first edition of the Canonfire Chronicles. Since all the effort necessary to produce these fanzines is volunteer, we don't get them out as often as we'd like. Wink

    We're glad you are anxious for new editions, though. We'll try to keep you posted, but know that we are still working on continuing the quality of past editions.

    SirXaris


    Might I add that submissions to these fanzines will aid in the production of more issues. Wink Wink Wink

    Later

    Argon
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    Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:54 pm  

    No kidding. When every issue is being written/put out by only a few people, it tends to grind them down. When everybody wants, but nobody wants to contribute, yes, it is a labor of love schedule for those few people involved. I am sure that a wave of contributions would light a fire under their collective butts though. And offers of art are always appreciated too. Laughing
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