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    Canonfire :: View topic - Keoland's RW Analog
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    Keoland's RW Analog
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:24 am  
    Keoland's RW Analog

    We all know and love Keoland. One thing i always noticed is that it seems to differ from some of the Flanaess big kingdoms, in that it isn't a direct analog of any real world realm, at least, as far as i know.

    Still, those analogs can help, specially in regards to place and character names. In your campaign, have you based Keoland in any RW kingdom or culture? Which, and why?
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    Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:36 am  

    Given it's surrounded by nominally subordinate states, it reminds me a bit of the Holy Roman Empire. So... vaguely Germanic, but without the pressure of being surrounded by more powerful and potentially hostile nations. Really, the only overt threats to Keoland are giants invading from the Crystalmists, the Pomarj attempting to invade through Ulek, or a crusade from the Baklunish states invading through the chokepoint on the northern frontier of Bissel.

    So rather than being trampled over every couple generations as Europe's proxy battleground, Keoland gets to build stability and economic power on it's own.

    It's had it's own expansionist phase in the fairly recent past and now has a benevolent ranger king, so perhaps a comparison to modern-day Germany can be made. Strong emphasis on law and order without trampling the rights of the individual, along with support for 'green' policies (filtered through the medieval viewpoint, of course) comes to mind. Having a strong defensive military also falls into that interpretation.

    Of course, King Scotti trying to use diplomatic means to gather those nominally subordinate states under his direct rule instead of allowing them to continue as mostly autonomous allies plays against it, so YMMV.
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    Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:28 am  

    I'd say it is most like the East Roman Empire (later called 'Byzantine') in the Medieval Period, if I had to pick something from the real world.
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    Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:21 pm  

    I'm not sure that any of the realms of the Flanaess have direct RW analogues, though.

    It's a question of perspective.[/i]
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

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    Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:55 pm  

    Keoland - Non-gunpowder Elizabethan england with a lovecraftian taint. i also like some ideas from the midderlands setting.
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    Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:14 pm  

    So far, my focus in Keoland has been on Saltmarsh, but I agree with Vulcan that the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) is helpful for exploring and imagining the politics of Keoland's nobles, particularly the Council of Niole Dra / Court of the Land (as presented by the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer and elaborations here on Canonfire!).

    I'm amidst relearning about the HRE and the Byzantine Empire, but I also agree with Norker that the Byzantine Empire is helpful because of its longevity.

    I also agree with Jason that "non-gunpowder Elizabethan England with a Lovecraftian taint" is helpful, primarily in terms of feudalism for the former and vis-à-vis the legacies of Vecna in the north and House Malhel and the Yaheetes in the south—particularly in the Dreadwood and Viscounty of Salinmoor—as to the latter.

    Finally, in past musings, I've opined that medieval Spain could be a useful model, particularly in terms of pageantry (secular and religious) and the Inquisition (regarding Keoghish witch hunts in the past).
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    Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:52 am  

    Both Spain and the East Roman Empire were frontiers between the rest of Christendom/Europe and Islam.

    One can easily take the comparisons too far. No monotheistic religions to map onto RW ones means the analogy falls apart quickly, but there is a whiff of the Crusades about the Knights of the Watch and the order of Gran March. In GH it seems the conflict is much less religious in nature. More like Hunnic invasions, perhaps.
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

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    Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:00 pm  

    mtg wrote:
    So far, my focus in Keoland has been on Saltmarsh, but I agree with Vulcan that the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) is helpful for exploring and imagining the politics of Keoland's nobles, particularly the Council of Niole Dra / Court of the Land (as presented by the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer and elaborations here on Canonfire!).

    I'm amidst relearning about the HRE and the Byzantine Empire, but I also agree with Norker that the Byzantine Empire is helpful because of its longevity.

    I also agree with Jason that "non-gunpowder Elizabethan England with a Lovecraftian taint" is helpful, primarily in terms of feudalism for the former and vis-à-vis the legacies of Vecna in the north and House Malhel and the Yaheetes in the south—particularly in the Dreadwood and Viscounty of Salinmoor—as to the latter.

    Finally, in past musings, I've opined that medieval Spain could be a useful model, particularly in terms of pageantry (secular and religious) and the Inquisition (regarding Keoghish witch hunts in the past).


    Witch Hunts were very popular in England. The Spanish Inquisition was very different.

    Saltmarsh has the feel of English seaports at the time of Elizabeth and Drake. Powerful rivals and enemies on all sides but standing up to them.

    Gygax was very fond of history and formed the published Greyhawk setting quickly. He used Oerthly and fantasy equivalents throughout the setting and then handed his notes to be briefly summarized to a creative team. What makes it work is that it is so sparse we can apply out imagination to all of it without constraint.
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    Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:08 pm  

    Yeah, the leyenda negra lives on.

    The real Spanish Inquisition tortured prisoners less frequently than did secular courts in Spain or elsewhere, and it gave the accused something more like our idea of a fair trial (sort of...). It was staffed with plenty of laymen, and was under royal control. It managed a pretty small death toll considering it operated for a few centuries and on several continents at its widest scope. Spain's witch trials were rather tame, yes. The inquisitors tended to be skeptical about the subject, and rejected spectral evidence as a rule.

    But maybe the Keoish Inquisition is a bureaucratic, royally controlled, institution that focuses on rules and evidence and seeks the reformation of deviants and heretics more than their (regrettably sometimes quite necessary) deaths? Perhaps it burns the works of blasphemers like the Skeptics of Urnst and also unapproved copies of magical texts? And goes after evil cults, of course.
    GreySage

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    Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:42 am  

    Insofar as Ket is Turkey, it makes sense that Bissel and the Gran March could be like Bulgaria and Romania. "Kimbertos" is a vaguely Greek name.

    On the other hand, Ket isn't exactly Turkey. "Bey" is a Turkish title but "Beygraf" seems to be a hybrid. The thing is, "Graf" isn't a Keoish title. Titles that come from German like herzog (duke) and graf (count) are more associated with the Great Kingdom. Rookroost has a graf and Greyhawk had a Landgraf at the time of Zagig. So the grafs and beygrafs of Ket were assuming Aerdi titles, not Keoish, apparently in reaction against Keoish rule—the first beygraf came into power after the Keoish were driven out.

    Keoland uses English titles like duke and count. And U1 advises that Saltmarsh was inspired by "small south-coast English fishing town(s) of the 14th Century." And insofar as Geoff is a landlocked Wales (judging by Grand Duke Owen's name), there's reason enough for English inspiration in Keoland.

    If the real question is about place and character names, Jason Zavoda made a thread on borrowing names from fantasy fiction that might be of use. I remember one Greyhawk fan used Steven Brust's Dragaeran novels as his go-to reference for all things Keoland.

    In purely geographical terms, Keoland seems to be roughly based on the southwestern United States (the Sheldomar River=Mississippi, Javan River=Rio Grande, Crystalmists=Rocky Mountains).
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:40 am  

    In writing Keoland, I've had a strange combination of royalist France and Imperial Russia, along with modern America, of all places. Strange combination, I know, but hear me out.

    The imperial French and Russian influences come with Keoland's hidebound aristocracies that make large-scale political reforms difficult, and (at least in Imperial Russia's case) Keoland's embarrassingly weak military. One of the big reasons the Communists took over Russia was how badly the tsarist regime was managing the country's participation in World War I. Even when you get a reform-minded monarch like King Kimbertos, he has numerous factions in his court like the archmage Lashton who might hamper his goals. It was only after Keoland's humiliating performance in the Greyhawk Wars that Kimbertos finally managed to make some badly needed reforms to Keoland's rusty and decrepit war machine.

    The American influence comes in the attitude of many common Keolanders, who are often good folks at heart but can come across as patronizing and condescending with a "noblesse oblige" attitude towards citizens of the lesser powers. There's also a serious pushback against Kimbertos's attempted social reforms, which have improved his popularity with some demihumans but have made him increasingly unpopular with other Keolanders. Niole Dra's butting heads with Gorna and Istivin after the Wars doesn't help either.
    CF Admin

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    Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:46 pm  

    JasonZavoda wrote:
    Witch Hunts were very popular in England. The Spanish Inquisition was very different.

    FormerlyKnownasNorker wrote:
    Yeah, the leyenda negra lives on.

    The real Spanish Inquisition tortured prisoners less frequently than did secular courts in Spain or elsewhere, and it gave the accused something more like our idea of a fair trial (sort of...). It was staffed with plenty of laymen, and was under royal control. It managed a pretty small death toll considering it operated for a few centuries and on several continents at its widest scope. Spain's witch trials were rather tame, yes. The inquisitors tended to be skeptical about the subject, and rejected spectral evidence as a rule.

    Jason, Norker, and others: do you recommend any books, articles, or films regarding the English witch hunts and Spanish Inquisition? I'm almost done with a large project and look forward to resuming my study of history (for edification, pleasure, and application to RPGing).

    JasonZavoda wrote:
    Saltmarsh has the feel of English seaports at the time of Elizabeth and Drake. Powerful rivals and enemies on all sides but standing up to them.

    rasgon wrote:
    Keoland uses English titles like duke and count. And U1 advises that Saltmarsh was inspired by "small south-coast English fishing town(s) of the 14th Century." And insofar as Geoff is a landlocked Wales (judging by Grand Duke Owen's name), there's reason enough for English inspiration in Keoland.

    One of the things I've been fiddling with is that the U1 authors (Dave Brown with Don Turnbull) apparently didn't reckon with Saltmarsh being in the subtropics of the Flanaess. (The Cities of Oerth webpage shows Saltmarsh at about 23.8 degrees of northern latitude.) So, as I've prepared for and developed my current campaign, I've been reading about subtropical and tropical climates, monsoons, trade winds, etc.

    Based on what I've read so far, and my time living in South Florida and multiple visits to México, I've decided the following:

    With the predominant easterly winds of Oerik, the Hold of the Sea Princes has a tropical monsoon climate with less pronounced dry seasons. Consequently, Saltmarsh and the rest of the Keoish coast get heavy rains from (roughly) May through October (Flocktime through Brewfest), including occasional tropical storms and hurricanes.

    FormerlyKnownasNorker wrote:
    But maybe the Keoish Inquisition is a bureaucratic, royally controlled, institution that focuses on rules and evidence and seeks the reformation of deviants and heretics more than their (regrettably sometimes quite necessary) deaths? Perhaps it burns the works of blasphemers like the Skeptics of Urnst and also unapproved copies of magical texts? And goes after evil cults, of course.

    I didn't mean to suggest that Keoland has a formal Inquisition-esque institution: rather, Gary Holian's Silent Ones (introduced in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, iirc), constituted a centurial influence that regularly disappeared certain magic-users and magic items until CY 288, when Tavish I partially abolished a centuries-old prohibition against arcane magic and established an academy of wizardry in Niole Dra. In the following three centuries, arcane magic use has grown but remains relatively limited and feared / disfavored by countryfolk. Nevertheless the Silent Ones still take sources of magic and knowledge that they deem too dangerous. However, they don't burn them but instead safeguard them within the Lonely Tower. (Also, since the Silent Ones are not religiously dogmatic, I don't think they'd care about the Skeptics of Urnst or other "blasphemers". In contrast, they target anyone or anything related to Vecna, House Malhel, etc.)

    Finally, the Living Greyhawk Journal vol. 1, issue 1, mentioned witch-hunt in the Viscounty of Salinmoor in CY 501–02, and in his "Grand Sheldomar Timeline Expansion and Revision, Part II," Samwise elaborated that the Dreadwalkers were involved and that the witch-hunt related to the plague that afflicted Salinmoor in CY 496 (and other parts of Keoland earlier).

    So, I mentioned the (black legend of the) Spanish Inquisition to evoke a grim, intolerant, and taciturn mood or theme for the history of Saltmarsh, which lies below the surface of its industrious fishing and smuggling in CY 576+.
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    Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:31 am  

    The BBC did a fine documentary on the Spanish Inquisition. It featured interviews with scholars, historians who have studied the Inquisition. None of this 21st Century TV sensationalism, but a thoughtful piece.
    The film is titled 'The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition' and it was released on BBC in 1994.


    I highly recommend The Spanish Inquisition, by Henry Kamen.
    Much good work has been done since the archives were opened and made widely available for study.

    Most of what I have read about the witch trials in Britain and other parts of Europe has been primary or secondary sources contemporaneous with the trials, or articles on JSTOR. But I don't have JSTOR access any longer. I used to own a small encyclopedia-style book about the subject.

    This syllabus looks good to me:

    https://libguides.sunysccc.edu/witchtrials


    You might enjoy reading about werewolf trials, too.
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    Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:42 pm  

    It may be that the Germanic titles are Flan in origin, perhaps derived from the peerage of Queen Ehlissa's vanished kingdom.
    GreySage

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    Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:01 pm  

    mtg wrote:
    With the predominant easterly winds of Oerik, the Hold of the Sea Princes has a tropical monsoon climate with less pronounced dry seasons. Consequently, Saltmarsh and the rest of the Keoish coast get heavy rains from (roughly) May through October (Flocktime through Brewfest), including occasional tropical storms and hurricanes.


    I believe you are on the right track here, mtg, but I want to point out what I believe is a slight error in your reckoning. :)

    On Earth, the prevailing winds change direction every 30 degrees N. or S. longitude. The prevailing winds across the USA and Europe travel west to east between 30* N. longitude and 60* N. longitude. That means that south of that line (from the equator to 30* N. longitude) the prevailing winds travel east to west.

    Since you pointed out that Saltmarsh is at 23.8* N. longitude, that would put it in the area where the prevailing winds are the opposite of the majority of the rest of the Flanaess. And, since the prevailing winds on Oerth are opposite those of Earth, the prevailing winds at 23.8* N. longitude should blow west to east.

    Now, that doesn't mean there can't be hurricanes, etc. The US east coast certainly has its share of such. ;)

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    Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:22 pm  

    While historical accounts are wonderful source material I find wildly inaccurate cinema and fiction to be inspiring. For witch hunter sources I recommend

    Black Death 2010
    The Bloody Judge 1970
    The Burning Times 1990 (documentary)
    Cry of the Banshee 1970
    Mark of the Devil 1970
    Witchfinder General/The Conqueror Worm 1968
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    Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:33 pm  

    SirXaris wrote:
    On Earth, the prevailing winds change direction every 30 degrees N. or S. longitude. The prevailing winds across the USA and Europe travel west to east between 30* N. longitude and 60* N. longitude. That means that south of that line (from the equator to 30* N. longitude) the prevailing winds travel east to west.

    Since you pointed out that Saltmarsh is at 23.8* N. longitude, that would put it in the area where the prevailing winds are the opposite of the majority of the rest of the Flanaess. And, since the prevailing winds on Oerth are opposite those of Earth, the prevailing winds at 23.8* N. longitude should blow west to east.


    The trick being, if that was the case the Hellfurnace mountains would be dumping their ash continuously on the Sea Princes, the Yeomanry, and southern Keoland and the Sea of Dust.... wouldn't be a sea of dust. Instead, we clearly see the effects of an east-to-west wind blowing lots of moisture from the Azure Sea into these areas where the Barrier, Crystalmist, and Hellfurnaces block it from blowing farther west.
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    Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:09 pm  

    Wait, the prevailing winds on Oerth are moving in opposite directions to those of Erath, at similar latitudes? [/b]
    GreySage

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    Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:46 am  

    FormerlyKnownasNorker wrote:
    Wait, the prevailing winds on Oerth are moving in opposite directions to those of Erath, at similar latitudes? [/b]


    Yep, though I don't remember the source material. It's just something I remember reading. Smile

    Vulcan wrote:
    SirXaris wrote:
    On Earth, the prevailing winds change direction every 30 degrees N. or S. longitude. The prevailing winds across the USA and Europe travel west to east between 30* N. longitude and 60* N. longitude. That means that south of that line (from the equator to 30* N. longitude) the prevailing winds travel east to west.

    Since you pointed out that Saltmarsh is at 23.8* N. longitude, that would put it in the area where the prevailing winds are the opposite of the majority of the rest of the Flanaess. And, since the prevailing winds on Oerth are opposite those of Earth, the prevailing winds at 23.8* N. longitude should blow west to east.


    The trick being, if that was the case the Hellfurnace mountains would be dumping their ash continuously on the Sea Princes, the Yeomanry, and southern Keoland and the Sea of Dust.... wouldn't be a sea of dust. Instead, we clearly see the effects of an east-to-west wind blowing lots of moisture from the Azure Sea into these areas where the Barrier, Crystalmist, and Hellfurnaces block it from blowing farther west.


    I see your point, Vulcan, but I will argue that it is not ash from the volcanic Hellfurnaces that maintains the Sea of Dust, but the magical destruction that caused it in the first place. I offer as evidence the Darlene map of the Flanaess itself. If you look closely at the plumes rising from the volcanoes, you will see that they are being blown eastward, away from the Sea of Dust. Wink

    As additional justification, I will offer that, firstly, the volcanoes are almost all shown to be on the westward side of the Hellfurnace mountain range. Thus, the ash would blow into the central portion and most of it, perhaps, would be dumped within it, rather than being carried further eastward. Secondly, no volcanoes are shown to be far enough north to dump their ash on the Yeomanry (excepting for seasonal changes in the weather as warmer air travels farther north in the summer), only one is far enough north to send ash eastward to the Sea Princes, and the rest are west of Jeklea Bay and the Amedio Jungle. We can postulate that what ash does fall into the Yeomany, the Sea Princes, and the Amedio, simply helps explain the fertility of the soil. The Sea Princes are the main issue, and they are described as having a culture similar to the slave-owning plantations of the US Confederate States, so the soil must be fairly fertile in order to support such an agrarian society. Finally, the ash blowing into Jeklea Bay may help explain its shallowness with respect to the Azure Sea.

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    Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:54 am  

    The coastal lands of the Sea Princes were noted as hot and dusty in The Gauntlet, IIRC. The module is set inland and up, in Berghof.
    GreySage

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    Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:42 am  

    SirXaris wrote:
    I see your point, Vulcan, but I will argue that it is not ash from the volcanic Hellfurnaces that maintains the Sea of Dust,


    It is in part. As Greyhawk Adventures detailed, different regions of the Sea of Dust are characterised by different kinds of dust. The central part is an "alien, caustic material" that has nothing to do with volcanic ash. But just west of the Hellfurnaces, volcanic ash is indeed the primary component. "The Sea of Dust was first named for its appearance just west of the Hellfurnaces, where volcanic ash is spread in gray waves over a land surface now deeply buried. Each year the Hellfurnaces add new weight to the column of fine gray dust."
    GreySage

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    Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:52 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    SirXaris wrote:
    I see your point, Vulcan, but I will argue that it is not ash from the volcanic Hellfurnaces that maintains the Sea of Dust,


    It is in part. As Greyhawk Adventures detailed, different regions of the Sea of Dust are characterised by different kinds of dust. The central part is an "alien, caustic material" that has nothing to do with volcanic ash. But just west of the Hellfurnaces, volcanic ash is indeed the primary component. "The Sea of Dust was first named for its appearance just west of the Hellfurnaces, where volcanic ash is spread in gray waves over a land surface now deeply buried. Each year the Hellfurnaces add new weight to the column of fine gray dust."


    Thank you, Rasgon. I remember that. It is not inconsistent with a prevailing wind blowing eastward, though. Seasonal changes, as I mentioned, can temporarily change the direction of the prevailing winds and blow plenty of ash into the Sea of Dust.

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    Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:13 am  

    Good discussion and lots of great points made.

    For the Kingdom of Keoland, I wanted to do something different (I view Furyondy and Nyrond as more traditional absolute hereditary monarchies like England and France). I was very much influenced by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire, both of which incorporated the concept of an elected monarchy selected by nobles.

    But, by no means is it a perfect analog, there are numerous diversions. I also tend to give parts of Keoland an eastern European feel, the sense of an old realm, weighed down by history. So lots of the names and cultural flourishes tend to be eastern. Kimbertos, to my ear, always sounded Greek. I have played with the idea of the Rholans being Greco-Roman in their mien, with the traditional sea-going pursuits and desire for expansion. The spurning of religion, especially of the established sort. Superstition and suspicion of outsiders are rampant outside of the city centers. Specifically the southern province of Salinmoor, I tend to give a forlorn transylvanian feel with Lovecraftian touches.

    -G
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    Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:22 am  

    I love how varied the interpretations are for Keoland's feel and the detail of thought everyone has applied!

    I calculated Keoland lies at maybe 22 to 30 degrees North which I think matches to central Mexico/Texas on Earth but the Mexican landscape didn't seem to match with the fertile Sheldomar so I decided to head that distance south of the equator and use Argentina as a geographical point of reference for the Sheldomar in general.

    Culturally I've always seen Keoland as British in feel. A once great Empire perhaps still living in its glory days. The Keoish Lion gave me Trafalgar Square vibes I think and Saltmarsh definitely seems to point to a Cornish fishing town complete with pesky smugglers. I then thought how a much warmer climate might affect that kind of British style culture and modified accordingly. I looked at medieval castles in warmer locations like Spain and Malta for some inspiration too.

    The British wool trade is replaced by cotton and oats and barley by maize and rye.

    There's a slight mismatch with the noble ranks due to the use of Count rather than Earl but it's not meant to be an exact match just loose inspiration.

    I've generally kept the whole Sheldomar pretty British in feel. Sterich and Gran March also have a British/English vibe, the Principality of Ulek a Scottish vibe, Geoff lends itself to Wales/Welsh, the Yeomanry also stays pretty generic British but with a stronger Suel influence and anything that might entail. The Duchy of Ulek has a kind of Irish-Celtic vibe whilst the County of Ulek a Cumbric-Celtic feel. For Bissel, its peripheral location, Baklunish infuences and the fact it never seemed to be culturally embraced by the Keoish Empire I went with a Wallachian feel. Most of this is tempered by the fact that the climate is much warmer than in the Earth analogies.

    Culturally I feel that the Sheldomar should feel apart from the rest of the Flanaess in the way that the UK sits apart from Europe. I've applied the other predominant European Earth cultures to nations like Nyrond (France), Sunndi (Castille/Spain), Great Kingdom (Holy Roman Empire), Furyondy (Poland-Lithiania), Veluna (Hungary).
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    Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:25 pm  

    IIRC, U1-U3 explicitly describes Saltmarsh as having a 14th Century English seaside feel.

    FWIW, I set my heavily modified version of "The Taming of Brimstone" (Dragon Magazine #71 Boothill module) in the Good Hills, a little northeast of Flen. It worked out pretty well.

    I think the N.E. of the country might have a "Creepy New England" vibe. That fits in with Jason's Lovecraftian tilt.
    GreySage

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    Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:44 pm  

    Wolfling wrote:
    I love how varied the interpretations are for Keoland's feel and the detail of thought everyone has applied!


    Yeah, I think that's an advantage Greyhawk has, that many of its realms have room for multiple interpretations. Keoland can be whatever you want it to be.
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    Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:18 pm  

    Norker and Jason, thanks for the documentary, book, and narrative film recommendations!

    SirXaris wrote:
    mtg wrote:
    With the predominant easterly winds of Oerik, the Hold of the Sea Princes has a tropical monsoon climate with less pronounced dry seasons. Consequently, Saltmarsh and the rest of the Keoish coast get heavy rains from (roughly) May through October (Flocktime through Brewfest), including occasional tropical storms and hurricanes.

    I believe you are on the right track here, mtg, but I want to point out what I believe is a slight error in your reckoning. :)

    On Earth, the prevailing winds change direction every 30 degrees N. or S. longitude. The prevailing winds across the USA and Europe travel west to east between 30* N. longitude and 60* N. longitude. That means that south of that line (from the equator to 30* N. longitude) the prevailing winds travel east to west.

    Since you pointed out that Saltmarsh is at 23.8* N. longitude, that would put it in the area where the prevailing winds are the opposite of the majority of the rest of the Flanaess. And, since the prevailing winds on Oerth are opposite those of Earth, the prevailing winds at 23.8* N. longitude should blow west to east.

    Now, that doesn't mean there can't be hurricanes, etc. The US east coast certainly has its share of such. ;)

    SirXaris

    I don't recall any canon statement that Oerth's winds are opposite Earth's winds. Page five of the WoG Guide holds that, "Prevailing winds tend to be from the northeast in the winter and autumn, from the east and southeast in other times. Most areas of the Flanaess have sufficient rainfall to assure abundant crops." Page three of the LGG essentially repeats, "Prevailing winds are from the northeast in the winter and autumn, and the east and southeast at other times. Most areas of the Flanaess have sufficient rainfall to assure abundant crops."

    Perhaps you, or your source, took those quotes to mean that Oerth's winds are opposite Earth's?

    Prior to this campaign, I hadn't focused on weather for the Hold of the Sea Princes (and I hadn't lived in the subtropics of South Florida), so I've always taken the canon easterlies to apply to the entire Flanaess (and hence most of Oerik). Looking at the latitude map in the Glossography at page eighteen, and appreciating your point about the trade winds, I think the easiest way to reconcile canon with what I envision for the Hold is to say that the generally easterly winds of the Flanaess extend down to 20 degrees North. Thus, the tropical westerlies would begin at the southmost point of the Hold, (which could account for the hot and dusty coast east of Berghof claimed by UK 3) and cover the Tilvanot Peninsula, Zahind, Xamaclan, the Pearl Sea, etc.

    This would make Jeklea Bay a particularly stormy place, since it roughly covers 22 to 18 degrees N. (If one doesn't like how this affects the Tilvanot Peninsula and Lordship of the Isles, then one might even push the easterlies as south as 15 degrees.)

    Wolfling, thanks for your suggestion about looking to "medieval castles in warmer locations like Spain and Malta for some inspiration" and note that, "The British wool trade is replaced by cotton and oats and barley by maize and rye." I've typically modeled Keoland / the Sheldomar Valley on the Great Valley of California (but with greater precipitation and milder summers).

    Finally, in case it interests folks, I've started delving into maps of subtropical and tropical "New World" ports in an effort to model my versions of Monmurg and Port Toli. Here's one of la Bahía de San Juan, Puerto Rico, and here's a gorgeous one of the West Indies.
    GreySage

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    Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:21 pm  

    mtg wrote:
    I don't recall any canon statement that Oerth's winds are opposite Earth's winds. Page five of the WoG Guide holds that, "Prevailing winds tend to be from the northeast in the winter and autumn, from the east and southeast in other times.


    That is the exact opposite (wrt E/W) of the prevailing winds on earth from 30* N. Longitude to 60* N. Longitude, which is where most of the USA and most of the Flanaess lie on their respective planets. Smile

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    Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:50 pm  

    SirXaris wrote:
    That is the exact opposite (wrt E/W) of the prevailing winds on earth from 30* N. Longitude to 60* N. Longitude, which is where most of the USA and most of the Flanaess lie on their respective planets. Smile

    Too funny: like I mentioned before, despite my earlier interests in Oerth's predominant winds, until now I evidently never adequately understood how Earth's predominant winds change based on latitude. (Or perhaps I've forgotten?)

    Assuming that Gygax understoond Earth's winds, what do we make of his apparent decision to reverse them for Oerth? Given the detail in the WoG Guide and Glossography, it seems safe to assume that his decision was purposeful, but why do it?

    I've just started thinking about it, so I'll stop by noting that if one keeps 30*N latitude as where Oerth's winds shift from predominantly easterly to predominantly westerly, then this cuts across Gorna, Niole Dra, Elredd, Highport, Prymp, and Rel Astra. (Also, Oerth's analogue to the Tropic of Cancer runs between Saltmarsh and Monmurg and across Naerie and Lo Reltarma.)

    Reviewing the Cities of Oerth page, I can't tell if I like the resulting effect on sailing across the Azure Sea. In contrast, I think I would prefer if the shift occurred around 25*N, as this would facilitate trade from the former Great Kingdom to Gradsul and make the Hold of the Sea Princes excellent for starting a "return" voyage to the eastern Flanaess. (Either way, it would facilitate travel from Zahind, Xamaclan, etc. up the coast of the Amedio Jungle or to Hepmonaland, and it would make more difficult travel from Hepmonaland across the Pearl and Vohoun seas.)
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    Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:28 am  

    I taught myself a little bit of German to represent the "Keolandish" tongue — mainly 'cause my last character was an Oktoberfest-inspired folk hero cleric of Wenta Razz — and while I haven't been keeping up with my lessons I had extended the concept to try and translate an Old Oeridian book title, "The Poems of Thalac Jiwo," into Proto-German: "Sa Tihtīz fanē Thalac Jiwo."

    In my mind I see the language equivalents being as such:

    • Keolandish = Modern German
    • Old High Oeridian = Old High German
    • Common = Modern English
    • Middle Common = Middle English
    • Aerdian dialect of Old Oeridian = Anglo-Saxon/Old English
    • Velondi = Dutch (being an Old Oeridian tongue laying between Keoland and Aerdy, as Dutch is "in between" German and English)
    • Nyrondese = "Pennsylvania Dutch English" (being a High Oeridian dialect of Common, as PDE is a heavily "Germanified" English)

    …of course this also means a "French" Baklunish, so it's not perfect; maybe they're akin to an Umayyad Caliphate successful at Tours? I also tried to pad out Ancient Suloise with a bit of Farsi/Persian, since the description of the Suel makes me think of a combination of the real-life Aryan people and the Nazi concept of the "Aryan people" (the existence of the Scarlet Brotherhood not helping!), thus an attempt at translating "The Chronicle of Secret Times" into "Târixče ʿAṣr Râz (تاریخچه عصر راز)" — "History of the Secret Ages." Of course that concept is muddied by the existence of the clearly Viking-themed Frost, Ice, and Snow Barbarians.

    (I'll readily admit I have no idea how accurate either of the translations are; I just wanted to add a bit of "flavor" to the two books being carried by a new character I'm working on, a cloistered scholar Silent One of Keoland.)

    EDIT: I should also add that I largely imagine the Oerdians as a whole as being a kind of "Germanified" Greco-Roman, something like an evolution of the Visigothic and Ostragothic Kingdoms. I think I might also treat the people of Ket as akin to the Iberians during the Umayyad Caliphate due to a (presumed) blending of Baklunish and Oeridian.
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    Sat Jan 23, 2021 9:45 pm  

    SirXaris and others interested in Oerth's predominant winds, check out Map of Seaton? for an intriguing find by Wolfling, Lakofka's The Lendore Isles Companion, which holds that Oerth's predominant winds accord with those of Earth.

    PSmedger wrote:
    I also tend to give parts of Keoland an eastern European feel, the sense of an old realm, weighed down by history. So lots of the names and cultural flourishes tend to be eastern. Kimbertos, to my ear, always sounded Greek. I have played with the idea of the Rholans being Greco-Roman in their mien, with the traditional sea-going pursuits and desire for expansion. The spurning of religion, especially of the established sort. Superstition and suspicion of outsiders are rampant outside of the city centers. Specifically the southern province of Salinmoor, I tend to give a forlorn transylvanian feel with Lovecraftian touches.

    Gary, I'd love to hear more about your sense of the Rholans as Greco-Roman.

    I expect my PCs to visit Monmurg soon and have been imagining it as a well-planned city because of its relative youth (founded in 301 CY) and with whitewashed (limestone?) buildings with tiled roofs that are differently colored depending on the district (e.g., blues, greens, reds, oranges).

    I've also been wondering about the ancient (Flan?) settlements that preceded Monmurg and Port Remdi (founded in 30 CY and completed in 42 CY, according to Samwise). In particular, I've pondered why it took the Rholans almost 250 years to expand from the anchorage that became Port Remdi to the location about a mile away where Monmurg was founded. Finally, in the 576–591 CY era, I go back and forth on whether Monmurg has sprawled to connect with Port Remdi or whether they remain separately walled. (According to Wikipedia, when Constantinople was enclosed within the Constantinian Wall, it covered 2.3 square miles, but it had a massively larger population than Monmurg.)
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    Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:59 pm  

    To me, a lot of the Greyhawk nations' implied (or even outright stated, in the case of Saltmarsh being like a medieval English fishing town) "cultural equivalents" imply a significantly cooler culture than their latitudes suggest. I wonder if Oerth is just colder overall than Earth?
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    Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:43 am  

    WingofCoot wrote:
    To me, a lot of the Greyhawk nations' implied (or even outright stated, in the case of Saltmarsh being like a medieval English fishing town) "cultural equivalents" imply a significantly cooler culture than their latitudes suggest. I wonder if Oerth is just colder overall than Earth?


    This is an interesting topic that has cropped up in a few different threads. If you compare the lattitudes of Oerth to Earth, much of the Sheldomar Valley is subtropical. Personally I like to go with that and imagine, in the case of Keoland, what historical English culture would have been like in a warmer climate (for example cotton replacing the mediaeval wool industry).

    The Greyhawk Player's Guide (p.8) actually details the temperature zones for the Flanaess. As written most of the Flanaess, including the Sheldomar is temperate but whilst a subarctic zone is mentioned there is no mention of a subtropical zone so I think that it's still open to interpreation. What is clearly written is that snow is rare below 35N.

    Oerth has a 30 degree axial tilt which should also expand the tropics higher than on Earth but it's very clear that there is magical tampering with the climate of the Flanaess (perhaps on the Oerth as a whole). For that reason it's perfectly reasonable to go with either a subtropical or a temperate climate for the Sheldomar if you so desire. Totally down to personal choice.
    GreySage

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    Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:15 am  

    Wolfling wrote:
    ...but it's very clear that there is magical tampering with the climate of the Flanaess (perhaps on the Oerth as a whole).


    Clear, how? I am curious what evidence you have come across that makes this evident. I am just not able to recall any overt comments from canon that state that this is true. Smile

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    Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:50 am  

    SirXaris wrote:


    Clear, how? I am curious what evidence you have come across that makes this evident. I am just not able to recall any overt comments from canon that state that this is true. Smile

    SirXaris


    IIRC, the wizards of The Scarlet Brotherhood feel disrespected by not being elevated to the equivalency of the fathers, uncles and cousins due to their control of the weather and sea monsters around the Tilvanot peninsula.

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    Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:32 am  

    SirXaris wrote:
    Wolfling wrote:
    ...but it's very clear that there is magical tampering with the climate of the Flanaess (perhaps on the Oerth as a whole).


    Clear, how? I am curious what evidence you have come across that makes this evident. I am just not able to recall any overt comments from canon that state that this is true. Smile

    SirXaris


    "One final comment is necessary. The weather of Oerth is affected (and possibly generated) by magic." (p.18 World of Greyhawk Glossography)

    Can't get much clearer than that Wink
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    Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:33 am  

    SirXaris wrote:
    Wolfling wrote:
    ...but it's very clear that there is magical tampering with the climate of the Flanaess (perhaps on the Oerth as a whole).


    Clear, how? I am curious what evidence you have come across that makes this evident. I am just not able to recall any overt comments from canon that state that this is true. Smile

    SirXaris


    "One final comment is necessary. The weather of Oerth is affected (and possibly generated) by magic." (p.18 World of Greyhawk Glossography)

    Can't get much clearer than that Wink
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    Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:33 am  

    SirXaris wrote:
    Wolfling wrote:
    ...but it's very clear that there is magical tampering with the climate of the Flanaess (perhaps on the Oerth as a whole).


    Clear, how? I am curious what evidence you have come across that makes this evident. I am just not able to recall any overt comments from canon that state that this is true. Smile

    SirXaris


    "One final comment is necessary. The weather of Oerth is affected (and possibly generated) by magic." (p.18 World of Greyhawk Glossography)

    Can't get much clearer than that Wink
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    Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:14 pm  

    Wolfling wrote:

    The Greyhawk Player's Guide (p.8) actually details the temperature zones for the Flanaess. As written most of the Flanaess, including the Sheldomar is temperate


    Yeah, that combined with the 30 degree tilt (thus the northern tropic should be at 30 degrees N) implies to me that Oerth is a bit cooler than Earth.

    Quote:
    but whilst a subarctic zone is mentioned there is no mention of a subtropical zone so I think that it's still open to interpreation.


    Yeah. And the definition of 'subtropical' is pretty vague in RL - the Wikipedia article has Washington DC and even New York City (!) as "humid subtropical" but I think most people would call that "temperate".

    Quote:
    What is clearly written is that snow is rare below 35N.


    Yes, and the 1980 folio also says that "Except in the northern latitudes, the winter temperatures seldom dip below freezing except during the two winter months - and at night during early spring and late autumn". So it's not *that* much cooler.

    The picture I get is of a climate that's fairly moderated (it does say that "The Flanaess is particularly blessed in regards to its weather").

    I don't really imagine Saltmarsh to be as hot as, say, the far south Texas coast at a similar latitude (and Saltmarsh would be actually within the tropics, which far south Texas isn't, quite, since Oerth has greater tilt). But surely it can't be as cool as England, or much of the rest of the Flanaess (farther north) would be much colder than described.

    The winter might be very nearly as mild as that of south Texas, but I'd expect the summer to be notably milder, or the buildings, clothing, etc. wouldn't suggest England at all.

    Quote:
    For that reason it's perfectly reasonable to go with either a subtropical or a temperate climate for the Sheldomar if you so desire. Totally down to personal choice.


    Absolutely.
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    Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:11 pm  

    Prior to this past year, I never ran or played in U1, so I've only recently read its reference to "be guided by any small south-coast English fishing town of the 14th century and with population of about 2,000" when detailing Saltmarsh.

    I assume that the U1 authors didn't understand the climate / weather of the Flanaess because their module's publication preceded the World of Greyhawk boxed set (although it coincides with the original folio, which I don't own). Does the folio differ from the boxed set regarding latitude and weather?

    IMC, I'm following the boxed set's discussion of weather, so I've adapted the U1 author's reference to a south-coast English fishing town of the 14th century into a subtropical climate, and I'm enjoying refashioning the U1 authors' notion with my experience of various Earthly climes like Miami Beach, Key West, and the Yucatan Peninsula, while highlighting the insularity of the populace—and adding shades of Lovecraft.
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    Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:36 pm  

    WingofCoot wrote:
    To me, a lot of the Greyhawk nations' implied (or even outright stated, in the case of Saltmarsh being like a medieval English fishing town) "cultural equivalents" imply a significantly cooler culture than their latitudes suggest. I wonder if Oerth is just colder overall than Earth?


    Climate might be like Cornwall today (and presumably during the Medieval Period). Subtropical.
    GreySage

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    Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:50 pm  

    mtg wrote:
    I assume that the U1 authors didn't understand the climate / weather of the Flanaess


    Honestly, I just think it's because it came from TSR's UK division and the authors tried to make most of their stuff as English as possible.
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    Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:03 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    mtg wrote:
    I assume that the U1 authors didn't understand the climate / weather of the Flanaess


    Honestly, I just think it's because it came from TSR's UK division and the authors tried to make most of their stuff as English as possible.


    Bingo...

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    Sat Jan 30, 2021 4:48 am  

    rasgon wrote:


    Honestly, I just think it's because it came from TSR's UK division and the authors tried to make most of their stuff as English as possible.


    I'm sure this is the out-of-universe reason, yeah.

    But how can it be made to work in-universe?

    If the Land of Black Ice is really ice, that could also imply a somewhat colder climate than modern Earth.

    Could we fit a cold current into the Azure Sea to make up the rest of the difference? Lima, Peru is amazingly cool for its sea-level tropical location due to the Humboldt Current, I think.

    FormerlyKnownAsNorker wrote:
    Climate might be like Cornwall today (and presumably during the Medieval Period). Subtropical.


    Is Cornwall really that warm?

    I mean, I know England is very mild for its latitude due to the Gulf Stream/North Atlantic Drift... maybe it's comparable to say NYC (latitude 40) which Wikipedia claims is at the northern edge of the "humid subtropical" climate.

    But Saltmarsh's latitude would suggest something more like Brownsville, TX or Miami, FL, which is more semi-tropical than sub-tropical (actually I think Miami has a tropical rainforest climate by some definitions...)

    And with Oerth's greater tilt Saltmarsh is actually within the tropics.
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    Sun Jan 31, 2021 9:33 pm  

    Palm trees grow in parts of Cornwall. It's pretty warm.

    It has become warmer in our lifetimes, too.
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    Sun Jan 31, 2021 9:38 pm  

    I imagine Keoland would be more like subtropical Virginia, not like Florida or South Texas.
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