[v.3.5] Kanpur: The Ancient Lands

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Kanpur: The Ancient Lands
Like with my Kulan: Lands of Harqual thread, this thread will detail one of the continents for World of Kulan, my homebrewed campaign world. This thread will be for my largest continent, Kanpur. The continent is my version of Europe, Africa, and Asia all rolled into one huge landmass.

Up until this point, I have only sketched out Kanpur in my head. I haven't written much down on paper or electronically. I'm hoping this thread will change all that. There is one region, The Northwest, which I have done the most work on, but now I want to delve into the rest of the continent.

Like with all my continents, Kanpur has been greatly influence by the old TSR Worlds and campaign settings. In fact, the eastern part of Kanpur will be a huge homage to Kara-Tur and Al-Qadim. It has its own Far East and its own Land of Fate. But, more on that later...

RACES OF KANPUR
As with my race lists in my World of Kulan thread, I will be creating lists for the various regions of Kanpur. The continent is way to big to have one list of races. There is too much diversity for that to work. However, there are races that can be found anywhere from the Twilit Continent to the Iceshield Lands. However, while these races can be found everywhere, it doesn't mean they are the dominant races of Kanpur. Many of these races, like the Baklath and Fremlins, are races that live on the fringes of most societies and aren't always accepted in them. On the other hand, humans, halflings, and kobolds (but not dire kobolds or urds) are three of the major races living on the continent, usually in both rural and urban communities. The dragontouched are also common but not the other dragonblooded races.

RACES OF KANPUR
Part One: Anywhere on the Continent

● Aasimar
● Alabast
● Asherake
● The Baklath †
● Centaur, nomadic
● Draconic creature [Template] | [Dragontouched] †
● Dracovaran †
● Dragonborn [Modified] †
● Felid [Template]
● The Feytouched
● Fremlin †
● Giantborn [Template]
● Half-Dragon [Template]
● Half-Fey [Template]
● Half-Troll [Template]
● Half-Vampire [Template]
● Halfling
● Human
● Kobold
● Kobold, dire
● Kureshim
● Ngakoi
● Ogren
● Ondonti
● Skarren
● Tiefling
● Urd
● Zeidian
● Zenythri

† Homebrewed racial traits.
 

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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
THE FAR NORTH
The Far North, which was once meant to be the northern half of The Northwest has become its own region.

BARD'S GATE (d20 Sourcebook)
Necromancer Games created some of the best fantasy RPG sourcebooks ever made. And while "Bard's Gate" isn't my favorite NG book, it's an excellent city setting that can be dropped into any world. I admit that I've had some difficulty trying to figure out a place to put the city, but after pouring over my map of Kanpur, I think I've found the perfect spot for it.

Bard's Gate is a crossroads city that stands on a major trade route. That's the city's hook as far as I can tell. Plus, the city is meant to be in a cold to temperate zone. Therefore, I've made it a gateway city to the Eastern Lands from Torassia and the rest of the Far North. It is the last major, western-style city before a traveler passes into the Horse Lands.

It sits on the Stoneheart River, which flows south towards Sogukol [not shown on the map]. Its location is vital since the southerly half of the river is untamable. There are two sets of falls and tons of rapids, which makes any sort of crossing nearly impossible. The river flows into the edge of the Great Desert and often floods in the spring.

Travelers must pass through Bard's Gate if they wish to travel the Ice Road to the Far East while, hopefully, avoiding the predatory Mongol-like raiders of Sogukol. However, travelers must also be wary of the Nani Tribes of the Orochen Forest as well as vicious gnoll raiders and the undiplomatic Liget Elves of the region. (Liget means “wood” in Hungarian.)

HJEMLAND (Norse)
Norway, Sweden, and Denmark — the Scandinavian countries are a huge part of my heritage. Norse mythology (along with Greek and Egyptian mythology) is what spring-boarded me towards studying myth and ancient history as well as playing D&D.

Hjemland is full of human raiders (who tend to “go a Viking” in the southern lands each spring and summer) as well as the traditional creatures of Norse mythology. The sourcebook Frost & Fur (see under Torassia below) gives great detail of several Norse monsters and races as does “D&D Frostburn: Mastering the Perils of Ice and Snow.” Frost & Fur also gives alternate versions of the PHB races designed for a Norse campaign.

It is important to note that, in my cosmology, Ragnarök has occurred. This means that Hjemland won't be a completely traditional Norse setting as depicted in D&D Deities and Demigods. (It's going to be twisted.)

THE ICE FLOW
The Ice Flow is likely to be a no-man's-land full of dire polar bears and some of the nastier monstrous creatures from “D&D Frostburn.” A main feature will be the treacherous ice floes that make the region hazardous to traverse. Yet, adventurers often brave this subregion in order to try to find several ancient ruins that are known to exist. Each island in the Flow has at least one major ruin and it is believed there are many more. These ruins are rumored to be from an ancient civilization.

A well known legend states that a powerful Empire of Ice existed on the northern shores of Kanpur before the ice age occurred and that its legacy are the ruins of the Flow. The denizens of this empire were half-ice elementals who worshiped the Ice Lords or Frost Princes of Elemental Evil. No one knows for sure since those few adventurers that have survived the Ice Flow are hesitant to talk about their experiences in the frostfell ruins.

KOTIMI (Finnish)
While my heritage is Scandinavian I'm big fan of Finnish mythology too. I have been ever since I first read the PLANESCAPE sourcebook “On Hallowed Ground.” The Finnish deities have greatly affected the design of World of Kulan. Harqual in particular. Therefore, it was a given that I'd add a Finnish subregion to Kanpur. I had originally planned to make Hjemland a Norse-Finnish cross, but once I decided to “Ragnarök” my cosmology, I felt I needed to separate the Finnish land from Hjemland.

Thus, I created Kotimi. The name still feels a little awkward but until I come up with something better, it will remain Kotimi. The land is frozen an forested. Kotimi's cold woodlands are influenced by the craggy, deep forests of Waldheim directly to the southwest. Directly to the north of Kotimi's woodlands is a small glacier that is remnant from Kulan's recent ice age (2,000+ years ago).

NILVAH (Latvian and Estonian [Terra Mariana])
"There is no mythological system in the Latvian tradition resembling that of Greeks or Romans. All the bulk of facts entitled this way is just a derivation from the Latvian folklore material, and mostly - song texts. This makes all the study on it just speculation."
Aldis Putelis. - Encyclopedia Mythica

Ever since I first discovered Encyclopedia Mythica, I have delved into mythologies I didn't even know existed. Now that site has a whole section devoted to Latvian mythology and Folklore. Nilvah will be a land inspired by this more obscure mythology and its folklore. I’ll likely create several creatures based on the stories of Latvia as soon as I find time to read more about it on the website.

DM's Note: While working on my expanded hex map for The Northwest, I'm taking another look at both Nilvah and Szulolia. Doing some pseudo-research about Latvia on Wikipedia eventually brought me to a page on Terra Mariana, which was the official name for Medieval Livonia (or Old Livonia). Terra Mariana was formed in the wake of the Livonian Crusade in the territories comprising present day Estonia and Latvia. Since Estonia is part of that historical land, its traditions will be part of Nilvah as well.

This time period seems like good starting point for the region around Nilvah. This means it won't be only based on Latvian myths and folklore. I guess the best way to look at the region is Kanpur's version of the Baltic Tribes. Now, since Nilvah is landlocked, the Baltic influence will be altered considerably. And Szulolia is a cold desert, so the region will likely be more fantastical. I've already added Castle Ravenloft in the northern half of the forests of Nilvah, so it's a given that the region will be pseudo-Baltic in nature.

NUVUTI (Yupik)
This isolated, frozen island is one of the many islands in Kulan's Arctic that is dominated by indigenous humanoids with cultures based on Eskimo/Inuit lore. The d20 sourcebook “Frost & Fur: The Explorer's Guide to the Frozen Land” has a wealth of v.3.5 material for an Inuit-based campaign, and I am doing my own research on Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Mythica. Frost & Fur will remain my primary RPG source until I find something better.

Nuvuti will be based on the Yupik of Siberia's Chukchi Peninsula. The Nuvutik practice shamanism and revere animals such as the orca, the wolf, the raven, the spider, and the whale. Sea animals are very important and their spirits must be appeased. The Nuvutik live primarily on one island, which is their traditional homeland, but they can be found living, hunting, and traveling throughout Kanpur's northern lands.

OROCHEN (Orochs)
Orochen is a large taiga forest that spans the northern coast from Bard's Gate in the west to the edge of the Iceshield Lands in the east. However, it is also the name that outsiders give the denizens of the forest. Torassians call them Orochs or Orochis, but in truth, that is only one name for the various tribes of this expansive region. The tribes living near Bard's Gate usually refer to themselves as the Oani. They are hunters and fishers, for the most part, and live a settled lifestyle. There are exceptions but those tribes usually live deeper in the forest and are less civilized. The Oani are a spiritual people; their religious leaders are shamans.

There is also a race of feral elves that live in the western half of the Orochen Forest. They are called Liget elves and dislike intruders in what they consider their homeland. (This includes everyone else except the Oani.) Liget elves worship spirits of the land and revere the forest's powerful fey creatures as quasi-deities. Those fey lords, in return, protect the Liget from the machinations of Torassian expansionists and Sogukol raiders. The forest is home to other, more dark, denizens as well. Monstrous vermin, cannibalistic frost ghuls, and several tribes of evil humanoids living in underground caves.

SZULOLIA (West Slavic | Uralic Peoples [mainly Ugric] | Cold Desert [loosely based on the Deliblato Sands])
Szulolia needed a rewrite, badly. I have never had a clear vision for it, yet I'd never take it off the map. Previously, my idea was to base its peoples on Hungarians, but since Szulolia is a desert, it never really worked for me. Instead, I've decided to extend Kanpur's Slavic influences. There is Torassia (see below), which will be based on East Slavic peoples (mainly Russio-Slavs), but now, there will also be a people based more on West Slavic peoples.

However, these Szul Slavs won't be alone in the region. I've gone away from the idea of a specific Hungarian region and expanded more into the idea of a Uralic people with emphasis on the Ugric peoples (not only Hungarians but also the indigenous peoples known as the Khanty [Ostyaks] and the Mansi [Voguls]). There is a region (historically known as Yugra) in Russia where these two tribes lived. Therefore, Kanpur's Ugric peoples will be originally either be from Szulolia or Torassia. Regardless, they are now primarily found in Szulolia.

As for the desert, there is only one major desert in Europe to base Szulolia's terrian/climate on — the Deliblato Sands. And while that 'desert' is small (300 km²) in comparison to Szulolia, it can still provide the basis for a desert region in the north of Western Lands. The Deliblato Sands were once part of a much larger prehistoric desert, so for Kanpur, this prehistoric desert has remained. An important difference will be how cold Szulolia will be in comparison to the real world Sands. Szulolia is known for its high winds and temperature extremes (with cool and freezing cold being the norm). The desert's diversity is legendary including gigantic/monstrous versions of mole rats, steppe skunks & gerbils, verminous desert ants, falcons & eagles, wolves, roe deer, and boars.

TORASSIA (East Slavic [Russian])
This land is based on two books, which are both from Monkey God Enterprises. The first is the adventure “Tsar Rising.” The second is Monkey God's last hardcover release, “Frost & Fur: The Explorer's Guide to the Frozen Land.” Tsar Rising details the Torassia campaign, while sections of Frost & Fur seem to support that setting. I liked Tsar Rising so much that instead of converting it for Harqual, I've decided to include Torassia on Kanpur. It's a great fit. Frost & Fur even goes so far as to provide Slavic-related equipment and a pantheon of Slavic gods.

WALDHEIM (Germanic [Merovingian Dynasty | plus untamed tribes
To be rewritten.

RACES OF KANPUR (cont.)
Part Two: The Far North

The races living in this region vary from the highly civilized to the highly savage. There are a lot of giantblooded races to choose from for the Far North. However, dwarves, elves & half-elves, orcs & half-orcs, an rakasta & kitts all have their place here alongside humans, halflings, and kobolds as the most common races of the region. Midgard dwarves primarily live in Hjemland alongside races with the Norse Humanoid template. The bronth, a bear-like race, are also common in this region. Half-blooded races such as half-bugbears, half-goblins, and ogrekin are a little less uncommon and more likely to be savage. Mammuth titanites are a race of bipedal, mammoth-blooded elephant-kin.

The List
● Alcor
● Bronth †
● Domovoi
● Dwarf
● Dwarf, Midgard
● Dwarf, tiger
● Elf
● Elf, wood
● Fensir
● Giant, cave
● Giant, hill
● Giant, stone
● Giant, taiga
● Grendle
● Gronk
● Half-Bugbear
● Half-Elf
● Half-Goblin
● Half-Orc
● Jor
● Kitt †
● Lizardfolk, blackscale
● Norse Humanoid [Template]
● Ogrekin [Template]
● Orc
● Rakasta †
● Reigon
● Titanite, Mammuth †
● Trollborn
● Trull
● Uldra
● Verbeeg
● Volodni
● Wendigo

† Homebrewed racial traits.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Map of The Far North (Campaign Cartographer Version)
The Far North-new.JPG
 


Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
THE NORTHWEST
Here is a map of the Northwest Region. This map has been on my maps thread for some time including a description that I'll be moving here (in the next post). After that, I'll also link another map that gives a closer look at the main campaign region of the Northwest. -KF
(This entire section needs to be reposted from my personal file. -KF)

SUBREGIONS OF THE NORTHWEST

There are several subregions on this map. There will always be more details to be added to this region, as it is the heart of the Western Lands for Kanpur. I am currently running a pbp game over on The Piazza set in Bluffside, which means the region will likely become as detailed as Harqual, eventually.

ALMADON (Basque)
"The Basque country (also named Euskadi) is a region between France and Spain. It consists of three provinces: Álava, Gipuzkoa, and Bizkaia. The capital is Gasteiz."
- Encyclopedia Mythica

Almadon is the southern half of a chain of islands, which lies on the western edge of the Sea of Ishamark. I got the idea to use a Basque-theme from the Encyclopedia Mythica website. The site goes into great detail about the Basque Mythology, and before I can delve too much into developing this sub-region, I'm going to have to do a lot of research.

BARCINO (Ancient Barcelona)
Barcino came about while I was looking through Wikipedia and other web sites for names appropriate for the city-states of the Free Cities. There are two legends about of the founding of the city of Barcelona. The first states that the city was founded by Hercules roughly 400 years before Rome was built. The second states that the city was founded in the 3rd century BC by Hamilcar Barca, who was a historical figure from Carthage and the father of Hannibal. (In truth, the name Barcino was the Roman name given to the city after its conquest during the Cantabrian Wars.)

Both are good legends, but I think I prefer the Hercules version since Greek-culture is a major influence on Kanpur. While the city itself won't be dominated by Greek culture, Hercules will be the city's patron deity. Barcino is still a young city, and it will definitely have some Roman influence. Therefore, I foresee a connection to Novarum. Perhaps Barcino is a former colony but rebelled. Perhaps it is still influenced by the powers-that-be in Parma, but refuses to abandon Hercules as its patron god. Perhaps the corruption that has infected my Mythic Greece has spread to Barcino.

BLUFFSIDE (d20 Sourcebook)
One of the easiest sub-regions to explain is based on MEGs “Bluffside: City of the Edge” sourcebook. The book has a wealth of great information and is generic enough that it fits easily into World of Kulan. Bluffside, on Kulan, is one of the major ports of the Sea of Ishamark. (The sea's name comes from the same book.) It is the rival of the city of Parma in the North. It is a friendly rivalry for the most part, as neither wishes to give the reaching governors of Talangrán an opening to attempt to conquer them.

COEURDÍ (French [Carolingian Empire])
While Harqual does have an area that is somewhat French inspired (mostly flavor), I figure it is a good idea to have something French inspired for Kanpur as well. I didn't have enough room to place a 'Fantasy France' in between Waldheim and Talangrán so I, on a lark, decided to make my France part of a chain of islands (the northern half) that make up the western edge of the Sea of Ishamark. Thus, Coeurdî came into existence. It will be interesting how my French islands will develop.

DRAGON SANDS (d20 Sourcebook)
The second easiest sub-region to explain is the Dragon Sands region. It is based on MEGs “Dry Lands: Empires of the Dragon Sands”. While I have only read a few sections of the book, I know enough from skimming the rest of it and reading Bluffside to understand that the big boys of this region are the dragori, a race of reptilian humanoids. Both Dry Lands and Bluffside introduce several other new races as well: hukhamet, nevae, sel'varahn, sixam ieuna, and steam gnomes. The Dragon Sands is just north of the Egyptian-like lands of Khemit. The two regions will definitely be at odds, as the dragori wish to expand their empire further south. (Khemit is from “Gary Gygax’s Necropolis” from Necromancer Games.)

FALIA (TWIN CROWNS: Age of Exploration Fantasy [d20 sourcebook])
Still to be written.

GRANITE KINGDOM (from Dragon Sands d20 Sourcebook)
The Granite Kingdom is a dwarven kingdom described in the pages of the "Dry Lands: Empires of the Dragon Sands" sourcebook by MEG. It is described as the "center of dwarven activity" for that setting and crafts unique ceramic magical items. "Granite Kingdom" is the name of the lands largest city as well (pop. ― 20,000 [isolated]). The dwarves of this kingdom aren't native to the mountain range it is located in. They came from elsewhere; I haven't decided from where on my world.

The Granite Kingdom has a whole chapter devoted to it in Dry Lands (pp. 14-20) and it has been a while since I read it. What I do know is that granite dwarves will be an important race along the coastline in this region. Their clay magic is the envy of many and is prized as far away as Aegis and Khemit. The dwarves rarely gift such items to outsiders, which means they often have to deal with thieves trying to steal the legacy of the dwarven kingdom.

GWYRDHYN (Celtic/Relics & Rituals: Excalibur)
I'm a big fan of Celtic Mythology. I have been ever since I first got my hands on the “AD&D 2nd Edition Legends & Lore” book. Harqual didn't turn out strongly Celtic, thus, I have been looking to add a region influence by Celtic mythology as well as Arthurian Legend. I originally thought I was going to make Janardûn, a small continent west of Harqual, my Celtic campaign, but that continent became something completely different. Now that I'm fleshing out Kanpur, a region based on the Celtic way of life was a natural fit.

Gwyrdhyn is the result. Also known as the Green Isle, this land will have strong ties to fey creatures and the Plane of Faerie as per the alternate plane described in “D&D Manual of the Planes”. Brownies, pixies, nymphs, sprites, and some of the more darker fey, as well, live throughout the lands of Gwyrdhyn, making the lives of its people either better or worse, each day, based on a particular fey creature’s mood when met.

DM's Note: Gwyrdhyn is part of the Northwest but it is also its own region. I consider it to be one of the Island Realms of Kulan.

MONTRESOR (Mythic Italy [Book of Vile Darkness | Heroes of Horror | The Cask of Amontillado (by Edgar Allen Poe)])
Still to be written.

NOVARUM (Mythic Italy [Streets of Silver])
Since I've only read about half of “Streets of Silver” (in detail) by Living Imagination Inc., I can't really explain too much about the city (or the TWIN CROWN campaign). (Not that the setting will be included on World of Kulan except for Novarum, of course.) Parma is one of the major trade ports on the Sea of Ishamark. The land known as Novarum is constantly at odds with Talangrán, as the governors of that land wish to add Parma to its corrupt empire. The TWIN CROWNS campaign has many fascinating gods, which I've incorporated into Kulan.

The campaign also has a number of new races like Bluffside does. Since I now have the campaign book, the TWIN CROWNS race are officially in for the World of Kulan. The kithraas, an aquatic race; the khesta, a race similar to halflings; the shallorians, a cat race, and two races of elves.

PERTEN (from Bluffside d20 Sourcebook)
Perten is a city detailed in “Bluffside: City on the Edge.” It is described as being a rough & tumble loggers town. The town's citizens are hard working people who don't like laziness. Despite its longstanding forest industry, Perten is an ally of the various demihuman communities of the Coldwind Forest. Local elf clans help monitor Perten's loggers to ensure that the forest isn't stripped bare. And the gnomes and dwarves living in the surrounding hills and mountains conduct trade in Perten.

Perten is listed in the book as a small city with just over 6,000 people. I'm going to make my version a bit bigger (likely around 10,000 permanent residents) and more independent from Bluffside. Plus, I'm going to strain the relations between the loggers and the elves just to make the community a bit more interesting. My version of the city also has major vassal communities – Kytlen and Kalnel. Kytlen is on the western shoreline of Coldwind Lake at the headwaters of the Red River and is mainly a community of dwarves, gnomes, and humans. Kalnel sits on the Delue River near the southern edge of forest and is mainly a community of elves, halflings, and humans.

SCOPULA (Ethos Magazine)
Scopula is a generic city created by Clayton Bunce and was published in a now defunct (I believe) RPG e-zine known as “Ethos Magazine.” The article in that e-zine was barely more than a page long with very little detail beyond a explorer's view of the city. While there aren't any stats, Bunce does include a nice map of the city and notes the city's population (6,000). Scopula is described as a city on the edge, which is funny considering I've also included Bluffside in this region.

Scopula and Bluffside are not on good terms. Bluffside is famous for being known as the City on the Edge, which pisses off Scopulans who insist they came up with the honorific first. Regardless, most travelers avoid Scopula and its surly residents. Scopulans don't like casual visitors in their city, so if a traveler doesn't have something the citizens want then they are told to seek berthing elsewhere. The citizens of Bluffside consider Scopulans to be beneath their notice.

It should be noted that no one has ever conquered Scopula but, then again, few have cared to try to seriously dominate the cliff side city (especially with Bluffside so close). The city does stand on the ruins of what was once a great fortress, but the outer remnants of that construct have been stripped bare by the populace fo building construction. Still, adventurers often try to seek into the city in order to explore the lower reaches of the ruin, which was called Margate.

TALANGRÁN (Spanish/Castilian)
This empire is based on the adventure "The Lady Rose," by Steven Kurtz, in DUNGEON Magazine #34.
"The Talangrán Empire is an ancient power, with a language, culture, and legal system over 2,000 years old. The core of the society and economic system has always been based on slave labor. In Talangrán, slavery is considered neither good nor evil; it simply exists. It has always existed in the past; it will continue to exist in the future. The only good or evil (with respect to slavery) in Talangrán society is defined by how a master treats his slaves."

My Talangrán is more "vile" than depicted in the DUNGEON adventure. Slavery is a harsh way to be forced to live in the empire and most slaves are elves, halflings, or gnomes, although dwarven and goblinoid slaves are also common. Many of Talangrán's elite citizens are devil or demon worshipers, and the regional governors control their provinces with an iron fist wrapped in velvet. Talangrán has designs to conquer Novarum (as it has for hundreds of years). Right now the countries have an uneasy truce, which could unravel at any time.

TÂNGER (Ancient Tangier)
"The history of Tangier is very rich due to the historical presence of many civilizations and cultures starting from the 5th century BC." ― Wikipedia

Tânger was founded centuries ago by a great hero named Syphax. He was the semi-divine son of a goddess known as Tinga. He built the city in her memory. That is the city's legend. Sages aren't sure if the goddess still exists, but she is still worshiped in Tânger. The city has been conquered, freed, and reconquered so many times that no one is sure of the city's true origin. Its last conqueror was Novarum, but the city's leaders recently bought Tânger's freedom. It remains in the good graces of its former masters and keeps a wary eye out for machinations coming from the Talangrán Empire.

The city is a refuge. It is a mosaic of different cultures and, sometimes, the oppressed. It can be said to be a city of immigrants and many runaway slave from Talangrán have found solace behind Tânger's walls. There are few restrictions on divine worship in the city although the worshiping of vile gods and fiends is outlawed in Tânger. The gods of Novarum have large temples dedicated to them in this city. Since Syphax is often considered to be a Hellenistic hero, the gods of Aegis also have a strong influence in the city. There are also a lot of demihumans in Tânger, which means their deities have temples or shines as well; however, edifices are usually less grandiose.

TICINUM (Old Roman-like Empire [in decline])
Still to be written.

VÁRAD (Former Province of the Ticinum Empire [based on Pannonia])
Várad is the name of a village in Baranya county, Hungary. (I think that's where I got the name for this city.)

More to be added...


RACES OF KANPUR (cont.)
Part Three: The Northwest
[List in Flux]
Still to be written.

Common Races
● Dover (d20)
● Dwarf
● Elf
● Elf, gray
● Giant, wood (d20)
● Gnome
● Gnome, brewer (d20)
● Hadozee
● Half-Elf
● Half-Orc
● Halfling, tallfellow
● Human, Vasharan
Kitt
● Orc
Rakasta

Uncommon Races
● Asaatth (d20)
● Centaur
● Dragonkin
● Elf, wood
● Faust (d20)
● Giant, stone
● Gnome, forest
● Gnome, steam (d20)
● Green folk (d20)
● Half-Goblin (d20)
● Half-Ogre
● Human, Descendant of Trel †
● Litorian (d20)
● Lizardfolk
● Roven (d20)
● Sixam ieuna (d20)
● Trollborn (d20)
● Watcher (d20)

Rare Races
● Changling
● Darfellan
● Dragori-Nen (d20)
● Dragori-Fehr (d20)
● Dragori-Sah (d20)
● Giant, hill
● Goblin
● Half-Githzerai (d20)
● Hobgoblin
● Illumian
● Khesta (d20)
● Lizardfolk, blackscale
● Nevaequariani [Navae] (d20)
● Ogrekin [Template] (d20)
● Pixie
● Satyr
● Shallorian (d20)
● Sibeccai (d20)
● Verrik (d20)
● Warforged

Very Rare Races
● Aberrant (d20)
● Decataur (d20)
● Doppelganger
● Eleti (d20)
● Giant, cave (d20)
● Giant, marsh (d20)
● Goblin, Bakad [Haggler] (d20)
● Goblin, mad smith (d20)
● Gruwaar
● Half-Bugbear (d20)
● Half-Medusa [Template] (d20)
● Half-Titan [Template] (d20)
● Hukhamet [Wise One] (d20)
● Killoren
● Kithraas (d20)
● Lizardfolk, giant (d20)
● Miredweller (d20)
● Ogre
● Onnen (d20)
● Raker (d20)
● Raptoran
● Reigon (d20)
● Shifter
● Skulk
● Troblin (d20)
● Troll, swamp
● Verbeeg (d20)
● Woodwose
● Zamrul (d20)

† Homebrewed racial traits.
 



Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
TALANGRÁN REGION
As noted previously, Talangrán is based on the adventure "The Lady Rose," by Steven Kurtz, in DUNGEON Magazine #34.

Talangrán's society is based on one word, "Castilian." That's the simple explaination. For a more detailed explaination then you should follow the link. I'm still learning what "Castilian" means myself.

However, my version of Talangrán is a deeply evil and disturbed place. Corruption, devil worship, and slavery is the normal way of life in this dark empire. The heart of this evil is the city named Ciudad Talan. This sprawling metropolis is known to be the most decadant city in The Northwest and it has connections to planes both Infernal and Maddening.

The Emperor of Talangrán, Rodrigo XII, rules his empire with an iron fist wrapped in a velvet glove. He is a charming man in public and his people love him or, at least, fear him enough to feign loving him. In private, he is as evil as they come. He consorts with devils in the political area and in the bedchamber. (It is rumored that the Lord of Dis, Dispater, owes him a favor.)

All of his (living) heirs are half-fiends and they constantly backstab each other for the slightest dishonors done to each other. Of these hundreds of spawn, only a dozen or so have any sort of favor in Talangrán's Imperial Court. His favorite son, Fernán, rules the City of Ciudad Fal, which sits on the border with Novarum. Fernán is responsible for not only that city but also all clandestine Imperial plots hatched in Novarum.

Talangrán Region.jpg


Of course, there is a lot more on this map than just Talangrán but most of it is so new that I haven't really considered everything that's on it.

There are the demihuman cities and towns in the Endwald Mountains, which are independant of Talangrán to the south and Waldheim to the north. Demihumans aren't treated well in Talangrán having been used as slaves for over 2,000 years. Rodrigo XII despises demihumans and most nonhumans and hates that there are free communities of elves and dwarves so close to his empire. The yearly campaigns against them would have succeeded centuries ago if not for the demihumans' allies in Waldheim (and, to a lesser extent, Novarum).

The savage Germanic tribes of Waldheim are one of the few things in this world that worries the Emperor of Talangrán. He knows that if all of the tribal kings of Waldheim allied with the demihumns against him, his empire wouldn't stand a chance. Luckily for him, the tribes are constantly in conflict with each other, which makes them less of a threat.

No, the Emperor concerns himself more with trying to undermine Novarum society and taming the ancients evils of the Twisting Sands. He is obsessed with Kulan's prehistory including the world's connections to other worlds through magical gates lost in the ruins of the desert.

Talangrán also has a strong Spelljamming tradition, which supplies the empire with slaves when local sources run dry, so to speak. This means that you can find almost any race walking the streets of Talangrán's cities; although, almost all of these offworlders are either slaves or slave traders. Talangrán is one of the few places on Kulan where you can meet drow (since that race is not native to the world). The Emperor even has a few drow slaves!

Any questions? ;)

Knightfall
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
SHARN REGION
I recently bought a copy of "Sharn: City of Towers" with the thought of adding the magical metropolis to World of Kulan. I knew right away that Sharn wasn't going to end up in the Lands of Harqual. I already have a City of Spires on Harqual (called Caloric).

I began looking for an appropriate area to put the city where it would be centrally located amongst a peer of powerful countries, empires, and city-states. I immediately remembered the Free Cities and that I hadn't found a cornerstone city for that region yet. Therefore, it was easy to place Sharn on the deep, wide river that connects Mare Librum to the Iliadis Sea.

Directly north and east of Sharn are the Free Cities as well as the land known as Assylonia; south of the City of Towers are the Haunted Lands with Khemit (and the Kesh Lands) to the southwest across the Mare Librum; directly to the west across Mare Librum is the powerful city-state known as Libu while the lands of the Dragon Sands are located northwest of Sharn. Beyond that is Bluffside and lands of the Northwest [not on this map].

I haven't really determined the backgrounds for each city, yet. However, I can say for certain that the city-states of Aegis are going to be my version of a fantasy Greek culture. Valenas falls into that same category; although, it might end up being more Roman than Greek. (No decisions have been built in stone.) I may pick up Green Ronin's "Trojan War" sourcebook as a guide, but as of yet, I haven't seriously sought the book out.

Many of the Free Cities, closer to Aegis, will be influenced by Greek/Roman ideas, yet the whole area will lean more towards Sharn in culture and magic. One could call the Free Cities the Dragonmarked cities of Kanpur. Dragonshard magic is commonplace here, but can also be found in all the lands surrounding Sharn, especially to the south (Phillistia [not on this map]) and to the northwest (the Dragon Sands and Bluffside).

New sources for Dragonshard magic are always being hunted for, which has taken the Dragonmarked Houses of Sharn as far away as the Twilit Continent, far to the south, and the Land of Fate, which lies beyond the Haunted Lands.

Dragonmarked tradition is an old one, but it fell out of favor for some time after a long war (it lasted nearly a hundred years) that engulfed most of the region (and beyond). As a result, Dragonshard magic is considered tabboo in many cultures and those that practice the Marked Arts often find themselves imprisioned, tortured, and killed in such lands as Khemit (where Dragonshard magic is forbidden to all except, the Merit-f, the Archpriest [and his direct subordinates], and Pharaoh [and the Royal Family]).

In Assylonia, the restrictions are nearly as strict; although, anyone with esteem is allowed to use Dragonshard magic. This never includes foreigners, however. In Aegis and Valenas, Dragonshard magic is considered to be foreign, but it isn't forbidden. The Dragonmarked may come and go as long as they register their abilities. Mercenaries with the power of a Dragonmark are highly prized as soldiers in Aegis.

As one travels north and west from Sharn, Dragonshard magic has fewer and fewer restrictions. While the dragori of the Dragon Sands forbid non-dregori to use Dragonshard magic in their empire, the citizenry of city-states such as Barcino and Scopula (as well as Bluffside) don't restrict the Dragonmarked any more than they do other magic-users. This means that the Dragonmarked can often find refuge in such places from those that would hunt them down. Many a pariah from one of the Dragonmarked Houses of Sharn has fled to Bluffside in order to begin a new life.

Sharn Region.jpg
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
THE SOUTHWEST

SUBREGIONS OF THE SOUTHWEST

This region has several subregions, which are mainly influenced by North African culture. This region is the gateway to the Twilit Continent, a region that is borrowed right out of one of my favorite DRAGON Magazine articles. (I forget which issue at the moment.)

ÆTHIXIM (East African [Aksumite | Arabian])
The map in “Gary Gygax’s Necropolis” by Necromancer Games has several great place names on the map for Khemit. Æthixim takes two of those names — Æthepe and Axxum — and combines them. This land is going to be a fantastical version of Aksum. However, since it is so close to my version of Zakhara, it will be heavily influenced by Arabian culture as well. I foresee a strong alliance between Æthixim's King and the Grand Caliph of Golden Huzuz.

BAIDHIN ISLANDS (Phoenician)
Carthage has always fascinated me, but I have yet to delve deep into the history of that ruined city. From my preliminary research it seems like a lot of North Africa was controlled by the Phoenicians. The Baidhin Islands are independent of Cathe (see below), although the two regions share a lot in common and have been allies in the past. Both are enemies of the cannibalistic, dwarven headhunters of Kungya. The Baidhin Islands will be more of a traditional Phoenician land.

CATHE (Mythic Carthage)
Cathe is going to be my Carthage. However, it will be a very fantastical Phoenician land with lots of elves, dwarves, orcs, goblinoids, rakasta, etc.

THE CICATRIX (North African | Rift to the Underearth)
The Cicatrix is an ancient rift in the earth that leads to the Underearth, Kulan's underdark. I'm thinking that this rift has been fought over for generations but that no one has been able to gain complete control over it. Cathe and Khemit constantly bicker over the rights to this entrance to the Dark Below. In truth, it is controlled more by duergar and illithids.

HOLLOWFAUST (SCARRED LANDS Hollowfaust: City of Necromancers [d20 Sourcebook])
Another d20 sourcebook that I have is “Hollowfaust: City of Necromancers,” which is part of the Scarred Lands setting. It is definitely going in the mountains surrounding Terre Mortis (see below). Hollowfaust will be a “major” influence on the region.

KESH LANDS (North African [Desert Tribes | Kushite])
Another land inspired by “Gary Gygax’s Necropolis.” I took the name Kesha and dropped the “a.” I am thinking Kushite crossed with nomadic desert tribes as per the movies “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns,” except without the guns. (Well, maybe flintlocks.)

KHEMIT (Mythic Egypt [Egyptian Adventures: Hamunaptra (d20 boxed set) | Gary Gygax's Necropolis (d20 sourcebook)])
“Gary Gygax's Necropolis” is one of the best Egyptian-theme campaign books I’ve ever seen. And while the bulk of the book is adventure, the material in the back of the book makes it even more valuable. An expanded Egyptian pantheon, monsters, classes, magic, and a section detailing the basic premise of Khemit helps flesh out the land without straightjacketing a DMs own creativity. I particularly like the sections on Current Government Organization, Cities and Towns, and Common Given Names.

In addition to Necropolis, I have a copy of Green Ronin's "Egyptian Adventures: Hamunaptra." If Gygax's book can be said to be the best Egyptian adventure/sourcebook for d20, then Hamunaptra is easily the definitive Egyptian-based boxed set for v.3.5. Now that I have it, it is slowly taking over Necropolis's role as the canon for my version of Khemit.

KUNGYA (Dwarven lands [African | Phoenician])
Here, I'm thinking, Cathe has tried to invade this region by land several times but the deep jungles are full of dangerous Africa-inspired jungle creatures and cannibalistic dwarves. If you’re not a jungle dwarf then you best tread lightly here. Either that or be able to run really fast.

LAMNARO (Aerenal elven lands [African | Arabian])
The name was built from the elven name generator from Dragon Magazine #251. Broken down “Lam-Na-Ro” means “East-Ancient-Walker.” This land and the other elven lands of the Twilit Continent were once thriving elven kingdoms/empires. Now, ages later, the ancient elven lands of Lamnaro, Caerox, Caesaira, and Firryaith are just ruined lands lost under the growth of jungle, savanna, and time. Lamnaro is the least ruined of these lands and still has a government and populace.

Eberron has changed this land. The elves of Lamnaro are going to be based on the society of the Aerenal elves from that setting. Therefore, the land will have its own version of the Undying Court, which means deathless creatures and a hatred of the undead. I foresee conflict between the elves of Lamnaro and Terre Mortis (with Hollowfaust caught in the middle). :D

LIBU (Cyrenaica)
Libu is the name of an ancient Berber tribe. The name Libya comes from it. Wikipedia states that Egypt and Libya were enemies based on the Great Karnak Inscription Merneptah. Libu was also connected to the Greeks during the time of Cyrenaica. And the Romans described the Libu tribes as raiders and nomads. How much of this is true is hard to say since conquerers write history.

Regardless, I am using Libu as the name of a powerful city-state, which sits on the coast of Kanpur's southern sub-continent. It is close to both the city-state of Tânger — across the Straight of Dragons — and Sharn and the Free Cities to the north and east. It is also very close to both the Kesh Lands and Khemit. Khemit has tried to conquer Libu in the past but there is a truce right now. How long will it last? No one knows.

The citizens of Libu are not fond of the Keshites but they rarely war with each other. Both are more concerned with protecting themselves from Khemit and Cathe. Libu has the advantage in this since it has the patronage of Valenas [not shown on this map]. However, Valenas is on the northeastern shore of the Illiadis Sea, so that patronage only goes so far. The people of Libu also conduct a lot of trade with the citizens of Tânger, but they tend to avoid Sharn and its politics.

NUMIA (East African [Nubia | Kerma])
Another land based on a place name from “Gary Gygax’s Necropolis.” That name is Nubian Oversight, but I figured I'd just go with Nubia. However, I've now renamed it to Numia.

Gygax's Nubian Oversight is obviously a fantasy version of Nubia (perhaps during the time of the Kingdom of Kerma). Wikipedia states that "Nubian–Egyptian relations are complex and extend across many centuries." They often conquered each other but there was also mixed marriages. Relations between Numia and Khemit will be similar and I will be using the Kingdom of Kerma as my starting point for the region. Throw in magic and monsters and who knows where it will end up.

SCALDED SAVANNA
I didn’t like the huge space left wide open between the jungles of Kungya and the ancient, elven land of Lamnaro. So I decided to give the region a fairly generic name and see where it ends up. This region is fairly bare of any sort of civilization, being home mainly to roam bands of feral catfolk and other, more unsavory, types of creatures (i.e. aberrations, undead). The land is dry and harsh, yet still qualifies as savanna rather than desert.

TERRE MORTIS
I'm thinking desert waste, hordes of undead, lost cities, and lots of African influences. However, this area won’t be inspired by the content in “D&D Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead,” since I got rid of that book. (It never really fit my personal style.) Terre Mortis will be more inspired by traditional undead creatures as well as the creatures and undead describes in several DUNGEON Magazine articles.

RACES OF KANPUR (cont.)
Part Four: The Southwest

Still to be written.

Common Races
● Anpur [Gnoll]
● Bastai
● Dwarf, Ptahmenu
● Elf, Aernal [Lamnaro Elf]
● Elf, Esetiri
● Gnome, Sutekhra
● Half-Goblin
● Halfling, Asari
● Haragitu [Half-Githzerai]
● Hukhamet [Wise One]
● Human, Nethrin
● Human, Pesedjer
● Lizardfolk, sandfolk
● Menynoka [Serpent-Man]
● Peseshet [Half-Elf]
● Sharakim
● Sobekhi

Uncommon Races
● Asaatth
● Catfolk
● Dragonkin
● Dwarf, wild
● Elf, gray
● Giant, sand
● Giant, wood
● Goblin
● Gruwaar
● Half-Giant
● Half-Medusa [Template]
● Halfling, wild
● Hobgoblin
● Human, Vasharan
● Kobold, feral †
● Lizardfolk
● Nevaequariani [Navae]
● Raptoran
● Vraaark [Half-Gnoll]

Rare Races
● Dover
● Eleti
● Elf, wood
● Faust
● Giant, hill
● Giant, stone
● Gnome, forest
● Half-Bugbear
● Half-Ogre
● Half-Orc
● Halfling, tallfellow
● Kitt †
● Lizardfolk, blackscale
● Orc, greenskin
● Trollborn
● Underfolk
● Verbeeg

Very Rare Races
● Bugbear
● Centaur
● Dwarf
● Elf
● Giant, cave
● Gnome
● Half-Elf
● Half-Titan [Template]
● Illumian
● Kratch
● Ogre
● Ogrekin [Template]
● Orc
● Pixie
● Rakasta †
● Satyr
● Shifter
● Warforged

† Homebrewed racial traits.
 

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