[v.3.5] Kanpur: The Ancient Lands


World of Kulan DM
CC2 Map of The Southwest
The Southwest-new.jpg

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World of Kulan DM
"David Howery's article, "The Dark Continent," in DRAGON Magazine #189 is one of my favorites from the 2E era; thus, it was a given when "building" Kulan that I'd create my own version for the setting. Of course, that article is only a guideline for me." ― KF

The Twilit Continent. Those three words mean savagery to the civilizations of the northern lands of Kanpur. However, it is far from the truth. In fact, this region of Kanpur is home to some of the oldest civilizations on the planet. Those civilizations are just different from what northerners understand to be civilization. Yes, there is savagery in this region but much of it is noble in strength and mind. High magic and psionic power is common throughout the most southerly parts of the Twilit Continent and the Matsu Empire spans across as much territory as Khemit does (some would say even more).

The subregions of the Twilit Continent are as diverse as the races and creatures that call this primeval land home.

AUJIRA ISLANDS (Southern Africa | Zulu Kingdom [High Magic])
"The Zulu Kingdom, sometimes referred to as the Zulu Empire or, rather imprecisely, Zululand, was a monarchy in Southern Africa that extended along the coast of the Indian Ocean from the Tugela River in the south to Pongola River in the north." ― Wikipedia

The DRAGON Magazine article lists several example kingdoms for an African-based campaign setting. The Zulu people are given as one of those examples. The article says that the Zulu of the time period were "famous for their bravery in battle." It goes on to talk about King Shaka kaSenzangakhona and his accomplishments in brief. However, there is a lot more to learn online, now, about the kingdoms and cultures of Africa than can be gleaned from a DRAGON article from 1993. (It's still a great starting point, however.) I have a lot of reading to do about Africa's past, and I'll likely use wikipedia to gain a better understanding of how to build my own Mythic Africa.

Regardless, the Aujira Islands will be for my version of the Zulu Kingdom. Since it will be an island kingdom, the background of the Zulu people will need to go through some major changes. Plus, the hierarchy of this island people will be highly magical. The citizens of Aujira will be lead by powerful arcanists who will be masters of Abjuration magic. Their brave warriors will be Abjurant Champions as per the prestige class in D&D Complete Mage. The kingdom's champions must be proficient with the traditional weapon of the Zulu people — the assegai. Aujira will also have a powerful navy of magical war-canoes. Hmm, maybe spelljammers too. :idea:

BUSHLANDS (African | Bushmen [Psionic])
The Bushlands is a name inspired from The Dark Continent map in DRAGON #189. On that map, it notes that "Bushmen" live in the desert. Therefore, I created a desert to place my own bushmen. After doing some wikipedia research, I discovered a name for my bushmen, San, which has become semi-official in the modern day (but with controversy). It's a fine choice for my purposes. :)

The San will be naturally psionic.

CAESAIRA (Elven lands [African-Arabian | Ruined])
Caesaira was once a great elven kingdom in ancient times. Long before human kingdoms, such as the Matsu Empire, rose to prominence throughout the Twilit Continent, elves ruled its jungles. It is believed that the ancestors of Zakhara's citizens learned their culture from the elves of Caesaira. However, there is also evidence that the culture of the Caesairan elves was rooted in the myths and legends of the continent. These elves did not worship the Elven Gods Instead, they worshiped their ancestors as risen immortals as well as tribal totem animals — the giraffe, the lion, the monkey, and the zebra. Evidence gleaned from Caesaira's ruins points to this land being destroyed by its rival, Firryaith. This Jungle-Kin War left both kingdoms in ruins although Firryaith's ancestors still survive in the Dark Jungle — living in primitive tribes. The only remnants of Caesaira are its ruined cities, palaces, and temples; these overgrown ruins are thought to be filled with lost treasures. A few have been looted but death is all most find in the jungles of this lost elven land, which is filled with monsters (and believed, by many, to be haunted).

You have been warned.

CAEROX (Elven and halfling tribal lands [African | Ruined])
Caerox is another ruined land that was once a kingdom of demihumans in the time before Khemit's first great kingdom rose to power in the north. It was less grand than Caesaira or Firryaith and it survived for a time after the end of the Jungle-Kin War. However, it had depended on Firryaith for protection and was destroyed by the undead of Terre Mortis. Its ruins are definitely filled with undead but there are still tribes of elves and halflings living in this small jungle. They are less wild than the denizens of the Dark Jungle, but they will attack outlanders that try to defile the ruins of their ancestors. The rulers of Hollowfaust consider Caerox to be under their protection whether its denizens want that protection or not.

CORSAIR DOMAINS (AL-QADIM Corsairs of the Great Sea)
When mapping out Kanpur (in CC2 Pro), I originally forgot to leave a place for the Corsair Domains. Once I had realized my error, I needed to find a place to put it. There was no way I was going to omit it. (All parts of the AL-QADIM setting exist on Kanpur, somewhere.) I wanted the islands to be west of the High Desert, and I had originally thought of putting the island chain west of Kotaresi. It was too far away. Therefore, I shoehorned the Corsair Domains into the gulf between the African half and African-Arabian half of the Twilit Continent. It's a little odd, but I'm not going to change it now.

DARK JUNGLE (African [Ashanti Empire | EBERRON Secrets of Xen'drik])

"The Ashanti Empire or Asante Empire, also known as the Ashanti Confederacy or Asanteman (independent from 1701–1896), was a pre-colonial West African state created by the Akan people of what is now the Ashanti Region in Ghana . . . . Akan political organization centered on various clans, each headed by a paramount chief or Amanhene." ― Wikipedia

The Dark Continent article lists the Asante (or Ashante) as another example kingdom of Africa. The brief info given is good but nothing beats wikipedia. Sure, you cannot always trust what is on that web site, but this is gaming not scholarly writing. The article's map puts the Asante in the continent's jungle; therefore, my version of the Ashante will be located in the Dark Jungle. This growing kingdom is building itself in the shadows of what was once Firryaith. The Akanti, as I will call them, prefer to avoid the ruins of the elves, but when the need is great, they will scavenge building material from the less sacred ruins. The Akanti show respect to the elves of the Dark Jungle, but they do not fear them. War has never broken out between the Akanti and the elves, but there have been skirmishes. The two races consider the citizenry of Stormreach to be a greater threat than each other and will work together to discourage outlanders.

The Dark Jungle is more than the home of the Akanti and the descendants of Firryaith, however. Since I'm using Stormreach in the region, I've decided to add some of the adventuring locales from Secrets of Xen'drik into the heart of jungle. I haven't decided what will go where yet, but I imagine that a lot of what's in that book will find its way into the Dark Jungle or the mountain ranges surrounding it. Note: There are other races living in the Dark Jungle such as wild dwarves — the race from the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, but twisted in some way. There will likely be halfling "pygmies" too. Oh, and a lot of monsters in the jungle's southern region.

FIRRYAITH (Elven tribal lands [African | High Magic | Ruined])
The name Firryaith is spoken with awe and wonder by the elven tribes of the Dark Jungle. There wasn't another elven kingdom on the Twilit Continent greater than this lost civilization. Its heights were as great as the towering city of Sharn in the northern lands. Its people were an offshoot of the gray elves, and it is believed that the arcanists of Firryaith were masters of high elven magic. Its rulers were considered demigods, and it controlled more than half of the continent at its zenith. The only land that rivaled it was Caesaira. The bitterness between the two lands is told as tales of legend by elven tribes; it was an animosity that lead to war. The Jungle-Kin War lasted centuries and lead to the downfall of both kingdoms. Firryaith's people were luckier only because they were more widespread. The elven tribes that exist in the Dark Jungle today are the direct descendants of the elves of Firryaith. While they respect the past, they do not desire a return to the old ways. They protect their ancestor's fallen cities (and other structures) from those that would despoil them, but they are not fanatical about it. If outlanders truly wish to lose their lives in the ruins of Firryaith, the elves will not stop them. Outlanders that survive the ruins rarely leave the Dark Jungle with their spoils, however. Yet, despite the odds, adventurers from Stormreach continue to seek out Firryaith's lost ruins.

HIGH DESERT (AL-QADIM Land of Fate boxed set)
Al-Qadim is one of my favorite 2E creations. Therefore, when I created Kulan, I knew immediately that I wanted to create my own version of the Land of Fate. The mapping process was a challenge since I wanted my version to be as close as possible to the official version. What resulted was okay, but it isn't nearly as close as I'd liked. The Twilit Continent and the lands of the Southwest region ended up twisting my map design in bizarre ways. Yet, there will be place for everything from the Zakhara campaign setting on Kanpur. As a result, the High Desert found its way on to the continent. The desert is home to nine nomadic tribes that are considered “enlightened” as well as many smaller tribes, bands, and raiders. The tribes of the High Desert either trade with or conduct raids on the tribes and city-states of N'Shal. The eastern coastline near the High Desert is notable for the cities that exist there. The Cities of the Pearl — Ajayib, Gana, Jumlat, Sikak, and Tajar — are part of the Land of Fate. In fact, the Pearl Cities are some of the wealthiest cities of Zakhara and trade is vital in these exotic cities. The desert tribes of the High Desert and the Cities of the Pearl are detailed in the "Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara" in the AL-QADIM Land of Fate boxed set.

KOTARESI (Dragonborn lands [African])
While the dragonborn can be found throughout the World of Kulan, the dragonblooded race has only a few lands that they dominate. Kotaresi is one of the largest. The Kotar, as they call themselves, have completely integrated themselves in the culture of the Twilit Continent, and they are renown sailors. They have formed a thalassocracy on the island chain that sits along the western shore of the continent. Their sea kingdom is one of the most powerful in the region and they consider the Aujirans to be their enemies. The Kotaresi fleet is mainly composed of massive war canoes and gigantic triremes. The Kotar learned how to build triremes from the citizens of Thundras; the two lands are trading partners and military allies. They have begun experimenting with the idea of building ships that combine aspects of their traditional war canoes with the designs of Thundras. So far, these new designs have failed to give them an edge over the Aujirans, but Kotaresi canoe-ships have been able to sail to the nearby shores of the Fallenlands and back again with only a few losses.

MAGACA (African | Madagascar [High Magic])
Madagascar has some interesting history. Its earliest settlers came to the island around 200 BCE; however, I want Magaca to have a higher culture than Madagascar's earliest civilizations. I think Magaca will be based on either the early Sakalava Chiefdoms or the later Merina Kingdom (or both) but amped up considerably. The Sakalava were powerful traders in much of the Indian Ocean. Therefore, Magaca will have strong mercantile ties to Zakhara and distant Indjra. The Merina Kingdom was a pre-colonial state that ruled over Madagascar in the 19th century; its kings and queens were the descendants of a long line of hereditary royalty that stretched back to the first inhabitants of the island. Politically, the Merina and the Sakalava were rivals, which sounds like a great campaign idea to me. Regardless, the island's inhabitants will have access to high magic. Its rulers will be epic.

MATSU EMPIRE (African | Benin Empire)

"The Benin Empire (1440–1897) was a pre-colonial African state in what is now modern Nigeria . . . . The original people and founders of the Benin Empire, the Edo people, were initially ruled by the Ogisos (Kings of the Sky) who called their land Igodomigodo." ― Wikipedia

Benin is another example of an African kingdom given in the Dark Continent article. Benin was a west African empire founded by the Edo people. The article says their leader was known as the Oba; however, Wikipedia states that the empire's earliest rulers were known as the Ogisos, or Kings of the Sky. Ogisos and Oba refer to the early and later dynasties of the Oba. A man named Eweka I was the first Oba, which is a Edo word meaning 'red'.

The best time period for my Matsu Empire seems to be the Golden Age of the Oba Dynasty. It was during this time that Benin City became a military fortress and its leader, Oba Ewuare, launched expansive military campaigns. Matsu City will be a fortress protected by a series of moats and walls. It's inner wall is “a seven mile (11 km) long earthen rampart girded by a moat fifty feet (15 m) deep” as noted on Wikipedia for Benin City. The empire's holy symbol will be the leopard as noted in the Dark Continent article.

The Dark Continent article says that the Benin practiced large-scale human sacrifices but Wikipedia doesn't seem to back this up. Therefore, I'm going to downplay that aspect for my Matsu Empire until I've done more research. However, the Matsu people will be famous artisans of bronze, iron, and ivory as noted in both sources. The Matsu make fantastic bronze wall plaques and life-sized bronze or ivory masks of the empire's nobility. Matsu art is prized as far away as Bluffside to the north and Zakhara to the east.

MIBHA (African | Mali Empire)

“The Mali Empire . . . was a West African empire of the Mandinka from c. 1230 to c. 1600. The empire was founded by Sundiata Keita and became renowned for the wealth of its rulers, especially Mansa Musa I. The Mali Empire had many profound cultural influences on West Africa, allowing the spread of its language, laws and customs along the Niger River. The Mali empire extended over a large area and consisted of numerous vassal kingdoms and provinces.” ― Wikipedia

Once again, another African kingdom noted in the Dark Continent article is Mali. The Mali Empire is of note for its wealth an culture — a fact noted both in the article and on Wikipedia. Mali seems to have a lot of history from it pre-Imperial times to its collapse in the 1600s. Its a bit daunting. What I have done for my version of Mali is use a close approximation to the name of the fantasy kingdom given in the Dark Continent article. Mibha is a wealthy city that trades a great deal with the citizens of Thundras. The city's main exports are gold and salt. Mibha will likely be near the beginning of its Imperial era.

N'SHAL, SAVANNA OF (African | Sahelian Kingdoms)

“The Sahelian kingdoms were a series of kingdoms or empires that were centered on the sahel, the area of grasslands south of the Sahara. The wealth of the states came from controlling the trade routes across the desert. Their power came from having large pack animals like camels and horses that were fast enough to keep a large empire under central control and were also useful in battle. All of these empires were also quite decentralized with member cities having a great deal of autonomy.” ― Wikipedia

N'Shal is going to be twofold. First, it is going to be the area of grassland where my Sahelian kingdoms have risen and fallen. In the real world, the first of these kingdoms to rise was the Kingdom of Ghana. It was followed by several notable kingdoms including the Sosso, the Mali, Songhai, Kanem-Bornu & Hausa, and Fulani. Since Mibha is my version of the Mali Empire, it is the current N'Shalian kingdom. The future capital city of my Songhai exists as a vassal state of Mibha as do many other city-states scattered across the Savanna of N'Shal. Will it rise to power someday as in the real world?

Second, N'Shal will also be home to many primitive humanoid tribes that live as wild riders and savage primitives. The savanna is named for an ancient tribe of humans who use tamed zebras as mounts and pack animals. This tribe isn't completely human, however. There is a strong legacy of elven and felid blood running through the N'Shal people. Half-elves are common while half-catfolk are more uncommon. The N'Shal carry long spears and clubs and their culture is considered primitive by outsiders. However, the N'Shal are one of the oldest tribes of the Twilit Continent, and they masters of powerful spiritual magicks (i.e. spirit shamans). They also have a long legacy of sorcery.

SHELZAR (SCARRED LANDS Shelzar: City of Sin [d20 Sourcebook])
The City of Sin. I knew instantly that I was going to use the Shelzar sourcebook for Kulan after buying it. (Actually, I was pretty sure before I bought it. Heh.) But where to put it? I thought about placing it in the middle of my version of the Land of Fate, but it just didn't feel like it fit. Yes, its theme is similar, but Shelzar is darker. I still wanted it close to my Zakhara, however. Thus, it found its way to the southern coastline of the Twilit Continent. Shelzar has existed in this region for a long time and some believe it used to be a Zakharan colony — that it broke away from the Land of Fate in ages past. Its citizens deny this story, completely, as do most living in the Land of Fate.

So, how did Shelzar come into being? Who founded it? No one is sure and its history is a bit of mystery. What is known is that the City of Sin is tied to Hollowfaust in some manner. The two cities are ancient rivals; there is a great deal of distrust between the two cities' citizens (some would say outright hate). It doesn't help that Shelzar aligns itself to Stormreach and has had clandestine dealings with the Corsair Domains. Its leaders deny this, of course, but no one believes them.

SOLAMBER (PENUMBRA Seven Cities [d20 Sourcebook])
The city-state of Solamber was founded by a powerful elf, known only as the Sun Lord, over 500 years ago. It is believed that the Sun Lord was originally from the Northwest region of the continent. He continues to rule the city to this day, although he is hard pressed by a evil elven witch known as the Night Lady. Her heritage is a mystery. It is whispered that she is an outcast of Lamnaro, but most in Solamber believe she is more likely a Nevaequariani. Regardless, she and Sun Lord have been warring for control of the city-state for nearly two-and-a-half centuries.

The city-states patron deity is the god known as Apollo or, more specifically, Phoebus Apollo. Solamber means "city of the sun" in the language of the northern elves. Note that Solamber isn't an elven city; it is a mixed community, although the number of elves in the city-state is higher than normal. Solamber's survival on the Twilit Continent is mainly due to the power of the Sun Lord. Both Shelzar and Stormreach consider the city-state an enemy while the distant land of Thundras is its best ally. Relations with the tribes of the High Desert are cordial. Relations with the Cities of the Pearl on the other side of the peninsula are 'polite'.

STORMREACH (EBERRON City of Stormreach)
I'm quickly becoming an Eberron fan. Not so much for the setting itself but for the wealth of material that the setting holds. Material that I'm not attached to as placed in Eberron itself. Hmm, an explanation seems to be in order.

Over the years, I've become attached to Greyhawk locales in the World of Greyhawk and Realmsian locales in the Forgotten Realms. Yes, I've placed Waterdeep in the Lands of Harqual, but that was an easy choice. Waterdeep is its own entity. It lives and breathes behind its walls. Greyhawk City, on the other hand, feels, to me, linked too much to its setting for me to lift it out of that world and place it in my own. And I would never take up Shadowdale and plop it down on Harqual or Kanpur. That would be too weird.

But, Eberron, it is too new. It's a great setting, but I'm not attached to it. I had no problem placing Sharn at the center of Kanpur's various civilizations, and I knew that Stormreach would soon follow. Of course, my Stormreach will be different from Eberron's Stormreach. How can it not be? There aren't any true drow on Kulan. And there are several living civilizations on Kulan's version of the Dark Continent while Eberron's Xen'drik is more of a land of ruins of lost civilizations. (Not that Kanpur's Twilit Continent doesn't have its own ruins of lost civilizations.)

Stormreach will still be the destination of choice from those from Sharn seeking to explore the Twilit Continent. It is the gateway to the interior of the Dark Jungle where some of Xen'drik's jungle-based locales might soon exist. Locations such as the Obsidian City and Throne Gate Ruins, perhaps. I haven't decided yet. Stormreach will be aligned to Shelzar to the south and against Hollowfaust to the north. Its relations with other settled lands of the continent are usually adversarial, especially Thundras.

THUNDRAS ("Fort Thunder" from the DRAGON Magazine #189 article)
In the last section of David Howery's article, he describes a trading city called Fort Thunder, which "coexists peacefully with the natives." Thundras is going to be my version of that but more expansive. Port Thundras is its capital and it has several large towns that support it. Thundras was once a vassal city of a feudal land in the Northwest called Caralona. However, that home land was destroyed by Talangrán, and Thundras has had to survive on its own ever since. In many ways, this land of orphaned colonists has gone native. Its citizens are respected throughout the Twilit Continent for their political neutrality. Yet, Thundras' people are still considered outlanders at best or invaders at worst.

Part Five: The Twilit Continent
[List in Flux]
Still to be written.

Common Races
● Catfolk
● Elf, painted
● Elf, wild
● Gnoll
● Gruwaar
● Half-Gnoll
● Halfling, wild
● Hobgoblin, Kargi
● Lizardfolk, sandfolk
● Orc, greenskin
● Sil-Karg [Half-Hobgoblin]
● Thri-Kreen
● Xeph
● Zebranaur †

Uncommon Races
● Elf, Aernal [Lamnaro Elf]
● Giant, stone
● Half-Bugbear
● Half-Elf
● Half-Giant
● Half-Goblin
● Half-Ogre
● Half-Orc, Urkhadi
● Halfling, ghostwise
● Haragitu [Half-Githzerai]
● Kobold, feral †
● Rakasta †
● Sktak
● Titanite of the Twilit Continent †
● Underfolk
● Yuan-Ti pureblood

Rare Races
● Bugbear
● Eleti
● Geckofolk †
● Giant, hill
● Giant, sand
● Goblin, forestkith
● Half-Orc
● Halfling, deep
● Kitt †
● Lizardfolk, blackscale
● Ogrekin [Template]
● Plantfolk
● Raptoran
● Shifter
● Tasloi
● Vraaark

Very Rare Races
● Dwarf
● Elf
● Giant, cave
● Giant, jungle
● Gnome
● Iguanalon
● Nevaequariani [Navae]
● Nom-Ti †
● Ogre
● Orc
● Psittae
● Rakshasa
● Terali
● The Unseen
● Trollborn
● Verbeeg
● Warforged
● Zweibold

† Homebrewed racial traits.


World of Kulan DM
A lot of what appears on this map is inspired by the 2e FORGOTTEN REALMS boxed set known as The Horde. Cemphar is one of the most obvious re-skins from that boxed set. Another recognizable name on this map is Dragon Mountain. -KF

(City-state | [Elvenblooded Hittite mythology. There could end up being one god known as Corellon-Wurrukatte (a Cardayan war deity) and another god known as Hasameli-Larethian (a deity worshiped by crafters and metalworkers). The options are limitless since there are tons of elven gods and even more Hittite deities. The Cardayans aren't 100% elven, however. They would be considered half-elves by the elves of the western lands, and their game statistics will reflect that opinion. Of course, culturally, they are strongly Hittite-like, and their warriors ride war chariots and use traditional Hittite weaponry. Cardayan weapons and armor aren't made of bronze, however. Their smiths work with the best materials available, and the elven aesthetic of their ancestors can be seen in their work.

This land is going to be my version of Semphar. While I'm going to use The Horde boxed set as the basis for what I create, I might look for more details online — like on the FORGOTTEN REALMS Wiki. While there isn't a lake on the map, I will create my own version of Brightstar Lake, which will sit in between Cemphar and the City-state of Yhimir. Shalhoond won't exist on Kanpur since I already have my own forested lands north of Cemphar. Of course, a lot of influences from The Horde boxed set are likely to be added to the Horse Lands region, especially anything centered around Murghôm, Semphar, and Raurin.

There are many examples of oases located in the Raurin of the FORGOTTEN REALMS setting. I don't believe that this name came from that setting, but I could be wrong. Regardless, the Crimson Oasis will be my own creation and if I discover that I did borrow the name from Toril, I will change the name. (I think I was more inspired by the name I came up with for the expansive desert of The Horse Lands — the Red Sand Wastes [see below].)

The Crimson Oasis is the most infamous of the oases that exist in the Red Sand Wastes. It is controlled brutally by a trading house that controls the safest trade routes through the desert (especially between Cemphar and Ang-Lat). West to East trade tends to travel through the Center Lands to the south, so the Red Lords work to control all trade moving from the northern lands to the south. The Red Lords often play at politics in the southern lands, and they have gained significant financial benefits in Ang-Lat and Tumnor.

DRAGON MOUNTAIN (AD&D 2E Dragon Mountain boxed set)
I needed a remote locale to place Dragon Mountain, and I wanted it to be close enough to the western lands of Kanpur so that it can be found by curious adventures. My version of the old 2e boxed set will be influenced by a lot of 3e-isms but kobolds will remain as important to the adventure locale as before. I'm going to replace the named red dragon in the boxed set with Ashardalon, which means that characters can expect to run into dragonblooded minions of the great red with levels of the Disciple of Ashardalon prestige class.

DRAKHORN CITY (Dragonblooded races [Far East | High Fantasy])
This large desert city-state is dominated by the dragonblooded races of Kulan. The dominant race will be the dragontouched, which are humans with the draconic creature template added on — a standard race for my world. There will also be dragonborn and kobolds living here. Drakhorn City will be a placed steeped in the mythic traditions of the Far East. Therefore, the D&D Oriental Adventures book will be the primary sourcebook for its characters. However, I'm going to excise the Rokugan influences from that book. Kanpur's Far East will be influenced more by the FORGOTTEN REALMS Kara-Tur campaign setting. I foresee Drakhorn City being more of a border city than a true Far East city, however. It will be influenced by The Horde boxed set, D&D Dragon Magic, D&D Races of the Dragon, and my own twisted imagination. :twisted:

ENHGIR (Eldred elves and Kets [Siberian taiga])
The forest known as Enhgir is home to two different civilizations. First, there are the Eldred elves that live in the deepest parts of the taiga forest. The forest gained its name from these elves, and they claim it as their own. The Eldred are a well-known race in Kanpur's Far East. The Eldred of Enhgir are a bit different, however. Their society is a blending of elven and oriental culture while the Eldred living in the Eastern Lands consider themselves completely oriental.

The Eldred are not alone in Enhgir. There is also a nomadic human culture — the Ketto — living in the forest. They are hunters and fishers, and they have been known to breed reindeer. Their society is patriarchal and their holy men are spirit shamans. (Deers and bears are sacred to them.) They respect and fear the Eldred. The elves, in return, are very protective of the Ketto, although they won't intervene when it is nature that threatens the Ketto. Outsiders, on the other hand, will face the wrath of the Eldred if they harm the Ketto.

ICEWALL (Frostfell city-state)
I wrote this name on my map after watching the free online preview of the new "A Game of Thrones" HBO series. While what I saw inspired the name, D&D Frostburn and The Horde boxed set are more likely to inspire what I create for Icewall.

KAN-SHUL (City-state | Tocharians [Korobokuru | Highly Mystical])
The city-state of Kan-Shul sits on the northern edge of the Kar Mountains. To the north is Drakhorn City, to the southwest is the city-state of Carday, and to the southeast across the mountain range is Kingdom of Karshat. Despite the proximity of these various lands, Kan-Shul has always stood alone. It is a mystical place known for its peaceful, yet powerful, korobokuru monks. Outsiders are allowed to visit a nearby outpost in the hills but very few non-korobokuru have ever seen inside Kan-Shul.

The korobokuru have remained isolated due to the powerful mystical energies that protect Kan-Shul. Only once, in the distant past, has the city-state fallen to a foreign force. It didn't go so well for the invaders. Kan-Shul is considered a holy place by mysterious, planar beings. The invaders were cursed for their crimes — none survived. It has remained isolated to this day based on the perceived might of these planar beings.

While the korobokuru do not talk about these beings to outsiders, a few facts have been discovered. Ancient pictographs near Kan-Shul in the mountain range depict two beings related to a sun and a moon. Scholars wonder why there isn't a second moon pictograph since Kulan has two moons. Could Kan-Shul originally be from another world? Or, in the distant past, did Kulan once have only one moon? Only the natives of Kan-Shul know the answer and they tell no one.

KARSHAT (Nonhumans [Greco-Bactrian Kingdom])
The kingdom known as Karshat is ruled by a massive half-goblin named Friblord Jubirmianus. The kingdom is comprised of four small city-states that exist in a semi-mountainous region between the Red Sand Wastes and the Forest of the Golden Sun. The kingdom is blend of western and eastern traditions, although its ruler prefers to focus on the worst aspects of Kanpur's western and eastern traditions. He is a brute who wishes to expand Karshat's borders by any means. His subjects are somewhat more neutral in their outlook and many believe that Karshat is on its way to revolt. Karshat and Carday are bitter enemies. Friblord also has his sights set on Kan-Shul, but he is wary of the mystical abilities of the korobokuru.

Mount Ruihr is Kulan's version of the structure known as 'Raudor' from the FORGOTTEN REALMS campaign setting. I wasn't sure where I got the name, but I did see the name on one of Markustay's maps on DeviantART. I confirmed with him that the Raudor ruins on listed on pp. 98-100 of The Horde boxed set. (My gut told me that Mount Ruihr was based on something Realmsian.) The ruins are that of a destroyed city built during a previous age. The ruins are not a safe place for travelers, as it haunted by ancient horrors and deadly traps. Locals who live in the surrounding desert never venture near Mount Ruihr, although the insane often flock to it like moths to a flame. There is a powerful aura of magic that infects every stone, every building of the ruins. Mad wizards have often tried to gain control of the twisting passages that exist under the ruined city. Alienist, in particular, are attracted to the place and those that survive Mount ruihr's depths often come out more crazed and definitely come out more powerful.

QUAI (City-state | Spiritborn Evenks [Siberian taiga])
The City-state of Quai will be based on combining the cultural background of the Evenks — a Tungusic people of Northern Asia — with the D&D spirit folk. Now, that's the easy explanation. In truth, the Quais will be less pastoral than the traditional culture of the Evenks. Their connection to the Spirit Folk is based on their religious beliefs (see below).

Quai is a founded city-state, although it is small city. Its people highly respect the Eldred elves of the Enhgir Forest, and they have begun to adopt the lifestyle of the elves, especially the oriental aspects of the elves' culture. They have started referring to themselves as the Èlqüaì Zú in homage to the elves who they see as their teachers. (Note: There are other Quais who continue to live more traditionally, but they are becoming rare.) Quai is laid out very differently than other human cities. The Èlqüaì Zú build simple conical homes based on the designs they once used for their traditional tents. They also use a crude form of the traditional styles of the Eldred elves. The resulting architecture is often strange to outsiders. There aren't any true inns or taverns in Quai. Visitors must either live as a guest in the home of a local or build their own tent/hut in the Outsiders District. Elves (even those not born of the Eldred) are always offered lodging in a home of an important Èlqüaì Zú family.

The Èlqüaì Zú, much like the Ketto, breed reindeer. They use them for mounts and they drink the milk of the animal. Hunting is still a important aspect of their lives, and they often go after large game. The Èlqüaì Zú do not eat their domesticated reindeer, but they will hunt wild reindeer. They never hunt for sport, which endears them to the Eldred. Èlqüaì Zú traditional religion is Animism. Spirit shamans are their religious leaders; however, some Èlqüaì Zú have begun to worship the deities of the elves. These highly spiritual people have the blood of the spirit folk running through their veins; however, they are not true spirit folk. The correct term is 'spiritborn', which gives them a strong affinity for the natural world. (I'm not sure how I'll work this in game terms, yet.)

RED SAND WASTES, THE (Mythic Mongolia [Anatolia- and Eastern-style influences])
The name I gave to the desert is directly inspired by the maps in The Horde boxed set. I've always loved the reddish look of the deserts on those maps. I'm sure that I'll use Raurin locales for the Red Sand Wastes as well as a few of the more intriguing places of note from the Quoya Desert (i.e. Merket Despression).

SHAYUNG (Mixed races in an independent city-state [Russian-Far East Mix])
Still to be written.

SOGUKOL (Mythic Mongolia [some Western-style influences])
Sogukol isn't so much a place as a way of life. The people who refer to themselves as Sogukols are a Mongolian-like people who live by the horse. They are warriors and raiders who war amongst themselves as often as they do other peoples. They are a resilient folk who live in some of the worst conditions imaginable. There isn't a single tribe of Sogukols. There are half-a-dozen tribes that live in the Red Sand Wastes and each has its own leadership. Alliances between the tribes are uncommon, but these people will band together when threatened. Endemic warfare is a common practice of the Sogukol peoples.

This city-state is another renamed locale swiped out of The Horde boxed set. It is my version of Solon. Solomir is an ancient city that has had conflicts with the lands of Kanpur's Far East as well as Cemphar and Enhgir. In ages past, the city's rulers have controlled large portions of the Horse Lands. Now, however, the city is a shell of its former self and rumors abound that its current leader either has made pacts with evil outsiders or is an evil creature himself. It is whispered that he may even be a demigod. Travelers in the Red Sand Wastes are advised to avoid Solomir.

STARMEET (SPELLJAMMER port [High Fantasy])
Once I'd added Dragon Mountain to the range of mountains that forms the western border of this region, I knew I wanted something just as cool for the southern half of the mountain range. And, I'd been thinking about placing a sky port somewhere on Kanpur with strong ties to my version of Spelljammer. Thus, Starmeet came into being. The name sounds vaguely elven to me and perhaps this Spelljamming port is controlled by the elves of Kulanspace. I haven't decided yet. What I have decided is that it will be the largest Spelljamming port in the northern lands. It's going to be a metropolis, but it isn't going to be well known amongst the groundling nations of Kanpur. Sure, the citizens of Bluffside to the west and Sharn to the south have heard of it, but since those two city-states are also destinations for Spelljamming vessels, it's easier for the knowledge of Starmeet's existence to spread to Bluffside and Sharn. Plus, it's not a hard-fought secret.

STONEBRIDGE (Stonebridge: City of Illusion [d20 Sourcebook])
Still to be written.

This name came about as I was trying to rename Murghôm from The Horde boxed set. Therefore, it will be based on that small region although it might end up being a combination of Murghôm and Mulhorand but less grand. I don't know yet. Wikipedia notes that Murghôm has been compared to several real world civilizations/cultures including Canaan, Cossack culture, and Turkish culture. I think I'm leaning more towards Cossack culture since Yhimir is close to Torassia. Turkish influences are possible, I guess, but I won't be using Canaan for the city-state since I already have a Canaan-inspired city-state (called Caanid) on the southern edge of the Red Sand Wastes.

Part Six: The Horse Lands

Still to be written.

The List
● Alcor
● Bronth †
● Dwarf, tiger
● Elf, Eldred †
● Fezroki
● Giant, cave
● Giant, taiga
● Gnome, Stonebridge
● Goatfolk [Ibixian]
● Gronk
● Gulgar
● Hagspawn
● Half-Bugbear
● Half-Goblin
● Half-Orc
● Hobgoblin, Dazlak
● Hengeyokai
● Khesta
● Korobokuru
● Kreen, Jor
● Lizardfolk, blackscale
● Ogre
● Orc
● Orc, black
● Orc, blood
● Orc, ghost-faced
● Rakasta †
● Reigon
● Rgulbuk
● Taer
● Titanite, Mammuth †
● Troll
● Troll, crystalline
● Trollborn
● Uldra
● Volodni

† Homebrewed racial traits.


World of Kulan DM

This entire section is being rewritten -KF

Part Seven: The Center Lands
[List in Flux]
Still to be written.

Common Races
● Hadozee
● Half-Orc
● Kitt †
● Orc
● Rakasta †
● Spartes

Uncommon Races
● Asaatth
● Centaur
● Dover
● Elf, wood
● Roven
● Satyr

Rare Races
● Decataur
● Elf, Eldred †
● Faust
● Giant, wood
● Half-Bugbear
● Half-Elf, Hellenic
● Half-Elf [of Sharn]
● Half-Goblin
● Half-Medusa [Template]
● Illumian
● Kalashtar
● Litorian
● Nevaequariani [Navae]
● Sibeccai
● Sixam Ieuna
● Trollborn
● Verrik

Restricted Races
● Changling
● Cyclops
● Dwarf [of Hephaestus]
● Dwarf [of Sharn]
● Eleti
● Elf [of Sharn]
● Elf, Selenauos [Sea Elf]
● Elf, Therian [Wild Elf]
● Faun
● Frenaqi
● Giant, sand
● Gnoll
● Gnome [of Athena]
● Gnome [of Sharn]
● Gnome, steam
● Goatfolk [Ibixian]
● Goblin, Bakad [Haggler]
● Goblin, Mad Smith
● Gruwaar
● Half-Titan [Template]
● Halfling [of Hermes]
● Halfling [of Sharn]
● Kratch
● Ogre
● Pixie
● Psiforged
● Shifter
● Troll
● Warforged
● Warforged Charger
● Warforged Scout
● Zamrul

† Homebrewed racial traits.


World of Kulan DM


Still to be written.

See under the section for the Land of Fate. -KF

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