Thursday, May 9, 2019

Dun Gwyn


There are a couple of things about the setting I don't think I have adequately conveyed during gaming, so I want to clear this up, for the purposes of Blue Booking, if nothing else.

First, Dun Gwyn is small. It's the end of line line (currently) economically and militarily. The dun itself is a quickly constructed motte-and-bailey. Lord Gwyn1, the first and current lord, has no more than a thirty riders at his disposal, although he commands a larger military garrison too. The small temple of Bel2 is located within the fortified area, and has a handful of temple guards. The detachment of soldiers (about 100, it varies because of their patrols along the coast road, and expeditions to the interior) are garrisoned in tents at the western edge of town. The town is a ramshackle of rapidly constructed buildings, half constructed buildings and tents. One of the few buildings in the town is the poor quality inn, “The Lion's Den” that your party stays at while they are in town. It is lousy with fleas and bed bugs, and doesn't offer a lot of choice in it's sleeping arrangements, either barracks style shared multi-bunk room, the common room (where you just sleep on the floor (or on a table or bench) providing your own bedding, or, lastly, the one private room the inn-keeper lives in, but is willing to rent out to paying customers. The food is mediocre, but filling. Most of the merchants are just visiting, this is the last stop on their trade route, after buying and (mostly) selling here, they turn around and head back to the coast. Most of the stuff they bring is for the soldiers.

Recently an influx of a couple of hundred settlers of various backgrounds arrived, and more are likely on their way. The dun, the soldiers and the settlers are causing tension with the local human (barbarian3) population.

Second, Tirnakaur (the colony that you are in) is hot. Think Georgia through Florida hot. It also rains a lot there, pretty much every day. So it's also muddy and wet. The area is not especially well explored, although that will probably become a campaign goal as you guys level up. Levels 1-3 are traditionally focused on dungeons (and despite being largely outside, the Hill plays like one because of the magic in the forest restricting you to various paths), levels 4+ traditionally focus on wilderness exploration type adventures, or at least overland travels to more advanced level dungeons.

Third, the amazing abundance of animals everywhere. Us modern folk don't think about this much, but there are more animals than humans in any place there are humans. I went down a rabbit hole researching horses this morning and wow, are there a lot of different, specialized horses, not just the differences between riding and draft horses, but various types of riding horses for different purposes, and all of the working horses have specializations to their jobs, with very few horses being multi-purpose. That got me thinking about the other animals, almost every household has at least one dog, for instance, or cats, a necessity for keeping vermin down (although not particularly liked especially well, as a rule), any settlement or homestead is going to have flocks of various fowl, mostly chickens, ducks and geese, and cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs; with pigs being the only ones that are raised solely for their meat (although their hides are useful too).

So I guess Dun Gwyn is mostly a smelly barnyard of an unhygienic tent city. Crossing the Shrill to the Hill might actually be safer than the impending cholera and/or typhus outbreak that is sure to occur in Dun Gwyn. Probably the only clean places there are inside the dun itself, like Lord Gwyn's hall or the temple of Bel.




1Lord Gwyn is clearly an old style lord, he keeps his own band of oath-sworn riders, most lords of Avalon have abandoned this practice.
2Bel is also known as “The Great God”, he is the most widely worshiped deity in the Avalonish pantheon.
3These “barbarians” are mostly of a similar ethnic stock to the people of Avalon, speaking a different dialect of the same root language, kind of like the difference between the English of Shakespeare and the King James Bible vs. the modern American English of today. Isolated groups are of different ethnicities, there are also groups of “wild” elves here, they constitute an entirely different “barbarian” group.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Languages of Garnia


Languages of the World

It's no secret that I have disliked the way languages work in D&D, we've talked about it before, but I never had any sort of definitive statement about them until now.

Humans speak a variety of languages, Avalonish being the “common” tongue of the campaign. It is related to Old Garnian, which is a language spoken by the highly educated and scholars. Old Garnian is descended from a more ancient tongue, called by some High Garnian*, which is again, a scholar's language, but also serves as a liturgical language. A minority of people in the High Kingdom of Avalon speak some other human tongues, among these are Wodanish, Frodian and Mistlander (Roddy probably speaks Mistlander), these are generally related to ethnic groups of refugees that settled on Avalon with the Garnian speaking people that founded the kingdom. Frodian is spoken also by many practitioners of the magical arts, the people of Frodia were known in the ancient world to produce

There are a couple of other Human languages that are spoken by trading partners of Avalon, Norsk, Nihongo and Hanyu. There is also a constructed language called “Trader”, which is a pidgin mish-mash of Avalonish, Norsk and Hanyu.

The Human natives of Tirnakaur (the place where the campaign is set) speak in a variety of dialects of a debased version of Old Garnian.

Written Human languages that are not spoken by anyone in the campaign area, but are learned by scholars and theologians are Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, Demotic, Arabic, Sanskrit, French and English.

Dwarves and Elves have their own languages. The Elven language is called “Sidhe” (pronounced Shee) and is of much interest to those who study magic or history. The language of the Dwarves we'll call “Dwarven”.

Halflings speak the language of the communities in which they live, and, if they live in a Halfling community, speak the language of the nearest Humans.

Gnomes speak an Elven influenced dialect of Dwarven, we'll call in “Gnomish”.

All Goblinoids, and many Humanoids and outright Monsters speak a language called “The Dark Tongue”, which is derived from the infernal language of the lower planes.

Orcs have their own language, Orcish.

All Dragons (and intelligent dragon-like creatures) speak Draconic.

Infernal is spoken by the creatures of the lower planes.

Celestial is spoken by the creatures of the higher planes.

Presumably this means that Humans are far less conservative than non-Humans with regard to language. Honestly there should be thousands of languages, many will be fairly mutually comprehensible with each other, like the way German kind of fades into Dutch as you move west. There is also no real reason that you should be able to speak to the Goblins of the Snowy Mountains just because you learned the language of the Goblins of the Dark Forest. Realistically they should have diverged in their speech from one another at a faster rate than Humans, because they have a much shorter lifespan. I have also made the Humans in this world evolve their languages at an exceptionally slow rate, making them very conservative linguistically. Avalon has been separated from other Garnian speakers for like a millennium, and it doesn't matter what your mother tongue is here on earth, it's different than that same tongue from a thousand years earlier. I deal with these issues for gamist reasons, the same reason why I have a chosen language spoken with proficiency when it is taken. Realistically my one year of high school Spanish isn't going to be any real help if I am suddenly stranded in Guatemala, but in D&D you either know a language or you don't.

*High Garnian itself is a pidgin tongue based on Gaulish, with Heavy Brittonic and Gaelic influences, which is itself a simplification as Gaulish Arverni isn't the same tongue as Gaulish Aedui, which neighbors it, much less Gaulish Boii. They all share a common root, and have some degree of mutual comprehensibility, but accents, loan-words and other influences are going to make life difficult. Experts divide Celtic languages into two groups Goidelic, from which Irish, Scots Gaelic and Manx are derived, and Brythonic, which includes the modern languages Welsh and Breton, Gaulish was a Brythonic language, as was the much more recently extinct Cornish language. So technically Garnian is a Brythonic language, the only surviving Goidelic language in this game world is Mistlander, which is, more or less, Scots Gaelic. Pictish should have been included in the mix, but Scholars do not know enough about it to decide what language group it belongs to, it may be a Goidelic or a Brythonic tongue, or it might be an extinct third branch of the Celtic tree, or it may have been a pre-Indo-European language, or it may have been a Germanic language. Place names and personal names that managed to be recorded have not been exceptionally helpful.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Empire of Avalon


I posted this to the players in the current campaign, it's kind of a draft campaign setting primer. I also named the island empire Avalon, it seemed cool.


Every character in this campaign is from the empire of Avalon. Avalon is an island, roughly the size of Madagascar, about 800 miles off the coast of Tirnakaur, where the campaign is set. Despite having been founded by refugees fleeing the apocalyptic loss of their original homelands to a mixed horde of humanoids, undead, and extra-planar creatures, the Humans of Avalon have formed a somewhat homogeneous culture, with a couple of very minor exceptions.

Most Humans are descended of Celtic stock, and consider themselves to be the heirs to the great, ancient High Kingdom of Garnia (Gwarynica Riga in the old tongue), these people comprise roughly 95% of the Human race in Avalon, so most of this document will discuss them.

Certain norms of Celtic culture have shifted in the millennium since their flight to Avalon, so I will endeavor to highlight these.

Celtic culture was always one of the most progressive in terms of women's rights, this is no change, but even the ancient rights of Celtic women are expanded here to include nearly complete equality between the sexes.

However, there is still a fairly rigid social class system, and, while mobility between the classes happens, it is still uncommon. The social classes are not entirely unlike the caste system of India. Priests and Nobles are at the top, then skilled workers, then farmers, then merchants, then the unfree. Standing partially outside this social class system are the roughly 5% of humans not culturally Celtic, and the various demi-humans that share the island with them, mainly Halflings, Dwarves and Elves. Half-Elves generally fall into the category of their Human parent1.

It should be noted that Humans make up the vast majority of the population of Avalon, at roughly 80% of the total. Halflings are the next most numerous, followed by Dwarves, then Elves, then any other sentient species.

Celtic society was somewhat top-heavy, the nobility and the priesthood making up up to 20% of the population, this is somewhat less in Avalon, with the rise of standing armies during the civil war period and the extermination of some noble lines as a result of the devastating century of conflict, but there are still a great many members of the privileged classes than you would find in Medieval Europe, for example. Many lesser ranked nobles have given up the rights and privileges of being a member of a hereditary warrior aristocracy to pursue various trades, or even become merchants. Some have even opened fighting salons to teach the arts of defense, at first these skills were only taught to other members of the aristocracy, but some have opened up to teaching members of the lower social orders as well. In Avalon it is not uncommon for there to be public exhibitions of martial skill, or even for various schools to compete in tournaments. In some places these are held in large public arenas, in others they are held in more exclusive venues, often for the exclusive viewing pleasure of the nobility.

Most noblemen do not have a warband of their own in modern Avalon, they content themselves generally with a chosen champion, or a few Henchmen; the expense and extravagance of having a small private army at your beck and call is now beyond the means of most landed nobles even, and the central government frowns on the practice and has all but outlawed it in most of Avalon. Rather they pay a special tax from their estates called “scutage” which helps support the High King's standing army and navy. In times of great need nobles are required to levy men to support the High King.

In contrast, many cities and towns have standing militia units, often used as a police force. In times of national crisis these units are added to the High King's army. This also provides a place where low ranking members of the nobility (or even former members of the nobility) may find themselves employed in leadership and/or training roles.

Traditionally the nobility has been somewhat fractious, often feuding, with the upper ranks considering the High King to be simply the first among equals, this is no longer the case following the last century of war, now the people of Avalon are more united in their purpose, and the High King is far more powerful than even the next highest ranking noble in the country.

Priesthood -

Celtic priesthood is descended from the ancient order of Druids, which included Bards and Vates (Seers). The people of Avalon, like their Garnian forebears, are a deeply religious people. The priesthood is seen by the lower social classes as a method of social mobility, members of the priesthood have certain rights and powers, and high ranking priests are de facto members of the high nobility.

The priesthood performs a number of services for the community at large. They are empowered to perform intercessory acts on behalf of the populace to ensure divine favor. They perform the necessary rituals and sacrifices, they maintain holy sites (such as certain springs or wells, or even sacred groves) and temples, they purify the unclean, they also act in a legal function, as judges, and interpreters of the law, as lawyers, and sometimes as the penal system.

The special class of priests known as Vates (or Seers) are a conduit from the gods, prophecy is given through them. They also act with other priests to divine through various rituals and read the omens and portents sent by the gods or other lesser powers that can affect people every day.

It is noteworthy that to maintain their purity, and thus, their power, these orders of Priesthood (along with the order of Druids) are celibate.

Next come the Bards. Most people think of Bards as entertainers, this is, at best, a secondary function for them. Bards are foremost historians, particularly in a less literate society then our own. Bards also serve as legal advisers. Training a Bard takes 20 years, there are different types of Bard, depending on their exact training, but a Bard's training is largely history and law, music is the mnemonic device they use for the enormous amount of rote memorization required. Composing music and poetry is a way they can record new events as history. In the past every lord had a Bard in his Dun (Castle), these days they are getting rarer, and only very traditional lords or the very wealthy keep them on as retainers. Bards are not celibate, and many Bards are partially trained as Bards by their own Bard parents, before they attend the “official” Bard training, usually starting around age 15. Bards traditionally eschew literacy, believing that it makes the memory lazy.

Standard D&D Clerics (and Paladins, Rangers to a lesser extent) are a reaction of the culture to being in a world that was filled with so much danger. Priests were often sworn to pacifism in the old world (Earth), as their persons were sacrosanct, and their position made them above the petty rivalries of clan or kingdom. In this world though, there were many fantastic threats that did not abide by the agreed upon rules of conduct, priests were slaughtered, temples and holy sites despoiled. So the various priesthoods developed military orders to protect the temples, priests and holy sites, and these evolved into “crusading” orders that brought the fight to the enemy.

The “standard” difference between Clerics and Paladins is that Clerics are generally ordained priests (albeit low ranking) and can be trained from among the population at large, providing the trainee meets the minimum basic requirements. Paladins, on the other hand, are called to service by the gods themselves, to be their chosen warriors.

Rangers, to round this out, are not actually associated particularly with gods or temples, but the ancient order of Druids was integral to their training and organization in the early days.

Rules wise, I actually like the 2nd edition AD&D Specialty Priests, and the use of divine domains for spell purposes, plus the granted powers and such. I have integrated this into the setting as a whole, but for purposes of the campaign, since we're playing first edition, I think maybe I'll make that an unlockable.

Continuing on with the subject of social classes, skilled trades are the next rung down the social ladder. There is considerable difference in the esteem of the various trades, metal workers (including jewelers) rank highest, fishermen may be the lowest, it's hard to say, but anyone that has a skilled trade is in decent shape. Trade guilds take care of their own, and ranking guildsmen have become de facto noblemen in some large towns or cities.

Farmers make up the next rank down, it's honest work and all, and necessary, but none too glamorous. There is some disparity in social status between farmers, a farmer that somehow holds his land free of any feudal obligation or debt is high up the ladder than one that pays rents, wealthy farmers are clearly better off than poor ones.

Merchants are the lowest of the free born. People are supposed to despise wealth, and they spend their entire existence trying to gain it, and not from their own labor, but by just being middlemen for others. Most people consider it somewhat dishonorable and/or dishonest. That said, becoming a merchant has been one of the things the warrior nobility started taking up after the rise of standing armies. They often had no other skills but their martial ones, and banditry would get them hanged (also taken up by all too many petty nobles). They had bargained with merchants in the past though, so, while there was a learning curve, it often worked out, especially if their family had enough seed money to get them started properly, or they worked out some sort of partnership (or apprenticeship) with skilled merchants. Merchants are certainly the most moneyed class of people, and often wealthy enough that they can ape the tastes and pursuits of the nobility. Mercenary soldiers are considered to be a type of merchant, for social class considerations too.

Lastly we come to the unfree classes, the lowest of the low. There is no outright slavery in Avalon or it's dominions, but there are unfree people. Mainly these are a class of serfs called “Bondmen” (Also “Bondwomen” or “Bondfolk”, occasionally “Bond-servants”). Most Bondmen are born to their status, although most nobles in Avalon have freed their hereditary Bondmen. Priests have spoken out in recent generations against the practice of hereditary servitude (much as they did about collecting the heads of enemies) considering it outdated and barbarous. However, becoming a Bondman can be a punishment, either for a (non-capital) crime, or for debt. Occasionally children are sold, or given over to bondage to cover their parent's debts. (Which brings us to a curious bit of Celtic tradition, people are responsible to and for their kinsmen, and shame has a strong social value) Celts in general, and the people of Avalon are no different in this respect, are strongly against corporal punishment. They see it as demeaning, and it is usually reserved as a prelude to capital punishment for crimes. Often the justice system imposes fines, and kinsmen of the convicted are expected to help pay the fines, otherwise the shame of having a Bondsman as a kinsman is severe. Obviously this affects the lower orders more often than the nobility, even a poor country nobleman usually has a 3rd cousin that's a Vergobrete (roughly equivalent to a Duke), so someone in the family will save him.

Religion in Avalon is generally Celtic, which is pantheistic. Human sacrifice has become rarer than he's teeth in Avalon, which is a difference from what you all may know about the ancient Druids. Most modern people get pantheistic religions wrong, they see it through a modern monotheistic gaze, but it doesn't work that way. It's a pet-peeve of mine, but most of us just aren't familiar with, say, Hinduism or Shinto, so we pick a single god from the pantheon and worship that one monotheistically, as though the rest didn't exist. In reality, it's a lot more akin to the way the Catholics have the cult of the saints (and a tripartite deity), God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit may all be aspects of the same god, but the Virgin Mary or Saint Christopher are who you pray to to intercede for certain things. Likewise Ogmios may be who you pray to for knowledge at some point, but Taranos is the one that's most useful to make it rain, or Arawn to pray for the dead. Even priests that are dedicated to a single god respect and pray to the others in the pantheon. A priest dedicated to a specific god may work in their temple for instance.

Also noteworthy, some gods appear to be universal to all Celts, just under slightly different names owing to linguistic differences, but some are more regional or local even. The Tuatha de Danann are specific to Ireland on earth for example, but their mother goddess Dana (or Danu) is a pan-Celtic goddess found across Europe (and into Asia Minor). So Cleric (or specialty Priest) players can pretty much choose from across the spectrum of Celtic gods (although my thinking is that Clerics are generally not specifically devoted to a single god), read up on them anyway.

What do they eat? The people of Avalon have a fairly rich variety of food crops, and a number of livestock food animals too. Their diet is not substantially different from our own, with a few exceptions. First, lack of refrigeration means that there are more cured meats and crops that store well through Avalon's mild winters are a staple until the first harvests. Nobles enjoy wild game fairly often. Sheep and cattle are commonly raised. Fish and seafood are a big part of the island nation's food, especially near the coasts. There is a bit of classism in the diet, nobles eat a more protein rich diet in general than commoners. Fish, seafood, and pork are considered (mostly) to be poor people's food. There are no potatoes or tomatoes or many of the varieties of squash that we commonly eat, no yams (or sweet potatoes), or maize (or quinoa), or rice. Commonly grown grains are wheat, oats, barley and rye. There is a greater reliance on turnips, carrots, cabbage and onions than we have. Beers and ales are common drinks. Wine is a rare treat, mainly for the wealthy, as grapes are only grown in the far south of Avalon. Mead is a more common drink for the nobility. Apples, pears and peaches are grown there, as are strawberries. Hazelnuts, walnuts and chestnuts are commonly eaten. Currants and lingonberries (similar to cranberries) are cultivated there. Acorns are used by the poor, or as a food source for swine. Geese, ducks, chickens and other poultry are an impotant food source for their eggs as well as their meat, their feathers are used as mattress stuffing for the wealthy. Some fish are prized as a food source, Salmon is high on that list.

How do they dress? Commoners dress as they have for centuries, a tunic and breeches for the men, and dresses (with kirtles) for the women. Upper class fashions for men have become more tailored, sometimes quite form-fitted to the body and are often layered with fine fabrics. Women, on the other hand, have gotten more voluminous garments, but are for fitted to the upper body. Women in some trades dress the same as their male counterparts. Priests often wear robes. The warmer climate of Tirnakaur has caused some exceptions to be made, but the wealthy are quite fashion conscious. The materials used are mostly wool and linen, although there is some cotton imported into the empire, and silk as well.

The fabrics are often dyed with bright colors (at least for the wealthy) and as a people they favor checks, stripes and plaids. Sumptuary laws prohibit certain colors from common use, as does tradition. Only nobles may have plaids woven from more than 3 colors for instance, with higher ranking nobles being allotted more colors. Priests often wear solid white robes, although some orders wear solid black robes. Bards wear light blue shirts. Most people wear bright yellow shirts of linen traditionally, if they can afford it, otherwise plain, undyed linen is preferred.


What else? Getting fat is considered a character flaw, they are serious about this. Going bald is is also considered mock worthy. Any physical defect or deformity is considered a sign of divine disfavor, any disfiguring scar, or a serious injury leading to any amputation is also. Loss of a hand can make the High King step down, no one who is not whole is fit to lead the people. Short legs, or bow-legged people are mocked. Laziness is mocked. People are expected to be physically fit and athletic.

They spend an awful lot of time grooming, the nobles grow their hair long, the women even longer. Noblemen have well groomed, extravagant mustaches. They bathe all the time, they use soap and bother genders use make up and perfumes.

They love to gamble. They love to drink to excess. They love music and dancing. They love to fight.

They all have certain taboos (called Gessae or Geas) The higher ranking you are the more likely it is a serious one, and the worse it will be for breaking it. These were imposed by the priests when a person was young, sometimes shortly after birth,, sometimes when coming of age (13 to 15 years old). Some are common maybe attached to a profession, like most priests are vegetarian and celibate, or how Bards refuse to become literate. Some are unique to the individual, and could be something as simple as “must never eat oats” or as complex as “must always enter a building only after dark, while walking backwards, being careful to not step on the threshold with your right eye closed, whistling”. The odds are if it's something weird and complex, you are a warrior noble and, at least in the Bard's tales, you will somehow be forced into breaking it, much to your lament.

How do you feel about Demihumans?

Generally any given species of Demihuman in the empire is considered to be at roughly the same level as their human counterparts would be. Dwarves, for instance, are prized as craftsmen. Halflings are often exceptional farmers (and the only ones that can successfully cultivate tobacco, which is a prized luxury crop among humans, for smoking, chewing or snuff) and are valued members of human farming communities they join.

Elves2 (and Half-Elves) are an exception, there is a certain degree of institutional racism against them, although it fades more with each generation. No Demihuman has the same degree of civil rights as a human in a similar position, but Elves have it the worst. Elves are absolutely forbidden to own property. Some professions are forbidden to Elves. All Elves are descended from slaves, back in the days of the High Kingdom of Garnia, when slavery was abolished, Elves received their freedom last. Elves are considered somehow corrupting; it probably comes down to their affinity for arcane magic, and the fact that most humans find them irresistibly sexually attractive.

Elves alone, of the Demihuman races, can interbreed with Humans. (Humans can also interbreed with Neanderthals, because they are a close cousin species, and Orcs, who have the distinction of being the only Humanoid (monster) species with which they can interbreed, curiously Orcs and Elves can not interbreed, despite both being able to breed with Humans)

That said, all Demihumans can (and many have) serve in the armed forces of Avalon. Elves particularly find this to be a method of social mobility. Elven units are generally irregular warfare, forest troops, very often individual Elves, or small groups will be attached to Human units as scouts. Dwarves tend to be heavy infantry. Halflings are usually skirmish troops.
1Many, but not all, Half-Elves are not born in wedlock, this negatively affects everyone, but it is noticeable in their population.
2This is actually a revanchist policy dating back to before the creation of the High Kingdom of Garnia. Elves had a lot to answer for when the Humans finally overthrew their empire.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Dwarves in Garnia


Pictured - the Dwarf leader from the Grenadier "Gold Box" official AD&D boxed set "Dwarves", I don't know who painted him, I found him in a google image search.

I have written a bunch of notes regarding the various non-humans in Garnia over the last few years, I am going to compile them here so I can have a more comprehensive document in the future, and I am going to start with the Dwarves, because, despite my personal preference for Elves, Dwarves have seemed to edge them out in popularity over the years.

From the document “Campaign Primer #1” -

Dwarves- All Dwarves are exiles from their homelands. They live in the larger communities of Humans, generally in their own “quarter” or, more rarely, in their own small communities. They are renowned for their skill as craftsmen, and as tough warriors. They are sometimes despised for their crass materialism and their odd religion. In ancient times a “Dwarven Legion” served the High King of Garnia.”

This was from a short description of the available playable races in the Garnia campaign I had set in Caergwyn.

From the document “Campaign Primer #2” -

In ancient times the Avergwyn was a major trade route, as it is navigable for most of it’s length, all the way into the ancient Dwarven kingdom of Khazarak, and far up the Averyraen from where it branches to the legendary iron mines of the clanna turchos.”

This one was just a reference to the Dwarven kingdom of Khazarak.

From the “Lost Atlantis House Rules Document” -

Dwarf -

Dwarves are the most common standard non-human race. They also come in two types, citizen and non-citizen.

Citizen Dwarves have adopted Roman culture and live within the empire. They have their own Legion (Legio XXXI “Vulcan's Hammer”). They also dominate some professions due to their predispositions and cultural legacy, they work stone and metal particularly and they are often found in trade professions.

Kingdom Dwarves have an independent, but allied kingdom at the east end of the middle sea. They maintain their own cultural traditions and are pretty much the common Dwarven stereotype.
This is from the non-core Garnian setting of Nova Roma, it “attaches” to the core Garnia setting as the western half of the great continent map. The mountains of Khazarak, the vast steppe and the southern deserts separate it from the core area. The Dwarven kingdom referenced is a tiny fraction of the ancient Dwarven kingdom of Khazarak, a successor state.

From the document “Lost Atlantis” -

Dwarves – Dwarven culture is based around the collection of status by males which may lead to breeding rights with females. The male to female ratio is extremely skewed with males outnumbering females by a ratio of roughly 10:1. Males increase their status in many ways, service to their society being foremost. This service can manifest itself in numerous ways, finding and exploiting new resources, military action to protect or expand territory, creations of masterwork quality. Dwarf females spend their time breeding, taking care of and teaching dwarf children and form ruling councils. They breed, roughly, at a rate of 1 child per year. A Dwarf woman will have a child usually every year from the age of about 35 until about 150, after which [she] reaches menopause and becomes an “elder matron”. Dwarves do not mate for life, they mate for breeding purposes, a female selects a new mate each year, based on the male's status. Males that have previously bred are less likely to find a mate for the year, unless they fathered a female or garnered significantly more status than they had at their previous mating.

This was also available separately for Dwarf players as a handout on Roll20. This may be the clearest I have ever written about Dwarven culture or biology.

From the document “New Garnia Campaign” -

Dwarves are a dying species, their kingdoms lost, overrun by the Troll Lords, they are a people without a homeland and they seem to have lost the will to continue. Dwarven women are rare, and nigh indistinguishable from the men, as they are bearded, small breasted (unless nursing), have the same height and muscle-mass, and work all the same professions. Dwarven children are nigh unheard of, any given Dwarven community having just a handful per human generation. Dwarves have low fertility rates, and less drive to breed than humans. They do live a lot longer though. They have little affinity for magic, although their forge rituals often provide enchantments to their weapons and armor, and occasionally they have a pious enough religious type that can cast spells.

Gnomes are a sub-species of Dwarf that have evolved on this world back when the Sidhe ruled it, the magic of the world gave them a slight affinity for magic and they are shorter and slighter of build than Dwarves. They prefer forested hills and subterranean burrows as living spaces and are friendly to Elves and Dwarves, they are quite rare.

This document was written in July of 2016, the day before my birthday that year and about a week before we found out Mona's cancer was back. The entire document was just notes for the Garnia Post-Apocalypse game I was setting in the area of Caergwyn, some of the idea made it into the campaign primers, but that campaign never got played. It is noteworthy that the Dwarves here are slightly different than the ones presented in the Lost Atlantis campaign, notably in that they are an explicitly dying race, and their fertility rates are practically non-existent. I include it here mainly to see what is still useful from it. Maybe Dwarves in the eastern part of the continent are worse off than their western cousins?

I also left in the bit about Gnomes, because it may be the only reference I have ever made to them. I have often thought about removing them from the setting altogether, but Garnia was designed for use with (core) AD&D back in the day. This seems like an easy way to keep them in.

What I haven't seen mentioned in any of my saved documents, is that Dwarves are no more native to Garnia World then Humans are. They were the Elves partners in some ways, back when the Sidhe Empire was a thing, but before the Humans got here. They still hold a grudge against the Elves for closing the gate to their home world. The Elves were justified in doing so, but the Dwarves don't see it that way.

I have some notes from the Kaupangrfjord campaign I ran, and a bit about the setting itself that I was planning on rebooting; but mainly it's about individual Dwarves. The Garnia blog ( https://garnia-blog.blogspot.com/search/label/Dwarves ) has some stuff too, but nothing earth shaking, lots of pictures of cool Dwarf miniatures, and a bit of talk about how they fit into Human society, and their history with the Elves, and some references to their kingdom of Khazarak.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

5th edition D&D- My condensed review

OK, I've had some time to look at WotC's latest iteration of D&D now, and I have to say that my reaction is mixed. Not just on the aesthetics either.

The Player's Handbook- I think I have made my opinion on the art in the Player's Handbook pretty clear, not a fan. However, the rest of the book, and I am willing to let the art slide if I like the content, still left me with an over all negative opinion. I mean, I realize this is the Player's Handbook, but 170 pages on character generation? Really? OK, that covers advancement too, but in the 1st edition AD&D Players Handbook it's a mere 38 pages, which is far in excess of B/X's 14 pages in the Basic book. I found myself skimming in a lot of places and had to force myself to slow down, go back and reread sections. That was tedious. Sure, I could just pick a "standard" Dwarven Fighter instead of reading through all the class/race choices (which would save me roughly 110 pages of reading), but then there's a bunch of fiddly stuff (that I will likely forget about as a player, not to mention trying to remember all of it as a DM) before I even get to buying my starting equipment. Now, my caveat here is that I have not played yet, so maybe it will all go easier than I think. My personal bias is also irked by the fact that the tallest Humans are now only 6'4", according to the random table. I am 6'6" and I am not the tallest Human I have ever met. Overall grade D.

The Monster Manual- Not a huge fan of the art there either, but it is an improvement over the Player's Handbook. There is a design aesthetic at work here that seems too homogeneously stylized, but this isn't really new to this edition; just, disappointingly, continued. The stat blocks, ranging from roughly 1/4 to 1/2 page are too much, in my opinion. B/X D&D gave us about 6 monsters to the page, here we might get 2. It's pretty hard to screw up a Monster Manual too bad though, so overall grade C.

The Dungeon Master's Guide- Probably the saving grace of the core books of this edition, the art still didn't appeal to me, but damn, it's a meaty tome. Chock full of real advice that is practically system neutral, I'd have to say it's the best effort on a DMG since 1st edition AD&D- and I loved that one. The overall greatness is diminished by a couple of the things that I find to be anathema to DMing- Tailoring your encounters to your party, and it's ugly cousin; tailoring treasure yields to the party. They are small parts of the book, but they remind me too much of 3e and the reason I quit D&D. They mar an otherwise awesome book, but they are core to the build of the system, as they were in 3e (and, presumably, 4e). Anyway, it's a pretty darned solid book for any GM, but it's weak art and a few later editionisms that were kept drag it's grade down, a solid B.

Other random thoughts-
Backgrounds: I actually thought I would like them, I like the concept, but they left me cold when I read through them. Power Level: Easily as amped up as 3e.

Races: Their proliferation irritates me, but at least it's the DM's explicit say as to whether or not any given race is allowed.

Art: yep, I know, I keep harping on the art. I think they would have done better with LESS art direction. Give an artist a general description of what you are looking for, and let them do it, maybe you take it maybe you don't, but I think that this edition could really have benefited from having different art styles represented. I think too that this edition has taken itself too seriously and has produced a lot of self conscious mediocre art as a result. My wife is an artist, so I have grown, over the years, to appreciate how much of an impact the art has on the product. Early editions mixed it up
with a bunch of different artists, with wildly different styles and levels of talent. Sutherland, Roslof, Dee, Willingham, Otus, Darlene and Trampier (just off the top of my head, and I apologize to the artists I missed and their fans) put their stamp on Gary and Dave's game. Just looking at the illustrations in the Holmes Basic, B/X and AD&D books made me begin to imagine, and still does today. This edition just doesn't. I think it was the love for the game, and the use of their own imaginations that made the early D&D artists so good, they pored their souls into the work. Art is subjective, but I think that these-




are more evocative than this-



So I guess that gives 5th edition D&D a solid C average. My opinion of it may change with play, and again with DMing.

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Updates




Just did some pretty major updates on the World of Garnia campaign site on Obsidian Portal. Some of it was stuff I added from this blog, some stuff I had been working on elsewhere (mostly sub-campaign stuff, like Tenchuko and Norseworld) and transferred there, but I also did some editing of older entries and added some wholly new content. I also changed the look of the site, kind of a make-over.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

You Know...

I was considering deleting this blog, because neither myself, nor Darryl have posted here in 2 years. Then I came and looked at it and realized that I can't; it just contains so much information about our shared creation, even when we were just spit-balling ideas.

I'd actually like to get back into development mode and start an AD&D 1st edition game there soon. I may have to do a PBEM game though, due to lack of local players available.

Plus I don't think, after a cursory look, that I ever even wrote about "The Castle", a mysterious, moving castle that has been, at one point or another, a major plot focus in my original Garnia campaign groups. Darryl and I once played out a massive miniature battle for possession of that castle that had major, campaign repercussions for my Dempster group. Originally, they had all been there to play their own characters' units that they had painstakingly adventured to gather for months, but most of them were younger than me, and they had to go home before the battle was fully joined, just because it took so bloody long to set up, and it was a school night. Darryl and I were high-school seniors at the time, so apparently didn't need sleep. I remember it was my senior year because I got bored in Physics and started writing a pretty epic poem about one of the NPCs that had died there.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Played a Garnia Game



Granted it was not in the Garnian heartlands, but it was Garnia. We set up to try out my draft Oriental Adventures rules in the empire of Tenchuko and, after guiding everyone through the still somewhat lengthy OA character generation rules, we actually got to play some.

The party are all retainers of lord Asano, and he needs to retrieve the lost battle standard of the Asano clan before the Shogun's visit. The characters all have complex relationships to lord Asano. One is a Samurai from the Niwa family that was really kind of screwed over by the Asano a few generations back, but they are hereditary retainers and still serve them. One is married to Lord Asano's older brother, and is a member of his counter-intelligence service. One is his first cousin. One is a Sohei from a monastery that is heavily funded by lord Asano.

Making matters more complex, and I love to do that, Lord Asano is not a great lord, he is young and not terribly fit for the job. He over compensates by being overly harsh a disciplinarian and lavishly supporting the Pure Land sect. He also gambles away his fortune and is a notorious womanizer. If the party fails in their mission though, the entire clan will suffer.

Complicating matters is the fact that the banner in question is being held by an enemy clan, the Takeda, and there is the matter of the salt trade, possibly the opium trade and an unrevealed rival family that wants to see the Asano fall.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Not Getting Ignored



Garnia seems like it's been getting ignored for a while now, but nothing could be further from the truth- I have just been doing my ruminating and design thing more or less in my head and back and forth with Darryl and Dalton, and too a lesser extent Mona, in person.

I do understand the need for some updates here, and the core areas of the world need some detailing, but the revamping is largely done.



I am starting a new campaign in Tenchuko- the Japanese area of Garnia soon. I have been running a Viking related Garnia/Dwarf campaign on and off for a while now. I am also considering a run through of the Roman  area of Garnia. The less developed areas need love too, right?


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What do you all want to see?

What part of the world do you want to see developed first? I am doing Mongol month on my other blog, so it would be easy for me to slip in a bit of detail about the Altan Ordu, but that's a really obscure area for play. I had been pretty hot to do the Nova Roman Empire with it's Ape citizens and it's Goblinoid Egyptian Satrapy but I am waiting on some art for that. I haven't really been working on Garnia World at all since my sister died last month, but I need to get busy doing stuff again, so if there is a part of the world that you all would like to know more about I can oblige. I'll start with a 20-questions and move on from there.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

This Blog




The intention of this blog was always to invite other people into the design process with Darryl and I, wherever in the world they were, as long as they could share the vision of our Garnia with us. Darryl and I don't always agree on everything, and I usually have final edit rights to most things about the entire "World of Garnia" project, but for the most part we're on the same page.

A lot of you have been following this blog since I started it and watched the various phases of our "reboot" design process, I'd like to formally open up the world for everyone's input since I never explicitly stated it. We are looking for people to help us with several different parts of the project now that we are shifting into high gear, including, but not limited to, helping with the development and playtesting of a Garnia specific RPG system, setting art, writing short fiction set in Garnia World, helping develop portions of the world via Gazetteers, and converting adventures and campaign setting stuff into game systems that we don't play, like D20/Pathfinder for instance.

If anyone is interested in really being a part of the team, reply here or send me an email at williamjdowie AT gmail DOT com.

Thanks,

Also, check out my Viking themed One-Page Dungeon contest on my other blog, it is tangentially related to Garnia and if you enter, you get a free magnet.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Garnia World large scale map



Ok so this is sans political borders. Nova Roma is around that large sea in the north-west. The big land mass along the western third of the map is a real melting pot. The Sidhe enclave is in the southern tip. The Altan Ordu is just north of there. There are Aztecs and African bushmen somewhere in the mix. About where that first little bay is going south from the "Med" about a fist sized chunk of land is the Jurassic relocation place with dinosaurs.

At the bottom is the island chain where the Vikings live. Somewhere not pictured yet are Byzantines. The peninsula in the east is Tirnakaur, the southern strip of which is the lands of the Necromancer. Above that are those pirate isles. The land mass to the north has coastal Iroquois then the Ming Liang dynasty. Towards that giant rift are the Mistlands. West of there will be the great steppes to the north and Garnia to the south covering all of the territory that forms the northern border of the great Al-Mah sea. That first big island in the middle of that sea is Balgof, a Sidhe outpost. At the western elbow of the Al-Mah is the east coast of Frodia and Wodanslund. NW of that (west of Garnia) are the mountains of Khazarak, and west of that is the Romans again.

I'm a little unsure of some of the political boundaries, so that's why they aren't there yet, but this way folks should be able to get more of a gist of where things are.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A bit of a "catch-all" post




I've been holding on to some pictures and art for this blog that I wanted to show off here, so I thought I should start with some standard B/X D&D stats for the Apes and move on from there-

Apes (Gorilla Sapiens) [uses the Simian Empire line of miniatures from Black Orc Games]



Apes are a variant species of Terran Gorilla that developed a roughly human level of intelligence and speech. The Sidhe brought them to Garnia World tens of thousands of years ago when it was obvious they would be wiped out on Earth. Apes are roughly human sized, but weigh about twice as much due to denser bone and muscle structures, even their skin is tougher than that of man. When the Romans came to Garnia World they ended up in the same general area as the gentle and friendly Apes and, strangely, the two species hit it off. The Romans introduced the Apes to higher culture and sophistication, their own language was abandoned in favor of Latin within a generation. Now there are Apes in the senate and in the legions, they make up a significant minority within the empire, the only thing they have retained of their own ways is their vegetarianism.

Restrictions: Apes use eight sided dice (d8) to determine their hit points. They may advance to a maximum of 10th level of experience. Apes may use any type of armor and may use shields. They may use any weapon. They must have minimum Strength and Dexterity scores of 9. They use twice as many rations. They never get an XP bonus.

Special Abilities: Apes have tough hides and receive a +1 AC bonus to whatever armor they are wearing. Upper body strength is part of their genetic heritage too, they gain +1 on all damage rolls. Outdoors Apes are difficult to spot, having the ability to seemingly vanish into woods, jungle or thick brush. There is only a 10% chance of detecting them under such circumstances. Upon gaining the 4th level of experience (Ape Hero) an Ape may, once per day, use an "Intimidating Show of Strength"; which works exactly like a Cleric's "Turn Undead" ability, only on the living, and as if they were a Cleric of 3 experience levels lower and the target had the same Hit Die type as the relevant Undead target, ie. a 4th level Ape Intimidates as though he were a 1st level Cleric and a 1st level Fighter would be intimidated as a Skeleton. The "Intimidating Show of Strength" takes one round to complete and is the only action that can be performed, it only works on creatures with animal intelligence or above and they must be living, not Undead.

Ape

Level Title XP Hit Dice
1 Ape Veteran 0 1d8
2 Ape Warrior 2,200 2d8
3 Ape Swordmaster 4,400 3d8
4 Ape Hero 8,800 4d8
5 Ape Swashbuckler 17,000 5d8
6 Ape Myrmidon 35,000 6d8
7 Ape Champion 70,000 7d8
8 Ape Superhero 140,000 8d8
9 Ape Lord (Lady) 280,000 9d8
10 10th Level
Ape Lord 400,000 9d8+3*

*Constitution adjustments no longer apply.

Since these guys only ever show up in the Roman empire I may change their level titles to represent that fact. I left their stronghold off the list at 9th level for now, because I am not quite sure how to handle that yet. I am thinking either an appointment as a legion commander or to the senate, but I am open to suggestions.

Now the AD&D 1st edition version-

Classes available:
Cleric 4, Druid 6, Fighter 9, Paladin -, Ranger 6, Magic-User -, Illusionist -, Thief 6, Assassin 8, Monk -.

My thinking on limiting their Thief levels is that they are going to be stuck at a lower level because they don't really blend into a crowd and they are not terribly manually dexterous with their giant hands. Their Thief abilities are going to amount largely to thuggery, which is why I made them better at being Assassins. They are smart enough to plan assassinations and when it comes to the thuggery bit, that can be helpful. Given their connection to the natural world, which I assume isn't totally washed away after a few centuries of Romanization, evolutionary biology and all, it only made sense to me that they would be able to be Rangers and Druids, and be better at that than they are at being Clerics. Making them unable to do Arcane magic was a choice I made looking at the PH, most Demi-Humans can't, so I decided to follow that trend. Still, their best class is Fighter, as I always intended. For the purposes of multiclassing they can be pretty much any core class plus core class or subclass that is not a subclass of the core class they already have variation or any subclass variation within alignment restrictions, so C/F, C/R, C/T, C/A, C/F/T, C/F/A, C/R/T, D/F, D/T, D/F/T, F/T, F/A, R/T. If you are using Unearthed Arcana rules, which I don't recommend, D/R & D/R/T become available with an alignment of NG.

Their ability modifiers are +1 Strength, +1 Dexterity -2 Charisma, they still get all the B/X abilities I gave them, except the no XP bonus thing, that would be by ability score and class in AD&D.

Now someone else can write them up for other game systems, using this as a base.

Anyway, you all have seen the pictures of all the Gorilla Sapiens miniatures, so that was a pretty long, but fruitful, digression from my original posting point. Now, here are some other miniature pictures that I found on some blogs with Roman Legions, think of them as a supplement to the Roman Apes-

Click to embiggen anything that seems small to you.








Now we move on to this drawing of a poor Christian Cleric being tormented by a hot demoness, probably a Succubus. I think this is a scene right out of the Mistlands-



Here are some miniatures from various companies of Mongols and Mongol Dwarves! I still plan on getting a "20 questions" article about the Altan Ordu out to you, but you can think of these cool pictures as a preview. Trust me, I have tons of Mongol oriented art on my hard drive.








Lastly, I found these Samurai Skeletons that I wanted to use for a post on the Empire of Tenchuko, but I haven't gotten around to that yet either, so here you go-



And that's all for today. I hope you enjoyed it!

Monday, July 23, 2012

This was a fun exercise

Brought to us by Blue Boxer Rebellion, I present the Garnia Campaign mixing board -


I am almost ashamed of how difficult this was for me to make. GIMP is a harsh mistress. Comments? Agree, disagree?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Humans - All in one post, in chronological order, with demographic information




First, I understand that this is largely a copy/paste job, some sections have minor edits, some have been completely rewritten, others have just had demographic data added; but I did make the effort to put all of the Human ethnic groups and their appearances on Garnia world into chronological order and add that demographic data, plus the minor edits, so, here you go.

The Egyptians (now extinct) migrated circa 2500 BC - Their culture would have been here for 1504 years, more than enough time to build their entire civilization up around their new Nile in Alt-Africa. Then the Goblins Zerg rushed them and ate them over the course of a few generations, adopting their culture and religion, but in an evil, Goblin kind of a way. Along with the Goblins in Egypt, at campaign present a tributary kingdom subject to Nova Roma, there are significant populations of Rakasta and Flind. For what it's worth, they would have been here for 125 generations and had a starting population of 5,000.

The Kushites migrated circa 1000 BC and were presumably placed by the Sidhe, for whatever reason right next to their real life Earth neighbors the Egyptians. I am going to make a judgment call here and say that in the 1004 years (which is 50 generations) they've been here they started out as allies of the Egyptians and when the Goblins killed off Egyptian culture they fled away from that losing war, and have fought a long guerrilla war against any Goblinoid incursions into their territory ever since. Their starting population will be 5,000.

Vedic era Indians - I am bringing them in circa 750 BC Earth time and they live at the southern end of the Tirnakaur peninsula, I am thinking one small, forgotten city that was destroyed by disaster, I think a great flood, 5,000 people. This makes them Hindu with all of the Vedas and they speak Sanskrit and work iron. Time compression means they've been here for 920 years or 46 generations at campaign present. That's longer than the Celts, but they start in a crappier area, those mountains are infested with Goblinoids and worse, then there's a vast expanse of forest to cross to get to the really good lands.

Pagan Arabs - They could really be from anytime before Muhammad, but I am going to try and keep a more ancient focus here and say they are from the semi-Mythical kingdom of Sheba; which is mentioned several times in the Bible and was probably in modern Yemen. They were traders and controlled the Red Sea trade route so coastal shipping is not beyond them, they were conquered by their Arab neighbors to the north in the 2nd century BC and their capital city was destroyed. They made a comeback eventually, but I am grabbing them from their powerful classical period, when they straddled the Red Sea as a kingdom. So, 300 BC, random natural disaster, say sandstorm of enormous proportions destroys major Sheban settlement of say 8,000 people. They end up on the same end of the Tirnakaur peninsula as the Vedic Indians, who welcome them as they are being hard pressed by an invasion of Goblins, Ogres, Giants and Trolls when they arrive with their slightly superior technology. They've been here for 770 years or 38 generations, also longer than the Celts. Their culture and language became slightly dominant over the Vedic Indians, but they mostly are pretty cool with each other.

The Celts come in next, starting in 60 BC, at 687 years ago, or 34 generations, within 2 1/2 Garnian years their population goes from the initial 120,000 religious pilgrims, to 280,000 people, the extra 160,000 Celts being refugees from Caesar's conquest of Gaul. A further 100,000 refugees from the Roman conquest of Britain arrive over the course of the next 30-50 Garnian years. Circa 428 AD a mass migration of Irish pagan Celts arrives, St. Patrick, on Earth declares victory for having "Driven the snakes from Ireland"; 25,000 Irish Druids, Bards, Warriors and Farmers arrive. That's about 10% of the total estimated Irish population at the time of St. Patrick, but you know how stubborn the Irish can be about religion. Next migration will be from Scotland as Picts resist Christianization at the same rate, they are the last Druids on Earth. Assume at about 600 AD 3,500 Picts arrive, as there just aren't that many of them. Further Celtic migrations will continue to happen, but they will continue to get smaller and smaller as the magical power of Earth fades. The Celts will give birth to five major nations in this world, and are the largest Human ethnic group.

Next we get a substantial population of Romans from the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius, we may get a few more, here and there, and there may have been a few before, but this is like direct divine intervention by the Sidhe since they know the Celts and Romans are traditional enemies by now and the Celts are becoming a nuisance. They get the summer population of 1/2 of Campania for their start 644 years ago the Romans estimated 16,000 citizen deaths, so take that for what it's worth. How many non-citizens and slaves died there too? 2 for every Roman? Did they only count men as citizens? Modern archaeologists have no way of estimating the total death toll, it's certainly in the thousands, is it more than 20,000? 30,000? 50,000? Pliny the Elder died there and he was one of the greatest minds of his time. The Romans get to move into an area that is pretty much exactly like the one they left behind too, so they are going to get some serious advantages. Let's call the total sarting group 35,000 and they've been here for 644 years, or 22 generations. They also have the Gorilla Sapiens living in their empire, and they have readily chosen to adapt to Roman culture, as have significant numbers of Dwarves.

Then the Chinese, who have only been here for since 250 AD earth time or 587.3 years Garnia time, equaling about 29 generations, building the Empire of Ming Liang. I demonstrated with math before, at the early stages of the blog how I made my assumptions of population growth for the Celts, the Ming Liang are in an area that is actually pretty well suited to them, I am willing to give them a greater rate of growth than the Celts because their traditional way of life is in no way compromised, they just moved, as though they were moving to new village lands- the first generation might have a tough time building stuff from scratch, but after they're cultivating rice and silk and all the other traditional Chinese things they would have brought with them, it will be easy to expand. Assume 50,000 original settlers, and an 80% growth rate/generation until they fill all the good coastal and river lands, then slow them down to about 65% until all of their country is at peak capacity.

Additionally, this area also is the homeland of the Halflings, should they continue to exist, and they are a race that is by nature Good aligned, so they would probably help the new settlers. Although that's going to work out kind of like the Native American Indians helping the European settlers. Halflings may live longer but they don't breed as fast, mature as fast, or have the capacity to become as powerful as Humans, the Halflings are going to become a subject people of the Ming Liang, but not really in a bad way.

Next up are the Saxons. They showed up in Wodanslund about 450 AD or 520.6 Garnian years ago, which is about 26 generations; and have divided their time between building fortresses, sweeping Humanoids from the plains (and ultimately making expeditions into the mountains surrounding their vast plain), becoming horse riding cattle lords, and hiring themselves out as mercenaries, primarily to their neighbors to the north- Frodia. Most of Frodia's professional soldiers are Wodanslunder mercenaries, leading many outlanders to believe that Wodanslund is a subject kingdom to Frodia, but this is not the case. The Wodanslunder Saxons will have a starting poulation of 1,500.

Next up are the Norsemen, who have been here, off map, since 862 AD for about 383.3 years, or roughly 19 generations, since they live on an island chain that is unlikely to affect the main campaign area and are too far off map to make the voyage to the nearest part of the map, they are, in essence, a separate campaign. They are also only starting with about 2000 people.

San - Apparently these guys, also known as Bushmen, have been in South Africa for something like 15,000 years. I am going to grab some from about the time the Zulus start to rise up and kick all of their asses into the Kalihari desert, these guys are serious stone age hunter-gatherers. They store water in Ostrich Egg shells and eat caterpillers and grasshoppers, along with anything else they can forage up. I am doing them the "favor" of moving them to the desert west of Wodanslund, otherwise they'd easily end up as a slave caste to the Muslim Arabs too. Now the Zulus really start to rise under Shaka, pre-Shaka they were just another clan of Bantu speakers in southern Africa, they mostly got kicked around by the other Bantu speakers and lived in crappy land that they forced some of the San out of. Shaka comes to power in 1816, Zulu ancestors had been in the neighborhood since about 1000 AD. So I am bring my San over in 1000 AD, they don't live in villages, just mobile bands, so this group of mobile bands, say 2000 people, just walk directly to Garnia World, how? Who knows, ancient San magic? Sidhe felt bad for them? Anyway, they have been here for 337.3 years, or roughly 17 generations.

I guess the next people on the list are the Chagatai/Golden Horde coming from circa 1300-03, when a severe drought caused untold devastation and starvation to both hordes, they were at peace with each other and everyone else for this brief period, so we'll save some people and animals and move them over to Garnia World then, it's the perfect time, neither horde is religiously zealous yet. The Khan of the Golden Horde is a theoretical Muslim, but he gets married to the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor, an Orthodox Christian and Muslims of his court referred to him as an Idol worshiper (either Buddhist or Tengerist), despite his favoritism towards Islam. So, if they came in 1302 AD, they've been here for about 236.6 Garnian years, or about 12 generations; I am going to start them off with a conservative 15,000 people roughly 1/2 Turkic and 1/2 Mongol, plus their yurts and herds; but they're in an odd position of actually being near remnant cities of the Sidhe Empire who have learned how to play the ancient game of "let's keep the Humans divided", so they are really broken down into many warring clans of either Turkic or Mongol speaking peoples with shifting alliances and a fading memory of the golden days of Genghis Khan.

Muslim Arabs - These guys can come from anytime after Muhammad, but I want them to be not right after his revelation or lifetime. I want them to have Damascus steel and Scimitars, so I have to wait until both of those are invented. I looked it up and it's later than I thought when I talked to Darryl about it earlier. Damascus Steel isn't a problem, it dates to the 3rd century BC, but Arabs didn't START using Scimitars until after the Mongol invasion and conquest of Baghdad. Call it a century or so later for them to be in common usage and we're looking at the mid-14th century. I am cool with that, we have some fairly late arrivals yet to come, and it explains their superior sailing technology. So in 1350 AD, a hardy group of Arabs end up over here, that's 220 years, or 11 generations, since they arrived and formed their "Maritime Emirates/Pirate Isles" and began wondering which direction was Mecca I guess. Give them an initial population of 5000 people or so.

Then we get the Japanese from the end of the Nanboku-Chō war 1399 AD earth time. That gives them 204.3 years here, or 10 generations, during which time they've colonized an island chain, established a Shogunate and greatly improved their seafaring skills, ironically based on Chinese designs. They have recently established trade with the Ming Liang, but have a vast edge in seafaring technology and many other skills that the Japanese originally got from the Chinese. Assume a starting population of 15,000 retainers and loyal peasants.

Next are the Greeks from Trebizond, who are beating feet to out run the Ottoman empire when they find themselves on a weird foreign shore. They made their voyage in 1404 AD Earth time, so they've been here for 202.6 years, which is roughly 10 generations. They're a civilized and advanced medieval/renaissance people so I think they'll do OK. The only people close to them are the Norsemen, with whom they have made trading contact. The Greeks got the better island, it's almost a mini-continent all off by itself. They get a starting population of, say, 5,000.

The Aztecs - they entered the valley of Mexico fairly late, they were relative newcomers when Cortez came and kicked their asses. They showed up and started kicking ass around the 1300's AD, so we need to grab some before they all get infected with various White Man diseases by the Spaniards, before 1519. Let's pick a spot in the middle and say they were supposed to be wiped out by a volcanic eruption, but the Unseelie Court really loved their heart-ripping-out mass Human sacrificial style, a small Aztec city of, say, 12,000 people are transported to their new home, buildings and all, right near the coast so there's fishing too. They formed the Empire of Xochitli (which means "Flowers" in Nahuatl, the Aztec language). They've been here since 1425 AD, so that's 195 Garnian years, or about 10 generations.

The Roma - commonly known as Gypsies, they don't even come into existence until the middle ages, so we have to wait for that anyway. I am bring them in from 15th century France, they've got all the traits associated with Gypsies at this point (fortune telling, bright wagons & metal working) and they'll be happy to get away from the increasing prejudice. So 1450 AD, meaning they've been here for 187.3 years, or about 9 generations. We'll bring 1500 or so of them.

Iroquois - Their confederacy wasn't even formed until sometime after 1450 AD, possibly as late as 1600, although the proto-Iroquois peoples were living in the Finger Lakes region as early as 1000 AD. I am acting under the assumption that we want real Iroquois and not their ancestral group, so I will pick a spot in the mid-range 1525, meaning they've been here for 162 years, or 8 generations. I will be nice though and move them into the forests of Tirnakaur instead of the Swamp that the Muslim Arabs live in; otherwise I think a stone age people are going to be slaves, even as bad-ass a stone age people as the Iroquois. The Celts in Tirnakaur have too much else to worry about to try too hard to make this new band of Humans their property. Which tribe of Iroquois do we want to bring? Should I just roll a D6? Or a D10 and divide by 2 because technically the Tuscarora weren't part of the league until 1722. We can't have them all. I rolled Mohawk, which is the result I think most people would have wanted anyway. Their relative low population density means I can't see them losing more than about a 1000 people without it being really noteworthy, and that's pushing it.