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    Canonfire :: View topic - The Nation of Mur?
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    The Nation of Mur?
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    Master Greytalker

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    Wed May 31, 2006 6:21 pm  
    The Nation of Mur?

    Has anyone seen the new GH adventure in Dungeon? Initial thoughts on the Nation of Mur?
    GreySage

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    Wed May 31, 2006 9:02 pm  

    I haven't seen that issue yet. Can you give us a hint about what you're talking about? Is this a nation located somewhere to the south or west of the Flanaess, underground, on another plane? A purely conceptual nation that has nothing to do with controlling regions of land? Some weird dopple-Greyhawk replacement for the County of Urnst?
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:03 am  

    Mur: "...a mysterious realm that lies hundreds of miles northwest across the Drawnij Ocean."

    The folks there worship a few thousand divine spirits as gods, called "obahs". The Murrians are of a unique human stock not seen in the Flanaess. Zeif has had trade relations with Mur in the past, but it has almost completely fallen off due to various hazards. Mur is rumored to be ruled by a divine monarch who lives in a hanging palace among the the verdant plateaus, cascading waterfalls, and jungles of the land. Mur is known to have an order of pacifist monks called the Shensite Order.

    The Murrians, and many of the creatures of Mur, are sometimes born with a second set of fully functional arms; such is referred to as being "blessed by the obahs". It is thought that many multi-limbed creatures, such as the displacer beast, basilisk, and behir come from Mur originally.

    The creature catalogue at the end of the article lists displacer beasts, gorillons, and chokers as originally being from Mur. Also introduced are the stats for the kamadan, a new critter called a shensahti, and two templates.

    The adventure is set in the Yatils. I am pretty much Yatil'd out at this point so I'd rather set the adventure elsewhere; perhaps west of the Baklunish lands in the mountains in the area known by some as the Orcreich(lame name), or on an island in the Drawmij.

    Overall, Mur has a bit of an eastern/oriental feel and puts forth a legendary, almost lost world type of land ripe for exploration. I would imagine that its society is not quite so fallen on ill times as most lost civilizations are, but the could very well be depending on if you want to portray Mur as a vibrant land or as a shadow of its former greatness.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:15 am; edited 1 time in total
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:08 am  

    Dang connection of chum made for a double post! Mad
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    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:52 am  

    Interesting - though jungles on the Bakoury Coast make no sense at all...

    Mur was mentioned in the LGG (along with Risay and Komal) as being on the western shores of the Dramidj.

    By latitude it should be temperate or steppe. Culturally - I saw it as being a mix of Baklunish and ancient Oerid with strong influences from Suhfang.

    Of course - if the adventure only has a report of what Mur is like, we can discount the silliness as traveller's tales. :)
    GreySage

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    Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:38 pm  

    Woesinger wrote:
    By latitude it should be temperate or steppe.


    I don't think it would be a steppe on the coast of the Gulf of Ghayal. I'm not certain which nation it is in this map, since I don't have the CC2 reader, but it looks like it's about the same latitude as Greyhawk City. Somewhere between there and the southern Bright Desert.
    Site Theocrat

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    Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:29 am  
    Mur

    Hi all -
    <SPOILERS - I list several details of the potential cultures of Mur as well as Creatures and creature templates below. Be Well.>

    From the readings on Mur in Dungeon 136, I take Mur to be a jungle land, similiar to South America (Robert Dinero's The Mission). Lots of vines, jungle animals, jaguars and snakes. With the article saying that it has high cliffs, and that [limited] trade happens on the shores with villiages, it would seem that these are not connected to the throne in terms of constant contact. I could certainly see Aztec and Mayan living styles happening in the region.
    With the idea that one of othe obhas would cause an enemy to have snakes for arms and snake like features, snakes might have a negative connotation. The Horde leader is turned into a yuan-ti half-blood looking creature, although not truly a yuan-ti himself. This furthers my thoughts that snakes might be considered "evil" by nature. But I can take the opposite approach and claim that snakes are "good" by nature, and to torment the Horde Leader, he turned him into a snake-like being. The way it is written, Yuan-ti are not known, but it is the only thing the author could compare it to for game mechanics. To further support the idea of Snakes are good, is the Kamadan with it's 6 separate snake heads, all with their own cognition, however, it is neutral.

    The pictures of the scorned human have armor that looks decidely samurai in style. The Shenshti "dragon" is almost oriental in look as well. So I wonder if they'd live in Aztec/Mayan style homes such, but have an Asian themed culture. Being that the European culture dominates, and so we know so little of the Mayans, but understand that they were very likely as sophisticated as the Egyptians, I wonder if Mur could also be very cultured and scientific. Merging of the Mayan/Aztec living arrangements due to the climate, which certainly leads to different improvements, with the Asian culture of Honor and obedience could lead to some sophistications that the Flanaess has yet to discover.

    If the armor is oriental in style, what are some of the tropical materials that could be used to make it in that region. What are other aspects that would / could likely form from merging of these two different cultures?

    Little is said of the Komal people, and I'm not familiar enough with them to even hazzard a guess, except that apparently they are very warlike. The Horde Leader does not come from them, as he is Paynim (I did read that right, right?). The Paynims are made to be similiar to the Mongolian Horde of the Khan's. What little is of Zeif is of their trading with the Murrians, and pirates raiding the region.
    Hope this furthers discussion. I'm looking forward to following this most further until someone writes a background and history for the Nation of Mur!
    Be Well.
    Issak
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    Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:54 am  

    I was seeing a climate like the rainforests of the northwest, or maybe of some parts of south america, temperate jungles. I was also seeing more of a SE asian/indian subcontinent culture.

    However, what is up with gorillas, baboons, and such animals in Dungeon. They seem to have been in every GH adventure/culture in recent Dungeon adventures. There was an adventure in the Sheldomar with Gorillas if I remember correctly, and that seems very out of character.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:56 am  

    Northwest? Across the Drawmij Ocean? Jungles? ::twitches:: "Obah" spirits? ::twitches:: Four arms? ::twitches::

    So. Oerth's (near) polar regions are WARM? VERY warm? Who knew? ::twitches::

    So. Mur is a land of multi-armed, pseudo-voudoun? Who knew? ::twitches::

    So. A land of multi-armed, pseudo-voudoun, living in a jungle near the north pole (or at least "Polaria")?

    Haven't seen the issue but . . . ::twitches::
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    GreySage

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    Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:57 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    So. Oerth's (near) polar regions are WARM? VERY warm? Who knew? ::twitches::


    I'm not defending the jungle, but if the nation is on the Bakhoury Coast it isn't near-polar; it's on the same latitude as Ull at most, and quite possibly further south.
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    Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:13 pm  
    Can I get a Whoop, Whoop?

    Hi all -
    This is all heresy of course to the devout followers of Greyhawk Lore. But Vaughn does make a very good argument for the jungles. (I'm at work, and can't whip out my thing on the table to check it out...so I'm going by what I read after 4hrs of sleep at 430am this morning.) We know that the Drawmij is a warm body of water, and he goes on to say that the northern Telchurian winds bring in lots of moisture. Warm climate and lots of rain = jungle. Sounds simple enough to me. Going by what I remember off the top of my head, Indian and Brazil have got to be along a similiar lattitude to make this a mute point in terms of this. Sure we could be talking hudrends of miles here, but at this point we're not at the exact science part YET!

    The thing about the extra arms is kinda weird. There isn't a really good explanation for this, but then again, he isn't setting out to detail the lands of Mur, its history or the reasons for certain things. In fact, what he does give us is quite a bit more that what is needed to run the adventure. Remember Isle of Dread v2 had a nice layout of it's history, it's conversion and such, then it had the adventure. I'd like to see this done for Mur. Where it is done, makes a difference. If it's done in Dungeon it becomes "canon," to some, while many still don't count anything not officially published as canon, but I'm not here to argue that debate. Same if it is in Dragon. If it is done here on CanonFire, it becomes, well, simply another homebrewed campaign to everybody save the few that consider published authors like Vaughn and Holian (including SKR, Cook, etc) as being canonical.

    There is also the concern that Vaughn doesn't quite remember all of it, since his end quote is of him noting that he can't remember who his play testers were as it was a long time ago. So he may not have enough notes to fill a Dragon/Dungeon length article. But it certainly is enough for us here. I wonder if Vaughn is familiar enough with many of the posters here to work with for a D/D article? And I vote no GVD in doing this article...just cause I want him to finish a complete Furyondy deal with Artur.
    Be Well.
    Issak
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    GreySage

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    Fri Jun 02, 2006 2:24 pm  

    Here's a map of Eastern Oerik, showing the Gulf of Ghayar to be about 30-35 degrees north latitude. It's possible that Mur isn't on the Gulf of Ghayar, of course, but the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer calls it a "Gulf State," so I think it officially is. Of course, that particular map puts a temperate forest at 35-40 degrees; if that's actually a temperate rain forest, then that could be where Mur is, and its southern extent would still touch the Gulf.

    Here's a map of the Earth, which makes it pretty easy to compare latitudes; in the real world, the region of 30-35 degrees is mostly desert.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:40 am  

    OK - jungle at that latitude makes no sense.

    If moisture laden onshore winds off the unnaturally warm Dramidj hit the mountains and fall as rain, you get temperate rain forest at that latitude (between 30 and nearly 50 N - which takes in the entire west coast of the Gulf), not jungle. You'd have Seattle (4737' N which would equate to the northern end of the Bakoury Coast; ), rather than South East Asia.

    For reference see: http://soils.usda.gov/use/worldsoils/mapindex/biomes.html

    On the other hand - given the latitude spread (30 to 50 North), you'd expect the prevailing winds to be south-west antitrades - bringing hot, dry air north out of the continental interior. This would clash with the north-east polar winds about 50 to 60 North, giving you lots of cyclonic rainfall up there. You might still get localised rain-bearing on-shore winds - esp in the north - but rainfall across the coast would be probably seasonal and would decrease as you go from north to south.

    It's likely that there's a clockwise current in the Drawmidj (as it's in the Northern Hemisphere, which may mean that the western shores of the Gulf are slightly warmer than the eastern.

    Putting all these together - I can see the Bakoury coast being far too dry and far to northerly for jungle. Temperate rainforests in the northern end - yes - esp on the mountains - but as you get farther south the climate becomes warmer and dryer - I'm thinking almost Mediterranean at the southern end. Inland in the south - I can see semi-arid steppe lands.

    Culturally, if we assume the Bakluni and Oerid homelands are west of the mountain chain that forms the eastern edge of the Bakoury Coast, then I can see a strong admixture of Oerid and Baklunish cultures here - with a generous dollop of Suhfangi influences. The states of the Coast may have been subject/client states of the Baklunish Empire in times past, but probably had a distinct culture (due to the mixed origins of the Bakoury's inhabitants) that set them apart from the heartlands of the empire.

    The states of the southern Coast would be stops on the spice and silk routes coming east over the mountains from Suhfang and heading west towards the Baklunish states and the Flanaess. They'd also profit from maritime trade up and down the Gulf - as the northern states trade local natural resources for western spices, silks and other exotics. The northern states similarly may have maritime trade with the barbarian lands along the northern coasts of Oerik and perhaps with the tiaga forested southern fringes of Telchuria.

    And what it is it with yuan ti and snakes? It seems you can't go in any direction outside the Flanaess without running into them. The Amedio and Hepmonaland are lousy with them and now we're expect to believe that temperate Mur is as well.
    BO-ring!

    P.
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    Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:29 am  

    Ok, the word jungle seems to be what is throwing this off. However, looking up the word, both in websters and online, the definition and all it's variants seem to differ from the popular opinion conception laid out here.

    Here are some of the definitions:

    Quote:
    Jungle refers usually to a forest. It originated from a Sanskrit word jangala, meaning wilderness. In many languages of the Indian subcontinent, including Indian English it is generally used to refer to any wild, untended or uncultivated land, including forest, scrub, or desert landscapes.

    a location marked by an intense competition and struggle for survival

    Land covered with dense growth of trees, tall vegetation, vines, etc., typically in tropical regions, and inhabited by predatory animals

    A forest with many trees usually of many different species growing close to each other. Most often found in equatorial areas with high levels of rainfall.



    What is most common is the dense nature of the vegitation, not the hot steamy climate. I can see a climate more like Hokkaido, with relatively hot summers and very cold winters. In this case it could be moderated by ocean currents, like england. By rights england should be frozen over most of the year. I have heard that one island in the Orkneys actually grown pineapples.

    So, descriptively or climactically the desciption presented is not impossible, and by reworking our concept, it may actually be interesting. The person who chooses to fill in the details of Mur could well shape the country into something worth visiting.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:25 pm  

    You're right - jungle is an unhelpful term, since it clearly doesn't apply to Mur, given it lies north of Oerth's northern Tropic (30 N).

    In the definitions of jungle, as well as the thick undergrowth, you also get the phrase "typically in the tropics".

    A more useful term is rainforest. You can certianly have rainforests at high latitudes - but these are temperate rainforests and have a different characteristics to tropical or subtropical rainforests.

    See here for detail:

    http://rainforests.pwnet.org/4teachers/background.php


    At its latitude, Mur must have temperate rainforests, rather than tropical rainforests of jungles.

    To try to shoehorn a tropical style rainforest (with YuanTi and snakes) into Mur is, well, lame and unimaginative.

    P
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    Sat Jun 03, 2006 1:20 pm  

    Woesinger wrote:

    To try to shoehorn a tropical style rainforest (with YuanTi and snakes) into Mur is, well, lame and unimaginative.

    P


    I agree with you completely. Along a similar line of reasoning, I found it odd that one would find naga and crocodiles in what essentially is a temperate swamp land (the Rushmoors -- see N1, "Against the Cult of the Reptile God"). My "solution" to these problems: the creatures are not native to the area, but were introduced (that is, if you intend to keep the yuan-ti in Mur... which you evidently may not want to do).

    IMC, the naga of the Rushmoors date back to the time of Vecna, who had obtained naga eggs (possibly through his own adventuring prior to becoming a lich and Emperor of the Occluded Empire, via monster summoning, etc.) and brought them to his Rotted Tower. I think it makes sense for Vecna to have had an affinity for naga -- he might have seen them as lesser manifestations of the Serpenton Oerth, or as the favoured pets of the Serpent. Vecna would have bred the naga as servants, and in time, the tropical creatures would have mutated and adapted to the temperate climate, becoming fully independent once Kas dispatched their Lord... Fast forward several centuries, and you have state of affairs described in N1 (Explictica Defilus could either have been one of several naga dwelling in the Rushmoors, or the last of that breed). I know many people are "Vecnaed out," but this explanation works for me...

    The same kind of logic could be applied to the yuan-ti of Mur, if one truly wished to rationalize their presence there.

    Just a thought...
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    Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:48 pm  
    it's raining Mur today

    Hi all -
    I did not say that there were Yun-ti in Mur. I said that because the game mechanics do not permit a non-Yuan-ti Yuan-ti template or sub-type, he used this as an example. In fact, reading the description of Histchok "For all practical purposes Histchok is now a yuan-ti halfblood, but is not truly a member of the race. Rather, he simply shares the physical characteristics of a halfblood." Further, the description of him and the picture of him do not appear to be the same. "Histchok's torso is a garish mix of patches of doughy flesh and dry scales. ... His right arm is still human. ... His legs are an uncomfortable combination of snake and flesh, with his right leg ending in a clubbed, snakelike foot...." The picture of him has no "doughy flesh" and his right arm is clearly not human, but yuan-ti. For this I blame the editor for not catching the mistake. But Erik certainly gets some leeway. It's up to the rest of us to realize that the picture is not a true representation of what is described. In fact I have no idea where the concept that yuan-ti would inhabit Mur, comes from. In fact I state that maybe the Shenshti caused him (Histchok) to be "snake-like" in appearance because they could be considered evil or good (which I make for a stronger case). In either case, I'd say that Vaughn is using yuan-ti more as "snake-man" than anything else. Much like the idea that the pictures of the armor for the scorned templates look Asian. Meaning that just because they are Asian on Earth does not mean that they are Asian on Oerth.

    Ok, pg 38 - The Land of Mur and the Shensite Order:
    "...land of Mur, far to the west on the coast of the Gulf of Ghayar. The land of Mur abuts the waters of the gulf and rises into a tall chain of steep mountains. It is a realm of contrasts with the warm currents of the Dramidj Ocean combining with the bitterly cold prevailing winds for Telchuria to create a zone of moist, tumultuous weather. This warm updraft of most air and the resulting thunderous downpours from the cold upper air creates a mountainous jungle region of verdant rain forest perched atop steep crags and laced with spectacular waterfalls of prodigious height. From this topography, the land is known to some scholars as the Verdured Heights."
    Verdure is the greenness of growing vegetation. Rain Forest: 1: a tropical woodland with an annual rainfall of at least 100 inches (254 centimeters) and marked by lofty broad-leaved evergreen trees forming a continuous canopy called also tropical rain forest / 2: temperate rain forest.

    So from this reading I would picture it as something akin to Brazil (which from the maps, is far south of India). While in 2001 I was working hard on a massive article entitled "Weathering the Flanaess" and believe in attempting to make it as accurate as possible, we must understand that there are spells that change weather drastically. However, GH has never looked to that route for explanations. So lets go with this region being a temperate rain forest. This in no way removes jaguars, snakes, or whatever else.


    If we are to detail Mur from what little is at hand, we need to be able to look at all the sources. Of course I don't have my LGG with me to look up the references of Mur (what page(s) are used). We know that there are 3,000 obahs. What are "obahs"? Why isn't it Obah's like Mumar, Obah of earth [which brings us to the topic of isn't it really oerth, and an oerthquake and oerth elemental?] Mumar is a mountain and tree, Room 12. Well the closest I could find is "obas" on dictionary.com - A hereditary chief or king among various peoples of Benin and Nigeria. Lets accept that this is where Vaughn got the idea for the name. So they're not hereditary, but we could assume that they are certainly "chief" or "king"-like, ancestor spirits that are now guardian spirits. If they can be the ones that "grant" additional arms to people, then why can't they affect the weather? Again, we don't want to go that route, so we must have other explanations, as to what exactly the weather is like, and what affect it would have on the culture. We know that they are a defensive culture ("...plagued by its warlike Komali neighbors. The Komalis are why the majority of Mur's population dwells in defensible villages and cities built into the sides of mountains.").

    We also have to look to the temple itself, to help determine what the people of Mur like (even if it is a couple centuries old). The opening description states that there is a great serpentine stone dragon of an unfamiliar species. First, I'm unsure of the weather in the Yatils, but is there usually a torrential rainfall? I'm doubtful and am using that magic makes the rain, and that this is to make it more familiar, more home-like. Room 3, has "Serpentine-carved columns stretch up to the ceiling sixty feet overhead" which furthers my belief that snakes are good (and that being a "snake-man" is part of Histchok's curse [why make an evil bastard more "likeable" amongst his buddies if snakes are bad?]). Room 4 has "statues of warriors dressed in Murian armor..." but this armor is not described. Room 5: "...A steady rainfall descends through this [an opening in the ceiling to the sky - previous sentence] into a large fountain in the room's center. ...Wrapped in great coils around the central plinth is a massive serpentine bronze dragon cast in verdigris bronze with wings folded at its flanks." There we go again with the snakes thing. It doesn't say how the rainfall gets there. It could be natural, but then what exactly is natural in a pocket dimension? Lets say that the rainfall is magical of sorts - because the monks wanted to be reminded of home and their 100 inches of rain! Room 9: "...murals of fantastically peaked mountains covered in jungle growth, with precariously hanging palaces that could only exist in an imaginative mind. ..." I'm of the belief that the reference to the imagination is in regards to the palaces and not to the jungle growth. Room 11: "...rain-soaked garden of exotic plants. ..." Again with the rain, making me believe that this is magical in nature, and is to be reminisced of life back home in Mur. Room 12: "This rain-soaked garden is like some exotic, tropical jungle. ...periodic flashes of lighting, unfamiliar plant life grows in wild abundance... The air here is strangely warm and comfortable, despite the torrential rain." I'm beginning to think that 100 inches of rain would make the place a tropical jungle, and that with this much "magical(?)" rain that it is meant to be just like home.

    Finally, all we really need to do is talk to Jiba, the obah-blessed girallon, or at the very least read his many books on Mur. But at 2,500gp, something must be up. Since we're arguing so intently upon this topic, I'm sure any one of us would shell out 2,500gp from even our stingiest PC.

    Be Well.
    Issak
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    Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:13 pm  
    Re: it's raining Mur today

    Quote:
    Ok, pg 38 - The Land of Mur and the Shensite Order:
    "...land of Mur, far to the west on the coast of the Gulf of Ghayar. The land of Mur abuts the waters of the gulf and rises into a tall chain of steep mountains. It is a realm of contrasts with the warm currents of the Dramidj Ocean combining with the bitterly cold prevailing winds for Telchuria to create a zone of moist, tumultuous weather. This warm updraft of most air and the resulting thunderous downpours from the cold upper air creates a mountainous jungle region of verdant rain forest perched atop steep crags and laced with spectacular waterfalls of prodigious height. From this topography, the land is known to some scholars as the Verdured Heights."


    The whole conflict of prevailing polar winds and warm sea currents is pretty much describing the convergence zone between southwest antitrades and polar north easterlies that produces mid-latitude cyclones and endless conversations about the weather in the British Isles. :)

    More on that here: http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~aalopez/aos101/wk13.html

    The key word that's out of place here is "jungle". What he's describing is a temperate rainforest, rather than the tropical rainforest that most people regards as synonymous with jungle. The fact that these forests are mentioned as being mountainous means that they're even less likely to be hot and sweltering (or be home to tropical species), since temperature falls with altitude. There may be cool, sodden, dripping cloud/fog forests with enormous conifers and broad leaf evergreen trees - but sweltering jungle they ain't.

    TheocratIssak wrote:

    So from this reading I would picture it as something akin to Brazil (which from the maps, is far south of India).


    Picture something more midlatitude. Brazil is still equitorial/tropical (5 N to roughly 30 S).

    On the Bakoury Coast between 30 and 50 N, you're looking at this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperate_rain_forest
    Specifically, something like this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdivian_temperate_rain_forests

    Think giant trees like sequoias. Think of the fantastical fauna or native peoples that might live in such a forest. Think something more original than snake men, snake gods or snake cults.

    As Samuel L. Jackson might say - "I want these m*****f****** snakes off the m*****f****** (Prime Material) plane..." Happy Wink
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    Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:59 pm  

    Ok, lets tackle a few of these issues... and please understand that I am not trying to be argumenative, I am trying to make the presented description work. This is a personal preference, and almost always my first line of defense in dealing with canon, even Mona Canon. I have to say though, that he/they do seem to have a fetish for yuan-ti (or almost yuan-ti), primates, and multi arm things. Werent there baboons in the Temple of Demogorgon a few issues back, and gorillas in the Gran March in the Anvil of the Lortmils?

    Woesinger, btw, I didnt say nor do I agree that jungle is shoehorned in. I think, rather, that we are looking at something other than the common conception of jungle. I realize that most jungles are tropical, but not all. More important to the description was the dense nature of the forest/trees. And jungle is also described as the precursor to the full blown canopy rainforest. Anyway, onward....

    First, N1 and the Rushmoors... I have been working on a rather extensive article on that very swamp. By using real world reference, I have cross referenced the swamps of southern georgia (the Okeefenokee) and Northern Florida (the Everglades). These are temperate/semitropical wetlands and forests. However, for anyone who has never been there, it is swamp and most definately a jungle. Having spent time in Selva Lacandon in Chiapas, Mexico and El Peten, Guatemala (real true to life jungles), I can say this with a fair amount of authority.

    The Naga doesnt bother me for this reason: it is a hot muggy climate with plenty of water. As to the crocodiles, simply convert them to aligators. We have plenty of those here, and their range is actually considerably north. As to the jaguars, well the jaguar/puma/cougar are all basically the same species. Up until this century the animals range was from the tropics to the southern appilachians.

    So, I think everyone agrees that Mur is not Tropical, but it could be subtropical, or in that fringe temperate/subtropical region like southern Georgia. If it is either, and has a warm coastal current, then it could be near tropical (though I dont like that explination). It could have some animals we associate with the tropics, but it would be more interesting if we got rid of the primates and all versions of Yuan Ti.
    Master Greytalker

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    Posts: 634


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    Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:23 am  

    Totally agree with ya that the reference to jungle is at best a very strict dictionary definition and at worst, fairly misleading. Thick tangled forests, good. Tropical rainforest, bad. Smile

    You might get subtropical conditions in the southern Bakoury coast (down near 30 N). One problem I see with that is that the climate there is going to be dominated by dry southerly/southwesterly winds coming up from the centre of the continent. Thus it's probably more semi-arid steppe than swampy and humid (that's inland, the coast would have more mediterranean conditions). As you move north (towards 40 N and upwards) you'd get more cyclonic rain. (Even that, strictly, is fairly low latitudes for cyclonic rain - and if we were being really anal about the weather systems - the eastern side of the mountains of Mur would be in the rain shadow of the south-westerly antitrades; let's assume though that the northern end of the mountains get enough cyclonic rain to produce temperate rainforest). Further, as the forests are described as being on the mountains - they're going to be less warm and muggy and more damp and cool. At those latitudes I'd expect significant snow and glaciers on the peaks of the Mountains of Mur.

    Jaguars: there's cool overview of them here:
    http://home.globalcrossing.net/~brendel/jaguar.html

    Inc. their place in various South Am. mythologies (eg were-jaguars!).

    Though Jaguars range north as far as northern Mexico (and apparently Arizonaas transient individuals), the Puma/cougar (actually a different species entirely: http://home.globalcrossing.net/~brendel/puma.html) has a far wider range and is more likely to be the kind of cat you'd find in the mountains of Mur.

    Could these Murian pumas be spotted (and thus rare and valued for their skins)? Sure, if it makes everyone happy. Wink
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
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    Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:00 am  

    Having now read the adventure, it is not so much badly done, IMO, as poorly edited for GH continuity. "Jungle" should not have been used to describe the area. "Rainforest" should have been modified with "temperate" or "northern" or the like. The whole "yuan-ti" thing should have been nixed and replaced with some other curse, indeed the entire serpent theme could have been replaced with no harm done.

    It does seem that serpents now surround the Flanaess. I suppose this could be explained in a Conan/Kull sort of way - that "serpent-folk" once ruled Oerth and still remain in many places to harrass the new, human masters of the planet.

    The "obah" spirit thing is particularly inappropriate, IMO. An "oba" is an African chieftan's title. "Obeah" is an African religion that features spirits. "Orisha" is an African spirit, worshipped in a variety of New World adaptations of African religions. The entire "obah" spirit motif strikes me as pseudo-African and wildly out of place in northern Oerth.

    Added to references to "jungles" and serpents or "yuan-ti," one wonders whether the author's adventure was not originally set elsewhere and transplanted to Mur.

    Ironically, the adventure is set in the Yatils, which requires none of this Mur development and indeed, the Mur connection (runaway monks) appears forced, if not ludicrous.

    Altogether, the article appears to be a misfire from the author and the editorial staff.
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    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3153
    From: Michigan

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    Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:19 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Added to references to "jungles" and serpents or "yuan-ti," one wonders whether the author's adventure was not originally set elsewhere and transplanted to Mur.


    A good theory. It sounds like it would have been better attributed to the Touv lands.

    Ah, well.
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