Signup
Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Features
Postcards from the Flanaess
Adventures
in Greyhawk
Cities of
Oerth
Deadly
Denizens
Jason Zavoda Presents
The Gord Novels
Greyhawk Wiki
#greytalk
JOIN THE CHAT
ON DISCORD
    Canonfire :: View topic - The Savage Tide premieres at Paizo
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    The Savage Tide premieres at Paizo [ 1, 2  Next]
    Author Message
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:23 am  
    The Savage Tide premieres at Paizo

    Looks like Erik's kicked off his latest effort to bankrupt us poor GH fans:

    http://paizo.com/dungeon/products/issues/savageTide

    A Player's Guide to Sasserine, eh? Dammit! I swore not to use my credit card again! Happy

    Could who ever gets this first post a review here?
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 22, 2005
    Posts: 298
    From: Ahlissa

    Send private message
    Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:58 am  

    I ordered some stuff from Pazio a few days ago and saw the spot for the guide on the top of the page but I didn't knew it was GH.

    Btw where is Sasserine located? Don't tell I asked Embarassed but I must have missed my Knowledge(geography) check Laughing

    I could have been one of the first to have a copy even with a weeks delivery time.

    Anna
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:55 am  

    Sasserine is on the southern shores of Jeklea Bay, while the town of Cauldron (also featured in The Shackled City Adventure Path) is several leagues south in the foothills of the Hellfurnaces.

    As for the Know (geo) check - I ain't seen ya! Happy
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:35 am  
    Re: The Savage Tide premieres at Paizo

    Woesinger wrote:
    A Player's Guide to Sasserine, eh? Dammit! I swore not to use my credit card again! Happy

    Could who ever gets this first post a review here?


    I wish I could make such an oath, and I would second the review request. Only $5? Not being into 3e, I am interested how much it will add to the history of the area.

    I also notice on the cover pirate girl has a side arm. I wonder if she is a paladin of Murlynd on the hunt for the D'kana? Wink
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2003
    Posts: 138
    From: Midwood in Geoff

    Send private message
    Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:43 am  
    Pirate chicks are hot

    Quote:
    I also notice on the cover pirate girl has a side arm.


    Well, there goes the neighborhood... Confused

    Quote:
    I wonder if she is a paladin of Murlynd on the hunt for the D'kana?


    and there goes the thread...! Laughing
    _________________
    Michael Erin Sandar Bard of Midwood
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
    Posts: 166
    From: Calgary, AB, Canada

    Send private message
    Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:29 am  
    Re: The Savage Tide premieres at Paizo

    Wolfsire wrote:
    Woesinger wrote:
    A Player's Guide to Sasserine, eh? Dammit! I swore not to use my credit card again! Happy

    Could who ever gets this first post a review here?


    I wish I could make such an oath, and I would second the review request. Only $5? Not being into 3e, I am interested how much it will add to the history of the area.

    I also notice on the cover pirate girl has a side arm. I wonder if she is a paladin of Murlynd on the hunt for the D'kana? Wink


    I have ordered this creature. I believe that James Jacobs said on the Paizo boards that the upcoming Sasserine backdrop article in Dungeon will provide even more info than the Player's Guide to Savage Tide. If I'm not mistaken, the Player's Guide is an edited version of the Dungeon article (the article contains much that is for the DM's eyes only). The Player's Guide should also be available as a PDF download in the near future, if you would rather save shipping costs.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 06, 2005
    Posts: 39


    Send private message
    Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:39 am  

    Ive ordered it as well. How can you not like the Isle of Dread and Sasserine?
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
    Posts: 539
    From: on the way to Bellport

    Send private message
    Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:24 pm  

    I rec'd it a couple days ago and read it last night. Below is a brief review.

    First, it has good production values, nice glossy paper, and a good looking map in the inside cover. Unfortunately, the pages are stapled to the cover, so one would have to remove them to see the entire map at once. Perhaps the upcoming Dungeon will feature the complete map (at a larger scale)?

    Other basic facts include it being 15 pages long, which I found alright for its $5 price but a bit short for the add'l $5.05 cost of shipping.

    Second, it is as close to a GH product as I've seen since the LGG. It actually mentions the Amedio Jungle and sites the churches of multiple non-Core but definitely GH gods, who were covered in the Complete Divine, but also including at least one of the obscure new quasi-deities from LGJ 3.

    Sasserine is presented as a large seaside walled town (or a small walled city), with a population of 15,650, which feels huge because it is sited clearly on the south shores of Jeklea Bay, where previous GH canon placed no settlements at all. (Sasserine has a larger population than post-liberation Istivin.)

    The city is divided into seven districts and ruled by the Dawn Council, consisting of a noble "representative" for each district. The city's layout reminds me of what I imagine Venice and Dyvers to be, situated on the shore with multiple bridges connecting numerous islands within what appears to be a lagoon. However, the interior islands might have been manufactured, for many of the channels that cut through them are too straight to be natural.

    Each district is associated with several "District Feats," elaborations of FR's regional feats and described as purposely slightly more powerful than regular feats with the suggestion of assigning one to each Savage Tides PC, contingent on their district home. (Sasserine is intended to be the PC's hometown.)

    What might be of greatest interest to GH fans is "Sasserine's History" on page 10. Summarizing it, the city was founded "over 700 years ago, in the year -124 CY by pilgrims from the north." The pilgrims were led by a priestess of Wee Jas, Sasserine, who died within the future city's limits by fighting a black dragon. Her lover, a male fighter, then founded the city in her honor.

    The city grew over several centuries, ruled by a noble family descended from its founder, with the consultation of the churches of Wee Jas and Kord, until the church of Wee Jas was outlawed because of its alleged associations with devil worship by a ruler who favored Kord in CY 480.

    His rule was brief, however, because the Sea Princes quickly overthrew him and "kept Sasserine a secret from the rest of the world, hoping to hide the valuable port from invaders by destroying any references to it they could find."

    The people of Sasserine reportedly suffered under the Sea Princes rule until its nobles were assassinated by the Scarlet Brotherhood in 584 CY. The SB didn't conquer Sasserine but instead have staffed an "ambassador" therein. Apparently, the Sea Prince-installed rulers of the city were overthrown and replaced by "native" nobles of the city.[/i]
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:43 pm  

    I have to lay a couple of "Say what?"'s on the history in Dungeon 139.

    A city of more than 15,000 just "there?"
    After more than 500 years of being known to exist, the Sea Princes just "hide" it away? (And begging the question of how such "hiding" would in fact destroy a city that size entirely.)
    It has been "assaulted" in the past by the Great Kingdom and the Scarlet Brotherhood?

    I'm not seeing it.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 487
    From: Cooke City, MT, USA

    Send private message
    Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:34 pm  

    mtg wrote:
    Unfortunately, the pages are stapled to the cover, so one would have to remove them to see the entire map at once. Perhaps the upcoming Dungeon will feature the complete map (at a larger scale)?


    I red a quote from one of the Paizo guys (forget which) regarding sale of this item at Gencon that stated the stapling of the pages to the cover was a production error, I think the product was supposed to be "old school module" format, with the cover separate from the booklet.

    I am fairly sure that a poster map of the entire region, and perhaps even a large format map of Sasserine itself, are part of the plans for the AP.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2004
    Posts: 666


    Send private message
    Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:02 am  

    Hmm, that history does sound awful. Sounds like I can skip that mag entirely and just wait for the Pearl Sea poster map issues.

    And I don't like the idea of regional feats for districts of the city. Can sections of the same city really be so different as to justify being considered separate "regions"? I just don't see that either..
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:43 am  

    Thanks for the review, Marc!

    A city of 15,000 is pretty big by GH standards - making it about the same size as Chendl, and more importantly, Monmurg.

    One wonders what resources are sustaining such a large place (and contributed to its growth from a few pilgrims in a lagoon to a thriving city)? Slaving, tropical hardwoods, spices (inc., perhaps, sugar?), or some sort of gems or precious metals out of the jungle? Are there plantations in the hinterland providing food and essentials (and perhaps sugar for trade)?

    The LGG entry on the Hold mentions that slaves, tropical fruit (presumably dried for long haul transport) and sugar were the main resources of the Sea Princes (it also mentions nobles from as far north as Nyrond overwintering in the Hold, which is just silly except for the few nobles who have teleportation magic readily to hand). If you add tropical wood and entrepot trade on whatever comes down the trail from Cauldron, then you've got a good foundation for the city's economy. It'd have been one of the main slave markets for the Holders on the Amedio coast, with additional monies coming from sugar and perhaps silver, gold or gem mines in the mountains. I don't know if that's enough to support a settlement of 15,000 - but at least it might give some sort of background rationale as to why its there.

    I assume that keeping Sasserine secret meant that they kept a monopoly over trade in and out of there (or tried to) - even if that's not what the author actually meant. Keeping a port that's been know of for centuries (albeit, probably not very widely, but surely at least as far as Gradsul and Gryrax) is a bit silly. Also - this would persumably have concentrated trading rights, wealth and power into the hands of the Prince's agents and proxies in the city.

    Whatever about the Holders damaging the economy - the Wars must have completely devastated it, unless the SB and the Lords of the Isles have been picking up the slack - which would add a very interesting dimension to the city - how can you be opposed to the SB if it's what's keeping money in your purse and a roof over your head.

    Assaulted in the past by the GK? Sounds spurious. There'd surely have been more juicy targets for wandering GK ships in the Azure. That said - if there was some valuable trade out of Sasserine, it might have been worth while for privateers from the northern Azure to raid the port (as happened repeatedly to Spanish settlments in the Caribbean). I doubt it was an Imperial fleet under the ensign of the Crowned Sun though.

    District feats are a bit silly, but easy to just call feats and ignore the district bit. I assume they're designed to give the different parts of the city a bit of flavour.

    P.

    PS: This, for comparison, is what Venice looks like.

    http://www.elfelze.com/images/map-venice-el-felze-italiano.jpg
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 07, 2004
    Posts: 1844
    From: Mt. Smolderac

    Send private message
    Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:57 am  

    Not having seen this product I'm not slamming it. It sounds like a cool campaign. But what I've read here about the history is really annoying. Kept hidden by the Sea Princes? That's lame, especially when it's supposedly been attacked by the SB and GK in the past. That's not even logical.
    Why the need to make up some lame excuse for why it suddenly appeared. It's not like sizeable towns and cities haven't just appeared on the map with new products as various regions have been fleshed out? Rel Deven (pop. 29,400), one of the three "Cities of Enlightenment" didn't appear on the Darlene map, so what's the big deal about adding Sasserine at this point?
    That's one of the cool things about GH, it's not a complete setting. You can add stuff without blowing the world up.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:28 pm  

    I mean secret.
    They apparently went around destroying maps, killing or buying off captains who knew how to get there, and suchlike.
    And yes, that set off my Plot Absurdity Detector (TM) big time.

    I find the place poorly located for a colony to sustain itself. There is simply no place for large scale cultivation nearby. There's a very minor band of hill to the east. If they were loaded with kara trees or something similar, Sasserine and Cauldron might, vaguely, be able to feed themselves, but I find it impossible to believe they could ever be "hidden," and they would be absurdly vulnerable to siege.

    And indeed, I don't see how a GK fleet could get anywhere near there. If it is a "genericism" standing in for Keoland, maybe, but then it leaves us with another fun reference like the Overking fighting the insurrection of the Yaheetes in the Dreadwood.

    So the whole place needs to be relocated, scaled down massively, have its history thoroughly altered, or a combination of all three.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:57 pm  

    Yeah - I knew you meant that. I was trying to plausify it (to coin a term). Smile

    Yes - it does sound like which ever Sea Prince had that bright idea had had one to many belaying pins to the head. Perhaps he was genuinely mad, Caligula styley? Or was trying to do something less overtly batsh*t crazy - like gain a monopoly on pilot charts into the port to as to make trading there difficult for anyone he didn't favour with a copy. If we exclude the crazy decree option, a trading monopoly is the best plausification (but yes - it was a lame attempt to explain why it hadn't featured on any previous Greyhawk maps).

    Carrying capacity - looking at the Giant Dungeon Flanaess map, there is a patch of coastal plain off to the west of Sasserine that might be able to support the city. The area is over 2 full hexes, or more than 1,560 sq miles - bigger than the current Indian state of Goa, I discover to my surprise. For reference, Old Portugese Goa had a population of more than 20,000 in 1695, when it was at its peak. Goa (15 N) is also roughly the same latitude as Sasserine (approx 17 N), btw.

    So - assuming that plain is half decent for agriculture (volcanic ash deposits will help and throw in a fair amount of fishing), you might be able to justify the population on carrying capacity alone (and have some spare room for sugar plantations). However, Goa was the capital of Portugese India and did a phenomenal amount of business in spices. Sasserine doesn't immediately seem to have the same economic advantages - unless it does an awful lot of business in sugar, slaves and other exotics. One out is that refugees from the Hold might have expanded the population above what its normal levels might have been. That or there's a large servile population.

    Without having seen the description of the city, I can't really do much more than speculate. If it's anything like Cauldron, though, it'll suffer from being overly sophisticated, when it should be a nasty sweltering little fishing, slaving and sugar port (and where there be sugar, there be rum, aaaarrrr!).
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 17, 2004
    Posts: 923
    From: Computer Desk

    Send private message
    Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:08 pm  

    Haven't seen it but hearing about it, it would seem more logical as a frontier rough small port almost like the amazon gold mining towns feel rather than an established 15,000 city.

    I agree, secret must be like portugal kept the far east secret, burned maps, harrassed other explorers etc. rather then a literal unknown.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:22 pm  

    Yes, it could. The problems are:
    1. Goa was already settled, and had internal links to the rest of India. Sasserine was set up as a new state, with no support at all.
    2. Barring a weird geography, which the map and background suggests doesn't exist, a blockade of the port will cut off those plantations, and Sasserine will starve. Worse, the blockaders will be able to eat from the plantations!
    3. Past a certain point, what use would a monopoly be? After a few years the city will be sucked dry of all wealth, and there seems to be no indication that it can seize enough to sell to a monopolist to support itself afterwards, particularly if said monopolist is exploiting the same sources! (That is, if the Sea Princes raid the Amedio for slaves and rare wood and spices, why would they bother paying Sasseriners for those things?)

    At most, Sasserine is a local transhipping port, not a local colonial strongpoint like Goa.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:58 am  

    Samwise wrote:

    1. Goa was already settled, and had internal links to the rest of India. Sasserine was set up as a new state, with no support at all.


    Agree. Though Sasserine has had a 700 year run up (periodic sackings, plague, pestilence etc notwithstanding), I suppose.

    Samwise wrote:

    2. Barring a weird geography, which the map and background suggests doesn't exist, a blockade of the port will cut off those plantations, and Sasserine will starve. Worse, the blockaders will be able to eat from the plantations!


    Totally agree - though you could say that of any city under siege without stores of food laid in (it's harder to store food in sweltering climes I imagine, though). That said - I'm sure Sasserine has changed hands many times during the various wars between the Toli and Keoland. It's basically going to be run by whoever controls Jeklea Bay.

    Cauldron would presumably be equally open to coersion by siege, unless they have enough defensible agricultural terraces up there.

    Samwise wrote:

    3. Past a certain point, what use would a monopoly be? After a few years the city will be sucked dry of all wealth, and there seems to be no indication that it can seize enough to sell to a monopolist to support itself afterwards, particularly if said monopolist is exploiting the same sources! (That is, if the Sea Princes raid the Amedio for slaves and rare wood and spices, why would they bother paying Sasseriners for those things?)


    Well - they might have contracted slaving out to locals, paying enough to make it worth while for the contractors, while keeping the price low through competition from other sources. The ones really making cash would be the Princes and their local lackeys, who'd have been the nobles, presumably (and whose expensive tastes may have fueled the local economy somewhat). The sugar plantations would have been ruthlessly exploited, the monies going to the Hold, with small shares going to the local lackeys to keep them loyal and give them a reason to break heads and quash sedition.

    It also provides a good reason why they'd have been hated locally and were likely gladly overthrown when the SB took the Holders' boot off their throat. That fact, along with the small matter that the SB and LoI likely have a lot of de facto control over the trade in and out of Sasserine, makes the local's attitude to the SB very interesting - "we don't like them, but they're less oppressive than the Holders, so long as we don't piss them off". That's a political angle I'd really like to see explored and exploited:

    PCs: "Aha! A foul member of the Scarlet Sign! Have at you!"
    SB ambassador: "I really wouldn't do that if I were y-Ack!"
    Sasserine native #1: "No! For the love of Kord - you've doomed us all!"
    Sasserine native #2: "If we give the Brotherhood their heads, the Scarlet Ones might forgive us!"
    Sasserine native #3: "Get them, lads!"
    PCs: "Ooops..."

    Smile

    Samwise wrote:

    At most, Sasserine is a local transhipping port, not a local colonial strongpoint like Goa.


    That's my view pretty much. The objection isn't the population carrying capacity (so much), but what the underlying economic justification for that many folk down there is. Economics isn't the first thing you think of in a fun game, but it can add some interesting wrinkles and verisimilitude to background.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:12 am  

    Sound like a bunch of crap, which is what I expected. I am glad to hear it first here, so that when I finally get Dun 139+, I will be less disappointed.

    It looks like it will take a lot of work to massage it into something that seems reasonable. The things that seem most problematic are the walls, which I assume to be stone, and the population size. (That, and what I expect to see, every one looking shiny) The walls imply the large population has been around for a while. Same, with artificial islands. IMO, the thing to making it work is keeping the population low until very recently. I do not know how that works with the history given.

    Not having the Dun, I spend the long weekend rereading C1, tSB and OJ1. I am convinced about a couple of things relevant to Sassy.

    Tamoachan did not fall in -425, although there was a one day magical civil war at that time. GVD makes a good point about that being related to the II-nedraw, but it was also about policy. The Suel invasion had to be a major part of that. tSB, supported by OJ1 and C1, practically cites by date (you have to do the math and cross reference) that it survived after -390, along with Xamaclan. How long, it does not say. The jungles overran it within a decade, but only after the monsters that were unleashed destroyed it. It appears to me that after the civil war, the “monster” vampire “master of others” referenced in C1 oversaw the decline of the city during his likely very long rule, that was taking place as the conflict with the Suel grew greater. The Suel history in the northern Amedio is very long with the tunnel in UK6 staring in c -728, the houses of pursuit dropping in c -435, then more after the cats c -420 or later. By -350 they reach the lake, which fell by -170. -420 to -350 that is a long time, which implies a fighting advance. -124 for Sassy? Perhaps new blood gathered and organized the remnants after the fall of Tamaochan and the lake city. That is at the end of the first bout (3rd) of Toli wars, so they could have been Toli or Rhola.

    An Olman revival is practically called for by OJ1 and tSB. OJ1 references the improvement of technology by the Olman as a result of sea princes that went native. It also talk about tSB withdrawing to the coasts, so that would not know what is going on in the interior. War is about to breach out in the two Olman cities in Hep, but the merc friendly with those two could easily turn them upon the local SB fort. If tSB took a lot of Suel from the Northern Amedio, which might be the only way they could have so absurdly over extended themselves, (supplementing the Hep Suel) that would change the balance of power in the interior. The population of Sassy could have been increased as the Olman moved in on the Amedi Suel lands, driving them to Sassy.

    But they probably would not have had time to build islands or stone walls.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:32 am  

    I have not seen the Dungeon article yet, however, it strikes me that criticism of Sasserine may be missing a point.

    With Cauldron and now Sasserine being extensively developed, we may be seeing the advent of a "micro-setting" that in terms of how it relates to Greyhawk may be something along the lines of a "hidden kingdom." Indeed, because these areas were mapped from the start but only now reveal significant non-Olman habitation, the "hidden kingdom" approach has a certain logic to it.

    The rub is, of course, how it remained "hidden."

    Because Dungeon cannot freely use WoG, there in in the first instance no compelling need to explain how Cauldron/Sasserine remained "hidden" in WoG as it is not exclusively or intended to be pure WoG. It is WoG by deference.

    For the same reason, there is in the second instance no way Cauldron/Sasserine can take advantage of purely WoG mechanisms to remain "hidden" as WoG cannot be outright referenced.

    Sasserine/Cauldron is, then, left to "get by," leaving a fuller explaination of how it remained "hidden" in WoG for some later development that can address it fully in the context of WoG.

    Rather than grouse over how Sasserine remained "hidden" for so long, I think it more interesting to speculate how that worked precisely. As I read some of the posts in the thread, I get a sense that an explaination is looked for in the existing canon, which is certainly logical. However, just as Cauldron and Sasserine "appeared" one day, so might other factors "appear" that could help explain the cities "hidden" status. Of course, such new factors would have the same sudden "appearance" factor working for or against them as Cauldron and Sasserine themselves but that cat is now well out of the bag, that genie out of the bottle.

    So, what might jump out of the bushes to "explain" Sasserine and Cauldron as "hidden" enclaves, substantially free of the Scarlet Brotherhood, the Sea Princes and Keoland?

    Looking just at the geography, our old friends the Olman suggest themselves but as the Olman are not apparently featured in Sasserine, and were not a factor in Cauldron, it looks like something more must be afoot.

    For my part, I like the notion of a "hidden kingdom" approach, at least in general terms. I especially like that the explaination for how these cities remained "hidden" is not immediately traceable or attributable to "the usual suspects" in the near vicinity. IMO, its about time some new stuff was added, even if an explaination for it is not immediately apparent.

    I will look forward to reading the article.
    _________________
    GVD
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:51 am  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    Sound like a bunch of crap, which is what I expected. I am glad to hear it first here, so that when I finally get Dun 139+, I will be less disappointed.

    It looks like it will take a lot of work to massage it into something that seems reasonable. The things that seem most problematic are the walls, which I assume to be stone, and the population size. (That, and what I expect to see, every one looking shiny) The walls imply the large population has been around for a while. Same, with artificial islands. IMO, the thing to making it work is keeping the population low until very recently.


    As noted in my previous post, I don't have the issue yet. However, off the top of my head I can think of ways Cauldron and Sasserine might be explained, at least in terms of their physicality. (I'm waiting for the article before opining about how they might have remained substantially "hidden.")

    First, Sasserine has Cauldron and vise versa.

    Second, we have the Olman as potential trading partners, as well as the Amedi Suel, and perhaps the Dakon.

    Third, as we have mountains, dwarves suggest themselves.

    Fourth, as we have mountains, any number of upland valleys, plateaus suggest themselves. Cauldron itself is one extreme example. Such upland areas might contain a significant population, just depending, that could help support Cauldron and Sasserine in combination with the above. Here, the Inca civilization pops immediately to mind, as does Switzerland, as does Bhutan and Sikkim etc.

    Fifth, the geography, as noted earlier in the thread, has been redone and created new stretches of coastal plains to work with.

    Sixth, Jeklea Bay offers a huge aquatic environment, the undersea extents of which we know practically nothing about, our knowledge being limited to the Saltmarsh area and adjacent areas in the main. Here I'm think Stormwrack and some of the aquatic options available - Sea Elves, Aventi etc. Ponape also pops to mind. (Ponape also calls to mind GHolian's "polynesian" theories as an adjunct to the more traditional Centeral American take on the Olman).

    Seventh, we have the underdark to work with.

    In sum, I can see the economic/physical viability of Sasserine and Cauldron being potentially quite diverse and thus interesting. Just depending, they might be sufficiently self-sufficient to resolve at least that portion of the "hidden" equation.

    I'm liking that Sasserine is not being presented in a pat fashion that iimmediately explains itself.
    _________________
    GVD
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:32 pm  

    Well - they were as hidden as Rel Deven or Hendrenn Halgood were until Ivid the Undying and Marklands respectively... Smile

    It's kind of hard to hide a trading port.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:56 pm  

    Woesinger wrote:
    It's kind of hard to hide a trading port.


    Despite first appearances, this is not necessarily so, given a lack of satelite mapping or convenient atlas'. With whom trade was conducted would be of primary importance, as such trading partners would know of the port. How trade was conducted would also be important - was it somehow limited or restricted. If the number of trading partners was sufficiently limited and the trade was sufficiently valuable, details of the port might well be kept secret. People might know that a port existed and even its general location but perhaps no more. There is some historical prescedent for this.

    The Spanish monopoly on cochineal red dye in the Renaissance was just that, an absolute Spanish monopoly. The dye was the best red dye available, vibrant, not subject to fading and color fast - it was extremely valuable and other European powers tried repeatedly to break the Spanish lock on its trade and the accompanying secrecy - to no avail. While it was known widely that cochineal red dye came from the Spanish colonies in the Americas further details were entirely unknown until much later. For nearly 200 years, the exact origin of cochineal remained unknown and indeed the nature of cochineal as the product of an insect remained unknown.

    Japan, of course, was known in the Renaissance and until 1615 was open to foreigners. Beginning in 1616, Japan began to close itself off, expelling Europeans, who where finally relegated to an island in Nagasaki harbor, Deshima, that was only 3 acres in size. By 1641, Japan was closed to all outsiders and remained closed until Admiral Perry "opened" Japan some 200 years later. Japan became simultaneously known and unknown. And this despite a previously profitable trade between Japan and Europe - European governments deemed Japan to fierce a country to attempt to keep open by force. At least at the time, when Japan had widely adopted firearms and had technologically on a par with Europe. Of course, during her self-imposed isolation Japan would uniquely give up firearms and return to the sword, making Perry's job immensely more simple 200 years later.

    There are other examples.

    "Hidden" then may not equate to "completely unknown." Hidden may refer to isolation of one sort or another. Without reading the article, I have no idea how Sasserine remained "hidden." My immediate guess is that Sasserine, like Japan above, intentionally isolated itself and had some means of doing so that had to be respected. What that means might be remains to be seen, as I have not read the article.

    The idea of a "hidden" port in the sense of a controlled and enforced isolation is, however, not as preposterous as it first appears.
    _________________
    GVD
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:57 am  

    Agree with the isolation interpretation of hidden - though it appears to have been the Princes that did it, not the Sasserinese. Which makes sense since the Sea Princes would have controlled Jeklea Bay at that time and been able to dictate terms to Sasserine.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:31 am  

    Hiding the source of a dye, an animal or plant, is not the same as hiding an entire port.
    Closing known ports is not the same as hiding those ports.

    I will repeat, the background information in issue 139 says the port was hidden. The Sea Princes went around destroying all maps and references to the place, and subverting or killing any pilots who knew how to get there.
    In that context, the concept of a hidden port is preposterous.

    Certainly Sasserine could rather easily be isolated. With those cliffs, any mere trading ship could expect a quick trip to the bottom if it ignored the warnings that outside traders weren't welcome to dock. That is not hidden, particularly with the rest of the explanation included.

    As a side note, Jeklea Bay has a large, anti-social kraken moping around its depths. Or at least it did. So I doubt there is some grand undersea economy down there waiting to be exploited.

    Overall, Sasserine would probably do better as a Necropolis as I quipped to GLH in the chat a few days ago. Perhaps I'll hereticize about that.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 101


    Send private message
    Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:35 am  

    Samwise wrote:
    I will repeat, the background information in issue 139 says the port was hidden. The Sea Princes went around destroying all maps and references to the place, and subverting or killing any pilots who knew how to get there.
    In that context, the concept of a hidden port is preposterous.

    Overall, Sasserine would probably do better as a Necropolis as I quipped to GLH in the chat a few days ago. Perhaps I'll hereticize about that.


    Yeah I was sorely disappointed with the little bit of history we got for Sasserine in the Players Guide. I realize that the AP has to appeal to a larger range of gamers than just GH fandom but it still sucked the wind out of my sails. Wink

    My own version of Sasserine was to say the Suel Empire (after dealing with the Fiery Kings) created a trade port on the Jeklea with a huge population of indigenous peoples easily enslaved (remnants of a Flan mountain dwelling kingdom) once the Olman moved in they had a second group of slaves to use. The port was mainly chosen because of its natural proclivity for ship building (which certainly doesn't fit its Venice-like map). The Flan and then Olman became plantation 'workers' for both fruit orchards and sugar cane fields.

    Once the Crystalmists exploded, Sasserine became a horrible place to be. With trade no longer coming from the Imperium I can certainly see a steady decline and perhaps a few slave revolts before the Sea Princes took over the governance. (This happened right around the time in my campaign that Surabar came through gathered up a group of pissed off Flan and headed to Redgorge.)

    Cauldron was simply another slave taking outpost that fed obsidian, slaves, and diamonds to Sasserine and probably was completely abandoned up until Surabar comes into the picture and rediscovers it.

    I wanted to see what Paizo came up with but I think I will stick with my history.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:49 am  

    I can see Sasserine being set up there on an established native settlement a lot easier than it being founded there as a great place to build a city.

    As for a comparison to Venice, a bit of checking, and there is no comparison. Venice sits in the middle of an open lagoon.
    That map of Sasserine has some sort of peculiar confluence of three rivers in a bowl contained by massive cliffs. How it carved a hole through those cliffs, no clue. Why the rivers didn't just mosey through the softer jungle/swamp/coastal wetlands mush to either side of the cliffs, not a clue. How that little bowl of a harbor hasn't silted up completely, not a clue. I'm sensing a way too big "It's magic!" default, combined with massively anachronistic engineering (dredging) operations. (But Irongate can't have a canal!)
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:06 am  

    Samwise wrote:
    I'm sensing a way too big "It's magic!" default, combined with massively anachronistic engineering (dredging) operations. (But Irongate can't have a canal!)


    Laughing I was thinking of posting those very words. Well, I guess they were necessary to keep the place hidden. Wink

    I was hoping to ignore Cauldron as a "hidden kingdom", but I guess its history will be relevant do Sassy. Does anyone know of a readily available summary or posting on its history? I do not want buy the AP, but I guess I could drop a couple dollars for a very useful pdf.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:35 am  

    Samwise wrote:
    Hiding the source of a dye, an animal or plant, is not the same as hiding an entire port.
    Closing known ports is not the same as hiding those ports.

    I will repeat, the background information in issue 139 says the port was hidden. The Sea Princes went around destroying all maps and references to the place, and subverting or killing any pilots who knew how to get there.
    In that context, the concept of a hidden port is preposterous.


    Actually, if the means of "hiding" the port include attempts at erasing it from the map by suppressing information sources, that is in line with what I was trying to suggest - a campaign of isolation - rather than a literal "Sasserine? What Sasserine? I'm standing off the coast and I see nothing but wilderness," which would require the dreaded "its magic" explaination and which I would then agree would be preposterous.

    If the Sea Princes attempted to erase all information sources on Sasserine a few questions come to mind-

    1) How many such mundane sources were there to control?
    2) How did they deal with these and with what success using what methodology?
    3) Why would they go to all that trouble?

    Whether or not the Sea Princes "hiding" Sasserine mundanely is preposterous would depend on how these questions would be answered.

    This ties in to canon history, as well, as the Sea Princes, as called such, are of fairly recent derivation. I thought Sasserine/Cauldron was much older? If it is older, then the "Sea Princes" couldn't have "hidden" it as Sasserine/Cauldron would have existed before the Sea Princes, as such, existed.

    If Sasserine/Cauldron is younger than the establishment of the Sea Princes, that makes the question of how it was settled and why there was an attempt to "hide" it, and how, more important as the more current the canon year, the more we know of various goings on that would have to be accounted for.

    I am very much looking forward to reading this issue. BTW, who penned the history of Sasserine in the Dungeon?
    _________________
    GVD
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:12 pm  

    Hmmm. On the "its magical" front, a thought. What if there was a localized magnetic anomoly that messed up compasses in that part of Jeklea Bay? Your instruments say you are where a city should be and there is nothing there.

    Same line of thought. Suppose the coast was near permanently shrouded in mist or steam from large lava flows constantly feeding into the ocean?

    Scatter such flows more widely and add an anomolly and you have variously shrounded coasts that can't be told apart on the instruments.

    Just noodling. Smile
    _________________
    GVD
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:21 pm  

    If anyone could just sail on by the area, Sasserine wouldn't remain hidden for any length of time.

    To remove all references to Sasserine in the records of the Great Kingdom, which had attacked the place repeatedly for 400 years, is simply not credible.
    To do the same in the hidden archives of the Scarlet Brotherhood plunges over the line to completely absurd.

    As for lava flows, that would put Cauldron on an active volcano, and contradict elements of its background. (Like that great big freezing lake in the middle of it.)
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 17, 2004
    Posts: 923
    From: Computer Desk

    Send private message
    Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:00 pm  

    Rather than complain; let's figure it out Wink

    If we accept "hidden" is isolated rather than magical cause, this can work.
    1) Sasserine is a long way from "civilized" trade and nations, until recently the southern waters: tilvanot, amedio and hepmonaland were Terra Incognita to the vast majority.
    2) Time and distance dulls response, the Great Kingdom and SB simply had other things to do and Sasserine simply was ignored especially by the GK, so 400 years ago there is a record of a series of raids on a savage port, who cares?
    3) Kracken presence further suppresses large scale trade and exploration of the area.
    4) The Sea Princes control of the Bay allows them to isolate Sasserine given the lack of interest of other maritine nations in the extreme south Pre-War.
    5) I really like the Underdark angle as a means to provide a source of trade and market for Sasserine to survive perhaps even thrive in its relative isolation, until like Japan it was "opened" by the arrival of the SP.

    My thoughts, feel free to rip them to pieces Smile
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:40 pm  

    Crag wrote:
    Rather than complain; let's figure it out Wink


    Indeed, but I need the mag first, and that will be more enjoyable if my expectation are low because of the complaints. Wink
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:01 pm  

    As some of you know, I find 3X GH references to fit my notion of canon. Scrounging for such, I discovered something related to the topic at hand -Sasserine.

    The product is the August 2006 Wotc release: The Book of Nine Swords (Bo9S). This product describes The Sublime Way of swordcraft - nine schools of special weapon martial manuvers that border on the magical or which are magical in their effects. Three new 3X base classes are presented and eight PrCs.

    Among the descriptions in the book are frequent references to the GH gods of the still in use GH "default" for 3X - Hextor, Heironeous, Kord, Pelor, St. Cuthbert, Wee Jas etc. With respect to WeeJas, the Ruby Knight Vindicator PrC is described in some detail. In one of the "color" textual passages for the Ruby Knights, the following is found:

    "'Shadows and steel! Cross the church and you'll have to deal with them!' - Jvesskah, a yuan-ti crimelord in Sasserine." See Bo9S at p. 124.

    The obvious conclusion is that the Sublime Way is known in Sasserine. Other than a reference to the Free City (Paizo code for the City of Greyhawk), see Bo9S at p. 20, there is no other reference to a specific place in WoG.

    Taking the above quoted passage for what it says, perhaps we have some sense of how Sasserine might have avoided being outright conquered. A city full of adherants of the Sublime Way might have proved a deterent to any thought of invasion.

    At the same time, mysterious martial arts smacks of the idea of a "hidden kingdom" as well.

    It will be interesting to see if the Savage Tide AP mentions any of the organizations in the Bo9S. In any event, the Sasserine reference in Bo9S adds grist for the mill. YMMV.
    _________________
    GVD
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:35 am  

    There's apparently mention of Wee-Jas being worshiped in Sasserine until they were suppressed by noble who followed Kord (accusation of trafficking with devils apparently). This was just before the Sea Princes took control - so there might be something to the Ruby Knight thing. There was a power struggle between two factions, the Kord dude tried to take over the city - but couldn't subborn the RK's; he concocts a devil worshiping story, gets the RK suppressed, is all pleased with himself for a year until the Sea Princes waltz in and pluck the now largely defenseless port like the low-hanging fruit it is - the law of unintended consequences strikes again!

    That said - you can garrison the port with as many RKs as you like - any power able to cut it off from its food supply/trade routes is going to be able to dictate terms to the famished, plague ridden survivors in fairly quick time. I expect that Sasserine's been raided and occasionally sacked many times since its foundation - by the Toli, by the Keoish fighting the Toli, by the Holders and (perhaps, if the AP insists) by privateers out of Scant, Irongate or Naerie during the heydays of the Great Kingdom (which raises the idea that there might have been naval skirmishes between the GK and Keoland in the Azure in the early centuries CY).

    The "hidden" thing - why look for increasingly implausible explainations when the answer is right there? One of the Sea Princes who took over the city was probably a few swabs short of a crew and made a crazy decree to destory all maps in the Hold relating to Sasserine so that he and his cronies could maintain a monopoly on the trade there. He tried to "hide" it, but it doesn't mean the policy was effective. The master cartographers of Gradsul, Gryrax, Kro Terlep, Irongate or Scant would probably be very amused to hear that the Sea Princes thought that they'd "hidden" Sasserine. That said - in the Hold and Jeklea, where it really matters, the Holders may have had a monopoly on charts and navigation to the city. They certainly had a stranglehold monopoly on trade with the port.

    The first thing I thought of when I read that Sasserine is in a marshy bowl of land is malaria and other tropical pestilence. I'll bet that northerners don't last long in Sasserine. The locals may be inured to it by now - and I'd be shocked if there wasn't appeasment cults to Incabulos lurking in the town's underworld.
    And who says the port isn't silting up? Smile
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
    Posts: 539
    From: on the way to Bellport

    Send private message
    Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:17 am  

    A few comments that cannot hope to respond to all the posts since my review of The Players' Guide to Sasserine.

    First, to GVD: this AP appears to be explicitly set in the World of Greyhawk. The Dungeon adventure explicitily mentions Greyhawk. While James Jacobs doesn't talk about the Suel or any other race of the Flanaess, Greyhawk is mentioned multiple times as are its obscure gods, i.e., those not mentioned in Complete Divine.

    Moving on ... I think a lot of "our" issues with Sasserine would be "fixed" if we held that its population is around 5,000 instead of 15,000. This would account for feeding the populace, keeping it hidden, and generally accord better with the cities in the Jeklea Bay region. Paul, the Players Guide and Dungeon 139 both mention nearby plantations. Woesinger and Samwise, Dungeon 139 in no way suggests that Sasserine was built upon the ruins of a previous city. Rather, the issue makes clear that Sasserine led pilgrims to the area after feeling inspired by Wee Jas.

    To end this relatively brief post, Sasserine's Dungeon article is interesting. Its cover art shows an intriguing location that nevertheless begs many questions. For example, who built its famous bridge? Was Daern involved? Why in the Hells would the Great Kingdom have assaulted the city? Why isn't this Keoland?

    Toward that last question, I've mentioned world systems theory to Greyhawk fans before. The basic idea contests the eurocentric / modern notion that many of us were taught about world history and replaces it with a theory about the several inter-regional systems that existed historically until the Spanish and Portugese established a true world system of trade and communication shortly after the Italian Renaissance and before the center of this new world system shifted from Spain to England and the Netherlands.

    I incorporate world systems theory into my imaginary of Greyhawk. Therefore, the idea of the Great Kingdom or the Touv being involved in Jeklea Bay in antiquity sounds false. Rather, I hold that the Flanaess was highly regional or even subregional until relatively lately.

    Note, I'm not questioning the Great Migrations but rather arguing what I think canon clearly supports -- that the Aerdi conquered eastward relatively quickly but that communication and trade thereafter quickly lapsed or fixed into relatively small kingdoms and subareas, which trade only loosely tied together.

    While I appreciate Erik Mona and James Jacobs inventing an entirely new focus in Greyhawk, I wish they would have worked to make Sasserine (and Cauldron) fit better into the Flanaess rather than force it to comply with their new campaigns.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:19 am  

    mtg wrote:
    Why in the Hells would the Great Kingdom have assaulted the city? Why isn't this Keoland?

    Toward that last question, I've mentioned world systems theory to Greyhawk fans before. The basic idea contests the eurocentric / modern notion that many of us were taught about world history and replaces it with a theory about the several inter-regional systems that existed historically until the Spanish and Portugese established a true world system of trade and communication shortly after the Italian Renaissance and before the center of this new world system shifted from Spain to England and the Netherlands.

    I incorporate world systems theory into my imaginary of Greyhawk. Therefore, the idea of the Great Kingdom or the Touv being involved in Jeklea Bay in antiquity sounds false. Rather, I hold that the Flanaess was highly regional or even subregional until relatively lately.

    Note, I'm not questioning the Great Migrations but rather arguing what I think canon clearly supports -- that the Aerdi conquered eastward relatively quickly but that communication and trade thereafter quickly lapsed or fixed into relatively small kingdoms and subareas, which trade only loosely tied together.

    While I appreciate Erik Mona and James Jacobs inventing an entirely new focus in Greyhawk, I wish they would have worked to make Sasserine (and Cauldron) fit better into the Flanaess rather than force it to comply with their new campaigns.


    I _STILL_ have not found a copy of this article. Mad

    The idea of the GK assaulting an obscure port in Jeklea Bay is intriguing. I am personally pleased it was not just The Usual Suspects - the SB and Keoland. So I have no problem with this.

    The question I have is - why? What prompted such an attack? The GK has no history of attempting to colonize or even dominate the area. Something highly unusual must have been afoot. My first thought turns to a valuable commodity that the GK wanted to control. Leaving aside economics, the GK might have been motivated by . . .? Politics? Some threat to the GK from Sasserine that had to be "sharply checked?"

    If what we are seeing, on the other hand, is a variety of revisionist history where the GK now is "canonized" as having always had aspirations in the area of the Amedio, I would be all for that. While I appreciate your world systems thought, MTG, I see the entire Flanaess/Azure Sea as a Europe/Mediterranean analog. If the Byzantine Empire could have a Varangian Guard made up of Vikings (and a Viking/Norman kingdom in Sicily), the GK can go a viking in the Amedio and Sasserine. It stretches no credulity in my book.

    Just as I dislike the Azure Sea as an "SB lake," I dislike the idea that the Azure Sea is a "Keoland lake." Bring on the GK. Bring on Nyrond. Bring on Onnwal. Bring on the Iron League States. Mix it up! The Mediterranean saw Spanish, Genoan, Venitian, Pisan, Neopolitan, Ottoman, Byzantine, and Arab ships travelling all over the area at the same time. Earlier, we would add Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Phonecian, and colonies of all these. The idea that a single state or even two would dominate a sea the size of the Azure is what is a stretch (as GH has no Pax Romana). Muliple players is far more likely, IMO.

    From everything I'm hearing, I'm applauding Mona and Jacobs for thinking outside the narrow box "canon" can too often become. Happy
    _________________
    GVD
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 101


    Send private message
    Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:23 am  

    Samwise wrote:
    As for a comparison to Venice, a bit of checking, and there is no comparison. Venice sits in the middle of an open lagoon.
    That map of Sasserine has some sort of peculiar confluence of three rivers in a bowl contained by massive cliffs. How it carved a hole through those cliffs, no clue.


    That was my first thoughts as well. Why would people create a city here after the Twin Cats? It makes more sense that this was an established city that people struggled on with. The only thought I had was similar to what people were talking about in relation to glacial lake Missoula. Perhaps you had a huge mud slide that happened at the time of the Hellfurnaces explosion and instead of starting over the survivors decided to dredge out the existing harbor and struggle on. What was once a huge river became three smaller ones.

    The whole idea of Sasserine being kept secret is a complete Fate of Istus steaming pile of retcon as far as I am concerned. James Jacobs should have just glossed over that saying the Sea Princes tried to hide its existance as long as possible in order to protect their lucrative slave trade from Keoland.

    In reality we all know that Sasserine and Cauldron were never meant to be in Greyhawk. Now that they are lets not create a "mystical portal to Kara Tur to explain them".
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 101


    Send private message
    Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:33 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:

    The idea of the GK assaulting an obscure port in Jeklea Bay is intriguing. I am personally pleased it was not just The Usual Suspects - the SB and Keoland. So I have no problem with this.


    My first thought was an Orb of Dragonkind. I can see a small mission being put together if the GK thought an artifact of that magnitude was being held by a former noble of the Suel Imperium.

    It also fits the locations given in Dragon magazine for where Orbs eventually ended up....kinda. Wink
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:21 am  

    ::Tongue Planted Firmly In Cheek:: Wink

    Now wait just a minute! Let's just stop a moment and get our bearings here. Come on!

    Sasserine is set in Greyhawk. It was set there by Erik Mona and James Jacobs working for Paizo. We know from reading the Paizo message boards, the EN World message boards and even the Canonfire message boards, that Mona/Jacobs/Paizo _KNOW_ Greyhawk and - DO GREYHAWK RIGHT! They are the saviors of Greyhawk who produce universally EXCELLENT Greyhawk material. Mona in particular is hailed as THE Greyhawk EXPERT! He has even been compared to the Second Coming of Gygax.

    So. You don't like Sasserine? By Mona and Jacobs and Paizo? They you obviously don't know Greyhawk. If you don't believe it, ask the slobbering Mona/Jacobs/Paizo fanbois and grrls on the Paizo/En World/Canonfire boards! It true! You can read it for yourself.

    So. Let's have no more questioning of the GREYHAWK EXPERTS! For pennence, I suggest 50 Hail Jacobs, self-flagelation with the most recent copy of Dragon AND Dungeon, and that you stand vigil before your Erik Mona votive statue until you pass out. You _DO_ have an Erik Mona votive statue don't you?

    ::Tongue Removed From Cheek:: Wink

    Laughing Laughing Laughing

    Shocked
    _________________
    GVD
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:23 am  

    The problem with the GK "offically" attacking Sasserine is that the port appears to have no significant value. Why would a Herzog of South Province send a fleet all the way to the very opposite side of the Azure to attack a no account port that no one's really ever heard of, and which has absolutely no strategic value to him, unless his strategy is to throw away money, ships and lives (and the Crandens weren't that dissolute in the heyday of the GK)?

    Why not take on Keoland and go for Monmurg, Gradsul, Gryrax, Highport or Blue (which is right there on the opposite side of the Gearnat Straits and would give them far more significant advantage - in fact it's likely that there was an on-off raiding and trading relationship between Scant and Blue when they were respectively parts of the GK and Keoland)? Why not attack the Tilvanot, which was apparently wide open to attack (since Shar was a genuine hidden kingdom as opposed to Sasserine flavoured "hidden")?

    Neither the Varangian nor the Normans in Sicily examples support an offical intervention either, btw, though they do lean in favour of the unoffical agent POV. The Varangian expansion into Russia wasn't a grand invasion plan so much as opportunisitic raiding and then settling. They began in Byzantine service by being hired by the emperor Theophilus. Similarly, the Duchy of Normandy never made it a policy to invade southern Italy and Sicily. It all began with wandering Norman younger sons getting hired on as mercenaries by local lords and then little by little carving out a realm for themselves. Sasserine wouldn't be worth a cup of warm spit to the mighty Herzog of the South, but it might be a plump and easy prize to an enterprising privateer captain out of Scant.

    So you can either concoct what to my mind seems an implausible reason for the GK to ignore dozens of other places along the way to go all the way to Sasserine with an Imperial Fleet (eg Sasserine in fact built out of solid mithril - who knew?Wink) Or you can go for a more plausible and interesting idea that the GK they're referring to is privateers sailing out of GK ports and raiding widely across the Azure, including poor old picked-on Sasserine.

    The omission of Keoland from this is pretty glaring though. Keoland has a lot more reasons to go mucking about Jeklea Bay than Aerdy.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:05 pm  

    Woesinger wrote:
    The problem with the GK "offically" attacking Sasserine is that the port appears to have no significant value.


    I agree that this is the biggest question - why? That an answer is not provided in the article is odd and frustrating. However, that need not mean there is no reasonable answer.

    Woesinger wrote:
    Why not attack the Tilvanot, which was apparently wide open to attack (since Shar was a genuine hidden kingdom as opposed to Sasserine flavoured "hidden")?


    Shar was no more truely "hidden" than Sasserine might have been. The Shar is bigger, with more activity and controls the Tilvot Straight chokepoint. It is harder for me to believe Shar remained "hidden" than Sasserine.

    Woesinger wrote:
    Neither the Varangian nor the Normans in Sicily examples support an offical intervention either, btw, though they do lean in favour of the unoffical agent POV. The Varangian expansion into Russia wasn't a grand invasion plan so much as opportunisitic raiding and then settling. They began in Byzantine service by being hired by the emperor Theophilus. Similarly, the Duchy of Normandy never made it a policy to invade southern Italy and Sicily. It all began with wandering Norman younger sons getting hired on as mercenaries by local lords and then little by little carving out a realm for themselves.


    The point is only that you can have significant settlement of peoples far from their "homeland" even with medieval technology. Sasserine is not a bridge too far, to mix historical metaphors. Cool We could look at the Romans in North African and Arabia. We could look at the Knights of Rhodes. Etc. The point is not to draw an exact historic parallell but to say "its possible."

    Woesinger wrote:
    Sasserine wouldn't be worth a cup of warm spit to the mighty Herzog of the South, but it might be a plump and easy prize to an enterprising privateer captain out of Scant.

    So you can either concoct what to my mind seems an implausible reason for the GK to ignore dozens of other places along the way to go all the way to Sasserine with an Imperial Fleet (eg Sasserine in fact built out of solid mithril - who knew?Wink) Or you can go for a more plausible and interesting idea that the GK they're referring to is privateers sailing out of GK ports and raiding widely across the Azure, including poor old picked-on Sasserine.


    We simply do not know that Sasserine had no sufficient value to warrant an official response. That we are not given one in the article does not mean one does not exist. Your privateer suggestion is an interesting one but it is not necessarily superior to the Imperial Fleet crossing the Azure. The later is far grander and stirs the imagination more to wonder why such a thing might have occurred.

    Woesinger wrote:
    The omission of Keoland from this is pretty glaring though. Keoland has a lot more reasons to go mucking about Jeklea Bay than Aerdy.


    Agreed. Keoland deserved a mention. However, such does not mean that there should have been no reference to Aerdi. Nor should Keoland have necessarily player the greater role.

    It seems to me that what we may be seeing here is an effort to say, "Greyhawk is not the staid, boring, dull, bland, hidebound setting too many of its detractors (even some proponents!) say it is on any number of forums." What may be being said is "See. Greyhawk is not what you think it is, even you long time fans. It is still full of surprises. It is not all calcified canon." If this is near the case, I applaud Mona and Jacobs for daring to innovate in the oldest setting of them all. I'd think that very healthy and very forward looking. Until proven wrong, I'm going to give Mona and Jacobs substantial benefit of the doubt here and say - "Well done." They certainly have people talking and wondering and imagining - those are good things. Happy
    _________________
    GVD
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
    Posts: 539
    From: on the way to Bellport

    Send private message
    Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:31 pm  

    In a set of great threads on GreyTalk, we once discussed shipping routes, communication, and cultural diffusion.

    One idea from those discussions was that the Hold of the Sea Princes sent forth a fleet of great merchant galleys, which sojourned annually from the Hold, working its way along the southern shores of the Azure and then sailing up the coasts of Shar, Idee, etc.

    First, it secured exotic goods from the Amedio, then it contributed to the trade of the former Great Kingdom, Nyrond, the Wild Coast, and Keoland before returning home.

    As I recall the idea derived from an historical fleet that Venice once launched.

    Note, I've suggested that the Sea Princes didn't venture into the waters controlled by the Lordship of the Isles (or beyond). Rather, in this version, the Lordship and the Sea Barons controlled trade on the eastern coasts of Aerdy (and Hepmonaland).

    In the old threads, we discussed a little of the piracy that would attempt to capture some of the Sea Princes wealth. Perhaps some of that was Great Kingdom privateers, or a fleet from Irongate, sent to punish the Sea Princes, who might have featured their own privateers amongst the great fleet.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 101


    Send private message
    Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:25 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:

    So. You don't like Sasserine? By Mona and Jacobs and Paizo? They you obviously don't know Greyhawk. If you don't believe it, ask the slobbering Mona/Jacobs/Paizo fanbois and grrls on the Paizo/En World/Canonfire boards! It true! You can read it for yourself.

    Shocked


    I know you were joking but lets face it, the only possible reason for putting that one sentence in the Players Guide about the Hold of Sea Princes starting a campaign of secrecy and espionage to the point of using magic to remove Sasserine from foreign powers' maps was to unruffle us die-hards feathers. (When really all it does is raise more questions...such as: When did the Sea Princes become the Scarlet Brotherhood? and If they can keep Sasserine hidden as such for hundreds of years why can't they see the SB assassins before getting bumped off?)

    At the end of the day they really aren't getting paid to produce Greyhawk content. From Sargent to Rose Estes, from Gygax to Mona, I think there are some issues to be contested with any Greyhawk development. 99% of the Sasserine Players Guide is perfectly usable, which isn't too shabby.

    And let's face it anyone running the STAP in Eberron, FR, etc. won't give a rat's Exclamation .
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 24, 2005
    Posts: 18


    Send private message
    Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:26 am  

    Samwise wrote:


    As a side note, Jeklea Bay has a large, anti-social kraken moping around its depths. Or at least it did. So I doubt there is some grand undersea economy down there waiting to be exploited.



    Unless said Kraken controls said undersea economy ...
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:41 am  

    Lassiviren wrote:
    GVDammerung wrote:

    So. You don't like Sasserine? By Mona and Jacobs and Paizo? They you obviously don't know Greyhawk. If you don't believe it, ask the slobbering Mona/Jacobs/Paizo fanbois and grrls on the Paizo/En World/Canonfire boards! It true! You can read it for yourself.

    Shocked


    I know you were joking but lets face it, the only possible reason for putting that one sentence in the Players Guide about the Hold of Sea Princes starting a campaign of secrecy and espionage to the point of using magic to remove Sasserine from foreign powers' maps was to unruffle us die-hards feathers. (When really all it does is raise more questions...such as: When did the Sea Princes become the Scarlet Brotherhood? and If they can keep Sasserine hidden as such for hundreds of years why can't they see the SB assassins before getting bumped off?)

    At the end of the day they really aren't getting paid to produce Greyhawk content. From Sargent to Rose Estes, from Gygax to Mona, I think there are some issues to be contested with any Greyhawk development. 99% of the Sasserine Players Guide is perfectly usable, which isn't too shabby.

    And let's face it anyone running the STAP in Eberron, FR, etc. won't give a rat's Exclamation .


    You are right, Jacobs rode in on his skateboard and spray painted “bioch” in bubble letters on the cover of the Guide and Glossography, all the while thinking in doing so he was “old school” because he was using Greyhawk names. He did it with Mona’s approval. I got Dun 139 last night and read the Sassy background, but not the module yet. Halflings? Opera house? No mention of Olman or Keoland? Lotus Dragon? What is wrong with Orchids! Is it that 14 year olds wont know what those are, but will the latter through playstation or some such. I was actually laughing as I read the efforts of the Sea Princes to hide the city. A passing reference to the GK was the least of its problems. Well at least the coffee issue has been resolved.

    Having never subscribed to Dun before and after seeing some fairly good GH development I did so recently just for this AP. I will not be renewing. If this is the direction of GH canon development, I’ll be a heretic. I just hope that the rest of the series does not trash the Olman as bad as it did the Jeklea. On the plus side, from reading the Isle of Dread, I don’t think it will. (Mystara –Bioch!) I do not know if it is even worth trying to harmonize Sassy with prior canon, let along apocrypha. Right now it look to me like it should be ignored or laughed at. I think the latter.

    Oh, better far to live and die
    Under the brave black flag I fly,
    Than play a sanctimonious part,
    With a pirate head and a pirate heart.
    Away to the cheating world go you,
    Where pirates all are well-to-do;
    But I'll be true to the song I sing,
    And live and die a Pirate King.
    For I am a Pirate King!
    And it is, it is a glorious thing
    To be a Pirate King!

    Set sail for Castle Greyhawk! (What? Its on land? Well we'll use air ships then.)
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Fri Sep 08, 2006 11:35 am  

    Lassiviren wrote:
    I know you were joking but . . . At the end of the day they really aren't getting paid to produce Greyhawk content.


    I was joking, as indicated, and you are correct. They are not. I think some people have issues because they percieve them to be and they don't disabuse them of the notion but I also think there is more to it -

    Wolfsire wrote:
    . . . Jacobs rode in on his skateboard and spray painted “bioch” in bubble letters on the cover of the Guide and Glossography, all the while thinking in doing so he was “old school” because he was using Greyhawk names. He did it with Mona’s approval. . . . I do not know if it is even worth trying to harmonize Sassy with prior canon, let along apocrypha. Right now it look to me like it should be ignored or laughed at. I think the latter.


    I believe to understand "Paizo-Hawk" and to appreciate it you have understand who Jacobs and Mona are.

    Mona is a Greyhawk geek. Or at least that's where he comes from. His thing is the detail of the setting and its sense of history.

    Jacobs is a Greyhawk playa/DeMm. Or at least I believe this is where he comes from. His thing is how he has actually played and DMed the game.

    While Mona's first instinct is to look something up or recall it to mind, Jacob's first instinct is to roll the dice and "get the party started." Mona's a player and DM too, and Jacobs has an appreciation for the setting, but their approaches are fundamentally different. I think you see this in their writing. They are also complimentary. I think you see this in the working relationship they have built at Paizo.

    Taken together, and given the constraints they must operate under, I think they are doing better and better. Don't miss the forest for the trees. YMMV.
    _________________
    GVD
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:13 pm  

    Quote:
    Don't miss the forest for the trees.


    You are right, I should not judge the whole AP by the first issue. The stuff on the Olman, if the Isle of Dread is to be a guide, will be promising. But I am getting Dun specifically for GH content and what a first impression. The pictures are nice, and the adventure itself might not be bad, but the background on Sassy .... Dawn Council basing its decisions on insta-polls? NG primarily worshiping Oerdian gods (even with the Suel) as allies of tSB, who although they themselves where secret until recently, have a long history with this city? Just with regard to this city, the forest was bad to begin with and the individual trees do not make up for it.

    JJ as editor of Dun showing off his stuff here does not bode well for GH.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:44 pm  

    It sounds like another shake and bake generic fantasy city.

    Opera house? Check.
    Anacronistic and fluffy system of government? Check.
    Weird attempt to shoehorn the city into GH background? Check.

    Look - there's nothing wrong with a nice fantasy city, but could they at least have made an effort to think about the setting rather than willy-nilly put in some cool stuff. You can have cool stuff, but cool stuff that fits.

    Anyone want to do Sasserine as it should be? Or better yet a postfest of Sasserines (since getting everyone here to agree on one model for the city would be...challenging). Smile
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:17 pm  

    I took a little road trip this afternoon and picked up a copy of Dungeon 139. I've read the article.

    Do I agree with all the design decisions - no.
    Would I do things differently - yes.
    Is Sasserine a despicable affront to reason or Greyhawk - no.

    As I've read posts in this thread, I can broadly categorize criticisms of Sasserine into two broad groups:

    1) Problems with some of Sasserine's specific features; and
    2) Problems with Sasserine's history.

    Problems with specific features of Sasserine are present but overblown. There is nothing that cannot be explained by two expedients -

    a) Anachronisms historical and natural (Welcome to Greyhawk - Land Of Cowboys, Crashed Spaceships, Warm northern seas, Ebon glaciers etc.); and
    b) Recent additions to the city, start-up ventures etc.

    Problems with Sasserine's history are present but also overblown. Here the explanations are going to discomfit only those Emperor Norton's who imagine that their unpublished suppositions ought to be regarded as equivalent to canon -

    a) The extent of Keoland's power has always/inevitably been sharply limited outside of the Sheldomar Valley - the lands between the Javan and Sheldomar Rivers;

    b) The penultimate power of the Flanaess has always been The Great Kingdom/Aerdi; and

    c) The Sea Princes are a far more complicated entity than previously imagined, an addition to canon to be sure but not contradictory of anything except the supposed power of Keoland that turns out to have been more imagined or hoped for than demonstrable.

    The single largest problem I see is the "hiding" of Sasserine. However, if the active agent were said to be, not the Sea Princes, but the Scarlet Brotherhood, the problem would largely disappear. I suggest this is precisely what accounts for the hiding of Sasserine -

    The Sea Princes were able to "hide" Sasserine with the conivance of the Scarlet Brotherhood. Consider:

    1) Generally, the SB had people in place throughout the Flanaess who might have had "spies" who could have a) "infiltrated cartographer guilds and libraries," b) "bought off or murdered" ship captains;

    2) The SB overthrew the Sea Princes in a night, suggesting they had for some long period positioned people in deep cover positions throughout the Hold of the Sea Princes;

    3) The SB presents itself in an open and friendly way in Sasserine (Dungeon 139 at p. 51) but also maintains a secret presence (Dungeon 139 at p. 53 (House of Violets entry)).

    That the SB might have cooperated with the Sea Princes to "hide" Sasserine, to save it for itself and the Sea Princes, who would be overthrown, is not unreasonable.

    Obviously, James Jacobs the author was writing with adventures in mind as Sasserine has plenty of hooks. That is no fault. Paizohawk must serve two masters - Greyhawk and a general audience.

    I have no problem with Sasserine as presented.
    _________________
    GVD
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:32 pm  

    Grasping at straws like this just makes it worse.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    a) Anachronisms historical and natural (Welcome to Greyhawk - Land Of Cowboys, Crashed Spaceships, Warm northern seas, Ebon glaciers etc.); and


    There is only one cowboy, the crashed spaceships don't have an impact on the setting like this, there are currents that make northern seas a lot warmer, and a single magical black glacier isn't enough justification for casual impossibilities.

    Quote:
    b) Recent additions to the city, start-up ventures etc.


    Except recently the city changed conquerers, and the new ones would be cutting down based on race, not starting up new export businesses.

    Quote:
    a) The extent of Keoland's power has always/inevitably been sharply limited outside of the Sheldomar Valley - the lands between the Javan and Sheldomar Rivers;


    Which of course ignores canon.

    Quote:
    b) The penultimate power of the Flanaess has always been The Great Kingdom/Aerdi; and


    Which ignores the canon dates of the establishment and collapse of the Great Kingdom.

    Quote:
    c) The Sea Princes are a far more complicated entity than previously imagined, an addition to canon to be sure but not contradictory of anything except the supposed power of Keoland that turns out to have been more imagined or hoped for than demonstrable.


    Which ignores that they've only been around for 150 years or so.

    Quote:
    The Sea Princes were able to "hide" Sasserine with the conivance of the Scarlet Brotherhood. Consider:


    Which ignores that the Sea Princes seized control over 100 years ago while the SB only seized the Sea Princes 10 years ago.

    Quote:
    3) The SB presents itself in an open and friendly way in Sasserine (Dungeon 139 at p. 51) but also maintains a secret presence (Dungeon 139 at p. 53 (House of Violets entry)).


    The SB is also noted as having tried to conquer Sasserine for several hundred years.

    Quote:
    Obviously, James Jacobs the author was writing with adventures in mind as Sasserine has plenty of hooks. That is no fault. Paizohawk must serve two masters - Greyhawk and a general audience.


    I'm not faulting him for writing something to appeal to a general audience.
    I'm faulting him for an egregiously flawed map, and a history incompatible with the specific history of Greyhawk.
    The first adventure reads well enough. It is merely the background I find wanting.
    There is a difference.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2004
    Posts: 666


    Send private message
    Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:58 pm  

    Yeah, there's never been any doubt that they write decent to good adventures. But, frankly, I don't have any real need to buy a magazine for the adventures. I think I've run maybe a dozen pre fab adventures in 25 years of DMing (and most of those were during forays into Ars Magica or Call of Cthulhu). I do occassionally buy adventures for the associated background material, however. Unfortunately, the background material in most dungeon magazine adventures has been pretty problematic and this doesn't seem to be any different. May end up just buying the Pearl sea poster map edition and skip the rest.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2004
    Posts: 666


    Send private message
    Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:10 am  

    Crag wrote:

    1) Sasserine is a long way from "civilized" trade
    2) Time and distance dulls response
    3) Kracken presence
    4) The Sea Princes control of the Bay allows them to isolate Sasserine
    5) I really like the Underdark angle


    The main problem is not with the background alone. Its with a large (one of the top 4 or 5 cities in the Sheldomar Valley region) civilized city (opera house, etc) able to be erased like this and still function.

    If we make Sasserine into a grubby trade port of a few thousand scrounging a living on spices, slaves, and other jungle goods then it could pretty easily be hidden by the Sea Princes. At least in so far common knowledge goes. Few would have heard of it and fewer still know exactly where it is.

    But to hide a city of that size and sophistication without disrupting its trade and success? That's going to be a lot harder to manage.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:43 pm  

    And how does a city on the edge of civilisation get the wealth and critical mass to build an opera house? You can claim its the work of a mad eccentric, but that's fairly weak. Unless you turn it into a massive, squalid, festering tenement - which is a more likely fate, given Sasserine's location and history. Smile
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3811
    From: So. Cal

    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:47 am  

    Yes, there can never be enough festering tenemants in GH. The Blue box City of Greyhawk map is very anti-festering tenements, which is the main reason I do not care for it all that much. GH needs more blatant squallor.

    Sasserine would benefit greatly from some more squallor, and this would make it a more suitable place for the scum that lurk there.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 09, 2005
    Posts: 34


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:55 am  

    mtg wrote:
    The city is divided into seven districts and ruled by the Dawn Council, consisting of a noble "representative" for each district. The city's layout reminds me of what I imagine Venice and Dyvers to be, situated on the shore with multiple bridges connecting numerous islands within what appears to be a lagoon. However, the interior islands might have been manufactured, for many of the channels that cut through them are too straight to be natural.


    That's just ridiculous. While Venice, and Dyvers, are situated in climates and geographies that are suited for a canal city like that, the coast of the Amedio jungle on the Jeklea Bay is not.

    Ground on a tropical coast is wet and muddy. The canal networks you see in cities here in Florida weren't possible until the introduction of late 19th and early 20th century technology. Without heavy, reinforced concrete walls to contain them, the shorelines of tropical coasts change dramatically over time, sometimes within the course of months, not years. Even if we embrace the "Hey, the Romans had concrete!" argument and allow such things in Sasserine, it should be considered that Rome was not sinking huge, thick sections of concrete into the muddy, unstable floors of tropical canals.

    Rivers and canals in the tropics get clogged up with silt and other refuse washed along by the water. Again, to properly dredge this gunk out and prevent the rivers from clogging, and as a result, changing course, requires the use of at least steam, or preferably, deisel powered boats.

    Yah, you could probably muster up some weird explanation for things using magic and monsters, but to me that makes the city silly and unbelievable to the point where there is no drama or wonder while roleplaying there. Enjoyable fantasy needs to have at least some grounding in believable reality.

    Quote:
    Each district is associated with several "District Feats," elaborations of FR's regional feats and described as purposely slightly more powerful than regular feats with the suggestion of assigning one to each Savage Tides PC, contingent on their district home. (Sasserine is intended to be the PC's hometown.)


    This seems very odd to me. There's only 15,000 people in the city, but it's divided into 7 districts, each unique enough to grant regional feats to its citizens? Just doesn't seem likely in a town of that size.

    Quote:
    What might be of greatest interest to GH fans is "Sasserine's History" on page 10. Summarizing it, the city was founded "over 700 years ago, in the year -124 CY by pilgrims from the north." The pilgrims were led by a priestess of Wee Jas, Sasserine, who died within the future city's limits by fighting a black dragon. Her lover, a male fighter, then founded the city in her honor.


    Even using the dubious dates given in Scarlet Brotherhood, doesn't this mean that these suel pilgrims arrived well before the fall of the Olman Empire? They were somehow able to drive off the local Olman and Amedi and build a huge city? How many pilgrims were there? Who killed the dragon?

    Quote:
    His rule was brief, however, because the Sea Princes quickly overthrew him and "kept Sasserine a secret from the rest of the world, hoping to hide the valuable port from invaders by destroying any references to it they could find."


    This, again, is foolish deisgn. A trade city of this size needs to actually trade to prosper and support its citizens. You can't make much money in trade if noone can find you.

    Quote:
    Apparently, the Sea Prince-installed rulers of the city were overthrown and replaced by "native" nobles of the city.


    Ok, in the Hold, it is plausible that the Brotherhood might install locals as figurehead puppet governments, but the idea that they would do so with the locals of the Amedio coast is absolutely ridiculous given the fact that in every other Amedio area settlement they've come across, the locals are either slaughtered or enslaved.
    _________________
    Salud, Maria
    Olmanifesto, my Amedio blog:
    http://olmanifesto.blogspot.com/
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 101


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 8:59 am  

    I finally got #139. It really didn't clear up any reservations that I had from reading the Players Guide. A few things that baffle me completely...

    Sasserine can only possibly exist originally as a slaving outpost, for no other reason would a group of people decide to operate from a marshy swamp and try to create a port from it. I can only imagine this was completely ignored due to 'PC'ness reasons.

    I respect the fact that James might not want to offend people or whatever his reason for ignoring this, but lets face it our country [US] was founded on slavery...and this is just fantasy after all. If you ignore the slavery question you then presume that Sasserine operated independently for 100's of years...why then have the Sea Princes enter the picture at all? Why not have the SB always in control of Sasserine since its creation? I think the answer is that James wanted the city founded by people of good rather than evil...as we know in history almost all civilizations expand due to good intentions and warm hearted kindness. Wink

    I imagine that the Sea Princes were a bunch of independent scally wags that only agreed on something when it suits them, such as when they are faced by extermination from Keoland. It doesn't make any sense for them to cooridinate to conquer Sasserine or hide its presence. Perhaps the Sea Prince closest to Sasserine chose to conquer it... but honestly the whole founding of Sasserine makes the most sense if the eventual ruler of Sasserine became one of the Sea Princes when the Hold was founded. KISS principle in action.

    chibirias wrote:
    Rivers and canals in the tropics get clogged up with silt and other refuse washed along by the water. Again, to properly dredge this gunk out and prevent the rivers from clogging, and as a result, changing course, requires the use of at least steam, or preferably, deisel powered boats.


    The map is certainly a problem, I struggled with this when transporting Cauldron into Greyhawk. Especially considering the city is 15,000 people and a certain portion of those are certainly uprooted refugees. I really hoped that the map would be simple...what we got was a weird cliff bowl thing at the end of three rivers which happens to be part of an effluvial swamp (and yet it is deep enough for logging operations!).


    So in conclusion...the whole thing is a bloody mess of the highest order. I would almost prefer it if they just kept Cauldron/Sasserine completely seperate and said that the world is Aerth or Yarth or something.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 09, 2005
    Posts: 34


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:03 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Indeed, because these areas were mapped from the start but only now reveal significant non-Olman habitation, the "hidden kingdom" approach has a certain logic to it.


    So we're to just ignore anything that Greyhawk material has suggested exists in the Amedio in favor of poorly fitted material that is only Greyhawk because Paizo wants to shoehorn their adventures into a setting? Alas, the great green dungeon is alive and well! Wink

    The rub is, of course, how it remained "hidden."

    Quote:
    For the same reason, there is in the second instance no way Cauldron/Sasserine can take advantage of purely WoG mechanisms to remain "hidden" as WoG cannot be outright referenced.


    But, as Marc's review post states, Greyhawk is referenced directly and explicitly.

    Quote:
    Looking just at the geography, our old friends the Olman suggest themselves but as the Olman are not apparently featured in Sasserine, and were not a factor in Cauldron, it looks like something more must be afoot.


    Exactly. To be specific, Sloppy design and ignorance of Greyhawk source material in favor of generica is afoot. So much for our old pal the "jedi Master of Greyhawk canon".
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 09, 2005
    Posts: 34


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:09 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:

    Second, we have the Olman as potential trading partners, as well as the Amedi Suel, and perhaps the Dakon.


    If by trading partners you mean source of slaves, sure.

    Quote:
    Fifth, the geography, as noted earlier in the thread, has been redone and created new stretches of coastal plains to work with.


    That's certainly convenient.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 09, 2005
    Posts: 34


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:10 am  

    Lassiviren wrote:
    Once the Crystalmists exploded, Sasserine became a horrible place to be. With trade no longer coming from the Imperium I can certainly see a steady decline and perhaps a few slave revolts before the Sea Princes took over the governance.


    Sasserine was founded 700 years ago, the Suel Imperium was destroyed 1000 years ago, there never was any trade there.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 09, 2005
    Posts: 34


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:12 am  

    Samwise wrote:
    (But Irongate can't have a canal!)


    Are the hobloggers on strike again? Laughing
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 101


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:13 am  

    chibirias wrote:
    GVDammerung wrote:
    Indeed, because these areas were mapped from the start but only now reveal significant non-Olman habitation, the "hidden kingdom" approach has a certain logic to it.

    So we're to just ignore anything that Greyhawk material has suggested exists in the Amedio in favor of poorly fitted material that is only Greyhawk because Paizo wants to shoehorn their adventures into a setting? Alas, the great green dungeon is alive and well! Wink


    Actually I don't feel there is much wrong with ignoring the Olman here. My own thinking is that Cauldron/Sasserine predate the Olman in the Amedio by quite a bit if they are actually vestiges of the Suel Imperium.

    The Olman became a happy resource for the Suel refugees that fled the Rain of Colorless Fire and created new plantations around the Jeklea. Also if there is a significant amount of Olman here in this area then why do we see a group of Suel building on the north shore of Matreyeus Lake? This seems to point to the fact that there was little to oppose their migrations up until that point. YMMV of course.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 101


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:18 am  

    chibirias wrote:
    Sasserine was founded 700 years ago, the Suel Imperium was destroyed 1000 years ago, there never was any trade there.


    Actually Sasserine existed previous to Cauldron. Cauldron was said to be founded 700 years ago. I found it interesting that James ignored this bit as well, and ignored Surabar (the wizard that founded Redgorge and Cauldron) originally coming from Sasserine in the Shackled City Adventure Path.

    And lets also not forget that he ignores that fact that Sasserine is basically sitting next to a horde of demons.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 09, 2005
    Posts: 34


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:23 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    If what we are seeing, on the other hand, is a variety of revisionist history where the GK now is "canonized" as having always had aspirations in the area of the Amedio, I would be all for that.


    Except that that would have led to major battles, if not outright war, with Keoland, who does have a record of colonial interest an activity in the Amedio, in canon. The expedition to Tamoachan was sponsored by Keoland. More importantly, the jungle expedition of Matreyus was a Keoish undertaking, and a large scale incursion into the inland jungles not only suggests, but almost requires that a rather extensive lead occurs first, with ships charting the coasts, making contacts with locals, etc. Yet somehow thos explorers overlooked a city of 15,000 people, odd.

    Two major world powers competing for the same colonial real estate leads to conflict and wars, refer to the histories of Spain, France, Britain, etc in colonial America.

    Quote:
    From everything I'm hearing, I'm applauding Mona and Jacobs for thinking outside the narrow box "canon" can too often become. Happy


    You are being way too generous. It is completely obvious here that these errors and issues that people are bringing up are not intentional changes created to breathe depth into the setting, but the quick and dirty development of writers who are now on a publishing railroad, and need to get their adventures done and in print, at whatever expense to the setting.
    _________________
    Salud, Maria
    Olmanifesto, my Amedio blog:
    http://olmanifesto.blogspot.com/
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 09, 2005
    Posts: 34


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:27 am  

    Lassiviren wrote:
    Perhaps you had a huge mud slide that happened at the time of the Hellfurnaces explosion and instead of starting over the survivors decided to dredge out the existing harbor and struggle on. What was once a huge river became three smaller ones.


    Exactly how would they do that, without resorting to some cheesy idea about weird monsters or tons of powerful spellcasters?
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:51 am  

    As a note, that map of Sasserine wouldn't be a lagoon, it would be a bay. (Probably.) It would be an exceptionally small one that should have silted up in 700 years. (Assuming of course it was created the week before the settlers arrived or something.) And yes, it should have silted up. It has 3 rivers flowing down off a volcano in a tropical climate. They are going to carry tons of silt.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 06, 2005
    Posts: 39


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:18 pm  
    negativity getting carried away

    There are some valid areas of criticism for sasserine and savage tide -- ok, ok the opera house is a little much for a city like this! Yeah the city isnt quite as squalid as it might be. Big deal, delete the opera house from your sasserine, play up the dirtiness a good bit more, throw in a few naasssttyy tropical storms and a few scoundrel types in the harbor district.

    I live in the swamps (we call em bayous to make em sound romantic) in Houston -- my family is from baton rouge and charleston among other places. It is certainly possible to have a small city in a swampy area, even without modern technology. Youd settle such a city if it was protected (see the cliffs mentioned) and if it had a great harbor (which it sounds like it does) and had prospects for trade. A good part of medieval italian cities were near swamps or lowlands. Such swamps were drained as technology improved back to the level of the Romans.

    It is also possible to have canals. Not all of Sasserine's "canals" have to be natural. Sasserine's topography could be a lot like my region -- where little estuaries and watercourses and deltas are all over the place and people simply enlarge and expand them. Old french towns in southern LA literally have bayous and canals running through them. the aztec city of tenochtitlan was riven with waterways and in the middle of a lake and aztec technology was far lower than sasserine. Old ethnic jokes make fun of cajuns and their pirogues (canoes). Now, the one thing the previous poster was right about, is in the absence of technology your canals would collapse a lot. If you read the Sasserine guide, the head of the dredgers guild is a dwarf -- Id bet he gets good stone from cauldron to reinforce major canals and still has major headaches. But, who cares if your canals and bridges fall down occasionally. If you live near the Gulf of Mexico or the Azure Sea, you KNOW that your city will get TKO'ed every 100 years or so (Galveston twice in the past century, New Orleans recently). Canals that collapse every five years pale in comparison to the threat of a a big hurricane!

    One critique that I havent heard people mention is malaria. Malaria was terrible in early medieval italy and it might be in houston and new orleans if it wasnt for insect control. However, I dont know if they intended this or not, but James and Erik did create the perfect remedy! Cauldron is paired with sasserine! Cauldron would be malaria free as it is at elevation. Much like colonial america charleston (yes I know Ive been all over the swampy south), in the rainy season (and probably in Hurricane season as well!) the elite of sasserine would haul **** inland to Cauldron. In Houston, even with air conditioning, many of the elite go to Santa Fe, NM in the steamy summers. In cauldron, when the coast was clear, theyd come back when mosquitos are tolerable. In the Gulf, the heart of hurricane season is really only two, maybe three months long (Aug - Sept maybe Oct are the worst part). As weve seen with New Orleans, the lower class isnt as mobile as the middle class and wealthy, so they'd probably just go to church or the azure cathedral in sasserine and suck it up.

    I also think that sasserine would be the perfect location for a trade entrepot. You guys are making a huge mistake with respect to crops. Sugar prices are very volatile and it can be very lucrative. Think sugarcane (as the sasserine guide mentions). Medieval europeans lusted for sugar prior to really developing a spice fix -- I have a book at home about the trade and sugar prices were very high in the renaisance. Look up the Madeiras and Canary isles jutting into the Atlantic. If I recall the Spanish set up sugar plantations ASAP once they took out the guanches. Or Cuba. Sugar plantations (this is why the cubans were a natural for the rum industry). Especially with the warfare in the Hold of the Sea Princes, Sasserine is THE logical place for an awesome sugarcane industry. Sugar prices could be very high in the Flanaess

    Finally, I think you guys are overestimating the necessity of the role of olman/slaves. For example, south carolina used indentured servants long before slaves in their fields. The poorer french settlers in LA did it themselves until slavery was popularized. In addition, the WHOLE POINT of taking slaves from africa is that you didnt want people who knew the environment, had language, etc, and who could escape easily. If you put olman on a plantation, they could easily slip into the amedio and find their tribal brothers. Think of the Sasserine plantation owners taking in shiploads of convicts from keoland and ulek and sending them into the inland plantations to work out their sentences as well as using some olman slaves. This motley mixed race crew of plantation workers would probably come to sasserine / new orleans and live as the working class or underclass depending on their character and skills.

    Also, it is extremely logical to NOT allow slaves into sasserine (slaves arent prominently mentioned in the guide). Slaves and indentured servants are DANGEROUS. Slave revolt was greatly feared in the South and homeowners had elaborate defenses at times in charleston. Bottom line, a very astute city council could simply ban slaves and indentured servants from the city proper, relegating them to transit traffic only.

    There are other agricultural products that you guys might be missing. There are two kinds of dyes (one was grown by the venetians and the other was grown by slaves in south carolina) which names escape me at the moment that love subtropical regions and would be very valuable.

    Tropical woods would be a nice export from the Amedio plus some obsidian from Cauldron. Sasserine would be a great place to get rich with some significant risks (scarlet brotherhood spies, hurricanes, mosquitoes, collapsing canals, pirates). At least the pirate risk can be mitigated, look at how lafitte worked hand in glove with the gentry of new orleans for a time. Sasserine could have privateers with letters of marque in a time of war!

    Defensible coastal cities like Sasserine, Venice, Carthage, Gibraltar, Goa are always both desirable and hard to conquer. There is no shock that the Sea Princes would try. Why not the Great Kingdom? We know at one point they were interested in Hepmonaland. Maybe they went through a brief "sea phase" much like Ming China and an ambitious admiral tried to take sasserine. Its a little bit of a stretch but nothing silly. Im sure the sahuagin have raided. Im sure that Keoland did something during their imperialistic phase. Ho-hum, its kind of like hurricane season. You make some preparations and ride it out. You know that the invaders (1) dont know the territory, 2) are going to get devastated by disease, (3) will get wiped out by tropical storms without a harbor, 4) will have a hard time landing or marching through the swamps, 5) will need to constantly refit their ships (and need a good harbor to do that). Look back at the war of 1812, the only major success the US had was when the british tried to take new orleans and were turned back by rednecks and pirates in their own element. Simply put, Im not surprised that JJ said that Sasserine was only conquered once and that with an internal rebellion aiding the effort.

    Im not wild about the notion of the sea princes 'hiding' sasserine -- I AGREE with this criticism. Why not just tweak the words to "marginalize sasserine". Maybe the sea princes wanted to make sasserine less of an trading entrepot, maybe they wanted exclusive rights to the obsidian, wood, dye, and sugar for their own homeland -- adam smith hadnt been invented yet and they may have believed in mercantilism. Much like the British tried to do with America. This would have hurt sasserine's economy and led to a great deal of resentment -- as the Players Guide mentions.

    I grew up in Texas during the boom and bust of the 1970s and 1980s, commodity states/towns can grow, collapse and grow like wild all within thirty or forty years. Sugar cycles are pretty volatile too (uptrend right now) so Id suspect that sasserine has been through dozens of cycles of boom and bust over the past 700 years and is probably in a nice boom phase right now.

    Bottom line, I mostly like Sasserine and Cauldron. But then again, the topography and culture doesnt seem very alien to me. Hmmm, let me see, potential for the ambitious to "hit it rich" via trade and business, pirates, smugglers, boom and bust commodity cycles, ultra wealthy mingling with the poor, seasonal migration to the highlands, hurricanes, mosquitoes, waterborne transport, ethnic tension, god it sounds like houston or new orleans.

    I like the first Savage Tide adventure even more. It could be a little seamier or dirtier but other than that it is fine.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 101


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:38 pm  
    Re: negativity getting carried away

    txwad wrote:
    Finally, I think you guys are overestimating the necessity of the role of olman/slaves. For example, south carolina used indentured servants long before slaves in their fields. The poorer french settlers in LA did it themselves until slavery was popularized. In addition, the WHOLE POINT of taking slaves from africa is that you didnt want people who knew the environment, had language, etc, and who could escape easily. If you put olman on a plantation, they could easily slip into the amedio and find their tribal brothers. Think of the Sasserine plantation owners taking in shiploads of convicts from keoland and ulek and sending them into the inland plantations to work out their sentences as well as using some olman slaves. This motley mixed race crew of plantation workers would probably come to sasserine / new orleans and live as the working class or underclass depending on their character and skills.


    Actually the Hold of Sea Princes' entire economy is based on slaves. James doesn't mention slaves, I am guessing, because it was a part of Greyhawk canon that he chose to ignore for the history of Sasserine. I am sure he would defend it by saying Sasserine wasn't truly a part of the Sea Princes until much later and that slaves were never a huge reason for conquering it. It would also kinda destroy the whole 'Sea Princes' try to keep Sasserine hidden but sell massive amounts of slaves to the Great Kingdom as well as other commodities.

    As far as the whole point of slaves etc of your post I would disagree with, the Belgian/English/French slave takers sold to whoever had coin, the early colonists couldn't afford slaves. When the English saw the amount of wealth that could be generated things changed and the plantations only became that much more lucrative.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 101


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:43 pm  

    chibirias wrote:

    Exactly how would they do that, without resorting to some cheesy idea about weird monsters or tons of powerful spellcasters?


    Well fortunately for me if you use the SCAP you have a huge 'cheese' grater named Surabar who happens to be one of the most powerful earth elementalists during his time.

    Certainly wouldn't be my first choice, but when give the 'lemon' of the Sasserine map, with the 'lemon' of an earth elementalist wizard who builds huge walled fortifications [Redgorge/Cauldron] to stave off demon armies...what else is there to do but make 'lemon'ade? Happy
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:56 pm  

    Txwad - I believe I mentioned suger, slaves AND malaria. Laughing

    Sasserine can be made to work - with a serious rewrite. Postfest anyone?
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2004
    Posts: 666


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:33 pm  

    Sasserine and Cauldron can certainly be made into an interesting addition to the Jeklea Bay dynamics. But the two thriving, fairly civilized and 'normal' cities that they are represented as are just not doing it for me.

    The whole region needs a lot of work, as has been shown in many discussions on these forums.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:02 pm  

    Woesinger wrote:
    Sasserine can be made to work - with a serious rewrite. Postfest anyone?


    That is the second time you have asked. I would second the emotion.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:04 pm  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    The whole region needs a lot of work, as has been shown in many discussions on these forums.


    I'm trying and a lot of others have give some very good articles on the region.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 5:01 pm  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    Woesinger wrote:
    Sasserine can be made to work - with a serious rewrite. Postfest anyone?


    That is the second time you have asked. I would second the emotion.


    I know - my first call sank like an opera house in a delta though. Smile

    Hear us, oh gods of Canonfire! Grant us a post fest to make the fixy with Sasserine. Laughing

    P.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3241
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:03 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Shar was no more truely "hidden" than Sasserine might have been. The Shar is bigger, with more activity and controls the Tilvot Straight chokepoint. It is harder for me to believe Shar remained "hidden" than Sasserine.


    Everyone knew that there were settlements on the Tilvanot Peninsula, I think, but they didn't know of the monastic society hidden on the plateau in places like Kro Terlep and Hesuel Ilshar.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3811
    From: So. Cal

    Send private message
    Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:54 pm  

    Seems folks are getting really worked up about Dungeon #139 Sasserine being viewed as the end all- be all canonical resource on this city, as some might view Saltmarsh in the DMG 2. I like to think of Dungeon or Dragon articles for Greyhawk as being more of a "dry run" rather than set in stone regarding any future Greyhakw publications. As to Sasserine some things are good, some things are ok, and some things are not so good, but some thought was put into it, such as the fact that there ACTUALLY IS a dredgers guild for one thing. The canals can be dredged, the area could have been marsh around a rock formation that was cut and mined into the present canals, and the silt may be removed by whatever means that doesn't require modern tech. The Romans accomplished much that took more modern architects and engineers decades or even centuries to figure out, so don't think that we modern folk are so much smarter than those who came before us a couple thousand years ago. Plus, there is that whole magic angle working for the fantasy world too. Greyhawk isn't a high magic world, but when a city is founded upon the vision of a goddess of magic such as Sasserine is, magic might come into play a bit more, even if not very visibly in every day life. I imagine some bit of magic was used to chop through the stone and muck of Sasserine, as well as to form its canals. Putting a dwarf in charge of maintenance can't be a bad thing either.

    The origins of the town location are due to the vision of a follower of Wee Jas, and not due to some sort of ignored (for PC reasons) slave trade. The town is way too populated to be "mostly unknown", but that is easily solved by reducing the population to about 5,000 at the most, which is more in line with the number and type of buildings on the poster map. The mostly unknown factoir is also more exaccerbated by the fact that "entertainers from as far away as Greyhawk" come to perform at the "opera house" in a city that is little known or unknown in most of the Flanaess.

    One might more accurately look upon the "Opera House" as a theatre or “3-penny opera house" where the locals go for entertainment. The nobles might show up incognito and lurk in more private areas depending upon the type of performance. As the type of entertainment described is dancers and “entertainers”, look more on the opera house as a theatre visited by dancers, minstrel and acting troupes, acrobats, and the occasional wandering bard- there will be no grandiose Andrew Lloyd Weber productions here, nor anything approaching what would be considered an opera production in the modern sense. Performances at the Sasserine “opera house” might vary from what one would see on “The Gong Show” or “Showtime at the Apollo” and other variety shows, or something more similar to “The Grand Ole Opry” (Greyhawk style). In rare instances one might see something approaching a “Globe Theatre” production when a quality acting troupe is in town. Beware of flying refuse from the groundlings always. ;)

    Tone down the highfalutin-ness of the term “opera house”, which is really putting on airs for a muck hole like Sasserine, and the idea of it goes down more easily.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:36 am  

    If you had a rock outcropping as foundations for your swamp city - why would you go to the effort of hewing canals into it, when you could put streets instead?

    The "it's magic" answer just doesn't float for me as it encoraches into the realm of archano-tech. Now if there's gangs of slaves working the dredging gear, now you're on to something.

    I do like the spin you put on the Oprey House though - more like the Gem Theatre in Deadwood than La Scala. Smile

    Presumably, the opera house in Manaus was the inspiration:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Theatre

    Though that ignores the fact it was built in the 1880s on money from a rubber boom.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 101


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:16 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    The origins of the town location are due to the vision of a follower of Wee Jas, and not due to some sort of ignored (for PC reasons) slave trade. The town is way too populated to be "mostly unknown", but that is easily solved by reducing the population to about 5,000 at the most, which is more in line with the number and type of buildings on the poster map. The mostly unknown factoir is also more exaccerbated by the fact that "entertainers from as far away as Greyhawk" come to perform at the "opera house" in a city that is little known or unknown in most of the Flanaess.


    You pretty much have to throw out the map if you reduce the population to 5,000 people. And Cauldron/Redgorge has to be thrown out as well because those towns have significant populations as well. Words are pretty simple to change, if you want to completely redo a poster map, thats a different story entirely.

    James has already said on the Paizo boards that the Sea Princes hiding Sasserine was probably the wrong direction to take and just ignore that bit, which I completely agree with.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:29 am  

    Woesinger wrote:
    I do like the spin you put on the Oprey House though - more like the Gem Theatre in Deadwood than La Scala. Smile


    I was thinking a theater was more in order too. Garrotten should not be able to support one. Now would not it have been cool if JJ had put in a comparitive amount of detail into to such a small population?

    On the plus side of the Opera house, at least there will be a place to play GVD’s Dwarven Operas, http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=811&mode=thread&order=2&thold=0. Happy
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 06, 2005
    Posts: 39


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:51 am  

    Sasserine might be primarily a rock outcropping but it has the deltas of two or three small rivers -- New Orleans has the mighty mississippi and Lake ponchartrain. Both cities also have nearby marshlands. I see Sasserine as one giant slushy transition zone with higher (solid rock) outcroppings of permanence sticking up in the wealthier 'core' of the city. canals fill up constantly, streets constantly erode, hurricanes knock down the low rent districts every 100 years or so. By contrast, the elite mansions along River Oaks in Houston and the French Quarter in New Orleans might last for centuries and the elite in Sasserine would be safely ensconced in Cauldron during Hurricane and Malaria season. The poor houses in the flood plains of South New Orleans and Southeast Houston and shoreside sasserine get wiped out occasionally.

    I like the threepenny house idea however the opera house isnt as stupid as it sounds. I think people are dramatically underestimating how much $ you can make off commodities in a bull market. Look at charleston and new orleans in certain periods of history when sugar prices and/or cotton and indigo prices were very high. People on this thread are too used to our industrialized and knowledge-intensive world. In the ancient world, agricultural and mining commodities were far more important as a basis for wealth. Even only fifty years ago in the US, the natural resources sector was the largest part of the S&P 500 index; today, the largest sectors are financial, technology and healthcare. The Spanish devoted tons of effort to the Canaries and Cuba for sugar plantations. The elite in such a society in a bull period could afford to do almost ANYTHING -- much like the elite of the Persian Gulf today or Houston's elite 30 years ago (Houston is a much more diversified economy today). In a dirty steaming port city prone to natural disaster, it is not at all shocking that a wealthy local elite would have high level of pretension, particularly in a hierarchical society where they want to distance themselves from the working class as much as possible and where they want to cover up an inferiority complex with more settled lands. Is an 'opera house' logical in a city of 15,000 or less in the tropics? Not really. Is spending tens of billions on artificial islands off Abu Dhabi dedicated to entertainment logical? No but its going on today because these guys have silly amounts of money from a commodity boom. I could spend all day talking about spending patterns for 'boom money.' Anyone who is at least 35 has seen at least 1.5 commodity booms in the world.

    With respect to a previous poster, it is settled fact that a large part of the Sea Princes' economy ran on slavery, my point is that it is NOT inevitable that slavery is as important to Sasserine. As I said before, it is one thing to take Olman slaves (much like African slaves) to a land where their language is worthless, the topography is different, etc. It is quite another to take someone fifty miles to a plantation outside sasserine where the topography is familiar, 'home' is close by, people speak your language and will help you if you escape etc. Plus, sugarcane while labor intensive, isnt as labor intensive as rice or cotton, so you dont need hordes of chinese coolies (rice) or hordes of slaves (cotton). In such an environment, it might make sense to take in Keolands and Uleks convicts as indentured servants for 10 years of hard labor.

    Finally, as Ive mentioned before, slave revolts are incredibly dangerous, look at haiti. The reason that JJ didnt and arguably shouldnt have mentioned slaves is that he didnt need really need to. An enlightened city council might not want slavery in the city.

    The only thing other than the dirt in a humid semitropical trading port that I think JJ missed is prostitutes. There should be whorehouses on virtually every corner around the port area -- think 17th century new orleans or old Hong Kong. If Sasserine is a booming port of call, then the sailor boys and the whaling fleet he mentions are going to need to be serviced when they come to town and theres only four things that someone who has been at sea for three months is going to want -- a clean bed, good food, strong liquor and a woman or two
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:54 am  

    chibirias wrote:
    To be specific, Sloppy design and ignorance of Greyhawk source material in favor of generica is afoot. So much for our old pal the "jedi Master of Greyhawk canon".


    chibirias wrote:
    You are being way too generous. It is completely obvious here that these errors and issues that people are bringing up are not intentional changes created to breathe depth into the setting, but the quick and dirty development of writers who are now on a publishing railroad, and need to get their adventures done and in print, at whatever expense to the setting.


    Erik Mona has stated on EN World that the Savage Tide is _HIS_ Adventure Path, the first that he had sole control over from start to finish. It is/would be very, very, very easy to see in the Savage Tide the Emperor's New Clothes. Given the slobbering fanboy treatment Mona regularly gets from a variety of quarters as the "iconic" Greyhawk SCHOLAR, the temption becomes all the more pronounced. That treatment is, however, not Mona's fault. What is Mona's fault is that he apparently did not see the issues people have raised coming. In this sense, he brought the imbroglio down upon his own head.

    James Jacobs is less to blame as his reputation is not that of the "Greyhawk scholar" and his style is very much more oriented toward immediate, fun play than any particularly close fealty Greyhawk "canon." Sasserine is of a piece with Saltmarsh in DMG II. Both ably "get the party started" but both could have benefited from a bit more circumspection in terms of the de jure Greyhawk setting, both play "fast and loose" with Greyhawk.

    The overwhelming temptation is then to "cry 'CRAP' and loose the hounds of Greyhawk." And indeed, we see the giving in to that temptation. However, despite whatever justification there may be for dumping on Sasserine or Saltmarsh, I suggest such a course is unproductive from a practical standpoint.
    Sasserine and Saltmarsh are more than highly likely to be accorded "canon" status, if not immediately by old Greyhawk hands then by newer Greyhawk hands for whom the APs _ARE_ Greyhawk or at least their first aquaintaince with Greyhawk. If you want to put it prejoratively, we (the universe of Greyhawk fans) are stuck with Sasserine and Saltmarsh as they become part of the lingua franca of Greyhawk. This is not "funny Castle Greyhawk" or the like that can be easily dismissed.

    The alternative is then to engage the material in a proactive way, which I have attempted.

    The GK Attacks

    The GK attacks Sasserrine? Demogorgon's activities in the GK is amply evidenced in canon, as is/will be Demogorgon's involvement with the Savage Tide and Sasserine. The GK struck Sasserine to strike at Demogorgon and his cultists. The connection immediately suggests itself.

    Hiding Sasserine

    The Sea Princes "hiding" Sasserine by destroying records of it and buying off or assassinating all who know of it? Only the Scarlet Brotherhood has the kind of Flanaess-wide network that would be necessary to attempt such and the SB is known to be interested in the Sea Princes and Sasserine. So, for its own reasons the SB assisteed the Sea Princes to "hide" Sasserine. The connection immediately suggests itself.

    Opera Houses

    Sasserine is not the type of town to support an "opera?" The opera could have opened a year ago, after Sasserine became known. The opera could be akin to the opera houses of the frontier American West, entirely unlike the Paris Opera House of Phantom of the Opera fame. It is not hard to reconcile the idea of an opera house in such a place if one understands the various places opera houses have been built and what their less than grandiose reality has been.

    Dredging

    Sassrrine has canals? The Dutch dredged their canals in the 12th century. The medieval Popes dredged the Tiber. Earlier Rome dredged the Tiber. Dredging is no modern invention. And Sasserine has a dwarf in charge.

    Walls

    Sasserine has lots of walls. Lots of cities have lots of walls. Sasserine has dwarfs working in its public works department. It is not hard to similarly imagine dwarfs working on the walls. In any event, walls might be similar to those found in Ponape as opposed to medieval curtain walls. Or like those of the Inca or Chinese.

    Topography

    Sasserine has two promontories to either side of the harbor entrance where there are prominent cliffs. The city is not a bowl entirely surrounded by such cliffs.

    Three river estuaries empty into Sasserine harbor. I suggests Sasserine is a ria formed of/by three comparitively insignificant rivers. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ria Such could also help explain the headland promontories - the remaining part of the "submerged valley." Such could also account for less silting.

    Conflict Between Keoland and the GK

    If the GK was more than sacking Sassrerine, there might have been conflict between the GK and Keoland.

    There is no evidence, however, that Keoland has ever controlled all of the Hold of the Sea Princes. They may have controlled little more than Westkeep. Their "explorations" are not quantified. So much for Keoland in that scenario projecting power south to conflict with GKers in the area.

    Assuming that Keoland's explorations were more substantial then, sure, GK ships fight with Keoland ships. War? Maybe. Depends on how frequent were such contacts, which inturn depends on how frequently both were in the area. I'd see some skirmishing more than any declaration of unrestricted naval warfare.

    The Olman

    I do not see Sasserine in derogation of the Olman but a HUGE boon to them. Previously, the Olman were effectively locked away in the Amedio. PCs had no easy way to get to them and the Olman had no easy way to interact with the Flanaess. Sasserine is the middle man or link. And Sasserine is not beholding to any power in the Flanaess, which is especially sweet (and what no doubt irritates some who think the nations of the Flanaess must rule ALL). The Olman now have a window on the wider world and vice versa and without any colonial overtones. THAT is a good thing in my book.

    Sasserine could have been better thought out but it is not IMO inherently flawed. It is insufficiently explained. There is a difference. In the end however, it is only awful if you want it to be awful.

    I have no problem with Sasserine as written.


    _________________
    GVD
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 06, 2005
    Posts: 39


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:07 am  

    What GVD said sounds great to me, except:

    1) simply ignore "hiding" sasserine -- JJ and EM just made a mistake

    2) the great kingdom attacking sasserine was a one off one time thing, representing the ambitions of an overzealous lord admiral of the aerdi fleet in a shortl naval expansionist period of GK history. end of story, no demogorgon, no biggie. it was a small attack it failed.

    3) the opera is a threepenny house or else the sasserine sugar merchants are in a boom and rich as hell and full of pretensions like nouveau riche everywhere. with $ to burn, they want to emulate Greyhawk the Gem of the Flanaess, so they construct a big **** opera house. I prefer the latter, the former is fine too.

    4) the town should be dirtier, with mosquitoes buzzing about, and the waterfront should be lined with brothels. in hurricane and malaria season, the elite retreats to cauldron

    Other than that, as far as Im concerned, Sasserine and Cauldron fit in fine with canon as written
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:14 am  

    txwad wrote:
    in hurricane and malaria season, the elite retreats to cauldron


    This is sheer brilliance! Like Indian hill stations under the Raj. I was struggling with how to "rationalize" Cauldron. I'm incorporating this idea forthwith! Happy

    PS - Someones have suggested a Sasserine postfest. By the looks of the thread, there are enough issues to address.
    _________________
    GVD
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:15 pm  

    txwad wrote:
    Sasserine might be primarily a rock outcropping but it has the deltas of two or three small rivers -- New Orleans has the mighty mississippi and Lake ponchartrain.


    Those aren't deltas. A delta looks significantly different. If those three small rivers are really distributaries of a single larger river, then the whole area would be a delta of that river, but those rivers do not have any visible delta.
    Nor would the area be an estuary or a liman because of that massive rock outcropping. Instead it is just a very small bay, at best.
    The problem is, given the swampy surrounding areas, why haven't those rivers changed course to avoid trying to carve through the heavy rock of that outcropping, and just flowed out through all the swamp to either side?

    Quote:
    I like the threepenny house idea however the opera house isnt as stupid as it sounds. I think people are dramatically underestimating how much $ you can make off commodities in a bull market.


    No, I think the problem people have is with the anachronistic name of "opera" house. Had it been a theater, like the Globe Theater, or something similar, nobody would mind. But opera started around 1600, so barring some extreme cultural divergence, it is highly anachronistic.


    Quote:
    As I said before, it is one thing to take Olman slaves (much like African slaves) to a land where their language is worthless, the topography is different, etc. It is quite another to take someone fifty miles to a plantation outside sasserine where the topography is familiar, 'home' is close by, people speak your language and will help you if you escape etc. Plus, sugarcane while labor intensive, isnt as labor intensive as rice or cotton, so you dont need hordes of chinese coolies (rice) or hordes of slaves (cotton).


    Which is why none of those people on Spanish plantations in the new world were turned into servile labor. No wait, they were. So in fact you can rather easily enslave someone on their former home.
    Further, you do in fact need hordes of slaves to raise sugarcane as an export cash crop. Why? Because you still have to feed all those slaves! And if you do so by importing wheat, you aren't going to make much of a profit. So you still need slaves working to grow food crops.

    Quote:
    In such an environment, it might make sense to take in Keolands and Uleks convicts as indentured servants for 10 years of hard labor.


    Unless of course they don't believe in such, or have places closer to home to employ such convict labor.
    And you forget that when convicts were exported for labor, it was because of population density in the homeland was exceptionally high. Population in the Sheldomar isn't.

    Quote:
    Finally, as Ive mentioned before, slave revolts are incredibly dangerous, look at haiti.


    OK. How many slave revolts there failed? How many slave revolts anywhere have ever succeeded?
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:36 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:

    The GK Attacks

    The GK attacks Sasserrine? Demogorgon's activities in the GK is amply evidenced in canon, as is/will be Demogorgon's involvement with the Savage Tide and Sasserine. The GK struck Sasserine to strike at Demogorgon and his cultists. The connection immediately suggests itself.


    Except it requires Demogorgon's cults to be so blatantly obvious, particularly one over 1,000 miles away, that the GK would gather up an entire fleet, multiple times, to go attack a city they can never expect to hold, and regularly fail to take. The connection immediately invalidates itself.

    Quote:
    Hiding Sasserine

    The Sea Princes "hiding" Sasserine by destroying records of it and buying off or assassinating all who know of it? Only the Scarlet Brotherhood has the kind of Flanaess-wide network that would be necessary to attempt such and the SB is known to be interested in the Sea Princes and Sasserine. So, for its own reasons the SB assisteed the Sea Princes to "hide" Sasserine. The connection immediately suggests itself.


    Except the Sea Princes "hid" Sasserine 100 years before the SB moved to attack. So the connection immediately invalidates itself.

    Quote:
    Dredging

    Sassrrine has canals? The Dutch dredged their canals in the 12th century. The medieval Popes dredged the Tiber. Earlier Rome dredged the Tiber. Dredging is no modern invention. And Sasserine has a dwarf in charge.


    Since when are dwaves noted for being adept at naval operations? Carving through stone is quite different from moving sludge.

    And yes, dredging was done back then, on a limited scale. More frequently, the solution for excessive buildup was to simply move the port a mile down out to the new coast.

    Quote:
    Walls

    Sasserine has lots of walls. Lots of cities have lots of walls. Sasserine has dwarfs working in its public works department. It is not hard to similarly imagine dwarfs working on the walls. In any event, walls might be similar to those found in Ponape as opposed to medieval curtain walls. Or like those of the Inca or Chinese.


    What is this worship of dwarves? If I put one dwarf somewhere I can suddenly shape rock like I carve wood?
    Anyway, the rock for those walls still needs to come from somewhere. If it isn't stone, the it isn't going to be as strong.

    Quote:
    Topography

    Sasserine has two promontories to either side of the harbor entrance where there are prominent cliffs. The city is not a bowl entirely surrounded by such cliffs.

    Three river estuaries empty into Sasserine harbor. I suggests Sasserine is a ria formed of/by three comparitively insignificant rivers. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ria Such could also help explain the headland promontories - the remaining part of the "submerged valley." Such could also account for less silting.


    Except you need a river valley first. Given the location of Sasserine, you won't have a river valley there to get flooded and turned into a ria.

    Quote:
    Conflict Between Keoland and the GK

    If the GK was more than sacking Sassrerine, there might have been conflict between the GK and Keoland.

    There is no evidence, however, that Keoland has ever controlled all of the Hold of the Sea Princes. They may have controlled little more than Westkeep. Their "explorations" are not quantified. So much for Keoland in that scenario projecting power south to conflict with GKers in the area.


    Yes there is. There is absolute evidence that I have cited repeatedly. That you reject it does not change that it exists. Simply read the history of the Sea Princes in the LGG. A sample:
    "The Sea Princes raided the mainland coast, conquering even Port Toli and finally Monmurg in 446, breaking Keoish control of the southlands in a flurry of naval actions."
    Or read the extremely explicit statement in the LGJ #1 article on Keoland. (Page 18.)
    Keoland ruled the entire Hold of the Sea Princes. Tavish the Great founded Monmurg.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 03, 2003
    Posts: 33
    From: Fort Myers, FL

    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:49 pm  

    I have to agree with Sam here, there is simply no doubt in my mind that Keoland controlled the Hold before the rise of the Sea Prince and his chums.

    Remember, the Sea Princes are not, as the Sasserine material might suggest, a random group of pirates that suddenly showed up, challenged keoland in a naval war and took over the Hold.

    They were Keoish nobles who betrayed the crown and separated from the kingdom. Oddly enough, it was this act, and the resulting responsibilities of running their new "nation" (if you really want to call that loose confederacy of rascals a nation), that caused the Princes to focus much less on traditional naval piracy and begin to engage in the slave trade, and the employment of slaves in their own lands to work the citrus plantations. Because of the lack of a large native population to enslave, the Amedio was pillaged. Roger Moore is clear on this in the Green Nightmare article in OJ4, the Princes only real activities in the Amedio were plundering treasures from ruins and settlements, and gathering slaves. Since the vast majority of the material in that document was canonized in SB, LGG and other recent sources, we can accept it as "pretty much official apocrypha".

    Keoland ruled the Hold, there's no doubt about it.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:00 pm  

    LGJ, that revisionist heap of dreads? Just joking.

    Just about every new work to one degree or another revisionist and conflict are almost inevitable. Sometimes, they are good insofar as harmonization can lead to new and interesting ideas. Often they are minor or irrelevant.

    But Sassy, IMO, is just so beyond the pale. It does not fit with ’83, C1, ToGH, OJ, tSB, LGG, UK6 (or 1-3) or any apocrypha or heresy to date except SCAP. Unfortunately, it cannot be ignored like Cauldron. It is like a moustache on the Mona Lesa. If you like that, OK, enjoy it. What ever tickles you pickle. I cannot, not in the Amedio.

    While not perfectly, the individual problems (and I think each and every one of them) can probably be rationalized to 99% of the people, but to what ends? So it can be a handsome and well groomed moustache on the Mona Lesa? Maybe another analogy would be more appropriate, but this is IMO an ugly, insulting sore thumb.

    Generally, I am all for trying to harmonize canon, and I think this is canon. But I do not want this in my Amedio any more so than I want Paizo to declare that GH is just a bad dream of Elimister, which they can just as easily do. Frankly, I would prefer that because it would be all the easier to ignore.

    It is possible that this bell can be halfway unrung. However, I doubt it will happen. Mona moved SCAP into GH. Castle GH was disclaimed.

    For those that do not like the city, I think the best thing to do is to find out to what degree can a similar substitute be accepted. Part of the problem with doing that is we do not know what the rest of the AP has in store. GK reference might have an acceptable if stretched justification. It depends on how stretched and how important it is to the AP.

    So I will take a shot. I can probably accept:

    1. the name, as long as it was also once called Port Elizabeth.
    2. a city, but only if it became a city, as opposed to a town, after the wars.
    3. the geography, canals, walls etc., holding my nose. They appear to be important in AP part 1 and there is a map to deal with. If I have to say, “its magic,” it would be to save the map, particular with reference to the wall will be the way to go.
    4. I can live with no Olman in the city, but just looking at the pictures, I would say the pop is Sz by blood, and there is no reason to completely exclude any Z (Olman). I would say that the Z are in the fields of those plantations, however. I would have to double check UK6, but I that is canonized apocrypha.
    5. the founding history.
    6. independence after the wars.

    I cannot accept most the rest of the history, particularly with reference to Keoland, the Sea Princes and tSB. The city should have some connection, even if only by reception of the founders to the S v. Z wars. I cannot accept most of the generic elements: the pantheon, Halflings (although through the PoUlek history with the Sea Princes and UK4, dwarves at least have some potential) opera house, dawn council, probably many more things.

    YMMV.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:47 pm  

    Samwise wrote:
    Quote:
    Conflict Between Keoland and the GK

    If the GK was more than sacking Sassrerine, there might have been conflict between the GK and Keoland.

    There is no evidence, however, that Keoland has ever controlled all of the Hold of the Sea Princes. They may have controlled little more than Westkeep. Their "explorations" are not quantified. So much for Keoland in that scenario projecting power south to conflict with GKers in the area.


    Yes there is. There is absolute evidence that I have cited repeatedly. That you reject it does not change that it exists. Simply read the history of the Sea Princes in the LGG. A sample:
    "The Sea Princes raided the mainland coast, conquering even Port Toli and finally Monmurg in 446, breaking Keoish control of the southlands in a flurry of naval actions."
    Or read the extremely explicit statement in the LGJ #1 article on Keoland. (Page 18.)
    Keoland ruled the entire Hold of the Sea Princes. Tavish the Great founded Monmurg.



    direrodent wrote:
    I have to agree with Sam here, there is simply no doubt in my mind that Keoland controlled the Hold before the rise of the Sea Prince and his chums.

    Remember, the Sea Princes are not, as the Sasserine material might suggest, a random group of pirates that suddenly showed up, challenged keoland in a naval war and took over the Hold.

    They were Keoish nobles who betrayed the crown and separated from the kingdom. . . .

    Keoland ruled the Hold, there's no doubt about it.


    I beg to differ. The problem comes in with 1) selectively reading the sources and 2) conflating Sam's Sheldomar timeline with actual canon.

    “King Tavish the Great was the first to march around these marshlands (ed. The Hool Marsh) to conquer the wilderness between the Hellfurnaces and Jeklea Bay (now called the Hold of the Sea Princes). Until the 3rd Century these lands were controlled by isolated Suel Brigands (based at Port Toli) and largely inhabited by Flan and humanoid tribes. The new Keoish conquerors changed all this. Tavish I established the port of Monmurg in 301 CY and set about cultivating the central lands between the Hool River and the Azure Coast. After abolshing slavery in these new territories, he ordered built the fortrss city of Westkeep (304 CY) in order to shield the central lands from incursions from the swamp and facilitate widespread settlement of the south. The rise of the Sea Princes in the following century (434-453CY) proved fateful to the Keoish efforts in this quarter, and these lands eventually fell to usurpers under the reign of Tavish III. His ill-fated attempt to regain the lands from the pirates resulted in the Seige of Westkeep (453 CY).” Living Greyhawk Journal No. 1 at p. 18.

    “In the mid-fourth century CY, as Keoland made war in the north, the buccaneers of the Azure Sea and Jeklea Bay grew courageous, correctly assuming that the king’s wartime ambition would leave much of his southern holdings for the taking. Operating from hidden island and mainland, these pirates harried the coastline as far as the Sea of Gearnat, from Monmurg to Gradsul, from Blue to Scant. By 444 CY, the pirates had formed a loose confederation, naming themselves for the Sea Prince, the ship of a successful pirate captain of noble Keoish blood. The Sea Princes raided the mainland coast, conquering even Port Toli and finally Monmurg in 446, breaking Keoish control of the southlands in a flurry of naval actions.” Living Greyhawk Gazetteer at p. 101.

    Reference Map of the Flanaess on p. 44 of Catalogue of the Flanaess from the 83 Boxed Set, noting the extent of the Hold of the Sea Princes.

    First, the Hold encompasses Flotsam, Jetsom and Fairwind Islands in addition to the mainland Hold territories. Second, Keoland only conquered "the wilderness between the Hellfurnaces and Jeklea Bay," specifically excluding any mention of the islands. The line is drawn at the waterline. Keoland then never conquered the entirety of what has become defined as the entirety of the Hold. It never conquered the islands.

    Of what Keoland did conquer, "Tavish I established the port of Monmurg in 301 CY and set about cultivating the central lands between the Hool River and the Azure Coast. " Only the "centeral lands" were cultivated, specifically excluding other areas of the Hold.

    Finally, "buccaneers of the Azure Sea" created the Hold of the Sea Princes, taking their name from " the ship of a successful pirate captain of noble Keoish blood. There was no betrayal of Keoland by nobles seperating from the crown." That is Sam's take in the Sheldomar timeline but it is not canon. Neither is the OJ canon.
    _________________
    GVD
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:14 pm  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    But Sassy, IMO, is just so beyond the pale. . . .
    While not perfectly, the individual problems (and I think each and every one of them) can probably be rationalized to 99% of the people, but to what ends? So it can be a handsome and well groomed moustache on the Mona Lesa? . . . Generally, I am all for trying to harmonize canon, and I think this is canon. . . . For those that do not like the city, I think the best thing to do is to find out to what degree can a similar substitute be accepted. . . . I cannot accept most the rest of the history, particularly with reference to Keoland, the Sea Princes and tSB. . . .
    YMMV.


    Writ large, I think Sasserine embodies the problem with all 3X "canon." It is all by some measure compromised from what I'll call "Logo Greyhawk." It must serve two masters, Greyhawk and a general non-Greyhawk audience. It doesn't do either perfectly, perhaps it might be said it does neither well. YMMV, indeed.

    And that's the crux of it, I think. YMMV. I or anyone else can "save" Sasserine, feature by feature, but such can be nitpicked like anything else, or simply disbelieved, especially if one is bound and determined not to like Sasserine under any set of circumstances. You know who you are. Wink Just as I will not be persuaded it is unadulterated mulch. Happy

    In the end, it exists. It can be simply enough ignored and I don't mean by the cliche "You are the DM" tripe but on principle. PaizoHawk is demonstrably _not_ Logo Greyhawk and may be principally distinguished on that ground, even as a counter argument would have a GH reference a GH reference, which is my position. Cauldron and Sasserine are not even "on the map" unless you choose to use the Paizo poster maps unaltered (hint - cut, paste and laminate - no more whatever and it still looks professional - I've done it with several maps over the years).

    This said, I think giving up on Sasserine is kinda lazy. I think demanding canon fealty from Paizo is asking too muchunder the circumstances. I also think EM and JJ dropped the ball by some measure as I or anyone else should not have to "explain" Sasserine as much as has proven necessary.

    In the end, its up to you. YMMV.
    _________________
    GVD
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:22 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    I beg to differ. The problem comes in with 1) selectively reading the sources and 2) conflating Sam's Sheldomar timeline with actual canon.


    Yes, you do have a problem with selectively reading sources.
    And no, there is no issue of anything I wrote in the timeline, since you you have not quoted my timeline at all. How my timeline could be conflated with that when it isn't quoted is a rather remarkable trick, and demonstrates a further problem you have with selectively reading material.
    If however the timeline were to be considered, one would have to note that the elements referring to the origin of the Sea Prince come from the person who wrote the LGJ article, namely Gary Holian.

    Quote:
    First, the Hold encompasses Flotsam, Jetsom and Fairwind Islands in addition to the mainland Hold territories. Second, Keoland only conquered "the wilderness between the Hellfurnaces and Jeklea Bay," specifically excluding any mention of the islands. The line is drawn at the waterline. Keoland then never conquered the entirety of what has become defined as the entirety of the Hold. It never conquered the islands.


    First, authors routinely don't reference every single element in a description like that. Second, just because Keoland didn't actively conquer the islands doesn't mean the islands would have needed to be conquered, they could just have been settled peacefully.

    Quote:
    Of what Keoland did conquer, "Tavish I established the port of Monmurg in 301 CY and set about cultivating the central lands between the Hool River and the Azure Coast. " Only the "centeral lands" were cultivated, specifically excluding other areas of the Hold.


    No. Only the central lands were cultivated because they were the most suitable for large scale cultivation. Just because other areas were not subject to intensive cultivation does not mean they were not controlled.

    Quote:
    Finally, "buccaneers of the Azure Sea" created the Hold of the Sea Princes, taking their name from " the ship of a successful pirate captain of noble Keoish blood. There was no betrayal of Keoland by nobles seperating from the crown." That is Sam's take in the Sheldomar timeline but it is not canon. Neither is the OJ canon.


    One more time, since you persist in misrepresenting this every time it comes up:
    That is Gary Holian's take on it, the person who wrote the LGG entry on Keoland and the LGJ article. I incorporated his specific intention, which is directly set up by the reference to the Duke of Gradsul "disappearing" in the Amedio just before the Sea Princes began attacking Keoland, with his direct input.
    And, despite your rather convenient redefinition of canon when it suddenly suits you, the LGJ (not the OJ) is a canon source for GH. That article in particular having been among the material cut from the LGG.

    I will also note that your original assertion was:

    Quote:
    There is no evidence, however, that Keoland has ever controlled all of the Hold of the Sea Princes. They may have controlled little more than Westkeep. Their "explorations" are not quantified. So much for Keoland in that scenario projecting power south to conflict with GKers in the area.


    That is rather thoroughly exploded I would say.
    And given your initial interpretation was that blatantly flawed, even when you obviously knew of those references, I see no reason to give any consideration to this follow up attempt at justifying a lack of Keoish power. You obviously an active agenda to deny any Keoish influence anywhere, even when you have direct references stating otherwise.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3811
    From: So. Cal

    Send private message
    Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:14 pm  

    As to why they wouldn't build streets and such, well, they did in most cases. As to the areas where there are canals, I'd write it off to sea caves, which were discovered when the first basement was attempted to be dug in an area where there is now a canal. Parrot island might not be the only place riddled with caves. Imagine the shock as the whole area, weakened underneath by sea caves perhaps, collapsed. So, some areas were riddled with either sea caves or critter caves(perhaps both), and so certain areas were to become derelict until the idea of the canals came up. The cavernous sections of the rock were uncovered shored up and finished with the use of dwarven know-how and perhaps a bit of magic, and the sea was allowed to flood in, which may have resulted in enlarging a small bay into an actual harbor and also resulted in the canals which being well built and protected from sea current erosion due to the layout. Add the dredgers union and the silt problem is seen to.

    Lowering the population doesn't necessitate a need to change the map really. As maps go, Sasserine is very close to accurately representing the number of structures a city of 15,000 should have(hats off to the mapper- Lazzerretti I think- who put in the time and effort!!!). The dead center bottom strip of the city just to the right of the words "Thunder River" holds 250+ structures alone. Maybe one day I'll count how many structures are on the whole map. The map is even more accurate if the population numbers are also assumed to include those people who live on the outskirts of the city too.

    I'll just ignore that whole unknown thing though. Sasserine might have been unknown in the past, but seeing as it currently has triple the population of Hardby and even simple entertainers in Greyhawk City and elsewhere all know about the place, I'd consider Sasserine to be the worst kept secret in the Flanaess. I'd say it has been less than unknown for decades, if not a century or more.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 30, 2005
    Posts: 94


    Send private message
    Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:52 am  

    Two riffs on the "hiding of Sasserine":

    1. The Sea Prince of old was not trying to "hide" Sasserine. He was trying to "unname" it. The city had incurred his displeasure, so he actualized his wrath by striking out written references to it. I am envisaging a procedure here something like the Roman damnatio memoriae or the following bit from the wonderful catalogue of the winds of the desert in The English Patient:

    Quote:
    "There is also the ------, the secret wind of the desert, whose name was erased by a king after his son died within it."


    Now, a damnatio memoriae was usually done to the dead, and winds cannot tell anyone what their name is. Sasserine was still there, and people were not going to forget that. The Sea Prince knew this, of course, but what mattered was the grand ideological gesture, not actual success. His successors or rivals, however, in their eagerness to defame him, started putting about the "and he was such a nutjob that he thought he could make people forget about a city by doing this" party-line that is now the current orthodoxy about what happened.

    2. A more grandiloquent take on this is that the effacement of Sasserine's name from written sources was a necessary ritual preliminary to an epic spell aimed at deleting Sasserine's Truename from the Language Primaeval. The Sea Prince (still angry at the city but, in this scenario, probably a real nutjob) was intent upon erasing the town from reality overnight. This enterprise failed, of course, but a garbled version of what he was about entered the folk-lore. Hence, again, the current orthodoxy.

    A nice twist on this could be that, with the right caster, the spell might actually have worked - and the fragmentary notes for it are still somewhere in the Hold of the Sea Princes. Something for one's Sasserine PCs to face when they finish the Adventure Path and go Epic, perhaps... Smile
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:12 am  

    Samwise wrote:
    Yes, you do have a problem with selectively reading sources.


    ROFL! "I'm rubber and you're glue; whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you." Such erudition! Laughing

    Samwise wrote:
    One more time, since you persist in misrepresenting this every time it comes up:
    That is Gary Holian's take on it, the person who wrote the LGG entry on Keoland and the LGJ article. I incorporated his specific intention, which is directly set up by the reference to the Duke of Gradsul "disappearing" in the Amedio just before the Sea Princes began attacking Keoland, with his direct input.
    And, despite your rather convenient redefinition of canon when it suddenly suits you, the LGJ (not the OJ) is a canon source for GH. That article in particular having been among the material cut from the LGG.


    Gary's take is Gary's take. If its published by the IP holder, it acquires the character of "canon." It is otherwise, just his personal opinion. Cutting room floor scraps are not canon. The more expansive version you offer has not been published by the IP holder. Or, if it has, you can quote and cite it. I do not believe you can.

    This is an example of how you attempt to conflate your take with actual canon. Your work, IMO, stands on its own merits and does not need to be dressed up as if it were canon, when it is not. The attempt detracts from rather than enhancing the work, IMO.

    In any event, what has been published comports with my reading. Keoland never took all of the Hold, specifically the islands. The case is not one where the islands were simply not mentioned; they were specifically excluded from the canon description of Keoland's conquests, which was otherwise quite precise. I have not summed up the total land area of the four main islands presented on the map but my surmise is that, at a most expansive reading, Keoland "conquered" only 70% of the Hold at the height of such "conquest."

    Samwise wrote:
    And given your initial interpretation was that blatantly flawed, even when you obviously knew of those references, I see no reason to give any consideration to this follow up attempt at justifying a lack of Keoish power. You obviously an active agenda to deny any Keoish influence anywhere, even when you have direct references stating otherwise.


    ROFL! My agenda to "deny any Keoish influence anywhere?" Laughing "I'm rubber and you're glue; whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you." Again, you display such erudition! Laughing I simply am not gulled by your attempts to crown your opinion as canon. You seemed antagonist to any reading or development of canon that does not support a maxiumly expansive view of Keoland. I'm not the the first to note the similarity, but in a ways you are something of an ersatz Randy Richards - he steals others ideas and claims them as his own - you take your ideas and attempt to pass them off as canon attributable to others. I don't suppose you can help yourself but I'm not going to fascilitate your bait and switch attempts.

    You write interesting material and you write well. What you write stands on its own without the need for any canon bootstraping, which only detracts from the material, IMO. Maybe someday, your vision of Keoland as another Aerdi will become canon but that day has not yet come.
    _________________
    GVD
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:15 am  

    Prochytes wrote:
    Two riffs on the "hiding of Sasserine":

    1. The Sea Prince of old was not trying to "hide" Sasserine. He was trying to "unname" it. The city had incurred his displeasure, so he actualized his wrath by striking out written references to it. I am envisaging a procedure here something like the Roman damnatio memoriae or the following bit from the wonderful catalogue of the winds of the desert in The English Patient:

    Quote:
    "There is also the ------, the secret wind of the desert, whose name was erased by a king after his son died within it."


    Now, a damnatio memoriae was usually done to the dead, and winds cannot tell anyone what their name is. Sasserine was still there, and people were not going to forget that. The Sea Prince knew this, of course, but what mattered was the grand ideological gesture, not actual success. His successors or rivals, however, in their eagerness to defame him, started putting about the "and he was such a nutjob that he thought he could make people forget about a city by doing this" party-line that is now the current orthodoxy about what happened.

    2. A more grandiloquent take on this is that the effacement of Sasserine's name from written sources was a necessary ritual preliminary to an epic spell aimed at deleting Sasserine's Truename from the Language Primaeval. The Sea Prince (still angry at the city but, in this scenario, probably a real nutjob) was intent upon erasing the town from reality overnight. This enterprise failed, of course, but a garbled version of what he was about entered the folk-lore. Hence, again, the current orthodoxy.

    A nice twist on this could be that, with the right caster, the spell might actually have worked - and the fragmentary notes for it are still somewhere in the Hold of the Sea Princes. Something for one's Sasserine PCs to face when they finish the Adventure Path and go Epic, perhaps... Smile


    This is another, IMO, brilliant idea! I like both notions but especially the latter use of truename magic at an epic level. This is right good stuff! Happy And I think I'm going to use it IMC. Happy Thank you!
    _________________
    GVD
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
    Posts: 634


    Send private message
    Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:33 am  

    I'm probably going to regret poking my nose into this - though I'll say at the outset I've got no dog in the race.

    Quote:
    King Tavish the Great was the first to march around these marshlands (ed. The Hool Marsh) to conquer the wilderness between the Hellfurnaces and Jeklea Bay (now called the Hold of the Sea Princes). Until the 3rd Century these lands were controlled by isolated Suel Brigands (based at Port Toli) and largely inhabited by Flan and humanoid tribes. The new Keoish conquerors changed all this. Tavish I established the port of Monmurg in 301 CY and set about cultivating the central lands between the Hool River and the Azure Coast. After abolishing slavery in these new territories, he ordered built the fortrss city of Westkeep (304 CY) in order to shield the central lands from incursions from the swamp and facilitate widespread settlement of the south. The rise of the Sea Princes in the following century (434-453CY) proved fateful to the Keoish efforts in this quarter, and these lands eventually fell to usurpers under the reign of Tavish III. His ill-fated attempt to regain the lands from the pirates resulted in the Seige of Westkeep (453 CY).”


    I think trying to suggest from this that the Keoish didn't take the islands as well is a being a little literal and narrow in your reading. There's nothing to suggest that they didn't also take the islands or already had the islands.

    Also the fact that only the central lands were cultivate in no way indicates that they were the only lands conquered (only that they were the only lands cultivated by the Keoish).

    As for the provenance of the Sea Princes, the LGG says they were led by a captain of noble Keoish blood. That could be a traitorous royal or it could be a distant bastard son/ancestor. It rules neither out.

    P.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:12 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    ROFL! "I'm rubber and you're glue; whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you." Such erudition! Laughing


    OK.
    You are a hypocrite who demands that no one ever refuse the least quasi-canonical reference that you love while asserting your primacy to deny the canon status of anything that doesn't perfectly agree with your view of the setting.
    Is that erudite enough for you?

    Quote:
    Gary's take is Gary's take. If its published by the IP holder, it acquires the character of "canon." It is otherwise, just his personal opinion. Cutting room floor scraps are not canon. The more expansive version you offer has not been published by the IP holder. Or, if it has, you can quote and cite it. I do not believe you can.


    It is published by the IP holder. You quoted where it was cited by the IP holder! They are in fact canon.

    Quote:
    This is an example of how you attempt to conflate your take with actual canon. Your work, IMO, stands on its own merits and does not need to be dressed up as if it were canon, when it is not. The attempt detracts from rather than enhancing the work, IMO.


    Except at no point has my work been quoted. Your attempt to insert my work without any ever quoting, or even referring to it except to refute your reference to it, shows that it nothing more than a red herring you are using to distract from the fact that the published canon that you did quote doesn't agree with your assertions.

    Quote:
    In any event, what has been published comports with my reading.


    It does not.
    I already showed that.

    Quote:
    Keoland never took all of the Hold, specifically the islands. The case is not one where the islands were simply not mentioned; they were specifically excluded from the canon description of Keoland's conquests, which was otherwise quite precise. I have not summed up the total land area of the four main islands presented on the map but my surmise is that, at a most expansive reading, Keoland "conquered" only 70% of the Hold at the height of such "conquest."


    You mean your new surmise. Your original declaration was that we couldn't believe Keoland ever controlled more than Westkeep. Now suddenly you feel it safe to believe they simply never held the islands.
    And suddenly the canon descriptions are quite precise, as opposed to questionable enough that you could assure us quite confidently that we should only believe Westkeep was ever controlled by Keoland.

    Quote:
    ROFL! My agenda to "deny any Keoish influence anywhere?" :
    . . .
    I don't suppose you can help yourself but I'm not going to fascilitate your bait and switch attempts.


    This from a person who wants to bait and switch people to ignore a claim that Keoland only controlled Westkeep, but now you must admit you were wrong about that so you'll accept a bit more.
    This from a person who keeps trying to insist on referring to things I've written but has been the only person actively referring to it while everyone else merely cites the material in WotC published sources.

    But that's OK, I'm sure some day you'll write something as interesting as what I've written, and you can get over your intense jealousy and need to try and diminish it through such "praise."
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:19 am  

    Woesinger wrote:
    I'm probably going to regret poking my nose into this - though I'll say at the outset I've got no dog in the race.

    . . .

    P.


    We already said that Paul. Apparently it doesn't matter because my timeline exists, and therefore no interpretation other than GVDs can ever be accepted as legitimate.
    A bizarre twist of logic, but there you have it.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 03, 2003
    Posts: 33
    From: Fort Myers, FL

    Send private message
    Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:35 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    There is no evidence, however, that Keoland has ever controlled all of the Hold of the Sea Princes.


    Um, now that I look back, your own citations prove you wrong:

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Living Greyhawk Journal No. 1, p. 18. “King Tavish the Great was the first to march around these marshlands (ed. The Hool Marsh) to conquer the wilderness between the Hellfurnaces and Jeklea Bay (now called the Hold of the Sea Princes).
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3241
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:08 am  

    Note that the LGG, on page 100, defines the modern Hold of the Sea Princes as ending at Jeklea Bay. "The Hold's eastern border, along Jeklea Bay, accounts for the nation's former prosperity." Other references to the Hold ending at Jeklea Bay should be read with this in mind. The region Tavish the Great Conquered was the same as the modern Hold. If the modern Hold has possessions beyond its eastern border, so might the region conquered by Tavish.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:45 pm  

    direrodent wrote:
    GVDammerung wrote:
    There is no evidence, however, that Keoland has ever controlled all of the Hold of the Sea Princes.


    Um, now that I look back, your own citations prove you wrong:

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Living Greyhawk Journal No. 1, p. 18. “King Tavish the Great was the first to march around these marshlands (ed. The Hool Marsh) to conquer the wilderness between the Hellfurnaces and Jeklea Bay (now called the Hold of the Sea Princes).


    I said "all" of the Hold. The LGJ entry defines the conquered area as that "between the Hellfurnaces and Jeklea Bay." The Hold as identified in the Catalogue of the Flanaess does not end at Jeklea Bay but includes the islands. "between the Hellfurnaces and Jeklea Bay" is rather specific and draws the line of conquest at Jeklea Bay. The islands are not "between" the Hellfurnaces and Jeklea Bay;" they are in Jeklea Bay. Jeklea Bay interposes itself between the islands and the mainland; the Bay begins before the islands are initially encountered. It is, IMO, a stretch to say the islands were conquered per the quoted text. Keoland did not conquer all of the Hold; it conquered the land "between the Hellfurnaces and Jeklea Bay," which does not encompass the entirety of the Hold.

    If the intent was to say Keoland conquered all of the Hold, it could have been said that simply; there would then be no reason to specify the lands conquered as just that "between the Hellfurnaces and Jeklea Bay." That the author went to the trouble of defining the area conquered suggests the author intended that area so defined to be identified as conquered but not other areas. Otherwise the qualifying language is read as a nullity. Qualifying language is read as a nullity only as a last resort as it is imagined the writer knew what he or she meant to convey and used appropriate language.

    I think I have been ready enough to stand corrected when I am clearly misapprehending the facts; in this case, I am not misapprehending the facts. There is no evidence Keoland ever controlled all of the Hold of the Sea Princes; there is only evidence that Keoland controlled that portion of the Hold "between the Hellfurnaces and Jeklea Bay," which does not encompass all of the Hold - specifically, it does not encompass the islands which are in Jeklea Bay not "between the Hellfurnaces and Jeklea Bay."
    _________________
    GVD
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    [ 1, 2  Next]
    Page 1 of 2

    Jump to:  

    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum




    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!


    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.51 Seconds