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    Canonfire :: View topic - Learning about our real world via the WoG
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    Learning about our real world via the WoG
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
    Posts: 190
    From: Calgary, AB, Canada

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    Wed Jul 27, 2022 2:19 am  
    Learning about our real world via the WoG

    I never fail to be astonished by how much I learn about our real world via the World of Greyhawk.

    I was doing a Google search for "Paynims" (thinking it was just a name invented by Gygax) to see what web resources existed on that territory in the WoG and its inhabitants, and came across this definition in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paynim

    pay·nim
    /ˈpānim/
    nounARCHAIC
    plural noun: paynims
    a non-Christian, especially a Muslim.

    That definition came as a surprise to me. I remember being just as surprised when someone posted here (on was it on the Discord server?) some time ago that the Ket are indigenous peoples of Siberia. Today I discovered a less flattering use for the term "ket," also courtesy of the M-W online dictionary:

    Definition of ket (Entry 1 of 4)
    1 dialectal, British
    a: CARRION
    b: FILTH, RUBBISH
    2 dialectal, British : a good-for-nothing person

    Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ket#:~:text=Definition%20of%20ket,a%20good%2Dfor%2Dnothing%20person

    I can easily imagine some racist Suloise-Oeridians or Knights of the Watch equating the peoples of Ket with the British dialectal definitions.

    I also remember someone mentioning that Wegwiur = a variant spelling of Uyghur (the Turkic peoples inhabiting northwestern China and currently the subjects of much state-level persecution/repression). And, as it happens, ItRW, a variant spelling of Uyghur is Weiwu'er... bringing us almost full circle back to Wegwiur. (Source: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Uyghur).

    Does anyone have other lesser known "discoveries" they'd like to share involving parallels between the real world and the WoG?

    I love that kind of stuff.


    Last edited by TwiceBorn on Fri Jul 29, 2022 11:32 am; edited 1 time in total
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 30, 2022
    Posts: 33


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    Wed Jul 27, 2022 7:01 am  
    Re: Learning about our real world via the WoG

    TwiceBorn wrote:
    I never fail to be astonished by how much I learn about our real world via the World of Greyhawk.

    I was doing a Google search for "Paynims" (thinking it was just a name invented by Gygax) to see what web resources existed on that territory in the WoG and its inhabitants, and came across this definition in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paynim

    pay·nim
    /ˈpānim/
    nounARCHAIC
    plural noun: paynims
    a non-Christian, especially a Muslim.

    That definition came as a surprise to me. I remember being just as surprised when someone posted here (on was it on the Discord server?) some time ago that the Ket are indigenous peoples of Siberia. Today I discovered a less flattering use for the term "ket," also courtesy of the M-W online dictionary:

    Definition of ket (Entry 1 of 4)
    1 dialectal, British
    a: CARRION
    b: FILTH, RUBBISH
    2 dialectal, British : a good-for-nothing person

    Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ket#:~:text=Definition%20of%20ket,a%20good%2Dfor%2Dnothing%20person

    I can easily imagine some racist Suloise-Oeridians or Knights of the Watch equating the peoples of Ket with the British dialectical definitions.

    I also remember someone mentioning that Wegwiur = a variant spelling of Uyghur (the Turkic peoples inhabiting northwestern China and currently the subjects of much state-level persecution/repression). And, as it happens, ItRW, a variant spelling of Uyghur is Weiwu'er... bringing us almost full circle back to Wegwiur. (Source: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Uyghur).

    Does anyone have other lesser known "discoveries" they'd like to share involving parallels between the real world and the WoG?

    I love that kind of stuff.



    Paynims : pagan or impious (whitout a religion)
    The cleric Al'Akbar ("Allahu Akbar" or "Allahu akbar" means "God is the greatest" in Arabic) guides them to the north.

    Iggwilv
    Igg : Egg ?
    wilv : Etymology : From Middle Low German and Old Saxon wulf, from Proto-West Germanic *wulf.
    Wulf m (plural Wilw or Wilv)
    wolf

    Jacques
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
    Posts: 190
    From: Calgary, AB, Canada

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    Wed Jul 27, 2022 4:18 pm  
    Re: Learning about our real world via the WoG

    Docjacques wrote:

    Iggwilv
    Igg : Egg ?
    wilv : Etymology : From Middle Low German and Old Saxon wulf, from Proto-West Germanic *wulf.
    Wulf m (plural Wilw or Wilv)
    wolf

    Jacques


    Neat! That sure gets the creative juices flowing!
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 17


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    Wed Jul 27, 2022 9:36 pm  

    I learned electrum mines are a real thing. I'm running a campaign set in the Kron Hills, which have electrum mines.
    I thought to myself "electrum is an alloy of gold and silver! A man-made alloy! An electrum mine is just a feature of a fantasy campaign setting."
    I happened to Google electrum for some reason, and discovered that electrum is a naturally-occurring alloy of gold and silver, and deposits can be found around the world! The exact proportions of gold to silver vary between deposits, but electrum mines are a very real thing.
    Live and learn.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
    Posts: 190
    From: Calgary, AB, Canada

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    Wed Jul 27, 2022 10:35 pm  

    crash72ndst wrote:
    I learned electrum mines are a real thing. I'm running a campaign set in the Kron Hills, which have electrum mines.
    I thought to myself "electrum is an alloy of gold and silver! A man-made alloy! An electrum mine is just a feature of a fantasy campaign setting."
    I happened to Google electrum for some reason, and discovered that electrum is a naturally-occurring alloy of gold and silver, and deposits can be found around the world! The exact proportions of gold to silver vary between deposits, but electrum mines are a very real thing.
    Live and learn.


    Wild, eh? I recently came across similar information about the real world existence of electrum while reading the opening chapter of "Secrets of the Alchemists" -- one of many volumes in the Time Life Mysteries of the Unknown series from the '80s that have been collecting dust on my bookshelf -- for campaign inspiration and background.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 30, 2022
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    Thu Jul 28, 2022 11:41 am  
    Re: Learning about our real world via the WoG

    TwiceBorn wrote:
    Docjacques wrote:

    Iggwilv
    Igg : Egg ?
    wilv : Etymology : From Middle Low German and Old Saxon wulf, from Proto-West Germanic *wulf.
    Wulf m (plural Wilw or Wilv)
    wolf

    Jacques


    Neat! That sure gets the creative juices flowing!


    OK

    OJ 1
    856 SD A band of northern nomads, under the leadership of
    the Holy Man, El-Baklun-bar-Gash discover or build a
    strange circle of stone, and name it Tovrag Baragu, in
    Bakluni, "The Naval of the Earth." The Bakluni count the
    completion of this place as the beginning of the Bakluni
    calendar (1 BH/-2660 CY

    Hegira
    (also Hejira)
    The occasion in AD 622 when the prophet Muhammad left Mecca and travelled to Medina. This date is the one from which the Islamic system of counting years is calculated.


    Egg of Coot | The H.P. Lovecraft Wiki | Fandom
    The Egg of Coot is an Aberration from the original Dungeons & Dragons setting Blackmoor. It was created by Dave Arneson, the originator and co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons.

    In-Universe lore
    The Egg of Coot is one of the last surviving servants of the Outer Beings. It was originally a humanoid, or possessed humanoid, but has lost all human shape and is now an immense ball of quivering gray flesh covered in patches of moss-like fur, eyes and mouths. In this respect it may well be the same type of creature as Ugga-Naach.
    It is served by a cult. The cult infiltrates surrounding settled areas as well as maintaining its own cult centre in the wilderness surrounding the crater where the Egg of Coot sits. Each day the cult gathers around the Egg and chants the cult creed, "Might is Right."
    The Egg of Coot, despite its mouths, feeds off the ego of living intelligent beings. As it sucks their sense of self away it grows stronger, and increases in physical size. Those who have had their ego sucked away become spiritless unthinking Zombie -like followers of the Egg or wander the world of Blackmoor mindlessly repeating words and phrases that the Egg has placed in their minds.
    https://lovecraft.fandom.com/wiki/Egg_of_Coot
    An aberration deep underground on Blackmoor? Visit the City of the Gods!

    I think old wargamers were history fans, especially Gary and Dave, with great creative imaginations.
    Jacques
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 2625
    From: LG Dyvers

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    Fri Jul 29, 2022 1:00 pm  

    I believe it was in a Dungeon Magazine adventure, but it may have been in Rary, the Traitor, the desert nomads were called something like, "Twaregs". Later, I discovered that there is a real desert nomad people from the north and west Sahara called Tuaregs.

    SirXaris
    _________________
    SirXaris' Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SirXaris?ref=hl
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 30, 2022
    Posts: 33


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    Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:17 pm  
    Re: Learning about our real world via the WoG

    TwiceBorn wrote:
    I never fail to be astonished by how much I learn about our real world via the World of Greyhawk.

    I was doing a Google search for "Paynims" (thinking it was just a name invented by Gygax) to see what web resources existed on that territory in the WoG and its inhabitants, and came across this definition in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paynim

    pay·nim
    /ˈpānim/
    nounARCHAIC
    plural noun: paynims
    a non-Christian, especially a Muslim.

    That definition came as a surprise to me. I remember being just as surprised when someone posted here (on was it on the Discord server?) some time ago that the Ket are indigenous peoples of Siberia. Today I discovered a less flattering use for the term "ket," also courtesy of the M-W online dictionary:

    Definition of ket (Entry 1 of 4)
    1 dialectal, British
    a: CARRION
    b: FILTH, RUBBISH
    2 dialectal, British : a good-for-nothing person

    Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ket#:~:text=Definition%20of%20ket,a%20good%2Dfor%2Dnothing%20person

    I can easily imagine some racist Suloise-Oeridians or Knights of the Watch equating the peoples of Ket with the British dialectal definitions.

    I also remember someone mentioning that Wegwiur = a variant spelling of Uyghur (the Turkic peoples inhabiting northwestern China and currently the subjects of much state-level persecution/repression). And, as it happens, ItRW, a variant spelling of Uyghur is Weiwu'er... bringing us almost full circle back to Wegwiur. (Source: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Uyghur).

    Does anyone have other lesser known "discoveries" they'd like to share involving parallels between the real world and the WoG?

    I love that kind of stuff.



    Chakyik : "frères" in french and "brother" in english
    Jacques
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
    Posts: 190
    From: Calgary, AB, Canada

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    Sat Jul 30, 2022 5:34 pm  
    Re: Learning about our real world via the WoG

    Docjacques wrote:

    Chakyik : "frères" in french and "brother" in english
    Jacques


    Hmmm... are you pulling my leg with this one?

    Although I communicate more fluently in English, French is my mother tongue... and I have doubts that the above is correct.

    I don't mean to be rude or to put you on the spot, but... do you have a source for that etymology? A quick search of dictionaries in both French and English turned up nothing for me.

    EDIT: Of course, I can definitely see how in-game "Chakyik" would mean "Brothers of the Tiger."


    Last edited by TwiceBorn on Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3263
    From: Michigan

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    Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:06 pm  

    As Scott pointed out in this thread, it's likely the Wegwuir were named after the Uyghurs and the Chakyik were named after the Kipchaks.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
    Posts: 190
    From: Calgary, AB, Canada

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    Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:54 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    As Scott pointed out in this thread, it's likely the Wegwuir were named after the Uyghurs and the Chakyik were named after the Kipchaks.


    Thanks for that, Rasgon. Didn't realize Scotty had started a similar thread last January. I might have read it when originally published, but apparently only remembered the bit about Wegwiur = Uyghur, and not the bit about the Chakyik. But yes, I agree, Kipchaks (a people I was previously unfamiliar with) likely were the inspiration behind the Tiger Nomads.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 30, 2022
    Posts: 33


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    Sun Jul 31, 2022 3:52 am  
    Re: Learning about our real world via the WoG

    TwiceBorn wrote:
    Docjacques wrote:

    Chakyik : "frères" in french and "brother" in english
    Jacques


    Hmmm... are you pulling my leg with this one?

    Although I communicate more fluently in English, French is my mother tongue... and I have doubts that the above is correct.

    I don't mean to be rude or to put you on the spot, but... do you have a source for that etymology? A quick search of dictionaries in both French and English turned up nothing for me.

    EDIT: Of course, I can definitely see how in-game "Chakyik" would mean "Brothers of the Tiger."



    Google traduction
    from arab "chakyik" to english "brother"
    Jacques
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3263
    From: Michigan

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    Sun Jul 31, 2022 6:50 am  
    Re: Learning about our real world via the WoG

    Docjacques wrote:

    Google traduction
    from arab "chakyik" to english "brother"
    Jacques


    It looks like the translator app interpreted "chakyik" as the Arabic word "shaqiq."
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 30, 2022
    Posts: 33


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    Sun Jul 31, 2022 8:20 am  
    Re: Learning about our real world via the WoG

    rasgon wrote:
    Docjacques wrote:

    Google traduction
    from arab "chakyik" to english "brother"
    Jacques


    It looks like the translator app interpreted "chakyik" as the Arabic word "shaqiq."


    I think you are right. Kipchaks is a good interpretation.
    Jacques
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 09, 2003
    Posts: 1322
    From: Clarksville, TN

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    Mon Aug 01, 2022 9:36 am  

    SirXaris wrote:
    I believe it was in a Dungeon Magazine adventure, but it may have been in Rary, the Traitor, the desert nomads were called something like, "Twaregs". Later, I discovered that there is a real desert nomad people from the north and west Sahara called Tuaregs.

    SirXaris


    -"Ghazal", Dungeon #30. The author briefly mentions it here:

    https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2gt6v?Ghazal

    EDIT:

    Oh, while I'm at it:

    www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=4291&highlight=
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
    Posts: 190
    From: Calgary, AB, Canada

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    Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:15 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    SirXaris wrote:
    I believe it was in a Dungeon Magazine adventure, but it may have been in Rary, the Traitor, the desert nomads were called something like, "Twaregs". Later, I discovered that there is a real desert nomad people from the north and west Sahara called Tuaregs.

    SirXaris


    -"Ghazal", Dungeon #30. The author briefly mentions it here:

    https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2gt6v?Ghazal

    EDIT:

    Oh, while I'm at it:

    www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=4291&highlight=


    Thanks for the links, James. Some really great discussions in the second one.

    As for "Ghazal," the author, Dave Howery, comments that "the bad guys, the Tareg, were a pseudo-Arabic group of Suloise slavers in the Bright Desert." That's... a rather curious combo. Will have to go back and read the actual adventure to see exactly how that manifests.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 02, 2022 2:35 am  

    TwiceBorn wrote:
    jamesdglick wrote:
    SirXaris wrote:
    I believe it was in a Dungeon Magazine adventure, but it may have been in Rary, the Traitor, the desert nomads were called something like, "Twaregs". Later, I discovered that there is a real desert nomad people from the north and west Sahara called Tuaregs.

    SirXaris


    -"Ghazal", Dungeon #30. The author briefly mentions it here:

    https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2gt6v?Ghazal

    EDIT:

    Oh, while I'm at it:

    www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=4291&highlight=


    Thanks for the links, James. Some really great discussions in the second one.

    As for "Ghazal," the author, Dave Howery, comments that "the bad guys, the Tareg, were a pseudo-Arabic group of Suloise slavers in the Bright Desert." That's... a rather curious combo. Will have to go back and read the actual adventure to see exactly how that manifests.



    DUNGEON N)30
    GHAZAL
    W 3/91


    Adventure Background

    Ages ago, the Suloise and Baklunish empires destroyed each other in a holocaust of magic. As the surviving Suloise fled eastward, they were closely pursued by their many foes. The Suloise, who angered native populations every- where with their wickedness, were pushed into the wastelands of the far north and south. One of these waste- lands was the Bright Desert.

    Several smaller tribes of Suloise banded together and fought their way
    through the Abbor-alz hills, hoping to lose their pursuers and find a place to rest and regain their strength. However, dervishes massed around the desert and stopped the Suloise from leaving. After several fruitless attempts to break out, the Suloise gave up and adapted to life in the desert.

    The Suloise are evil but also intelligent and creative. They have learned to put the sparse resources of the desert to good use* One Suloise tribe, the Tareg, have become dominant in the western half of the Bright Desert. All Tareg are cruel and malicious. They are also fanatical fighters who will not surrender, even if faced with certain death. In Tareg society, the strongest individuals constantly struggle to get to the top, but only within the bounds of acceptable behavior. The Tareg have few laws, but
    breaking any of them is punishable by death. Obedience to superiors is de- manded of all.

    The Tareg are also wicked slavers and robbers, attacking areas inside and outside the desert (small raiding parties can get in and out of the desert, but any mass exodus would draw the attention of the dervishes, who would mass to keep the Suloise from leaving). Many
    captives taken by the Tareg from Hard- by, the Duchy of Urnst, and the Wild Coast end their days as slaves in the Great Kingdom or Pomarj* Travelers in the Abbor-alz Hills run the risk of being robbed and murdered* This is one reason why the dervishes guard the hills so
    closely; being good aligned, they don't want innocents to fall into the hands of the Tareg.

    Name of the leaders of the Taregs : Murad and Yusuf
    Captive : Boudicea
    Messalina is a mage advisor to the Despotrix

    WGR 3 RARY THE TRAITOR
    Men
    Humans make up the bulk of the region's inhabitants. The Bright Desert Nomads are a hardy race of Flannish extraction. Intent on finding richer, more fertile lands to the north, the Suloise nomads who migrated through
    the region largely bypassed the Bright Desert region, but the nomads still harbor a deep distrust of outsiders.

    The Desert Nomads
    There are dozens of tribes in the desert, ranging in size from several dozen to more than a thousand. The harsh climate had bred these tribes into violent, surly people, who hold each other in only slightly more regard than they hold most outsiders. Power, military or magical, is the only thing which can unite the tribes, and Rary is prepared to demonstrate both in order to win the nomads to his cause.
    Bright Desert nomads have some cultural similarities to the Paynims of the west, although they are of Flannish descent. Camels are unknown in the Bright Desert. These nomads ride hardy desert ponies (see wild horse
    in the Monstrous Compendium). They wear light robes or buckskin. and enjoy creating bright jewelry such as armbands and headbands of bone. brass. leather. and colored beads.
    The nomads worship a pantheon of minor nature spirits. led by Beory the Oerth Mother. and Obad-Hai. the Shalm. Lord of the Wild Places. The nomads fear Nerull the Reaper and his minions. many going so far as to suggest that Rary himself is an emissary or avatar of this god of death and darkness.

    The Tukim are the most powerful of the tribes that defied Rary.

    The Abor Alz Barbarians
    The situation in the Abbor Alz is somewhat different. The barbarians of the hills have always been independent. always reveled in fighting both each other and the non-humans of the region. and are only too willing to unite to keep it that way. Rary's power base is not strong enough to take on these barbarians. especially in their rugged homeland, and for the time being he limits his activities to trade and sporadic diplomatic contacts with the Abbor Alz humans.
    The barbarians are of mixed Suel-Flan stock, who worship deities of strength, bravery. and warfare. such as Pelor. Fortubo, and Llerg. They share the nomads' dread of Nerull, but usually include several other evil deities, such as Beltar and Tharizdun as Nerull's servants. Less superstitious and somewhat more wise in the ways of the world than the desert nomads, the barbarians of the hills do not consider Rary to be a minion or avatar of some wicked god, but do know unbridled ambition
    when they see it.

    Geshtai Spring : the nomads claim that the goddess Geshtai once visited this place. The water have mystical effects on those who drink them.

    Jacques
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