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All Things Considered

by Bruce Heard

What if a group of eager blue-blooded Bellaynese rakastas decided to go on a private colonizing spree of their own (the Queen does not approve, at least openly that is). Of course, they have no fleet so they would have to hire Texeiran or Vilaverdan ships to support their effort, generously splitting profits with their naval associates, of course. They might be tempted to secure the southern tip of the Arm of the Immortals and build a fortress there -- a Rock of Gibraltar of sorts, or perhaps create a settlement comparable to RW-Singapore. Many people have grown accustomed to the idea that Tangor is Mystara's setting for Oriental Adventures, so that idea isn't too far-fetched. Could be fun!

This leads to an opportunity to create an order of rakasta knights whose mission is to defend the new fortress. Unbeknownst to all, there was an another reason for these Belaynese adventurers to embark on the expedition. In truth, a mysterious rakasta cleric (a notorious healer and sage now lost somewhere on Davania -- you know who of course) found some fossilized remains imbedded in the rock at the tip of the Arm of the Immortals.

He thought these could be the remains of prehistorical rakastas -- their missing link -- which look like large rakastas with sabretooth fangs. This flies in the face of the concept that rakastas came from Myoshima. The learned people of Bellayne know of the existence of Myoshima, Mystara invisible moon. They also thought that was where their people originally came from -- which is what Myoshimans also believe. This made the Bellaynese think they were mere expatriates of the *master race*. The discovery of the fossil tends to prove instead that rakastas first appeared on Mystara, then for some unknown reason resettled on Myoshima thousands of years ago.

The Myoshimans maintain a few spies among Bellaynese since that's where it is easiest for their kind to blend in. A spy who joined the expedition accidentally found out about the fossil and the Bellaynese thinking, and reported it at once. The Myoshimans really hate the idea. In reality it doesn't matter whether their race came from Mystara or Myoshima, but it remains a question of pride. Both the Myoshimans and the Bellaynese show a strange sort of snobism and feelings of self-superiority, and naturally both think they are *better* than the other, and naturally closer to the *true ways* of the original rakasta.

So now we have this fortified colony, with probably some temple protecting whatever fossilized remains there may be, and an order of knights whose goal is to defend the temple and seek *The Truth*. Okay, where else are we going with all this? :)