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Ethengarians and real world Mongolsby Marco Dalmonte
Many people here consider the Ethengarians as the RW Mongols and think they come from the same "cultural cradle" that spawned Ochalean because in the RW Mongols and Chinese were neighbours and had common roots. However folks, this is Mystara we're talking about here, and you must consider first and foremost Mystara's history from the canon sources. The sources say that the Ochaleans ARE Alphatians, and as I pointed out, Alphatian facial features only slightly resemble Asian features. However Ochalea's culture and names sound definitely Chinese. So it's not possible that OCHALEANS (Alphatians) have ANYTHING to do with Ethengarians (who are NOT ALPHATIANS and who don't have a Chinese-like culture).
The explanation for the Ethies' culture is to be found in the influence of Akkila-Khan's goblinoids, as Giampaolo clearly explained over the Italian Mystara Boards. Indeed if we look at the goblinoid history and culture, we can see that the goblinoids originate in Urzud (north-west of Denagoth, in the Borean Valley) and later split in two groups in BC 1700: one travels south-east (Loark and Akkila-Khan) another travels south-west (settling in the Cradle and the Yazak steppes). Loark's humanoids conquer the Antalians and absorb their culture and naming, while Akkila-Khan and his horde gets straight to Ethengar razing the Ethies and later enslaving them working with Loark. From them (check out GAZ12) the Ethies learn to use the horse and all of their military tactics, and are then able to overthrow Loark by allying with Akkila-Khan, betraying him after Loark's horde was out of Ethengar.
Now this means that probably the "Mongolian" influence on the Ethies culture (which before the coming of the goblinoids was just a stock of nomadic more Oltec-less Neathar herders, probably tied to the same Oltecs who colonised Skothar creating first the Peshwah and later the Jennite cultures) comes from the goblinoids of Akkila-Khan (later known as the immortal Yagrai). This is even more reinforced by the fact that the immortals Yamuga and Tubak worshipped by the Ethies are likewise worshipped with VERY SIMILAR NAMES (Tabak and Yamag) by the goblinoids of the Yazak steppes, who lived a thousand miles APART from Ethengar ! Now, since the obvious link is the goblinoid culture before the migration from Urzud in BC 1700, it is clear to me that the Mongolian taint was brought to Ethengar by humanoids. And those same humanoids retained their cultural background when they settled in the Broken Lands (check out in GAZ10 the names of the Yellow Orcs, descendants of Yagrai, to verify ;))