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Iconic Items of Lost Civilizations

by DJ Hartel

For my campaign I'm trying to document what different lost civilizations are known for within Mystara. Specifically, I'm thinking of items one could/would find in a dungeon such as weapons, armor or valuable items. Also, style/detail would be neat too if it's known. I'm not really interested in artifacts, just something that might be found in a dungeon that was once used by the civilization that founded it. Here are the lost civiliations I'm focusing on:

Giant Era
Lhomarr/Y'hog (I know they used bronze tridents, but unsure of others)
Blackmoor (I don't think Beagle Tech counts, as it was only available for a limited area/time, though it may have been copied by the Blackmoorians. Also, Blackmoorian Armor/Weapons may look somewhat modern due to the influence of the Comeback Inn).
Horde of King Loark
Nithia (Khopesh)
Evergrun (though it may resemble Blackmoor Tech, but items older than the Blackmoor contact era would be much different.)

My example is a Lhomarrian outpost is found on a very isolated island. Within it, the following could be found... (with apologies, but this is a rough and limited guess):
Weapons: Bronze tridents, bronze short swords, bronze daggers with sea animal and bird designs
Armor: Most of their armor would have been cloth/leather which would have rotted away, unless very very magical, however bronze tower shields may be found with various inisgnia's painted on them (I forget if Lhomarr had a definite symbol used to represent the civilization).
Items: Magical Maps

by John Calvin

Ok, so here is some input based on the BC 2300 version of the Taymorans (who are modeled on RW Minoans).

Weapons: Bronze weapons (spears, short swords, daggers). Weapons can be inlaid with ivory (boar tusks) and horns. Bull motifs are common, as are images depicting a "mother goddess" (in this case it would be Nyx). Undead motifs may also be common.
Armor: Bronze armor (banded mail) and leather armor were the most common, with round bronze shields. Each of the city states would have had their own symbols (tied directly to that city state's vampiric ruler).
Items: Statues of bronze or clay (again using either a bull or mother goddes motif), clay tablets, goblets and other items related to blood (many used by the vampire queens in their dark rites).

Later era Taymora would also add seafaring motifs to the above, and there would have been some shift away from the mother goddess (Nyx) towards the bull (Ixion) as various states broke away from vampiric control.

by Geoff Gander


Weapons: Steel weapons (spears, swords, daggers). The signature blade of Mogreth is the falcata - their swords and daggers were forged in this style. Most weapons were plain, or had a few basic designs (geometric repeating patterns, etc.), but wealthy weapon owners edged their blades with silver (because it looked nice), or had custom hilts designed with exotic leathers and large precious stones (to show off their status). Religious folk might inscribe their weapons with symbols associated with the Outer Beings.

Armor: Leather partial armour with steel breastplates (treat as scale mail), with steel arm and leg greaves. Shields, when used, were rectangular and made of wood, capped with steel. Helmets looked like this, except there would have been a wide snout guard projecting from the front, and the top of the helmet would have had an engraved crest symbolising the unit and district of origin. Sorcerer-kings would have a crown mounted on their helmets (which looked something like this - my own little explanation for the origin of the Nithian crown - it was taken from Mogreth). Each district of Mogreth had its own symbol, as did each sorcerer king and noble house.

Items: Statues of granite or basalt (using a lizard man or Outer Being motif, sometimes of colossal sizes - sorcerer kings often had statues made in their likenesses); scrolls preserved in resin; goblets, bowls, platters, knives and spoons (clay crockery and iron utensils for the lower classes, obsidian crockery and silver utensils for the upper classes). Imagery would be geometric shapes combined with simple inscriptions and sayings (most of the free population could read at a basic level).

Other Relics: In Mogreth's later years many paved roads were built, some of which might survive today in isolated regions. The authorities' obsession with control manifested itself in numerous fortified checkpoints and watchtowers - some of which might survive in ruined form.


Weapons: Bronze weapons (spears, short swords, daggers, tridents). The most commonly used weapons were short swords and tridents - the former was based on designs used by the Carnifex at the time. Sun, flame (Xeron) and sea motifs (waves, fish, ships) were very common. Clear quartz was considered to be the holiest of crystals (as it reflected the sun's light purely), and highly polished specimens were inlaid into special blades.

Armor: Leather armour was common (which would have rotted away unless it was magical), but heavier armour existed in the form of bronze scale mail (a knee-length shirt divided below the waist to aid movement, accompanied with arm and leg greaves). Octagonal wooden normal or tower shields (capped with bronze and embossed with sun and fire patterns) were common. Helmets are tough, but later imperial helmets (including Selhomarrian helmets) would be based on Carnifex/Mogrethian designs (because they proved more effective). Shoulder guards would have a crest indicating the unit, but noble officers would also have standards (canvas banners) that they would strap to their own backs, or they would have a standard-bearer do the job. Various regions of the empire would have their own variations (this is the case in Selhomarr, too).

Items: Statues of granite, bronze, and occasionally quartz (the latter in temples only), depicting heroic figures and memorable events in history. Quartz was reserved for religious themes. Bronze pots, plates, utensils, and goblets were common (either with a sea or flame motif, or inlaid with colourful mosaics made from semi-precious stones), as were clay jugs. Dilianaths (silver, frisbee-sized rings used in a wildly popular game of the same name) might turn up as well (imagine full-contact ultimate played on a circular field with two sets of goal posts per team, with anything being permitted except the use of weapons).

Other Relics: The Lhomarrians decorated many of their buildings with intricate mosaics depicting events in history, pastoral scenes, the sea, and Xeron. Some of these might survive if they were buried, or protected by magic.

[EDIT: Someone has posted photos of Atlantean-themed Lego, which pretty closely matches what I think Lhomarrian soldiers would look like - example #2 is the closest of the bunch (trident optional), but this picture is good, too, for showing officers. Just add cloaks in the back.]

by Giampaolo Agosta

Blackmoor tech has several stages: the Blackmoor culture evolved through a bronze age, iron age, and was a typical (chivalric) D&D culture until the encounter with far-future Beagle tech, which was copied by the Blackmoorians.
Some Blackmoorian/Beagle far future tech can be still found -- e.g., Jaggar von Drachenfels has a hand blaster.

Traldara relics can include bronze weapons (short sword, broad sword, axe, spear) and armor (breastplate, helm, large shield), plus Hutaakan art (magical tapestries such as those in B10).

Other lost civilizations include:
The Wallara civilization (destroyed by Aranea bio-magic mass destruction weapons; low tech but likely highly magical)
The Rakasta civilization of Plaktur (destroyed by goblin hordes; early M-Japanese weapon designs)
The Kingdom of Essuria (destroyed by the Shadowlord; the Blackstaff, essurian runes, otherwise a chivalric tech)
Cynidicea and the Doulakki city states (similar to Traldar lands, but in the eastern Darokin-western Ylaruam-Thyatis region)
The first Alphatian settlements in Norwold (destroyed by barbarians and cold winters; see CM1 and CM3 for some legacy)
The Varellyan civilization in eastern Davania (destroyed by civil war and major Immortal curse)

by mister c

For Taymor (or at least Minoan) how about double bladed axes? These weapons (called Labrys) are thoght by some scholars to have given their name to the labyrinth.

by John Calvin

I'd add a few more "ancient Mystaran" civilizations into the mix:
There is actually one ancient dwarven civilization mentioned in canon - the Glittering Lands, which comprised an aggressive expansionist era in dwarven history (this is also part of the history I've used to build up the Shimmering Lands before it - which would have been made up of pre-Kagyar dwarves).

Also, I'd throw in Oenkmar which was an Azcan inspired humanoid culture that dominated a good portion of KW lands during the Nithian era. It would also be related to both the HW Azcans/Mictlan (Atraughin's city of the dead) and certain proto-Schattenalfen clans.

The Kopru Empire (Adhuza)
Aranea culture - there should be bits and pieces of this scattered across the Known World from Thothia to Belphemon/Herath.