Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

New races: Ochalea

by James Mishler

Many of the races of the Oriental Adventures book made their way into Mystara through the Isle of Ochalea, including:

Spirit Folk: Many more types that those listed in the OA book, including many derived from the information in GAZ 12 "The Golden Khan of Ethengar".

Hengeyoki: These shapechangers descend from the ancient native humans of the Isle who were the first to contact the Spirit Folk after the shifting of the spheres ca. BC 3000 on.

Bakemono, Shikone, and Oni: These are descended from the beastmen inhabitants of the Isle who were altered in many ways by the close proximity of the Spirit World and the cataclysm of BC 1700. These beings are much more magical than their mainland "western" counterparts.

Korobokuru: These strange dwarves are descended from the original elder dwarven race; they retreated far beneath the surface after the Great Rain of Fire and were so altered in nature by the proximity to the Spirit World that Kagyar passed them up when he reformed the dwarven race in BC 1800. Most of the Korobokuru were driven to the surface by the cataclysm in BC 1700; the few who remained are now a thoroughly vile lot, and have been possessed of the darkest nature of the
Shadow World (the dark, entropic portions of the Spirit World). The surface Korobokuru now live a barbaric existence in the more out of the way portions of the Isle.

The Tiger Men of the South: The great southern jungle lands are home to a humanoid race of tiger men. Little is known about these people (they are actually the remains of a colony from Myoshima). They are said to have a great city in the heart of the jungle from which their Great Khan rules his people.

Halflings: Halflings are found in fair numbers all over the Isle, living in a manner not unlike those of the humans around them. These halflings are descended from settlers who were fleeing the gnollish depredations of BC 1000; they travelled to the Isle along with groups of Traldar (today known as the Dairu, see below). They have adapted to the Ochalean way of life much quicker and easier than the Dairu, and while the Ochaleans do not consider them equals, they accept them more than they do those Dairu who maintain their "barbarian" ways.

Note: There are no elves to be found native to the Isle. The elven "ecological niche" is more than fulfilled by the Spirit Folk. The only elves that could be found on the Isle would be in the Foreign Section of the City of Beitung.

Humans: There are two human cultures found on the Isle. The first, and the oldest residents are the Dairu, who are descendants of Traldar colonists and the original Oltec population. The Traldar society regressed over the several centuries following the colonization, much as the Nithian colonists had done in the lands of Darokin and Karameikos. The modern Dairu culture and language is greatly divergent from that of the other descendants of the Traldar (including the Darokinians, Traladara, Milenians, Minaeans, etc.), and only a sage who has studied both cultures intensely could tell that they were once related. To confuse matters still, the Dairu are broken into several distinct cultural subgroups, including the Western, Southern and Hill groups, among others. The other human culture is that of the Cypri-Alphatian settlers who arrived in several waves beginning around BC 700. This group is the more dominant culture politically and socially, and they regard the Dairu as barbaric inferiors. The Cypri-Alphatians are known as Ochaleans ("O-", like in real world Japanese, means "Honourable", "Cha" is Ochalean for "True", and "Lea" is Ochalean for "Land/Realm"; thus, Ochalea can be roughly translated as "The (Honourable) True Land"). It would take several books to describe the Ochalean culture in full, but it can suffice to say that it is generally "Oriental" in nature, in that the society reflects many aspects of Chinese, Korean, Tibetan and Japanese cultures (with the heaviest emphasis on the Japanese).