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Preliminary information on the nations on Patera

by Andrew Theisen

First off, let me say it's good to be back! :)

Well, folks, it just so happens that I am currently enrolled in two, yes, two courses on Southeast Asia this semester. Figuring that I might as well put the knowledge thus gained to use (since come May I'll probably never use it again ;) , I thought I might try and come up with some information on the Rakasta world/moon of Myoshima.

What does this have to do with Southeast Asia, you ask? Well, a quick reading of the (all too brief) write up on Myoshima in Dragon Magazine 160, seems to indicate that Southeast Asia is the major inspiration for the world of the cat men. You've got it all- tropical environment, island nations, perpetual rain... and cats. Lots and lots of cats.

At any rate, I've started to gather information on this place, and am calling for help from anyone who would like to join me. Specifically, I'm hoping there's someone out there who is somewhat knowledgeable in astronomy, to try and come up with a calendar of sorts for Myoshima, not to mention any other pertinent astronomical data.

Also, anyone who would care to send me any relevant historical info on the Rakasta- specifically if there is any info on them in Red Steel (as I don't own that supplement).

Thus far, here's my thoughts on the nations of Myoshima/Patera:

Empire of Myoshima- Based on the info given, I think it's rather obvious that this is based on feudal Japan.

Rajahstan- I gather that this is based on India, but given size constraints (Myoshima isn't that large a world, and SE Asia is a huge area), and not wanting to duplicate other material (spec. Sind), I decided to base Rajahstan on the four Hinduised areas of SE Asia- Laos, Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Selimpore- My thinking that this is based on the tiny yet rich city state of Singapore.

Surabayang- I've based this loose confederacy of pirates on Indonesia (Surabaya is a city on the isle of Java in Indonesia... or is it on Sumatra?)

Malacayog- Though head hunting is a common cultural trait found in SE Asia, I've based the head hunters of Malacayog on Malaysia. (Actually, I've recently been told by Bruce that he based Malacayog on pre-Spanish colonial Philippines, rather than Malaysia. Thanks, Bruce! :)

Kompor-Thap- The land of a thousand hidden temples seems based on Burma, but I've sort of combined this aspect of that land with Tibetan culture. Basically, rather than Hindus, the Kompor-Thap are more strictly Buddhist (I'm not actually using these religions, just as an example for you all). (Another note or two- Bruce was basing this region on a combination of Burma and Cambodia. My thinking is to populate it with Pachydermions, as opposed to Rakasta. Any thoughts on this?)

Anyway, I figure I'll pretty much just use the maps of SE Asia and Japan as is, to map out Patera's surface. That's about all I've come up with thus far, but I do have a couple of other ideas I'd be willing to share with anyone who'd care to help out. (Among them are ideas about cultural exchange with Mystara. Currently my thoughts are that the Rakasta influenced the culture of Ochalea at some point in the pre-Alphatian past, then were expunged, leading to anti tiger sentiment in the Ochalean territories. Further, I'm leaning towards Rajahstan being created by shapeshifters fleeing persecution in Sind in 451. Any thoughts?)