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Thoughts about Platea, summary 2

compiled by LoZompatore

After more than 120 replies since the beginning of this thread it is time for an updated summary of Platea.

In the following there is mostly a "copy and paste" work of mine on all your posts, with a few edits on my side. I tried to isolate and order all the sentences of yours which helped define Platea, its features and its inhabitants. In the following list you will probably recognize many contributions of yours, now merged in a single document. I tried to include any single bit of info (please tell me if something important is missing!).

Note about map size: the depicted region is very big, some 130 hexes of 72 mile/hex size, for a total area of about 600'000 square miles (same size of Mongolia, 1/6 of the USA or about six times the UK), so I suppose there is room enough to include all the races/cultures/settlements listed above in the setting.

 

General features / geographic descriptions:
- There's a pronounced fault scarp resulting the mountains rising rather abruptly from the lowlands. This could result in fairly regular earthquakes in the area.
- Most of those forests should actually be forested hills, the vegetation growing there due to an increase in moisture generated by orographic weather patterns. This could make the lowlands near the river rather arid with only the resulting surface water providing water for the vegetation holding the desert back.
- There is some sort of older tectonic setting where the hills are limited to a smallish strip of just the west parts of the forest (or north and west). This might even involve some sort of massive "benches" and/or scarps.
- The mountain chain is magic/Immortal created/etc.
- The mountain chain shown in the map is about 650 miles long: it includes all the mentioned geographical features. There is an area of rolling wooded hills which slowly narrows into a thin strip close to the mountains until the hills abruptly disappear sustituted by a deep fault scarp separating the mountain from the plain/forest.
- Trees so old that they are 20 feet diameter and a hundred feet high.
- Davanian theme of (giant-)mammals. It could be used in an overall feeling of "little folks in a big world" to the setting. This could be combined with the massive tree idea.
- Davania/Platea should have an overall Africa/South America feel.
- A place were nature itself has turned against standard sentients - e.g. instead of treants your get gakkaraks.
- Hinmeet (from GAZF series) corresponds (at least in part) to the bottom left of the map (they are the Hidden Woods in Platea general map).
- The desert is going to be seen as the halfling notion of 'hell', because of both the environment and its inhabitants.
- There was an inland sea where the Aryptian Desert is now, which could have served as a homeland for the ancestors of the Toad folk. As the sea dried up, they were forced to adapt, becoming the desert-adapted species they are today. Arypt would have been pretty dry by the time Mogreth arose, and it would only have been resuscitated a bit when the Varellyans were running the show, with irrigation ditches. Even so, it would only have increased the arable land around the existing rivers - though they could have tried creating artificial lakes, as well. These probably dried up or silted over, and are either semi-dry bogs today, or treacherous sinkholes.
- The Hidden Wood is a forest: it is placed from 30 S and 50 S, and sandwitched between two rather large mountain chains. It is not an equatorial or tropical forest, rather a temperate deciduous or evergreen forest.
- The largest rivers of the map could fluctuate in width a great deal during the course of the year. In Spring, when the runoff occurs, the rivers could overflow their banks and be up to 10 miles wide. At those time, the shallow margins explode with life, as reeds, giant waterlilies, papyrus, and other plants grow within weeks and compete for space (thanks to the sediments deposited the previous year). The area becomes rich with insects pollinating the plants, which means birds, frogs, and fish feast. Low-lying areas might even become seasonal lakes. Grazers and larger predators come in from the interior plains, too. By the height of Summer the runoff has ebbed, and the rivers have shrunk. Some of the seasonal tributaries would probably dry out entirely to become swampy, muddy ditches stretching for miles, while the margins of the larger rivers (now 3-6 miles wide at most) become mud flats. Larger animals might emerge from underground at this time to feed. Grazers still hang around (eating newly-revealed roots and other things), as do predators. This is probably the tail end of the rainy season, too. By Fall (the dry season), the rivers are 1-2 miles wide at most, and many insects and similar animals have already deposited their eggs for the following Spring. The margins are now baked, cracked mud, and there is little for the grazers to eat - so they move on to forage downstream, followed by predators. This state of affairs continues until next Spring, when there is fresh runoff and the rains return.
- Blacklame in Platea: when Ka the Preserver was just comming into his Immortality after a thousand years as a Carnosaur during the Age of Carnage, a great rock fell from the sky driving so many to extinction. It had a major effect. It cracked the Worldshield - the barrier that separates the Hollow World from the Outer World. This released energy which migrated upward toward the surface. Blackflame formed. The assumption of having the greatest concentration of Blackflame being where the impact damage was greatest, bring to the hypothesis that the Platea region drew here the hin as a point of origin due to being a major concentration of Blackflame - simply because it is a region of greatest damage.

 

Settlements and countries:
- Territory to be wild during the present Gaz-era, not populated by any real nation-states.
- A tribal structure or city-state type setup for this region, and for the halflings we could use this as the basis for clans and shires.
- Nation states might be too advanced, but certainly semi-stable communities, and perhaps even kingdoms might apply.
- The "civilised" region of Platea would naturally be sandwiched between the mountains and the river
- 2-3 "kingdoms/realms" nestled in the mountains or forested hills, extracting minerals and/or timber for export to the nations of the plains, which would be the local breadbasket.
- There would probably be some river trade, so there should be a few sizable towns on the river, and definitely a city in the hex where the waters meet. This city could be a city-state (surviving off of trade, and possibly renting its soldiers out as mercenaries whenever a war bubbles up), or it would be the capital of one of the more powerful states.
- 4-5 "kingdoms" in the plains area, for a total of 6-8 nations. You can reduce this by having one of the states be a petty empire, which would probably take up 1/4 to 1/3 of the territory.
- An hypotetical huge empire would logically expand to the Adakkian Sound, build a navy, and possibly become known to the larger world.
- Architectual influences on Buildings of some who settle in the region near to the abandoned Blackmoor steamtrain are long narrow dwellings (like a train carriage). Building Windows and Skylights are Circular Portholes.
- Lots of ancient ruins from bygone eras, situated at the crux of many forboding areas (the lizardmen/Carnifex-lite area of the NW, the desert lands of the Aryptian Desert, the nagpa and N'djatwa of the distant east, etc.).
- Ilsundal's Gate: From a distance it looks like a city, but in truth it is a huge power station combining technology with magic. It is guarded by 1000 feet high, 500 feet thick, steel walls which block access to the Great Fissure where the Dyr elves live.
- Soondyr Republic: The country inhaboted by the Dyr elves. its capitol is Ilsundyl's Gate.
- Quelinzel: A small renaissance-like town about a day's walk from Ilsundyl's Gate (16 miles) where Dyr traders meet with their halfling (and other races') counterparts.
- Xaleris: A fortified middle-age halfling keep guarding the pass leading to Quelinzel and Ilsundhyl's Gate.
- Tyranny of Quaeromore: Nixnoddle hins pursued by pardastas. Facing Ilsundyl's Gate dead end the hins elected a dictator to repel the aggressors. It worked, but the tyranny survived so far.
- Nazaniir: A small, hidden, smugglers' village located in the valley south of Dyr elves territory. This Reinassance-like settlement developed mostly to avoid Quelinzel/Xaleris' monopoly on technology trade. Nazaniir's exact location is actively searched by wood drakes, who try to stop such an unmonitored and risky trade, but to no avail, so far.
- Hin city states are concentrated and controlled settlements where farmers don't farm beyond the 24 mile hex diameter. Near the eastern fringes of Platea they even retreat behind the gates and walls of the fortified community each night.
- Many 'city-states' are simply defensed villages of say 50-200 inhabitants, they would all live within the village and have any fields close by. In fact, they are called city-states, not because of large populations, but because of the system of government.
- The Firelords: cannibals living in their high tech city - feeding off the masses.
- Ar'ack and The Race: this could be a steep, winding, canyon inhabited by large nests of dangerous flying beasts. Griffons and thunderheads are a common sight above the canyon: many of them are charmed by a large group of harpies who gathered there and built the nest-like village of Ar'ack. Harpies usually have the charmed monsters hunting for them; sometimes they assemble a large group of flying beasts and raid the halfling villages in the southeastern forest. The canyon is called "The Race" because travelers had better spend as little time as possible in it.
- The villages of the Qualixa: Zodel (pop. 1700) Naralagh (950) Darrixor (850) Imarige (700) Venbrenoz (650) Lomidassa (600) This is a loose confederacy of five halfling villages - and a small town - placed along the forest border closer to the Race and to the harpies' village of Ar'ack. "Qualixa" is a local halfling word meaning something like "Mutual defense pact".

 
Humans:
- Humans are minor players in the area.
- The human stock would likely be at least of partial Varellyan descent, at the very least some Neathar stock.
- Varellyan or any other Lhomarrian descendants.
- At least some of the humans in the area have some kind of Oltec blood in them simply, but there's room for others as well.
- Humans as an Oltec-Neathar mix (or have both of these separate and frequently skirmishing against each other, and perhaps with the halflings as well).
- Scattered and independent human tribes of Oltec and of Neathar which are perpetually threatened by skirmish attacks. This isn't all out war, or constant violence, but there always lies the threat of attack by surrounding tribes and there is nearly always some warfare occurring somewhere among the hundreds of tribes (usually consisting of only a single village).
- Oltecs from various migrations subsequent to those on the HW map: a likely candidate would be an offshoot of the Oltecs placed in Nieuw Bergdhoven/Cap Saimpt Renard.
- Some Neathar develop Carts as early as 2000 BC allowing movement of larger volumes of goods during migrations.
- Writing: Early Vulcanian Elven letters are adapted as post Neathar Pictograms in a form of writing (although it is still unrelated to elven).
remnants of the Milennians, Heldannic Knight explorers etc etc.
- Elves of the Dyr clan over-run by the Neathar Migration and forced out of the region. Some elves are taken hostage as slaves to Neathar warriors causing part elven bloodlines and the rise of a cast system where humans of 'Dyr Lineage' must live outside the city gates.
- Lhomarrians are possible, but any stock introduced to the region would have come long after the fall of their empire - i.e., refugees from the collapse.
- Varellyans: according to this timeline they expanded inland as far as the source of the Adakkian Sound, so they would have had at least some influence in the region. Varellyans were the chief reason for the halfling exodus to the north, but a large portion of demihumans stayed behind to protect their homeland.
- Other Humans: although the Milenian Empire was further north, explorers and settliers could have come this far and founded a few short-lived colonies, which would not likely have long survived the collapse of the empire.
- Humans are merely "exotic visitors" rather than having a significant presence. Leaving the north (of Davania) as the human-dominant area opens up the south for the more exotic Mystaran races (cats dogs and turtles plus, halfling, gnomes and elves).
- Humans are restricted to small areas in the map (namely, the easternmost belt and the southeastern corner) while most of the land is populated only by demihumans and humanoid races (human enclaves in such areas would be made of traders, adventurers, war prisoners/slaves and mercenaries). Given the sheer size of the map, even human populated areas can be as large as a fiefdom or a as city state with its surroundings.

 
Elves:
- Elves are minor players in the area.
- There may be a branch of elves living on the margins - descendants of some who decided to abandon the migration.
- Elves adopting the mountains behind the halfling's woodlands as their home. They could be a mountain-dwelling culture of elves.
- 2600BC: Ilsundal's Elves Migrate north from the old Hin Territories where they have spent the last two hundred years. Stragglers having caught up after the Desert Crossing.
- Ilsundal's elves motivations to migrate: 1) There will be those who go because they are fanatics. 2) There are those looking for a way to survive and they know rats fleeing the sinking ship when they see them. 3) There are others looking for personal power. 4) There are those who don't know what they want until it is taken from them - until then they go along with the whole idea and it is when they are told by the Fanatics to divest themselves of their little technology left that they desert or comply.
- Ilsundal's elves migrating north abandon Blackmoor technology progressively.
- Ilsundal's elves spend the time (200 years) divesting themselves of the last vestiges of Blackmoorish technology. Some of the elves decide that they have sacrificed enough of civilization to this fool's venture and that Ilsundal is an anti technology zealot (and the Dyl Clan not much better). The Dyr Clan decide to settle in and re-establish some degree of civilization.
- The Dyr Clan, abandons Ilsundal's migration and settles in to establish a farming community. They are later over-run by the Neathar Migration and forced out of the region. Some are taken hostage as slaves to neathar warriors causing part elven bloodlines and the rise of a cast system where humans of 'Dyr Lineage' must live outside the city gates.
- Elven stragglers (left over from either Ilsundal's migration of BC 2800 or the second migration of BC 2500) live there, although these folks would not have had many conflicts with the local halflings.
- The elves have utilised woodrakes lack of focus by exploiting their own longevity: technological development is entrusted to elves who have toiled for many centuries and are considered "true". The conflict has been going on so long that the elves have formed concepts of true shape elves and the shapeshifting "deceivers" or "pawns of Ilsundal".
- From time to time hunting parties of elves from the mountains venture out into the desert wastes seeking to collect crystals from the Toadmen and harness the toadstones powers.
- Elves to the north-west are providers of tech to the urbanized hin. They are likely seen as mysterious magicians, feared but much needed. The superiority given by elvish tech is probably paid dearly by the hin city state leaders, who compete to secure these all-important resources. This may lead to conflict between upper and lower classes. This dependency on the elves may also lead to mimicry of their culture and even religion - unless the Elves are atheists: an alternate idea could be that the elves worship the dead Blackmoorian Immortal, Ferros (likely an Elemental Immortal of Matter), and export this cult (essentially a false religion by now) to the hin.
- Keeping "Blackmoorian tech" elves around.
- The Firelords: cannibals living in their high tech city - feeding off the masses.
- The Wave of Elves fleeing post disaster will be looking for revenge on Ilsundal's group. They knew something was wrong and the rats deserted the ship before it began sinking. Maybe these 'Green Terrorists' made it happen. Technology designed to last forever doesn't blow up by itself.
- BC 2400 elves fleeing from Vulcania would have a technology level similar to the Blacklore elves - they had 'hoverboards' and Flame Weapons, and arena fights, Autonomous Servitors, Hydroponics Gardens, Parks, and Apartments of glass and steel.

 
Halflings:
- The main and dominant race of the area are halflings.
- The area that has been boxed off for this project is definitely the area identified as halfling territory.
- As it is the original source of the halfling race there should be multiple halfling kingdoms.
- Old stock halflings - descendants of those who never left the homeland. These folk would speak a form of Lalor, and have their own unique culture.
- There should be some base common-ground from which both groups of halflings (Brunian & Davanian) developed. What influences drove these developments?
- Black/dark-skinned halflings, and being more of a tribal sort of culture than the mainland halflings of the Shires. Their history is tied to the Carnifex and/or Serpentines; such halflings were the possessors of lore handed down from generations of fighting against such creatures, and they were sort of the guardians against their reincursion into Mystara. Though they were more tribal, they weren't necessarily more primitive; in fact, their shamanic/mystical heritage would be much greater than the mainland halflings.
- Davanian halflings (or at least those near the desert) having contended with lizard/serpentine creatures with connections to the Carnifex.
- A tribal structure or city-state type setup for this region, and for the halflings we could use this as the basis for clans and shires.
- Nomadic groups of halflings that lived on and around the desert region there. There's a really gigantic area to play with, so there are probably multiple sorts of groups in the region.
- If they were to be pastoralist halflings, they could domesticate small antelopes or camels or something similar to these, rather than goats.
- Halflings riding gargantuan creatures (it has already been done in Eberron, nevertheless)
- The halflings thrive in a 'big' world without having to 'command' it. Let's give them adversity against which they have learned to survive by hiding at the right moment, attacking at the right moment, and negotiating at the right moment.
- Gargantuan Wooly Rhinos as domesticated anumals. On the back of them - a halfling clan's equipment and supplies, perhaps even a family hut.
- In the Five Shires there are some clans whose names seem less "modern" and possibly more "Lalor" in their word formation and sound, they could be used as the basis of the original clan names. Offhand, names like Zursannatch, Nixnoddle, Quaeromore, Xebel, Quizzinglas, Elintel, Lamintar, Ilingall, Upplemiir, and probably a couple of others sounded less like the "descriptive craft or cultural" type of clan names, and more like other languages.
- The word "Lalor" could just as well be the name of the halfling clan that flees north. ("Lalor" is canonically etymologically "Lal + Or" = "Old Speech").
- Lalor would be the Original Clan name. After 3600 years such a word would be the language the Old Folks spoke. More importantly It would have evolved or changed in the three and a half milennia of isolation.
- Halflings in the south (where giants are) have a Shaman (Master) who can use the Giantform spells (3rd Ed., 3.5 Ed., Pathfinder) at various ranks, so to wrestle/tame gargantuan wooly rhinos while in giant form. Hin Masters might create Bracers of Giant Form for their mightiest hin warriors.
- A pastoral halfing culture (near the Hidden Wood)
- A nomadic (maybe antelope herders) halfling culture settled on the western bank of the Kenaton, thus the primary prey of the Servasta.
- A city-states halfling culture (trading with the elves, probably). Leaning toward a rather low-tech level (pre-medieval).
- Tyranny of Quaeromore: Nixnoddle hins pursued by pardastas. Facing Ilsundyl's Gate dead end the hins elected a dictator to repel the aggressors. It worked, but the tyranny survived so far.
- Hin city states are concentrated and controlled settlements where farmers don't farm beyond the 24 mile hex diameter. Near the eastern fringes of Platea they even retreat behind the gates and walls of the fortified community each night.
- Many 'city-states' are simply defensed villages of say 50-200 inhabitants, they would all live within the village and have any fields close by. In fact, they are called city-states, not because of large populations, but because of the system of government.
- Servasta "cannibals" are clearly a threat in the north-east of Platea. They are an immediate danger to the nomadic Hin, and a scary legend to the agrarian civilization. The Servasta also feature prominently as the "enemies" of the Hin pantheon, if there is a pantheon, or at least as demons or the like. For the nomadic herders, It is likely a combination of ancestor worship and shamanism.
- Elves to the north-west are providers of tech to the urbanized hin. They are likely seen as mysterious magicians, feared but much needed. The superiority given by elvish tech is probably paid dearly by the hin city state leaders, who compete to secure these all-important resources. This may lead to conflict between upper and lower classes. This dependency on the elves may also lead to mimicry of their culture and even religion - unless the Elves are atheists: an alternate idea could be that the elves worship the dead Blackmoorian Immortal, Ferros (likely an Elemental Immortal of Matter), and export this cult (essentially a false religion by now) to the hin.
- The gakarak-held (or otherwise heavily primal) Hidden Woods would likely influence the agrarian hin, giving their religious system a clearly druidic bent. Any Immortal patron would be related to the soil, seasons, or food.
- Plains Hin whose Master has various ranks of Haste and Jump and Burrow allowing increasing velocities of movement through their Element. Such Haste, Jump and Burrow powers might be associated with totem animals. These could be attached to the standard halfling class at the cost of an XP penalty or Secret Craft-like (in OD&D).
- Mountain hin in the south have the various 3rd edition Giantform spells allowing them to fight on an equal footing the giants who dwell there.
- Hin Masters who assume Animal Forms of increasing power.
- There could be three "Secret Crafts" options: Hin Skinchanger (animal forms, animal control and/or summoning), Hin Totemist (buffs to speed, HP, attacks, movement), and Hin Colossus (increased strength, increased size, boulder throwing). The Totemist is associated with the north-eastern nomads, the skinchanger with the south-western primal worshippers, and the Colossus with the south-eastern giant-fighters.
- North-western city-dwellers would have different bonuses due to the availability of better tech, so they would not need a "Secret Craft" option (though they may have something else).
- Hin Shamans who might draw on the energy of a Blackmoorish Object as a totem. This would be for a Contrary Hin Culture whose power is to draw off the Technomagic from the totem and perhaps imbue it in some artefact as a means of enchantment. The artefact is slowly becoming a golem (or even a lich).
- Hin art of the Platea region: Giant Stone Heads. Basicaly the hin carve giant stone heads to mark the boundary of their lands, scare off hostiles.
- Non-exodus Hin are bascially powerless people. This would make them be extra cautious - hiding their existance from others to the point of hiding entire cities - living in treehouses in forests, or in burrows below boulders. Maybe travelling on stilts...or using brush as 'snowshoes' in the desert to dust off their tracks.
- A bunch of stone age hin worship a Blackmoorish Perpetual Motion Machine. Members of their cult gather together to make the HurraHurrraHurrraHurrraHurrra... sound.
- The Davanian halflings have something similar to the Masters - probably less woodlands oriented than the Gaz8 Masters, and more focused on lore of the Carnifex/Serpentines (to counter their abilities) as well as desert-plainsish type lore. The current Shires Masters as just an adaptation of the Master "class" as developed to respond to their new terrain/home and in conjunction with their contacts with elves, and a different- though similar- sort of Platean Master.
- The halfing's "Denial" ability is specific to the Five Shires but that Hin elsewhere have learnt to "draw upon the land" in other fashions to create different effects.
- The Platea Region either 1) has blackflame - which is why there are still hin there, or 2) it is in short supply - and Hin clans do not share with other hin clans who do not have any blackflame - as a possible reason why the Lahlor Clan flees north in its migration. It is entirely possible that the Lahlor clan returns to it's old Hin Shaman routes when they are abandoned by their elf friends.
- The Master sub-class is local to the Five Shires (and Lahlor hin migrating from there) so hin in the Platea regions should be Shamans - A more primitive version of the Master - simply because Hin have the ability to do this. Such class developed off in other directions without the teaching of the elves.

 

Relationship between halflings and elves:
- Ilsundal shows up and tells the halflings the old world is coming to an end and they should embrace a new natural way of life before it is too late... all the while waving swords and spears. The Zealots attacking anything even slightly technological: "Yours is the false faith! Embrace Nature!"
- The arrival of Ilsundal's Elves in the south (having crossed the Great Desert) causes the Hin peoples a thousand miles north to flee north west. They have no intention fighting this coming horde of strangers.
- The elves are a thousand miles south (having just emerged from the Desert) when the halflings pack up and flee... They might be fleeing a rumor, or something real. If the halflings are nomads and primitives, the elves are hi-techs looking to divest themselves of that influence. That kind of zealotry can take many forms.
- The elves arrive in the region 2800BC in the south, and the halflings flee the arrival of the elves - not some other foe. The elves stick around and only depart the halfling lands in 200 years later.
- Either directly, or by pushing other more hostile peoples ahead of them into the Halfling Lands, Ilsundals Elves force the Halflings from their lands.
- We could describe the exodus as the entire group of clans picking up and moving to the north to escape the (real or imagined) ravening hordes of southern elves
- At present there is still a very viable "core" of halflings in that region, who remained all throughout this period. The elves' departure in 2600 BC was not because they were driven out (or had driven out the halflings) but simply because the elves themselves were still restless and wanting to find a land of their own, rather than encroach upon the lands of the halflings.
- Elven stragglers (left over from either Ilsundal's migration of BC 2800 or the second migration of BC 2500) live there as well, although these folks would not have had many conflicts with the local halflings.

 

Halfling migration:
- Some kind of threat would have shaped the lifestyle, mindset and possibly other characteristics of the local Halflings, and may as well be a major enemy or problem in the setting. How did it come to its end (if it ended)? There should be heroes involved, who would have taken a place in the local culture.
- A creature known as the Tall Mouther was described in Forgotten Realms setting. They are defined as being the "natural enemies" of the halflings of Faerun. Perhaps a huge population of these creatures were decimating the halfling populations and they had to flee.
- A gigantic version of the Tall Mouther woke from thousands of years of hibernation and was actually the source of an exodus. It's only gone now because it fell back into hibernation...
- Platea could have a connection to the Vulture Peninsula as a sort of analogy to the movie Dark Crystal (evil vulture-like creatures ruling the land, see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Crystal), perhaps with some nagpa with umber hulk slaves terrorizing the halflings.
- Nagpas themselves aren't always evil, and aren't really devoted to Chaos as an ethos, either.
- Reasons for halfling seaborne migration could be fear of Ilsundal elves' foreigners, avoiding conflict with monster races being pushed ahead of the elves, or simply because they heeded Ilsundal's Call and departed on their own Journey north.
- It may be that elves drove the halflings out of their lands, forcing their seaborne migration, but in light of the elves' and halflings traditionally friendly ways (and given the way the halflings embrace the elves they find in the Shires later), it seems unlikely.
- The halfling migration northwards takes a considerably longer time than the elvish one (elves leaving the region in 2600 BC and arriving in Brun by 2200 BC; halflings leaving c.2800 and not arriving until 1500 BC). That can be interpreted many ways, but it seems like halflings were more leisurely about it, not feeling the pressure of needing to find somewhere new to live in the way the elves did.
- Not the entirety of the halfling nation that was moving, but rather just an isolated group of folks exploring and eventually finding its way to the Shires. - Varellyans were the chief reason for the halfling exodus to the north, but a large portion of demihumans stayed behind to protect their homeland. These halflings retreated to secluded valleys in the mountains while the Varellyans were there, and returned to the plains once the human empire began to fall apart. Any halflings living in the region today should be descended from these people.
- The Platea Region either 1) has blackflame - which is why there are still hin there, or 2) it is in short supply - and Hin clans do not share with other hin clans who do not have any blackflame - as a possible reason why the Lahlor Clan flees north in its migration. It is entirely possible that the Lahlor clan returns to it's old Hin Shaman routes when they are abandoned by their elf friends.
- Hin of the Eastern Desert and aranea: a barbaric - shamanistic araena culture lives in the desert. They live like trapdoor spiders. Some hin living subterranean with them convinced that those hin who die and are wrapped in spidersilk cocoons for storage are reincarnated as araena. Perhaps they are truly being reincarnated as araena in their common fight with the lizards. Hin Shaman of the Araenacult: "We take our greatest hin out to this pit and leave them...the araena who dwell there take them and reincarnate them as their own. We have a common enemy in the Lizards..."

 

Rakastas:
- Rakastas as inhabitants of the region, or at least the outskirts: Rakastas of several breeds live in the Aryptian Savannah and the Brasol Range.
- Three breeds of Rakasta can have some impact on Platea: the Servasta, Pardasta and Snow Pardasta.
- Snow Pardasta are found on the Ice Range, beyond the forest line, so their interactions with the Platean civilizations will be probably limited.
- Servasta are known for having a love of halfling flesh - which they have developed at the borders of Platea.
- Servasta tribes along the river Kenaton, especially the southern course - the northern course could be dominated by Simbasta prides.
- Pardasta are found almost everywhere between 30N and 30S, and live in forests, savannahs, and rugged mountain lands. The northern parts of Platea and part of the Brasol Range fit the description.
- A nomadic (maybe antelope herders) halfling culture settled on the western bank of the Kenaton, thus the primary prey of the Servasta.
- Mutant cat people (snow pardastas) living up in the snowline in the mountains.
- Servasta "cannibals" are clearly a threat in the north-east of Platea. They are an immediate danger to the nomadic Hin, and a scary legend to the agrarian civilization. The Servasta also feature prominently as the "enemies" of the Hin pantheon, if there is a pantheon, or at least as demons or the like. For the nomadic herders, It is likely a combination of ancestor worship and shamanism.
- Rakastas in the area would have migrated there from the northeast (possibly originating in Ochalea), so there would be some date associated with their arrival.
- The Servasta call themselves Kisongo (as per Dragon 247), they're noted for hunting underground creatures, some tribes hunt the toadlings for their toadcrystals.
- Seergar dwell in the mountains, the winged lions from Gaz 8. Some Pardasta have tamed the beasts, and occasional Simbasta heroes make the epic journey to obtain a mount.
- Even the shorter Rakasta (domestic breeds) are no less than 1.65 m tall, but Rakasta of Davania are all Wild or Greater, and are definitely taller than that.
- More Rakasta breeds? These 3-4' Tall Rakasta are "Isle of Dread-like primitives" - They could be the result of inbreeding but they seem to be in the path of the hin migration out of Platea - Like they were following them north.

 
Toadlings:
- In the eastern fringes toadfolks and antmen can be found.
- "And so it was that the Children of Y'ruth shielded themselves during the End Times, and awaited the new dawn, and the coming of the Final Empire."
- Mobs of armed toad-men springing out of a muddy riverbank (having been awakened by the rainy season), armed with wicked blades, and engaging a band of halfling border rangers in fierce combat.
- There was an inland sea where the Aryptian Desert is now, which could have served as a homeland for the ancestors of the Toad folk. As the sea dried up, they were forced to adapt, becoming the desert-adapted species they are today.
- In the ancient past an elven Vulcanian device exploded creating a Blasted Land out in the desert. Fallout from this device contaminated the earth, and mutated the toads, which began to take on humanoid forms and grow crystals within their skulls, granting them bizarre abilities, some have become proficient in magic arts and their crystals grow larger and throb even stronger with strange energies.
- From time to time hunting parties of elves from the mountains venture out into the desert wastes seeking to collect crystals from the Toadmen and harness the toadstones powers.
- Some Servasta tribes hunt the toadlings for their toadcrystals. There's some sort of crystal shaman class in the Plateau, found amongst the rakasta, elves, halflings and toadlings (who are particularly annoyed that other races feel the need to pry their crystals out of their foreheads to utilise their powers). They'd have some of the spell selections of the Shadowelf Shaman and be able to call upon some of the powers of Glantri's Radiance by exhausting their crystals.
- Toadlings originated from a polluted area in the south eastern desert, the result of an earlier catastrophe with a technological device. The catastrophe produced badlands of black sand, rocky outcrops and green toxic pools, luminous miasmas drift across the landscape. The toadlings spawn here but are forced to leave as they grow, their toadcrystals absorb the energies of the area, eventually causing the creatures to overload and explode (the phenomenon has also been observed in cases where toadlings are subjected to technological weaponry or around elven ruins).
- Giant matriarchs of their race dwell here, their pulsing strings of eggs may be found in the pools, they spawn regularly to vent energy and avoid overload. More experienced heroes learn to contain greater energy within the crystals, but still must avoid the heart of the spawning grounds.
- Venturing too far from the grounds may lead to exhaustion through slow leakage (though this may take decades) or sudden exertion thrusting them into a state of hibernation. Toadlings may be roused from this state from surges of proximate magical activity.
- Toadlings are native too in other parts of Davania, but in these lands the toadstones haven't been warped and simply provide the ability to secrete poisons and are used in alchemy in various ways to neutralise poison. They regard their crystal warped brethren with some horror.

 

Drakes/Woodrakes:
- The Woodrakes took dragonform as a symbol of their dedication to Chaos, they'd oppose the Quaeromore Tyranny for being a tyranny as much for any technological leanings.
- The Woodrakes set up secret socities to influence the cultures of Platea in the long term away from technology.
- They don't stay behind the scenes influencing other cultures, as chaotic fairies they don't have the temperament for such organisation or the patience to stay in one place or identity for so long. Where such groupings exist, the Drakes set them in motion and then move on, occasionally rotating members in and out as the fancy strikes individual drakes.
- The Drakes call their mission the "Brazier of the Burning Dragon" rather than acknowledging any organisation amongst themselves. They call themselves the Flames.
- Other fairy types will act in concert with drakes from time to time, Pooka and Sprites make excellent spies and their actions are termed Flickers.
- The Drakes also have contacts amongst the Sidhe of Hy Brasol and where they assist they are known as Coals.
- Other races of Platea remain bemused by Drakes' nature: between the shapeshifting of the Woodrakes, Coldrakes and Mandrakes, the various forms of the Pooka and Sidhe and their ability to become invisible there is a tendency to lump them together as "Shifters" and indeed there is a widespread superstition that their true shape is that of Dwarves.
- The Drakes are relatively few in number but seem to be more prevalent by their itinerant nature. They will occasionally settle in an identity for a decade or two but enjoy a variety of travelling guises. They are not oppsed to advancement as such, they would have no problem with the wonders of Alphatia, but are vehemently to the lores of Blackmoor, techniques they call "rainmaking" after the GROF.

 
Other races/creatures:
- The eastern desert should be filled with all manner of nasty critters to keep any single nation from becoming a huge empire.
- Dwarves should be essentially non-existent in this area.
- Platea could be a good place for tortles, rakasta, and lupins.
- A couple of rakasta "sub-races" live in Davania, probably in/near this area- are the sherkasta and simbasta.
- The sis'thik in the desert would have been among the primary opponents of the halflings both historically (prompting the migration) and currently.
- The main antagonists of the halflings could be some kind of carnifex-spawn (the sis'thik could serve the role)
- Lizard men: there is the city of Klath-T'zarth at the southernmost point of the Sound. Geographically this is very close to Platea. This city was taken from its Carnifex masters by a large band of lizard men who lost their own homeland to the southwest around AC 400. The city was cleansed from old Carnifex cults, but hidden abominations could always resurface.
- Carnifex spawn, given the proximity of Yhog.
- Gnomes could be present, or at least regular visitors to the region.
- A creature known as the Tall Mouther was described in Forgotten Realms setting. They are defined as being the "natural enemies" of the halflings of Faerun. Perhaps a huge population of these creatures were decimating the halfling populations and they had to flee.
- A gigantic version of the Tall Mouther woke from thousands of years of hibernation and was actually the source of an exodus. It's only gone now because it fell back into hibernation...
- Gelflings = halfling + elf hybrids.
- Instead of treants your get gakaraks.
- Gakaraks in the Hidden Wood. They could live in a Primordial Rainforest filled with giant insects.
- The gakarak-held (or otherwise heavily primal) Hidden Woods would likely influence the agrarian Hin, giving their religious system a clearly druidic bent. Any Immortal patron would be related to the soil, seasons, or food.
- Giants are in the south of Platea.
- An entirely new race of wise, ancient mystics who oppose the nagpas and other groups when they seek to cause harm (loosely inspired to the urRu race of the Dark Crystal movie, see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Crystal). Such a people could be a small, dwindling race of intelligent sand leviathans in the deserts of Platea, acting as mentors to the desert halflings and perhaps others, schooling them in mysticism (which might include the Mystic character class, but would be broader than just that) and other esoteric pursuits. As artificial creations of Thanatos, they either can't reproduce or they reproduce very slowly, requiring perhaps some alchemy that over the course of some centuries-long pupation transforms other races into beings like themselves. Calling them good might be an oversimplification. Its members might have a radical view of the afterlife that allows them to kill with impunity and in good conscience, but they're not aggressive or expansionist, and their powerful, patient presence has a stabilizing and ultimately benign effect over the region. They could be druids, perhaps, like the desert druids of Ylaruam. Some or all may be ultimately seeking Immortality via the Path of the Paragon, transforming the desert into something green and fertile or, alternately, trying to transform the green and fertile regions into clean, tranquil desert (which, after all, isn't devoid of life, and may be viewed by them as less chaotic and more peaceful than other environments). Maybe they're entirely responsible for the creation of the local desert. They have mental powers (not necessarily psionic) and servants and allies of other races who seek to reduce conflict throughout Platea, opposing nagpas and whatever other groups in the region that seek power for themselves at the expense of peace. They might particularly be useful as foes of the lizard races and incursions from the Dimension of Nightmares.
- Other fairy types will act in concert with drakes from time to time, Pooka and Sprites make excellent spies and their actions are termed Flickers.
- In the eastern fringes toadfolks and antmen can be found.
- Antmen are the "goblinoid" equivalent to a formian. They could seem like giant ants, but they have some sort of sinister hive mind intelligence. - Encountered alone or in small groups antmen act like normal animals, but really some higher intelligence is driving their actions.
- A small cadre of hivebrood controls giant ants.
- Giant spiders warped by the meltdown of the old reactor built by the Dyr Elves. A narrow valley passage called Spider Passage leads directly to the reactor . Gargantuan Spiders and whatnot have evolved as a consequence.
- A specimen of dark, intelligent (and perhaps mobile) fungus-like creature living in and around the ruins of Reactor One, feeding on radiations. Such a species would be limited to roam not too far to the old reactor, otherwise they would starve to death.
- Seergar dwell in the mountains, the winged lions from Gaz 8. Presumably native to the southern continent, they either followed the halfling migration in search of their favourite food or were transported after by magical (a vindictive Glantrian wizard) or immortal means. Some Pardasta have tamed the beasts, and occasional Simbasta heroes make the epic journey to obtain a mount.
- Slightly larger breed of sabretooth be indigenous to the region.
- Aranea of the Eastern Desert: a barbaric - shamanistic araena culture in the Desert. They live like trapdoor spiders. Some hin living subterranean with them convinced that those hin who die and are wrapped in spidersilk cocoons for storage are reincarnated as araena. Perhaps they are truly being reincarnated as araena in their common fight with the lizards.
- Boneweed: This is a four foot long river reed downstream from Reactor One that is as hard as bone and breaks off in segments - making it a dangerous thing - Primitive hin are known to use it as a stabbing spear and long arrows (for the hin styrup-bow) which breaks off in inch-long segments leaving bonehard fragments in the victim that continue to cause damage at the rate of 1hp/round.
- Styrup-bow: This is a human sized longbow with feet styrups allowing the hin warrior to sit on the ground and draw a long arrow up the length of the body. Range is equal to a large crossbow.

 
Other features:
- A few Artefacts of a Technological Nature in Platea, mostly discarded by Vulcanian elves migrating with Ilsundal.
- A steamtrain designed to cross the desert without rail-tracks is abandoned just north of the desert in the south east of Platea (2800BC).
- Timber, metal, and glass working technologies are quickly developed in centuries following the Great Rain of Fire, mostly due to elvish and halfling cultural influx.
- Bronze age technology level for the whole area, something more for these "urbanized" halflings due to contact with the higher tech elves, but not much (for several reasons, ranging from the elves not revealing much to the influence of Woodrakes).
- The elves sell parts recovered from ancient technological devices rather than actual products of their own technology
- Keeping "Blackmoorian tech" elves around.
- The Firelords: cannibals living in their high tech city - feeding off the masses.
- The constant spilling of technical knowledge from the Dyr valley creates a sort of "tech vs. distance" pattern in the land surrounding the elvish territory. That is, the valley (itself an early steam-age civilization) is surrounded by renaissance level settlements, which are surrounded by medieval-like "countries", which in turn are surrounded by iron age cultures. The iron age people could be surrounded by the bronze age settlements common to most of Platea. Such a geographical pattern in technology level is not concentric: natural barriers would hinder technology transfer along their sides. In particular, the great mountain chain stretching north and west of the valley of Dyr could have blocked any technological spill toward those directions.
- A bunch of stone age hin worship a Blackmoorish Perpetual Motion Machine. Members of their cult gather together to make the HurraHurrraHurrraHurrraHurrra... sound.

 
History:
10000 BC: End of the Carnifex-Immortal War. The guardian races, giants, dragons and actaeons, inherited certain domains on Brun and central Davania.
5000 BC: A schism develops in Burrower society, with a small minority (perhaps inspired by other Immortals like Ixion or Pacuun, or perhaps they came to this conclusion on their own) electing to work with the Brute-Men and other primitive humanoids rather than against them, to uplift them to what they considered to be their own enlightened state rather than to merely control them. And this minority of Burrowers left the rest of their people and ended up in the deserts of what is now the Platea region of Davania, spared from the fate of their kin by their nonhostile philosophy.
4600 BC: Elves of the Pass travelled north beyond the Great Forest and ecountered halflings. The jointly settled region was called Hinmeet (or Elfmeet).
4300 BC: A continued exodus drew more elves from the Great Forest. These Wanderer Clans, as they became known, slowly moved north along the eastern Davanian Coast, occasionally establishing settlements during their journeys. Many Hin accompanied the Wanderers.
3000 BC: The Great Rain of Fire.
2800 BC: Elves of Ilundal's migration reach Platea, they settle there for 200 years. Halflings start migrating in the Addakian Sound.
2600 BC: The migration of Ilsundal leaves Platea and surroundings and moves north. Halflings groups may follow.
2500 BC: A second separatist wave of elves leaves the dying settlements of Vulcania and moves north.
2400 BC: The destruction of Vulcania. The elves left there were dependent upon Blackmoorian technology as a way of life. A few travelers and far flung colonies might have survived. These elves then decided to follow Ilsundal's footsteps (physically, but not ideologically) and all migrate to the Platea region. There they find the leftovers of Ilsundal's migration - those elves that weren't willing to abandon technology completely, and they begin to integrate into that society. This gives some tension within the elven communities themselves. There could be descendants of the first immigrants (BC 2800) - not quite willing to abandon all tech but also not willing to utilize it to its fullest extent, mixing with descendants of the Vulcanian refugees (BC 2400) who advocate full use and dependence on Blackmoorian era technomancy.
2400 BC: Vulcania explodes, destroying southern elven civilization completely. A period of darkness and extended winters plagues the area (and possibly the world) for years after. Those elves who manage to escape the disaster find their way to the Platea region where they join their lost brethren.
1300 BC: Halfling migration from the Addakian Sound area reaches Faerdinel (the present-time Five Shires) and settles there. In truth, the HW entry about this migration states that: "The halflings from the southern continent, long abandoned by their friends the elves, and increasingly endangered by the ever-growing human population, make a mass naval migration to the northern continent." This entry is later contradicted by Champions of Mystara: Explorer's Manual entry abouth Yavdlom history, where it is stated that the halfling migration was already in Thanegia Island as of BC 1500. As the starting point of this migration is not stated in HW entry, we could say that the sentence about the "halfling of the southern continent" is referring to halfling living anywhere in Davania, not necessarily at the Kenaron river region (where they started their migration in BC2800).
768 AC: A zombie outbreak hit the area.