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Previous Message: Re: Ship Construction Rules
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Month Index: September, 1995

From:     Orion <van891@??????.edu>
Date:     Tue, 26 Sep 1995 18:41:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:  Re: Mystaran Countries and Spelljamming

    I'm happy that people have started to discuss the possibility of
designing a Mystaran sphere.  Here is one of my contributions, an essay
on what the various countries of the Known Wrold think of spelljamming.
    A few things to keep in mind...

1)  I wrote this in one sitting, and have done very little to it since
then.  It is not the most well written, nor edited, piece of work.
Please keep this in mind.

2)  I did not own the Five Shires, Orcs of Thar or Golden Khan of
Ethengar when I wrote this.  I have them now, and may update this.

3)  My version of Ierendi is quite diferent that theirs.  I thought
Kingdom of Ierendi was a lame, sad joke.

4)  There is not Atraghuin(sp?) Clans on my Mystara.

    Also, the views of the countries are based on my own timeline of the
discovery of Mystaraspace.  When I get that ironed out, I'll post it, too.

	The vast majority of the Known World has heard of the airships of
Alphatia.  Their first reaction to seeing a spelljamming vessel up close
will be that it hails from that country and act accordingly.  If the ship
is shaped like a creature of some sort, some may be fearful if the ship
is seen from afar.  This will change once they have determined it to be
only a ship.
	If  spacefarers reveal their origins, they will probably not be
believed and treated with mistrust.  If a native does believe, due to
proof, or whatever, they will probably be fearful.  This, of course, will
depend on the individual.

	As in many countries of the Known World, Karameikan towns have
only one real rule on spelljamming ships:  Any ship that flies over the
town is considered an attacker and all efforts to knock it out of the sky
will be made.  Seaworthy vessels must land several miles out from coastal
towns and sail into the harbor.  Ships landing on land must do so several
miles away from both the town and any major roads.
	The exception to this is Fort Doom.  The word has spread that the
rulership of this town has tried to steal several spelljamming vessels by
killing it's crew.  Most spacefarers consider it off limits.
	There is only one city of any consequence in Karameikos,
Specularum, it's capital.  Docking here is 5 gp, plus 1 gp per day for
berthing.  It has no shipyards that build or repair spelljammers
	Specularum is not a very popular place amongst spelljamming folk.
There is relatively little to see or learn, and it has no shipyards that
build or repair spelljammers specifically.  Nearly half of the population,
the Traladarans, are highly suspicious, and supersticious, leaving
merchants only small numbers of customers.
	The Callarii elves of Karameikos know of spelljamming and the
Elven Imperial Fleet through connections in Alfheim, but they have, as of
yet, shown little interest, The gnomes of High Forge have been contacted
by their tinkering cousins, but little has come of this.  High Forge
gnomes seem more concerned with mining and trade than machines.
	Because the vast majority of the population have never even heard
of spelljamming, or know of life in space, they see races such as the
minotaur, dracon, thri-kreen and lizard men as monsters to be avoided or
attacked, not talked to.  The usual reaction is to run away and get the
town guard.

The Minrothad Guilds
	Of the countries of the Known World, only Alphatia has accepted
spelljamming and spacefarers more than Minrothad.  Although they still
require ships to land away from the towns before approaching, they are
greeted with interest rather than suspicion.  Spelljamming ships are seen
as a chance to increase the range of products Minrothad merchants have
access to, and can thusly sell for profit.  Minrothad merchants know that
spelljammers are not readily accepted in most countries, and that
spacefarers are looked upon with suspicion.  This gives them a bit of an
edge, since it means space merchants have few other places to sell their
goods.  The Minrothad merchants can then carry the goods throughout the
world, selling them at inflated prices because of there exotic look, taste
or usage.  They almost never tell their customers it's from space.
	Spelljamming ships pay the same costs for docking that regular
ships do.  Although none of the shipyards cater specifically to
spelljammers, many can do basic repairs (i.e. restore hull points, patch
holes, etc.).  Costs are normal.
	Several Minrothad merchants have bought minor helms form Kerneth,
an arcane who has set up shop in Minrothad city.  Knowing how spacefarers
are accepted in most countries, they have chosen to use them for expanding
their fleet into space rather than planet bound cargo transportation.
Some in Minrothad would like to see spelljamming come to be accepted in
the Known World.  This would allow goods to be moved faster and cheaper,
once ships were purchased.  Many, though, dislike this idea.  It would
remove their near monopoly on space goods.  Clan Elsan especially hates
this kind of talk.  Even if such a thing were to happen, it is decades in
the coming.
	Despite it's openness towards spacefarers and it's cosmopolitan
nature, many Minrothadden are still uncomfortable with the races
considered "evil" in their world, such as minotuars and lizard men.
Non-humanoid races, such as dracon and thri-kreen are similarly viewed.
This does not mean they will be attacked, or even rudely treated.  They
will just be avoided when possible.  As the years progress, and these
races are seen more and more, this will pass.

The Republic of Darokin
	Despite it's mercantile similarity to Minrothad, Darokin's view of
spacefarers is quite the opposite.  It's merchants sees spelljammers and
their ships as threats to their business; virtually none of them will deal
with a known spacefarer.  And since merchants have a lot of control of the
country, they insured laws have been enacted that encourage spelljammers
to stay away.  Docking fees are high, taxes are exorbitant, and
spacefarers are often arrested on only minor charges.  Because of all
this, only spacefarers who are ignorant of the situation, or desperate,
land in Darokin.
	Recently, some attempts have been made by goodly space
organizations to contact the Darokin government, through the Darokin
Diplomatic Corp.  They hope to show that most spacefarers are not
conniving merchants bent on stealing away business.  There has been some
success, but it will take a long time.
	Because of the governments policies, the vast majority of Darokin
has never even heard of spelljamming, or know of life in space, so they
see races such as the minotaur, dracon, thri-kreen and lizard men as
monsters to be avoided or attacked, not talked to.  The usual reaction is
to run away and get the town guard.

The Theocracy of Ierendi
	There have been numerous stories of spelljamming ships that never
returned from Ierendi.  Some who have landed and managed to return speak
of an evil society dedicated to the worship of the Immortals of Entropy.
They said the populace attempted to steal their ships and sacrifice their
crews.  Because of these reports, Ierendi is considered off limits by most

The Principalities of Glantri
	Glantri is not a popular place amongst most spacefarers for two
reasons.  The first is that there are no major bodies of water to land
seaworthy ships in.  This seriously restricts who can land in Glantri.
	The second is because of the nature of the Glantrian people.  The
are, by and large, a group of Machiavellian intrigists, constantly
plotting to further their station and power in society.  The rulers, all
powerful wizards, are not above attempting to confiscate ships that land
in their Principalities.  Almost no one ever lands in Glantri
	Despite this many of the more determined spacefaring wizards still
make their way to the capitol, Glantri City, through other means.  This is
a center of magical knowledge and learning.  Exotic components and
creatures can be acquired, sometimes at surprisingly cheap prices.  Some
also seek to learn at it's renowned Great School of Magic.  And some
wizards simply enjoy the atmosphere.  Also, a minotaur or lizard man
walking the streets would receive nary a glance.  Non-humanoid races, such
as the dracon or thri-kreen would receive attention of a curious, rather
than hostile, nature.  They must be careful, though.  A wizard may get too
curious and attempt to steal them away for experimentation.
	One the other hand, there are several groups of people who despise
Glantri.  The first are the dwarves.  Because of their high resistance to
magic, many who visit Glantri are kidnapped by wizards for the subject of
experiments.  Few dwarves are willing to set foot in Glantri.  To a lesser
extent, this also happens with halflings.
	Another group that dislikes Glantri are priests.  Simply put, the
law states that religion is illegal, punishable by torture by exposure to
black pudding, followed by imprisonment.  Priests are put to death by
fire.  Spacefarers are not excepted.  Despite this, there are priests in
the underground, stealthily trying to bring Glantri down.  Also, worship
of Rad, an Immortal of Magic, is often ignored when discovered by
officials, especially when money exchanges hands.
	Recently, Saigran, an arcane, has set up shop.  He has had
surprisingly few takers, though.  Most wizards in Glantri would prefer to
either pursue their own experiments, or further their own plots for power.
Those few who have bought helms or ships have quickly departed for the
stars, eager for exploration.
	Despite the fact their are two clans of elves, the Imperial Fleet
has yet to make contact with them.  They have been warned by the elves of
Alfheim to be cautious.  The Imperial elves plan to wait and watch before
initiating discussions of alliance.

Kingdom of Rockhome
	For the most part, most spacefarers don't even know that the area
of Rockhome is a kingdom.  They believe the forts and towns are all that
there is, and are seen as unimportant.  They are ignorant of the extensive
underground cities.
	Those who do know of the kingdom see little need to venture there.
Places such as Smaggeft, which manufactures large quantities of metal and
stone goods, are geared towards their current level of output.
Businessmen believe increasing their output for trade to possibly sporadic
spacefarers is a risk they don't need.
	Also, most of the towns and cities have little in the way of
services that can't be acquired elsewhere.  The only city that allows
spelljamming ships to dock is Stahl.  It charges 10 gp to dock, and 1 sp
per foot of length per day to berth.  As usual, ships are required to land
a mile or two away, and then sail into port.  Note that the port itself is
on the banks of the lake, while the city is several hundred yards up
	As in many other countries, most of the Rockhome citizenry knows
nothing of spelljamming.  Their reaction to such races as minotaurs and
dracons is usually to attack or seek help.
	An exception to all this are several spacefaring dwarven nations
who are in contact with King Everast XV.  They recently gave him a forge
helm as a token of alliance.  Everast is cautiously optimistic about the
alliance, seeing how well his spaceborn cousins have down with their
citadels.  Currently, one of the peaks in the Denwarf Spur is being
tunneled and separated from the rest of the mountain.  When it is close to
finished, they will install the forge and, with the help of the space
dwarves, fully separate the peak and launch into space.  This project is
being kept secret from the population until it is finished, when it will
be revealed in a large festival and ceremony.  Because the dwarves are
being particularly careful, it will be five to ten years until they are
	The groundling and space dwarves working on the project together
have been getting along fabulously.  Their lifestyle and personality are
quite similar.  The only difference is that the dwarves of Rockhome have a
bit more of a mechanical bent, although not nearly as much as tinker
gnomes.  The only exception to this goodwill is some minor disputes
between the Rockhome priests of Kagyar and the spacefaring priests.  They
have been attempting to convert some of the Rockhome dwarves to the
"traditional" pantheon of dwarven gods, such as Moradin and Clangeddin.
They believe Kagyar is not truly a god since he started as as mortal, and
possibly a non-dwarven one at that.  Their view is further lowered by the
fact that Kagyar has many non-dwarven worshipers.  Needless to say, this
angers Kagyar's priests.  There have even been a few bar room brawls
between the clergy.
	For the most part, though, this dispute ends with the clergy.  The
other dwarves see little need to argue over the point.  As long as a
dwarven god is worshipped, their happy.

The Five Shires
	Bluntly put, most spacefarers have little desire to visit a
country of halflings.  They either fear for their purses, or believe the
halflings have little to offer.
	As of yet, no spelljamming ship has landed in the Five Shires.  A
few ships crewed by halflings have discussed visiting their groundling
cousins.  For the most part, though, they feel they probably have little
in common with them.

	Due to it's history as a country that has been conquered several
times, the people of Ylaruam are very suspicious of strangers.  Any
spelljamming ship that pulls into a Ylari harbor will be visited by an
official, accompanied by several soldiers (Order of the Pike) and a wizard
(Order of the Spell).  The captain of the ship will be politely informed
that they are not welcome in Ylaruam.  If they insist on staying, they
will not be forced away.  The official simply informs them of two rules.
First, they are not allowed to reveal that they come from space, but
should rather indicate some terrestrial, though distant, origin if asked.
The official warns that they may be followed to insure this.  Second, no
"monster" races are allowed off the ship.  Only races normally native to
Mystara, and civilized.  Breaking these rules may lead to arrest and
possible confiscation of their ship.
	Docking costs 5 to 20 gold, depending on ship size and the mood of
the official.  Berthing is 2 gp per day.  It is virtually impossible to
find someone willing to work on a spelljammer.  Foreigners are generally
regarded with polite suspicion.  If told about space and spelljamming,
they will disbelieve, becoming even more suspicious.
	There is one exception to this unwelcoming treatment.  Ships
crewed by mostly people of the other known Arabic-type societies, such as
Zhakhara of Toril, and Ekbir and Zeif of Oerth, are greeted with suprising
friendliness.  Several years ago the Sultan of Ylaruam learned of
spelljamming, and later, of the other Arabic cultures.  It fascinated him
that similar societies could spring up on such distant worlds.  When ships
from such cultures arrive, it's captain and crew are often invited to the
Sultan's Palace for dinner, where they are encouraged to tell stories of
their home.  Their docking fees are waived and they are offered rooms in
some of the nicer inns, at the Sultans expense.
	Unfortunately, few ships are manned by Arabic crews.  Recently,
however, the Sultan has been in contact with Gallarin, an arcane.  He is
planning to purchase several ships, probably Squids and Wasps, and send
them on an expedition to Toril and Oerth.  Gallarin has provided a large
number of books and maps detailing space.  Because of the expense, and the
need to train the crew, it will be several years until the expedition

The Northern Reaches
	There has been little interaction between the kingdoms of Ostland,
Vestland, and Soderfjord and spacefarers.  They are a mostly self
sufficient people, and need little from merchants.  Much of their society
is a bit archaic, proud of their older ways.  None of their ports offer
services to spelljamming ships.
	Those who have landed here, though, have reported that most are
open and fairly friendly, inviting visitors in as guests in their homes.
Reports have been that guests who abuse their hospitality are ejected, or
even attacked.  They can be a vengeful people.
	Because they rarely venture far from their home, they would only
be curious of a spelljamming ship that pulled into their harbors from
the seas.  They would assume it was a ship from a distant country, such as
	When encountering "monster" races, their first instinct would be
to attack.  If they learn that they are intelligent and civilized, they
may be curious.  There was one report of a Northman who invited a minotaur
into his home as a guest when he learned he was an intelligent, even
honorable, creature.
	How the North will react to further incursions from space will
have to be seen.  As of yet, almost none of the populous has any clue.

The Empire of Thyatis
	The current policy of Thyatis is plain and simple: no spelljamming
ships may land anywhere in it's borders.  This is actually quite
surprising, considering it is usually in Thyatis's nature to empbrace new
cultures.  The reason, though, is as simple as the policy.  Alphatia,
Thyatis's nemesis, has a large fleet of airships, used for both mercantile
and militairy endeavors.  Thyatis has always had a rule of no airships in
it's borders.  The Emperor sees spelljammers as unusual appearing
airships.  Ambassadors from Alphatia, along with well meaning space
organizations, have tried to tell the Emperor the truth, but he does not
believe their "nonsense".
	Any attempts to land will be seen as an attack, and Thyatis will
retaliate to it's fullest ability, using the Retebius Air Fleet, which is
troops mounted on flying creatures, including dragons!

	Currently, the Elven Imperial Fleet is in negotiation with
Alfheim.  They wish to use it as a base of operations, much like Evermeet
on Toril.  They wish to recruit a number of Alfheim elves into the Fleet
and create an alliance.  Alfheim is seriously considering it.  Although
they find the Fleet elves slightly overbearing, they get along well.
Their only stipulation is that the base will come to be run by officers
native to Alfheim within 20 years.  The Fleet has no problem with this.
The final details are expected to be ironed out in the coming years.  Both
sides foresee a lasting alliance.
	Only the high-ups in each of the clans knows of the Fleet elves.
Many of the younger ones have joined the Fleet, hoping to get a foot hold
into the future base.  Most of the Fleet elves come to ground in flitters
or by magic.  This is done away from population centers.
	Alfheim does not allow non-elven ships to land.  Of course, with
it's thick forests, this is rather hard to do anyway.

Heldann Freeholds
	The first contact between the Freeholds and spacefarers was not a
promising one.  The spelljammer, a squidship owned by a merchant
companyed, attempted to land in Heldann.  It was soon set upon by several
Heldannic Warbirds, who destroyed it with their Blight Belchers.  The only
survivor was a wizard that possessed an amulet of the planes.  When he
returned word of what happened, the merchant house swore revenge.
 	The Heldannic Knights believe that spelljamming ships are little more
that Alphatian airships, and will refuse to let any land.  This means
little to most spacefarers, most have little interest anyway.

	As with Alfheim, the Elven Imperial Fleet has contacted the
leadership of Wendar; they would like to set up a minor base within it's
borders.  Negotiations are going much slower; the elves of Wendar have had
little contact with any other elves and are a bit suspicious of their
spacefaring cousins.  The Fleet elves, on the other hand, see the
Wendarian elves as a bit rustic and backwards.
	The king of Wendar has asked for the Fleet not to reveal itself to
to general populace.  Because of this, most Wendarians have never heard of

The Hollow World
	As outlined on page 127 of the DM's Sourcebook, in the Hollow
World boxed set, the anti-magic zone at each of the polar openings
disables spelljamming helms.  Fortunately, this was determined before any
ship attempted to enter.  This is now general knowledge.
	Because the Worldshield prevents magical teleportation, there has
been no known exploration of the Hollow World by spacefarers.  Recently a
group of psionicists have discussed using psionic means to cross into the
world and explore.  It is unknown of they have proceeded.

	Because of it's special situation in spelljamming on Mystara,
Alphatia has it's own section.

               Leroy Van Camp III      van891@??????.edu
 "What do I know what do I know? (I), never look back never look back (no).
   Stick it in me stick it in me (I), what do I see what do I see? (now)"
                      (A Higher Form of) Killing

Previous Message: Re: Ship Construction Rules
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Month Index: September, 1995

SubjectFromDate (UTC)
Mystaran Countries and Spelljamming    Orion    27 Sep 1995 01:41:08
Re: Mystaran Countries and Spelljamming    James R. Bundick    27 Sep 1995 14:24:28
Re: Mystaran Countries and Spelljamming    Orion    27 Sep 1995 17:45:52
Re: Mystaran Countries and Spelljamming    Will Voss    02 Nov 1995 21:49:54

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