Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Inspiration for the world of Erisa

The other day on the Evil DM message board someone asked about the influences that went into creating the campaign world of Erisa. I thought that others might want to know as well so here is an expanded version of that post.

Akkar-I wanted a religious Mecca, so why not model it after…Mecca (with a bit of Singapore and the Vatican thrown in). In a world of chaos and anarchy Akkar remains inviolate. A place no one would mess with, because if they did not only would the gods come down on them but so would a bazillion true believers. And with all this peace and security comes order, regimen, and very conservative behaviors.

Al- Khalid- a Byzantium type of city-state. Al-Khalid is a huge rich city, yet just one step away from disaster. I made sure that the resources while exotic and valuable were few. I also wanted a “Barbarians at the gates” type of mentality.

Aragos- Medieval Spain is the obvious influence for Aragos. A personal pet peeve with me is the lack of Spanish cultural influences in fantasy literature. The English just about own modern fantasy literature and the Greeks Egyptians have the market cornered on the ancient stuff. But Spain had knights as well; they also had Barbarians just as tough and bloody as the highlander Picts and the Norsemen.

Belsa- Colonial Boston is the real world template for Belsa. Belsa is a prosperous province more than able to sustain itself yet it sends most of its exports to a greedy and decadent throne that gives little in return. The boys in Belsa are starting to have it up to here with the demands from Tyros for more and more grain. The people are asking, “What has the Emperor done for us lately, besides raise our taxes and tariffs?” Sound familiar?

Boskar- was inspired by Gold rush era San Francisco and the HBO Series Deadwood. Boskar is a wide open city where the law of the sword is the only law around. Deadwood was in Indian country, just like Boskar is the difference is that the Sikkar are way more threatening than the Lakota were. Boskar is basically on its own. There isn’t a nation nearby with sufficient forces to intimidate the Sikkar and protect Boskar.

Broaq Nohar- I took elements of fascist Italy and Spain.

Crascia- The Italian renaissance states. Particularly, Florence under the Medici’s. I see a powerful mercantile city that could just as well be on its own. Tyros will have none of that of course so they keep a garrison nearby and the guildsmen of the city arguing amongst themselves- very Machiavellian in tone. The REH story “Rogues in the House” and the Republic of Darokin in the TSR world of Mystara were a big influence in developing Crascia.

Emesa- One of my favorite novels is “King David’s Spaceship” by Jerry Pournelle. In the story there is a large university that has an autonomous status on a warring world. I liked that idea- despite the rest of the world going to hell; there is one place where everyone can go to learn at the feet of sages and scientists. If you were to visit Emesa you would be in San Francisco.

Hogar- In my mind I had the Swiss Cantons of the middle ages, Perrenland from The World of Greyhawk, and (believe it or not) Lake Tahoe. To give them something special I gave them the secret to making the best refined metals in the world.

Jandahar- This place is just sad. It may have once been wondrous and beautiful, but forces within and without have just torn it apart. It’s sad to say but, modern day Lebanon and just about all of Afghanistan’s history has shaped my perception of what Jandahar is.

Kobar- is Iskandar from "The man who would be King". Just watch the movie. And you will see what I see when I think of Kobar. Also, the Arabian Knights cartoon-“Rosan-Kobar!”

Kumar- Libya under Col. Qadaffi

Padjistan - Basra as depicted in the 1940 film "The Thief of Bagdad". I just loved how the Sultan of Basra could care less about his country and his people, as long as he could collect and play with his wonderful toys.

Pyrani-New York, as seen in “Gangs of New York”

Radu- Isengard.

Taurus- The Aquilonian frontier in the Conan stories / the American colonial frontier

Teve- The island of Rhodes when it was controlled by the Knights of St. John and resisting the Sultan of Egypt.

Tyros - the late Roman Empire –five minutes before the fall.

Umbria- Umbria is basically an amalgam of the kingdom of Ethiopia when it was invaded by Fascist Italy and Kuwait after being invaded by Iraq.

Yar - Stygia from the Conan stories, Nazi Germany.

Zandara- Port Kar from the Gor series.

The Sikkar are inspired by the Horseclans novels of Robert Adams and the Wagon Peoples from Nomads of Gor.