Friday, March 23, 2018

The Salamander War - Differences from Canon and Rationale

I have woven materials from Forgotten Realms lore into my own work here for many reasons, and I'd like to share my fretwork and rationale with you.  

The official books do not specify which forces were part of the Thayan armies that attacked before the fire elementals were called.  While Thay is known to have many smaller armies under various leadership (Zulkirs, tharchions, nobles, cities, etc.), in a country that is run on slavery, it makes sense that those of noble blood - the high-born - are the only ones trusted at the top of the armed forces.  I specified that the armies were made up of slaves, humanoids, and undead led by nobles from various families.  Most if not all of the noble houses would have been involved in some way, either in support of the action or working secretly against it.

Although much of the Salamander War was between the free cities and Thay, when allies of the free cities saw how vicious Thay was being in taking over the area, they sent what aid they could.  There was a lot of smuggling and many battles at sea, as some of the cities had ports to receive aid from.  Piracy was used to get supplies to besieged cities, and battles with the Thayan navy were plentiful.  This led to the damage and loss of many ships on all sides.  Since the books did not provide a ready explanation for why the islands of the Alaor was damaged in the war, I came up with one that fit the narrative.  Since the Alaor is a good distance away from the Priador and the islands are, well, islands, the devastation mentioned in the books didn't add up.  If you look through the secrets in my other posts, it should make sense.

On a personal note, I had to name the unnamed Zulkirs who were responsible for the trouble; it was driving me crazy to have unnamed villains of such importance being referred to.  It strikes me as a sad statement on Thay, and yet another way that the country is left half-developed in order to keep them as villains in the mustache-twirling vein (or is destroyed in order to undercut their power as an evil nation, which was done in 4th edition).  In my Thay, everyone has a name, everyone is a person, and though most Thayans are quite evil, there are various reasons for it.  There is nothing simplistic about them or the mustaches (when they grow them).

Please do not continue beyond this point if you are a player; the rest refers to secrets that are best left in the keeping of the DM.  Thank you!

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