History of Patera

By Andrew Theisen


Special Thanks to: Bruce Heard for all his work; Gramm P. Richardson, for his help (notably with a couple of Rakasta Immortals debuting here); William W. Connors, who created Hirameki in the module Rage of Rakasta (though it was Gramm who made him Immortal); Allen Varney, who introduced Ganetra, in some fashion, in the module Nightstorm; Daniel Boese, who contributed heavily in the original Patera discussions; and anyone else I'm forgetting.


Pateran Timeline

4000 BC- There is no true civilization on Patera. Primitive Pachydermions predominate the main continent of Patera (the area now known as Rajahstan).

3300 BC- The Pachydermions have begun to live a more sedentary lifestyle, forming small village communities. They have also begun to domesticate native plants, notably rice.

3000 BC- Some Blackmoor artifacts explode, shifting the axis of the Known World in an event termed the Great Rain of Fire.

Hoping to save the Rakasta from total extinction, the Immortal Ka transplants some of them into the Hollow World; he transports a number of them onto the moon of Patera, as well, to see how they might thrive in that environment.

The Rakasta and the indigenous Pachydermions find themselves in competition for the resources of their environment, and warfare is usually the result of their interactions. The Pachydermions are eventually driven into the mountainous terrain by the more numerous Rakasta, where they begin to thrive.

2800 BC- The Pachydermions have become accomplished stonemasons, and begin to construct large edifices in the mountain valleys of their new environment.

2700 BC- The Pachydermions develop a system of writing, and begin to record the history of their race.

2500 BC- A Pachydermion named Ganetra attains Immortality in the Sphere of Thought.

2400 BC- A devastating plague strikes the lowland rakasta tribes. One member of that race, calling himself Kata Ng, undertakes a dangerous trek to the lands of the Pachydermions, where he appeals to the elephantlike creatures for assistance. They teach him herb lore, and he returns to his people with knowledge of medicinal cures. A fragile peace is attained between the two races.

2300 BC- Kata Ng attains Immortality in the Sphere of Matter.

2200 BC- Capital city of Pakan is founded in the realm of Kompor-Thap.

2000 BC- First monastery dedicated to Ganetra is built in Kompor-Thap.

1400 BC- With the prompting of Kata ng and Ganetra, rakasta and Pachydermions on the Far Side continent begin to trade and share ideas with one another. The rakasta tribes begin to adopt many of the ways of their Pachydermion neighbors.

700 BC- Certain breeds of Rakasta, more fierce than others, begin to dominate the native human populations that reside on the island of Ochalea. Within a few decades, the Rakasta rule the island nation.

600 BC- Appealing to newcomers calling themselves 'Alphatians' for assistance, the Ochaleans manage to free themselves of the oppressive rakasta tyranny. Powerful Alphatian Air-Mages, working together, summon up tremendous portals that transport large portions of rakasta armies off the face of Ochalea.

Shortly after ridding Ochalea of rakasta, the Alphatians reveal their true intentions of enslaving the Ochaleans for themselves.

The banished rakasta find themselves stranded on an island continent on Patera (known today as Myoshima). They immediately begin warring with native rakasta tribes, and quickly decimate the less advanced natives living there.

428 BC- Capital city of Mara founded in Myoshima. Hereditary aristocracy is established.

--- Time gap ---

42 AC- The military faction led by the Kamaukura clan creates the First Shogunate. During the following decades the rulership of Myoshima passes from one family to another.

136-143 AC- Assaults from the pirates of Malacayog are successfully repelled by the Myoshimans, leaving many casualties on the battlefield. The first hidden opposition against the military Shogunate starts to undermine its power.

300 AC- Civil war breaks out in Myoshima, starting off a century of internal warfare.

400 AC- Daimyo Hirameki begins the process of reuniting the warring clans of Myoshima.

425 AC- Minrothad merchants bring lycanthropy to Sind. Taking advantage of the situation, numerous shapeshifters already present in Sindhi society, including Rakshasa- evil, rakasta-like spirits- begin to subvert control of the land to their own ends.

435 AC- Hirameki has united the warring factions of Myoshima. He is proclaimed the first Emperor of Myoshima.

450 AC- Sindhi rise up against their oppressors. Native Sindhi Rakasta are caught in the middle, as they are often mistaken for Rakshasa and Were-tigers.

Fleeing persecution, many Rakshasa flee to Patera, where they land in the realm now known as Rajahstan. They are followed by powerful Rakasta sorcerors and clerics (even some Rakasta lycanthropes) who seek to annihilate their mortal enemies, the Rakshasa. Together, they bring elements of Sindhi culture to Patera. Rise of the "Sindized" Kingdoms.

460 AC- Hirameki abdicates the throne to pursue Immortality. Ieyasu Kitahara named his successor. Four-class system instituted in Myoshima.

491 AC- Kitahara clan institutes period of total isolation from the rest of Patera.

On Mystara, migrant rakasta, fleeing persecution in Sind, arrive in the Yazak Steppes, north of the Savage Coast, where they settle into a nomadic lifestyle. Eventually, they begin to adopt the ways of surrounding human feudal nations, and form the Kingdom of Bellayne.

600 AC- Hirameki attains Immortality in the Sphere of Energy.

900 AC- Myoshiman Emperor ends period of isolation and institutes a new campaign of expansionism. Myoshima enters into warfare with most other Pateran nations.

919 AC- Bellaynish first reach Patera, where they settle the island nation of Selimpore and establish a mercantile society. They trade and war with surrounding nations.

925 AC- Responding to increasing aggression from surrounding nations, the various city-states of Rajahstan agree to ally with one another. Together they form the Spiritual Council.

961 AC- Heldannic Knights, exploring beyond the Mystaran Skyshield, encounter the invisible moon of Patera. Landing on Near Side, they encounter the Myoshimans. Both races, aggressive and xenophobic, react badly to one another, and war is declared between the two peoples.

964 AC- Prince Haldemar of Haaken arrives in Myoshima, and enters into diplomatic relations with the Empire. Myojo Katamura joins the crew of the Princess Ark. Lady Abovombe is held prisoner.

1000 AC- Lady Abovombe is freed from captivity by the Night Dragon, Synn, and returned to the Princess Ark.


Further Notes:

According to Bruce Heard's article in Dragon #247, Ka is the creator of the Rakasta race, so he does have a special reason to want them to survive. I thought this would be a good means of explaining their arrival on Patera initially.

The origin of the plague that struck Patera in BC 2,400 is not sure. Probably it is due to natural conditions (viruses, etc) that existed on Patera that the indigenous Pachydermions had become immune to (or at least developed a means to treat) that he Rakasta hadn't yet learned to cure.

During the rakasta rule in Ochalea, the feline creatures adopted and somehow influenced the Ochalean culture, which was at that time a mixture of Real World Chinese and Japanese cultures. The rakasta remained especially influenced by the "Japanese" style, and this produced the Myoshiman culture when they returned back on Patera in BC 600.

The Rakshasa’s migration from Mystara to Patera in AC 450 can be explained assuming that:

a) Patera is invisible to normal sight, but Bruce Heard mentions in the original article on the moon that the heat it generates makes it visible to those with infravision. Being a magical race, and one which bases its whole life on illusions, the rakshasa probably thought that living on a moon that nobody could see would have given them more chances of survival.

b) the Spirit Plane and the Prime are closely connected, following the GRoF (World Mountain in Ethengar). Perhaps there are many such connections all over and the Rakshasa, as evil spirits, used one such connection to transport themselves to Patera. Rakasta Shamans and Wokans followed them, not knowing where they were heading, but simply in order to exterminate them, and they all ended up on Patera… (it’s a very tentative theory)

The existance of Rakasta weretypes can also be explained. Commonly lycanthropy is fatal to demi-human types. However, we know of at least two exceptions: Merrow/Tritons (weresharks), and Moghul-Khan (yellow orc/devil swine). Since it has been done twice, I thought that were-tiger (or other were-feline) lycanthropy would be a neat exception, too. Still, as rakasta are pretty powerful as is, it might be recommended to say the fatality rate is still high, and that only a percentage (say 10-20%?) can survive and be lycanthropes; the others die. Which makes it a fairly exclusive club, which it should be.

As I have it, the Pachydermions are more of a "buddhist" like culture. Ganetra is their Siddhartha figure. Undeveloped plans as yet are that they may be a culture that encourages the pursuit of Immortality as the end of their long cycle of existence (or reincarnations)- similar to the concept of attaining Nirvana. Which I think would make for an interesting twist- a culture that not only realizes the potential for attaining Immortality, but actively encourages it?

Anyway, they bring a buddhist like influence to Rajahstan, and the Sindhi bring their hindu like influence. Which is pretty much in keeping with the RW development of SE Asia, upon which most of Patera is based. As Bruce Heard had it, Rajahstan was pretty much based on India, but I though, heck, we've already got India (Sind), why not do something a bit different. And so I've got Rajahstan as a loose alliance of petty kingdoms and city-states, with hindu/buddhist influences. Again, this is pretty much the way mainland SE Asian states devloped (Malaysia, Cambodia, etc). As Indian traders and merchants came in from the west, with their ideas and culture, indigenous SE Asian states would adopt certain aspects that they liked- usually those which boosted the rulers prestige, such as the concept of divine right to rule, etc- and discarded those that they didn't like, such as the caste system (which didn't make it over at all to SE Asia). Such a scenario, however, was not the case with other, later colonizers, notably the Islamic and Catholic missionaries and European colonizers, who pretty much forced their belief systems on the "primitive" peoples of SE Asia.

A final note about rakasta and their traveling means: up to now we only know that rakasta can cross Voidspace and enter the Skyshield riding winged sabretooth tigers, which are their common mounts on Myoshima. However, the mystery remains on how rakasta could have arrived on Mystara before beginning to breed these flying mounts, or even how Mystaran rakasta (Bellayne) could trade with and colonize Patera. Two possible explanations follow:

The Patera Files