Steaming Isles

Arabian Adventures in Zakhara, the Land of Fate.
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Big Mac
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Steaming Isles

Post by Big Mac »

Has anyone ever done anything with the Steaming Isles (ALQ1 Golden Voyages pages 5 and 7)?

According to Forgotten Realms Wiki's article for Steaming Isles are six larger islands (and a number of smaller islands) which are all covered in sub-tropical forest and shrouded in mist. The Steaming Isles are said to be home to intelligent animals, with each of the six larger islands ruled by an Shah who is also an animal.

The six larger islands are:
  • Jaqal (Jackal),
  • Baz (Hawk),
  • Gazal (Gazelle),
  • Hayyat (Snake),
  • Sunn (Swallow) and
  • Nimr (Tiger).
The name of each island is the name of the animal that is Shar of that island. The leader of all the islands is Padishah Jaqal.

I know there are a few people I know who get a kick out of playing anthropomophic animals that are either humans with animal heads or some variant on the centaur but these islands seem to be home to standard animals (just ones that can talk).

A visit to one of the islands might be fun. I don't know if you could roleplay in a standard Al-Qadim campaign, with PCs from the Steaming Isles, but they might make for great cohorts or NPCs.

Has anyone got ALQ1? If so, how much detail does it give for the Steaming Isles?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Nate Christen
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Re: Steaming Isles

Post by Nate Christen »

Big Mac,

The Steaming Isles have their own booklet in the AQ1 sourcebox; it is sixteen pages long. The booklet includes:
-Three short stories relevant to the area
-Five pages detailing the islands and what one can find there, including
-A list with roleplaying tips for twenty-four different kinds of intelligent animals
-An adventure, "Praised Be the Loregiver," that is some seven pages long

I hope this helps.

-Nate
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Re: Steaming Isles

Post by Big Mac »

Nate Christen wrote:The Steaming Isles have their own booklet in the AQ1 sourcebox; it is sixteen pages long. The booklet includes:
-Three short stories relevant to the area
-Five pages detailing the islands and what one can find there, including
-A list with roleplaying tips for twenty-four different kinds of intelligent animals
-An adventure, "Praised Be the Loregiver," that is some seven pages long

I hope this helps.
Thanks Nate. That helps a lot.

Are the rolplaying tips all about showing a GM how to play an intelligent animal NPCs or does the booket give rules on PC intelligent animals?

Can the animals of The Steaming Isles ever leave the area and travel to other parts of Zakhara? Or is he intelligence somehow tied to the islands (so that natural animals gain intelligence if they are brought there and intelligent animals loose their intellegence if they leave)?
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Jorkens
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Re: Steaming Isles

Post by Jorkens »

I am away from my books at the moment, so I will try to give a fuller answer later, but from what I remember there are no rules for PC-animals (A dragon magazine did have such a thing if I remember correctly though), neither do I think there was more about how to roleplay animal npc,s in general.

I think the gods are involved somehow in the reasons for the animals intelligence, so I think they are tied to the islands, but I cant remember the subject of other animals and leaving the island being focused on much. But as I said, I will try to find out more later.

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Re: Steaming Isles

Post by Big Mac »

Jorkens wrote:I am away from my books at the moment, so I will try to give a fuller answer later, but from what I remember there are no rules for PC-animals (A dragon magazine did have such a thing if I remember correctly though), neither do I think there was more about how to roleplay animal npc,s in general.
3rd Edition has a druid spell, called Awaken. I'm not sure if this spell existed in 2e, 2e FR or AQ, but it would probably not be too hard to give the entire Steaming Isles area an Awaken effect and retro-convert the rules from 3e.
Jorkens wrote:I think the gods are involved somehow in the reasons for the animals intelligence, so I think they are tied to the islands, but I cant remember the subject of other animals and leaving the island being focused on much. But as I said, I will try to find out more later.
Perhaps the mist of the Steaming Isles is what causes animals to become intelligent. Or perhaps they have always been intelligent. Ultimately, everything in nature comes down to the fact that a specific god made something happen.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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The Dark
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Re: Steaming Isles

Post by The Dark »

There was an article in Dragon #237 by Lachlan Macquarrie titled "I'm a What?" that was about animal PCs. I haven't read it recently, but IIRC it was focused on results of reincarnate, although it should be usable to create any sort of intelligent PC animal species.

One of the stories in Golden Voyages Book 5: The Steaming Isles is "How the Jackal Gained His Freedom," which (boiled down to its core) is about Jackal negotiating the Steaming Isles as the territory of the animals, being the only place where they're not servants to humans/demihumans/humanoids, with the animals living there being given the gift of speech. There is one human town (Madinat al-Mumin, the City of the Faithful), which provides judges for the shahs' courts, since the animals don't use written records. One adventure notes that "these animals are specially gifted from the time of creation," suggesting that, at least as far as ALQ1 is concerned, it was Jackal's negotiation with the sultan of the ins that granted them the islands and speech.

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Re: Steaming Isles

Post by Big Mac »

The Dark wrote:There was an article in Dragon #237 by Lachlan Macquarrie titled "I'm a What?" that was about animal PCs. I haven't read it recently, but IIRC it was focused on results of reincarnate, although it should be usable to create any sort of intelligent PC animal species.
Thanks. I'll have to hunt that down and see if they have classes or if they advance by animal HD. If they have classes in the article, that might need tweaking to fit in with Al-Qadim.
The Dark wrote:One of the stories in Golden Voyages Book 5: The Steaming Isles is "How the Jackal Gained His Freedom," which (boiled down to its core) is about Jackal negotiating the Steaming Isles as the territory of the animals, being the only place where they're not servants to humans/demihumans/humanoids, with the animals living there being given the gift of speech. There is one human town (Madinat al-Mumin, the City of the Faithful), which provides judges for the shahs' courts, since the animals don't use written records. One adventure notes that "these animals are specially gifted from the time of creation," suggesting that, at least as far as ALQ1 is concerned, it was Jackal's negotiation with the sultan of the ins that granted them the islands and speech.
Sounds like Madinat al-Mumin must have a good working relationship with The Steaming Isles. Maybe some animal NPCs could be found there.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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