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Guide to the Realms: The Cultures and Civilizations of Britannia

Discussion in 'The Baja Roleplaying & Event Alliance' started by WarderDragon, May 9, 2011.

  1. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    The Cultures and Civilizations of Britannia
    WarderDragon

    Below is a list of the Continents and Civilizations present in Ultima Online and Baja Fiction.

    Ultima is based less in the fiction of Dungeons and Dragons or Lord of the Rings - despite the vehement claims of their fans - and more in Real World Civilizations and the heroic fantasy genre of Moorcock, Howard and Burroughs. That in mind, I am attempting to divine the cultural influences and inspirations for our civilizations based on their architecture and other real world hints.

    Your input is welcome.

    The Prime Continents

    - The Kingdom of New Britannia and the Isles of Magincia. Based on Renaissance Europe. Nu'jelm has a much more Andalusian cast, while Magincia and its surrounding Isles are decidedly Mediterranean.

    - The Old World, and the Kingdoms of the North. The retreat of the Britannians - the proverbial Roman Empire of Ultima - leaves this world much more reminiscent of Dark Age and Pre-Crusade Europe.

    - The Dark Continent of Malas. Horus the Blind Guardian, the Acropolis, the Labyrinth, the Pyramid and Bedlam all suggest Grecian and Coptic influences. Luna might be best described as Minoan Crete or the Troas, whereas Umbra - with its Pyramids and Tombs - suggest Egypt.

    - The Isle of the Serpent, Ilshenar. Ilshenar is almost certain to be Serpents Isle; ranging from the clan of militant feline bipeds to the existance of Montor. There is no single influence that can be singled out - Ilshenar comes much more from the realm of fiction than the real world - but some suggest a Muslim influence to the Gypsies, whereas on Baja, Lindae has suggested the Gypsies here are also Reindeer herders, suggesting a Slavic or Scandinavian / Finnic Influence. Perhaps Parthian or Black Sea Civilization?

    - The Lost Continent of Ambrosia. The Lost Land has much more in common with the fictional Lost World - replete with dinosaurs and extinct civilizations - than Medieval Europe. Papua does have some basis in the Papuan Islanders of the Pacific, where as Delucia - or De Lucia - would suggest Mesoamerican or an Incan basis for the peoples here.

    - The Land of Feudal Lords, Tokuno. Feudal Japan, though an RPer could draw inspiration from Chinese and Mongolian Lore as well.

    - The Continent of Ter Mur. Remains to be seen.​
     
  2. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    Britain, the High Seat of Lord Cantabrigian and the House of British

    Britain is considered to be the commercial and political center of the New Britannian Empire. It is also the Seat of the Crown, the House of Cantabrigian, and is the Spiritual Center of several Rites, including the Avatarian Religion and the Eastern Rite of Magincia.

    It is also a cauldron of dissension in the absence of the King. The infrastructure has begun to break down, causing famine and the outbreak of plague. And as Luna, set amongst the Ethereal Void, has become the commercial center of the Seven Continents, Britain is loosing its power and influence.

    Current Nation: New Britannia.
    Location: The Interior of the Isle, set amongst the tranquil vale of the Kings Forest.
    Climate: Temperate Forests of Continental Europe.
    Government: Constitutional Monarch and a Senate.
    Current Leadership: Martial Law at present. The Town Guard enforces law and order on behalf of the High Council.
    Religion: Avatarianism. The Eastern Rite. The Ancient Rite of Truth. The Cult of Runes. Druidism. The Cult of the Damned.
    Language: High Common.
    Ethnographic Culture: Norman France. (Britain seems warmer than the cold, wet climate of London.)
    Inspirational Basis: The English (Normans) of Continental Europe during the Renaissance.
    Origin: The Empire of Wolfgang.​

    Cove, Sentinel of the North

    Cove was built to Guard the pass south leading into Britain during the War of Succession. While it was intended to protect the High Seat of Cantabrigian against those associated with Robere, it has since become a Sentinel purposed with the task of preventing Barbarian and Orcish Invaders from pouring into a now weak and crumbling Southern Kingdom.

    Current Nation: New Britannia.
    Location: Southern Altmere.
    Climate: Temperate Forests and Grasslands of Continental Europe.
    Government: Baronship.
    Current Leadership: The Baron and the Guard.
    Religion: Avatarianism.
    Language: Low Common and Old English.
    Ethnographic Culture: Norman France.
    Inspirational Basis: Roman Fort at the Beginning of the Dark Ages. Orcs are - in Ultima - analoguous to the Barbarian Invaders from Northern Europe.
    Origin: Britannia.​

    Vesper

    The Commercial Center of the North, Vesper sports a much more Mediterranean Climate than its neighbors due in part to sea currents that originate in the Sea of Magincia.

    Vesper was described as having had important trading contacts with distant lands - including the Land of Feudal Lords - before the advent of Samurai Empire. We just did not have access to the land until the subsequent expansion, though tales of the distant land were known prior. It is also described as having much in common with Magincia due to their extensive trading contacts.

    Vesper was the seat of the Rebellion when Robere rose up against Cantabrigian between the Death of Mondain and the Launch of Ultima Online. Thus it is not uncommon for shards to describe Vesper as having an independent streak, a decadant and immoral edge that contrasts the superstitious and primative Britannians.

    Current Nation: New Britannia.
    Location: The Delta of the Vesper River.
    Climate: Mediterranean.
    Government: Council of Merchants.
    Current Leadership: The Council of Vesper.
    Religion: The Eastern Rite.
    Language: High Common.
    Ethnographic Culture: Italian.
    Inspirational Basis: Venice during the Renaissance. Vesper - due to its extensive trading with the Land of Feudal Lords and Magincia - is almost more Magincian than Britannian.
    Origin: The Kingdom of Robere.​

    Magincia, The Shining Jewel of the East

    Nation: New Britannia.
    Location: The Magincian Sea.
    Climate: Mediterranean.
    Government: To be determined.
    Current Leadership: To be determined.
    Religion: Heathenism and the Eastern Rite.
    Language: High Common.
    Ethnographic Culture: Mediterranean.
    Inspirational Basis: To be determined. Similar to Carthage - which rivaled the Roman Republic for centuries - Magincia was a strong rival and somewhat independent of the Britannian Empire. It possessed its own Senate, and opposed Britannia for decades, though Britannia considered it a vassal. During the War of Shadows, Magincia was crushed while the Britannians watched - sometimes aiding - the Daemonic mauraders invading the Isle. In the last hour, the Britannians drove the Daemons out, but not before the decadent and rich civilization of the Magincians had been leveled, its Citizens scattered to the four winds. Britannia claimed the Isle during the War of Virtuebane, and was instrumental in the resettling of the Isle.
    Ultima Origin: The Magincian Empire, The Kingdom of Wolfgang, The Terinzeliach Clan.​
     
  3. Lindae

    Lindae Guest

    There are many clans of gypsies in Ilshenar. Those from the alpine Compassion Glacier of Central Ilshenar are deer-herders and sledders; those from the desert follow a different culture altogether. Their languages are almost the same and there is a common culture, but their ways, including religious beliefs and customs, are markedly dissimilar.

    Likewise, there are Umbrians and Umbrians. My family come from the depths of the Gravewater; we are a persecuted ethnic and religious minority in Umbra (and our admission into the echelons of nobility caused no end of problems. You should have seen all the letters to the editor when my father received his title.) The garden-variety Umbrian is an ethnic mixture of common Malasian stock, Britannian, and ancient strains; and there are still amongst us remnants of the civilisation that built the Grimswinds, although they know no more about their heritage than the fact that it exists.

    Every civilisation is a patchwork of cultures. I could write a book on the gypsies alone, but they dislike anthropology and I will respect their wishes.
     
  4. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    I would much prefer a thesis on the Umbral.
     
  5. Lindae

    Lindae Guest

    ugh

    but we are so boring
     
  6. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    Perhaps.

    But I wish to know the people I intend to conquer.
     
  7. Lindae

    Lindae Guest

    Not with that sort of oh-so-subtle diplomacy, you won't.