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Old 07-06-2020, 06:59 AM   #1
LoneWolf23k
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default [Banestorm] Racially Diverse Ytarria

So, in the wake of current events and companies like WotC saying they want to push for more Diversity in D&D, I got to thinking back to one of my favorite Fantasy settings, GURPS Banestorm, and it's own demographics.

Specifically, that there's no reason for for the Human nations to be racially homogenized. The Banestorm plucked people from ALL over Earth between 1050 and 1200 AD (and other times, considering the Nomads), after all, and dumped them all over the place. Especially since a good look at Medieval history shows that places like Europe were MUCH more racially diverse than some people would have you believe.

There is literally no reason why there can't be a substantial population of black people living in Megalos and Caithness who have Christianized, but still maintain some old cultural traditions. Same with folks of Asian descent, even outside of Sahud.

Similarly, I figure the Islamic nations of Al-Haz and Al-Wazif (as well as Cardiel) have Islamic (and even some non-islamic) peoples of all colors living in their borders.

As for Sahud and the Nomad Lands: No reason you can't have a couple of tribes of African descent living in the Nomad Lands, and considering Sahudese culture, there's likely to be at least one clan of Black samurai of good standing, with everyone agreeing that bringing up the culture of their skin would just be rude.

At least those are my thoughts on it. What are yours?
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:43 AM   #2
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Racially Diverse Ytarria

There's no indication in Banestorm that they aren't racially diverse. The book goes out of its way to point out that diversity. See the section on "Other Religions," for instance. Of humans, "Most are Christians and Megalan citizens, but the other races agree that humanity's most amazing feature is its diversity." Consider also the city of Tredroy.

Banestorm also avoids the "irredeemable orc" that D&D is reacting against. "That said, on Yrth, not even vampires are necessarily evil..."
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Racially Diverse Ytarria

I've said since the 90's that having another continent to the southeast of Ytarria that the Banestorm brought people to from Africa (or rather the Africas of many different Earths). Sailors from this continent (Ifrik, does that name work) could discover Ytarria.

The first contact scenario, the establishment of trade, and people from each continent exploring/discovering the other are all great adventures. As Ifrik is made up of people brought to it from multiple Africas of multiple Earths, it, like Ytarria, can be a print the legend version.
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Racially Diverse Ytarria

I had considered a Southern continent that would be like part Africa, part South America, part Lost World, kind of like Eberron's own Xen'drik continent. It would add a lot more to the setting.
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Old 07-06-2020, 08:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Racially Diverse Ytarria

I can't see anything in the setting as published that flatly contradicts this, so it certainly seems that you can do it if you want to.

What I'd be asking is, What is the artistic purpose for doing it? I can think of a few:

(1) It's the working out of the premise. The Banestorm brings together human and other beings from all kinds of places; as you suggest, it might be logical that it mixed them up. On the other hand, it does seem as if it did some sorting out, so that the Christians went to one region, the Muslims to another, the Buddhists to yet another. It might be that, for example, a minority of black people who landed in Caithness, or a minority of Koreans who landed in Al-Haz, would have (of necessity) intermarried and (probably) adopted the main local faith; their descendant might look very much like everybody else and would almost surely not have full "African" or "East Asian" features. They would be like, for example, Pushkin, who was one-eighth black African and became Russia's national poet.

(2) The theme is colonial exploitation. For that you probably want to have entirely racially distinct lands somewhere remote.

(3) The theme is cultural diversity. For that you probably want to have small populations within existing states (especially the more tolerant ones) that preserve older traditions.

(4) The theme is ethnogenesis, as in the Emberverse, where the founder of Boise as an independent state was a black American army officer with an enthusiasm for ancient Roman history. For that even a single heroic figure of the past might have founded a culture or a city—but its distinctive features need not be confined to those of their ancestral culture.
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Old 07-06-2020, 08:37 AM   #6
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Racially Diverse Ytarria

Humans were thrown together, so there would have been interbreeding. In general though, I assume that the Djinn lands were settled by primarily Sub-Saharan African peoples while al-Haz was settled primarily by people from North Africa (al-Wazif by West Asian people and al-Kard by South Asian people). Smaller populations of African people would probably existed in Megalos, as people from the time of the Banestorms would have not had the racism that developed after the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but they would have interbred with other humans and would have disappeared as distinct groups.
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Old 07-06-2020, 08:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Racially Diverse Ytarria

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
al-Haz was settled primarily by people from North Africa (al-Wazif by West Asian people and al-Kard by South Asian people)
Is there evidence for this in the text?
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Racially Diverse Ytarria

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Is there evidence for this in the text?
I'd need to go through my copy of GURPS Arabian Nights, but aren't the Sunni and Shi'ites expanded to different regions of the Middle-East during the Middle Ages? Considering Al-Haz is predominently Shi'ite and Al-Wazif is primarily Sunni, it stands to reason they were founded by different folks.
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Racially Diverse Ytarria

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneWolf23k View Post
I'd need to go through my copy of GURPS Arabian Nights, but aren't the Sunni and Shi'ites expanded to different regions of the Middle-East during the Middle Ages? Considering Al-Haz is predominently Shi'ite and Al-Wazif is primarily Sunni, it stands to reason they were founded by different folks.
That's a reasonable inference. But I'm more unsure about the suggestion about al-Kard/Cardiel.
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Racially Diverse Ytarria

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneWolf23k View Post
I'd need to go through my copy of GURPS Arabian Nights, but aren't the Sunni and Shi'ites expanded to different regions of the Middle-East during the Middle Ages? Considering Al-Haz is predominently Shi'ite and Al-Wazif is primarily Sunni, it stands to reason they were founded by different folks.

At the start of the crusades Egypt was ruled by Shias and Iran by Sunnis. Today its the opposite. Both groups seems to go where-ever Islam does, and flourish in different times and places. At least if you look at centuries long time-scales.
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