Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Real World Comparisons to Titan

Reading through Paltogue's truly excellent blog (check it out if you haven't already) got me to thinking about how certain corners of Titan are somewhat based on real-world locations right here on Earth. It's a very common trope in fantasy settings and varies to different degrees depending on the property. Below I have picked the closest real-world match for certain locations on Titan, along with my reasoning for doing so.

Please keep in mind that these are purely my opinions. If you think differently, let me know about it in the comments. :)

In this first instalment I will focus on the continent of Khul (and nearby islands).

Hachiman = Japan
Let's get the most obvious one out the way first - the land of Hachiman in south-eastern Khul is clearly based on feudal Japan. It features samurai, ronin, kappa, katanas, pagodas, shoguns and wingless dragons, just to name a handful! Sword of the Samurai portrays Hachiman as a more-or-less straightforward Japanese homage, except for the fact that the realm is part of a larger continent rather than being a chain of islands. Interestingly, Jamie Thomson, one of the co-authors of Sword of the Samurai, also co-wrote a Japanese-inspired setting for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay called Tetsubo. The setting was never published, but a PDF of the material can be found on the Fabled Lands blog.

Isles of the Dawn = China
Another obvious one, the setting for Black Vein Prophecy and The Crimson Tide is inspired by ancient China - see plentiful rice fields, monks and martial arts. Although Black Vein Prophecy toned down the Chinese influence, The Crimson Tide embraced it fully. In a similar situation to Hachiman (which is mentioned in the latter book), the Isles of Titan are a chain of islands, whereas our China is part of a massive continent. Another link to Japan is in the name itself - Isles of the Dawn is very similar to the Land of the Rising Sun!

 Kazan = Mongolia/Turkey
Several names from Daggers of Darkness are taken directly from the Book of Dede Korkut, which relates to the Oghuz Turks. The barbaric citizens of Kazan also seem to bear some similarity to the Golden Horde of the Mongol Empire.

Arion = Italy
A very tenuous connection here, but the two plumbers featured in Deathmoor, Oiram and Igiul, are based on the stars of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. games. The location of Arion in the northern part of Khul, surrounded by grassy plains and forests also evokes (to my mind) visions of Italy.

Corda = Spain
Spain is close to Italy, and Corda is close to Arion - what more proof do you need? ;) The name is also very Spanish-sounding.

Neuberg = Germany/Holy Roman Empire
Neuberg itself is a very germanic name, as is Kleinkastel, a nearby frontier town. The lord of Kleinkastel is known as the Margrave, which is (as Wikipedia informs us) the medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defense of one of the border provinces of the Holy Roman Empire. The largest territory of the Empire was, you guessed it, the Kingdom of Germany.

Wikipedia also helpfully points out that the Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in central Europe that developed during the Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806. That sounds like a real-word parallel for the Ximoran Protectorate (Ximoran, Djiretta, Anghelm, Buruna, Kalima, Kelther and Neuberg).

Inland Sea = Ancient Mesopotamia
Another easy one, as Seas of Blood takes many of its names from ancient real world locations (Assur, Calah, Kirkuk, Kish, etc.). The technology also seems to be from an earlier time, with oar-powered boats dominating the Sea.

Djiretta/Ashkyos/Kabesh = Persia
Just going off the names more than anything here, although the depictions of people and places in Master of Chaos is relatively standard medival european fantasy spec (although there is the robed weapons seller and the nomads in the desert).

Zagoula/Yaziel/Hyennish = North India
Again, a fairly thin connection here, but the robed Zagoulan raiders from Beneath Nightmare Castle always remind me of the Thuggee cultists from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Marpesia/Kalim = South America?
Next to nothing has been revealed about these two huge islands, so why not the cultures of South America (Aztec, Mayan, etc.)?

Arrowhead Islands = Carribean
 Lots of tropical islands, Chaos-pirates roaming around - sounds like a good match to me! I'm envisioning a Pirates of the Carribean/Pirates Lego type theme.

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