The Animals of Florida

We arrived at our hotel in Florida after midnight, when all the nocturnal animals are out.

Apparently armadillos live in Florida, so we got to see a wild one in the parking lot as we walked from the car to the hotel.

Darkness + No Flash = Potato Quality Photo. Didn't use flash so the little guy wouldn't get scared.
Darkness + No Flash = Potato Quality Photo. Didn’t use flash so the little guy wouldn’t get scared.

The armadillo wasn’t the only little critter we encountered on our Florida trip.

Squirrels and ducks were everywhere around the parks, begging for food and often receiving it.

The squirrel was frightening people by running at them to make them drop their food. Smartest little dude ever.
The squirrel was frightening people by running at them to make them drop their food. Smartest little dude ever.
“I came to kick some ass and eat some bread! And I’m all out of kicks…”

There were a few heron-like birds (later learned they’re called ibis) begging everywhere as well. Begging seems to be the best way for an animal to feed itself in Disney World.

I'm all out of good captions.
I’m all out of good captions.

There were songbirds flying around as well. One in particular would land on our hotel balcony after we were done eating breakfast out there and eat up all our crumbs.

There was another songbird that attacked the window of a restaurant we ate at. According to the waitress, the bird attacks its reflection during mating season to show off for its mate.

Unfortunately, the little songbirds were too fast to take pictures.

I did manage to snap some photos of some quick little lizards that liked to sun themselves on the sidewalks around town.

The lizards camouflaged themselves against the sidewalk and skittered away when we got close to stepping on them.

“I am the cutest lizard of them all.”

There were also fish in the many lakes that dot the Disney World Resort, but too many people were crowded around the fish to get a good shot.

So not only is Disney World full of tourists, its also full of animals for the tourists to take pictures of!

-GoCorral

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Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 4

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 3

1979 BE: Tortuga was expanded and became both a land and a sea fortification.

1872 BE: Trebor spoke to Izquitl. She told him the time for war had come! The Avians founded the city of Nanatok on the northwestern edge of the Lower Maw to widen their reach and an Avian army organized in Hrududu to combat the Landwalker threat.

1821 BE: After losing the fortress of Tortuga to an organized Avian assault, three Merfolk armies were conscripted. Two marched on Tortuga and swiftly retook it. The third army defended Drolfo’s Cove from reprisals.

1764 BE: Continuing skirmishes between the Avians and Merfolk taught the Avians a lesson. Their armies developed new tactics and military organization that were the envy of all subsequent races.

1543 BE: The Dwarves built the city of Silver Top and the world’s mountains continued to grow.

1317 BE: The eternal give and take war between the Avians and Merfolk reached a turning point when tragedy struck the Avian people. Their immortal prophet, Trebor, was slain while overseeing the armies’ performance in stormy weather. A bolt of lightning sprung from the clouds and Trebor’s religious talisman attracted the blast. He fell down upon Cui-Xoloc, his body coming to rest in the market square of Zener’hro. The Avians held a grand funeral in their prophet’s honor. They were convinced that the storm was sent by some dark magic of the Merfolk. Their hearts hardened as they prepared for a true war.

1296 BE: After noticing a lack of decisive action for several years on the part of the Avians the Merfolk increased their offensive operations. Landers chopped down a large number of trees in the Eastern Hrududu. The area turned into a marsh due to its still considerable yearly rainfall. Some Merfolk and Landers settled in the marsh.

1165 BE: A vast swath of land in the northeast froze over. This land became known as the New Ice. The Humans living in that region, the Alrador, became adapted to the cold. They made a special blue paint out of the mushrooms that grew in the forest. They painted their bodies with elaborate designs before engaging in battle with other tribes. All Humans continued their violent existence. The volcano served as the focal point of their brutality. Men, women, and children were thrown into its boiling depths and shamans of the Najar Valley drew strength from its sinister glow.

1013 BE: The southern Red Peaks sprung up. The range grew by feeding upon the Human souls thrown into the Najar Volcano.

922 BE: The Cold Woods continued to grow.

765 BE: The Books of Dwarven Legend foretold the ripening of the world within the cycle. Gurutama had ripened and taken shape. Now the books demanded action. Following the sacred instructions contained within, the Dwarves formed a society amongst themselves known as the Kenracktopar, the Harvesters. Each Kenracktopar carries a ring identifying his superior status among Dwarvenkind and, in their opinion, the kind of all mortals.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 5

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 3

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 2

This update is marked by sections I may not consider useful, but may become useful later on.

Is it really necessary that the timeline list when a forest expanded? Maybe not.

But what if we ever run a campaign where it becomes important how old a tree is?

The timeline shows that the oldest trees in a certain section of the world can only have been around for a finite number of years.

This update also shows off another thing that Dawn of Worlds encourages, technological and cultural advancements!

The Dwarves got architecture. The Merfolk got aquatic animal domestication and Avian slaying. The Avians got blood rituals. The Humans got nothing this time, but more will come.

3488 BE: The Merfolk domesticated aquatic animals. The people of the sea became experts at dolphin, shark, and whale riding. The cetaceans were used to pull underwater carts along with trout and bass. Whales were used to haul larger vehicles. Rare visits above water were achieved via riding in tortoise or turtle palanquins.

3322 BE: The fertile ash from the primal volcano promoted the growth of forests in an outward crescent from the igneous mountain.

3167 BE: The Metal Tiers rumbled out of the earth as the world matured and ripened.

3039 BE: A great bird was born among the Avians, the immortal wing-prophet, Trebor Ydorg. He founded the cliff city of Zener’hro on the side of Cui-Xoloc and brought the Avians out of their preliterate society and into the light. Trebor organized his people with rituals. Blood sacrifices were absorbed by the great sacred altar at the top of Cui-Xoloc.

2864 BE: Up from the depths of the Maw rose Selcatnet the Eight Armed. Selcatnet was a gift sent by Drolfo to his industrious children, the Merfolk. Selcatnet became the guardian and protector of Drolfo’s Cove.

2777 BE: The great Dwarven city of Golden Mach was founded in the west. It reigned for centuries as the greatest architectural achievement of the land.

2600 BE: Humanity grew increasingly barbaric as the forest spread around them.

2492 BE: The Avians’ knowledge of blood magic grew with each passing year. Hrududu’s shade expanded west.

2330 BE: The northern forest continued to expand, now touching both the Maw and the Northern Sea.

2294 BE: The industrious Merfolk along with their faithful servant, Selcatnet, began to dig a channel through the Lower Maw, allowing easy access to the Neck.

2276 BE: The Great Canal is completed.

2269 BE: The trading post, Tortuga, is established in the Fluren Bay.

2244 BE: The Avians viewed the Merfolk traders as only a new form of prey for their blood rituals. The Merfolk soon learned not to trust the Avians. Tortuga’s trading post design was abandoned in favor of that of a fortress. The city became a repository for the best Avian-slaying techniques.

2131 BE: The eastern side of the Metal Tiers turned to sand.

2076 BE: The Hrududu Jungle crossed the Groshan Sea and established a new jungle on Hearthland. The new jungle was known as Turashtegal.

2046 BE: Drolfo gave his people a gift. He created a new race of Merfolk that no longer feared the world above without water. These Merfolk were referred to as Landwalkers.

1988 BE: The Landers clear-cut the Fluren Peninsula.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 4

An Overview of Gurutama Part 1

The map I made of Gurutama using Campaign Cartographer.
The map I made of Gurutama using Campaign Cartographer.

Starting off the posts on Gurutama will contain information my D&D group has already written.

After we’ve covered that background information I plan to post more indepth descriptions of places or cultural aspects. Religion, art, holidays, monuments, military, civil administration, all these things were touched on but not explicitly described in our Dawn of Worlds game. I’ll do what I can to get those ideas fleshed out here.

So first up, what are these continents we’re looking at on the map? There are four continents on Gurutama, Glacierstone, Hearthland, Rontu-Aru, and the Maw.

The Maw is split up into four sub continents, the Upper Maw, the Eastern Maw, the Lower Maw, and the central islands (islands aren’t really a continent, but inner oceans are still defined by tectonic plates).

Rontu-Aru, the southern continent, is inhabited mostly by bird people called Avians.

Avian culture is loosely based off of Aztec, Mayan, and Inca cultures. Avians build ziggurats like the Aztecs and Mayans did. They live high in the mountains like the Inca did. They sacrifice intelligent beings like the Aztecs and Mayans did. I avoided the term human sacrifice, because in there are more races than humans in our fantasy world.

The Avians came into contact with the Merfolk early in our world’s history. The Merfolk are fish people that live around the islands in the central sea of the Maw.

This map shows the Avian continent of Rontu-Aru and the central islands of the Merfolk.
This map shows the Avian continent of Rontu-Aru and the central islands of the Merfolk.

The Merfolk wished to make trade easier with the southern sea, The Neck. They prayed to their god, Drolfo, to open up a quick path to the Neck.

Drolfo summoned a giant octopus named Selcatnet which dug a trench through the mountain range on the northern edge of the Lower Maw. This trench became the Great Canal that separates the Lower Maw from the Eastern Maw.

The Merfolk came down to Rontu-Aru and set up trading outposts with the Avians.

The Avians were resistant to the outsiders. Eventually a prophet rose up and formed an army to attack the Merfolk.

War raged for many years and eventually the Merfolk won. The fish people enslaved the bird people. Now intelligent beings are exported along with goods from the jungles and marshes of Rontu-Aru.

The Merfolk are in an excellent position for trade at the physical center of Gurutama. They trade with all the civilized races of our world, humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, and the Rana. Rana are frog people that live in the Eastern Maw.

There’s more to get into, but that feels like enough for one blog post. That’s all for now!

-Mister Ed

Next: An Overview of Gurutama Part 2