I am tired of seeing fantasy settings defined by medieval West/North European and Japanese societies. Has there been anything based in the Central Asian -stans or other underused locations?>SocietyCentral Asia was poles apart from Western society with loyalty not to a king but a chieftain, where there existed not kingdoms but tribes and ethnic groups. Where conflict raged between the people of the hill and the plains, and between the settlers and the nomads. >GeographyThese lands contain everything from inland seas to barren deserts, from the highest of peaks to steppes without end. From mountains to plains to valleys to rivers to forests to plateaus, the region has everything>ReligionNomadic societies gave huge stock to spirits and gods and ancestral spirits, everything from a waystone to a flying bird could harbour an omen or a spirit. Shamans abounded.>WarfareWars were fought between families, between clans, between tribes, between races over everything from stolen herd to trade routes to land
I find the difference between the vast steppes and deserts and the few but very rich and big cities very appealing.
Here have a picture
>>55657420Against the Wicked City
Also, Central Asia has some of the most baller statues
>>55657420Central Asia is underrated as fuck as a setting >Comfy Buddhism >Zoroastrianism >Rich Mongol, Turkic, & Tibetan mythology >Oasis cities >Mysterious travelers from both East and West
>>55659008>Comfy BuddhismU wat m8?
A BLUE WOLF TOOK AS HIS SPOUSE A FALLOW DOETHEY RAISED THEIR CHILDREN AT THE HEAD OF THE ONON RIVERTHERE WERE BORN THE MONGOLS
>>55659173IIRC Turks were born from a youth fucking a wolf
>>55661190*a young roach fucking a wolf
What would the difference be between this and a Wuxia setting?
>>55658020>Against the Wicked CityHuh.
>>55661244>No Kung fu>No crazy retarded techniques>No hermit sages >No Immortals >Basically everything
>>55661445...But all those are aspects of central Asian mythology and fantasy?
>>55657420count me in as interested, it's definitely an area that is not used very often. The only time I think I have heard of this are the Mardu from Tarkir and there supposedly is a module for a central asia setting for D&d 2E that no one seems to have a digital copy of.
>>55661510...how? Central Asian myths are largely about murderhobos fighting monsters and other tribes with a cataclysmic conflict between a god of good vs a god of evil in the background
>>55661575So you're just completely ignoring the pervasive influence of Chinese culture over that entire region?
>>55661585Oh boy, here comes Xi Gong LaoProtip: Even the Turks use Latin Script
>>55657420might be in a minority, but I've always loved the tales of people like Timur just fucking shit up and creating something out of the ashes of conquest.also samarqand is baller as fuck and its architecture is where i draw most of my person-islamic elements in games from
A girl I pursued for a long time is from Central Asia, moved here whens he was 19. Seljuk blood. If she's anything to go by then your game should be bonkers
As someone who actually did a Master's in Central Asian studies, I love the region and its potential for role-playing. I've been working on a home-brew setting based on Central Asia for a while now. But the region is a lot more than "barbaric horse-nomads on the endless steppes and greedy merchants in the trading oasis cities".The first question is what counts as Central Asia. Most everyone agrees that the former Soviet -stans (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan) are Central Asian. Mongolia usually gets into that list as well, as does Uyghuristan/East Turkestan/Xinjiang (depending on how much you like the Chinese). Beyond that, however, you start getting disagreements- does Afghanistan count? The northern (primarily Uzbek/Tajik) parts of it? What about the Turkic and Mongolic autonomous republics along Russia's border with the -stans (Bashkortostan, Buryatia, Tuva, Altai, Sakha)? What about formerly Central Asian peoples now displaced from the region (Tatars, Turks, Azeris, Manchu, Hungarians at a stretch)? And even within the core region, there are huge differences, ethnically and linguistically, between the Persians (including Tajiks, Wakhi, and so on) and Turko-Mongols (almost everyone else); within the Turko-Mongolic group there are distinctions between Mongolic peoples and Turkic peoples, and further subdivisions within each of those. Of course you can incorporate that variety into the setting, or not, but there's a huge amount of complexity that isn't fully recognised.Another big question is the rough time period you're setting it in. In particular, the coming of Islam changed regional beliefs and customs greatly- although the practice of shamanism didn't really go away, it was absorbed into the framework of Islam, and Muslim beliefs and tropes were incorporated into regional traditions.
cont.d from above-Almost all the great Central Asian epics (Manas, Alpamys, Korkut Ata/Dede Qorqut, Köroğlu/Körgöl, and so on and so forth) are set in a post-Islamic context, and the heroes claim Islamic values, but magic of one kind or another continues to pervade the setting, and is not seen as inherently evil by any means; on the contrary, the heroes often have latent magical powers, or have close contact with magical beings (Alpamys Batyr and Manas both have magical talking horses, for example).Speaking of magic, let bards rejoice- magic, music, and storytelling were closely interlinked in Central Asian culture (the word "bakhshy", or a dialect variant thereof, means 'shaman' in Kazakh and 'troubadour' in Turkmen- originally, the word had both meanings, but it solidified into different uses in different contexts). It is generally believed across the region that humans aren't inherently magical, but can theoretically call upon spirits - nature spirits, ancestor spirits, jinni (post-Islam), or whatever else - and that those spirits can then perform what might be called magic. Calling the spirits is generally done via music (as is banishing them), with a combination of chants, wordless vocalisations, jaw harps, drums, and string instruments (of which there are a huge variety, played in a variety of ways by different people in different contexts).
cont.d again-On a more meta level, there are fundamental distinctions between short stories about heroes (of which https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aufTNYlDG2o provides an amusing modern interpretation), and the great epic cycles (dastan, or jyr, depending on where you live). The shorter stories, as anon said, are generally fairly simple in structure, with a hero (usually identifiable by some distinctive trait, such as the ability to run as fast as the wind (Zhelayak), or drink lakes dry) confronting a monster or the hero of a neighbouring group, beating the tar out of it, and getting the girl. The longer epics have some of the same features (semi-magical heroes, confrontations with local peers, and acquisition of beautiful women), but they occur in a much larger context, often opposition to a much larger external enemy (typically Persia for the Turkmen, China for the Kyrgyz, and Russia or the Junghars for the Kazakhs). The threat of the external enemy forces the hero to unite the 'nation' (wrong word, but there isn't really an equivalent for "eл" in English) to defeat them (which usually involves more defeating of local heroes, who are acknowledged as worthy opponents and sometimes incorporated into the main hero's forces). The enemy is defeated, the hero has children and dies, the tribes fragment again, and the cycle repeats (several Central Asian epics, most famously Manas, are traditionally told as inter-generational sagas, in which the story repeats (with minor variations) for each generation's great hero).
cont.d once more- I'm not sure what more, if anything, people want to know, but I love the region and I love role-playing and world-building, so I'll lurk this thread and answer people's questions if they have any.
>>55657420MTG's Tarkir block, or at least a part of it.
>>55661793And before that arab script and before that sogdian script.
Turkish, or Turkic languages/dialects, have been written in everything from runic (Orkhon script), through Uyghur, Arabic, and Sogdian scripts, plus the Georgian, Armenian, and Greek alphabets, all the way to (variant) Latin and (variant) Cyrillic. Turks are adaptable enough to use whatever script is most contextually useful for their language (and it helps that 'Turk' has traditionally been a very fluid identity, so lots of people writing in Turkish originally learned to write in a different language).
>>55659008>an economy founded on slavery and foreign military service
Birthplace of heavily armored cataphract. I like it.
>>55661445It's a libertarian paradise of no roads and inter-generational brutal and bloody internal family strife instead.
Not really. Slaves were certainly among the goods traded along the routes, and the steppe-dwellers were always in high demand as mercenaries thanks to their skill (as horse-archers and lancers) and loyalty (although the Seljuks are famous for having overthrown the Arab-Persian caliphate in all but name, Central Asians had a long native tradition of oathsworn bodyguards who would defend their leader to the death, and in small groups, they were generally ferociously loyal to their employer as an individual). But large-scale slavery is simply not an option for pastoral nomads (the cities are a different story), and many other things were also traded, including local animals and animal products as well as precious metals and stones from local sources (virtually all the lapis lazuli in use from ancient times until recent times came from the Pamir region, near the borders of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan) and high value-add manufactured goods from the civilisations at either end of the silk roads. Besides trade, the nomadic economy was based on herds, and the urban economy mostly on agrarian produce.Slavery and mercenarism were certainly practiced, and we shouldn't pretend the region was a paradise, but they were hardly the foundation of the economy.
>>55657420MtG's Tarkir was actually a pretty nice take on this, I feel
>>55663959What can you tell us about the conflict between settlers and nomads?Who exactly are the spirits that heroes call upon?Which fantastical beasts exist in Central Asia?Any stories on Samarkand, Bukhara or Karakorum?
>>55657420Many Conan adventures took place in Hyboria's equivalent to Central Asia (Turan, Iranistan, Koth, Shem, Hyrkania).
>>55657420Here OP, a central Asian setting I was never able to run.
Greco-Buddhist kingdom of Bactria would be greatest of all time.
>>55664885What can you tell us about the conflict between settlers and nomads?For the most part, the two coexisted, in a state of symbiosis rather than conflict. The nomads provided the settled (urban and agrarian) peoples with animal products, trade goods, and military service, while the settled peoples provided the nomads with vegetable products (flour was a big one) and metalwork (for jewellery as well as arms and armour). There were conflicts, certainly, but they were rarely existential or over land- the settled peoples couldn't use the land the nomads lived on, and the nomads had no need for the land the farmers lived on (this could and did change, due to pressure on the nomads' land from climate change or mass population movements, but it was the norm). An important feature of their relationship was that the settled peoples tended to be ethnically and linguistically Persian/Tajik, while the nomads, after the fall of the Samanid dynasty, were generally Turkic (that division has ceased to apply since the Soviet period, but I don't think anyone's looking at running games in Soviet/post-Soviet Central Asia, as fun as that would also be). However, many people were multilingual, and they rarely had issues with communication.When it did come to actual conflict, it's important to distinguish between the two 'modes' of warfare that the horse-nomads employed, against each other and against settled peoples in Central Asia or on their peripheries. The first was small-scale opportunistic raiding, in search of plunder (especially if trade was not an option, for whatever reason), glory (always a strong incentive), or simple practice (as their oral tradition indicates, the nomads were always aware of the potential threat from external powers, even if there wasn't any immediate danger). This was an annoyance, but caused relatively few casualties, and could be tolerated if necessary. The second mode of warfare was more extreme.
>>55665222Nice tripe. Do you know of any fantasy races that exist in Central Asian folkore like elves/orcs/goblins/etc. I think Asura might be one, though they are more Tibetan, I guess, what else?
cont.dThe second mode of nomadic warfare occurred when a nomadic group, on some scale (family, encampment, clan, tribe, nation) were no longer able to support their traditional pastoral cycle, whether because of overpopulation, or because the lands they traditionally cycled (pastoral nomads don't wander freely; they usually have quite a fixed cycle of pastures that they move between with the seasons, whether the movement is across the steppe (lateral nomadism, as practiced by the Kazakhs and Turkmen) or up and down hills/mountains (vertical nomadism, as practiced by the Kyrgyz)) were unavailable or no longer capable of supporting them. At these times, the group would move wholesale into the land of the next people over, and displace the existing inhabitants. This happened from time to time on the steppe, especially after particularly nasty droughts, without having a hugely negative impact on anyone- nomads can always move on, and the steppe is big enough to absorb smallish ripples of population movement until things settle down again. When the next people over were agrarian, rather than nomadic, the consequences could be horrific- although the nomads were almost never able to take walled cities (Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, both of whom had siege engineers, were exceptions), they could absolutely deny the farmers their fields, and the farmers couldn't move on (both because their property was geographically fixed, and even if it wasn't, the relatively limited amount of space available for proper agriculture makes mass movement impossible), resulting in massive death tolls from conflict and starvation. Despite the dominance of the nomads in regular warfare, however, they couldn't generally take cities (as noted above), and their population was always minuscule relative to that of the agrarian societies, so they could never destroy them outright- which generally meant that conflicts rarely lasted longer than a season or two.
>>55665222>that division has ceased to apply since the Soviet periodHaha, no. Look up the Kyrgyz-Uzbek conflict, the Kyrgyz actually look down on the Uzbek for being settlers and farmers and call them "Sarts".
>>55663695>Master'sIf you don't mind me asking of what benefit was it, I mean, academically or professionally? Or was it purely out of interest?>>55663787>>55663942>eлDo you mean "kaum", "watan"?>>55663959>>55664765>>55665222>>55665287Thanks for sharing all this, it is all very informative. Could you recommend some books (fiction/non-fiction/historical) or documentaries on Central Asia?Also, have you seen the tv series Kazakh Khanate?I am very interested in the region myself but I mostly rely on the news.
>>55664885Who exactly are the spirits that heroes call upon?That changed from culture to culture, and over time. In pre-Islamic times, the predominant local 'religion' was a form of animist shamanism, generally incorporating a belief in Tengri/Tengger/[insert spelling variations here], the Sky God, as the most powerful spiritual being. Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, and various forms of Christianity (especially Nestorianism and Manichaeism) also made inroads, especially in the cities, but were generally overlaid on existing frameworks of belief rather than replacing them. Being animist, they believed there were spirits in everything in the natural world, and the more impressive the natural feature the more powerful the local spirits must be (several geographic features still have names that reflect this, including Ulytau (Great Mountain) and Sätti Tas (Sacred Rock) in Kazakhstan). The other major class of spirits was the ancestors, who were considered to live on in a spirit world that was much the same as the real one (which is why dead chieftains were often buried with useful, as well as valuable, goods). These ancestor spirits were not as materially useful as the nature spirits - they couldn't cause rainstorms or avalanches or floods, in the way that nature spirits could - but shamans could enter a trance to channel them, becoming voluntarily possessed for a time, and speaking in their voice (this practice still exists in Buryatia and some other more remote areas of C. Asia). As Central Asian cultures have always valued age and the elderly, the advice of venerable ancestors was considered extremely valuable, even if they couldn't directly help.
>>55665222>>55665287I've got two questions for you.>What can you tell us about the difference in culture between the various ethnic groups like the Tajik, Kazakh, Turkmen, Mongol, Kyrgyz, Pamiri, Uzbek, Uyghur, etc other than the nomad-settler dynamic?>Second, which ethnic groups/clans/tribes do you think should serve as a template for a fantasy setting? Basically which ones according to you stand out?>>55665361>Answering questions asked an hour agoI'm willing to wait
>>55665281Will reply once I've finished responding to the post above.>>55665302I'm well aware of the Kyrgyz/Uzbek conflict. My point is that the division has ceased to be a clean one between Turkic peoples and Persian ones- the Uzbeks are mostly Turkic, not Persian, and so is their language (although the Uzbek/Tajik ethnic boundary isn't totally clear- the former president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, was registered as an ethnic Tajik in Soviet censuses until he was in 10th grade and realised that it would be politically preferable to identify as a member of the titular ethnicity of the republic). Many Kyrgyz, despite their claim to be nomads and descendants thereof, are also thoroughly urbanised- look at O'sh and Jalalabad, both of which have hosted urbanised Kyrgyz for generations.To repeat, the nomad/settled conflict still exists as a point of pride, but it's no longer neatly defined by ethnic origin.>>55665359It hasn't been much use professionally, though I continue to live in hope. It was immensely interesting, so no regrets, but I wouldn't recommend it as a career pathway unless you're looking to get into working with a resource company or an intelligence agency.Linguistic variation across Central Asia makes it impossible to provide single words. eл is Kazakh, because it's the local language I know best; "watan" is more like 'homeland' than 'nation'- it refers to a geographic location, not to the people who inhabit it.I strongly recommend the movie Жayжүpeк Mың Бaлa (translated as "Warriors of the Steppe", I believe), if you can find it with English subtitles. Sergei Bodrov's "Mongol" is also good fun, but largely a product of outsiders (Bodrov is Russian, the actor who plays Temüjin is Japanese), and not quite as authentic. Book-wise, Range of Ghosts is an interesting presentation of a fantasy Central Asia. For non-fiction, René Grousset's "Empires of the Steppe" and Svat Soucek's "A History of Inner Asia" are the classics.
>>55665423It's cool, man. I'm just enjoying reading your posts
>>55664885Who exactly are the spirits that heroes call upon (cont.d)The coming of Islam changed these beliefs considerably. Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, and Christian sects gradually died out in western Central Asia (though they continued to flourish for centuries further east- one of the Mongol Great Khans converted to Nestorianism), while Tengri was replaced by Allah, and the shamanist practices were incorporated into Islamic belief. This meant the elimination of ancestor spirits- though it's appropriate to pray for the wellbeing of dead people in most Islamic cultures, it's not appropriate to expect them to talk back from Heaven (or Hell, if you're willing to entertain that possibility), so that had to go. The nature spirits were not removed entirely, but replaced by local jinni (magical people made of fire, gifted with magical powers, common in one form or another throughout the Muslim world), angels, or God himself, who were considered to have similar powers to affect outcomes (ironically, the replacement of the not-omnipotent and relatively inaccessible Tengri with Allah made it much easier for people to call upon the ur-deity directly, rather than having to go through intermediaries or lesser spirits). When the hero Manas uses magic stones to summon a rainstorm to disrupt his enemy's army, he is continuing a longstanding pre-Islamic tradition, but in the epic itself, he is asking God to do it. For another (very recent) example, the Kazakh football team Shakhtar Karagandy sacrificed a sheep on the pitch before their UEFA Cup home game against Glasgow Celtic, and won; when they were refused the right to sacrifice a sheep on the pitch in Glasgow, they complained, and lost. Technically, they're Muslims; in practice, they're still performing shamanist rituals.
>>55665378>What can you tell us about the difference in culture between the various ethnic groups like the Tajik, Kazakh, Turkmen, Mongol, Kyrgyz, Pamiri, Uzbek, Uyghur, etc other than the nomad-settler dynamic?Seconding this. Do you know any stereotypes, or cultural idiosyncracies that exist between different people? For a region this vast it's shocking how little we know of the people that live there.
>>55665423>René Grousset's "Empires of the Steppe" and Svat Soucek's "A History of Inner Asia"Got any ebooks?
>>55664885Which fantastical beasts exist in Central Asia (I'll wrap my answer to >>55665281 up in here as well, I think)There are many, many, fantastical beasts in Central Asia, but they're not quite as 'canonised' as the Western elves, orcs, goblins, etc. Many of the older ones are chimerical combinations of existing animals, especially more iconic/totemic animals- lion+deer, lion+eagle, tiger+goat, etc. Nature spirits, when they took a physical form (or when encountered by shamans during their journeys into the spirit world), often took a form of this kind.The next most common kind of fantastical beast is a regular animal, but with speech and intelligence (like the horses of Manas and Alpamys Batyr mentioned above). Besides horses, there are a few other creatures that get this treatment - mosquitos as malevolent, sparrows and praying mantises as brave and benevolent (it's considered deeply unlucky to kill a sparrow in Kazakh folklore). Not much more to say about these.Besides the animalistic creatures, there are a few more humanoid creatures, some imported from elsewhere (like Islamic jinni, and Russian shurale (forest-spirits with a fondness for trickery)), and some local ones, like Albarsty (a shadow-creature that throttles people in their sleep, and hates dogs and milk) in Kazakh and Kyrgyz folk-tales, and Osykpay (a shape-shifting spider/goblin whose main story is similar, but not identical, to that of Rumpelstiltskin). There are also dragons (called Aydahar), which are (as one might expect) a mix of Chinese and Western ones.
>>55665222>, but I don't think anyone's looking at running games in Soviet/post-Soviet Central Asia, as fun as that would also be)I'd love to run a game of Mercenaries in the vein of Black Lagoon, MGS and Blood Diamond, taking part in the Tajik Civil War but I can't find any proper information to make it work.
>>55665578Is it common to consider snakes as somewhat good animals or that's just Mishari thing?
>>55657420What about archipelagic regions or scattered islands like polynesia? I think it would seem like Wind Waker or something like that.
>>55664885Any stories on Samarkand, Bukhara or KarakorumTwo of those cities (Bukhara and Samarkand) are extremely ancient; one (Karakorum) is not. Before it became the capital of Genghis Khan's empire, Karakorum was little more than a Buddhist shrine/monastery, with a semi-permanent yurt encampment outside (not the same people at the same time- groups of people would cycle through at different times. Kind of like the Antarctic research stations). Many important things happened there, but few if any relate to the place itself.Samarkand is a very, very, old city (it was old when Alexander the Great got there). It's impossible to know who the original inhabitants were, but from the time of the Achaemenid Empire onwards, the city was inhabited mostly by ethnic Iranians (Sogdians/Tajiks, for the most part, but still Iranian). Being mostly a trading city, Samarkand's prominence depended heavily on how well the silk roads were functioning (ie, it did better when Central Asia was more unified, and the Chinese/Persian/European states were willing to trade with each other)- at times, especially during the period between the Mongol conquest and the European opening of the sea routes to Indonesia, it was immensely rich, and was usually the capital of whatever realm it was part of (Tamerlane's capital was at Samarkand, and Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire whose base of operations had previously been at Samarkand, wrote poetry about the beauty of its gardens for the rest of his life). Most of Samarkand's great architecture comes from this time, but it was built on ancient foundations. With the decline of the silk routes in the 16th-17th centuries, Samarkand also fell into decline, and by the time the Russians got there in the 19th century, it was a relatively unimportant (albeit architecturally impressive) regional centre within the Emirate of Bukhara.
>>55664885Any stories on Samarkand, Bukhara or Karakorum (cont.d)Bukhara's story is similar to that of Samarkand, but it was historically less reliant on transcontinental trade, and had a greater reputation for scholarship (religious and otherwise). Several of the great Muslim scholars either came from or spent time in Bukhara, including Al-Bukhari, Avicenna, and Al-Khwarizmi to name a few. Bukhara also had some impressive architecture- after the Mongols conquered the city, Genghis Khan supposedly ordered the town razed to the ground for its resistance, until he saw a particularly beautiful minaret, at which he ordered his men to call off the massacre and destruction. Likely apocryphal (it's much more likely that Genghis Khan simply came to the realisation that a city as rich as Bukhara was more valuable alive and taxed than annihilated, and that the point of terrifying the shit out of the (surviving) civilians had been properly made at this point, if it happened at all), but still telling. Much later on, Bukhara eventually become the capital of one of the three last independent states in Central Asia - the Emirates of Bukhara and Kokand, and the Khanate of Khiva - and survived long enough for Russian ethnographers to take colour photographs of its emir, but it eventually fell, and is now just another city in Uzbekistan.
>>55665672>>55665735Pretty awesome. Are you Russian by the way?
>>55665672Was Babur a Tajik or an Uzbek? What can you tell us about him, didn't he conquer Afghanistan and Hindustan by the age of 15 or something?
>>55665578>>55665609Also, what roles do wolves occupy? Do different ethnic groups/tribes have different, for the lack of a better word, totem animals? What are they?
>>55665378>What can you tell us about the difference in culture between the various ethnic groups like the Tajik, Kazakh, Turkmen, Mongol, Kyrgyz, Pamiri, Uzbek, Uyghur, etc other than the nomad-settler dynamic?My expertise is primarily in the Turkic world, especially the Kazakhs and Uzbeks, so although I do know about the other groups, it's largely about how they interact to my primary area of interest. With that said, I'll do my best! There are three overarching ethnic groups (I don't count Tibet as part of Central Asia, though some do): Turkic (Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Turkmen, Tuvan, Altai, Bashkir, Tatar, etc.), Mongolic (Khalkha, Oirad, Buryat, Tsaatan, Kalmyk, etc.), and Persian (Tajik, Wakhi, Sogdi, etc.). The Turkic family is further divided between three 'tribes': Oghuz (south-west- Turkmen, Azeri, Qashqai, Turkish, etc.), Karluk (central- Uzbek, Uyghur), and Kypchak (northern- Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Karakalpak, all the Turkic republics in Russia).Although all of those people speak a Turkic language, which is to some extent mutually comprehensible (there's a Kazakh joke that if you want to be understood in Turkey, just speak like you're a gay man with a lisp), the languages that fall within the same group are much easier to understand- a Kazakh and a Kyrgyz can communicate entirely in their own languages and understand almost everything that the other is saying without difficulty. The same goes for culture- there are similarities, and they're all on the same spectrum, but some are closer to each other than others.All the Turkic peoples place a great degree of importance on hospitality (unsurprising, given that a lack of hospitality almost certainly means death, and anyone can potentially find themselves alone and caught in a storm at any time). The degree of hospitality required, however, is dependent on proximity of kinship.
>>55665423Do you know any similar comprehensive books on the history of Eastern Europe as well?
>>55665287Wow anon, you are awesome. Very awesome. Learned a great deal from your posts!Question: what are the classes you'd suggest in a central asian setting? I know there's the bard, any other? Is tweaking on existing class required in order to fit in the setting?
>>55665827>Mongolic (Khalkha, Oirad, Buryat, Tsaatan, Kalmyk, etc.)Wait, what? Mongol has further divisions as well? I thought they were just Turkic like their neighbours.What relation do the contemporary Turks (of Turkey) have with Central Asian history? Ethnically and linguistically they are nothing alike.
>>55665287What can you tell us about falconery, anon?>>55665850Not that anon, but I would suggest:>horse-archer>lancer>shaman>scout>hunter>falconer>Monk
>>55665827What do these other two groups think of Mongols? They were all conquered by those guys once.
cont'd. from aboveThe Kazakhs have a tradition known as Zheti Ata (Seven Forefathers), by which two Kazakhs, upon meeting, would list their seven forefathers, defined as follows:1. Alash (the mythical ancestor of all Kazakhs)2. The founder of their juz, or Horde (the Kazakhs are divided between the Big, Middle, and Little Hordes, which have traditionally inhabited different parts of the country and have different stereotypes associated with them)3. The founder of their tribe (sub-juz grouping)4. The founder of their clan (sub-sub-juz grouping)5. Their great-grandfather6. Their grandfather7. Their fatherThe further down that list you share a common ancestor, the tighter the bonds of kinship, and the deeper your mutual obligations. A Kazakh should shelter any other Kazakh in their yurt while a storm blows over on the basis of their shared descent from Alash, but would not be expected to do much more; two Kazakhs who share a great-grandfather can be expected to do a great deal more for much other, even at substantial personal cost (relatedly, the Kazakh language has very precise terms for family members).The Kyrgyz, despite being very similar ethnically, linguistically, and culturally to the Kazakhs, do not claim descent from Alash, and are not part of the Kazakh juz. Confusingly, however, the word 'juz' is also central to identity among the Kyrgyz, who are divided into 40 groupings also called juz (the word 'Kyrgyz' is traditionally claimed to descend from "kırk kız" (40 women/girls) or "kırk juz" (40 hordes), though neither etymology is universally accepted). Belonging to a juz is the single most important marker of identity for Kyrgyz, and each Kyrgyz juz has distinct patterns that they wear on their kalpak (traditional felt hats) and elsewhere.
still cont'd.The Turkmen have similar practices to the Kyrgyz, but are divided into seven larger tribes. The Uzbeks and Uyghurs are the odd ones out- rather than defining themselves and their relations with each other by kinship proximity, they generally use geographic proximity. Having been settled for longer than the others, and due to mingling with existing settled peoples, they tend to identify with their city and mahalla (urban district) first and foremost. The two are not mutually exclusive- Uzbek houses are generally multi-generational, and most marriages take place between members of the same mahalla, so geography and kinship are to some extent interlinked, but they are not identical, and definition by place rather than family is uncommon for Turkic people in Central Asia.The Tuvans, who are otherwise very similar to the Kazakhs, are unique in that they're Buddhist (the flag of their autonomous republic was blessed by the Dalai Lama personally). For whatever reason, while almost all the other Turkic peoples converted to (a dubious form of) Islam, the Tuvans went Buddhist and stayed there. It's worth noting that it's a Mongolian variant of Buddhism that views Genghis Khan as a kind of saint, and the Tuvans can hardly be vegetarians, so it's not quite what we generally view as Buddhism, but it's a form of Buddhism nonetheless.I know less about the Mongolic and Persian peoples, but I will say that the Tsaatan (who live further north, and in heavily-forested areas) ride reindeer like other Mongols ride reindeer, and I think that's neat.
You are literally looking for Tarkir, which is a setting in Magic the Gathering. It's basically Asia if Japan and China were removed, which is exactly what you asked for.
>>55665378>Second, which ethnic groups/clans/tribes do you think should serve as a template for a fantasy setting? Basically which ones according to you stand out?I have prejudices, but if I were world-building a fantasy Central Asia, I would incorporate not-Kazakhs, not-Mongols, not-Tajiks, and not-Turkmen.The Tajiks are interesting because they're a kind of relic from ancient times, clinging desperately to their mountains and fortified cities while waves of people crash and roil around them.The Turkmen inhabit the deserts between the great Silk Road Cities and their 'mother civilisation' (Persia, and beyond that the Mediterranean). Their proximity to civilisation means they're more heavily acculturated (Turkmen music is very similar to Persian folk music, whereas Kazakh music is completely different), but also that they're more organised, and potentially more dangerous (they understand how settled peoples do things, including make war).The Kazakhs are, from the perspective of the city-dweller or the outsider, untamed nomads from the infinite steppes to the north, whose comings and goings are governed by mysterious causes, whose rituals are ancient and weird even when they claim to worship the same god, and who are harmless traders most of the time but occasionally, inexplicably, descend on civilisation like a pack of rabid dogs without warning or any hope of stopping them.The Mongols are, in many respects, similar to - probably indistinguishable from, for most outsiders - the Kazakhs, but their rituals are different again, their language is completely incomprehensible, and their tidal movements across the steppes are a near-constant source of tension (both creative and destructive).
>>55665760To say Babur was 'an Uzbek' would be misleading, as that group was never well-defined until the Russian period, and they certainly didn't call themselves 'Uzbek'. As anon mentioned above, the term 'Sart' was (and in some places is) much more commonly used to refer to settled Turkic peoples. Babur was, however, a member of the Karluk group, and would be counted as an Uzbek by modern definitions. He was an interesting figure, who spent his entire youth and adolescence conquering then immediately losing empires again (not uncommon in the period of his activity, with dozens of rivals contesting Tamerlane's former realms). He lost and reconquered Samarkand twice before he was twenty, before finally losing it again, but by that time he was established in India, and lacked the time or energy to get it back again. What was unusual about Babur was that he survived his defeats, and was able to eventually set up a realm that outlived him in turn.>>55665817Wolves are totemic for all the Turkic peoples- according to a creation myth common to all of them, the Turkic peoples were either descended from a grey she-wolf named Asena, or led out of the valley of Ergenekon (somewhere north of Mongolia, inasmuch as it exists at all) by her. As the ancestors of dogs (who are invaluable as protectors of herds), they're generally considered sacred and benevolent. At the same time, they are recognised as dangerous- C. Asian nomads will almost never adopt stray dogs, in case they've been fed by wolves, which would allow the wolves to track them and slaughter their herds.Everyone, without exception, loves and reveres horses.Kazakhs generally revere the eagle as well as the horse and wolf, and use them as hunting birds from time to time (you occasionally hear about eagle-hunters in Mongolia- those people are ethnic Kazakhs living in Mongolia. The Mongols themselves don't hunt with eagles).
>>55664643Like the entire rest of the world then.
cont'd from aboveThe Kyrgyz have a fondness for tigers- a tiger was one of the magical companion animals of Manas, along with his horse and an eagle.Turkmen focus on the horse to the exclusion of almost everything else (in particular the Akhal-Teke breed), but also recognise the lion as an animal of significance (it helps that there were once lions in Turkmenistan).Of course, there is overlap in all of the above - the Kazakh special forces unit is called Arystan, which means "Lion", although lions aren't terribly significant to Kazakhs otherwise - but in general, it's reasnable enough.>>55665830Sorry, no. I know something of Russian history, but it's not really my area, so I'll leave that to better-informed anons.>>55665850>what are the classes you'd suggest in a central asian setting? I know there's the bard, any other? Is tweaking on existing class required in order to fit in the setting?Depends on your starting point, how many classes you think are appropriate, how general they should be, and so on. As a general stab, however, and using the Kazakh words to reflect overlap in role:Bakhshy (bard/shaman)Batyr (hero/warrior)Jyrau (storyteller/herald/diplomat)Obviously, they could be broken up into as many different classes as you wanted, depending on what you think a 'class' is meant to represent. Those are the roles you need, though.>>55665859Mongols are not Turkic. The Mongolic and Turkic languages are both Altaic, so they share some grammatical structures, and there's plenty of loan-words shared between them (depending on how close you are to the relevant culture- Kazakh has a lot more Mongolian loan-words than Turkmen does), but the languages themselves are entirely different, and mutually incomprehensible. The form of pastoralism traditionally practiced by Khalkha Mongols is, however, almost indistinguishable from that of the Kazakhs (horses, yurts, lateral nomadism, etc).
Anyone knows about the Persian, Scythians and the rest of Indo-Euro steppe nomads? Or any good page to learn about them?
>>55665859What relation do the contemporary Turks (of Turkey) have with Central Asian history? Ethnically and linguistically they are nothing alike.Ethnically, modern Anatolian Turks are the distant descendants of Seljuk Turks, who were Oghuz Turks from the region of modern Turkmenistan. The Seljuks who ended up in Turkey, however, had undergone centuries of interbreeding with Iranians and Arabs by the time they got to Anatolia, then spent the next few centuries interbreeding with the local Greeks, as well as Bulgars, Bosniaks, Albanians, and so on. There is an ethnic link, but it's very, very, diluted.Linguistically, they're closer than you'd think. A Turk can communicate with a Turkmen without too much difficulty - there are a few loan-words that are different, and both Atatürk and the Soviets made it their business to 'tidy up' the language by purging old words they found ideologically disagreeable, and replacing them with new ones, as well as inventing new words for new things ('car' in Turkish is 'araba', which is an old word for 'cart', whereas the Central Asians adopted the Russian 'mashina'), so there's a decent chunk of the vocabulary that's different. Grammatically and syntactically, though, they're just the same, and enough vocabulary is the same or similar enough to be understood.>>55665926The Persians despise the Mongols, as it was the Mongols that finally cracked open their cities, as well as trashing Iran proper. The Turkic peoples, especially the nomadic ones, generally think the Mongols (at least Genghis Khan's lot) are pretty great- although they were technically conquered, they were given the chance to join the Mongol armies, and took it. A Kazakh horse-archer is just as good, and fights in just the same way, as a Mongol one, after all, so it made little difference once communication was accounted for. There's a sizeable ethnic-Kazakh minority in Mongolia (around 5% by most estimates), which gets on reasonably well with its neighbours.
cont'd. from aboveThere is significant enmity between the Turkic peoples and some specific Mongol groups, especially the Junghars, who were the last real steppe empire, and whose depredations led the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz to invite the Russians in as allies (with predictably unfortunate consequences). On the whole, however, the Turkic peoples view the period of Mongol greatness as the time of their own greatness, since they shared in the empire- even the Uyghurs, who didn't have so much military expertise, did very well out of Genghis Khan's empire and its successors as administrators (Classical Mongolian is written in a Uyghur script), and the khanates of Jochi and Chagatai saw a flowering of poetry in proto-Uzbek (also called Chagatai), which was the first real written literature in a Turkic language.
>>55666200Read Herodotus' chapter on the Scythians in his Histories, and look up the archaeology of the Kurgans. That's pretty much all that is known about the Scythians. There's also a good Osprey book on them, if you're into the military angle, but I'm not sure if that's available for free anywhere.
>>55665998That is some serious reductionism.I get that the West doesn't really get other cultures, but damn are you stupid.
I've been messing about with a Tarim Basin setting for a while.Might as well dump some inspirational images.
>>55666249I read Herodotus already (well, nearly 12 years ago in my mother language), the ospreys too from that I got the itch to know more about them.The Kurgan stuff tough, I didn't delve in that.Also I really like the Siberian people, the Yukaghirs, Chukty, Yakuts and all those are pretty fun to learn about.
>>55665927This shit is blowing my fucking mind, just because how different it is from Western society. Really fucking hope someone gets down to making a setting out of it
>>55665927>have different stereotypes associated with themCare to share any of them? Very curious about this. And, you're awesome anon.
>>55666457>>55666453You may find this interesting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamga
Sassanids are totally over looked.
>>55666468There is a Kazakh saying, to the effect that the Great Horde are writers, the Middle Horde shepherds, and the Little Horde warriors.The Great Horde's territory is in the southeast (roughly, south of Lake Balkhash, and along the Kyrgyz border). Being closest to the major trade routes, members of the Great Horde are typecast as being cosmopolitan, quick-witted, and better-educated, but also as being somewhat cunning and manipulative.The Middle Horde traditionally inhabited the area northwards of the Great Horde, up to the areas inhabited by non-Kazakhs. Although their territory is the biggest, it's mostly very unforgiving, and incapable of sustaining large populations, nomadic or otherwise (Khrushchev attempted to implement mass agriculture in this region in the 1950's and 1960's- they got a massive grain harvest for one year, then the crops failed every year thereafter, with substantial demographic and ecological damage), except for the region in the east around Zhetisu, which is the most fertile and pleasant part of the country. Its members are notoriously slow, both to think and to anger, but are generally held to be steady, amiable, types.The Little Horde occupies the western steppe, the lands along the Syr Darya river, and the coasts of the Aral and Caspian Seas. Given to fishing as a supplement to pastoralism, and closer to Russia, the Little Horde has generally been better-organised than the others, and quicker to come together to fight (the Little Horde, or tribes of it, continued to fight guerrilla wars against the Russians well into the mid-19th Century). Little Horders have a reputation for being hot-blooded, with all that entails for good and for ill.Thanks!
>>55666453Once you get away from westabooing you'll find a shitload of great stuff in history.
Goddamn, learning from this.>>55666669Anon, are you from Central Asia as well? What can you tell us about current relations between these people, or any specific tribes in Kazakhstan, etc? I know relations between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz are bad from earlier in the thread
Does Central Asia have any culture of infantry warfare?Can you tell us something about the elite medieval units - something on comparable to polish winged hussars, Varangians, the immortals- from this region?
>>55659008They're majority mudslamismThe ones with Buddhist are part of south Asia or east asia
>>55667799>What can you tell us about current relations between these people, or any specific tribes in Kazakhstan, etc? I know relations between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz are bad from earlier in the threadRule 1 of Central Asian politics is that everyone hates the Uzbeks. The main reasons for that are that Uzbekistan borders every other country in Central Asia (so everyone has the opportunity), that it's the most populous and traditionally richest state (so everyone is jealous), that they got the Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, Tashkent, Khiva, Kokand, Farghona, Andijan, and all the rest (so everyone else has nothing comparable), that the Soviets handed over the drawing of borders in the region (especially the Ferghana Valley) to a spastic toddler (so everyone has border disputes), and that the Uzbek state has behaved like a bully (because it's relatively rich and powerful).It's important to recognise just how dysfunctional Central Asia was when the USSR collapsed. At independence, the Tajik Foreign Ministry had seventeen (17) employees, Turkmenistan had 2,500 advanced Soviet military aircraft (due to its long border with Afghanistan) but only 5 trained pilots (because ethnic Russians and Ukrainians were always preferred for the Soviet Air Force), and Kazakhstan had nuclear weapons. Eventually, these things sorted themselves out (the Kazakhs worked out an arrangement with the USA and the UN to send their nukes out of the country, convert the warheads into nuclear fuel, then use it in their power plants, Turkmenistan sold its jets, and Tajikistan descended into 5 years of civil war between ex-Communist kleptocrats and Islamist kleptocrats, ending up with the compromise of a non-ideological kleptocracy), but the fall of the USSR disrupted Central Asia more than anywhere else.
>>55666163>Bakhshy (bard/shaman)>Batyr (hero/warrior)>Jyrau (storyteller/herald/diplomat)Thanks for the head-ups.I suppose these can be their own unique classes, or a variant/homebrewed class based on existing class. The name also sounds kickass too.Now what is the different between a Bakhshy and a Jyrau? In Western consciousness a "bard" is also a storyteller, so I can't wrap my head around the two.Also, should Batyr be a mundane warrior or gish? Or even with some rogue flavors for the nomadic raiding abilities?
cont'd from aboveUzbekistan had a lot of people, a functioning cotton industry (predicated on child labour and the destruction of the Aral Sea, but an industry nonetheless), and a stable (albeit brutal) government, so it recovered more quickly than anywhere else, and used that fact to push everyone else around (Uzbekistan still routinely denies Tajikistan access to gas and/or electricity periodically when the Tajiks do something the Uzbeks don't like). Since then, the situation has changed- while Tajikistan remains a basket-case, prevented from being a failed state mostly by the permanent presence of the Russian 201st Motorised Division, Turkmenistan is an totalitarian absurdist nightmare ruled by egomaniacs to rival the Kim dynasty, and Kyrgyzstan is a quasi-democratic semi-state with a government that barely functions outside the capital city (the rest of the country is more or less self-governing, but it seems to work for most people, as long as you don't mind having no running water, electricity, or roads), Kazakhstan has been blessed with the combination of a very competent and long-lived leader, and massive hydrocarbon wealth, and is now much richer than Uzbekistan.In general, the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz get on well, the Kyrgyz and Tajiks have constant friction over their border regions and cities, the Turkmen keep themselves hermetically sealed off from the outside world, and everyone hates the Uzbeks.
>>55667909Historically there were a huge variety of religions, including Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Tengriism and a load of other local shamanistic traditions.Buddhism in particular was spread by the silk road everywhere from Kalmykia in western Russia to Japan.Over time, most were converted to Islam. You'd be surprised though. Central Asian countries usually have a large Christian minority (20-40%). Mongolia is only 3% Muslim and 53% Buddhist.
>>55667909Their form of Islam is pretty much "call Tengri Allah and be done with it."Islam is even less monolithic than christianity.
>>55661529Really Tarkir in general was mostly central Asian in focus. Mardu are the more explicitly steppe nomad type, but the Temur are pretty much Siberian (which is also central Asian), Abzan have a sort of Persian vibe, and Jeskai are pretty clearly Tibetan. The only one that gets a bit outside of central Asia proper are the Sultai, which are getting a bit more into the Indian subcontinent with all the jungle shit.
>>55667886>Does Central Asia have any culture of infantry warfare?Not really. The distances involved are too great, and the environment too unforgiving, for infantry to function effectively as anything except a defensive/garrison force and for siege warfare (which happened, like everywhere else in the world, but was never the predominant style of warfare). Of course, when two nearby cities fought each other, most of the levies would be infantry, but that wasn't what was normally happening. One interesting thing is that firearms were extraordinarily slow to catch on in Central Asia, largely because the bows produced and used by the steppe nomads were so effective- it wasn't until the late 18th century that guns became definitively better as personal weapons than traditional horsebows, and by that time, Russia was looming so large over the reason that the military technology in question didn't matter so much (and even then, the Russians still had some difficulties- besides the guerrilla warfare conducted by the Kazakh Little Horde mentioned above, the Russians also lost at least one army to Turkmen nomads and their desert.>Can you tell us something about the elite medieval units - something on comparable to polish winged hussars, Varangians, the immortals- from this region?There's nothing quite comparable, partly because the region simply didn't have permanent states that could develop an enduring fighting force- extraordinary conditions (like Genghis Khan and his immediate successors, plus Tamerlane) aside, 'empires' in the region were, on the whole, extremely transient, based on the temporary loyalty of a confederation of tribes to a charismatic leader, which could dissipate at a moment's notice. With that said, the closest thing you'll probably find are the groups known as nökör or chäkär- (cont'd)
>>55668026Also, I suppose many things we take for granted in typical D&D like fantasyverse wouldn't work at all in a not!Central Asian fantasy setting, or at least not without some heavy handwaving anyway.>Mounts and mounted combat suddenly become very relevant.>No two-handed sword or it suddenly become exotic weapon.>Everyone worth his salt knows archery.Is crossbow a thing in the steppe?
cont'd from aboveNökör were oath-sworn bodyguards to a chieftain or tribal leader (rather like Anglo-Saxon housecarls), they were exempted from the normal duties of a nomad (tending livestock, mostly, plus raising a family and so on), being supported from the personal wealth of their leader in exchange for permanent guard duty, training, and availability for military service. Although almost all steppe nomads were capable warriors when necessary (being, by necessity, extremely good riders and archers, with the skills of co-ordinating across massive distances and herding flocks of undisciplined animals (whether sheep or enemy infantry) and the technological advantages of superb horses and bows to boot), only nökör spent their whole lives actually at war or practicing for it, which - in addition to their discipline - naturally made them very dangerous in battle. To reinforce loyalty, nökör generally swore oaths of fealty to the death to their leader, and if their leader died - even outside battle - it was not uncommon for any surviving nökör to kill themselves, to preserve their honour and prestige. However, unlike the units listed above, there was never a single group called "the Nökör" (or the Chäkär)- there were many groups active at any one time, and the word refers to an occupation or way of life, rather than to a single unit.
>>55667909Have your (You). >>55668078 already pretty much covered it.>>55668026>Now what is the different between a Bakhshy and a Jyrau? In Western consciousness a "bard" is also a storyteller, so I can't wrap my head around the two.The difference is their repertoire, and their function. For a Bakhshy, music is primarily a means of summoning/exorcising/dealing with magic/the spirit world, with the added bonus of being able to make music for entertainment. Most of the repertoire of a Bakhshy is short, extemporised, or both, and it is almost entirely instrumental. For a Jyrau, the music-making (if that's what you want to call the delivery of epic poetry, which in some ways it is- see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faq59rW_aM8 for an example) forms part of a long (often several-days-long) ceremony, and is delivered to a human audience, for entertainment and for didactic purposes. Jyrau generally, though not always, perform unaccompanied; the focus is on the words, not the music as such. >Also, should Batyr be a mundane warrior or gish? Or even with some rogue flavors for the nomadic raiding abilities?Assuming we're looking at D&D classes, I'd probably go with a very slightly magical warrior/ranger mix of some kind, with as much magic as possible passive, rather than active. Don't know the system well enough to go much further than that.
>>55668216>Is crossbow a thing in the steppe?Only as siege weapons in the form of ballistae.There is a distinct lack of variety in historical steppe weapons. It's pretty much just daggers, curved, one-handed swords of varying kinds, spears and bows.Very little in the way of axes, maces or non-spear polearms.Exceptions may exist.
>>55668216This is correct. I would generally recommend either finding a more versatile system, or starting from scratch, over trying to port a system designed to do one thing into a setting it wasn't at all built to accommodate.Crossbows aren't really a thing. They knew about them- the Europeans used crossbows, and the Chinese had their repeating crossbows, but all the classical problems with crossbows (slow to reload, finicky mechanisms, difficulty of fixing the string) are multiplied on the steppe, while the advantages (high penetrating power, can be used with reasonable effectiveness by relatively untrained operator) disappear, because very few people wore armour heavy enough to justify a crossbow (armour is expensive, heavy, hot, slows you down, and requires maintenance- not good in a harsh environment where mobility and stamina are king, and manpower is at a premium), and everyone was already by default trained in a weapon of equal or higher combat effectiveness (the steppe horsebow). The city-dwellers did have crossbows (and catapults and similar), and occasionally used them against each other and against the nomads, but they were never a defining feature of the battlefield.
It would probably play like a mix between "Arabian Nights" and "Forbidden City" settings.
>>55657420Search for Against the Wicked City.
>>55663787>It is generally believed across the region that humans aren't inherently magical, but can theoretically call upon spirits - nature spirits, ancestor spirits, jinni (post-Islam), or whatever else - and that those spirits can then perform what might be called magic.I've been working on a setting where players would be restricted to humans only and non-casting classes only, but there would be many varieties of nonhuman NPCs with magic whom players could deal with to get access to magic. I'd been thinking about giving it a central Asian spin, mainly since a lot of the factions of magical NPCs lend themselves well to a region with lots of desert and mountains, but I guess the magic system is also a really good fit.
>>55666306Not sure what the fuck you want thenMongols, Persians, Nepali, Cambodians, they're all there.India is gone too I guess but there's Kaladesh for that, kind of
>>55669052Nepal, Cambodia and India are all South Asian (South-East in the case of Cambodia) rather than Central Asian. Persian you could argue the toss.Central Asia is the 'stans (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) from a narrow definition but can be broadened to include Tibet, Xinjiang, Mongolia, Afghanistan and parts of Siberia.
>>55669190>Central Asia is the 'stans (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) from a narrow definition but can be broadened to include Tibet, Xinjiang, Mongolia, Afghanistan and parts of Siberia.By the broader definition, that includes all the Tarkir clans except Sultai.
>>55657420Anyone got a good dnd map that'd fit this style?
>>55669759What kind of map?
>>55668214Nice, I can't thank you enough for all this information anon. These are things I would probably never have known ever had you not chosen to share them with us. Much appreciated.Since everything is cavalry based, can you tell us anything about the kind of horses used? Were steppe horses (the squat, hairy, short legged kind) seen in Mongolia the only kind that abounded there?Any special breeds we should know about?How is the snow leopard seen in Central Asian cultures? I know it's hunted a lot so they probably don't revere it as much
>>55666347Does anyone have more maps like this one?
>>55657420It's definitely an underutilized aesthetic. In particular I like the huge variety offered. The region was a cultural and ethnic melting pot. To the east you had the mighty Chinese empire, to the south the Indian subcontinent and the Persian, and later Arab, empire, and to the west the Slavic and the Germanic tribes and kingdoms. Traders brought with them wares from all corners of this world through the region, and nomads settled at the edges of these kingdoms and would to some extent assimilate into the neighboring cultures and send those influences with them across the step, unless of course they stopped living as nomads entirely and actually became part of the foreign of the civilization they had settled next to.It's just really cool.
>>55669190Yeah the Jeskai are kind of equal parts Tibetan and Nepali, and I neglected to mention the Temur, who are Siberians.
>>55659008>>Comfy Buddhism >>ZoroastrianismYou also had some tribes adopting Judaism and funky Manichaeism.Steppe people took whatever religion.Also interesting languages, turkic, iranian, tocharian... In antiquity also greek influence (Baktrian Kingdom) and Chinese.Pic: central asian doggo
Does siberia enter Central asia? Because there is good shit there, the Yukaghirs even when they got bullied until nearly extinction where interesting as fuck, some anon some years ago posted some cool legends about them than were cash.
>ywn see a japan inspired setting that features ainufeelsbad
>>55672621Mongols have always acknowledged their origins as "forest people" and viewed Siberians as kindred in that regard. Part of the reason they went easy on them after "conquest". Siberian mythology is heavily influenced by Tengriism.
>>55670525What do you mean by 'like this one'? The specific area or the style or the information on it?
>>55665125Fun fact: The lion/gargoyle statues at the front of buddhist and shinto temples are directly inherited from the representation of Hercule with his lion pelt protecting the King/religious power. Same with many semi minor deities who are directly inherited from greek influence. And let's not speak about the classic buddha pose in a fucking greek toge.
>>55673168Alexander has a lot to answer for.But yeah, the Greek influence on Buddhism is absolutely fascinating and not that well known.It's also possible that a certain amount of influence happened in the opposite direction and that Buddhist teachings influenced Greek philosophy.
>>55673019That's a mongol? I knew they were related but it looks like a native American.
>>55673455Native Americans are just OC donut steal Siberians
>>55673098By the way, for anyone wanting to do a Central Asian setting, the area around the Takla Makan is a great little Microcosm of that area. Kyrgyz and Kazakhs to the Northwest, Tajiks/Pashtun/Shina to the west, the Tibetan Plateau to the South, China to the Southeast, and Mongolia to the Northeast. Oasis towns were also really big there, since it's the driest point on the Silk Road.
>>55673455Everyone everywhere basically danced around fires with drums at one point you know.
>>55673549With feathers on their hair and colorful banners and a wrinkled brown face with a long nose and wide eyes?
>>55673575If seeing one feather and being asion equal amerindian for you you should definitely get more interested in the world folklore.
Why do Mongolians love fighting so much? When I was in the capital AND the rural majority, groups of young men would just brawl and beat each other up for fun. Like whaling on each other and periodically someone would be like "hey, keep it down a bit" then carry on while they're breaking flimsy folding chairs on each other's backs. Like they were playing baseball or something.
>>55673575>>55673549Funny enough it's pretty rare in Native American cultures to both dance and play a drum. It's most common in the Pacific Northwest.
>>55673675That's... That's so cool... I wa-PERKELEKELE-want to-CYKA BLYAT- I WANT TO RAID THE WEST NOW !
>>55673675They live in a really unforgiving land and herding people traditionally only have their own reputation for being a fucking unstoppable madman to protect their herds from raiders.
>>55673705Well that's the part of America that I'm from so those'll be the ones I'm thinking of.>>55673668Have you seen a fucking pow wow man? That's what they look like.
>>55673766https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjqXYGs_Vi0I fail to see the connection.
>>55673542Yeah, it's a nice crossroads.And each culture can have their own shtick. So city-dwelling merchant Sogdians/Indo-Persians, tough Turkic/Mongol nomads, devout mountain-dwelling Tibetans and bureaucratic Imperial Chinese. All mingling in and fighting over the same mess of city-states and caravan routes.
>>55673791>The Lion Died TonightJesus, France. I mean I get the "petit mort" thing but goddamn.
>>55673766https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN4BwM1FDwII fail to see the connection.
how did the iranic steppe people differ from the altaic as far as lifestyle goes?
>>55674052Iranic ones had no real problems with sedentarisation. Altaic are eternal razzia taiga niggers.
>>55674052One thing is that the Scythians and some other Iranian groups lived out of wagons rather than Ger/Yurts.
>>55672321Nestorian christianity also survived for a long while in the region and iirc it was one of the reasons why Armenia wanted to forge a few bizarre alliances with Mongols; also some Europeans assumed prester John's kingdom must be located in central Asia as a result although it was never quite as popular of an assumption as the african version. Still, might be worth considering for worldbuilding purposes.Also, a lot of heroic epics from the region are worth checking out for inspiration: Epic of King Gesar in particular, it gives you a good idea of how many cultures were/are present in the region and how often they intermingled.>>55672804One day we surely will. Golden Kamuy is a smash hit so hopefully we'll start seeing more Ainu in popculture. I'd love to see a setting that has them, Ryukyu Kingdom and maybe even the Emishi.
>>55668646Turks called crossbows "Tatar bows" at some point afaik but it seems it was because of Crimean and Lipka Tatars who were at least partially under european influence - the later moreso than the former. Armenians were notorious for using all kind of projectile weapons, including crossbows, during sieges and many of them were employed as siege engineers both further to the west (Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, you name it) and east (so, close to the discussed area). Imo having crossbows as weapons people generally know about and in theory could purchase but only exotic mercs and the like use regularly would work just fine.
>>55674905The tales of Gesar are great. I'd like to know more about Alma-mergen but never found great English sources for her antics.
>>55675872That's a real problem getting material together for this kind of setting. Decent sources, particularly english ones, are thin on the ground.At a certain point you need to start delving into academic sources not available on the internet and it starts feeling like hard work.
>>55673098The area, given the thread we're in
>a meme region that vast majority of RPG players and fantasy fans can't relateThere's a reason things are the way they are
>>55675977Yeah, given that I have no major libraries near me it's internet or bust sadly. Makes CA settings much more difficult.
>>55676126I can't relate to having magical powers or being a half elf fuckslave and yet here we are. I don't even know what's meme about Central Asia.
>>55676126>a real life region is a meme as compared to owlbears and succubi
>>55676126Get out, cocklover
>>55670011Since everything is cavalry based, can you tell us anything about the kind of horses used? Were steppe horses (the squat, hairy, short legged kind) seen in Mongolia the only kind that abounded there?Mongolian-style Przewalski horses and their relatives were certainly common, especially across the northern steppes, but they were not the only kind. Akhal-Teke horses (mentioned above, in the context of the Turkmen) are almost their direct opposite, appearance-wise- they're tall, slender, and very glossy and thin-haired, and they (or related, slightly less prestigious, breeds) were more common in the south. Partly, that's a function of the environment- the Kyzyl Kum and Kara Kum get ridiculously hot, and have a high diurnal range, but they don't get quite as cold as the northern steppes, so being further from the ground and less hairy is more desirable. Basically, the kind of horse you want (and have) depends on your environment.Besides horses, camels (mostly Bactrian, ie two-hump, camels) were also highly valued by nomads throughout the region. They weren't generally ridden in the Bedouin manner, but they could be. As mentioned above, the Tsaatan (a Mongol sub-group) also ride reindeer, rather than horses, but otherwise live much like other Mongols.Interestingly, most horses weren't named- the horses of the great heroes were named, especially the magical ones (Toruchaar, Bayshubar, etc.), but you generally didn't name your horses otherwise, instead relying on a hyper-specialised vocabulary to refer to the age, gender, and coloration- partly because you were inevitably going to kill and eat them at some point.
>>55677124Interesting how different cultures had different ways of dehumanizing things to avoid emotional painLike how babies in most cultures weren't truly named or seen as human until they got past the "70% chance of dying" age
>>55676165>he's never been a half elf fuckslave in real life
>>55666669>Elves>Dwarves>HumansHoly shit, this is perfect!
>>55677124>Awesome anon is backCool. You never really did tell us where you're yourself from
Outside of the Mongol era what was the scale of typical battles? Was it a few hundred or thousands of men?How do you wage war in the steppe where you can be seen from miles away?What tactics did the Chinese use to fight these tribes other than paying them off to fight each other?Does the reputation or notoriety of hordes or clans percolate down to the modern era or is it mostly just a homogeneous society now?What do the last names in central Asia indicate?What are the insults or cuss worda people use there?
>>55677124No discussion of central asian horses would be complete without the 'blood-sweating' 'heavenly horse' of Ferghana, which inspired the Han to march multiple armies across a thousand miles of desert and mountain passes just to obtain some.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferghana_horse
>>55677502>Outside of the Mongol era what was the scale of typical battles? Was it a few hundred or thousands of men?Among the steppe nomads, most battles topped out at a few hundred soldiers (nomad women could and did also participate- they generally didn't take part in minor raids, because they were too valuable to risk losing, but when the group mobilised properly, women were generally involved, albeit in smaller numbers). Serious battles, between confederacies of tribes, could break into the thousands, and the cities could also mobilise thousands of men, but it was rare to have more than that fighting in a given place at a given time.>How do you wage war in the steppe where you can be seen from miles away?You ride fast, and try to hit your opponent while they're encamped, or setting up/breaking camp- even if they can theoretically run away, and maybe herd some of their animals with them, the loss of their yurts and flocks will be devastating. Alternatively, if you don't want to initiate a cycle of revenge attacks that will plague both of your families for generations, you send a herald to your opponent to agree a time and place to sort out your differences.>What tactics did the Chinese use to fight these tribes other than paying them off to fight each other?Attempt to force them to fight, by occupying key locations or capturing key people of importance. In a heads-up fight they were prepared for, the Chinese (and Persians, and Europeans) generally had the advantage, because the nomads were permanently massively outnumbered; the difficulty was actually forcing that fight, and not being simply avoided or outmanoeuvred.
cont'd. from above>Does the reputation or notoriety of hordes or clans percolate down to the modern era or is it mostly just a homogeneous society now?It absolutely carried down. Most Kazakhs still know their Zheti Ata, even if they don't religiously recite them upon meeting new people (being forced into cities, where you meet tens of new people every day, rather than living on the steppe with the same dozen people and no new faces for months at a time forces some change in how you interact with people), and the three juz are still important in identifying oneself. The president of Kazakhstan, himself a member of the Great Horde, has been very careful to distribute key positions (the Prime Ministership, Interior Ministry, and so on) to members of the other juz, and keep rotating them to ensure everybody gets some representation- he knows that neglecting to distribute power to any particular group would result in that group forming an opposition to him. In Kyrgyzstan, where the Presidency has actually changed hands due to something approximating people power (even if the Tulip Revolution was wildly misinterpreted in the West), most political movements are the result of demands for greater power/authority on the part of one or another (or one group or another) of their 40 juz. The stereotypes also persist- though most people now know that they're not really accurate, they still use them as sources of humour (much like 'Irish jokes' in the Anglosphere) and pride.
Why is Central Asia usually relegated to the "Always Chaotic Evil Bloodthirsty Savages who worship horses and come from a hellscape" niche in fantasy?
>>55677794Someone asked about snow leopards above, can you talk about their significance?
>>55677898Because that's how the Greeks felt about the Scythians, and how the Chinese felt about the Mongols, and those guys had a major pull on modern cultural views
>>55677794>Tulip Revolution was wildly misinterpreted in the West1. Elaborate2. What can you tell us about the Tajik civil war?3. Have there ever been inter-juz or inter-ethnic riots in Kazakhstan?4. Not strictly fantasy, but what can you tell us about the transition to the Roman script in Kazakhstan?
>>55677898This >>55677955I once read a book on world history by India's first prime minister and it was positive towards Mongols and unimpressed with Alexander
cont'd. again>What do the last names in central Asia indicate?Very few Central Asians (of any kind- Persian, Turkic, or Mongolic) had last names at all, until the Communists decided it was something they should have. As such, most Central Asians in the former USSR simply took the given name of their progenitor, and added -ev or -ov to the end in the Russian style , or -eva/-ova for women (thus Nazarbayev, Berdymukhamedov, Karimov, Akayev, Kobilova, Satova, Rahmonov). Almost without exception, those are normal given names plus the suffix.In Mongolia, they went a slightly different direction, and either used compounds of appropriate-sounding words to create last names (Blessed Earth, Sword Hero, Steel Tiger, and so on), or just called themselves Chinggis (the Mongolian spelling of Genghis), Khaan, or Temüjin (Genghis Khan's birth-name).>What are the insults or cuss worda people use there?Vulgar swearing is deeply, deeply, frowned upon. Of course it happens, but it isn't nearly as commonplace as it is in the West. Emphasis is usually given to feelings by reference to internal organs, especially the heart and liver- "I am tired from my liver", "I am angry in my heart", etc. Besides the usual suite of insults (idiot, incompetent, weak-bellied) common to most societies, groups will also sometimes use each other's ethnonyms as insults- "Hasag" (Kazakh) is a common Mongolian insult for a disruptive trouble-making type, while Kazakhs use "Özbek" (Uzbek) to refer to sneaky treacherous types. Everyone has their own. Besides those, there is a word used throughout the region - "mankurt" - to refer to a member of one's own group who has 'gone Russian', as it were, and no longer acts as a member of that group should.
>>55677502>>55677681Not the awesome anon, but post-Yuan Chinese records indicate that the Mongols were still able to amass quite a number (thousands) of troops during their raids on China. More often than not, Mongols outnumbered the Chinese force, and had more and better horses, and better training and horsemanship.
>>55677992>Vulgar swearing is deeply, deeply, frowned upon.So no cusswords like motherfucker, son of a bitch or faggot?
>>55677592Indeed. Thanks for providing the reference!>>55677927Snow leopards are generally seen as mysterious and mystical creatures. They're not as emblematic as tigers or lions, being less impressive and strong, or as closely bonded as wolves, lacking the mythological link and the connection with dogs (steppe nomads generally don't keep cats, because the problems they solve in agrarian societies (vermin control) aren't an issue for mobile pastoralists). Being stealth hunters to an even greater degree than tigers, they're also viewed as being somewhat sneaky. On the whole, snow leopards are viewed as being more 'feminine' than other predators (which is why the Kazakh girl scouts have a snow leopard in their logo), which puts them in a different place symbolically.
>>55677502Not the same awesome anon.>How do you wage war in the steppe where you can be seen from miles away?Ambush and surprise attack was surprisingly viable in the steppe terrain. Generally, if you can see your enemy, and you haven't already finish preparing for combat yourself, you are pretty much fucked. Horse can cross great distance in very short amount of time.>What tactics did the Chinese use to fight these tribes other than paying them off to fight each other?1) Fortify the shit out of fortify-able area.2) Wagon fort plus lots of crossbows/guns when applicable.3) Send out their own raiding parties to raid the nomads/steal or disperse their herd.4) Identify potential pastures/water sources, then burn/salt/poison them .
>>556779681. In the West, it was viewed as part of a wave of uprisings against Soviet-era relics (Orange Revolution in Ukraine, Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, Rose Revolution in Georgia), and representing the dawn of democracy in Kyrgyzstan, and the region more generally. It wasn't- basically, the 'Tulip Revolution' was caused by the President being too greedy, and distributing favours and positions to his own in-group, while neglecting the southern juz, until they decided to depose him and replace him with one of their own. Power (inasmuch as the government controls anything in Kyrgyzstan, which is not a great deal, but it does grant access to foreign aid and corruption) has changed hands a couple of times in Kyrgyzstan since then, but basically for the same reasons.2. Not as much as I would like. It started off as a push for greater autonomy from the Badakhshan (eastern) region of Tajikistan, but when the government decided to prevent that militarily, the Afghan Taliban (who were in power at the time, and angry about Tajik contributions to the Northern Alliance against them) and Pakistani secret service got involved on the side of the Badakhshanis, which brought the Iranians and Russians in on the side of the government. Tajikistan is an impossibly awful place to fight in, being like Afghanistan only more so, so the war itself was inconclusive, but ended up with a compromise whereby the Badakshanis would be given a greater share in national power and the national police and military would conveniently ignore that part of the country for the most part, in exchange for the Badakhshanis staying quiet.
>>55678299>Horse can cross great distance in very short amount of time.But you'd also tire them out
Where do the Pashtun fit in all this?
>>55678318If you win by murderizing everyobe before they're ready to fight then your horses will have plenty of time to rest afterwards.
Is there an rpg system that heavily focuses on mounted combat?
>>556779683. Yes- there were student riots in Almaty in 1986, which were in reality ethnic riots, but have since been appropriated as a legitimate uprising against Soviet rule, and become part of the nationalist narrative. Since independence, though, things have been fairly quiet- there were protests in Zhanaozen and strikes at some of the oil fields in the west a while back, but those were mostly over working conditions rather than ethnic grievance, and were handled (the local governor who ordered the police to fire in Zhanaozen was summarily dismissed, and a tribune set up to handle the people's complaints). President Nazarbayev is an autocrat, who is ruthless in removing real or potential political rivals, but he is very astute, and has no interest in seeing his country fall into disorder.4. Kazakh script is a particular interest of mine, as it happens, but I'll try to keep this short. In the pre-Russian period, literate Kazakhs (of which there were few) used a modified Perso-Arabic script to write their language. Once the Russians showed up, Kazakh writers adopted the Russian alphabet for their own language, in order to facilitate contact with them (a number of Kazakh intellectuals were connected to the Russian literati- Abai Kunanbayev/Kunanbaiuly translated Pushkin, Lermontov, and other Russian classics into Kazakh as they were written, and Shokhan Valikhanov worked as an ethnographer for the Russian government). The Soviets imposed a new Latin script on the C. Asian Turkic languages for a few years in the 1920s, but then switched back to imposing a (modified) Cyrillic, mostly because they didn't want the Central Asians reading the pan-Turkist literature that was being produced in Turkey (which had a similar Latin script) at the time. Following independence, each of the former SSRs has taken a different path: (cont.d)
Nomadic Orcs are perfect for this aesthetic
>>55678318>But you'd also tire them outThat's what spare horses are for. Plus horse archery extend the engagement range for the nomads, so they don't have to ride that close before they can attack.
>>55678461Given that the people of Central Asia are so independent minded and free spirited, why is it that dictatorships flourish so much there?
cont'd. from above-Uzbekistan switched hard to modified Latin, and teaches it exclusively in schools, though university students still need to be able to read Cyrillic to access anything written in the Soviet era, which is most things. Shop signs and written media can be in either script.Kyrgyzstan has kept its modified Cyrillic script, and shows no sign of wanting to change it.Tajikistan is also keeping its modified Cyrillic (the Iranians keep trying to encourage the Tajiks to switch to their script, since the language is similar enough to be mutually comprehensible if written in the same alphabet, but the Tajik government fears Iranian cultural domination).Turkmenistan officially uses modified Cyrillic, modified Perso-Arabic, and modified Latin, but in practice, most things are done in modified Latin.Kazakhstan has been wanting to move towards Latin ever since independence, but has faced severe difficulties in reaching a consensus on orthography, partly because Kazakh is very rich in phonemes which the Latin script does a very poor job of representing (particularly, but not only, those represented by the modified Cyrillic characters, ә i ы ү ұ). The transition to Latin script has officially started, and the government runs campaigns to push it further from time to time, but for practical purposes everyone still uses modified Cyrillic.
>>55678021Raids on China were always able to gather larger forces, because the promise of riches was so great, so it was easy to persuade people to join in. Mongols (and other steppe nomads) were also supremely good at gaining local force supremacy on the tactical scale, even if they were hugely outnumbered strategically, so it was quite common for their opponents to find themselves outnumbered and overwhelmed at specific points if they weren't careful.>>55678149They exist - "whore-child" is a particularly common one - but you can't sprinkle them into speech like you can in English (unless you're meeting the Queen or something). You don't use them unless you're REALLY upset with the target, or you're a total social outcast already.>>55678379Pashtun are in south-east Afghanistan, and they're not mobile. If you count Afghanistan as part of Central Asia, you would have to acknowledge them, but as far as I'm concerned, Afghanistan is peripheral, not integral, to the region, so the Pashtun (like the Tibetans) form one of the boundaries of the region rather than being part of it. They're interesting, no doubt, but not my focus, so you'll have to find a different anon.>>55678487An excellent question, which many people both within and outside the region have asked. I can't give you a definitive answer, but it comes down to some combination of the following: (cont'd.)
- The total absence of a local 'political tradition'. The ideas of demos, isonomia, the Social Contract, and the general will, are completely foreign to the Central Asian tradition, where most people basically managed their own lives without any concern for politics, and they still don't really understand them. A majority of Tajiks surveyed in 1997 said they lived in a democracy, because their government had said that's what it was- Tajikistan isn't by any means a democracy, but the average Tajik has no point of comparison by which to realise that.- Patronage/loyalty networks. People's loyalty to political leaders (as opposed to their loyalty to kin, as discussed above) was based on continued success, and a distribution of favours that was perceived as fair. Where post-Soviet leaders have done that effectively, they have endured (Kazakhstan); where they have failed, they have not (Kyrgyzstan).- Russian/Soviet habits of obedience and totalitarianism. It's the system of government they've been most recently accustomed to, so why would you expect anything else?- Effective security services. The Central Asian republics all have security services descended from the KGB. They're not as well resourced, of course, but they have the skills and methodologies to make dissent dangerous.- Fear of turmoil. Particularly since the fall of the Taliban, all the Central Asian leaders have pointed to Afghanistan, and said, "It could be worse". Everyone knows the republics are to a large degree artificial (the Soviets were still redrawing their borders in the 1950s and 1960s), and nobody is confident that replacing their strongmen will result in something better.
>>55678806How much autonomy do tribes, clans and/or hordes have in managing their affairs in terms of law and governance as compared to police or municipalities?
I'm just now realising I'm disappointingly thin on CenAs knowledge since it's almost all from the Mongol side of things. Tengriism, Temujin making lakes with his spear, the Narts and Batraz. I've learned all about that region through either the Mongol or Persian lens.
>>55678914That varies greatly from country to country. In Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, they have essentially no authority separate from the state (though the state grants them some minor powers related to self-management). In Kazakhstan, the government has a much lighter hand, and it's not that uncommon for minor disputes to be resolved within the clan or tribe where possible rather than involving the police or state judiciary. Formally, they have no authority to do that, but the government allows them to do it anyway, because it poses no threat. In Kyrgyzstan, the juz (and each village) are more or less entirely self-governing most of the time, because the government simply lacks the resources or competence to actually run the country. Most legal cases are managed not by the police or courts (which are expensive, corrupt, and incompetent) but by local elders known as aksakaldar (white-beards), who determine an appropriate compromise themselves, with or without regard to what the law actually says. Most of the time, this works pretty well, as the elders are themselves members of the community, usually know the accused and the victim personally, and have to find an arrangement that the community is going to be able to live with. Sometimes the central government will have a policeman or two stationed in a given village, but they mostly follow the instructions of the local aksakaldar.
>>55679046Hey, how exactly would small scale skirmishes between two different steppe groups work? Would it just be two different horse archers circling each other trying to get in a good shot or ???
Oriental Advetures for 5E. Specifically Heroes of the Orient.
>>55679141Depends on the context of the scuffle, but assuming both sides are prepared and willing to fight, it typically turned into a game of cat and mouse, with both sides darting in and out of bow-range. In theory (and in massed combat), steppe archers could fire an immense volume of arrows very quickly, but because they had limited ammunition (and since neither side is taking an ammunition wagon to a small skirmish, they're not refilling it), they generally didn't fire arrows until they were reasonably confident of hitting their opponent/their opponent's horse, or at least forcing them to react and possibly make a mistake. Essentially, both sides would repeatedly feint attacks and retreats until one side overextended, at which point the other would turn and fire a hail of arrows, or charge, or both.There's a passage from the Kazakh epic Alpamys Batyr that helps elucidate this- Alpamys finds himself confronted by a rival hero from a neighbouring group (they both want to marry the same girl), but this rival is fully armed and armoured, and Alpamys only has his sabre, so he runs. His horse, Bayshubar, makes sure to stay ahead and out of reach of his rival, but just close enough to make his rival think he can catch up, so his rival throws away his shield, then his lance, then his helmet, then his breastplate, in an attempt to remove weight and go faster- once his rival is as disarmed as he is, Alpamys turns around and suddenly charges him; his rival doesn't have time to flee, and Alpamys cuts off his arms then his head.
>>55679283Thanks for responding! What exactly do you mean by "at which point the other would turn and fire a hail of arrows, or charge?" Charge as in go into melee range and try to stab the horse archers to death? I mean more in the context of like 5ish dudes fighting another 5ish dudes, or just one on one combats. Also would people attempt to hit horses specifically or just as a consequence of firing at the enemy rider?
>>55678729Huh. So if a central Asian is meeting the queen, just go with loads of whorechilds?
>>55677592>fatty horses that kinda look like chicken from the frontThey're the most hilarious breed.
>>55674052The Altaic people never existed, so that's a major one.
>>55657420https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koXB-XgBq8MThis will help you get into the mood
>>55679324That is exactly what I mean, yes- when one side makes a mistake, the other capitalises. Although horse-nomads were extremely proficient riders, there comes a point - if you get too close, and/or are going too fast in the wrong direction - at which you will not be able to escape your enemy if they charge you directly (assuming equivalent horses), so charging is a viable tactic even against horse-archers, if you can lure them into that position, and it forces the archer to choose, in a matter of seconds, between either trying to fire enough arrows quickly enough to bring you down, or putting away their bow and drawing a sword/spear and shield (if possible); if they choose to keep their bow, and fail to stop their enemy, they are likely dead at the moment of impact; if they manage to switch weapons in time, they might have a chance in the fight, but melee combat is always a dubious proposition. In general, people wouldn't shoot at horses- not because it's unsporting or sacrilegious or anything, but just because horses can take a lot more punishment than humans, and that's assuming they have no barding (even a sheet of felt draped around a horse's neck and covering their chest gives a lot of protection against arrows), so it's rarely worthwhile (unless you're chasing them down, in which case bleeding and weakening their horse, even fractionally, is helpful- though even then you'd rather hit the rider).
>>55679283That actually sounds incredibly tiring for the horse. It truly speak volumes about the great stamina of these steppe breeds.
>>55677898>>55677955It's also much simpler than that. The genre draws heavily from European mythology and history, and for a long time the nomads of Central Asia was the single biggest threat to European civilizations.
>>55679046Is there anything similar to Loya Jirgas among Pashtuns which are basically clan councils/courts?
>>55666163>The Mongolic and Turkic languages are both AltaicThat theory hasn't had traction in the linguistic community for a very long time. The few similarities that do exist are just as likely explained by the two people having coexisted and interbred with one another for a long time and thus naturally also exchanging some grammatical features and vocabulary.
Someone share more dope Kazakh/Mongol music>>55679828>AltaicWhat is that?
>>55679839A more or less completely debunked theory that claims that the Turkic and Mongolic (and sometimes also Korean and Japonic) languages share a common ancestor.
>>55679855So where do Mongolian and Turkic languages come from now as per linguists?
How is sex perceived in Central Asia? Is it a big taboo like Afghanistan or is it more or less like a Western society?What is the significance of marriage? Are divorces common?Is inter ethnic, juz, horde, tribe marriage common?What becomes of children born out of wedlock?
>>55679876Proto-Mongolic and Proto-Turkic. As far as we can tell the languages have no living relatives outside of their own immediate families.
>>55679771I'm not sure if it's exactly what you're talking about, but there are kurultai (variant spellings exist; the word is shared across more or less all the Turkic and Mongolic languages), which are gatherings with representatives of all the tribes, where big decisions (like deciding on wars and alliances as a group) are made. They weren't a regular thing, though- you summon a kurultai if you're a person of sufficient importance that people care about you, and there's a specific matter to be discussed, rather than meeting regularly to discuss whatever comes up.>>55679839>Someone share more dope Kazakh/Mongol musicAnything by Altan Urag, Ulytau, or Hassak.>>55679855>A more or less completely debunked theorySays you. The theory has many opponents, and there's a strong case against it, but it still has its proponents as well. I'm not going to argue the case; the important point is that the Mongolic and Turkic languages have a lot in common.>>55679894 >How is sex perceived in Central Asia? Is it a big taboo like Afghanistan or is it more or less like a Western society?Has changed over time and between groups, not nearly as bad as the Arab world or Afghanistan, but generally more conservative than liberal.>What is the significance of marriage? Are divorces common?Marriage was largely a matter of convenience and perpetuation of families (unless you were an important person, in which case you married to create/cement alliances). The woman had more of a say in the matter than in many other pre-modern societies (even bride-kidnapping, once common but now mostly restricted to Kyrgyzstan, gives the woman some agency), but divorce was (and is) considered deeply shameful, as it indicated a lack of faithfulness and reliability, both of which are essential virtues among nomads.
>>55679983>it still has its proponents as wellAnd many people also deny that climate change is real.
>>55679894>Is inter ethnic, juz, horde, tribe marriage common?There's no particular taboo against it, but it wasn't very common, just because they tended to live a long way away, which makes things complicated logistically. Nowadays you're as likely to marry a member of a different juz as you are to marry one of your own; marrying between ethnicities (particularly across the Turkic-Persian, or nomadic-settled, divides) still carries some negative baggage.>What becomes of children born out of wedlock? Typically, the mother and father raise them as their own, often with some mythological excuse (Temüjin himself was descended from a child who was supposedly born of the spirit of the moon coming down in the form of a wolf and impregnating the mother). Children are too valuable to waste. Sometimes a father would make an issue of it, and cast the mother out, but it generally wasn't worthwhile.
A thread this long an no-one has mentioned Otoyomegatari: a Bride's story?
>>55666163>Bakhshy (bard/shaman)>Batyr (hero/warrior)>Jyrau (storyteller/herald/diplomat)What are the roles these characters serve in a Central Asian epic? I presume the main character is usually a Batyr, but what about the others? Does Bakhshy/Jyrau serves the role of a follower (Think Felix in Gotrek & Felix)? Travelling companion? Adviser? or a wise sage?What role (or roles) does female character plays in the story? (Beside acting as damsel/prize of the quest)
>>55680421I should repeat and clarify that those roles are not clear-cut, and trying to classify Central Asian epic protagonists with that metric is liable to be misleading (imagine a classification system that put Achilles, Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and Roland in the same group on the basis that they're all basically fighters- they are, but it misses the point of the characters involved somewhat).With that said, most Central Asian epics, as you say, feature a Batyr of some kind as the main character. Sometimes the main character is a Jyrau or Bakhshy instead (Korkut Ata/Dede Korkut is more Bakhshy than anything else- though his story varies in details from group to group, he is universally a preternaturally gifted musician who can summon animals and spirits. He also supposedly invented the kobyz, a string instrument similar to the Mongolian morin khuur that was traditionally mostly used for shamanic rituals). Essentially, what role a given character or character archetype plays depends on the story being told. If forced to generalise, I would say that the protagonist is generally a Batyr, with a Bakhshy accompanying them after their heroic destiny has become apparent, and one or more Jyrau showing up as wise counselors from time to time.Female characters can, in some cases, be the protagonists- Sara Tastanbekkyzy was a famous female akyn (a different kind of poet, specialising in aitys - essentially extemporised rap battles) who became the subject of numerous stories in her own right. They can also pop up as warriors, judges, or representatives of their people, but almost never as a warrior-hero or shaman.
>>55680521What are the positive attributes of a typical protagonist in an epic?What attributes do Central Asian societies look upon positively - compassion, empathy, honesty? Which of these might be considered negatively in the West?
>>55680544>compassion, empathy, honestyMeant those as examples?
>>55680544>>55680566>Meant those as examples?Fuck me. That was a clarification not a question
>>55666200Any particular questions?I know quiet a bit about the steppe during that time.
>>55680595What was they way of live? How far did they reach? How did they war? I'm interested in anything pre-islamic.
>>55680603>How far did they reach?The Tocharians eventually settled in China where they assimilated into the native population. So y'know, Indo-Europeans were likely all over the steppe.
>>55680544>What are the positive attributes of a typical protagonist in an epic?Above all, competence. The idea of the tragic or heroic failure is not one with any purchase in the Turkic world (though some Persian epics do feature the theme). Different heroes display different forms of competence (quick wit, martial skill, physical strength, great speed, etc.), but they all fulfil the same purpose of allowing the hero to be good at what they do. Below that is loyalty to one's people, and a willingness to use one's skills for the sake of the whole (several Central Asian epics begin with the young hero beating up other people in the local area, just to show off their prowess, before being reminded by a wise old man of their obligations to the nation, at which point they raise an army and go off to fight the external enemy). Another important quality is respect- a willingness to acknowledge the skill of one's opponents, even if they are existential enemies and must be killed, as well as one's seniors in one's own community. Failure to display proper respect almost always precedes a defeat or other setback.>What attributes do Central Asian societies look upon positively - compassion, empathy, honesty? Which of these might be considered negatively in the West?Honesty, reliability, equanimity, hospitality and generosity, endurance (not just 'ability to ride great distances', but ability to tolerate hardship more generally), respect for one's elders and traditions.Compassion and mercy are notable absences from the list of traditional Central Asian virtues. Partly because they lacked the religious context for it (as discussed earlier, they never really - and still haven't - internalised Islam), and partly because their way of life involved, even necessitated, the frequent killing of humans and other animals.
Awesome anon, which fantasy races and mounts would be a good fit for a not-Central Asia setting?
>>55667886>Does Central Asia have any culture of infantry warfare?Sogdians and Khwarezmians were famous infantry warriors. Similarly Baktria, obviously especially in their indo-greek time.The tashtyk culture employed infantry with heavy lamellar armour, short swords and tower shields, a bit liken legionaries!
>>55680654What was their purpose? I don't see them fighting off mounted tribes.
cont'd from aboveAs for what local values might be considered negatively in the west, perhaps the greatest is anti-individualism- because it's nearly impossible to live on one's own in the steppe, nomadic societies, and selfishness hurts everybody, nomadic societies strongly frowned upon people acting in their own interests, rather than the interests of the camp-group/family/clan/tribe/whatever grouping. Individual skill and achievement is to be recognised and appreciated, but only as long as it is put to the service of the community (however defined).
Any particular reason you're not sharing this with us?>>55665749>>55667799>>55677392
>>55680646Depends on whose perspective you're taking. If your 'default position' is that of the outsider, or the city-dweller, then there's a strong case for making the nomads orcs and hobgoblins (physically strong, militarily dangerous, with some positive qualities of directness and basic sentience, but often hostile and lacking culture), with the city-dwellers as elves (highly-civilised remnants of a bygone era, now surrounded by violent brutes, clinging to their culture and intellectual brilliance in heavily-fortified cities). If your default position is that of the nomad, then there's a case for making the city-dwellers goblins- greedy, treacherous, and insular folk who somehow manage to maintain an unnatural population density, and will betray you at the first opportunity if they think they can get away with it.An earlier anon also drew comparisons between the three major fantasy races (>>55677369) and the three Kazakh juz, which is a viable option, depending on what you're going for.As I said in an earlier reply, better to custom-build something than try to squeeze it into something that wasn't built to fit it.>>55680665The Tashtyk culture is from southern Siberia, in a fairly heavily-forested area. Infantry works a lot better there than on the steppes. The other anon is also right about the Sogdians and Khwarezmians- the Sogdians are from the Pamir region, though, where the mountains again make cavalry warfare a lot harder.
>>55680683Not really, I just don't think biographical details (except those immediately relevant, in this case regarding academic study) add much of value to the discussion, so it's preferable to leave them out.
>>55667886>Can you tell us something about the elite medieval units - something on comparable to polish winged hussars, Varangians, the immortals- from this region?The mongols had their Keshig royal guard, which had many Kazakhs in it. They also had Russian guardsmen, which they employed as far away as China. Kublai Khan had a guard of Kipchaks (Extinct tribe linguistically related to Kazakh). The royal guard of the Volga Bulgars was called Hasham (A persian word) and used a mixture of islamic, turkic, european and later mongolian weaponry. We see a shift from primarily horse archers tacticts to more heavy cavalry charge tactics among the volga bulgars and other western turkic tribes.Coming from Central Asia and serving elsewhere (including more settled part of Central Asia) obviously you also have the Ghilman and Mamluks, professional soldiers bought as slaves or prisoners of war and then trained. They would sometimes travel back to their home countries or send money home. These would fight as medium to heavy cavalry, often wit lances but also with bows and maces.
What were the different kinds of armor, and arrows, bows and swords used?>>55680751You got any photos or names of weaponry used in the region other than the composite bow?
>>55680666As far as I am aware, individualism is pretty much a modern thing. Pre-modern West was also quite against it.>KhwarezmiansI heard that they were also superb cavalry - heavy, cataphract-type cavalry instead of steppe horse archer though.
>>55680764I gather that most of the research into the earlier periods is only available in Russian.
Are there any differences in Mongol, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, etc warfare?
>>55670011Apart from the already mentioned Akhal Tekes and steppe ponies you would also have the famous Heavenly Horses from Ferghana, which were highly sought after by Greeks, Persians and Chinese. In 101 BC there was even a battle between ancient greeks and chinese in central asia for control over these horses! They looked like a mixture between the other two: tall, but with large heads.Steppe horses are pretty close to their wild horse ancestors. This is even more true the further back you go in time (say hun or even saka horses). Most would be buff, tan, reddish to dark brown, often with mealy mouths. Piebald is a ancient condition as well tho.The scythians appparently trained or bred their horses to be more silent for ambushes. Also mongol, sakha (as in siberian turkic, not saka) and kazakh horses can sustain on a diet of raw meat and blood. This was especially important when travelling in deep snow or through the desert.sakha (yakutian) horses were also used on expeditions to the south pole, surviving conditions in which sled dogs died.
>>55674370Iranian nomads also had Yurts, will dig for pics later
>>55680828>horses can sustain on a diet of raw meat and bloodWait what.
>>55680828>kazakh horses can sustain on a diet of raw meat and bloodwtf
>>55680809There's some translated into polish and czech too, afaik. Bear in mind that most of it, if written before the mid-80s or so, will likely frequently feature phrases in the vein of "thankfully thanks to the forces of soviet collectivization these barbaric superstitions are a think of the past and (insert ethnicity) flourishes as productive citizens of (insert subdivision of the USSR) - iirc it's particularly bad when it comes to material about various Siberian natives and Kalmyks, but all books on central asian history and culture I have written in the late 70s have bit of a problem with this, it can get annoying even if you know author had to do it just to get through party censorship.
>>55680764Will look for pics later, heading off to uni soon.In ancient times you would encounter mostly scale armour, the saka had armour resembling a coat of plates with plates on the outside. We also find greek style muscular armour and greek helmet types even in places far in the steppes, especially during the 4th to 2nd century bc.Later, early middle ages and late antiquity, we see mail (more so in western parts) and lamellar. Sometimes both were mixed.In the 14th century brigandines and larger plate pieces for legs and arms became more common for those able to afford them.Finally in the 15th to 18th century and beyond mail becomes dominant throughout the whole region, even appearing relatively common in china, korea and tibet. We especially see a lot of plated mail and mirror armour, basically armour that looks similar to the stuff worn by Persians and Ottomans.Weapons:In ancient times there would be straight swords with theromorphic hilts, originally short, then longer. Later on ring hilts appear. Turkic tribes seem to have introduced the sabre, which originally was more straight and narrow.People like the Volga Bulgars would also use imported "viking" style or other european blades.Similary scythians sometimes used celtic or greek blades. The ancient scythians and saka also utilized war picks/war hammers. Turkics and mongolians often used maces, especially when fighting other heavy cavalry as heavy cavalry. Axes were used throughout history and across the whole region.A special weapon of the turks and quiet common among Volga Bulgars was a type of light flail/heavy whip, sometimes called "wolf killer", which consisted of a grip, a leather string and a weight made out of bone or metal.more later
>>55680859>>55680892Could these be the source of the myth of Dionysian horses?
How are modern Bulgarians and their language related to Volga Bulgars?
>>55681461Bulgarians are descendants of Bulgars who moved and settled in the Balkans. Modern Bulgarian culture is mostly unrelated to the Bulgars at this point. Bulgarian is a Slavic language, and they have a Millenium and a half of Byzantine, Hungarian, Serbian, Mongol, and especially Ottoman and Soviet influence.
>>55679727Very true Even Tolkien noted this. The true East symbolized danger and otherness through European history and folklore.
>>55679839I've got a thing for Mongolian/Tuvan Folk Rock at the moment, so here's some of that:https://youtu.be/koXB-XgBq8Mhttps://youtu.be/rBzTyM9YHcQhttps://youtu.be/b5MYjEbBJEQhttps://youtu.be/xvrR9g5efQIhttps://youtu.be/3e1JyWgVfnI
>>55680968Could, but not necessarily. Meat eating amongst animals that are not normally considered omnivores or carnivores is more common then often thought.Deer will sometimes eat birds or rabbits, there are cases where cows have predated on chicken, hippos occasionally scavenge. 1945 an elephant killed and ate a woman and sometimes elephants will scavenge on graveyards.Someone I know worked with Shetland ponies and one of them would stalk pigeons to kill them and eat their heads. And King George IV gave a stallion to an Indian maharaja which broke free and killed and ate some villagers. It was then sentenced to be killed by a tiger but killed the tiger. Equines are underrated.
>>55681461Both hailed from the original turkic Bulgar tribe, but the Bulgarians of Bulgaria good assimilated very quickly, and adopted a slavic language and christian faith. Genetic impact obviously, as most of the time, is quiet limited as well, thus there is not much impact of the Bulgars on Bulgaria.The Volga Bulgars kept closer to their original culture and kept their turkic language, even while being culturally influence by uralics, finnics and russians and developing an urban culture. They later became part of Kazan.
>>55657420My setting covers multiple continents, so multiple cultural influences, from western Europe to Zulu kingdoms
>>55682005Camels eat bones they come across in Australia
Jesus fuck, I am hyped after going this thread. Where do we start with making a setting out of this?
In central asian mythology, the earth-diver motif was relatively commonplace and distantly related to the earth-diver myths of the North American Natives. Usually some sort of animal dives under the primordial waters to fish up the earth. There's also this common idea of a "devil" (for lack of a better term) trickster who helps the creator(s) prepare the universe, and sometimes tries to take his place as top God. Many central asians believed that the heavens are held up by a giant who's feet are down in hell. Turko-Mongol and Finno-Urgic speakers were also fond of the struggles between the Creator God and the Devil trickster. Like Tengri vs Erlik Khan. Or Ulgan vs Erlik. In some ways you could draw parallels between this and Zoroastrian Persian lore.One legend says Ulgan created Erlik from clay but soon cast him from heaven for trying to usurp him. Ulgan then created the earth, upon which a bitter Erlik corrupted the first woman into spreading evil and wickedness. Another myth says that the Devil trickster tried to fly higher than God could, fell into the primordial waters, and begged God for help. So God asked him to dive and retrieve the earth from a ball of mud. The devil collected it, but hid a chunk of the mud in his mouth. The Devil intended to create his own world with this mud, but God demanded her spit it out. This created the wetlands and swamps of the world. Siberians particularly believe that the world has three levels. Upperworld, middleworld, and the underworld. A world pillar, tree, or giant extends between the three worlds. The sun and moon usually sit on top as fruit, while the souls of the unborn live on the great branches. The sun is the guardian of life, and the moon is the guardian of the unborn. Moon also decides which mothers may have children and when. Typically a common deity of the inner asian peoples is an earth mother goddess who lives near the roots of the world tree. Mongols for example called her Atugan.
>>55682447>In central asian mythology, the earth-diver motif was relatively commonplaceWhich is weird because there ain't a lot of sea in central asia.Wikipedia says 'The pattern of distribution of these stories suggest they have a common origin in the eastern Asiatic coastal region, spreading as peoples migrated west into Siberia and east to the North American continent.', which I suppose makes sense.
Other times, the mother goddess can be split into several goddesses. Each representing some aspect of motherhood or childbearing/rearing. Manchurian tribes held related beliefs. The earth is also full of lesser earth deities who are often avatars or subordinates of the Great Earth Mother Goddess. These spirits were associated with particular locations and shamans often dealt with them locally. Shamanism is the backbone of Central Asian religion. Even the muslims and buddhists are reluctant to completely abandon the tradition. The duty of the shaman is to appease, negotiate with, and occasionally confront spirits when they begin to harm humans by causing diseases & calamity, or even capturing people's souls and kidnapping them to the spirit worlds. The shaman gives the OK after ritual before great hunts, and even helps bring droughts/violent storms to an end. Shamans were believed to be capable of everything from flight to invisibility to shapeshifting and more. An important duty among the shamans was entering a trance state where their souls left their bodies and they journeyed to the spirit world to communicate with various spirits and rescue captured souls. Some shamans are taught, and others are "called" by the forces of the spirit world. During the calling process, the shaman-to-be finds his or herself feeling sick and strange until dreaming of dying. They soon find their spirit assistant who guides them on their first journey back to earth. Sometimes the Earth Mother is the one who distributes these totem spirit helpers. The underworld exists below the domain of the Earth Mother, and houses the souls of the dead and a myriad of evil spirits too. Not necessarily sharing the same area. This region is often ruled by the Devil trickster. Note that one does not stay in the underworld according to more siberian beliefs, and that they merely wait for rebirth. This idea is shared with Mongolian & Tibetan Buddhists.
>>55682407Step One: figure out a way to make horseback archery the most interesting form of combatStep two: make a magic system based on summoning spirits Step three: Make a world that uses that. Again I recommend the area around the Taklamakan desert as a basis because there's a huge selection of peoples around there.
>>55680603Scythians and Sauromatians were similar lived lives similar to other steppe people, being nomads and pastoralists. The environment and economy obviously create similar selective pressures no matter what language you speak.Like other nomads they used wagons and yurts for their camps, lived large parts of their lives in the saddle and associated rather loosely into tribal confederacies most of the time. Clothing was different though, with much shorter kurta jackets than what later mongols or turkics would use.Basically what we see throughout the period is continuous waves of people moving westwards from more inner parts of the steppe.Some distinct cultural elements of the Scythians include scalp hunting, sword worship, theromorphic tattooing, intricate textiles and a faible for bright colours. When the Sauromatians moved from the east into their territory (4th century bc), most western Scythians seem to have become more sedentary and hellenized. But even those western Scythians that were not settled experienced Greek, Thracian and Celtic cultural influence.The Saka of the east on the other had Indogreek, Chinese, Parthian and Indian influence. Different tribes of Scythians might have been distinguishable by their headgear, with eastern Saka seeming to have preferred pointy hats or hats incorporating wooden bird of prey figures.As other Iranians, the Scythians consumed the holy drug Saoma/Haoma/Soma, which might either be ephedra, some other stimulant, a hallucinogenic or cannabis. Both epehdra and cannabis definitely played some role in Scythian religion. The dead were usually buried in Kurgans, burial hills.
>>55680603contd.he Sauromartians seemed to have dressed more simply (There name seems to come from a root meaning "black cloaks") and often only wore a mustache instead of a full beard, like many Scythians. They originally hailed from south of the Ural and were influenced by as well as influencing Siberian people of the steppe-taiga transitional zone, such as the Sargat. Some of them practiced head hunting and some, like the Scythians, later became sedentary (especially in Ciscaucasia and Crimea).Like the Scythians they also practiced sword worship and blood sacrifice. Sarmatians used longer swords than the Scythians and generally had more heavy cavalry. Sauromatians and Scythians often had fairly light skin and red or blonde hair. We know from mummies and skeletons found in kurgans that the nobles sometimes stood 1,8-2 m tall (commoners being less tall due to limited food). Iranian tribes in general (we even see some elements of this with the Parthians and Sassanids) gave women a lot of rights. They even fought as soldiers or war leaders some times, as we know from historical sources and grave finds.Another trend shared by Persians, Scythians and Sauromatians is the worship of fire and the sun. The also all, at least initially, wore torques of bronze or gold, often with animal designs.In warfare Iranian nomads were, like other steppe nomads, mostly horse archers, but especially the Saka and later the Sauromatians and Parthians also used heavily armoured lancers. Massagetae (probably Saka) heavy lancers seemed to have played an important role in the developmentof the cataphract horseman, already appearing in the 5th century bc. We have some pictorial evidence of unarmoured or lightly armoured lancers, for example from Uzbekistan and Crimea.Tactics seem to have consisted of mobile horsearchery tactics, false retreats and breaking up the enemies formation followed by charges of armoured units of nobles or professional retinues.
Very cool thread. I almost made a Barbarian in a 5e campaign in a custom setting I'm in right now based on Turkic steppe nomads but the setting/other players character backgrounds led me to reconsider. Maybe some other time though.
>>55683555>Iranian tribes in general (we even see some elements of this with the Parthians and Sassanids) gave women a lot of rights. They even fought as soldiers or war leaders some times, as we know from historical sources and grave finds.Quite ironic considering the modern times>tfw no qt Iranian warrior waifu to snuggle with
Among the Siberian tribes, there exists a concept of "master spirits" of a given location. All the waters, lands, trees, etc of an area are the territory of a "master" spirit. These spirits are protective of the humans who reside on their own territory, but are violently hostile to outsiders. When a person died, their soul would often join the master spirit of the element responsible. Some master spirits reside wherever their element is. Like the mistress of fire, who is usually an elderly woman that tends flames. People toss bits of their meals into the fire to please her, and she in turn protects the herds. The master of trees is the protector of wild game. And the master of waters is the protector of aquatic life. Manchurian people also believe in territory mothers. There are also spirits of former shamans who protect their people from beyond the grave. The Buryat Mongolians believed in 54 good Tengri spirits of the west ruled by Eseg Malan, and 55 evil Tengri of the east ruled by Erlik Khan.The great Tengri is/was worshipped across vast areas of Eurasia From the Balkans in the west to southeastern Siberia in the east. Yakuts call him "white master creator". The Tartars called him Ulgen. Tengri is the great overseer of the universe. Tengri was assimilated into "Allah" by Turkish Muslims. Tengri is worshipped in his aspects as Odlek the god of time, and Umai the goddess of childbirth and placenta for example.In some legends Ghengis Khan is said to be the descendant of a Blue Wolf and a wild Doe. The hero Alp Kara Aslan was said to be born from a woman who was raised by an eagle. And he was then nursed by a lioness. The hero Uighur Buqu Khan was claimed to have been the son of two trees, and born from a knothole. Yeah, miraculous birth is a thing everywhere in myth. Note this was an extremely laconic outline of Central Asian myth, like really barebones.
Redpill me on the Tocharian civilization
>>55683730"They have a walled city and suburbs. The walls are threefold. Within are Buddhist temples and stupas numbering a thousand. The people are engaged in agriculture and husbandry. The men and women cut their hair and wear it at the neck. The prince's palace is grand and imposing, glittering like an abode of the gods."—Book of Jin, chapter 97Sounds comfy
>>55683730They spoke an Indo-European language which is pretty crazy. Indo-European languages can be classified as either Satem or Centum varieties depending on how they pronounced their word for 'hundred'. It was previously thought that this was a split that occurred early on because Centum languages occur in the west of Europe and Satem languages in the east. But it turns out that Tocharian is a Centum language. It really is an outlier in every sense of the word.
>>55683555>>55683504Nice, what about they religion? And how did they worship sword?How was cattle considered, apart of walking money?
>>55684263Fuck off ESL
>>55684350English as a Second Language.
>>55684408Actually the fourth one desu.
>>55682005>It was then sentenced to be killed by a tiger but killed the tiger.
>>55684466One of the big nomenclature differences is that it's sometimes called "ESOL" English to Speakers of Other Languages. This was mostly changed because the Quebecois complained because they complain about everything.
>You will never have a cute Bashkir GF.
>>55684597Kazakh girls are prettier and enjoy playing house more
>>55682159yup a large part of it seems to be mineral seeking.>>55684263>how did they worship sword?The sword was shoved into the ground or a small mound or even into a kurgan and then celebrated, according to written sources as a symbol for some war god. Sometimes blood from prisoners of war was poured over it or cattle and horse were sacrificed. There is a possiblity that the legend of excalibur stems from this, together with the whole Artus was a Sarmatian mercenary theory (or alternatively indirectly from Taifali, Germanics who had close ties with Sarmatians).Attilas "sword of Mars" seems related as well, so the huns must have picked it up. Swords also are important in the Ossetian Nart saga (Ossetians being both linguistically and culturally closest to scytho-sarmatians of any group today). The hero has to pull a sword from tree roots and in the end is saved by another sword being thrown to the sea god.Herodotus writes:"In every district, there stands a temple of this god [his Ares or Mars]. It is a pile of brushwood, about three furlongs in breath and width, in height somewhat less, having a square platform upon the top... An antique [ceremonial] sword is placed on every such mound." And Marcellinus about the Alans (most likely Sarmatians):" after the manner of barbarians a naked sword is fixed to the ground and they reverently worship it as their god of war">Nice, what about they religion? Herodotus gives us the name of Scythian gods as Tahiti (Hestia), Papaeus (a heavenly father similar to Zeus or Dievas), Api (Mother Earth)."Herakles", "Ares", Oetosyrus (Apollo), Argimpasa (Aphrodite).As mentioned before there are many parallels to Persian religion.>How was cattle considered, apart of walking money?It was also a extremely priced animal of sacrifice.
>>55686651Is that a flail? Isn't the flail like the #1 sign you're from a sedentary society? It's one step removed from a farm tool
>>55687189It looks more like the weapon described earlier in the topic, an evolution of a whip (same handle, a leather lenght) adapted to warfare.
>>55687237The wolf-killer is a weaved leather cord. It looks like a beefy riding crop.
In a previous reply you said that Mongols typically see themselves as foresrt people. Why is that exactly? I thought their main spheres of influence were in the steppes?
>>55687237>>55687388Also that one-handed flail with the big ball is historically dubious at best. It's very weird to see it with Mongols of all people.
>>55687411They don't see themselves as forest people.The mongols had a term ('uriankhai') that they used to refer to several different Siberian forest-based ethnic groups like the Yakuts, Tuvans etc. They considered there to be a certain kinship between themselves and these 'forest mongols'.
Easily the best thread on /tg/ right now.I love you professor anon
>>55684263The Osettians (descendants of Scythians) have their own folk religion. Definitely worth checking out.
>>55685544That is a super nice living room couch/desk/dining table combo>Husband's side is war and governance>Wife's side is ChristIt's Clovis and his christian wife all over again.
>>55688976Why do their faces look so dirty?
>>55668078Mongolia isn't Central Asia either. Do you even know where it is? Nobody wants to play a fantasy game about Muslims or dealing with Muslim shits trying to genocide you.
>>55692455Oh my god you can't just ask Asians why their faces look dirty
>>55666200Fun fact: All the peoples of Europe originated as Indo-European horse nomads who eventually moved into Europe and settled down long ago. Until the Mongolian, Turkic, and Arabic invasions later on, the people of Central Asia were still quite related to Europeans.
>>55666209>Ethnically, modern Anatolian Turks are the distant descendants of Seljuk Turks, who were Oghuz Turks from the region of modern Turkmenistan. The Seljuks who ended up in Turkey, however, had undergone centuries of interbreeding with Iranians and Arabs by the time they got to Anatolia, then spent the next few centuries interbreeding with the local Greeks, as well as Bulgars, Bosniaks, Albanians, and so on.Genetic studies show that they're mostly Arabic. The supposed interbreeding with the peoples of southeastern Europe didn't actually happen at an appreciable level.
Thread archived on suptg. Now, continue with glorious Central Asia education.
This need to be shared.Pic related is a reconstructed armor of an Uyghur Ghulam.
>>55692512We're talking about cultural and historical central asia Like how SEA was basically part of India for most of history
Where would one begin when creating a setting based in central Asia? I guess deciding which races to use or whether to stick with humans might be the first step
>>55692729That highly depends on WHEN you're talking about. Before the Mongolian invasions, ethnically? Central Asia was nothing like Mongolia. Culturally, they were similar, but mainly because their environment and modes of living were so similar. Once the Mongolians invaded? Sure, then the Central Asian peoples, who had formerly been Indo-European by and large, were either eradicated or integrated into Mongolian culture and mixed to hell. So again, it depends on when you're talking about.
>>55680641>Compassion and mercy are notable absences from the list of traditional Central Asian virtues. Partly because they lacked the religious context for it (as discussed earlier, they never really - and still haven't - internalised Islam), and partly because their way of life involved, even necessitated, the frequent killing of humans and other animals.This shouldn't have been a big issue for them. In Islam, compassion and mercy are only for other believers. Out groups don't get any. So there's really not a lot or pressure for these nomads to care about said virtues, especially when they're already in opposition to their neighbors.
>>55692754Don't be obtuse, you know what we mean
>>55692738>Why is the world the way it is?>Who are the important groups of people?>What role does magic play?>Are there Gods?
>>55692811It's not clear when you say historical, anon. They had a long history before Mongolian and Turkic invasions changed everything.That said, I think it's important to still maintain the distinction in terminology. In this case, because of religion. A majority Muslim area is going to be much different from a majority Buddhist one respective of any similarities.
>>55692786That's entirely wrong
>>55692754There was a lot of population movement long before the Mongolian invasions. Consider the Yuezhi or the Xiongnu.
>>55693003It's not. Infidels aren't afforded any mercy and can be killed at a whim. Religiously, they literally have no rights. Technically, dhimmi (and nobody else) are supposed to be given a chance to pay jizya or convert before any harm is done to them, but if they resisted you violently or deny to do either of those things, they're fair game too.Obviously these days most nations have legal codes that are less hostile, at least to temporary visitors, but we were talking about the world at the time the Mongolians converted to Islam and took most of the Central Asian peoples with them. At that time, secular legal codes held less sway and were less separated from religious ones where they existed.
>>55693024I said by and large. I'm aware there was some level of genetic exchange and migratory invasions before the Mongols fucked everyone. The Tocharians, for example, were ousted and genetically eradicated from their former areas long before the Mongols decided to invade west, for example.I mean hell, you can look at a map of y-dna now and see what it's like. It's basically a sliding scale from western Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan of majority Indo-European to majority East Asian.
>>55693056Fuck off, the Quran specifically tells believers to not be unjust to those who are outside the fold. >inb4 mudslimeNo, I am not. I just do a modicum of research before opening my mouth.
NEW THREAD WHEN?
>>55693329Later text overrules earlier ones. Later parts of the Quran change their mind on how infidels are to be treated. Don't act like the proclamations in Mecca somehow have more authority than the ones in Medina or even later.It's not relevant to the Central Asians anyway, as it was long past Medina when they were converted.
>>55693353There's not much more to discuss.
>>55693377>To each community among you has been prescribed a Law and a way of life. If God had so willed He would have made you a single people, but His plan is to test you in what He has given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to God; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which you differ.
>>55693522What about 'abrogation' do you not get? That specific line is an extremely early one.
>>55693522>Truly those who keep the faith, and the Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabaeans — whoever believes in God and the Last Day and performs virtuous deeds — surely their reward is with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, neither shall they grieve
>>55693534Abrogation. Find post-Mecca text dealing with infidels, dhimmi, blasphemy, and jihad.
I'm making a Central Asian civ for a book and this thread is an absolute gold mine (Lapis Lazuli mine?). Thanks so much to everyone who's contributed.
>>55693571You got any evidence or text to offer?
>>55694226Do you think I keep a file of Quran texts on my computer or something? You're the one that cracked the thing open, you can look for it.
>>55694265Yea, then fuck off
>>55694335Cherrypicking will get you nowhere, anon. I advise you to look at islamweb or something.
Islam is a complex ideology, which is followed and practiced in a myriad different ways by its believers. Anyone who claims that they know "what it's really about" is wrong, and part of the problem.What's relevant to this thread is that the Islam practiced by most Central Asians is of a particular kind, and has been since their mass conversions, in which many rituals, practices, and beliefs from shamanic times (and, to a lesser extent, other historic religions of the region, including Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, and Nestorian Christianity) have been incorporated and continue to endure. >>55692597>Genetic studies show that they're mostly Arabic. The supposed interbreeding with the peoples of southeastern Europe didn't actually happen at an appreciable level.That depends partly on which population you're looking at. There are recognisable differences between Turks from Edirne, Trabzon, Hatay, and Ankara (assuming their families have lived in the region for a while), in their appearance, accent, and traditional clothing. Again, what matters in this case is that identity as a 'Turk' was, until recently, quite fluid, and tolerated a lot of diversity in ethnic origin/family heritage. That has been true of other 'ethnic' identities in Central Asia, as well- the Kazakh Little Horde, for instance, absorbed a large number of Nogai (a related, but not identical, group) when they fled eastwards from the Russians.
>>55694864Could you touch upon Central Asian folklore a little?Outside of spirits, are there any humanoids, fantastic beasts or monsters that exist?What about different dimensions or worlds like hell, hades or jotunheim?
>>55694864Their brand doesn't change the attitude the religion has towards outsiders, which was the point. As someone noted, they didn't prioritize mercy or kindness all that much. I pointed out that Islam already denies these things to any and all outgroups, so it wasn't strange that these virtues, already so downplayed and nearly nonexistent, would have no impact on their culture at all.
Someone make another thread where we can start coming up with ideas for a setting using this one as a base to work on.
>>55695002Maybe do it on Afghans and Persians this time
>>55693377>>55693533>>55693571Abrogation doesn't work the way you think it does.
>>55695245Now you're claiming words don't have meanings.
>>55695266No, just that you don't seem to understand how it actually works.Sheesh, just read the wikipedia page on it.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naskh_(tafsir)
>>55695369Don't trust wikipedia on religious matters. Fair and balanced my ass. Like I suggested to the other guy in >>55694657 look at the websites run by actual muslims to see what they say about abrogation.
islamqa is one of the most fundamentalist/extremist sites on the web. Here is what they say on:>Abrogationhttps://islamqa.info/en/105746>Mercy for infidels>>55692786>>55693056https://islamqa.info/en/128862