Kalidnay's Culture

Does anybody know if Kalidnay’s culture was ever elaborated on? I’ve heard that some make it Ægyptian in style and feel, though i don’t know if that is official.

Thanks in advance!

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I don’t really think there’s any support for the Egyptian thing. More just so many ancient civilizations are represented by the various city-states, but Egypt is conspicuously absent, so someone hit on it as an option.

I always went with a south asian pseudo-indian type thing, similar to Raam.

Along those lines, I always felt like the dominant race/culture in the tablelands was an Indian patois. With some other south asian and near eastern border cultures.

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Yeah, that’s what i figured…

I’d like to make each City-State unique though, but i don’t like the Ægyptian idea for Kalidnay, even though i love Ancient Ægypt.

Maybe it’s name gives a clue? What language does Kalidnay seem to belong to? Doesn’t sound Ægyptian, Greek, Indian, nor Mesopotamian to me… any ideas?

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The source material from Ravenloft always struck me as kinda Celtic-meets-Thai

This is the only art of Kalidnay that we have, as far as i know of.

What culture would you guys say the architecture and dress belong to?

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It’s reminiscent of Khmer architecture to my mind - think Angkor Wat.


Another Nibenay?

EDIT: Darn, you’re right! Just looked it up.
So another Khmer/Angkor Wat city-state…

How about dress? It’s different than Angkor Wat’s.

Culturally its not a match but the architecture is reminiscent of Khmer. shrugs If Kalid-Ma ever makes it back and decides to rebuild I’d guess the culture would be completely different anyway.

Edit I’ve always liked the idea of Kalid-Ma having a last servant on Athas who collects the orbs, takes them to Ravenloft and brings KM back, forcing a conjunction that shifts the city back to Athas. Pick another island of dread to go with it and you can pretty much pick whatever culture you want :grinning:



That was Sokar, one of my DS characters… lol

Yes, you’re right about if they came back.

But I’d like to know about before.
But, HEY! I’m grateful for your expertise!
Guess we may never know, eh?


Well hopefully I’ll be starting that Kalidnay campaign in the next few weeks, taking characters from the Black-entrapped (changing from Ravenloft) Kalidnay, back to Athas and working in the Orb metaplot to the published and adapated adventures I’ll be running. I’ll keep you posted.


Been wanting to do something like that for awhile! Alas, my group isn’t interested in Dark Sun. They like medieval stuff (can’t blame 'em, it’s fun and a classic), they don’t like the survival/harshness of the world idea. Eh, to each his own, no?

… also been wanting to try out sci-fi, not getting any traction there either though…

Please do!

Kalidnay should be Indian. Kalid-Ma is only one letter away from Kali Ma, one somewhat dark indian goddess (and Kalid-Ma was female in the early days of the Dark Sun Setting!). The architecture of the ziggurat shows also ties to Southern India (for example Vijayanagar).

Nibenay is farther to the east. The architecture is strongly influenced by the ancient countries of South Eastern Asia (Khmer Empire, Sri Wijaya). There is also a similarity which cannot be coincidental: The national epos of Majapahit is called Nagarakretagama…

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I noticed the Kalid Ma being female in early printings just yesterday. I think in my head cannon Kalid-Ma is going to be gender fluid.

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I’ve gone with Kalid-Ma and Thakok-An (her High Templar) being female. Redking has gone with them both being male. EIther way I think it brings DS a little more into reality.

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Does anyone know who runs the dark sun wiki? I was looking for more in depth on the gender switch, and came across this:

“There is a large discrepancy that Kalid-Ma and Thakok-An switched genders during this transition in the Ravenloft setting, however this was due to the writers of Ravenloft not having to pay royalties to ‘Wizards of the Coast’ in doing so. For roleplaying intents and purposes; it should be looked at as always being Kalid-Ma as the male, due to the fact the city’s name is KALIDnay and not THAKOKnay.”

As though Dark Sun didn’t already have female Sorcerer Kings…

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The original box set says Kalid-Ma was male.

I like the idea of an Indian culture. There isn’t one already. However, Thakok, as in Thakok-An, is Laotian.


I think that is incredibly dumb. First of all, when Ravenloft took Kalidnay, that predated Wizard’s taking TSR. WTF do royalties have to do with anything?

Secondly, it is INCREDIBLY misogynistic to say that Kalid-Ma “should be looked at as always being . . . male” because the city is named Kalidnay. So what . . . you can’t have a city named after a woman?


Also, the Merchant House of Amketch adventure refers to Kalid-Ma as BOTH male and female (although mostly as female and the “sorcerer-king” reference seems likely a typo). I’d have to double-check my Ravenloft sources’ publication dates, but I’m inclined to treat MHA as a primary source that trumps later ones.


Agreed Naggaramakam, I wanted to edit the page or something but my mind just couldn’t wrap around that.

Weren’t all the champions called sorcerer kings early on? (ETA: nope. However kalid-ma is not named in the original boxed set he is just called a sorcerer King.)

Second Kalid-ma was male in Ravenloft. If the gender was flipped then she must have been female to begin with.

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The way the gender issue was solved in my campaign is that Kalid-ma’s true gender was completely unknown. Kalad-ma was a a Master Transmogrifist and Metamorph even before Rajaat took notice, known for changing forms and genders depending on mood and whim.

Thakok-An was Kalad-ma’s High Templar and greatest student (Female Human Egoist 5/Templar 3/Defiler 3/Mystic Theurge 10/Master Transmogrifist 6/Metamorph 10). She spent much of her time changing forms as well, but her gender was known to those who knew her from when she first came to Kalid-ma’s service.

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Earlier publications often used the term sorcerer-kings instead of the clearer term sorcerer-monarchs. I think due to this that the note on Kalidnay in the first Wanderer’s Journal should be read as ‘The unknown sorcerer-monarch who ruled it…’. Same for MHA.

I’d vote for Kalid-Ma being female because sorcerer-queens are somewhat rare.

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