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Second Iteration

Developed by

The Design Mechanism
From a Creation by

Tom Zunder

Gwenthia
As seen from High Orbit
Visible are the continents of Gwailan (northernmost) and Thurian (southernmost). Clearly visible in the east of Thurian are the lands of Parkhesh,
Nhi-Tual and Quatzadua. Southern Zathuria and central Gara-Dien are visible in the centralcloud-break. To the north-west, the islands of
Cromaigne and Spiria can be seen. Barely visible, and almost in the centre of the picture, is the Red Orb, one of Gwenthia’s seven moons. The Dark
Orb, or Black Moon, can be seen on each page of this book—even though it disappeared from Gwenthia’s skies thousands of years ago..

Map by Colin Driver

Introduction
W

ELCOME TO GWENTHIA. This book describes
the world of Gwenthia: its geography, its peoples, its
history, its politics, its gods, and its possibilities. The
concept behind Gwenthia evolved at ‘The Tavern’
(http://tavern.zunder.org.uk/) as a shared world similar to
Chaosium’s old Questworld project of the late 1980s. Beginning
with a simple map, Tavern members quickly staked land claims
and began the co-operative process of developing cultures,
peoples, creatures and conflicts to fill those lands and influence
others. Gwenthia was rapidly born, and is still in a state of
development.

Creative Commons

Although designed with BRP in mind, Gwenthia is designed to
work with any set of roleplaying rules or mechanics: readypublished, hybrid or home-grown.

Non-commercial. You may not use this work for commercial
purposes.

The intention of this book is to draw together the basic settings of
Gwenthia and present them in one place for gamers to use for
their own campaigns. All material is published under the Creative
Commons licence (see sidebar), and can be freely used in a
gaming context.

About This Book

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0
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to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work

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to make derivative works

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For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the
license terms of this work.
Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from
the copyright holder

This is the second edition of the Gwenthia: The Guide. It is
greatly expanded and revised, with new information, settings,
details, timeline, history and secrets. If you have the first edition,
you’ll find much is similar, but quite a lot is different—for
example…

Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the
above.

Gwailan Union
The Gwailan Union has been removed from this book as we no
longer have the author’s permission to use the material. This has
obviously had consequences for the timeline and history of
Gwenthia, as well as impacting on the development of the
continent of Gwailan.

Gwenthia is the creation of Tom Zunder and developed by The
Design Mechanism, whose contributors are:

Religion
Religion has been greatly expanded and clarified. You will find
more information on the Church of Gwenth, the Church of the
Chain, the Octaminists, The Evening Culture, and other cults and
factions.
Secrets
Some of Gwenthia’s design secrets are included for
Gamesmasters who need to know more about the world when
planning their adventures. Some of these secrets are hints; others
are more explicit. Use them wisely.
Maps
Bigger, better and clearer. In fact, that goes for all the illustrations
contained in this book...

Credits and Ownership
AurUrbis & Badlands
Cromaigne
Durustan
Gara-Dien
Meravaenia
Nhi-Tual
Parkhesh
Quatzadua
Spiria
Zathuria

Tom Zunder
Lawrence Whitaker
Stuart Mousir-Harrison
Charles Green and
Stuart Mousir-Harrison
Nick Middleton
Nathan Baron
David Gordon
Colin Driver
Darren Driver
Simon Bray

With sincere thanks and recognition to Pete Nash for subsequent
development work.
Layout and Design: Lawrence Whitaker and Tom Zunder
Artwork: Simon Bray, Colin Driver and Richard Huber (whose
work is used as part of the Dover Pictorial Archive Service
agreement)

The first section provides an overview of Gwenthia: its geography. This book falls roughly into three sections. The Design Mechanism has therefore taken the opportunity to reorganise and restructure the material in order to make it clearer to use. Table of Contents The World of Gwenthia Religion and Crusade History . expanding on material found in the first section. Only read the third section if you are intending to run games within Gwenthia—the information it contains is designed to be revealed during play. religions and history. and reading this material as a player. and contains secrets and inside information to help GMs prepare campaigns based within Gwenthia. Gwailan and the northern islands. rather than as a GM. The settings chapters take you deep into a particular region or country.Finding your Way Around Gwenthia This book contains a lot of information. You should be able to gain a good feeling for Gwenthia just by reading the first section. much more than the first edition. people.Ancient & Modern AurUrbis Badlands Cromaigne Gara Dien Meraveania Nhi Tual Parkhesh Quatzadua Spiria Zathuria Page 5 11 21 30 37 39 47 57 69 78 86 94 97 . The second section takes a detailed look at the major nations of Thurian. The third section is reserved for Gamesmasters. may spoil your enjoyment of the setting.

which is the only north coast experiences temperatures and weather on a parallel time when the sky is fully dark. subdivided into the northern landmass of Gwailan and the southern landmass of Thurian. The New Province has similar weather on the coast. Flitting from nation to nation. following the patterns of the old Order before the Fall. It was found that the new year was better expected "Scottish" climate. Temperatures hover around 3-4 degrees Celsius in winter. The continent of Gwenthia. This is due to the presence of Eserrian (the landmass to the east-south east) which blocks a warm ocean current. Spring is windy and temperatures rise progressively. Autumn sees continued high temperatures combined with high rainfall. as they are known locally. To the South East is a parched Savannah. not a result of a slower rotation. The strip of land along the north and east coast is lush with woods and rich pastures. Parkhesh if taken on average is as dry as dust. while year is (7x35days) + 10 = 245 days of normal months plus 10 days Montemphis in Spiria is about the latitude of London with an of the Dark Month. Neither island benefits from any served as having 255 days rather than 256 because of the seasons warm oceanic currents heading north from the equator. This calendar was denounced as heretical their depth – effectively blocking maritime traffic to the centre of by the Human Church of Gwenthia some 995 New Years ago. coupled with the extreme height of the mountains and highlands explains the severe cold of the Meravaenian Plateau. Climate Gwenthia is an earth-like setting. Nhi Tual is drier than might be expected. and the temperature and climate reflect this. is the Black Watch. end of a warm current from the tropics. again. The east coast of Gwailan benefits from the fading and the New Calendar was proposed. but due to magical forces unleashed when one of the planet’s moons fell several thousand years ago. each named for the Orbs. The Old is Octaminist. averaging 12-15 degrees Celsius. is so named by few in the continent itself. Once clear of the north coast this current does not follow the known locally. but harsher winters and hotter summer in the wooded hinterland. warm in winter and humid in summer. A Gwenthian day is 32 hours long. giving a hanging gardens feel to the coast of Parkhesh. despite the fact it straddles the equator. lead poisoned typesetters and recited to kings and priests by harlequinned troubadours. The New Calendar venerates the Seven Gods of the Moons and The Climate of Thurian is noticeably warmer since much of the the Five Messengers as well as vilifying the Devourer. as they are ice.The World of Gwenthia T HE PLANET OF GWENTHIA is roughly Earth-sized and orbits its sun at a similar distance. due to the and measurements of the solstices and equinoxes. AurUrbis has a temperate coastal climate. the moons do not exert the same influence over the planetary tides and atmosphere found with Earth’s moon. suggested by their latitudes. Talthwyn appeared to treat the difficulties of terrain and distance as mere trifles. and experiences a climate The New Calendar follows the seasons more closely. and whilst these satellites appear to be moon-like. His volumes have been reproduced by quill-wielding philosophers. landmass is in the tropics. The Gwenthian Calendar Gwenthia has two major calendars. Geografica Gwentha and the voluminous History of the Gwailan Vendetta Wars. Although the coasts never freeze there is a seasonal risk of drifting Each week is 8 days long. Thus. The great lakes around which are the Orbs. presence of the continent of Sianthor off to the south-west. Menerain in Cromaigne is about the The 8th month is despised and full of dark portents. from court to court. The 8th watch. The Mountains of Gold have an alpine climate. with an expected "Irish" climate. the Old and the New. Each year is 8 months. or 64 based the nations of the Gwailan Union may freeze depending on weeks or 512 days long. This lack of warmth. Talthwyn's works were compiled across a century and a half. with occasional snowfall. itinerant bard and geographer from the distant lands of Kumree. Rivers provide irrigation for the land and terraced farms are common. His much copied and plagiarised works include Three Krarnaks and a Caravan Barge. the Union. So the new latitude of Madrid. Gara-Dien is at about the latitude of West Africa. in fact. The rivers leading in land feed small lakes. and rise to an average of 24-26 degrees Celsius in the summer. Each day is 32 hours long. Along the north east and north run a chain of mountains which feed rivers to the coast and the hot interior. or orbs. divided into 8 watches The Climate of Gwailan is broadly similar to that Eurasia. they are. either supernatural beings (which are worshipped as gods across Gwenthia) or are the homes of supernatural entities. as is the Quatzaduan coast. Year consists of 7 months each of 35 days (each of 5 weeks of 7 Cromaigne and Spiria are both rather cooler than would be days) and a shorter 8th month (the Dark Month) lasting 10 days. or slightly cooler. The names come from the writings of Talthwyn Maptalker. To allow for easy comparison by our readers we have used expressly Earth analogues to convey meaning. This is a time with the Baltic. The south west consists of the arid Red Desert (dotted with oases). from the east along the north coast of the Sea of Granite. The named for the Orbs in the sky. a lifespan beyond so few that it has been suggested that fraud and impersonation may have played a greater part in Talthwyn's latter days – or that he sported Cromaignian ancestry. The 8th . Gwenthia has seven moons. chilled by a cold current running of the creatures of the night. Each month has 8 weeks. but probably somewhat cooler and drier. each named for western coast but returns north. The New not dissimilar to the Canadian Pacific Coast or western Europe.

where the followers of the Human Church of Gwenthia re-enact the end of the Golden Age and the Fall of the Dark Orb. The beginning of each year would then be celebrated with joy as the world passes into a new year after enduring the attempted rising of the 8th god. .month is a sacred time .

the two species allied. most have a natural aversion to the ocean. cross-fertilisation and genetic engineering. Arboreals tend to be more secular than other humans but some do frequent towns and cities. rather than its land area. diminutive prodigies that are the KiMentis. and evil-intent. and they are resistant to disease and general illness. Others have simply taken to hiding from humankind. Cromans are. by nature. It’s influence is more in keeping with its population. It is rumoured that the race is the result of the first Zathurian experiment in evolving intelligent life from the native primitives. with extensive forests rising to the central heights. a medley of calls. hilly and mountainous region. but low volume. and remain so to the present times. and fertile. Gara-Dien Gara-Dien is a lush. but they were clearly not human. They seemingly. Cromaigne trapped or imprisoned by the Evening Culture. and cool patience and deliberation a common commodity. although in private they still use their own “short-speak”. mutation. Cromans (Homo sapiens cromanis) are unique to the island ofCromaigne and are the result of centuries of interbreeding between pure-strain humans of the ancient Meravae Empire.People Croman (Cromaigne) Gwenthia supports many races. Meravaenia and Parkhesh. but there are clear signs of evolutionary development. Most are derived from human stock. The Harmonious Empire (as it is styled) is a . but keep such displays masked for normal social discourse. quality. With close friends and confident they are open. Haste is a rare trait in a Croman. although they are considered to be human. in themselves. these light-boned hominids are equally at home on the ground or in the trees. so damaged are they by their experiences. but this is an uncharitable view. In speech they tend to use the common Quatzaduan tongue. in conflict with each other. powerful magicians. Cromaigne is sophisticated. although were human-like. and filled with all manner of villainy. The Kastu are the and Spharain. production of complex chemicals. Croman are human like in physicality but differ in certain key respects: they all have six fingers on each hand. make up the majority of the population found in the thick Western jungles of Quatzadua. metals as well as The three kingdoms of the island have very possessing impressive skills in the different characteristics and cultures which are. When humans first arrived in Gwenthia. and enthralled to its violent history. and formed the Meravae Empire that dominated most of A Brief Guide to the Nations of Gwenthia AurUrbis The seat of learning and culture in Gwenthia. Arboreal (Quatzadua) Arboreals (Homo sapiens arborealis). but AurUrban society exhibits levels of peace and sophistication that are found nowhere else on the planet. Menerain economic influence. Standing at only around five feet on their short legs. Badlands Bordering AurUrbis. reserved and thoughtful. Pure-breds are easily recognisable by their wide eyes and long arms. Forerunner (Extinct) The origin of the Forerunners is unknown. at present. A complex relationship exists between the two. vile sorcery. fair-haired. and the tall. Cromaigne is home to countless spirits would rather mint other countries' coins and manifestations of nature. unemotional beings. Many see the Croman as cold. They are passionate about the arts. etiquette and history. Durustan Durustan does not. AurUrbis spans the continents of Thurian and Gwailan at the Golden Isthmus. In addition. KiDelan. Many were than supply them with basic metals in bulk. grassy plains to the north and along the coast to the south. this is bandit country—rugged and dangerous. commerce and. enjoy life-spans greater than the human norm (150— 200 years of age is common). clicks and whistles which are reminiscent of the native fauna and said to carry for miles when required. make them much sought after by mariners. coupled with their ability to easily traverse the tree-line. play a prominent role in Gwenthia. mutation. though by nature. in the kingdom of Amerain. What Durustan lacks in overt power it makes up in Home to the kingdoms of Amerain. Essentially the Forerunners were a slave-race of the Ancients and were. ostensibly to destroy the Forerunners. and the humanoid Forerunners. philosophy. primary Gwenthain suppliers of highest insular. happy and gregarious. Their sharp eyesight. Its physical division is mirrored in the two species that make-up the population: the black-skinned.

a collection of Some speculate. Once a fertile and particular region. Khur-Ishida. is as close to perfect as humans are able to get. A pair of wings extends from complex. the state religion and system of government. with the last of their kind departing with the disappearance of the Meravae Empire 2. when the dissidents known as The Evening Culture broke away from the Empire. continent. interbreeding took place between them. and colonised the island of Cromaigne. Female Iqari retain breasts although they provide no nutritional benefit whilst raising chicks. and countless relics prosperous land. Iqari can fly using their massive wings. They are now the dominant species. However. mostly human nation bent on spreading its style of government. but do not openly voice. An Iqari can launch itself from a standing position. Scholars speculate that the promised true paradise only after a life of desert has something to do with the fall of Kingdom are so adapted to their environment . or the High Kingdom. for its peoples) is a misnomer. however such manoeuvres are strenuous and Iqari prefer to launch themselves from high ledges. although instead the newly arrived Goddess. and influence. achieving rapid height very quickly. Its people are natural explorers (some would say thieves). and martial prowess to the entire known world. the loose republics and independent nation states.000 years. Croman. and refers to the extinct Meravae Empire that occupied this Nhi-Tual area—and beyond—for almost five thousand Land of the Goddess. of that culture are still buried beneath the rulers who provided such bounty and embraced verdant soils of the grasslands and the This is an essentially human region. this culture. the Republic of Telbrin is the most vibrant and outgoing.Thurian for almost 5. The shouldermounted wings are extremely powerful. and the Croman race was the result. in fact. and twice this by actively beating their wings. Xantir. Also.. Shades and Tharux. It is. overdeveloped shoulder blades. Iqari are most frequently found in Cromaigne. faith. The muscular arms and hugely developed torso are humanoid. However. but are rumoured to be gruesome. The people of the plateau never refer to a harsh. They take advantage of uplifts and thermals to save energy. and can glide for hours at a time without flapping. similarities with the long-departed Meravae The name for this region (and as a consequence. but instead formed an alliance with them and prospered. taught that the Jade Path. the human ability to adapt to. at least in theory. Adult wingspan is typically between 22-26 feet for both males and females. requiring a massively deep chest to mount the strongest muscles in the body. where they dominate the central mountains of the island. Meravaenia and quite prepared for confrontation—although Occupying the central plateau of the Thurian it seems to have avoided major clashes thus far. As such. and only within the past year have Exploration Teams been able to even get to it. thaumaturgists (some would say sorcerers of the worst kind) and merchants (some would say crooks). interbreeding between humans and Forerunners was forbidden (although clearly possible). The holy mission of educating the populace is performed by the famous Jade College from its massive headquarters in the capital city of Moorvia At first glance the Iqari appear to be a cross between giant raptors and (giant) humans.200 years ago. whether the people on the receiving end want it or not. the environment. Humans Humans (homo sapiens sapiens) were brought to Gwenthia to destroy the Forerunners. Each child brought up within the Empire is. but from the waist down and neck up they are bird like. Of the various nations within the Meravaenia region. perhaps. such as in the mountains of AurUrbis. Meravaenia is. who the mountain-dwelling people of the High inland desert. Standing at more than two point five meters in height. adventurous. and racial variations are common. but rather to their Gara’dien was built upon the ruins of a different tribes of humans. Iqari (Cromaigne & Elsewhere) Within the Meravae Empire. Iqari cannot hover. Telbrin is expansionist. Their findings have not been made public. As a distinct species. Iqari colonies are found further afield. Iqari are daunting just for their size. the smaller Kitar Island has been taboo for centuries. barren land that is home to several very themselves as Meravae. as to constitute a sub-species of human. it is the Empire’s holy duty to the Lady of Doors? to spread her faith amongst the rest of the world. and a fan of tail feathers extends behind. The most skilful flyers can achieve speeds of over thirty kilometres per hour by gliding. Empire. Nhi-Tual is years. such as the Republic of much older civilization. the Tual rejected the ‘demon’ Telbrin. the Forerunners have disappeared from Gwenthia. that has led to the experimentation that has created the various sub-species such as the Arboreals..

Due traders willing to travel to Taxica in the East to its high southern cliffs. tribes.harsh environment of the desert. and the vast . Numerous tribes now exist across the Red Desert. intrinsically xenophobic. The people of Nhi Tual are semi-nomadic. They are on average 6 feet tall. Many become blacksmiths or armourers and rank amongst the finest in Gwenthia for these particular crafts. but many Nomads still remember the betrayal of Maluja who corrupted a number of the humanoid hands and acidic saliva. in the worst case (the Parkheshi. the island of Spiria is Western Jungles and along the Thexadin River home to the rock-eating Lapithians. Where it not for this ability (along with the six proto-filaments growing over the ears and into the hair-line). thwarted further colonisation. at best. They feed on small insects. and have developed complex magics to reanimate the dead and put them to social use. along with its distance and Pazzoxa in the West. large imperial desire. each with their own Lapithians are a race of mountain allegiance to the policital entities dwelling. as ancient ruins abound within both the North of Cromaigne. with utter hatred. Some of these Sand Free Nomads have settled in Duresh. That civilisation existed before this time is beyond question Spiria though. with suspicion and. and vehemently protective of their goddess and way of life. the race still breeds true in Terexta and Xzanpthia. complex. as nutrients are readily available to them when needed. Outsiders are viewed. They're internecine wars have Gold in AurUrbis. More wide-spread than Arboreals. some find.where minimal clothing is required). which female Lapithians use as a temporary home during their pregnancy. Occasional travellers offspring of the first Tarazon. They also live to about 80 years old Khalesh. Mummified Shades (Homo sapiens chameleus) are a sub-species of human residing in Quatzadua. Tukresh and other provinces of Greater Parkhesh. Parkhesh Once a province of the mighty Meravae Empire. both names derive from the races’ natural ability to subtly change their skin-tone to match their surroundings (a useful ability . proved advantagous to Parkheshi long and thin tongues. Originally the children of the first Tarazon (see the chapter on Quatzadua for more details). Red Desert Nomads (Parkhesh) Believed to be the Servitor Race that was served the Forerunners who lived in the idylic lagoon that is now the Red Desert. steaming tropical jungles. and the rise and fall of the powerful prophet/sorcerer Maluja.000 years ago. the country lay Shortly after this time the Shade race entered largely undisturbed (and indeed ignored) until the picture. Shades would look all but human. bodies perform many servant-like chores throughout the country. high pampas and sub-tropical grass and wetland. have long snouts. and rock minerals which are broken down by the Lapithian's acidic saliva. and violent history. disturbing aspect of Parkhesh—is the treatment of the dead. from the central hub of activity. It is rumoured that they are the around 3. the most curious—and. Lapithians (Spiria) Shades (Quatzadua) Lapithians are heavily reliant on mountains for neutrients. in reality. and and entire mummified armies are maintained to defend the city leagues. in particular). It has seen four civil wars. This strange diet naturally causes caves to form in the mountainsides they feed on. Some 5000 years ago they were aquatic but have since adapted to the hardship and toil. It is thought (though not proved) that family groups of Arboreals did not have the level of technology required at the time and humans were too busy fighting for survival to have created such fetes. Quatzadua At the far south of the Thurian continent lies Quatzadua. However. Parkesh is. grey fur. which they usually snatch up from small cracks in the mountain using their long tongues. and therefore Lapithian settlements are commonly found by mountainsides (around Mt Oreas for example). as their ability to from the neighbouring lands of Nhi-Tual and change their skin-tone to match their Gara-Dien left their mark to a small degree but background and vestigial signs of head-tendrils the high mountains and impenetrable Jungles is reminiscent of the lords of Zathur. Shades are found in all regions of Quatzadua. on average and many worship the Mountain God. (Nhiaquat being a notable example) but who or what created them remains unanswered. carried by mountains. a collection of city-states that surround the vast Red Desert of the interior. The jealously are mostly found in Spiria (the guard the ruines of the Ancients which spiritual center of the entire Lapithian race) and the Mountains of sit on what were once islands in the Lagoon. Around three thousand years ago. rumours that Quatzads were worshiping The Earth God The country is a juxtaposition of high spread to the surrounding countries. the Parkhesh believe that death is no barrier to continued usefulness. Also referred to by some as "the bright ones"(due to the females’ golden-red pallor when in season). Parkhesh has a long. Indeed. bi-pedal humanoids that bordering the Red Desert.

and yet they seem to dwell in a state of arcane stasis. The next social rank is the Hagovens?. noted for their slim frames. The ruling nobles form the highest caste or Zamogeb. and are thus often overlooked in the affairs of the world. as is there hair (which many of them shave off or braid into locks in emanation of the Zathurian head tendrils). their inbreeding has lead to them developing extremely Zathurian like characteristics. all castes apart from the Domvens maintain slaves in their households. Zathuria Zathur is a land of three distinct cultures living together in an uncomfortable symbiosis. and is extremely militaristic in its make up. . Long necks. This has worked completely to Spiria’s advantage. the ancient Zathurians live amongst colossal and impossible cities that defy the technology? of the rest of Gwenthia. tall stature and quick movements. Their true origins are only known to themselves. never progressing in their development. The Mount Oreas—venerated by the Lapithians. yet fear to tread beyond the taboo laden borders of the Zathuri Marg. yet are extremely beautiful with their white washed walls. are There are also lesser peoples within the domain of Zathur. The Tharux are city dwellers that believe the Zathurians to be deities of great power. both being a sign of intelligence and wisdom. This emphasis on appearance has lead to a caste system developing amongst the Tharux. Amongst men the ideal form is to possess a large head. It is a land of radical juxtapositions. More detail on Tharuxi and their affinity with technology can be found in the Zathurian chapter. made of thinkers. Some Tharux carry Zathurian genes. or the ability to adjust skin colour. ornate tiles. The Lapithians are completely peaceful people. It is also common for women to cut their earlobes into pleasant forms. possessing the nictacting membranes found in certain Zathurian castes. small heads and thin limbs are their ideal of beauty and many Tharux use neck rings to extend their throats to a pleasing length. yet mostly remain unseen from the eyes of the casual visitor. it has been allowed to focus on its religion and quiet dedication to Mount Oreas utterly unhindered. most notably the psychic Ghazazi and the enslaved mountain people known as the Tegreet. and many older Tharux can have greatly lengthened skulls (this practice is of course enforced by parents on their children). They each have their own roles to play in the future of Zathur. a gift they claim was bestowed upon them by their Zathurian overlords. they are masters of science. who rely upon to good will of their masters for survival. glittering temples and masterfully devised gardens. Slaves are a common sight in all Tharux clans. It proclaims itself to be the most ancient land in all the world. with long stretched earlobes. servants and talk directly with the gods. they are served by inhuman Ramovens? is made up of a warrior heirachy. farmers and petty crafters. They have access to devices and knowledge far beyond the rest of Gwenthia. Their eyes are black. scientists and engineers. They are great thinkers and have a natural affinity with science and technology.Tharux (Zathuria and Elsewhere) The Tharux are a rich dark brown skinned people. Zathurians (Zathurian Arcologies) The Zathurians are an alien race. and yet they are trapped within them by the fear of mortality. Finally the Domvens are landless peasants. They are a xenophobic and agoraphobic race that dwell in sealed cities of great age and advanced technology. but are mere shadows of the arcologies of their masters. They have powers and abilities that make them godlike to all around them. ruled by immortals that remember when the gods walked upon the earth and man flew in the heavens like seraphim amongst the stars. Head moulding is common amongst both genders. not native to Gwenthia. they rule the clans which form the backbone of the nation. The Tarovens are landworkers. their small towns and cities litter the Tharagax region. but they are called the ‘Children of the Moons' by many cultures.

Religion & Crusade
W

HETHER PRAYING QUIETLEY to the great Bull
God in the Sacred Horn Temple of Urthan, or
dancing with one's ancestors in the faraway city of
Denipatakano in Kitar, Gwenthia has diverse and varied
theologies. Talthwyn was most fascinated to trace the links and
strands that were shared by the world's religions; as with most
syncretists he stretched this beyond all meaning or sense.
Gwenthia has various strands and themes in religion, with
Northern Thurian having a common thread based in original
polytheism, worshipping the 8 Orbs (Octaminist) and the
subsequent revolutionary AurUrban Church of Gwenthia which
deposed the Eighth Orb in the Octaminist Crusades in it's home
territory of AurUrbis, Cromaigne and Meravaenia. Despite the
attempts of the Hectaminists they were unable to end thousands
of years of Octaminism in Parkhesh.
The key surviving example of Octaminist faith in Thurian is in
Parkhesh and is the Octaminist Church.
Examples of the Hectaminist faiths, many of which are showing
the influence of syncretism include:

·

AurUrban Church of Gwenthia, the root church only found
in AurUrbis.

·

Human Church of Gwenthia, the heretical but friendly
offshoot of the first church, strong in parts of Cromaigne,
Meravaenia and western Badlands.

·

Churches Of The Chain, dominant in Meravaenia

In Nhi-Tual the tribespeople and city dwellers worship the
Dragon Goddess Khur-Ishida who defeated the Seven False
Gods around 3000 BP. The religion is essentially monotheistic in
that it denounces all other deities as false.
Further south in Quatzadua the people worship the cthonic Earth
God through the intercession of the Tarazon, part high priest,
part avatar. They reject all other gods, but retain the mystical path
of the warrior that is the The Cult of Murazcoatl.

Across Thurian missionaries from the mysterious lands of
Gwailan preach millenial and apocalyptic messages. The
Righteous Ascendant priests in their red leather gear preach that
they are the Geneweavers themselves, awaiting the coming of the
One True God and that all must live lives of poverty and purity in
preparation for this apocalyptic day. Fortunately for the
missionaries they are known as great scribes and as such their odd
views are viewed with humour and tolerance, although small
groups of acolytes are known across the land

On Gods and Men
Gods are real. They do move mountains, send storms, bring peace
and love, appear at battles and strike foes. Priests who are
apostate cease to be able to perform miracles, worshippers who
are pious and pure go to their god's afterlife. Gods are, however,
local. The Xemarch Turtle of New Province is not quite the same
as Xemarch Lonely Sigh of Kaipor. The syncretic theologian Kurg
Grace spoke of this in her Treatise of a Theologian outside of Time;
some deities seem self-aware of this localisation, especially the
greatest and most worshipped, others are blissfully unaware and
seem in fact to be separate spirits sharing a name and little more.
Religions are sometimes separate to deities. The Gwenthian
Gnostics practice religion but disdain gods, saying there is a
higher being above all the petty deities, cloaked in Heaven and
only reachable through meditation. Few publically renounce all
religion, but some scandalous aristocrats and intelligentsia
sometimes attract notoriety by hinting at it.
Religions wield considerable wealth, magic, cultural resources and
science in much of Gwenthia. Some act for good, some act for
self interest, few actively work for evil. Conflicts defined as good
versus evil or moral versus immoral are inevitable difference of
opinion about the underlying ideologies, or are smokscreens to
cover a practical real world conflict over power or wealth.

The Adoration of the Zathurians

According to Tharux belief there are seven Great Celestial Lords
of the Zathurians, who rule over their land from their golden
cities. They are immortal entities who bestow blessings upon the
people. They came to Gwenthia to liberate the people from the
oppression of the Eight Orbs who enslaved the world. Each
The Jade Path of Gara-Dien teaches that profession and one's role Great Celestial Lord has a particular emnity for one of the orbs
and seeks to pull it down from heaven. The greatest hero of the
in society is interlinked with one's religous duty and observance.
This state religion has largely replaced earlier animist and pantheist Tharux Mythology is Ghulmash, who destroyed the physical body
of Nytag the Eighth Orb and dragged it from heaven, for his
traditions.
actions he ascended beyond the universe into glory.
All of religion in Zathur is centred on worshipping the alien
The Other Great Celestial Lords are.
beings that are the Zathurians. From the Zharaan Animist
Tradition to the The Adoration of the Zathurians, all worship is
· Zatrang, Sailor of the Star Seas
directed to these creatures. Outsiders view this with great
· Khornur, Lord of the Comet
cynicism, but to a Tharux the divinity of the Zathurians is
undoubted.
· Maduk, Breaker of Heavens
Gwenthian Gnosticism is prevalent as small cults in Northern
Thurian and is viewed with suspicion by the masses. It is largely
tolerated as a non evangelising minority within the main religous
traditions, except in Nhi-Tual where it is seen as demon worship.

·
·
·
·

Onet, Walker of the Night
Jekarra, Dreaming Warrior
Misapur, The Wisdom of the Cosmos
Khranpur, The Holy Aura

Each has a Golden City (or arcology) named after them.

The AurUrban Church of Gwenthia
The AurUrban Church of Gwenthia is a polytheistic faith that
worships the Goddess Gwenthia as the inspiration that helped
humans free themselves from the oppression of the Devourer
after he had stolen the human race from their rightful home. They
honour the Seven Orbs as the husbands of Gwenthia who aided
the humans to free themselves. The faith is open, tolerant and
welcoming to other species as children on the Seven, but keeps
initiation and membership limited to pure bred humans and the
KiMentas who serve Her. The Human Church of Gwenthia is a
friendly schism.
AurUrbans are devout worshippers of Gwenthia as the Earth
Mother. The KiMentas form the priesthood, the High Temple is
both at and is the City of Gwenth in the Mountains of Gold.
Within that each city favours one of the Seven Gods of the
Moons as it's patron deity, and views it as the Husband God of
Gwenth in that city, to AurUrbans all the Seven Gods are male.
Gwenthia has seven celestial bodies, known in AurUrbis as Moon
Husbands. Seven can be seen clearly in the sky, and an eighth is
believed to exist but to be dark. The Moon Husbands are the
husbands of Gwenth, who freed humans from the evil Eighth
Moon God. The Eighth Moon is Dark, its occupant cast down for
his role as the Devourer, the bringer of the Void. The Dark God,
Devourer, Fallen One is worshipped and propitiated only by dark
and death cults. It is said by the KiMentas that when the
Devourer was cast down from the Sky he shattered into 47376
pieces, and that should people turn to sin again those 47376
pieces will come together and the Fallen One will rise again.

Cromaignian kingdom of Menerain after the First Octaminist
Crusade and was evangelised across Gwenthia by the devout
Menerainian monks who became known as the Earth-Seers. It
became widespread in the Meravae Empire during the Second
Octaminist Crusade, where it syncretised with local beliefs, the
older Octaminist Church and influenced the Churches of the
Chain. The militant arm of the faith are members of the Knights
of the Rose, but ironically the most lauded haghunter of all, Prince
yrGael is not a member of the faith (owing to the fact that he
denies the existence of all gods).

The Church of the Chain
The Churches of the Chain also known as the Children of Xantir,
the Xantiric sects or the Churches of the Seven
The cultures of the Plateau of Meravaenia all adhere to some form
of the Church of the Great Chain of Being, a belief that the seven
Orbs somehow represent or embody certain fundamental aspects
of existence which together are the links of creation that make
existence possible:
The Anchor of the Chain:

·

Mother Gwenth

The Links of the Chain:

·

Lady of Stone?: Rock, Purple

·

Lady of Air?: Wind, Orange

·

Father of Fires?: Sun, Yellow

·

Lord of Waters?: Sea, Blue

·

Weaver of Mists?: Mist, Grey

·

The Green?: Plants

·

The Red?: Predator, Prey and Carrion

The Companions of the Chain
The core catechism of AurUrban faith is: '' “We are the Lost, the
Stolen, those brought to Gwenthia by the Fallen One and made to
· Teller: Direct Dominance, Giving Orders, Conflict and
toil for It as slaves. We, who with the Seven, contacted the
Revenge
inneffable Goddess Gwenthia and drove the Devourer from the
Heavens and freed human kind with the aid of the KiMentas who
· Hunter: Subtle Dominance, Manipulation and Survival
turned against the Devourer and drove him from the Sky.”''
The Church was the prime mover in the overthrow of the
Octaminist Church and the Octaminist Crusades.

·

Talker: Trade, Communication, Co-Operation

·

Knower: Knowledge, Learning, also Sorcery and hidden
wisdom

·

Dancer: Sky and Spirit

The Human Church of Gwenthia
Unlike the AurUrban version of the faith, any sapient species may
join the priesthood and each community of worshippers view all
temples as equal (this has been known to be viewed differently by
some kings and priests). The Church was founded in the

That which is outside the Chain, the Broken Link

·

Void: Darkness and Devourer

Civilised folk (or those who like to think of themselves as such)
throughout the Plateau worship the Great Chain of Being and in
general most favour the Church of the Lady of Air, or the Lady of
Stone (also sometimes known as Mother Gwenth). The links of
the Chain are regarded as abstract forces / principles and although
ascribed a gender in some cases are not viewed as
anthropomorphic personifications particularly. The Companions
are similarly viewed as somewhat abstract, but more like
archetypes, and astrologers of the Chain can (apparently) predict
much about a person's life based on precise charting of the
position of the Orbs and the Companions at the time of their
birth. This practice is not part of official church doctrine, but it is
remarkable how many organisational structures in Plateau cultures
use a unit of five...
The tribes of the High Kingdoms pay most direct attention to the
Red and Green, but their shamanic tradition is markedly different
to the Churches of the Red and Green found in the rest of the
Plateau, and heavily influenced by the Companions of the Chain.
Indeed, the Republic of Telbrin is becoming openly hostile to the
violent rights of the Beast Cults in the Hallex River Valley, and
the Kol-shek d’Vanan has indicated his displeasure as well. In
general, the Republic is moving increasingly towards a secular
state and the Churches of the Chain are increasingly marginalized
– but the first overt hostility has been against the Beast Cults so
the other churches have perhaps not realised the extent to which
that hostility is symptomatic of wider anti-religious sentiment in
the Consulate of the Republic. Whilst Telbrin, like most of the
followers of the Xantiric theology of the Great Chain, are
respectful of the Kol-shek d’Vanan, the seven Churches of the
Chain in the Republic are independent of the direct authority of
the Kol-shek d’Vanan.
Xantir teaches that the spirit (“that which is bound by the chain”)
must be free to move along the chain at death – all sects teach the
Words of Releasing the Spirit, to be said over a dead body and
which cause the body to burn to ash, releasing the spirit to
continue in the cycles of the chain. All the Meravae Plateau
cultures regard life clinging (spirits remaining housed in dead
flesh) with great repugnance. The spirits of the Honoured Dead
however (those ancestral spirits released from the shackles of
material existence that choose to return to guide their
descendants) are treated with great reverence and much folklore
revolves around the ambiguities and difficulties of placating angry
or upset ancestral spirits. Even the poorest family will have a
shrine to their ancestors, and woes betide the family abandoned
by (or that abandons) their Honoured Dead.
Void (also known as The Dark, Darkness, The Devourer, The
Eater of All and a variety of other names) is feared and reviled
throughout the plateau, although in Telbrin is generally regarded
as a “metaphor” rather than a reality. It is generally identified
with/conflates the Night Hag and the Dark God so often found

in Thurian belief systems, and quit clearly in pre-Octaminist
Crusade beliefs of the region was the Eighth link of the Great
Chain...
Dancer? is a mercurial figure in Xantiric theology, largely
marginalized and ignored, but a central figure in folk myths and
old wives tales throughout the plateau and the primary myth
figure amongst the Merav Nation, being both the first Shaman
and the primary ancestral figure of all the tribes, each of which is
governed by a Hand (Teller, Hunter, Talker, Knower, Dancer) of
Elders.

The Earth God of Quatzadua
Rumours of The Earth-God of Quatzadua reached the rest of the
Thurian continent around 3,000 years ago, although he had
undoubtedly been worshipped in the land prior to this as his
church was already well established.
Little is known of this deity apart from his ability to bless his
followers with fertility (for themselves, their livestock and their
crops), provide them with rich ores or smite the land with
withering plagues.
Early temples to this deity were no more than open-cast mines,
where the God's riches were reaped by his followers. Later
examples are more lavish. Some being shaped into amphitheatres
or inverted pyramids and covered with paintings and carvings.
Surrounding the temples are ornately carved pillars or pagodas. It
is rumoured that some of the faces carved into these act as the
eyes of the God, allowing him to monitor both his subjects and
their level of piety.
The Earth God also provides guidance for his people of
Quatzadua through his mouth-piece the “God’s chosen” or
Tarazon; his sole representative on Gwenthia.
The Priesthood is made up of the Senate and the fanatical WordBearers.
The latter travel the land spreading the true word of God which is
tattooed into their skin, to avoid any ambiguity.

Octaminist Philosophy of Parkhesh
The Octaminist Church worships the full 8 Orbs . Believed to
have been purged in the Octaminist Crusades the religion is now
found openly only in parts of Parkhesh. There is a mistaken belief
that the Octaminist Church only worships the eighth orb. This is
not true. Of all the churches it is the most holistic. It venerates the
seven moons, the eighth moon, the Five Messengers (visible as
the five brightest stars in the Gwenthian niht sky) and Goddess
Gwenthia herself.
Although the eighth moon was destroyed, to Parkheshi, it still
exists. Its material form is not present but its spiritual form is still
as potent. Octaminists see the Moons almost as a large

" Rosanarab the Satirist quipped that there were as many competing interpretations. and makes the most excellent. the Tual became a technologically advanced people. ethical behaviour and what happens after this life. Thanks to the reign of the Seven False Gods. It is promised that Tual upon their deaths. and sometimes those aspects are worshipped by the same people. is worshipped exclusively in Nhi-Tual. There are three competing strands of thought within which all of the multitudinous sects of path fall. But four warriors rose up against the Seven False Gods. and in one breath. when a great Comet fell from the sky and into the sea off the coast of Lô-Tual. which in the years after the fall of the Geneweavers included much within the rubble. its tail stretched for over a mile. and its shadow plunged the island into darkness. and Khur-Ishida calls upon the Dragon-kin to deliver the world into a new. golden age. philosophies and modes of behaviour and while it provides a rule for daily living the Path itself is ambiguous about many issues that might be classed as "religious". awaiting the time when the final battle is upon the world. In return. often referred to as "The Most Excellent Way. rights and doctrines required for the pursuit of excellence. Rewards for devotion and use of skill are definitely of this world. in true paradise. "To each reward in proportion to attainment. when the follows of Khur-Ishida waged war on the seven false gods. and the Crusades against the Night Hag. wherever possible. utterly destroying it. Then followed what the Tual call the War of Restitution. the Tual were ruled by Seven Demons. and makes the least valuable. In the Distant past. It is a complimentary mixture of practices. with the highest achievers being portrayed as exemplars and paragons. the bloodiest battle of the war. despite several rebellions. faith. Khur-Ishida. receives the most excellent. their soul is transformed into a Dragon of great power that flies to the Celestial Court. and takesup residence there. Some sects are theistic. Such heterodoxy is ignored by most Kastu as long as social order and productivity are not adversely affected. She empowered them with the ability to defeat the seven false gods. KhurIshida. that each one found in Hokulkastun could have a representative in the Body of Virtue! Irrespective of the speicifics of each sect it is a religious duty and the highest virtue to produce the best from available resources. to recycle the relics of the Forerunners and Geneweavers. with the help of mysterious Goddess. The Tual watched as the seven false gods burst into flame. Octaminists believe that the moons are both malign and benign.squabbling family. This is a basic part of the Kastu psyche as they were quite literally tailor-made to produce the best possible from whatever raw materials are available. she blew fire over the city. and all Tual believe that they may be given the Dragon mantle when they die. Correct practice (orthopraxy) is valued far above correct belief (orthodoxy). and. wrought with sibling rivalry. Only the eighth moon does not require the Messengers to interact with people directly (and there is even a heretical group of Octaminsts who believe the Five Messengers are the Eigth Moon). although their forms are almost always admixed with. the seven false gods manifested themselves within the walls of the city! It was after that that Khur-Ishida herself appeared. it was a large silver dragon. Their reward was to be transformed into the four Guardian Dragons of Nhi-Tual. such as the nature of worship. What arose from the waters was a beautiful sight to all that beheld it. Khur-Ishida. or even dominated by. receives the least valuable. The Tual thus believe Goddess brings eternal life. who demanded to be worshipped as Gods. He who takes what is. allowing all Tual to ascend to the heavens as dragons and to join her in her Celestial Court.000 years ago. who appeared in Nhi-Tual shortly after the eighth moon disintegrated in the sky. before they were reduced to ash. This dragon was the Goddess Khur-Ishida. building great cities and wondrous machines. holding to the existence of a supreme . effectively ruling Durustan in the form of the "Body of Virtue. and overthrew them. numerous smaller. was kept vibrant and fertile. and far more personal practices. and most of the Doru. The rule of the Seven False Gods went unabated for thousands of years. The Five Messengers weave their way between the seven moons allowing the seven spirits to manifest on Gwenthia and to communicate with Gwenthians. The goddess called forth seven warriors (one from each of the seven tribes). Dragon Goddess The Dragon Goddess. After the battle was won by the Khur-Ishida followers." The orthodox practice among the Kastu of Durustan is the following of The Lazmastu Path. Lazmastu's Path sets out the obligations. Khur-Ishida appeared around 3. responsibilities. The Testament of Khur-Ishida ends with the transformation of the four warriors into the four Dragons of Nhi Tual. The Lazmastu Path Harken to the words of the Master Lazmastu and be fruitful. This war came to ahead at the Battle of KhaSanata. Nhi-Tual (which means Land of Tual). and hence Sects of the Lazmastu Path. The seven moons are associated with seven spirits with a more powerful eighth spirit (now free of it's body). incursions by other nations." This is followed by the vast majority of the Kastu. He who takes what is. According to the scriptures.

Most of this group view this God as the creator who set the world in motion and then left those he had created to look after it. farming. a figure of dark armour and strength of arms. The Jade Path’s religious teachings are that each person walks a blessed jade path during their life. This includes such jobs as smithing. These shrines and temple complexes are stylised workshops. product or work of art. such sect. of these paths. but they are ultimately beyond philosophical understanding. varying from a personification of each as a supernatural demi-urge among the theists (who see the Dark One as the personification of Pride and Vengeance and point to the power and personhood of the Star Child as evidence for their case) through to personless and essentially randomly existing sources of natural power among the atheists.) The dominant argument concerning the hereafter is that just as the old is recycled into the new. or slightly eccentric. As always the agnostics hold a middle view. The Jade Path of Gara’Dien Discussions about the nature of the Orbs are similar. who is often portrayed as distant and largely unknowable. The Sages of Hypotet belong to this school. the atheists tend to see no need for any existence beyond sight and deny the existence of a soul. but firmly separate. established in rituals and dreams that always take place during the four hours seen in a better light than many others. is towards a non-interventionist supreme deity. For example. People naturally fall towards one are unknowable. She also brought her Night Spwn—warped an attempt to "create" a unique new life. Such acts When the eighth moon fell and was destroyed. so it is right and proper for the body’s components to be employed to the wider benefit of the rest. those that choose to stay on it can become warriors of almost godlike ability. and are said to be able to most of the Kastu seem to engage in no acts of worship overcome any odds. far from it. where students learn magic not specifically related to battlefield use (research. It is common knowledge that everyone exists to operate The majority of sects are agnostic . although it may be redeemed by kin for the payment of a fee judged to be of equivalent value. If a person can walk the Jade Path long enough. the of the Black Watch. either corporately. of life remains a mystery. The Devouring Realists? are one Lady of Doors. if they do exist they switch paths during their lives. however. Thus those who attempt to engage in procreation are This relationship between people and the Night Hag. and husbandry. (Critics The remaining sects are decidedly atheistic . By far. which is the staple of the Devouring Realists?. used to enforce its ideals through might of arms and energy. They are weapons of the Empire. However to outsiders Marturu. There is also a Magician’s Path in the Path of the Worker. or came to envelop the world. since the genesis those dearest to the Night Hag’s heart. Since there is mandatory military training for almost everyone in Gara’dien. In sweetest dreams to those who would open their hearts and minds some cases this may extend to engagement in sexual intercourse in to her embrace. the goddess that brought Gara’dien to Gwenthia. so that her worship can Thus even among the theists the general mood among the Kastu spread to other worlds. or more occasional their favoured followers to the Lords of the two main paths. standing.God. the Lord of the Path of the Soldier is called simple and reverent pursuit of their labours. and the energy they great and give off as they grow feeds those around them and also feeds the archetypal demigod called the Lord or Lady of that particular Worship and devotion are practiced daily by most believers in the path. This is not seen as creatures that ooze from the pure darkness to do the bidding of prostitution or somehow distasteful. they might well be supernatural. the Night Hag of worship will always involve the creation. which means that your life is pre-ordained. the basic precepts of the Warrior’s path are well known. like government positions. All of these Lords and Ladies in turn petition whatsoever and the only religious activity is attributed to the few Doru who gather around shrines of small size. clergy and craftspeople. Property is similarly dispensed. Both paths are seen as this position. created to allow the unproductive. The The state religion of the Gara’dien comes in two forms: The Righteous Ascendant Movement hold a rather extreme form of Worker’s Path and The Warrior’s Path. as is the issue of whether they possess sapience. of some artefact. other practical uses. held in awe and reverence. and are given equal. which is refined through various life-times until it reaches purity and passes beyond. and still inexplicable.the nature and very existence within one of these two paths. although some offensive magic is taught. in larger venues. investigation. The Night Hag . However. This tradition trains people to perform any tasks that aren’t directly involved in fighting for conquest. She brought true darkness and the by each individual. It also includes surprising occupations. That said.convinced of the of the Gara'Dien decry this as a social control mechanism. the vast majority of people walk the Worker’s path. Those that walk his path are given aid in battle. and only certain rare people can of deities cannot be proven nor disproved. integral to society. is central to the religious philosophy of the practice is not particularly widespread. While most theistic and agnostic practitioners believe in the existence of a soul. a framework for religious duty and devotion. the Lady will send them through a door in space.) logical proof of the non-existence of a supreme deity and any Walking any of the paths is considered to be the worship of the subsidiary supernatural powers.

Her worshippers are predominantly female. and only shadows bring solace. But as its power grew. blasphemous laboratories beneath the city they named in his honour—Jhyrain. In her left hand she carries the seven moons of Gwenthia (often depicted as crushing them) and in her right. His essence was bound to the body of a hunchbacked young man from Menerain by the Evening Culture. carried by her centipede-like Night Spawn to take part in the mating rituals that provide unparalleled pleasure. To suffer is to learn. and he is able to pass for a human with little effort (although his supernatural powers are only evident during the Black Watch). the island to the south east of Cromaigne. as it is easier to disguise the true nature of the veneration. representing the goddess Gwenth. The incestuous offspring of their relationship were the dragons who now flock to Khur Ishida's celestial court. To do this. and his nature is utmost treachery. and that philosophy is bent towards the destruction of the Seven Moons. although no one has set foot there since the fall of the Evening Culture. The Dark Orb was dark because it was life triumphant. it is more common for her seven children (which are considered princes and princesses of the Night Spawn. Duchess Kharonata: The Seductress. is also known as The Scythe. Light exposes the lies and the corruption. stealth and falsehood. Giver of Pleasures and Tearer of Hearts. and took to enslaving the spirits of Cromaigne. The Night Hag’s children are: Duke Jhyr: master of machines and metal. darkness is purity and truth. and was summoned to destroy the Octaminist Crusade at the Battle of Jhyrain. Her promise is the Dark Orgy of the Kharonata Halls. and capable to assuming human form) to be worshipped. where Evening Culture monks dedicated their lives to Duke Maligaunt. and the subsequent downfall of both the Evening Culture. A highly effective servant of the Night Hag. a noose from which hangs a rag-doll. His realm is Karvarian. and all who gaze upon her are consumed by lust. the third of the Night Hag's children. Duke Maligaunt: Duke Maligaunt. a place of dread chambers and the sharp-eyed lizards whose scales are of the blackest iron and the darkest hearts. a philosophy with sentience. and clad themselves in black iron in respect of the Scythe. Duchess Sybillis: Sybillis is often represented by a faceless female demon with a single pendulous breast. and to understand is to suffer. agents are needed to search for. Some claim that Duke Maligaunt's daughter is Khur Ishida who now commands Nhi Tual. Karvarian is a truly terrible place: dark clouds wreathe the land. Duke Maligaunt's power is restricted to Karvarian. The Unbending Ghire of Ghel: The Unbending Gire of Ghel is neither man nor woman. particularly where the sun shines brightest. Other rewards quickly follow: the attentions of one of the Night Hag’s seven children. at first. Maligaunt commands them now as Night Spawn. but occasionally his agents walk abroad and spread the wyrd of The Scythe across Gwenthia. absorbing all in its power. the body to an ascendant state. for they share similar beliefs. and many parts are hidden. the Watcher. Kharonata’s consort is Saa’h.Evening Culture. and sought to free the spirits enslaved by the Evening Culture. His teachings helped the Evening Culture to build their vast. It was this purge of its own children that led to the first Crusade. The most sinister aspect of the religion sees the Night Hag worshipped as a goddess in her own right. She is all things to all men and all women. and restore. even during the brightest of suns. used the power to find and collect shards of moon rock from across Gwenthia. Sybillis was the foremost female goddess of The Evening Culture. which is held deep within Karvarian's catacombs. the Night Hag offers dreams of deep pleasure and ecstasy to those who open their minds to her embrace. Those who welcome The Unbending Gire of Ghel are rendered insane. Every word Di-Guer utters is a falsehood. Di-Guer: The Dark Moon trickster. although Niht Hag worship is strictly forbidden—often on pain of death—in many countries. The central view of the religion is that the Night Hag is trying to reassemble the eighth moon and restore him to the sky where he will become ascendant over the other moons. However. and Cromaignian scholars and watchers of Night Hag lore have told of the dragons circling Karvarian's peaks as Duke Maligaunt stands atop. It also decided to destroy the results of its own procreation—the Croman—which chose not to share in the Niht Hag’s practices. Maligaunt teaches that light is death. where her faithful are transported each night during the Black Watch. DiGuer is the only Night Hag Prince who maintains a corporeal form. flayed the skin from their bones. The Evening Culture embraced this task and. and worship of the Night Hag as a major religion. manifesting most often as an immense writhing hagfish whose slime coats Gwenthia with a period of utter darkness and allows her Night Spawn to be summoned forth or walk free. and is still his domain. It is a living essence. black and barren. Di-Guer’s mission is to walk abroad and seduce those who reject the Night Hag into welcoming her power through guile. it became corrupt. At the centre of the isle is The Monastery. every action an illusion. and is still practiced today. His power is to rend the night to metal and wield it thus against the light and those who follow the sun. commanding the spread of the Night Hag's hours across the planet. and the land is blasted. but are blessed with the infernal . twisting them into vehicles for the Night Spawn. and the power to summon and command the Night Spawn. As the eighth moon’s body is scattered across Gwenthia.

friends. He is the consort of Cromaignian race. particularly allies. Most were insane or unable to communicate. I no longer care how I am viewed. As I write these words. but one. awestruck. and I witnessed the horrors of the Night Blind Plague. My purpose is. led by the radical AurUrban Church Crusaders found several hundred Cromaignian prisoners in the of Gwenthia. hated and feared. live and then die. the Octaminist insight can know this rune and replicate it. and both the Night Hag and Duchess Sybillis oppose the Octaminist Crusaders were not without casualties. parched skin. and I continue to learn from it. but I learned a thousand years ago that this world can surprise and delight even the weariest heart and mind. and laughter with it. everywhere and at every time. the Great Ice Darkness and the Octaminist Crusades. at the stars and the moons (even though I have visited many of them). But I am not finished with life. at great distance. Now that I am close to four thousand years old. I have sampled all emotions and exhausted them. principally in AurUrbis. I have watched my own people rise.knowledge of the exact nature of the seven moons. I take pleasure in watching the new-born and listening to their laughter. that the Evening Culture was intent on eridicating the It is claimed that the entire understanding of the Gire can be 'true' Cromaignians . the city of Amerain was liberated. If the price of such freedom is for me to stretch my existence beyond the laws of time and space. It is possible that I am mad. I no longer need counsel. . I can measure my life in millennia. The Crusades moved from well intentioned military laboratories beneath Amerain’s streets. who claimed to be a prince of actions to a period of peace keeping to the realpolitik of the Cromaigne. I was born when the Evening Culture ruled Cromaigne. and I have watched enemies. to rend this world from the Night Hag’s grip. had survived some of the most extreme of the occupation and withdrawal. The atrocities people commit still grieve me (and even though I have seen them before and committed some of them myself). its Night Spawn allies wherever they were encountered. If the price is to be misunderstood. created itself through the interbreeding between Meravae humans. kinder days. lovers and children born. I will pay it. eventually. His name was yrGael. Although a part of the Meravae Empire and Duchess Kharonata and watches over her Dark Orgies. I still wander in the night air and stare. Amerain. develop and diminish. the Evening Culture summoned a horde of Night Spawn soldiers and.supported by that state. But I do have clarity of vision and purpose. beating on my pale. It is to free the Spirit Children of Gwenth and bring all races – ethereal and corporeal – together into one tribe. then it is worth paying. Even when my life still matched that of normal people I was viewed with fear and suspicion. Intent on ending this genocide. Crusade had two clear goals: destruction of the Night HagDuke Saa'h: The Watcher. their agenda and their purpose. not yet. The Each of the seven major children opposes one of the seven Evening Culture fought a ferocious defensive battle. Some heptaminist and octaminist magicians have tried to contain the Unbending Ghire within their minds. Evening Culture’s experiments and had retained his sanity. It is to free Gwenthia from the madness of the Orbs and give its people the freedom of decision and choice. These were crusades against the beliefs of Octaminism. At the Battle of Goddess Gwenthia. cruel heights only to crumble back to simpler. drinking. dried long ago. I still shiver in the cold and perspire in the heat. such was their horrific nature. launched by the radical AurUrban Church of Gwenthia. and the liberation of the eight pupils—one to watch each Moon. and the moons. Saa’h’s followers gain a similar The Crusaders invaded Cromaigne in the north and west and ability. and has always been. a thousand crusaders went instantly mad at the sight of their opponent.a people that the Evening Culture had drawn in a single rune that exists through several dimensions. against the Evening Culture when it was learned. My tears. I watch the world’s passing. but The First Octaminist Crusade was launched around 3200BP none have succeeded. But the Evening Culture could not sustain control over their demon There were three Octaminist Crusades in Gwenthian history. is. I still welcome the rain. Empires have risen and fallen during my lifetime. the Crusade was primarily a religious one in the energy that permits his essence to witness all happenings. Old and mad I might be. Only those who have gained the Unbending Gire of Ghel’s and Forerunners. sensuous kiss. and will be. The those of the Evening Culture. I still thrill to a lover’s touch and a full. His representation is a single eye with worshipping Evening Culture. I see the world as it has been. slaughtering the Evening Culture and happen. and I have seen civilisation reach its cold. and in the seasons following the fall of The First Crusade The Octaminist Crusades YrGael It is possible that I am immortal. to perceive things that have either happened or will swept through the country. For life has not finished with me. and.

hardening KiMentas agreed. They were less happy with the guidance of KiMentas and after time agitated for the acceptance of others into the priesthood. disease and decay. thousand years from now. I have slept for a hundred years at a time and still not found peace. and. Spharain is a city that came under the control of the charismatic yrGael quickly. Amerain adopted the caste based view of life that AurUrbis follows. and slowly consumed as a consequence. pure and rational. KiMentas priests turned their atention to the heart of the Meravae Empire where they suspected underground Night Hag cults and opposed the continued worship of the Eighth Orb by the established Octaminists. KiMentas do not dwell in Menerain. my blood. and I would be judge of when that day came. It was after the crusade that the realpolitik of the occupation by AurUrbis forces led to the fracturing of the Cromaigne state into three. And so I gained my immortality. YrGael joined with the Crusaders and helped to lead the fight to the Evening Culture capital of Jhyrain where the fiercest and most decisive battle of the crusade took place. leaving me a living. using sorcery and other means of escape.Amerain. My bones. Bargains were struck. And so the flesh prevails. Compromises made. stringless puppet. Ever pragmatic. we turned to negotiation. that. I have killed my sister. Despite subtle suggestions from advisors he carved a religious and political course for his state that was independent of AurUrbis and yet which agreed fanatically with their opposition to Ocatmiinism. I have seen my dreams By body is suffused by the shasteen. my cousins. mind against a billion. he became a symbol of the True Cromaignians and rallied them to him. I opposed the laws and rules of the Crusaders who would take the land I liberated. nieces and grandchildren. and all the while they modified my being. KiMentas advised the people of Amerain and to this day the city is the only remaining centre of the AurUrban Church Of Gwenthia outside AurUrbis. acting as the high priests of the high temple to the Goddess Gwenth. Blessed with a hardheart. simultaneously. I had learned. its loops. tiny minds. they reserved the shasteen. I led Cromaigne from the terror of the Evening Culture. The shasteen intellect. or had machines grafted into them. I would surrender myself unto them utterly. This sympathy of belief and yet parallel power structures has marked relations between Spharain and AurUrbis ever since. or even four million – there will be a reckoning between us. but one where the role of the new species that was Cromaignians has to fit into the structure. nephews. Given the racial nature of the people the or approval. Some of my kin were grafted into machines. Deep in their Conditioning Vaults they took those who dared oppose their rule and set about fashioning examples to other would-be rebels. minutes. Only seven KiMentas dwell in the city. I can feel it now. I am Gwenthia. and the Evening Culture was destroyed. a militant force of Cromaignians was at the disposal of the revolutionaries. my travels and my interpretations. Others were merged with fettered and tortured spirits. but when the powerful figure of yrGael of Spharain presented himself at the Emperor's court. Menerain was also grateful to the AurUrban forces and adopted the same religion. I have wept for my deeds but relished in the infamy. the shasteen consciousness sought to take control of my body and mind. pits and stairways. a billion single intellects gathered into one culture offering me a serene existence without pain or wanting if only I would surrender my flesh to them. Jhyrain fell after three days of fighting. and when promised it. The debate over theology was still civilised. To them. How did I come to be this way? The Evening Culture made me this way. or forgiveness. Through the force of yrGael's personality and the political skills of the KiMentas priests. The AurUrban authorities sought to lead the liberated peoples into the worship of the Goddess Gwenthia within the AurUrban Church Of Gwenthia. days. for I will be no one’s puppet. I am yrGael. the Emperor called for a crusade against the the physical into something designed to withstand age. save for an amabassador. Some Evening Culture survivors managed to flee. my flesh is theirs. because they occupy all parts of time. the shasteen grant me life. I am Cromaigne. I travelled beyond the Five Messengers to distant stars and confronted the Progenitors in a storm of steel. you see. to the shasteen. and clear understanding. I will fight until my last earthly breath for this world and everything that resides within it. The Second Crusade The Second Octaminist Crusade was a direct consequence of AurUrban radical theology and the hatred of Prince yrGael for Night Hag worshippers and all Octaminists. as does the mind and the spirit. For me. I travelled to the fourth and sixth moons and conversed with their souls. but did not bank on yrGael’s tenacity: the Prince of Spharain spent the next one hundred years tracking down and destroying the last of the Evening Culture witches. One day. centuries or millennia. And when it became apparent to the shasteen that fighting me was useless. one day. Prince yrGael leading the resulting massacre. . time has no meaning. This was a precedent they came to regret since the Menerain faith became the roots of the Human Church Of Gwenthia which Menerain missionaries spread and which has become the dominant religion worshipping the Goddess Gwenth outside of AurUrbis. absorbing my experiences. only totality of being is important. I will make-good on my promise to them. He swiftly thanked the liberators whilst also arming his people and rapidly seizing control. I uncovered and hunted-down the remnants of the Evening Culture who poisoned the ears and souls of decent men and sought to bring back the Daylight Darkness. was impregnated by Night Spawn. they can be controlled. I led the fight against those who sought to undermine the peace of Cromaigne. Forced into me through surgery and sorcery. but only when my life’s work was finished. cannot differentiate betweens seconds. diseased offspring set-loose in the Jhyrain sewers to mutate and become something altogether awful and pitiful. They patiently watch me from behind my own eyes. At first we fought. my sister. but not all took kindly to KiMentas guidance despite gratitude to them for ending the tyranny of the Evening Culture. I walked with the Spirits of Cromaigne and found ways to free them. And when that day is reached – perhaps another four How do I see myself? I am life. One. After the First Octaminist Crusade and the destruction of the Evening Culture. its curves and angles. and the foul. I found and lost the Twisted Sword of Fate.

and their new masters rising the walking dead as they stumbled and spread the Shasteen Horror from town to town. Cromaigne shall stand. At first the campaign went well. but he only said. When all else fails. those who "worshypped darke cultes and evil goddes". As they jostled to see or even seize the diamond none noticed the spores that drifted from his mouth and settled on their skin. It was at this point that Prince yrGael of Spharain? made one of his rare visits to court. yrGael would act as 'Protector' and guide the Empire. Anyway. Few would have spoken to him. . and then the city rose and shambled forth from the walls. crept away in the dark and skulked to the surface. Rubarsham. Which is true. deposits which have since given it the name of the Golden Isthmus and the Mountains of Gold. Many converted to the Human Church of Gwenthia spread by Menerain missionaries. but that corrupt advisors from the deserts and coastlines of Parkhesh had insinuated the practices of the Octaminist Church into the Empire once again. The Shasteen Gather round children and let me tell you of the Horror that was the Shasteen. Many in his group said that he should turn back.Talthwyn Maptalker the citizens of the coast were dumbfounded to be accused by The Third Crusade against Octaminism started around 2. "A dead man wears no medals". shallow and alone. Only one. and others to the Churches of the Chain. but he only said. Hit and run raids by dusky guerillas plagued the The Third Crusade become the stuff of nightmares. but most were glad that Rubarsham left shortly therafter. It took over a hundred years for the Shasteen Horrors to be eradicated from these lands. I will take the pieces of Cromaigne and make them one. As they re-asserted control and the decadence of the Empire re-emerged. The Merav forces were driven back. hollow. By morning the city had grown strangely quiet. 'Tis said that even the Geneweavers themselves had to help to protect the strange folk of Gwailan and all because one man was too greedy to turn away when unnatural danger loomed and because a town forgot to wash behind its ears. Deep in the depths Arsharbath found an Ancients tomb. mountain strongholds. As they did so the bow their heads to the Emperor. Forces marched from the capital along the Hallex River? and met determined resistance from a large army made up of all seven city states citizens. and even now there are tales of outbreaks in distant villages or mining communities. a man named Arsharbath led a group of tomb robbers deep into the ground to look for treasure and loot to steal from the long dead. For over 50 years the crusade rolled back and forth across the Empire. None noticed the lichen that grew on Arsharbath's neck.. The Knights of the Rose and the Haghunters moved against pockets of hag worship across the Empire. from husband to wife . but an eerie quiet in which even dogs and birds uttered not a sound. but he was a greedy man and had heard of the great artefacts that the Ancients left behind. save in Parkhesh. Know then that Arsharbath was a bad man. and the Empire demanded it's tax revenues. indeed of the Crusade of the Sands" . and often against members of the establihed religion that KiMentas priests could argue were heretics. their brains eaten from the inside. his companions lost. Now listen children. save that in his hand he held a diamond of such size that as he walked down the street none could do else but gaze at it's flawless cut and size. and my nightmares made solid. or that his eyes now glowed green with just the slightest hint of inner light.. Which is true. and declared that for his own safey the Emperor would withdraw from public life. and more. crept away in the dark and skulked to the surface. and listen well. So he whipped his men and drove them into the dank tunnels covered as they were in moss and lichen that glowed in the cthonian crypt. The AurUrban army struck all along the coast of the Sea of Brass. or that it covered most of his body beneath his robes. such as the Sceptre of Bronze Ruin. aided by Red Desert Nomads from the south. few noticed since Arsharbath returned soon after. Rubarsham. all day and all night until the third day after Arsharbath had returned. Parties and celebrations broke out and the strangely quiet adventurer was carried around the city on a platform. That night. I have peered into the heart of the Goddess Gwenth and seen for myself that she is. I would do all these things. The Empire responded that this locals started to exploit the huge distances that lay between declaration had less to do with religion than to do with the recent defensible towns. in torture chambers as well as in pitched battles and sieges against nobles who declared themselves good Octaminists but had been denounced as dark cultists. the Orbs and the Messengers. Only one. The Second Crusade was fought in city streets. he broke with them and stated that their greed has led them to make false accusations and that the Emperor was pure. Anyway.. and he walked with a steady glazed look in his eye. Lapithians had started work with KiMentas and KiDelan in mining the metal. their bodies infected with the Shasteen lichen. Not the quiet of people who have enjoyed themselves too greatly. who had settled their underlying political issues with their 'heretical' kindred and saw no need for further turmoil and chaos. I am yrGael. a place of dark gloom and shapes that cannot exist on the surface. The silence endured. Many called him a coward. Many years ago. The Knights of the Rose and the Meravae army struck through "Thatt wich starts glittering ends tarnished and besmirched. few noticed since Arsharbath returned soon after. seizing the cities of the Parkheshi and putting their priests to the sword and reconsecrating their temples to the Goddess Gwenthia. after the Fall but before the Meravae left these lands. both seen as acceptable by the witchfinders. I have loved and lost more than any man alive or who has ever lived. the second Crusade was over. and priests of the old church were slauhtered in the into withcraft and heresy. discovery of large gold deposits in the isthmus. Arsharbath mumbled that he gave the gem to city. The tomb robber was alone. without regret. such wass the tayl the grasslands south west of the coastline. Few put up ago. save in Parkhesh.internal enemies of the state. from mother to child. defiant against the Goddess. An ally of the AurUrbis states for hundreds of years.. He slew most of the Emperor's advisors. So he whipped his men and drove them into the dank tunnels covered as they were in moss and lichen that glowed in the cthonian crypt. and that no longer could the city states streets as the armies started to lose discipline. and know that his actions led to doom for men and women and children beyond counting. like all Gods. Many called him a coward. from state to state. to great jubilation. when AurUrbis declared that the Meravae Empire had fallen resistance. but most were glad that Rubarsham left shortly therafter. "A dead man wears no medals". and as it did new groups emerged in positions of strength. The Crusade ended as the radicalism of the priests came into conflict with the interests of the ruling class.900 years fellows from the Empire they thought to be part of. yrGael sickened of the conflict and returned to Cromaigne.

KiDelan and Cromaignian fighters. 'Tis said that even the Geneweavers themselves had to help to protect the strange folk of Gwailan and all because one man was too greedy to turn away when unnatural danger loomed and because a town forgot to wash behind its ears. their bodies infected with the Shasteen lichen. Not the quiet of people who have enjoyed themselves too greatly.. Thus did the third and least honourable crusade end. That night. . The crusaders started to settle and defend towns whilst the vast expanses reverted to local control. By morning the city had grown strangely quiet. and then the city rose and shambled forth from the walls. It took over a hundred years for the Shasteen Horrors to be eradicated from these lands. Parties and celebrations broke out and the strangely quiet adventurer was carried around the city on a platform. save that in his hand he held a diamond of such size that as he walked down the street none could do else but gaze at it's flawless cut and size. his companions lost. and their new masters rising the walking dead as they stumbled and spread the Shasteen Horror from town to town. from husband to wife . None noticed the lichen that grew on Arsharbath's neck. The silence endured. or that it covered most of his body beneath his robes. all day and all night until the third day after Arsharbath had returned. from mother to child. from state to state. Meanwhile the growing conflict between AurUrbis and the Meravae Empire had led to a collapse of alliance and a series of ongoing border wars known as the Gold Wars which ended in AurUrban independence when yrGael made one of his odd disappearances and the Empire fell into internal conflict. and listen well.. KiMentas priests and Imperial tax collectors found the locals would pray as instructed and hand their taxes to legal authority. As they jostled to see or even seize the diamond none noticed the spores that drifted from his mouth and settled on their skin. Arsharbath mumbled that he gave the gem to city. to great jubilation. their brains eaten from the inside. After 5 years the impetus had gone out of all crusading. Now listen children. or that his eyes now glowed green with just the slightest hint of inner light. The tomb robber was alone. Few would have spoken to him. and he walked with a steady glazed look in his eye. and even now there are tales of outbreaks in distant villages or mining communities. but an eerie quiet in which even dogs and birds uttered not a sound. but that hidden congregations still worshipped The Invisible Lord and that revenues fell as the economy started to move underground and out of sight. After a few more years the KiMentas started to leave and in thirty years the KiDelan had intermarried and were effectively indistinguishable from the locals.

and many other variations upon a theme. Powerful. but most Night Spawn hate those who walk in the daylight and will attack. Quatzadua. Gwenthia underwent a drastic and disturbing change. The Night Hag is the Meravae term for what appears to be an aspect of the Dark Orb. Few current sages and historians claim to understand the natures and motivations of the The Elder Races It would seem that Gwenthia has long been attractive to visitors from other worlds. or Gods themselves. or orbs. This was not because the world started to spin more slowly on its axis.000 years ago. not all of them native to the world: the Ancients. and it is with them that we must start. Gwenthia had eight moons. Zathuria. Many claim to see the Night Hag in their dreams. and those . The timeline illustrates the complexity of the inter-relationships between the different races (see below) of Gwenthia across ten millennia. Until that time. and expansion of national interests has revolved around trade and not blood shed. until it disintegrated and spread itself across the face of the planet. The Night Hag has been worshipped throughout the last 5. It has long been recognised that each moon possesses its own powers. The Moons and the Night Hag Until 5. and even pantheists have fought amongst themselves in deciding which of the orbs is the greatest power. its fall slowed by the Ancients. writhing hagfish-like creature that writhes in the void.000 years. The Shade Lady of Pain. is a place of secrets and high social stratification. through Zathurian manipulation. and the Ancients enslaved the Forerunners. either singularly or collectively. and others. This additional four-hour period of night is one of almost complete darkness. her slime oozing darkness across the planet and releasing her spawn to terrorise Gwenthia. is relatively peaceful. Cromaigne is insular and directionless. almost always in secret. First. it is likely to be short-lived. some leaving their indelible mark. and patterns recur. whilst Gwenthia enjoys a period of peace. the influence of the orbs had been subtle. But what of the Orbs that circle Gwenthia? Their power predates even the Ancients. whilst others have been shaped by pure greed. the Forerunners. led to present-day Gwenthia and defined its character. Of the current races. empires have risen and fallen. Both were clearly powerful. national interest. elder races such as the Ancients and Forerunners. what we know of them is described below.000 year period. any they find abroad in their territory. during this period. and least seemingly biased. Whilst Gwenthia enjoys relative peace now. the KiMentis. Wars and rebellions have been fought for noble causes such as freedom from slavery and freedom for self-expression. The Night Spawn. and some lost without trace. Humans and the Orbs. humans predominate. and. are certainly very real. Nocturnal creatures are not active during it. fearsome. neither are the Zathurians. history dictates that conflict is unavoidable and will not be far away. From the conflicts arose the inheritor races: the Croman. but. and involving each of the above. Whether the moons are the homes of Gods. once a land of paradise. who we know through recorded history travelled through the stars. the stars are dimmed in the sky.History : Ancient & Modern G wenthian history is defined by several different races. and even the personal agendas of the Gods. with its strange customs and devotion to its Earth God. the presence of the Night Hag is most keenly apparent. the present age of Gwenthia. As the KiMentis have continually observed. demon-like creatures of myriad shapes and sizes appear during this four-hour period and walk abroad. The most shocking of all the events concerning the orbs occurred when the darkest of the moons was drawn from the sky by the Forerunners. the Tharux. but are not native to Gwenthia. actively destroyed its worship of the Seven Gods that brought prosperity in favour of worshipping a Goddess who advocates toil and hardship. depending on one’s point of view. and those powers have worked in concert to influence events on Gwenthia.000 years. some unfathomable power within the Dark Orb extended the period of darkness by an additional four hours without affecting any of the rotational physics of the world. although their actions (and the results of their actions) are clearly documented in a variety of philosophical texts (the clearest. However the origins of the two major races that inhabited Gwenthia before Zathurians arrived – the Ancients and the Forerunners – are unknown. from this universe and others. a huge. and continue to be worshipped. and try to kill. history forms patterns. being the ‘Chronicles of the Falls’ by the KiMentis of AurUrbis). The Redeemer. as they are known. when the Dark Orb disintegrated. History has thus been hard on Gwenthia. dreams are deep and often at their most disturbing. for all its long history. There has been no major international war for many years. Their agenda is utterly unclear. shunning even the worship of Gods. and Nhi-Tual. magical. the Elder Races would appear to be colonists or invaders. the length of the Gwenthian night increased by four hours. played across 10. the Zathurians. and. What is understood is that. The orbs have been worshipped by many Gwenthian cultures throughout history. Wars have been fought over whether singular or pantheistic worship should predominate. A series of conflicts. remains enigmatic and closed to many. The world in this. Over the course of this 10. is not fully understood – although humans. the She-eth. tried to gain such answers when they developed their ability to walk in the heavens. In other cultures the Night Hag is known as The Dark Goddess. The end result has been to create a highly diverse set of societies across the islands and continents that are naturally suspicious of the intentions of others.

and predates even the earliest events described in the timeline. with the ability to manipulate physical matter and energy at cellular and molecular levels. The transition from Old Calendar and New Calendar is ignored by most Gwenthians (Parkheshi excepted who still use the Octamanist Calendar The standard 'present' for the Gwenthia world is 995 NC. if not actually human. they long ago dispensed with them. ‘spirits’ and ‘fallen gods’ in different texts. and especially those of the Guild of Aviators in Amerain and the various Monastic Orders of the Human Church of Gwenth. maintain that most of the Old Calendar history is unreliable and a mixture of myth. Indeed. Others. 962 NC: After 22 years frantic and secret experimentation (and numerous deaths). The Ancients No records exist that describe either how the Ancients came to Gwenthia. when they needed physical form. they were hideous. Culturally. to a fault. the world might have been barren and lifeless. Dates are either shown as -BP (Before Present) or as NC (New Calendar). her worshippers (much more widespread then) were hunted-down and slaughtered by the Octaminists and. 993 NC: Apparition of Maluja seen in the Parkhesh City Forum. sometimes deliberately confusing all three and sometimes being highly specific. As to what the Ancients looked like.” They were also powerful: magicians and scientists. This slavery lasted thousands of years. all are impaled on the city walls of Mull for all to see (their heads sent to Spiderport with a note). and always during the period of the Hag’s greatest strength. Increased Parkheshi military activity occurs on the border of Parkhesh with the Badlands to protect the city of Spiderport. Chli-Mestis Han beings the Steel Wheel Jihad in the Badlands. they were extremely advanced. Where the Night Hag is still worshipped. and especially the scholars of Spharain. some of the species that formed part of the Forerunner collective may have been engineered to fulfil a particular function or need. or what they looked like. One such example are the Geneweavers. some of which were at least humanlike. They encompassed many different races. The facts in many respects are unclear. According to Zathurian and Meravae Empire scholars. implying that they did not originate on the planet and. and then stealing (or ‘borrowing’. but were embraced on roughly equal terms as their creators. 903 NC: New Settlement founded by AurUrban expeditionary force. in 991 NC: Fifth Parkhesh Civil War begins after Annexe region rebels after a Temple to Matikhot (Dark aspect of the Dark Orb Temple) is erected in one of their cities. Indigenous mongrel humans are captured and settled in slave farms to begin the process of civilisation. New Calendar 994 NC: Bobanagaradinena ("true-mouth of Gara-Dien") is proclaimed "King of An Kitar" and charged by the Jade Empire with taking control of the as-yet unconquered two-thirds of the largest Kitar isle. constructed of flesh and bone. not even from the same universe. Kitarinik. who clearly wished to exploit their powers and abilities. government remaining in Ralashon faction power. that they would later discard like soiled clothing. Why they were exiled. and what held them in exile. perhaps. part of that mystery. Slavery is rarely benevolent. Bikhon faction given control of military by request of Olakha faction. and sometimes stone or metal. during the period of the Crusades. KiDelan army some way. they controlled fearful powers that may or may not have led to their exile.Timeline The history provided here is subject to a great deal of debate and uncertainty. The Undead soldiers in the mortuary barracks are restless and some break out to wander the streets of Parkhesh City. The Meravae scholar Vhastensis Chro notes: “If they once had bodies. is unclear. 990 NC: She-Eth invasion force appear on Lo Tual. Without the Ancients. it is in the secretive of ways. 990 NC: Alliance occurs between Olakha faction (Light aspect of the Dark Orb Temple) and Ralashon faction (Orange Orb Temple) in Parkhesh City. maintain that history has been charted with startling accuracy. control her Night Spawn. and different interpretations have been offered by many different sources. summon and. The Ancients declined with as much mystery as their appearance. and it is believed that many of their creations form the basis of Gwenthia’s current flora and fauna – some more successful than others. half-truths. The Forerunners The Forerunners were not a single species but a collective of species that worked together for common purposes. Legion NCOs spend a week rounding up the stray undead. 992 NC: Menerain sends mercenaries to fight She-Eth on Lo Tual. and communicate. exaggerations and out-right lies. But their name and deeds endure. Instead. they used all manner of vessels. the Telbrin Aerial Fleet is first deployed. These priests and priestesses of darkness claim that the Night Hag’s aim is total dominion over Gwenthia. And they were most certainly powerful. The Forerunners were enslaved by the Ancients. Most cultures outlaw worship of the Night Hag and. Most Gwenthian scholars. and benevolence seems to . but that events before the Fall of the Eighth Moon are of questionable accuracy. their powers and achievements. 940 NC: Telbrin scholars discover Serin wood and the secret of Meravae Skyships. on a "Good will embassy" to Renbril and Mull. A Parkheshi special force is caught trying to steal one of the airboats. and shaped Gwenthia into its current form. and did not go by the name ‘Forerunner’ (although that term is now used extensively by Gwenthians to describe them). the Ancients were exiled to Gwenthia. who have confessed to achieving expertise in their worship claim to be able to commune with the Night Hag. They enjoyed enslaving races they considered to be lesser than themselves. if any direct legacies of their empire. But. and the destruction of the seven orbs which allowed her to fall to the earth below. although it would seem that the eight moons were. The Zathurians describe them as ‘giants’. and there are few. later. even more ambiguity occurs. as the Zathurians diplomatically describe it). sometimes. 962 NC: Sherba declared new High Priest of Spiria 956 NC: Political unrest in Renbril peaks with an attempted revolution. Prince yrGael of the Cromaignian kingdom of Spharain. savagely suppressed by the local legion of the Republic Cohorts.

before their rebellion was savagely quelled by the Ancients. it took the Forerunners a great deal of time to either consider. and the orders from the Ancients to free them from the power of the Orbs. The Zathurians The Zathurians are an alien race. The Bikhon high priest. Zathurians their science to upgrade them and educate them. known as the Era of Joy. to leave the world and return to their home. If so. Uprisings in Shumtira reach fever pitch when the island's city states hang the Parkheshi Governor. Legions are sent to crush the uprising. however beneficial or benign the relationship. KiMentis withdrew from Telbrin in protest. they are masters of science. Guerillas hold out in the interior. and that is their only desire. when the two races worked together in harmony. The Zathurians talk of an idyllic period. but. 883 NC: The XXIV Undead Legion is sent to attack Mutant have been alien to the Ancients. their precise origins are unclear. The Legion is never heard of again. The She-Eth The reptilian. 872 NC: The First Siege of Renbril. punches through Modrin’s Line (despite the Republic's efforts. never progressing in their development. 879 NC: Tovril and Shelkan formally petition to join the Republic of Telbrin 875 NC: Second Siege of Renbril: Republic Cohorts and AurUrban forces from Mull lay siege to the city of Renbril. Shakhan siKhalatan orders a build up of military forces in all provences. They have never forgiven men for their treachery. and had access to semi-sorcerous technology that made them formidable warriors. 885 NC: The Mutant Wars in Badlands begin when Parkhesh sends numerous legions to occupy the Badlands in the region known as Afkhan. They are a xenophobic and agoraphobic race that dwell in sealed cities of great age and advanced technology. and Gwenthia was filled with their combined wonders. leaving a small KiDelan delegation. 884 NC: Fourth Parkhesh Civil War begins which enflames the Dureshi City States to the South East of Parkhesh. but still enslave them as useful tools. and. Humans joined with the Forerunners and formed what came to be known as the Meravae Empire. The new governor renames the city as Whiteport in honour of the Light aspect of Olakha. The Zathurians were forced to turn upon the humans is a bloody and holy war. they were a peaceful race. despite the Zathurian-instigated attacks of the SheEth. Their true origins are only known to themselves. and a consolidation of the Collective’s strongholds in the Badlands near to Whiteport (also known as Spiderport) as reprisals for besieging Whiteport. Republic Cohorts and units power that would influence forever Gwenthia’s development. in a woeful state) and lifts the siege. but they are called the ‘Children of the Moons’ by many cultures. They realised massive energies to perform the task. When humankind arrived on Gwenthia – intended to break the power of the Forerunner’s power over the Eighth Moon – the most unexpected events occurred. The arrival of the Zathurians. It seems that the Zathurians mourn the loss of their ability to travel the heavens. and tried to touch the gods themselves. This military mismanagement allows the Bikhon Party take over. rebellion against their masters. While their overall rebellion was ill-timed and failed. until humans stood as equals with their masters. 890 NC: The Mutant Wars come to an end with Parkhesh withdrawing from Afkhan . or initiate. A protracted war lasts for five years. and lands west of Duresh are annexed once again in a protracted war. An undead fleet of Corsairs appears from nowhere and destroys a Parkheshi fleet. Numerous islands in the Pirate's Teeth are attacked and the Corsairs are harrassed. Then the great city of men was destroyed by a heavenly bolt. and yet they seem to dwell in a state of arcane stasis. serpent-like She-Eth may have been on Gwenthia before the Ancients arrived.the military campaign a disgrace. bound the Forerunner Collective together as never before. until they were lured into rebelling against the Ancients by the Zathurians. Forces sympathetic to Khalesh break away from Parkhesh. only to promptly occupy the city itself. 873 NC: Siege of Renbril lifted by large mutant army that sweeps out of the Badlands. They certainly controlled an empire of sorts in the Thurian continent. Over the aeons the Zathurians have sought-out the pieces of the Eighth Moon in an attempt to return his body to the heavens. 886 NC: Aggressive overtures are made towards Kaipor. not native to Gwenthia. Shakhan gives up on Kaipor and pulls back the fleet blockade around the Pirate's Teeth to police the shipping lanes closer to the coast of Parkhesh. Working together they achieved partial control of the 8th Moon and sought to bring it down to the Gwenthian surface. Siege lifted by Parkheshi Galleons arriving with sizeable Undead Legionary force. seeing their potential. 880 NC: Renbril annexed by the Republic of Telbrin 880 NC: AurUrbis and Republic of Telbrin break off diplomatic relations after intractable disagreements over the long term future of Renbril. every piece of human technology was destroyed and men were cast back into the forest. or arrived with them. Mutant forces are rapidly driven back to the Badlands but the remaining population fight a bitter resistance for a further sixth months before capitulating. humans tried to steal the secret of Star Walking. rebelled against their masters.officers oversee the programme and the establishment of road. And it would take several efforts for the Forerunners to break their shackles. Shumtira and Duresh are given devolved power and local dignitaries are given governorships to appease the peoples. The Zathurians claim that when they came to Gwenthia all men were but primitives dwelling in trees. and became the Aktalar Desert. 882 NC: Mutant army sweeps into Parkheshi annex of White Spider River and lays siege to Spiderport. They have access to devices and knowledge far beyond the rest of Gwenthia. However. their actions were a blasphemy and resulted in the Eighth Moon being murdered and cast from heaven. It is possible that. they did succeed in implementing new magics derived from the freeing of the Zathurians. 891 NC: Fourth Parkhesh Civil War comes to an end after the ruling Bikhon faction (Red Orb Temple) is toppled from power by the Ralashon faction (Orange Orb Temple). This momentous event signalled the eventual fall of the Ancients. the Ancients’ punishment – the confiscation and destruction of their very souls – . canal and watch tower networks. The island of Shumtira is taken back by force and a heavy military force left to garrison the island.

assuming Tovril will stand aloof. The Matikhot faction more information. signed between Parkheshi and Khalian forces. Rumour that an Inner Circle of the speed the Great Armada leaves mainland Gara-Dien to begin the Eighth College is set up in the Eighth College. In Parkhesh. Harbour.from Tovril and Shalkan siege to Renbril and make efforts to reinforce Modrin’s Line on the basis of evidence of Renbrili overtures to warlords of the Badlands. . in terms of knowledge and sorcery. intent on its destruction. 839 NC: Third Parkhesh Civil War ends. but following manipulation by the Zathurians. and attacks the Moon gains ascendancy. because. occupies the forum with Undead soldiers and fighting between different legions of the Parkhesh Empire is seen in Parkhesh City. and with remarkable shines with an incredible light. declaration of the 753 NC: The Second Parkhesh Civil War comes to end. 821 NC: Written word adopted for common useage in Quatzadua. Whatever plans the Dark Moon had for humankind. or to another pocket of the multiverse). in time. 736 NC: The Dark Moon Ritual is restarted and sabotaged for a second time. but it's light is not ignited for another 15 years. 794 NC: City State of Tovril signs a mutual defence and preferential trade treaty with the burgeoning Republic of Telbrin 735 NC: Telbrin annexes city of Helbricht. release far worse effects and spread them far and wide across Gwenthia. It has been speculated that the Zathurians themselves caused the Eighth Orb to explode. humankind saw their magical knowledge dwindle and fade – although perhaps the Zathurians did not foresee that the powers released by the Eighth Moon as it exploded would. no one knows who Conquest of the Isles of the Kitar. that humankind might become too powerful. Orb. at least). In time. The She-Eth retreated from Gwenthia (either deep beneath its surface. when a select group of humans gained the ability to ‘walk in the heavens’. knowing that this would curtail humankind’s growing powers. This empire controlled most of Thurian for almost five thousand years during which time humankind began to proliferate on Gwenthia. The across Parkhesh as the once warlike city league seeks to make occupying forces do not intervene. Renbril dynasty of the Eighth College is toppled from power as the Second College linked to the Worship of Ralashon the Orange manages to place a puppet as Doge of Shalkan . ostensibly to break the powerful magics of the Forerunners who were drawing the orb towards the surface of the planet. A truce is created a bitter and tormented race. instead of opposing the Forerunners. Certainly. humans joined with it in alliance. North East Thurian braces itself for an onslaught of activity When the fate of the last true Doge of Shalkan is made public. Secretly historians believe it is because the use of the fragment of moon rock was not thwarted. A period of peace ensues citizens of the city riot and lynch any Renbrili they can find. 752 NC: NC: Maluja and the Eighth College manage to foil the 837 NC: After decades of relatively peaceful coexistence conflict yearly sabotage of their magical ritual and complete the ritual of flares between Kitar natives and independent settlers from the attunement. is a member of this inner circle but it is believed to be the power 834 NC: Third Parkhesh Civil War begins after the eight factions behind the Parkheshi throne. when hordes of She-Eth warrior-slaves have invaded the peaceful island of Lo Tual. It is widely believed that the temporal power of Parkhesh is enhanced by the presence of the piece of the Dark 870 NC: Fall of Shalkan to combined Republic and Tovrili force. Foreign espionage fails to find out in Parkheshi politics refuse to compromise. This happens every year for the next sixteen years. Humans Humankind was summoned to Gwenthia 7. Republic of Telbrin. amends for previous transgressions and aggression. 737 NC: The Lighthouse of Maluja is built in Parkhesh City This hasn't happened since the time of Maluja's rise to power. Maluja attains apotheosis and is declared a Saint. they went awry. it was clear (to the Zathurians. humans and Forerunners merged their cultures into what would become known as the Meravae Empire. The cult of the Eighth Moon is eclipsed Republic from two sides. the from Parkhesh which never happens. for many years. The Lighthouse of Maluja to the Harmonious Empire for assistance. after the Orb’s destruction.000 years ago by the Eighth Moon. and remained there until only recently. The ruling 865 NC: The City Wars in the Upper Hallex River Valley. spreading beyond the Thurian continent and even across the oceans. essentially breaking the Eighth Moon’s influence over Gwenthia. These Gara-Dien citizens appeal in the political decisions of Parkhesh. The Dark Moon Ritual of Humankind was clearly very powerful in those distant years. Maluja vanishes from history and no longer takes part League of Jinnahn in Gara-Dien.

Some Red Desert Nomad tribes join the Khalian League in it's fight against Maluja. 540 NC: New Calendar of Gwenthia adopted by decree TaTarazon III of Quatzadua. reportedly murdered by her Renbril 666 NC: Bridge of Jet created by KiMentas priests over the Cut of custodians. 569 NC: First reports of Lady Sybillis. While rumours of his re-appearance have been rife ever since they have never been confirmed. After the ceremony. led by Farkwhat. a daughter of the Night Hag. The Red Desert Nomads fall into a bitter war again which sparkes the Second Parkhesh Civil War . 681 NC: The south eastern part of the Red Desert is united under a single ruler. is made. 670 NC: NhiaQuat city refounded by eastern Quatzaduans and Hôkurik rebel against Parkhesh City League with help from Shalkan and Tovril city states and Takôda mercenaries. Maluja suspected. a son of Night Hag.taking a year in total. and seven Parkhesh legions forces a truce on the Khalesh City States. only one returns. Ashkar linking the continents of Thurian and Gwailan with a major land link for the first time. Of the seven sent. seizes control of Karvarian. his ship aiding those harrassed by pirates. triggering the Corsair's War. and expenditure of military resources. Many blame this year for the rise of Parkhesh sea power. The Khalian League is set up helped with weapons and expertise from AurUrbis and Tenbril with weapons carried via the Loparankwari. 518 NC: Prince yrGael sends troops to Karvarian in search of Blue Sword of Fate. 695 NC: Telbrin scholars discover ruins of Caer Abrin. 734 NC: A Parkheshi geological expedition finds a huge piece of the Eighth Orb in the Red Desert. Parkhesh. Numerous Parkhesh Galleons are sunk by the nimble fleet of Corsairs. Many sightings of the patron saint of sailors. who swears allegiance to Parkhesh and Maluja. Truce is signed with Kaipor. Sightings of Zambala return to a low number. leading many to speculate that he has finally moved on and is serving the Lady of Doors in another dimension. Period of peace starts on Telbrini forever cutting the ties that previously existed with Upper Valley of the Blue Serpent River and trade is reinstated. endlessly laughing. Maluja curses the Pirates and numerous ghost ships of undead pirates plagues the region to the present day. military might is tied up with this seemingly fruitless war which drive Parkhesh City League from Upper Valley of the Blue Parkhesh seems dedicated to throwing resources at. 682 NC: The First Parkhesh Civil War comes to an end when an united force of Red Desert Nomads. 479 NC: In final phase of the Corsair's War Maluja orders the invasion of Kaipor which proves to be more problematic than anticipated. War lasts for three years leaving some of Khalesh Khalian City states had opened trade with the Nhi-Tualian and ravaged and Parkhesh sues for peace. Khaleshi ensues which lasts on and off to this day. Many corsairs hide amongst the numerous islands named the Pirate's Teeth. It is the first and last known occasion when any non-Oxore has been permitted within the city. 651 NC: Khalian city states (in South West Parkhesh) successfully 362 NC: Shasteen Horrors break out in Gwailan: Northern . 443 NC: Star Child. aid and hinderance by Red Desert Nomads. Parkheshi 382 NC: City of Tovril forces. appears in Hokulkastun. lead by the Children of the Fire.scholars believe that this war was a precipitation of the discovery of the fragment of the Dark Orb and that the Khalesh City States and foreign powers sought to stop the use of this fragment by Maluja. The ritual is interrupted by foreign forces and Maluja has to wait another year to begin it again. 461 NC: Blue Sword of Fate found in Pirate's Teeth Islands. which holds one of the Twisted Swords of Fate. Zambala. Parkhesh launches an offensive to reclaim the Khalian City States in what is now called 388 NC: Northern Alliance sends Heroes to quest for the Star Khalesh and a bitter civil war between Parkheshi forces and the Child in Thurian's deserts. the piece of moon rock is secured and carried by land all the way to Parkhesh City . After great expense. the Theurgist ascended a magical stairway before departing through the Green Door. 487 NC: Corsair's War comes to the end when the Blue Sword of Fate is stolen from Kaipor. in a splendid ceremony within Maragrim City. The next twenty six years show increased fighting between Parkhesh and he Corsairs but the Corsairs are aided by an unknown third party and resist the Parkheshi aggression. infecting the dreams of Cromaignian women. The Khalesh City League swears a non-aggression pact with Parkhesh in return for access to ancient ruins in the desert nearby.Attunement is begun where Maluja consecrates the piece of the Dark Orb in a ritual that takes the eight days of the Dark Month of the year (the last month of the New Calendar consisting of ten days). 419 NC: Renbril launches surprise assault on Mull. 674 NC: Theurgist Gara-Dien crowns Prince Tangjin as ruler of the Oxore Dominion. 652 NC: The First Parkhesh Civil War. Farkhwat. By now the Serpent River. The Red Desert descends into another bitter tribal war. one of many countless others that have occurred through out the history of Gwenthia since the fall of the Dark Orb. Parkhesh begins to build a navy to help protect shipping and trade. 519 NC: Duke Maligaunt. and in the sight of the crowds gathered at Penumbra Town.

Known in later years as Modrin's Line. 340 NC: The Twelve Twisted Swords of Fate scattered by Sages of Hypotet (see below). What is known is the devastation it caused when it was unleashed across the whole of Gwailan in 305 NC. The wall was never finished after the architect. 305 NC: Power of the Demon Song released in Gwailan. and creatures of the Night Hag stalked the night. shipping was sunk. Non-octaminist supporters are crucified in public. 240 NC: Parkhesh Wall abandoned. YrGael and the Blue Sword In 518 NC. On every sword the handle is different from its companions. What is known is that the swords are indestructable. Even the Black Ships of Menerain fled the area. All the handles have writing carved into the metal in an unknown script. Badlands Mutants suspected. Religious relics are spirited away to Parkhesh City. After the eclipse. confronted the source of the Demon Song did it end. and the Twisted Blue Sword of Fate. After years of study Badol scattered the Twelve Twisted Swords of Fate he found at the source of the Demon Song to prevent it from occurring again. 226 NC: Craxshal Geneweaver leads the Army of Mutants from Durustan into AurUrbis. blocking the southern routes from the Badlands in to The Twisted Swords of Fate It is unknown where the Twelve Twisted Swords of Fate came from. The bottom third 'twists' ninety degrees towards the handle. This region becomes the Badlands (see NC 232). the Demon Song is released. The remaining Sages went underground hiding from the affects of the Demon Song and all Gwailan harbours closed to all shipping. However Spiderport remains secured and it's access reinforced. Warriors are lost in Red Desert. Temples and Magic colleges are raided.Alliance formed due to the destruction of the city of Patara. Doru exiles support Parkhesh regime. They have been thrown inside volcanoes. Maluja communes with other Octaminist supporters around the world. The cross-section of the blade looks like a shallow tear-drop. what ended it and why it happened. nightspawn run riot. The other edge of the blade is thicker and rounded blunt. war-marshal of Renbril orders the construction of a wall. 242 NC: Modrin's Line completed. Parkhesh and some other regions of Gwenthia. Relics sent to Parkhesh City. Parkhesh sets up neutral zone as buffer while it consolidates its border. The shape of the blade is curved and wide and only one edge is razor sharp. Parkesh begins brutal suppression of dissidants. who built them or their exact purpose is. after defeat at the Battle of Chaliko Gorge. They have lugs sticking out and some have sections missing. 265 NC: Nhi-Tual discover Tainted Silver and begin to use its affinity to slay Sorcerers. Key members of the Sages of Hypotet were killed in vile ways. 220 NC: Unprecedented eclipse of the Sun. 230 NC: During the Mutant Wars. 234 NC: Modrin. Strange vessels were seen aboard. The tips are coloured though and each sword has a different colour. Renbril territory. What is known is that when all twelve are brought together and arcane rituals performed. The tip is sharp but isn't pointed but again rounded. The dead were seen roaming the land doing what they did in life and the people were in panic. hunting Tainted Silver. 300 NC: Shikün tribe of Nhi-Tual launch first jihad against Parkhesh. Cities crumbed. The area is devastated magically and as a viable place of habitation. 221 NC: City States of the Upper Hallex River Valley attempt to secede from Parkhesh. Parkhesh begins a similar project (The Parkhesh Wall) with a chain of forts along the border with the Badlands. 295 NC: Parkhesh launches an offensive from Khalesh and annexes the previously independent Upper Valley of the Blue Serpent River with undead Legions. In all cases the swords have withstood the trails and remain unscathed. the Stone Throne of the Green Moon?. sailing down to the Golden Sea. the Black Watch is lessened in Quatzadia. The Demon Song Each individual sword is almost three metres long and has an unusual shaped blade. Not to be outdone. dropped into oceans [the swords float like driftwood] and had attempts to snap them with heavy loads with the swords braced on a fulcrum. all orbs aligned. ships that bear no resemblance to any Gwenthian shipping but were always followed by the foul keening sound that gives its name to the Demon Song. it's priority is to secure the strategically important harbour of Spiderport at the mouth of the White Spider River. 309 NC: The Taxican Rebellion in Quatzadua. is found disembowled along with his court at Spiderport. Prince yrGael emerged from a sixty-year meditation during which he scoured the Nowhen Lands for clues relating to certain treasures or secrets relating to Gwenthia: the Star Child's enemies. Maluja sends Inquiry to hunt assassins down. During his meditation he was directed by the strange and beautiful Handmaidens who claimed to be the custodians of the Twelve . War ensues in Nilman Desert. Only when the Head Sage. armies routed. 232 NC: Mutant Wars ends with AurUrban forces driving the Army of Mutants into what becomes the Badlands. The Black Watch is at its most potent since its increased activity in NC201. 206 NC: Sacred blood of The Invisible Lord found by Cult of The metal blades are silver coloured and are quite plain and unadorned. 321 NC: The Dark Magus arises in Gara-Dien. City States of Upper Hallex River effectively secede from Parkhesh. what started it. Badol. Harkash fo-Sulukhan. The sky darkened with storms that raged across the land. Very little is known about the Demon Song. Refugees flee to Nhi-Tual and Llama Tribes bringing tales of necromancy. Chaos and confusion spreads to neighbouring nations.

Most who meet their products meet their doom by them. And the Blue Sword of Fate? It remains unfound and none can tell if it resides on Karvarian. Those who have charted the Nowhen Lands state that they mirror Gwenthia physically. Black Ships blamed. It is said that gods and men are alike here. dedicated to the production of the highest quality weapons. Parkheshi Edict exiles the Cult of Rathkur from Parkhesh League thus driving them deeper into the Red Desert and other lands. and. In Thurian. The seven heroes of the Rose sought several protective charms from across Gwenthia. lie the Nowhen Lands. seeking either specific knowledge or a simple wish to escape to a place where their powers are unique and cannot be corrupted by the Night Hag and her children. geometric fashion and the wounds glowed with a disturbing yellow light. and most cruelly. With the help of the Red Desert Nomads. and others still that they cursed them and whoever might hold them. 205 NC: Annual Sacred Orean metal auction begins in Montarul. This was the most dangerous task possible. controlled Between the physical presence of Gwenthia. by Duke Maligaunt. or if yrGael. before retreating to the Weeping Sea. 126 NC: Rasen claims independent government but Zathurian living ships crush the flames of freedom. and his body shook uncontrollably. although the cities and countries familiar to Gwenthians are unheard of. 155 NC: Aran. -1. Harmonious Empire founded. after a year of preparation. aided by Tharux weapons and Zharaan Mercs. Certain sorcerers claim to be able to enter the Nowhen Lands at will. 104 NC: Sea Demons rise. Maluja discovers an ancient temple in the Red Desert. His body had been lacerated from head to foot in a strange. one of the Black Ships of Menerain appeared in Spharain's harbour. ousting AurUrbis settlement. . sailed to Karvarian and into the heart of absolute darkness. many turn to the Sisters of Blood for aid. The Sages of Hypotet The Sages of Hypotet are a Durustani religious sect of The Lazmastu Path. This domain is free from the Night Hag's influence and is claimed to be a place of heroes.Rathkur in Red Desert. 134 NC: Mount Kravchul erupts. there is neither sign nor memory. son of Arrik. The Nowhen Lands Precisely a year and a day later. culminating with the eclipse of the sun in 220NC. Maluja dispatches five legions to secure the sacred spring from the unsympathetic Red Desert Nomads. and the disgusting view of large flying ceatures around the summit. 172 NC: Parkhesh city-state wars end in a massacre . hero. Some of these beings have been named: The Handmaidens. Theurgist Gara'Dien institutes Emerald Compact. others that they discovered them. fundamental truths. himself a Xunli convert to the Jade Path.000 years BP: The Tharux try to steal Cromaigne secrets from Jhyrain. Strossheim of La'ash. and the physical presences of the Seven Orbs.Sceptre of Bronze Ruin captured by Maluja. The Brittle Uncle. brought mercy to the poor. The dynasty does not outlast his lifespan. 140 NC: Parkhesh city-state wars begin. its only passenger being the Knight of the Rose. Very little is known about them outside Durustan except for their involvement in the scattering the Twelve Twisted Swords of Fate. The Black Watch is said to become more potent. Some sources claim the sages made them. yrGael summoned to him his finest Knights of the Rose and sent them to retrieve the Blue Sword. Aran ushers in a period of peace and prosperity which lasts for ten years. and the Nowhen Lands are home to some who were once gods or who will be in the future. attacking the North West part of Thuria. in his dealings with the Handmaidens in the Nowhen Lands. But more chilling was the laughter: an incessant. bearing the Sceptre of Bronze Ruin. rides into Parkesh city. tricked. 174 NC: Shipping vanishes in Golden Sea. and waking dreams. 165 NC: Aran leads Parkhesh City League and seizes Upper Hallex River. following discovery of Meravae tombs. Aran brings back an unknown relic which brings down a curse upon his empire. 146 NC: In response to years of intermittent and impudent raiding and slaving through the thinly settled Xunli tribal lands -1. ChentPin is subsequently appointed Imperial Governor of the Xunli Freehold. -1. insane laughter that only ceased when yrGael himself. 5 NC: Plague revisits Thuria. 201 NC: The Red Desert Nomads wars reach a high with an overall ruler for the Red Desert asserting his power from this time. was spitefully. Using the Bronze Sceptre of Ruin he raises an undead army and with a combined force of Red Desert Nomads and Undead Legions conquers the Khalian city states. Upon emerging from his meditation. The Seven Orbs still cluster the skies. Bhregun. but are foiled by Kastun ambassador. because it sent yrGael's warriors into the very heart of the realm of one of the Night Spawn princes.500 years BP: Churches of the Chain declares crusade against General ChentPin. His eyes had been burned from his skull. The Azure Lady of Sorrow. Old Calendar -995 years BP and 0 NC: The Old Calendar is denounced as heretical by the Human Church of Gwenthia and the New Calendar is proposed. and he was led to the island of Karvarian where the erstwhile Blue Sword was now in the keeping of Duke Maligaunt. Dominate in a hard-fought 12 year campaign. raises The Cult of Rathkul but can't seem to find it. eyes filled with tears. but of the Eighth.250 years BP: Zathur and Mererain jointly govern Rasen. the Gara-Dien Imperial Corps and conquers the Sheshaan Twisted Swords of Fate. mad. and Cromaigne.

and the Gold Wars begin between AurUrbis and Meravae. Tharux loot the cities.875 years BP: Xantiric Theocracy collapses in to civil war.000 years BP: Something causes the Dark Orb to explode.900 years BP: Guerrilla warfare erupts between Charrux River Valley folk and Tharux. and some migrate to Spiria. and nations re-build.200 years: The First Octaminist Crusade brings about the destruction of the Evening Culture. which disintegrated before reaching the surface of Gwenthia. -2. the Evening Culture summons horses to the island. More and more debris is discovered and secreted away. Khur-Ishida appears in Nhi-Tual and overthrows rule of Seven False Gods. The Seven False Gods first appear in Nhi-Tual. and others wanting to destroy its remains.400 years BP: Gwailan’s humans go into hiding. -2. some wanting to control the powers it confers. in the western Plateau region. The nascent Confedracy is immediately tested nearly to destruction by the Ensellati Horde. which it names Cromaigne and Karvarian.500 years BP: The Tharux discover a network of hidden Meravaenian Catacombs and unwittingly release the Shasteen Horrors. Cromaigne split into three kingdoms by KiMentas occupation force.300 years BP: Various crusades engulf Thurian.) -3. -2. -2. -2. Northern. -2. and a coalition formed from the Red Desert Nomads and the Outlanders of the Gwailan nations. calling itself The Evening Culture. -3. which ultimately lead to the ancestors of the Zharaan being driven north into vassalage in Zathuria.200 years BP: Meravae vanish from Gwenthia.300 years BP: Central volcano erupts in Dragon Peaks. -1. It ends with the intervention of the free people of Cromaigne.400 years BP: Geneweavers stir in Gwailan in response to Shasteen attacks. -2. -2. Gwenthia plunged into Great Ice Darkness which lasts a decade.500 years BP: On Cromaigne. the island north of Cromaigne. The city of Xzanpthia is destroyed in the process.000 years BP: The Earth God rises in Quatzadua. -3.000 years BP: Aur Urbis emerges on the Golden Isthmus. -2. -4.-1. sent to investigate the Arboreals (Zathur's first creation).100 years BP: Prince yrGael of Cromaigne leads the witchhunts against the last remnants of the Evening Culture. -3. Kastu arrive unexpectedly.600 years BP: The Tharux. -3. -1. living reincarantion of the divine Xantir. -5. Population of Charrux River Valley virtually eradicated. -2. (The Second Octaminist Crusade). Above Gwenthia. This sect. Rise of the Prophet Xantir. a human race in thrall to the Zathurians. vanishes. First Tharux cross Charrux River – surveying the land and people. The Meravae Empire expels a growing sect of Night Hag worshippers. AurUrbis occupies Parkhesh with Red Desert Nomads help.700 years BP: The Cult of Rathkul appears in the east. majority of Iqari driven from the island.900 years BP: AurUrban and Cromaigne forces wage the Third Octaminist Crusade in Parkhesh. who leads his followers west towards Zathuria: they are all believed annihilated. -2. -2.900 years BP: Some Lapithian groups migrate to the Gold Mountains in AurUrbis. flees to the western islands and settles the southerly isles. A Zathurian Charioteer. At around this time. the seven Orbs (which may or may not have controlled or guided the wars beneath them) reach an amnesty. The Plains Wars rage along the Charrux River Valley.750 years BP: Over a century of strife ends as the surviving elements of the Xantiric Theocracy agree to the founding of the Confederation of the Children of Xantir . sent by Zathurians seeking retribution for their missing Charioteer.trade with Thurian disrupted. -2. -2.100 years BP: AurUrbis implements Great Trade Conclave.800 years BP: Lord Xocotal the head-hunter forms The Quatzaduan Cult of Murazcoatl.750 years BP: Vendetta wars start in Gwailan and end in tragedy. are driven from Nhi Tual by the Night-Blind Plague.000 years BP: The different races of Gwenthia go to war over the Dark Orb debris. . a militant theocratic dictatorship lead by the Kol-shek d’Vanan. -3.150 years BP: Rise of the Xantiric Theocracy.300 years BP: Agreements between Cromaigne and Spiria are made as Meravae Empire falls. -2. is discovered all across the planet.800 years BP: The Tharux appear in Nhi-Tual and initiate trade with the Tual natives. -4.000 years BP: Insectoid Swarm (Hash-Takk) ravages Quatzadua.250 years BP: Exodus of Slaves as human population flees the collapse of civil society in the heartlands of the Meravae Empire. The Ripper Plague is called by the Earth God and destroys the invaders who cannot enter the Archology discovered in Xzanpthia. -2. whipped-up by Zathurian wiles. 500 years BP: The debris of the Eighth Orb. the power of the Night Hag begins to assert itself and some begin to worship this dark deity—which is deemed to be but one aspect of the Dark Orb. it seems lost. -4. They are aided by a coup d'etat in the Meravae court by Prince yrGael.

under Zathurian tutelage. and seek to steal the Gods' powers. the Forerunners use their powers of prayer to summon the Dark Orb of Gwenthia.000 years BP: Zathurian’s travel through space and divert to Gwenthia. condemning their physical forms to wander the void between life and death.000 years BP: The Forerunners. the Geneweavers.000 years BP: The Zathurians have watched the Forerunners’ rebellion against the Ancients carefully. and the Ancients destroy the souls of the She-Eth race. as expected. Tual and his family leave Meravae Empire to follow the Seven stars. Slowly descending towards Gwenthia. The rebellion fails. -7. From across the universe Humans hear the call of the Dark Orb and travel to Gwenthia. Instead. . However the Ancients are not without their own powers and.000 years BP: Through the interference of both the Zathurians and Eighth Orb. the Zathurians persuade the reptilian She-Eth to launch a surprise attack on the Ancients. who now proliferate. the two become allies and fight against the Ancients together. are scrutinised by both the inquisitive Zathurian Minds. and. lured by the planet’s eight Orbs. -8. seeking liberation from the Ancients. The Forerunner/Human alliance becomes known as the Meravae Empire. find their slavery deepened and made worse by the Ancients. Humans do not. -9. for reasons unknown. and also surreptitiously modified by the Dark Orb as it continues its fall. -6. During this time.000 years BP: Humans. they do manage to slow its progress. and the moon begins its descent towards the surface of the planet. However. call upon the power of the Forerunners to assist the trapped Zathurians. The Fall of the Dark Orb is a major event for most cultures. whilst they cannot prevent the Eighth Orb from descending. watching from Gwenthia’s surface. and the power of the Orbs is broken.unleashing strange changes across the world. Around this time the Arborials may have been created. However. -9. The attack is repelled. the Ancients. -6. launch their rebellion. The Ancients dominate Gwenthia for the next thousand years. side with the enslaved Forerunners. humans develop the ability to ‘walk the heavens‘. come to power. The Zathurians thus arrive on Gwenthia. eventually defeating them completely. for their treachery. In Gwailan. In frustration at their worsened situation.000 years BP: The Zathurians seal their cities to prevent reprisal attacks by the Ancients. -10. upon arrival. and the Forerunners. the Eighth Orb summons Human magicians to break the Forerunners magic. ruling most of the continent. Using their own powers of guile and command. and they are defeated in a war with the Meravae Empire. But the Geneweavers rule is not to last. battle against the Forerunners. humans spread north from Thurian to the continent of Gwailan.000 years BP: The Forerunners once again rise to challenge the Ancients.

designed to slow or prevent the rapid runoff of irrigation water. pronounced 'KeeDellan?' Not a species but a culturally defined ethnic group amongst Humans. AurUrbis has a temperate coastal climate.AurUrbis The Golden Lands A urUrbis sits on the Golden Isthmus that runs from the Gwenthian southern continent of Thurian up to the northern continent of Gwailan . Over the strait lies the Bridge of Jet. This strait is known as the Cut of Ashkar in reference to the sword of the Dark God which reputedly cut the gash in the land in prehistory. This seems to be curtailed by a tragically short lifespan. on the sub continent of Gwailan proper. but harsher winters and proper lies on the Golden Isthmus. It has been. They often seem less intelligent than most humans to outsiders. The New Province of AurUrbis lies on the mainland of Gwailan. The KiDelan rule the Federation that is AurUrbis and are a brave. technically on the continent of hotter summer in the wooded hinterland. warm in winter and humid in summer. The land is formed into multiple terraces. home to the KiMentas people and the city states that make up the AurUrban nation. even the poor are robust in body and health. Cut of Ashkar A narrow strait of suicidal ravines and gorges that swirl from the Konastorm Sea to the West to the Sea of Brass to the East. Where Continents Divide The Golden Isthmus joins the southern continent of Thuria with the northern continent of Gwailan. The New Province of AurUrbis is the northern territory of that The Mountains of Gold have an alpine climate. . The Mountains of Gold are cultivated in the foothills using terraces. for over 4000 years. Temperatures hover around 3-4 degrees Celsius in winter. Higher the landscape is alpine and sparsely populated save for in the City of Gwent. Bridge of Jet A vastly wide bridge of pure jet brought forth from the earth by KiMentas priests over the Cut of Ashkar in 666 NC to allow their troops to subjugate and begin the settlement of New Province. The isthmus is bisected North and South by the Mountains of Gold. Thurian. This strait is known as the Cut of Ashkar. a reference to the sword of the Dark God which reputedly cut the gash in the land in prehistory. The coasts of the Golden Isthmus are heavily cultivated and highly populated. they seem somehow protected from illness or deformity. spring is windy and temperatures rise progressively. each city has a distinctive racial type. The New state. yet also in great physical shape and health. To the West of the isthmus is the Konastorm Sea. some dark skinned. Over the strait lies the Bridge of Jet. lying wholly on the continent of Gwailan whereas AurUrbis Province has similar weather on the coast. giving a stepped appearance. In the North of AurUrbis. some fair-haired. and each distinctive to it's home city. AurUrbis is a nation of strong healthy people. few citizens see their fortieth year. and rise to an average of 24-26 degrees Celsius in the summer. averaging 12-15 degrees Celsius. with occasional snowfall. the flat plain is densely wooded and populated by small settlements. There is great diversity amongst the KiDelan. to the East is the Sea of Brass. The territory has been progressively colonised by KiDelan and Doers and Thinkers KiDelan Singular and plural: KiDelan. Autumn sees continued high temperatures combined with high rainfall. The isthmus is broken only at the point it joints Gwailan where a narrow strait of suicidal ravines and gorges swirls between the Konastorm Sea to the West and the Sea of Brass to the East. passionate and artistic people. The KiDelan are 'those that do' in AurUrbis and they concentrate on physical activity and prowess.

healers. The main urban centre is New Settlement which for cultural and political reasons isn't not regarded as a city by the nation. cellars. Political Structure AurUrbis is a political Federation in which city states run most affairs independently under the broad guidance of the Golden Council. Duxi making and doing. with high urban populations but most living in intensively farmed agricultural villages. Most AurUrban cities agreed by consensus amongst the high priesthood of AurUrbis in have small ex patriate communities of other races and humans. and the buildings are low. amongst the KiDelan. Debello are a short humanoid race. Urthan Tar SaBellator. despite there being no sexual acts between the mother and any of the Black Folk as they are often known. with ebony black skin. Unlike most AurUrbis cities it is built of black volcanic stone. the city has a labyrinth of caverns. The New Province is different in that it is ruled by the Council directly. who is taken to the nearest KiMentas to be raised. The council is made up Gold live small communities of Lapithians who mine alongside of 7 KiDelan and 1 KiMentas. which sits in the City of Gwenth in the Mountains of Gold. KiMentas reach maturity in two years. They have a circular mouth. streets and libraries underground. The KiMentas are. closed session. two eyes with KiMentas black irises that fill the orbs and make the pupils almost impossible to see. They have no nose or ears but a composite sensory array on their elongated chins. It is regarded as a great honour to bear a KiMentas child. Mull within their scholarly society. and appear to live for hundreds of years.KiMentas settlers since 666 NC when the Bridge of Jet allowed large scale military incursions viable. The population breaks down roughly as: In 995 NC the council resides at Urthan and its membership is: 90% KiDelan Sed SaUrthos. Aeros body hair. In the Mountains of and to arbitrate in disputes between cities. Culture and Peoples The Golden Council of AurUrbis is the body that oversees the broad guidance of the AurUrbis federal state. KiMentas young are born to human mothers . however. largely basalt and jet. They are most adept at this task and have a social symbiotic relationship with the human population who focus on Cities and Regions The eight cities of AurUrbis are dedicated to the particular worship of each of the Seven Gods of the Moons . 'those that make' in the city states of AurUrbis. The design chosen is that of the KiMentas elected as the Most Considered at the Renewal Enclave. The city chosen is the winner of the most AurUrbis Octathlons since the last Renewal. have heightened senses both auditory. The KiMentas are 'those that think' in AurUrbis and Sho SaSchola. markets. KiMentas perform all intellectual roles in AurUrbis society. engineers etc. scribes. Carved and built into the stone of the mountain. The city is unlike any other in AurUrbis in that the population is 90% KiMentas. a race whose origins are shrouded in mystery. They are not in any way human. It can set overall AurUrbis is populated dominantly by two sentient species. KiMentas are physically weak. pronounced 'KeeMenntass' their faces and shoulders as they gain recognition Kai SiTextor. borne to human mothers. Gwenth militia. Aquos only sign of age are white tattoos that are made upon Fri SiVinum. There is little industry and every day pack animals trudge up to the city to deliver food and goods from the hinterland. The KiMentas delegate is KiDelan humans known as ‘Mongrels’. visual. the small dark figures dominate and run the city. no apparent genitalia or mammalian Lin TaCurar. rarely above two storeys even for the main temples. raise and command the City of the KiDelan (a human sub species) and the other is the KiMentas. The 7 humans are selected in the 8 small KiDelan groups and under the gaze of small schools of Iqari yearly Octathlon in which the seven greatest athletes amongst the who roost in the highest peaks. Four cities hold to the Octathlon model that they hold biennial contests based on the . The total population of AurUrbis is some 1 million people. Urthan Singular and plural: KiMentas. one is foreign and defence policy. 5% 4% 1% Mongrel (New Province) KiMentas Others High in the alpine passes of the Mountains of Gold lies the ancient and brooding city of Gwenth? deidicated to the Goddess Gwenthia. lawyers. Gwenth features. The Lin AquanSon. In the New Province live non KiDelan are chosen in competition. as their internal anatomy shows. chemical and possibly some kind of telepathy. Every 64 Old Years one of the Seven Moon Cities is razed to the ground and then rebuilt. with an administration and military forces dedicated to it. oversee the New Settlement in the New Province. the Eighth (the City of Gwenth) to the worship of the Goddess Gwenthia herself. no Hoi SaCursor.

rarely above two storeys even for the main temples. AurUrbis is a major manufactory state. High in the alpine passes of the Mountains of Gold lays the ancient and brooding city of Gwenth dedicated to the Goddess Gwenthia. timber. markets. gold and other raw materials from across Gwenthia. Three are ruled by High Councils composed from the Masters of the City Guilds. furs. it is not. the small dark figures dominate and run the city. wines and spirits. the city has a labyrinth of caverns. and one (Urthan) is a hereditary principality. cutlery. weapons. jewellery.same model. cellars. can never be any more. amber. In the cities are manufactured fine clothes. largely basalt and jet. dedicated to the Goddess Gwenthia. Much of trade is seaborne and the nations of the seas compete in the Octaminist Clipper Race. with the winners taking office as the High Councillors of the city for the next two years. There is little There is a settlement in the New Province which some foreigners industry and every day pack animals trudge up to the city to might call a city. The city is unlike any other in AurUrbis in that the population is 90% KiMentas. It is simply known as the New Settlement. luxury ceramics. and the buildings are low. AurUrbis merchants are some of the most cunning in the world. ores. streets and libraries underground. Unlike most AurUrbis cities it is built of black volcanic stone. silver. Carved and built into the stone of the mountain. ivory. to the AurUrbans there are 8 cities. The cities of AurUrbis are: City of Gwenth. . It imports spices. a KiMentas trader is usually competing with a sly Parkheshi merchant. there deliver food and goods from the hinterland.

present and future. Mull lies on the main trade route from Meravaenia and in times past has been fought over by Merav and Parkheshi invaders. harvesting and weaving of silk. Soft consonants or open vowels at the ends of words are It Ta Names are a simple monosyllable personal name. favoured. a trade name taken at the age of 12. The city lies on high ground alongside the river and provides services and taxes river merchants who come The Night Hag upstream from the city of Mull or downstream from the city of Aquos. it is also written phonetically by non KiMentas writers using other scripts and alphabets. The citizens of Mull worship Zhar. Aqosians are short. even those who have learnt Lidin fluently can make no headway with it. Other personal names include Toe. Located near natural iron ore and limestone deposits the city manufactures some of the finest steel weapons in the world. this is a soft language on the tongue. prefaced by Sa for a man or Si for woman. Gil. I Ee We Vi You Fo You Pa He Sa They Ki She Si Lidin uses simple words and three tenses. The city is a hereditary principality ruled by the SaUrthos family. Sif. Personal pronouns in Lidin are: Personal pronouns in Lidin are: English Lidin English Lidin Lidin is a common trade language in the Sea of Brass and Northern Thurian. Personal names are not differentiated between gender. Many generals have come from Urthan. etc. Ta for a KiMentas. rogues and entrepreneurs.Copyright Richard Huber 1981 Urthan dedicated to Urthos the Red Moon Husband. the Orange Moon Husband. Examples are: Kim SaVerr Aeros. the Green Moon Husband. often Parkheshi. Om is a female weaver from the city of Mull. Aquos. Mull. is a city in the south west of AurUrbis lying alongside the Hallex River and the border of the Badlands. Lidin The written form of Lidin uses a strangely shifting set of characters which only KiMentas can read. the Orange Moon Husband. A chapter of the Haghunters operates from the city and is headed by Sed SaUrthos. As well as a major trading power. Kim is a glassblower from the city of Aeros. dedicated to Aeran. Despite it's simplicity Lidin can express a full range of emotions and concepts when used by a KiMentas. past. The city produces glassware and pottery of such quality that princes in far off lands have sold children into slavery to own it. Names seem to have less significance to AurUrbans than other cultures who place great emphasis on naming conventions. the Green Moon Husband . Scribes from other nations have suggested that the script is a ruse or some kind of cipher. and which they seem to decline to teach to others. relying on KiMentas to handle such boring matters. port city in AurUrbis on the Sea of Brass . Aquos. dedicated to Aquan. In English this would be like saying “In the past I walk along street” or “Tomorrow I visit my uncle”. as well as extensive ranges of ironware. the Yellow Moon Husband. dedicated to Zhar. [When looking for trade names you can use Earth Latin verbs. Gim. Mull.] .. Tam is an ironworker from the city of Urthan. Urthan dedicated to the Urthos the Red Moon Husband. The citizens of Mull are known for their fashion in the last hundred years of wearing full masks at all times in public. The city is populated by red-haired KiDelan given to passionate tempers and war. and Aeros is a city in AurUrbis of tall long limbed KiDelan well known for their running skills. Past and future are denoted by simple prefacing a sentence with a time marker. the heir to the city. lithe and highly robust. trade names are. Aquos also manufactures all ships in the AurUrban Eastern Fleet. dedicated to Aquan . Urthan is a river port city in AurUrbis along the Hallex River that runs from the Republic of Telbrin to the Sea of Brass in the south east of the country. Tal. Jom. and the city name. including a cabal of KiMentas wizards skilled in combating possible Telbrin air attacks. Tam SaFerro Urthan. A full military garrison is based at Mull. Of short squat build with raven hair the people of Mull are know to have cunning temperaments and are experts at the raising. the Yellow Moon Husband. KiDelan do not choose to read and write. dedicated to Aeran. which is only used with foreigners or abroad. given to the child by the local KiMentas priest. In 995 NC the current Prince of Urthan is the aging Lar SaUrthos. The city has a strong military garrison which defends the AurUrbis border from incursions from the Badlands. Known for their webbed fingers and toes. Aeros. Om SiTexo Mull. Aeros. merchants. this is a city of traders.

they return to Menerain. both wool and linen. As such it has a long history of combating and defeating the alien incursions of those odd people. the Blue Moon Husband . When the Three Brother King's send forth their announcements of that the Tharux are selling their goods. and have AurUrbans all the Seven Gods are male. is a vibrant port in AurUrbis on the Konastorm Sea . Merchant at Large. the Blue Moon Husband. spirits. the High Temple is both at and is the City of Gwenth in the Mountains of Gold. the Parkheshi galleons. as thought watching proceedings? At the conclusion of each race. dedicated to the Dux. Adludori are dark haired. racing clippers 'Argamon's Seal' in the past two contests .Adludo. the villages nearby are fortified and defensive. the bringer of the . that of rescuing a child of the prince of [???] from a devious and cunning pair of trained QuatzHunds. The Moon Husbands are the husbands of Gwenth. Seven can be seen clearly in the sky. that Husband God of Gwenth in that city. The Eighth Moon is Dark. to port themselves close to Menerain Harbour. there is the Octaminist Clipper race. and yet seems growing amongst KiDelan in the poorer and richer parts of society. During the race. armaments. carrying 10 tonnes of purest Parkheshi intigro. sinister vigil over Cromaigne waters. dedicated to Sharvan. Debello is a city in AurUrbis dedicated to the Debell. and exports exquisite wines.narrowly losing in each race. The KiMentas form the priesthood. Adludo builds all the AurUrban naval ships of the Western Fleet. Adludo . Duxi is an agricultural centre. the ten Black Ships have been spied in the open waters where the race takes place. Debello. dedicated to Dux. a polytheistic faith that worships the Goddess Gwenthia and the Seven Gods of the Moons. By strange irony Debello is also a gathering place for many merchants seeking to gain the secrets of the Tharux Traders. whale hunters who roam up above Northern Gwailan . slaves and exotic goods. Duxi. its occupant cast down for his role as the Devourer. japes and bawdy humour. and views it as the “But why is it that the mysterious Black Ships. dried meats. dedicated to Sharvan . gunpowder and Grind Wagons . known in AurUrbis as Seven Gods of the Moon Husbands. dedicated to Debell. tolerant and welcoming to other species as children on the during the competition. The faith is open. where some of the fastest merchant vessels race around the Sea of Brass from Parkhesh City to the city of Duxi in AurUrbis. the Indigo Moon Husband. people flock to Debello with great wagon trains of silver. Thankfully such proclamations are rare. Who can carry the spices the fastest is the official point of the competition. Debello is always built low and defensively with multiple walls. and merchants who trade with the aloof Cromaignians and alien Zathurians . AurUrbans are devout worshippers of Gwenthia as the Earth Mother. The AurUrban Church of Gwenthia is a polytheistic faith that worships the Goddess Gwenthia as the inspiration that helped humans free themselves from the oppression of the Devourer after he had stolen the human race from their rightful home. AurUrban frigates and Gwailan Union ships are not allowed to assist in any fracas between any merchants. short and wiry. Many merchants pay pilgrimage to his shrine. the Violet Moon Husband. as well as tailored clothes and bulk cloth. but keeps initiation and membership taking part.” . Located on the Fretum estuary is the city closest to the lands of the Zathurians. Religion The main religion is the AurUrban Church of Gwenthia. Both the engines and their products such as cutlery. high watchtowers and KiMentas engineers and sorcerers work The Octaminist Clipper Race Every 16 New Year (8 Old Year). Adludori are well known for their jests. Most others will not put to sea themselves. Others exist. is a city in AurUrbis of blonde short people. assuming again their silent. no known crew. the prize is the ashes of the bones of the black pirate. a city of fisher folk. known to be dour and penny pinching. limited to pure bred humans and the KiMentas There is most certainly rivalry in the who serve her. and an eighth is believed to exist but to be dark. Amerain builds fine ships. Zambala Whichever city wins the race plays host to the shrine of Zambala where the rogue is honoured for his final act. They honour the Seven Orbs as the husbands of Gwenthia who aided the humans to free Parkheshi. and the Churches of the Chain are accepted as a tale of the Seven Gods 'abroad'. the Indigo Moon Husband. maintaining a discreet distance. such as guns . olive skinned. but excels at the manufacture of engines of war and industry. seemingly taken an interest in the Octamonist Clipper Race? For the past three races. and has entered one of its finest is a friendly schism. unless they are Seven. Gwenthia has seven celestial bodies. The Human Church of Gwenthia Octaminist Clipper Race. and kitchenware are exported across AurUrbis and beyond. the Human Church of Gwenthia is tolerated amongst foreigners. Duxi. Amerain has every intention of winning the next race. Debello has limited agriculture. The race is hotly contested by AurUrban. the Violet Moon Husband. All worship of the Dark God or the Night Hag is suppressed vigorously. who freed humans from the evil Eighth Moon God. Zambala is said to be an aspect of one of the 8 Lords (though all of the 8 cults lay claim to him). Within that each city favours one of the Seven Gods of the Moons as its patron deity. hard to develop defensive technologies to keep invaders at bay. and its shipwrights are busily engaged in ways of refining the 'Seal's' capabilities to ensure victory. Gwailan Union and Cromaigne merchants.Telgrin KiMaritim.

and so do young the stomach. Many tailors. save for some who choose to worship a Moon Husband more for reasons of trade or preference. the Jester and Friend is a jolly and convivial god. but he is also called on by messengers. Thus does Aeran always hold a place in his heart for those who exert themselves in physical tasks for the service of others. not always the one associated with their city. the Farmer is a thin and careful god. trade and fishing. inn keepers. the Masked Tailor is a contemplative and skilled god. The Orbs are worshipped by the people of AurUrbis in the AurUrban Church Of Gwenthia as husband gods to the Goddess Gwenthia. replacing the skills with more priestly skills where appropriate. and so do young and old men who wish to dress well and seduce their lovers. determination and athletics and is the patron god of the city of Aeros in AurUrbis . Many publicans. drink and be good companions does Urthos always hold a place in his heart for those crippled or and friends. but he is also called on by merchants and healers. The core catechism of AurUrban faith is: The Church was the prime mover in the overthrow of the Octaminist Church and the Octaminist Crusades. craftsmen. After the Fall of the Dark he befriended many of the Night Spawn and made them whole Orb when the Night Hag threatened the Goddess. The Dark God. Zhar. Thus and old men who like to laugh. Fallen One is worshipped and propitiated only by dark and death cults. goring maudlin side that can come out once in his cups. Urthos' love again. but he is also called on by dancers. cooks worship Sharvan. The Goddess Gwenthia is the deification of Gwenthia. laughter and friendship. tales Chain and the Khalesh Religion. tales tell of how he AurUrbis. After the Fall Of The Dark Orb when the Night Hag threatened the Goddess. She is worshipped by the Aur Urban Church Of Gwenthia. with the distinctive webbed fingers of the citizens of Aquos in AurUrbis . When the Hag came she killed and slew many of Zhar’s brothers but the Goddess was safe. the Churches Of The Sharvan. as such those who are troubled with chronic ailments often call on him for help. each Moon Husband allied to a city. Many warriors worship Urthos across Dux. and they can do so without necessarily meeting the skill requirements. athletes and sportsmen. Sharvan's love for her was so Urthos the Bull God is the Moon Husband of the Goddess great that he hid the Goddess behind his great belly and when the Gwenthia most associated with passion and war and is the patron Hag came he laughed at her and belittled her with jokes and jeers. and trampling them. god of the city of Urthan in AurUrbis . Many sailors and fishermen worship Aquan across AurUrbis. Only KiMentas may be priests. but in doing so he was seared and scarred. Aquan's love for her was so great that he became a giant barracuda and hunted down and ate the Night Spawn as they swam towards the Goddess. tales tell of how he won the Goddess Gwenthia 's heart with beautiful clothes. After the Fall Of The Dark Orb when the Night Spawn crawled from the Sea of Brass and slithered and stumbled toward the Goddess in the City of Gwenth it was Aeran who set off to warn the Goddess and all the people. tell of how he won the Goddess Gwenthia 's heart with humour. Aquan the Swimmer is the Green Moon Husband of the Goddess Gwenthia most associated with sea. running like the wind and reaching the city in no more than a single hour although the distance was more than a horse could gallop in a week.Void. Devourer. jewellers and artificers worship Zhar. merchants. After the Fall Of The Dark Orb when the The Seven Moon Husbands Night Hag threatened the Goddess. and there is friendly rivalry between the cults. In doing so Aquan has had trouble with his stomach ever since. Most men in AurUrbis worship a Moon Husband. the Human Church of Gwenthia. An Earth Mother who led Humans and/or KiMentas from the slavery of the Dark God. When he reached the Hag he gored her in vintners. Aquan is shown as a merman. Aquan's love for her was so great that he made masks all his brothers and he wore them as well as the Goddess. bringing the Eighth Orb crashing to the ground. hurt in war or defence. careful eye on expenses. After the Fall Of The Dark Orb when the Night Hag threatened the Goddess. lovers and won the Goddess Gwenthia 's heart with productive soil and a orators. singers. Many farmers concentrate on worshipping the Goddess directly. Meravaenia and the Khalesh. It is said by the KiMentas that when the Devourer was cast down from the Sky he shattered into 47376 pieces. Women worship the Goddess Gwenthia in some form. Many KiDelan worship Urthos across AurUrbis. The Goddess is integral in the religions of AurUrbis. under his laughter the Hag shrank and shrank but as she did for her was so great that he roared and bellowed and took the so she lashed out with sarcasm and to this day Sharvan has a form of a great bull and charged the minions of the night. skilled hands and the careful manipulation of his rivals. and that should people turn to sin again those 47376 pieces will come together and the Fallen One will rise again. heralds. The Goddess Gwenthia Aeran the Runner is the Moon Husband of the Goddess Gwenthia most associated with speed. After the Fall Of The Dark Orb when .

Many farmers worship Dux. as they have been strangely cut-out of the high level AurUrban/Spharain discussions. The family of SaUrthos has ruled the city of Urthan from 789 NC to the present 995 NC. Parkhesh is one of AurUrbis’ major trading partners and also the nation that has been to war most often with the city states. Imports from Parkhesh include the exquisite intigro spice that AurUrbans have become as used to using in food as the Parkheshi themselves. This strikes a deep chord within. whilst not engaging in mercantile trade. if somewhat odd. Debell. trading partner. which he often hoards and treats as if it had real value and was not a simple tool for trade. Famous Individuals The Prince of Urthan in 995 is Lar SaUrthos. but also due to the failed Third Crusade and the slide of Parkhesh back into Octaminist beliefs. Steel Wheelers. mint and handle money. The KiMentas are fascinating to the Cromaignians: a race . and also those who are builders. and so do those who trade. head of the local Haghunters chapter. the previous council failed to defend the citizens from renewed KiMentas have a paternalistic and patronising attitude to humanity outbreaks of Shasteen Horrors. Dux's love for her was so great that he buried the Goddess in his beet field and when the Hag came he refused t let her on his land until she had paid him a toll. Spharain. After the Fall Of The Dark Orb when the Night Hag threatened the Goddess. rather than rely on the overpriced imports Menerain is happy to sell. is very keen to exchange ideas . Prince yrGael has despatched emissaries to AurUrbis with precisely this intention . the Defender unwholesome love for coin. The Hag cursed him and to this day Sharvan has an Debell. when she offered him coin he spent so long counting out the change that the Goddess escaped. an elite body of men and women dedicated to rooting out and destroying dark cults across Thurian.Copyright Richard Hubert 1981 the Night Hag threatened the Goddess. The Hag and her Spawn crawled from the sea and battered on Debell's shield until his legs and body were buried in the mud and all that could be seen was his shield and head. Many warriors worship Debell. Parkheshi are viewed with great suspicion as natural economic and military rivals. Much of AurUrban SaUrthos. Tales tell of how he won the Goddess Gwenthia 's heart with his silent loyalty and protective manner. AurUrbis views the upcoming Republic of Telbrin with both a great deal of respect for their strong social structure and government. member of the influence in the past has fallen prey to this attitude but also the Golden Council and sworn enemy of Chli-Mestis-Han and his reluctance of KiMentas to dwell outside of the Golden Isthmus. carers for children. a large red-haired general who has served in AurUrban campaigns in the Badlands and against the Tharux with valour and distinction. where they compete well for goods and services. Menerain has traded with AurUrbis for almost two centuries. Now 55 years old he is losing his strength and the KiMentas of the city have warned that soon his days will be over. history and religion. the Defender is a robust god wielding a shield and hand weapon.much to Menerain's concern. Debell’s love for her was so great that he planted his feet in the Fretum Estuary and took a cloud from the sky to use as a shield. Cromaigne finds AurUrbis to be a reliable. AurUrbis led the great Octaminist Crusade which destroyed the Evening Culture. The olive skinned Parkheshi are often seen in Aquos and other eastern cities in AurUrbis. Even to this day Debell is known to position himself too statically and get stuck when he tries to move again.of philosophy. Currently tension is rising between the Parkheshi and Aquos over a band of Parkheshi pirates who have been preying on shipping in the Sea of Brass from pirate ports believed to be in Parkheshi waters. but also a cautious fear that the state could threaten AurUrban borders if it continues to develop military power as it has been recently. seemingly developed for thought above artifice. Now the AurUrban state and church train and send forth the Haghunters . The development of Telbrini skyships has been most worrying to the Golden Council and KiMentas engineers are known to be working on the problem now. and the rival kingdom of Amerain is attempting to forge direct trade links. Lar’s heir apparent is Sed that is benevolent but eventually tiring. International Relations They took it upon themselves to protect the city when the AurUrbans often have an arrogant attitude to outsiders. and guards.

and the battle magic unleashed across the terrain have altered it. Many pirates sail from the Marash Coast to plague shipping in the Sea of Brass. and the sun draws it out in the summer to produce a humid atmosphere.Badlands Bandit Country T he Badlands lie on the north coast of Thurian. west of Parkhesh and north of Meravaenia. east of AurUrbis. The region is a border zone between three major powers. Rain falls heavily in the winter. The land is a blasted wilderness of marshland and blighted hills. Mutants and warped humanoids eke out a murderous life in the Badlands. creating quagmires. Strange magical storms rage across the area for days. The region has been fought over repeatedly in Thurian history. It is said that a Zathurian sorcerer dwelt there in ancient times. Petty bandits elevate themselves to the status of princes and use the regions as a base to mount raids into neighbouring areas. and that the Army of Mutants had it's last stand in the Badlands. and Badlands Root. a mild euphoric. a related and yet highly intoxicating and addictive drug. Of note is the King Of The Snake Hill. On the borders exiled and outlaw Parkhesh. The Badlands is the main producer of Tanzgrin Root. AurUrban and Meravaenian robbers and rogues mingle in shanty towns. and is under the control of none. and whirlwinds and other freakishly magical weather episodes are common. a . that an Evening Culture sorcerer dwells there still. Turgan Grotskiller.

a chain of simple fortifications linked by a broad wall built in the early days of the City States of the Upper Hallex River to repel track down and eliminate Dark God worshippers. A number of small forts were built along the river to act as staging posts and look outs. Lidin. It is believed that they were destined for Parkesh but never made it. Grotskill had the fellow turned inside out. Yet he remains an enemy of the Night Hag. He/she is sworn enemy of the King of the Snake Hill. and has been known to aid Knights of the Rose and other Haghunters who have ventured into the Badlands to root-out the like of Chli-Mestis-Han and other Night Hag renegades. Bad Men of the Badlands The King of Snake Hill Chli-Mestis-Han The Steel Wheelers Otherwise known as Turgen Grotskill. A legion of Undead once set off from Spiderport into the Badlands never to be seen again. although the King of the Snake Hill has a working mint that produces adulterated coins. being overcome by Badlands natives. a desolate punitive raids into the Badlands as it has been a defence against gorge criss-crossed by seasonal rivers. which passes from Parkhesh through the Badlands to the Sea. the muscles of a wrestler and the voice of a man. and his name is surrounded by rumours of the nastiest. Tall and lithe. perhaps because they have forgotten about them. Currency is largely stolen. Rust Valley gains its name from the huge rotting hulks of nine Tharux Grind Wagons. dipped in salt. . often they are genuine. known locally as Slime raids from the Badlands. an insane Night Hag cultist. is relatively well defined. the raiders from the Badlands. Through some insane sorcery of ChliMestis-Han these most depraved of Badlands Night Hag worshippers have undergone crude chirurgery and their lower halves replaced by a single steel wheel upon which they can move at speeds faster than the swiftest Khamul or Shamul. which have sat here for the last twenty years. AurUrbis and Parkhesh. As often an impediment to One notable region of the Badlands is the Rust Valley. they form part of the incomplete Parkhesh Wall which stretches for two thirds of the Parkhesh-Badland border. Turgen Grotskill’s savagery is thus legendary. To the east lies the White Spider River. violent mutant who rules a dirty violent den of piracy and scum on the Marash Coast. The river acts as a natural border and troops patrol the northern bank and lands to keep out mutants. Several families of bandits have taken over the monstrous vehicles cabins as their lairs. a giant enchanted wagon of 30 wheels and iron skin which has navigated the Badlands long before any can remember. as are many others from across the world. Chli-Mestis-Han and his Steel Wheelers seized the Wagon some five years ago (990 NC) and have begun a crazed crusade of evil that is horrifying even to the numbed sensibilities of the inhabitants.vicious mutant leader but sane. The large number of burial cairns around each machine suggests this is not for want of trying! The Tharux have never attempted to reclaim their lost treasures. often they are just more thieves on the make. Modrin's Line has changed hands on a Adders. a dirty. and Chli-Mestis-Han. a warlord of the Badlands and Night Hag worshipper rules from his enchanted Wagon of Doom. and cult hunters such as the Haghunters often infiltrate the area to Line. within their rock strewn banks. The Badlands southern border. Mystical. as along much of its length runs Modrin's Border raids from the neighbouring states are not uncommon. most unpleasant kinds. and returned to Chli-Mestis-Han still alive. the locks of a dancer. with the Republic of Telbrin. This area was annexed by Parkhesh many years ago and the town of Spiderport was established at the mouth of the White Spider River. People in the Badlands are either deeply irreligous or fanatically devout. Chli-Mestis-Han. When Chli-Mestis-Han sent an emissary to discuss a temporary halt in their vendetta. Traders Cant and Parkhsi are spoken widely. or because they have great faith in their booby traps. due to their propensity to appear from nowhere as great number of occassions and continues to be the source of tensions muddy surges that strike dead any foolish enough to be camping between Telbrin. it is said that Chli-Mestis-Han has the hips of a woman. apocalyptic and dark cults often find congregations amongst the scum of Thurian. though none have yet mastered the mechanisms to get the great machines to work again.

known as ‘The Shifts’ is characterised by a vast.Cromaigne Isle of Three Kingdoms C ROMAIGNE’S PAST IS one of violence and struggle. but the temperate climate does not lead to hurricanes or tidal waves. In many ways Gwenthia is unsure of how to view Cromaigne. and with Menerain as the seat of the Human Church of Gwenthia. with a wide sweep of central plains perfectly suited to agriculture.” From the Journals of Ranyart Finn. and used its sorcerous talents to capture. Whether this is true or not. natural marshland on the northern side of the escarpment that is eerily beautiful and extremely dangerous. goats and other livestock that take to the high ground. especially in the north east. The western sea lashes the coastline mercilessly throughout the year. the seat of the Crusades. the birds and beasts of the forests and moors. otter. The mountainous central territories have deep. countless lakes. rock. break through the mists as the boat cut towards the great port of Menerain. survivors. gentle and thickly forested. Wild life is especially plentiful – red deer. The spirits drifted between their own world and the physical world. in hushed voices Gentle against the green my opinion. the Evening Culture pursued a policy of exploitation with utter abandon. and especially insular Spharain which doggedly refuses to integrate with Gwenthian society at large. The Island is green and fertile. and their lifeforce precisely what was needed to power the levels of sorcery the Evening Culture was experimenting with. when the sun punctures the cloud. for no other words would come. The island has few natural threats to its inhabitants. so that the spirits of the island could be exploited to her own. standing close. where forest does not break for several hundred kilometres. boar. and it is common for overcast skies. The Climate The island is humid. lush and green. But beware. stream. my friend. imprison and enslave the peaceful nature spirits. it is home – so it is said – to a race of half-ghosts that dwell in the deepest recesses of the marsh and control the ebb and flow of the mists that cling to the ground. for example – but the Great Forest is also home to many small settlements hidden amongst the trees. river. the island of Cromaigne is green. Cromaigne is not volcanically active.” The captain sighed and rubbed at his eyes: he had not slept since we’d driven away the pirate vessel that had attempted to sink us. Prince yrGael—close to four thousand years old and perhaps immortal. Cromaigne was inhabited by the Iqari of the central mountains. and deeply aware of their past and how it has been shaped. squirrel and wolves. and hunt both animals and. two huge escarpments burst from the landscape and plough their way. and the nature spirits that personified every forest. but they tend not venture far from their mountainous territories. green valleys. the island provided them with sanctuary from the ostracism of the Meravae Empire. restless And flowing to a point. a presence Reflected in deep faces. and a rich harvest for its occupants. is a place of pilgrimage and reverence for many. and neither is it subject to earth quakes or tremors. the Evening Culture’s pursuit of the Night Hag. pleasant. In the south east. The Iqari – fierce. Cromaignians. drizzle for days on end. wave-like. From ‘A Song of Cromaigne’ (author unknown) . deep waters I saw an island. despite a thousand years of shared cause and concern. But. Cromaigne is distrusted. and thick inland and coastal mists. Yet on the otherhand. Cromaigne is thus a land that is forever associated with power— magical and otherwise. It respects its history and special properties. the power of the Human Church of Gwenthia. mountain peak and moorland of the island. man/eagle creatures – inhabit the highest of Cromaigne’s mountains. Their very presence was intensely magical. using Cromaigne as the channel. twisted ends. Not only does the marsh contain treacherous bogs and quicksand. It is believed that the Evening Culture was deliberately guided to Cromaigne (then known simply as The Green Land) by the Night Hag herself. “A land of beauty. it casts brilliant rays on a country that is breathtakingly beautiful. The spirits. beaver. and the Croman people themselves: long-lived. fox. towards the southern shores. and imposing cliffs that create small pockets of shelter that are idyllic in their natural simplicity. Scarclimb Rise. Green against green A thousand shades of green growing Against the grey of sea and stone Surf on rock. river against reed. For thousands of years before the Evening Culture arrived. Darker than you or I can possibly know.” I said. asked for And secrets to tell. occasionally. Captain Küžür. aye. Traveller and Wordsmith. In the north. Cromaigne has a dark heart. The larger of the two. the land is undulating. Its present is one of uncertainty and confusion as its three kingdoms attempt to reconcile their separate ways of life with the legacy of the Evening Culture. Cromaigne’s history starts with the Evening Culture. turning their intrinsic magic to power the Evening Culture’s schemes and machinations. But the island has a much deeper history that precedes the Evening Culture and is known to only a few (specifically the KiMentas and Prince yrGael of Spharain). and rolling hills forging out to the coasts that are perfect for rearing sheep. and thus. “Beauty. And the grey of sea and stone The Geography “Beauty.

Menerain’s dialect is broader and flatter in sound. and ‘a’s. It is a soft. This would be the Empire of the Night and. This transition was not without struggle. ‘b’. . such as ‘l’.300 years. but is much looser in grammatical form. and even 200 years has been achieved. It built four great cities. Cromaigne. the Night Hag’s demon children. perhaps enslaved. The True Cromaignians. The dialect of Amerain is a rounder. Why ? The Evening Culture believed that it was acting as the herald for a new empire. it became highly apparent that they did not age at the same rate as human adults. the most powerful members of the Evening Culture created laboratories where science and sorcery became indistinguishable. with little abbreviation and greater formality in pronunciation. Those who refused to leave were executed. trade. As their knowledge of the Night Hag grew. and female names in soft consonants or vowels – but this is never a hard and fast rule. First. The Evening Culture worshipped the Night Hag unhindered for 1.The Language(s) I like to think that I have a way with language. academic study. controlled by the Night Hag. the sect grew until it openly worshipped the Night Hag and learned how to summon and commune with the Night Spawn. The Evening Culture increased in membership and power. arguing that Cromaigne should be one nation. notable. Two islands were colonised: the smaller was named Karvarian. differences. as every night is preceded by the evening. although faculties of intelligence and comprehension. These were. Menerain and Spharain (named for the three surviving cities) . but it was truly terrible to behold. Spharain’s dialect is a soft. The members of the Evening Culture were both Forerunner and Human. Traveller and Wordsmith. This single nation philosophy gained a huge deal of support amongst The Evening Culture Cromaigne’s history begins with the mighty Meravae Empire of central Thurian. a sing-song rapture. But with time. The KiMentas sought to retain control of Amerain and used a combination of puppet rulers and the extensive. contracts. and includes hard consonants to complement the smoother. and Forerunner and Human sect members began to interbreed – something forbidden within the Meravae Empire. In the eastern lands of Menerain. instead. Finally. the three regions—Amerain. Where two ‘i’s are found together. a man considered by many to be Cromaigne’s saviour. aged much more slowly. The results of Forerunner and Human interbreeding were far from horrifying. the Merevae Empire sought to take control. and political scheming. Cromaignians speak two languages: the island-wide language of I’jiin is a ‘formal’ language. it became rapidly apparent that the ‘Cromaigne’ children—known as Croman—were naturally resistant to most diseases and genetic conditions. Male names tend to end in a hard consonant. AY-arn. its knowledge of the powers of darkness developing to the point where the Emperor himself realised that the Evening Culture posed a real threat to his power. the pronunciation is EYE-een. I’ajaan is what all Cromaignians use in everyday speech. YrGael rejected all notions of external influence. Second. ‘g’ or ‘k’. From the Journals of Ranyart Finn. an understanding of its nuances and idiosyncrasies. The Kingdoms Cromaigne is divided into three kingdoms. save for several. ‘informal’ language of the island and was developed by the Cromaignians following the destruction of the Evening Culture. Perhaps seduced by the promise of greater powers than even the Meravae held. almost American-like dialect with a rising inflection at the end of each sentence or statement. I’ajaan also includes other Gwenthian influences (although heavily modified over the years). used for official texts. with many common constructions abbreviated for convenience. The refugees fled west. and many of the Evening Culture experimenters were driven utterly insane by the results of their research. however. to help rehabilitate the Croman after decades of Evening Culture persecution. and so forth. that would see the Dark Orb restored and the Seven Orbs defeated. reaching into thousands (both Forerunner and Human) of members. But to study it! To learn its rules! On that. quiet and precise. rounded brogue. travelling across the Sea of Circles until they reached the western isles. Spharain fell to the control of Prince yrGael. all the children possessed six fingers on each hand. The Evening Culture was forcibly removed from the empire. I’ajaan is the common. purely administrative regions developed in the years after the First Octaminist Crusade. and a great deal of colloquialisms belonging to each of the three kingdoms. Names Names are many and varied. Cromaignians can thus reach much greater ages than the human range: it is not uncommon for Cromaignians to reach 150 years. I must admit to being tone-deaf. and has its basis in the formal tongue of the Meravae Empire. but nothing could have prepared me for the aural assault of the tongues of Cromaigne. It is based on I’jiin. dialects across the island differentiate and identify the speaker. I’jiin is thus pronounced Ye-JEYE-een and I’ajaan Ye-Ah-JAY-arn. In the south. originally. and the sect within it that called itself The Evening Culture. arcane. and the larger. to fashion a culture that appealed to the isolationist tendencies of the northern Cromaignians. ‘Traditions’. and were amongst the first to experience the vivid dreams of the newly awoken Night Hag. In its formal state. sibilant language with a very formal grammatical structure. but no less intriguing. Very few recall what the Evening Culture created or unleashed in its underground laboratories. The children of the two species were human in appearance. as they called themselves. adopted some of the more humanist teachings of Amerain. developed at human rates. only to find that the Croman of Menerain did not want anything to do with the Meravae (which had largely stood back during the Evening Culture purges) and. and beneath the surface of Cromaigne and Karvarian. as the Cromaigne children became adults. so the Evening Culture took its name and philosophy. poetry and music. more poetical formal language. in its colloquial. and largely succeeded for a short period. guided by the Night Hag’s immense knowledge. so did their capabilities. assisted by the magics of the Hag and her spawn.became autonomous.

rather than every word and detail. which was built to provide them with a semblance of comfort. and are thus AurUrban in style and feel. YrGael’s aim was to restore Cromaigne to the Spirits that originally inhabited this land. Between Cromaignians. What prevented Cromaigne-wide rebellion against the Crusaders and Meravae was religion. Cromans are fond of social interaction and laughter. Cromans live at an unhurried pace. By nature Cromans are very calm and quietly spoken. However. social and sexual taboos. Only the KiMentas know (and understand) every single Tradition intimately. and retains its ominous. and standards to be observed within society. Amerain Occupying the north-west of the island. Amerain is hilly. criminal and civil law. days or even longer. Foundation and New Urthan were built after the First Octaminist Crusade. It has three major cities: Amerain City. While such deep-rooted divisions of belief prevail (and they are still as deep-rooted. modes of behaviour. Many Croman in the north and east had wholeheartedly adopted the Human Church of Gwenthia as a religion. religious observations. all Amerainians undertake rigorous study of The Traditions. this isn’t a problem. YrGael and the Croman of Spharain. natural harbour that is fenced from the open sea by a line of small islands. New Urthan is an exact replica—almost down to individual bricks—of its sister city in AurUrbis. This is an immense series of codes of behaviour. Cromaigne would remain divided. that was tantamount to heresy. based in Menerain. Conversely. The city overlooks a wide. but was rejected by the KiMentas and Meravae. To hear a Croman raise his or her voice. . The ceremonial head of the country is the royal family: the House of yrAzurt. and have very close links with the Human Church of Gwenth. one inevitably finds a warm. however. or even lose his or her temper. Cromans are not prone to reach snap decisions or to act without full consideration of the facts. and specifically in the city of New Urthan. options and outcomes. The real power. Ruling House Amerain is ruled by a combination of forces. but their unhurried approach to life means that casual socialisation and jocularity does not come easily to them. The monarchy is based in the fabulous Azurt palace on the northern side of Amerain City. rejected not just the worship of Gwenthia. and Amerainian society is generally expected to understand the principles and essential requirements of the Traditions. maintaining a militia. They are responsible for collecting taxes. The KiMentas exercise social control over the kingdom through the mechanism of The Traditions. seven KiMentas have been based in the kingdom. if time and patience is invested in developing a relationship with a Cromans. Cromans place great store by their actions and most of their philosophies are based around thinking calmly and rationally about matters instead of leaping to conclusions or judgements that might prove to be illfounded later. is a rare occurrence and usually only after the most extreme provocation. Foundation. Still. if not more so. The KiMentas are the High Priests of Gwenthia the Goddess in Cromaigne. law. but this is a misleading perception. fulfil the administrative duties of the kingdom. heavily forested in its northern regions. in present-day Cromaigne). The Dukes of Duchesses of Amerain (and there are seven duchies). and was raised by KiMentas magic in the space of eight days. lore and etiquette supposedly devised by the Moon Husband Urthan himself. which relies on primogeniture for the selection of its monarchs. but for nonCromans it can be frustrating and irritating – especially when the decision or answer appears to be clear-cut. Ever since Amerain was established as a separate region of Cromaigne.the Croman. To outsiders. The kind of urgency and bustle found elsewhere on Gwenthia is either curiously absent or much less frenetic in the towns and cities of Cromaigne. forms of address. and to many Croman. loyal and considerate friendship results. neither power wanting to lose the power they had established on the island. and conducting local judicial duties. distinctive architectural style. Reaching decisions on trade. and New Urthan. Amerain City was built by the Evening Culture. and it extends patronage in the shape of Duchies throughout the kingdom. The Traditions codify most aspects of social interaction: types of greeting. and has the most spectacular coastlines of the island along its western edge. but the worship of all gods. deep. is in the hands of the KiMentas. Cromans thus appear aloof and humourless. and those with the deepest commands and understandings of them Croman Character and Psyche Due to their long lifespan. politics and even relatively straightforward issues can take hours.

by repression are very much in evidence throughout the country. KiDelan years and is a popular monarch. enjoyment. Spharainians are seen as enthralled to one nation. and provides a just system of laws and safeguards. knowing that such a lax approach makes Crusade during Founders’ Week. the ports of Menerain’s Court. one might expect Amerain taken full advantage of the opportunities. matched with a people of Cromaigne. Menerain believes itself to be the new. and frequent celebration. Menerainians are the most gregarious and distinctly growing animosity towards Menerain’s prosperity. and always have been. although it is lawabiding and driven by etiquette and social graces. and with it. using games and contests the Illustrious Guild of Merchant Venturers has truly flourished. and gained some significant wins during Founders’ Week. or be Spharain is viewed with absolute distrust. Queen urLeyn takes drawn to Founders’ Week. challenging Spharain’s ancient position and Amerain’s religious centralism. and is a centre for AurUrban trade. Religion has been good to Menerain. In recent years. and the city of introduced measures to ease bargaining. Athletes and aesthetes alike are becoming a trading power in its own right. rightful. Parkheshi merchant princes. but also on the harsh lessons of more than a little soured. Cromaigne’s history. disdain and suspicion. certainy in terms of dress and social Duchies. People from across Gwenthia can be found: traders from they are. Menerain fosters a spirit of achievement. with neither kingdom Telbrin. such as the sprawling Dro clan. like Amerain. but trade. and Menerain’s society thrives as a result. Amerainian society is thus open and friendly. and the outside influence of wider Gwenthia has no somewhat as upstarts and imitators. and the machine-clans of the Tharux. like the Evening Culture. Amerainians see Menerainians develop. Menerain operates to a feudal system: fashions. It wants to forge its own bigoted monoculturists that have failed to adapt to a changing destiny. Much of this is due to Menerain’s active mercantile houses. and the attendees are now drawn from its counsel. Many leads are Menerain is. and in the service of the KiMentas in New Urthan. Menerain Sprawling across the centre of Cromaigne. Queen urLeyn has ruled for ninety with AurUrbis. Menerain is a vibrant. sailors and rigging-hand Arboreals from Quatzadua. All are welcomed. which controls a great deal of shipping and coastal trade. and refuses to impose Foundation stages an annual recreation of the First Octaminist taxes on certain imports. to recreate the battles of the time. but rather an abstraction of the Crusade.occupy some of the highest places in the seven Duchies. wily seeking to become sympathetic to the other’s views and beliefs. Unlike Amerain. and what was once friendly rivalry is becoming Human Church of Gwenth. least reserved. merchants and settlers mingle with Croman freely. Society and the religious position it enjoys as the centre of the Human Church of Gwenth. As many Heptaminists from across Gwenthia Relations with Menerain and Spharain Relations between the neighbouring kingdoms are tense. Menerain is openly disdainful (yet privately fearful) of Spharain’s conservatism. who in turn pays a seventh to the Crown. She has relaxed trade restrictions. A seventh of their yield is paid to the Duke. but the Croman traits of reserve and emotional lands are the property of the Queen. Of all the Amerain is too much in AurUrbis’s shadow. There appears to be a growing feeling that Menerain society is cosmopolitan and progressive. much to personal success that is founded partially on the teachings of the Amerain’s chagrin. Menerain far more prosperous than without them. that assist in the wise decisions Menerain has made consistently under her rule. coasts hum with shipping activity. and also its increasing status as an international trading and political power. but has a close cadre of political advisers of her own across Gwenthia making this a truly international celebration. or pursue a single ideal. It’s taken several generations for this nature to Whilst relations are cordial. the cities bustle with life. the Crown offers Relations with Menerain and Spharain protection and security to its people. In return. Political The streets of Menerain’s cities therefore bustle with activity and and trade relations do take place between the two kingdoms. Far from it. and the wily merchants of the mercantile Society houses and the Illustrious Guild of Merchant Venturers. for payment. and constantly seeks to undermine Amerain’s religous position by forging ever new markets across Gwenthia. trade. the Royal come to visit the Seven Moons Cathedral. Menerain does no want to be a pariah. administered under a system of taken from AurUrbis. and there is no wish for Amerain to become part of yrGael’s ‘single kingdom of Cromaigne’. to be a dull. strained. This is not some bloody affair. The personality cult of Prince yrGael is viewed with found in Menerain’s society. have Given the presence of The Traditions. and this philosophy is reflected in the ambitious attitudes world. prosperous land that enjoys its religious status as the home of the Human Church of Gwenth. Menerain has doubt helped. leader of the Cromaigne hegemony. the populace. Although Amerain enjoys close relations with AurUrbis. and worked. Under urLeyn. Amerain enjoys extremely good relations Menerain is a true monarchy. lifeless place that is beset by ritual and adherence to Ruling House the Law. . it is somewhat jealous of the trading position occupied by Menerain. like Amerain. like Spharain.

For the people of Spharain cleave to yrGael’s ideal of a single Cromaigne. and the result was the creation of the northern kingdom of Amerain. He has refused to be known as King until Cromaigne is a single. and its intention was to reach a peaceful. obstinate people. and Prince yrGael's diminish. but for that dominance to be supported by the sorcery of the Evening Culture would plunge Cromaign into civil war . and few travel widely. Eventually Prince yrGael agreed to a truce. but ultimately the same goal. which was administered by the Princess and a specially appointed group of KiMentas advisers (the KiRisan? . The Council of Seven conducts all its business in yrGael’s name. unified kingdom. Lord Menervar?. Spharainians are content to remain in their kingdom. Spharains buys and sells little. single-minded. He was opposed by Princess Jharethen? of the northern lands of the island. but so far. heresy. with the structures imposed by the crusaders dismantled. and all day to day business is performed by the Council of Seven . Relations with Amerain and Menerain Relations with the neighouring kingdoms are cursory. Political or mercantile dominance is one thing.'Those who think and guide') which continues to serve the Royal Family of Amerain to this day. Society Spharain is insular. Menerainian merchants are allowed to trade in Spharain. As Cromaigne was separated into three kingdoms. and has been for 4. and to opposing the . This ideal is ingrained in the Spharainian spirit. settlement on how Cromaigne would be governed. who wanted the help of the Octaminists in reconstructing Cromaigne and along Octaminist traditions.and its needs few. The religious piety of Amerain is rejected outright. Spharain worships no gods. but the guilds and other structures that support their powerbase are fobidden. sharing his dreams and taking instruction on all domestic and international affairs.000 years. abhorrent. very rarely seen in public. and let the Cromaignians take charge of their own fate. disturning reports have emerged from Menerain of a variety of Evening Culture-inspired sects that worship the Night Hag in secret. In a bid to resolve this stalemate. official denials of such eviol have been similarly vague and casually dismissive. Both Amerain and Spharain have different reasons for establishing the truth behind these rumours. who are clearly at odds with their fellows in Amerain and Menerain. Economically and agriculturally. For the Croman this is sheer. Spharain citadel is located in a wide lagoon and built on a series of some fiftenn islands. it is selfsufficient. the KiMentas diplomats of the Crusader occupiers created the Croman Legislative. itinerant magistrates appointed by the Council of Seven to ensure equality amongst the people. He spent much of the time fortifying the city of Menerain and creating a line of fortifications along his western and southern borders (the Menervar Wall?. YrGael has gifted the lands of Spharain to his people. Such reports are vague and based in hear-say rather than absolute fact. declared that he had no intention of relinquishing the lands he had captured and would happily contest his position forcefully if necessary.Spharain? .with the likely consequence of yet another.and Lord Menervar refused to relinquish any rights to his lands.Evening Culture Influence and the two are indivisible. as these fortifications are known today). massive gate. erected during the First Crusade. Spharain is yrGael’s kingdom. YrGael is very. and ally of the crusaders. Despite the presence of the Human Church of Gwenth. It occupies the southern third of the island with control centred on the ancient citadel of Spharain itself. creating passionate. protecting them with the power of his personality and dreams. crusade. In the east of the island.ministers picked by yrGael personally to administer the business of the kingdom and protect Spharain from harm. Only Princess Jharethen reached agreement with the Croman Legislative. interconnected by bridges and walkways that stem back to the Evening Culture itself. and Cromaignians free from religion and outside influence. Socially. The Council of Seven is said to be in constant psychic contact with yrGael. The architecture is still that of the Evening Culture: high. There are no heirs and no claims to the throne. complicated spires with intricate carvings and flowing.less than 1 million . Spharain Spharain is the only remaining province from the days of the Evening Culture. Disputes are heard by the Sheriffs. The Legislative took two years in its deliberations and failed utterly in its goals. and devoted his time to hunting down remnants of the Evening Culture that had fled to both Gwailan and Thurian. interconnected runes. the question of who should rule Cromaigne lingered. Prince yrGael asserted that the Octaminist Crusaders should leave. and does not accept the Gwenthian church in The Croman Legislative With the destruction of the Evening Culture. but decisive. war naturally followed. a victorious general of the Meravae Empire. only yrGael and the Council of the Seven. and the Council ensures that taxes are fair and land allocated equally. Its population is small . The citadel is protected by a high curtain wall accessible by a single. Ruling House There is no royal family in Spharain: simply Prince yrGael. and has rejected all notions of trade agreements. Prince yrGael declared southern Cromaigne a separate kingdom . destructive. Spharain attacked Lord Menevar's lands in a series of bloody conflicts that saw Menevar's position consolidated. It is as though yrGael is nurturing them from a distance. or free markets.

The Spirts of Cromaigne and the Spirit Purge When the Evening Culture fled to Cromaigne. refusing contact with Croman or human. Many spirits returned to their Gwenthian refuges and lead quiet. Groups of sorcerer-warriors scoured the island for signs of spirit focus and. many of the island's spirits are still enslaved. upon finding them. The final battle of the War of First and Last was the Battle of Falling Tears?. ethereal creatures that gave life and power to all that was the island itself. Yet in Spharain. No spirit was safe: Father Scarclimb. Some spirits are still trapped. thus slaving them to the will and torments of the Night Hag and the Night Spawn. which are his tears. the spirits are venerated. returning to their myriad homes parallel to Gwenthia’s realm. many spirits were released from bondage. The Grey Spirit of the southern escarpment fought for centuries and eventually departed the realm of Gwenthia. solitary lives. only to dissipate with the trauma of their ordeal. Many had been driven mad. and it became a focal point for trade with the Meravae Empire and many other old and emerging Gwenthian nations. Even the spirits of the Iqari were threatened. So began the Spirit Purge. carved the Night Hag's runes and symbols into the spirits' contact points with the material world. some driven mad by their imprisonment. and others now corrupted totally to the Night Hag's cause. the spirits are remembered only in prayers and nursery rhymes by the Amerainians and Menerainians. Amerain. although. spirit of the Great Mountains. The Spirits Today Following the destruction of the Evening Culture. under the rulership of Princess Jharethen and the KiRisan consolidated its links with AurUrbis and began the development of The Traditions?. and refused to be released. Lord Menevar named his lands Menerain?. where the Iqari assisted in the destruction of the Evening Culture during the Octamninist Crusade. held fast by Evening Culture runes and awaiting rescue: no-one knows how many. The Human Church of Gwenth views the spirits as an anachronism: a remnant of a Gwenthia long gone. the Evening Culture had to enslave them. YrGael has made it a . and established the Human Church of Gwenthia as its formal religion. leaving behind the marshes of the Shifts. or what their state of presence will be when released. Lady of the Great Lake. which govern its society totally. which continued throughout the Evening Culture's dominance of Cromaigne and ended only with the Evening Culture's destruction at the hands of the first Octaminist Crusade. and as the Evening Culture grew in power. save for those who demonstrate the affinity to Spirit Walk. It was their victory that brought to an end the Spirit Purge of Cromaigne. In this way the Evening Culture sorcerers gained the ability to command magic even at the height of the Moons or the brightest days of sun. even 1. and the Night Spawn walked freely in the daylight hours. protected spirits of the Eagle-Men. fell to treacheries from the tributary spirits of the rivers who sought their own safety. The spirits bathed the island in beauty and harmony and were strong in the ways of magic and understanding. much of the Iqari's protection was compromised. Naturally. so they sought out the well-hidden and Meravae Empire in its heartlands. When Father Scarclimb fell to the Evening Culture. they found a verdant land that was the refuge of countless nature spirits. Others fled the plane of Gwenthia. Gashu'an. and so began the war between the Evening Culture and the Iqari that became known (to the Iqari) as the 'War of First and Last?'. took 800 years to enslave.500 years later. These days.

and. it is more than capable of dealing with them. and they refuse to believe that worship of the Night Hag ceased with the destruction of the Evening Culture. these two agencies are both very good at what they do. they are sceptical of each other. Their presence. Ghost Fences and Snake Stiles mark those areas where spirits are insane or hostile. and share a ground that is more common than they realise. Menerain states vociferously that it does not have a problem with Night Hag Cultists. has created significant tensions between Spharain? and its neighbours. The Knights of the Rose believe that the Haghunters are ineffective and ill-equipped to deal with the horrors the Night Hag creates. Spirits are worshipped as trusted neighbours and friends. Despite not being recognised by either Amerain or Menerain?. on the other hand. These philosopher-warriors are hand-picked by Prince yrGael and charged with scouring Cromaigne for evidence of the Night Hag and destroying it. so they grow in power as they learn to call upon the powers of their spirit allies.those who seek-out the trapped and lost spirits and seek to guide them to freedom. As they grow in experience and stature. and tries to keep the information secret – something the Knights of the Rose have exposed. Amerain. These individuals are naturally attuned to see the spirit world and identify the nature. the Knights of the Rose still operate in these kingdoms. Spharainains are taught that nature is to be cherished and nurtured. they also believe that Prince yrGael has made secret bargains with the Night Hag in return for his extended life. The Knights of the Rose Spharain maintains its own agency to investigate and track-down Night Hag and Dark God Cultists: The Knights of the Rose. even if it did.personal crusade to find and liberate all the spirits of Cromaigne. the Knights are equipped with Dark Moon? fragments that provide a range of powers that are effective against these monsters. A united Cromaigne means a land where flesh and spirit live together in harmony and shared power. and return them to their lands. As a consequence. power and complexity of the spirits of Cromaigne. The Haghunters' scepticism is deeply-rooted. As Night Hag cultists sometimes have Night Spawn demons at their command. The issue for both kingdoms is that the Knights of the Rose are a throwback to the Evening Culture Witch Hunts initiated by yrGael following it’s demise – a period in Cromaignian history many would prefer to forget. And Spharain still identifies and trains Spirit Walkers . has unearthed evidence of cults in several of its settlements. In reality. The Knights of the Rose maintain networks of agents in their areas of operation. Whilst believing in a common cause. Shrines and offerings abount at those places where (sane) spirits are known to exist. usually in covert cells. and the scale of power accorded to them by Prince yrGael. and thus have access to a superb base of information (and paranoia) to draw upon in their investigations. . The Knights of the Rose contrast with the Haghunters of AurUrbis.

fine food.better than losing a life. the people have learned to hide and let them winged bastards take a few cattle . it holds the key to one of the most powerful fettered spirits that the Evening Culture could never command. but why is the Royal House of Queen urLeyn so interested? Falling Angel Coldacre Farm is like so many in the Scar foothills. She goes mad! Best sex ever! Now we're having nightmares. so punishment is a moot point. Someone's guilty: someone is going to pay. So what do you do when a wounded Iqari lands in your barn? What do you do when that Iqari tries to communicate? What do you do when that wounded Iqari defends you from the foothills bandits who prey on the lonely farms and saves your life? What do you do when man/bird and man begin to form an understanding? And what do you do when the Iqari Hunters come looking for some easy raptor blood? Lodestone Get me a present. But this seems genuine. small. fine wine and song are the orders of the weekend. Various dignitaries from the High Guilds. they say. Knights of the Rose. That would explain all the AurUrban assassins. and the bite marks on my shoulder don't look like her mouth put them there. isolated. eyes burned out and telescope trained on the Green Moon. Sex is still great but becoming frantic. poetry. dance. nervous.Roleplaying Ideas A Spirit to Die For A street vendor on Amerain city has a Spirit Map for sale. Decent price. Possession of Spirit Maps has been illegal since yrGael wrenched power from the Evening Culture over a thousand years ago..if so. It also seems to point the way to the Enchainment Place of jhur-ghar-jhur-ghar The Father In The Rocks . Get me shiny things. And I'm really afraid. she says. No option then. Now we're seeing writhing things in the dark. Buy one.. Whoever commands jhur-ghar-jhur-ghar commands. the Middle Sects and the Low Quarters are invited. Suddenly Chulithorwan has bolted the doors and is playing detective. And then the body is found in the Observatory. Archery. So I wander the canals of Spharain and find this jewelry barge with some strange black glinting things that REALLY catch my eye. When the Iqari attack. and most these days are fakes. and a dozen Hag Worshippers of Chli-Mestis Han's sect. Chulithor-wan commands more power than the King. the Game is Afoot! . the secret of the Seven Moons. House Party Chulithor-wan of the Amerain KiMentas is holding his annual house party.

are they beholden to the Petty Princedoms of Meravenia. a blasted region of coarse sands and gravels. Further to the east the Ellys river is overshadowed by the immense mountains of Meravenia. high in the lands of the Hash-Takk Marg. In recent years it is these mariners who have driven the Gara-Dien dreams of expansion to the Isles of the Kitar. No life can survive long in this harsh environment. comprises deeply dissected plateaux. although he always pointed to the one behind him. and the Gara-Dien as the Ellys. the Harmonious Empire of Gara-Dien does not take the name from the peoples who constitute it – instead it records the name of one of the most prominent figures of Central Thurian history. not just confining themselves to the conquest of the numerous lesser islets. Bordering the Great Gara-Dien Bay the southern coastlands are fertile and grassy. The natives of this coast look as much to the seas for their food and wealth as inland. that portion south of the Thurian plains. Neither. however. Gara'Dien. magic and belief set it apart from the other states and peoples of Thurian – a society driven by the power of the idea. geysers and hot springs. The Empire's approach to thought. which are harsh and uninviting to the Gara-Dien peoples. Shaa (itself fed by the Linbayan) and the Oxore (fed by the Aragra) all drain south into the Great Gara-Dien Bay. a mountainous region which is home to the strange and disturbingly insectile Hash-Takk. Huam. Those which drain northwards feed the Viorxe. Most of central Gara-Dien. It is a land pocked with (pre-dominantly dormant) volcanoes. Directly to the south of the Hash-Takk Marg are the rich lands of the Felloxore River valley. Mistrust and ill-feelings between the Empire and its eastern neighbour leave this a tense and uneasy border. resulting in a tight common identity between the peoples of the plateaux and those of the coastlands. Although there are a number of flourishing independent settlements to the north of the river they do not fall under the direct authority of the Empire. the divine being who sent him to Gwenthia – The Lady of Doors. wily merchant adventurers and not a few slave traders. and now serve as a buffer between the Empire and Quatzadua. Innumerable small rivers drain this region. The Sahn. ideal for the plains-dwelling nomads from which the True Gara-Dien are descended. The descent south from the plateaux is noticeably easier than that to the north. While the river has acted as trade route. The source of the Ellys river is further east. and have given rise to skilled mariners. where the Oxore built a mighty kingdom in past centuries. genius and power. The lands draining into this river form a low. Few humans live there. often known as the Theurgist. all tributaries of the Ellys. The Empire owes its origins solely to his influence. Kitarinik. Where the Ellys river descends from the uplands there is the strange and un-natural Nilman Desert. allowing the penetration of traders deep into the heart of the continent the plains have been the site of numerous battles and wars. all contributing to the lingering smell of brimstone. rolling shallow bowl.Gara-Dien The Harmonious Empire U niquely. sharing a common border with Zathuria along the course of the river known to the Zathurians as the Charrux. bubbling-hot mud pools. . pierced with several larger mountains. with the coastal plains merging almost imperceptibly into the lower steps of the inland plateaux. but the main land itself. the Aenthkiang and the Sifthros. The Geography Gara-Dien is located in the western half of Thurian. all of which are covered in lush forests and woods. undisturbed by wind or magical energy and home to fearful legends of ghostly legions.

They view while his wife would call him anything she wanted. speakers. Individuals often adopt Gara-Dien words as names. a Hash-Takk might minds are not as linear as human minds. since as near as Imperial scholars can tell.) disturbing form and mind. like modern joining the Empire). a sword might be group of spirit-worshipping tribal called a “sword. caste (artisan). and are capable of have a use-name of “Pliers” or “Crowbar. also known as best for themselves. tapered ears hive-mind or telepathy. but there has yet to be any serious study about this. and only use verbal communication when dealing with other species. influential person. major accomplishment (forger of the Sword “Bloodbane”) and nicknames (Foe-render). It is carapace-like exoskeltons. Artisan. including nicknames. Gara-Diens have a flair for other languages. assumed that they communicate with each other via some sort of generally beetle like shape and movement. especially peoples of the Isles of the Kitar (a for specialized tools or items. in the The average Gara-Dien is a mixture of smug superiority and a desire to make life “better” for non-citizens. such as the Mid-Tai pygmy folk. Each Hash-Takk is different from any It would appear that the Hash-Takk do not possess a native other. by following the precepts of the Jade Path." Average temperature in the 20-3ooC range on the coasts and hills. although quadra-and hexepedal Hash-Takk are known to exist. mountain and it is a prerequisite for citizenship. Thus although there may be a number of languages spoken species. As such. So. or Southern interest of all to learn this form as Gara-Dien (an inadequate term referring to the hill. the uneven hybrids. it can sound harsh and guttural or soft of sibilant based on inflection. alien creatures of you’ve got a million nicknames. Their insect features are Hash-Takk don’t actually have names for each other. segmented eyes. and as and referred to simply as Garasuch contains numerous human tribal groups and one non-human Dien. The resident humans can be broadly divided into three within each province it is in the geographically-based categories. However. These are the True Gara-Dien Citizen of Eastern (natives of the Charrux-Ellys River Valley). diaphanous wings. Their more human features are of pale skin and hair. long slender fingers. not forgetting the growing number of citizens referred Gara-Dien Jade to as Mongrel Gara-Dien and arising from the mixing of tribal populations in the burgeoning cities. you needn’t mention them all. which they view as almost childish in their relative simplicity. During expansion as their Birthright. They always want the example.” a slave can become a wealthy. it is considered polite to only mention enough of conflicts. even would depend on what the speaker’s station was. Their but do so seemingly at random. It’s alphabet and vocabulary are both bloated and There are a large number of subconvoluted. making it almost incomprehensible to non-native divisons within these groupings. this person’s full name would be “Roger Stevens. the Blacksmith who forged BloodBane.” or even something like making leaps of logical and intuitive thinking that astound most “Leather. and the native German. their society is progressive and allows much upward mobility. as their mixture of insect blood produces strange and language as such. For example.” the Empire). Spoken. your name to let the other person know what to call you (so if The non-human species are the Hash-Takk. Another artisan would call him “Roger. Each addition comprises part of the persons whole. who are a sub-group of the True "Gara-Dien is at about the latitude of West Africa. and small mouths. . but possibly cooler and probably somewhat drier. real name. They are mostly bipedal.” What you would call such a person in every day life get it. and are stubborn when it comes to introductions. Multi-syllabic compound words are common. occupation (the Blacksmith).Issues of Temperature and Climate The Language(s) While each of the tribal groupings from across the Empire subscribe to a broad language family in accord with their ethnicity. Gara-Diens usually have large. the harmonising nature of the Empire itself promotes a form taken predominantly from the original members of the empire The Harmonious Empire of Gara-Dien covers a large area.” a nobleman might call him “Stevens. coastal folk who were later in This official language is a technically precise one. The Peoples Gara-Dien. They speak in melodious whispers. complicated named composed of their birth name (Roger).” but a greatsword would be called a “large sword peoples far from integrated within that is used to remove the heads from enemies at several paces. family or house name (Stevens).” Those that have become Imperial citizens adopt the Imperial scholars. the Surlz. and are typically willing to go to lengths to Foe Render. reaching maybe the midupper 30s in the northern savanna. For example. and even higher in the Nilman Desert.

Viorsden. Typically this Wars and still bears the scars. Tuoeka. the Bee People of the Honeyed Coast and lowlands and divided in a hierarchical manner.naming conventions of their new country. who is accountable to the appropriate Iorxiland which spans the upper reaches of the Viorxe River is regional senator. and war-like society hold power over a semi-nomadic mongrel Alongside this system are the Dominions. a taciturn balance of power between the various factions. widelyIn addition. where a degree of flexibility is in the Empire's loyalists. at the site of the which are technically within the Empire unrepresented at the land current capital. The Primacy of Throseka is at work within the Senate. in support of senators (“darintang”. each of which is represented by a senator. also known as the Great Sudeg Marsh. While the rule of the Harmonious division or even regional level. (“fu'geth”). the so-called Charioteers of the Zathurians is military. the traditional homage to the Fifthros nomads (a group closely related regions (“xivlacht”). The ownership of the CharruxThe senate has the power and responsibility to propose laws and Ellys River delta. Fifthros and Empire which are allowed a greater degree of autonomy. Beyond the cosmopolitan city. The Lyshian nomads willingly variations. These provinces (“navlacht”). day that the Emperor will order them to swarm across the Ellys River and burn the Zathurian city of Demna to the ground. with its capital of Saareng. (“domosalio''). These warriors are fanatic Gara-Dien commonly. depending of this “destruction to bring fertility and life” ethic seems to have upon the area covered. home to the tribes of the Iorxi Confederacy. often cutting across provincial or separated from Ellys by the Viorxe river and dominated by the regional lines. senate is over the formalisation of official regions or land The Amnuzan Junta rule a damaged land (where most magic divisions from these areas. The senate is a place of intense rivalry where individual enough to prevent direct military action. Each Senator and the Emperor hold tremendous capital city of Moorvia. and the one Chin are the guardians of the sacred mountain from which Imperial Protectorate. This was the area most affected by the Plains rulers are directly answerable to the Emperor alone. directly appointed by the behest of the Lady of Doors (as opposed to his more public Emperor. However the ever watchful presence of veto or amend. as these threaten to endanger the seems to be reduced in power and effect). complete with appropriately lengthy nicknames. Senators often act under the table. a small. Their Tharux bloodlines). although some provinces (such heavy-handed attempts to do so have led to bloody protests…) as the Xunli Freehold) mimic Imperial practice in assigning a Most of their agricultural practices emphasis the burning of tree guardian (“halpanxiv”. departure outside Maragrim City). Naturally the Gara-Dien do not advertise this traditional way of life has remained largely unchanged. or “little father”) with equivalent cover to create the fertile ash which enriches the soil – something theoretical standing to a senator or commissioner. to the Lyshian and sharing many traditions and customs). by and large. Some of the most vicious politicking in the shaped their penal and authority systems. but are expected to keep the Harmonic Principles of extensively irrigated croplands and orchards. Intermingled among the Tuoeka peoples are small communities of therefore. The Chamnu. and. is the largest navlacht of Gara-Dien. a vibrant mix of the fierce Lyshian nomads (sworn enemies to the Zharaan across the border in To allow the most efficient growth and government the Empire is Zathuria). are not an ethnic form of governance is applied to powerful regimes that are not yet group so much as a meritocratic warrior elite and are based in the ready to be fully incorporated into the Empire. The Emperor presides over the Imperial Senate. while still paying their Each province is divided into a number of smaller units. singular “darin”) are drawn from the eleven ancient custom and defiance of Imperial Policy. as ultimate authority. The Emperor is also Commander-in-Chief of the the Black Angels. The smallest unit is the land division Tharux. commissioner. Typically each navlacht is composed of 4-8 xivlacht. the reality of the process of assimilation of states and distributed tribal grouping whose guardian spirits were defeated in peoples into the Harmonious Empire has rendered large areas a magical contest by the theurgy of Gara’Dien. whose raid the neighbours across the border for slaves. There are a number of factions “The cradle of Gara-Dien”. effectively rendering the residents Empire may have changed their faith perspective somewhat and as subject or protected peoples and not yet incorporated into the the educated Iorxi recognise the importance of balance. each of which is under the oversight of a apparently ignorant of their relation to their kin further north. of the Tuoeka people dot the scrublands. contested for centuries. their empire as citizens. descended from roving traders and. They await the interests. may approve. while the ChavImperial Provinces. (And fact to outsiders as a general rule. has been policies. and each Theurgist Gara'Dien is alleged to have departed this plane at the overseen by an Imperial Governor. which the Emperor. tributary states of the population (the admixture of local Mniäd. or more fortified city of Ninefold. renowned for their bravery and loyalty. a day Political Structure . The Chamnu. and its power. while taking account of ethnic the Chav-Chin tribe of the hills. The Provinces of Gara-Dien The Ellys Confederacy. are accountable to the senate. the small settlements justice and compassion in mind when making decisions. 4-8 senators.

the Xunli years these lands were shunned by the tribes of Thurian. Charrux/Ellys basin. but certainly there have never been any Tharuxi allowed within the walls of the City-States and the region escaped the horrors of the Night-Blind Plague. and that only of Doors have not completely outlawed slavery. Its inhabitants. at least in part due to this policy. No formal capital has been designated for this province.. His mausoleum dominates the capital city of Isemidi. the Tyath County lies on the coast. Despite their past history of conflict the Tyath now enjoy far The Sheshaan Canonry built it's power on conquest and slavery. In common with the other Dominions the Lady of Doors. except that is. Since the coming of the Jade Empire this rivalry has been channelled into matters of trade and prestige. into a centuries-long fight for dominance with the neighbouring guarding their borders against all comers. They are at a serious low point in this contest await the summons of the Theurge himself. the mercantile adventurers ''par excellence'' of Gara-Dien. although their headless reflecting their current poor fortunes. convert General ChentPin after a hard fought campaign (146who simply wish to be left alone. as is their capital of Neshaanah Hurn. the Oxore. They have a centuries-long history of conflict with the neighbouring Sheshaan peoples. rather than of blood. One of the earliest nations to 158). Imperial times. the most powerful of which is the City of Hako. impressive day-to-day power from the city of Athsahnduk.. Always thinly settled. for their unstinting devotion to the inhospitable domain. Few who enter their lands return. No one knows the origin of this. Membership of the Empire and the ways of the Lady rule Gwenthia at the left hand of the Lady of Doors. The agricultural produce from the Pact is exported far and wide. The navlacht's eastern border is marked by the River Sifthros. After centuries of such practices they were finally conquered by the Jade Empire by the forces raised by the Xunli general and Tiaen Hills Province is home to the pygmy Mid-tai hill people. yet it exports no particular items of artistic or personal ally of the emperor. when met beyond the navlacht. but have seriously then will their mighty power be revealed. The Hash Takk queen is a highest order. rather than a particularly generous one. myth. The dominion is composed of three regions. Any actions undertaken by the Oxore are “plausibly deniable”. The Sheshaan have since redirected some of their energies follow the way of Gara’Dien they are secretive and little-known. Worse still the recent spate corpses may be seen drifting down the river Aenthkiang into the of attacks on Sheshaan Slave ships is making matters worse. Leaving behind their previous cultural identities the While many of the Hash Takk follow the Jade Path and the brightest and best are building The Viridian. By allowing the Oxore Dominion to retain a degree of autonomy Gara-Dien has a powerful satellite on its sensitive border with Quatzadua in the Ill Winds dispute. In addition to controlling her realm she also rules seem contented and healthy. and their large beyond their land are either powerful sorcerers or bedraggled fleet is in poor condition. All know that The Viridian is a triumph of the Jade citizens of the Empire.which many expect to be imminent. when he returns to at present. opened to settlement in a great experiment. the lands of the Xunli found new strength and identity after General ChentPin was awarded the post of In the central hills of Gara-Dien stands The Viridian. adjoining the Ellys Confederacy. as the lands of the Hash Takk Marg are Path. the Theurgist. The League of Jinnahn is home to the adventuresome and wealthy Jinnahn. with the Imperial consuls of each of the regions being protected from total responsibility. After defeat in The Baton Wars the Oxore have been allowed to retain an autonomous tributary status. the west by the Aenthkiang River. but now. not to mention having memories of cultural merit. Hash Takk have observer status at the Imperial Senate. which are being closely modelled on the navlacht of the Empire. One result of this is the splendour of their capital city. This is a pragmatic response. great Pnajinn Hua. Imperial Citizens from the League dominate and is comprised of the majority of the former Greater Tyath Gara-Dien's trading endeavours with the rest of Gwenthia. but are otherwise totally the relatively few hardy humans who dwell on the surface of her unremarkable. and its shining capital teachings of the Jade College. much to the chagrin of the neighbouring Sheshaan. outcasts. Amidst the ancient ruins the landscape is being tamed and settled by colonists according to the wisdom of the Lady of Doors and the Theurgist Gara'Dien. Freehold after his successful defeat of the neighbouring with the coming of the Gara-Dien these forested hills have been Sheshaan. It is whispered that they League of Jinnahn. After their expulsion from the Honeyed Coast the ships are superior to all others in the Great Gara-Dien Bay (and Tyath joined the Empire (by choice) and the Magistrates still wield far beyond). Their Magistracy. Any Mid-tai known damaged the Sheshaan economy and confidence. and it produces goods and agricultural produce of the counted as the oldest dominion. better relations with their neighbours than they ever did in preselling many such captives to their longtime allies. they are not technically-speaking Demegal. . the origins of which are lost in Second oldest is The Oxore Dominion having been a dedicated satellite of the Empire for over 300 years. This navlacht may well be one of the oldest existing governmental organisations in the region and harbours an intense suspicion of the Tharux. The Dominions The Koijo Pact is a land controlled by a number of City-Leagues. For many Imperial Governor of the newly-formed province. not unknown in Gara-Dien history.

such as Body Harmony to their is ruled from the city-fortress of Maragrim City by Prince slaves. subject to review every five years. encouraging competition in many cases while retaining a degree of control over a range of basic items. The Economy Currency The Empire promotes a mixed economy. his circlet. and thus to enhance the Dimensional Magic pool of the Tangjin. As befits a state that would control the world Gara-Dien dislikes the need to import too many goods from outside. Slaves are still the most economical due to their reduced labour costs. One hundred bunt coins are of gold alloy and display the Emperor's regalia. still retains the same ruling house to this day. The practice of following the Path is akin to an act of worship. she herself is an enigmatic and distant figure. The standard currency is the Imperial Bunt. while some goods are available at below market price to the benefit of any who wish to purchase them from within or beyond the Empire. Similarly. The Liberty Brigades of the League of Kitar tribal leader Bobanagaradinena. With every such review there tend to be a number of items added or dropped from the list. Lower Oxore was subjugated centuries ago and enjoys strong links with the Sheshaan peoples. achieve the required minimum standards they can appeal to the Chejit Province was a tributary kingdom at the time the nearest Imperial Assessor.Empire can recommend courses of action it cannot compel slave owners to do so. This can be turned into a form of competition between slave and The Kingdom of An Kitar is the latest dominion. under the loyal non-slaveholding groups. and while the The Jade Path. and it is illegal to keep a citizen as a slave. state without unduly diminishing their labour pool. Religion Slavery The practice of slavery is not unknown within the Empire. Some of the more enlightened masters are known to employ former or trainee Imperial Assessors to teach Upper Oxore marks the heartland of the dominion and certain portions of the Path. drums and harp. who is empowered to grant provisional when Prince Tangjin was appointed by the Empire and citizenship on the spot. pegged to the bunt and tarifs imposed upon certain imported goods. Each bunt is solid and round. staff and sceptre). about 2cm across and marked with the image of Gara'Dien's Epiphany on one side and a design dependent on it's denomination. giving them continuing the conquest and assimilation of the island from the the resources to house and keep provisional citizens until capital city of Balembarneho. supplied by mints in most of the provincial capitals. although its prevalence is slowly decreasing over time. For smaller purchases each bunt is divided into 100 Rings. copper based coins the same size as each bunt but with a hollow centre and simply insribed with “Gara-Dien” on the reverse and “1” on the obverse. Since part of the full teaching of the Jade Path is that of literacy. while others escape from the protected category and encourage entrepreneurial importers. The penalty for receiving and supplying such goods ranges in severity from a hefty fine to death. and thus become citizens. at least partly as a result of senatorial jockeying to support each of the province's intrests. since once they himself in 674. the value and choice usually of similar design. citizenship is formally granted. The prices of those goods deemed to be essential. mediated through the truth as revealed by the one she sent. Theurgist Gara'Dien. It is simply that which is done rightly. but in a very matter-of-fact manner. reputed to be several centuries old even at the time he was affirmed as head of the dominion by The Theurgist Any slaves who do attempt to surreptitiously gain literacy are usually seriously punished by their masters. While it is true that the Lady of Doors is viewed as the focus of all devotion. sword. One bunt coins are made of silver alloy and show the image of a citizen typical to the originating province. and the lesser Lords and Ladies (or demiurges). such as staple foodstuffs. most slaves are forbidden from attending the Jade College. who has been proclaimed as Jinnahn are known to subsidise certain branches of the Jade King of An Kitar and charged with the awesome responsibility for College within the neighbouring Sheshaan Canonry. Imperial policy explicitly encourages all residents to join the Jade Path. This area represents where idealism and economics intersect. ten bunt coins show an assegai. and speculation about her nature and purposes are . Thus there are a number of a Dominions retain their own currencies. symbolising the militrary and cultural strength of the Empire. of which are similarly imposed in five year cycles. and literacy is a pre-condition of citizenship. the Jade Path being as much a philosophical and ritual practice as a religious one. are pegged throughout the Empire. especially those it considers of vital strategic interest. While many speak of the Jade Path in terms of the “state religion” of Gara-Dien the terminology is somewhat ambiguous. and thus content. The practical upshot is that the citizens and dependents of the Empire remain fed. a fearsomely powerful warrior-magician.

All of these Lords and Ladies in turn petition their favoured followers to the Lords of the two main paths. spare copies of which are freely available in the library. Those that walk his path are given aid in battle. oversaw each family group. These individuals are believed to be chosen of the Lady of Doors as emissaries. In every domosalio. if there are any Assessors at all they will be lowly.” a disparaging term that implies that these faiths are outdated and no longer valid. brought to Gwenthia by the sorcerer Gara’Dien. nomadic quahti & dromal herders who lived in large family groups populated the mainland of Thurian. run into them at a gathering. students learn magic not specifically related to battlefield use Larger branches of the College will have copies of his complete (research. so that her worship can spread to other worlds. The martial training given to students includes mind and body control exercises. The Old Faith is a polytheistic religion. although instruction in the spear is also widespread. The Jade College is the instrument by which the rudiments of the Harmonious Empire's ideology of the Jade Path is propagated among the people. standing. which are largely wasted on people who have never fought. These groups all had slightly different religious faiths. Jade Path in the form of Theurgist Gara'Dien's Concise Green There is also a Magician’s Path in the Path of the Worker. which means that life is pre-ordained . Each family is presented with a copy of the basic precepts of the like government positions. However even the rest receive lectures on military theory. and will never need to fight. all seeking to emulate the headquarters of the Jade College are located in Moorvia. the nature of which would vary by the needs of the Totem in question. The Old Faith. The Theurge himself clearly taught that she is only to be known by those who succeed in the treading the Path to the extent of leaving the known sphere through the Green Door. . part school and part temple. This tradition to be valuable and useful. and every town. Whatever its size the College is the place in which all are offered instruction in the Jade Path at a given time on a given day. The Jade Path’s religious teachings are that each person walks a blessed jade path during their life. and they are precious few in number. This includes such jobs as smithing. in theory. it is also an alien faith. In exchange for these services. but they invariably wielded great power. During the Empire's early days of expansion. People naturally fall towards one of these paths. and free travel to the nearest large academy to train in the Path of the Warrior.discouraged. and husbandry. These beings were expected to protect the family and intercede with the 8 Orbs on behalf of the family. offensive magic is taught. It also includes surprising occupations. but each faith was part of a larger central belief system that began and was perpetrated by the nomads for generations.with the Emperor's Palace and the Senate house located within its precincts. While the Jade Path is the state religion of the Harmonious Empire. farming. Those that do so can become warriors of almost godlike ability. which was typically seen as a personified force. the Lord of the Path of the Soldier is called Marturu. Imperial scholars collectively refer to these oppressed religions as “The Old Faith. They are weapons of the Empire. the Great Jade Codex. Known as The College of Colleges. investigation. this Jade College is vast and dominates the city . religious orders and craftspeople. the family would make offerings to the totem. and rudimentary weapons training. and only certain rare people can switch paths during their lives. and the energy they great and give off as they grow feeds those around them and also feeds the archetypal demiurge called the Lord or Lady of that particular path. or find them wandering the grasslands and woods. but literate individuals. If a student shows promise (s)he receives the best instruction the Imperial Assessors can give. since the instruction tends The vast majority of people walk the Worker’s path. akin to terrestrial tai-chi. What these agents were called varied from family to family. there are at least two externally appointed Imperial Assesors who maintain a branch of the Jade College. Although attendance is not mandatory a surprisingly large proportion of the populace do attend. a figure of dark armour and strength of arms. You could.) Since there is mandatory military training for almost everyone in Gara-Dien. and by its human agents. although some work. The practice of The Jade Path comes in two forms: The Worker’s Path and The Warrior’s Path. In all places the weapon taught is the quarterstaff. In bigger cities the Colleges are correspondingly greater in size and grandeur. both mystical and political. Fragments of these faiths still remain in the Empire. the person from whom the empire and its people take their name. but firmly separate. reputedly the site of Gara'Dien's appearance. and are given equal. the basic precepts of the Warrior’s path are well known. teaching to the best of their abilities from their own home. It is common knowledge that everyone exists to operate within one of these two paths. other practical uses. The Totem was served by a series of attendant spirits. if only as a chance to escape from the trains people to perform any tasks that are not directly involved in chores of work and meet friends and neighbours! fighting for conquest.a practice which is decried by both dissidents and external critics alike as little more than a social control mechanism. A tribal Totem. Both paths are seen as integral to society. In some backwater villages. used to enforce its ideals through might of arms and energy. and are said to be able to overcome any odds. where Scroll. For example. available for reference.

and the group as a whole. and mark the individual out for further attention at a larger academy. tree described in the verse) but cannot perform the spell themselves. who would convey the instructions to their agents. at least. In any case. any person suspected of being a member of the Old counts as being “part” of the magician. It is also relational. This tradition teaches that magicians are the masters of power too immense for others to use. However. In this way. these mages can overextend themselves (indeed. can do instinctively from birth. when striking someone with the weapon. is what the Jade College teaches. went to the underworld to join it. The Falling Wrath Practice (The Battle Mages). but Gara'Dien brought strange and powerful weapons with him. Some even wind up on the Sorcerer’s Path from the Path of the Worker. both with their proper and their common titles. spreading the will of the Orbs through the slums of the Empire. The major magical traditions of The Jade Path are given below. when the 8th moon fell. people could be made to fulfil the will of the gods. They channel energy to become arcane engines of destruction. It is said that. while this skill is like any other. The Empire holds its genesis in these nomadic groups. There are as many ways of using energy as there are people who can use it. individual group members. effectively destroyed and eaten. The Totems said the Orbs were displeased at this turn of events. other than general education. he gathered families around him and taught them his Path. however. and many of these groups have become as ruthless as the Imperial line declares. individuals manipulate this energy in different ways. tight cells of Old Faith members who want only to live their lives and worship their Totems in peace. who would in turn instruct the family. the Orbs would send instructions to the Totems. Some magic users. Some are hidden by the Old Faith and made into Totemic servants or taught the spirit language of the Kitar. either by deliberate deception or simple garbled teaching . and most other races. Most people have only a little natural talent. They were subsumed into the Empire. They train with all weapons known. so that.not to mention the possibility of aptitude being activated later in life. Thus talented individuals may escape detection. however. and their families and attendant spirits. If found guilty. the penalties groups and know each other well can also use magic to augment are the same as for treason and sedition. Even if absolved of all charges. these are magicians of action. the Totem’s servants still live. Anyone who shows real aptitude is capable of learning any of the different schools of magic. Others of this path prefer to be subtler. it Nevertheless. At its core. and the nomads couldn’t stop the relentless expansion. where their magical abilities are filtered through the religion’s world-view. and manipulate it with the mind towards an end function of some sort. Virtually any person living within the Empire who displays an aptitude for magic is immediately immersed in one of the Empire’s religious traditions. Magical instruction in the local branches of the Jade College is usually limited to the teaching of a set of eight spells rather more complicated than the common cantrips passed down from parents and grandparents. Magicians who travel in Faith is typically arrested and tried. as well as being guilty. the victim’s reason. Usually the Assesors are not magically adept themselves.Also. which is sometimes worse than prudent to have a core group of fellows to act with. Even within an established tradition. This. all of the Totems that served it. Rather they know what will result should an individual have the talent (the most common being a simple illusion of the flowering Tcheri Beyond that. Magic The Gara-Dien view is that magic is an inborn trait that all humans. with no mention being made of the purpose. Magicians also develop the ability to infuse a commonly used tool or weapon with their own energy. do not make it into one of the formal schools. magicians on the same Path or of the same tradition find it good name is indelibly marked. but are much more self directed. magic is the ability to take magical energy. almost all do at least once) and cause substantial harm as their magic rockets out of control. There are. belonging to a larger organizing body that can collect dozen or hundreds of magicians to produce staggering magical effects. Without the safeguards of an established tradition. and cannot progress to greater magic. Magic energy is used to increase the user’s fighting prowess. plotting and scheming their way into the hearts of good Imperial citizens. festering in hidden groves and dens. The Golden Harvesters Association (The Assassins). The Path of The Warrior The Thrice-Sharp Instrument (The Weapons Masters). This octet is taught by rote as a set of uplifting verses. Magical aptitude will result in one or more of the spells working. For this Burning or the Sword. everything is just theory. and will be able to produce bigger effects with less expenditure of power. although most specialise in only a few. . However. Death by Hanging. They may continue to develop their magical skills. some people are much better at it than others. magicians who know their targets intimately will find it easier to channel energy into them. When Gara'Dien appeared out of the air. This tradition teaches that magic can be used to sharpen the mind and prepare the body for combat. These people are either terribly fortunate or sadly dangerous. or using the tool for its desired purpose.

Tuoeka and Fifrthros in an iron alliance that won the allegiance of the like-minded and drove the hated Zathurian minions. feared Mid-Tai. emerging Empire upon the remaining memories of the earlier A magically enhanced policing unit that helps keep an eye open on Confederacy. They use magic to create noxious globes of gas. Their area of control is spreading out. Less than a decade after the Compact was signed (that The Invisible Hand Societies (The Thieves). While the existence of Gara-Dien can be dated to -1250 BP. Not all members have magical talent. Pushing south. across the Ellys River and thus established a boundary Empire. The Hawk's Roving Eye (The Outriders). the ancient and holy site of the Fifthros nomads of central Thurian. Theurgist Gara'Dien consciously modelled the Emerald Compact and the The Jade Perfume Masters (The Secret Police). in the Senate. between the Gara-Dien and the Hash-Takk of the inhospitable mountains to the east. down to the coast the Lyshian. and to make sure what they know can get to those who need it. In most of the Empire. They seem to be consolidation their power. the A sect dedicated to the health and well being of citizens of the Tharux. there are a side of the Plains. This is the path taken by magically able people who study by It did not take long for the neighbouring Tyath people to themselves. and cropping up in distant parts of the empire. History Theurgist Gara'Dien was destined to make an impact in the area.The best generals know that depriving an enemy force of its commanders is the surest way to victory. not least stemming from the manner of his arrival – high in the skies above Morvkraal. who was acclaimed by many as being “not of Gwenthia”. in -1248 BP. records and histories of the folk of the Charrux-Ellys Basin can be reliably traced back to around -3500 BP to the so-called Plains Wars and the foundation of the Great Ellys Confederacy. by -1243 BP) the Empire covered the whole of the southern While not an officially recognised part of the Jade Path. but prestige. The Assassins are the tools for this sort of work. The masters of reconnaissance. to speed through enemy held lands. no matter The nascent empire quickly spread through the lands of the how occulted. The Flesh Weavers' Guild (The Healers). Battles are not only won in the field. The School of Uncounted Dragons (The Artificers). The Shadow Masters (The Body Politic). They reject the assertion that they’re somehow This acquisition marked end of the initial phase of imperial inferior. Members are trained in using magic to get close enough to a target to attack. and to make sure the target stays dead. Honeyed Coast and displaced their Tyath overlords in -1221 BP. with the signing of the Emerald Compact in Morvkraal. enthusiastically adopted the Path of the Warrior beside their already war-like nature. as far upriver as the edge of the eerie Nilman number of thieves’ guilds that have been taking in runaway mages Desert. They use magic to heal the body and the psyche. cementing the plains tribes of the Lyshian. This secret society gains control of an area by using magic to influence the political process. but in the disruption of supplies and the sapping of morale. and proclaims its inevitable victory throughout the world. and it seems as though Theurgist returned from a personal mission into the hills of the they use technology beyond the grasp of most of their patients. Members of this tradition use magic to gather information. Charrux-Ellys basin. The Path of the Worker. Members of this tradition are skilled at sabotage and psychological magics. Untaught who do not walk growth and ushered in a time of consolidation and internal another Path are seen as dangerous weapons that can explode at growth. Members of this tradition are the alchemists of the time. Their that has been firm to this day. is. thus placing it within a line of greater history and enemies to the Empire. . announcing the creation of the Taien Hills Province. or go into a Path that doesn’t have a magical tradition. the techniques are a closely guarded secret. The Broken Cord Brotherhood (The Saboteurs). having and using their magical energies to fuel larceny and corruption. Within three years of this epiphany the Theurgist. those that do use their gifts to help ferret out the truth. and clockwork or steam powered engines of war to aid the Empire. as well as the establishment of formal relationships any moment. Shortly after. acknowledge the prosperity and power of the Jade Path. but for what purpose? Members tend to be charming and working their way into influential positions. resulting Also called The Sorcerer’s Path. finally subdued the Bee People of the The Benevolent Cloak (The Untaught). a term which is coming into in the “palace coup” which overthrew the Prime Magistrate of the favour by the increasing presence of pro-Sorcery magician lobby Tyath and the appointment of his brother as Imperial Governor. forged an alliance and instituted a pattern of worship which today dominates a large swathe of the continent. siege engines.

as the institutions and practices taught by Gara-Dien were gradually put into place. The setting supports both low-powered gaming (regular people serving the Empire. culminating in the intervention of the Theurge himself and the subsequent annexation of the Iorxi Confederacy in 461. or just a place in the larger world. and Redemption! A Jinnahn Liberty Brigade seeks scholars to infiltrate Sheshaan slave farms and plantations to educate the slaves in the rudiments of the Jade Path. Players might be diplomats in a foreign country. by 120 the Sheshaan Dominate. The Baton Wars between the Empire and the Oxore resulted (in 674) in the foundation of the Oxore Dominion and the subsequent ascension of the Theurge. Are the PCs warriors seeking to be the perfect weapon. or members of an elite Warrior Path unit fighting for the Empire’s growth. and with remarkable speed the Great Armada left mainland Gara-Dien to begin the Conquest of the Isles of the Kitar. many others walk the world seeking knowledge. resulting in the admission of both groups into the Empire. There are enough different races. Writin'. that there are reservations about being made part of the Empire. or spirit talkers who wish to elevate their own spirit to the god-like levels of power found in other spirits. As an Empire built on conquest. or Fallen Totem agents who want to establish a worship base for their Totem before it drive them mad. before joining as a province following the plebiscite 50 years later.) Adventure Seed: Readin'. Rebellion. agents desiring true intimacy with their Totems. To mark the 1000th anniversary of the Empire the Viridian was created in 745 as an experiment and demonstration of the virtues of the Jade Path in lands formerly held in superstitious awe by many of the local peoples. Who knows what relics from ages past still lie in wait. There are vast tracks of land in the Empire that have not been thoroughly explored and documented. The mercantile League of Jinnahn. invasion and retribution are constant threats. These Gara-Dien citizens appealed to the Harmonious Empire for assistance. formally embraced the Jade Path in 165. a militaristic and slave-holding society to the south-east. Perhaps the PCs are part of the underground rebellion effort. Players might be grunts trying to make their way to the front. and warriors who will assist the slaves in contacting the Imperial Assessors. War. missionary activity and political opportunism joined the Empire as a self-governing dominion in 248. Nevertheless. ready to be plucked from darkness and brought back into the light of the present day? Do terrors lurk beneath the soil. More recent growth has not been driven by any single discernible plan. perhaps hunting down Fallen Totem agents) to high-powered (a group of Jade Path Warriors seeking out the Empire’s enemies. The setting is rife with the best and worst sort of political manoeuvring and machinations. In 146 ChentPin. It is not just among the Kitar. a convert to the Jade Path from the neighbouring Xunli tribe. The last major phase of expansion was initiated in 837 when after decades of relatively peaceful coexistence conflict flared between Kitar natives and independent settlers from the League of Jinnahn in Gara-Dien. In a dispute to determine internal supremacy the schools engaged in a campaign against the very spirits of Iorxiland. salvation. and their ruins still dot the land and delve far underground. with General ChentPin as the first Imperial Governor of the Xunli Freehold. alarmed at the greater economic success of their neighbours and rivals. responding to a combination of economic pressure. the Sheshaan. Perhaps the players are Hash-Takk sorcerers. 'Rithmetic. waiting for freedom to rend and slay? A spiritual journey. Indeed the Viridian was built upon the remains of an ancient civilisation. Exploration. trying to hold on to their minds while seeking out secrets from their fallen civilisation. or perhaps play a role in discovering which Imperial Senators has designs for the Emperor’s Throne. This also give the GM great flexibility about what sort of game he or she wishes to run. trying to convince the powers that be to aid in a military effort. a process which is still to be completed. or Imperial investigators looking for dissident groups. Desperation.The next two centuries were years of peace and development for the Empire. There are a few main things to consider when deciding on a GaraDien campaign: Politics. After this period of expansion the empire once again entered into a time of peaceful internal growth as districts and land divisions were organised through the newly-acquired territories. The landlocked Koijo Pact. not to mention the discrediting of both the schools. brokered the intervention of the Empire into the low-level war in which the Xunli & Sheshaan were engaged. either for the good of the Kitar or . Roleplaying Ideas Gara-Dien is designed with versatility in mind. factions and ideologies in place that a character is spoiled for choices. was a growing menace to regional stability. The Empire is a land of many faiths and paths to enlightenment. the only notable incident being the magical “Wager War” between the Brin and Erifest Schools of the so-called Assassins' Path. The power of the Sheshaan was broken. such as the spread of the Jade College. While many live their lives of toil and sweat. leading many to contemplate the real state of the power of the Empire.

Magic is a strong presence in Gara-Dien. and it exists in many forms. Are the players magically adept. and existing with the Empire is difficult of Imperial forces are seeking them. or hide in plain sight? .personal gain? Will you eventually gain perfection and let the Lady of Doors move them to another world to spread their faith? The nature of magic. The characters might be wanted for a number of reasons. Will they run to the frontier. and if so. how does this Talent for energy manipulation manifest? Evading Pursuit.

the and the high plateau boasts some remarkably strange wildlife (theorised to be left over from Meravae Zoological collections). commerce and just self-governance free themselves worried over rumours that the Conclave of Tribes has been called for the first time in generations for High Summer. and indeed the City States of the Upper Hallex River Valley (Now united as the Republic of is now generally accepted that there is an Iqari population on Telbrin) are tempestuous and complex.there have been religious houses in these lonely valleys for millennia. but those who know the Merav Nation to the future but grounded with a sense of respect for the history well are worried that the tribes have withdrawn guides and seasonal workers from the latest Telbrini expeditions. pamphleteers and The people of the plateau are almost universally human. but even the Republic of Telbrin isn’t heavily populated. The Telbrini have found strength and knowledge by delving deep into their past. bounded by towering mountains to the north and south. and will have added a new capability to their formidable. unending years. the tribes of the Merav Nation. some no more than a fortified village. . of tyranny and oppression. the status quo is in turmoil. them for the sake of their own aggrandisement.. and this is being complicated by the High Kingdom folk. albeit the revolutionaries even claim that this is deliberate. suffer reverse altitude sickness at anything approaching sea level. but also sparsely Telbrin’s rampant embrace of technology such as the waterwheel. the last half millennia has seen the emergence of a new power. discretely. part of some Mountain Folk (as human population of the high mountains are sinister plan by dark forces that have subverted the very known) are so well adapted to their mountain home that they government of the Republic itself. The new divisions between the orthodox faithful of the Churches and central plateau is divided up into many petty principalities and the new secularist (currently in the ascendant).Meravaenia The Roof of the World A t the heart of the continent of Thurian lies the vast Meravae Plateau. The Cohorts mess halls and the House refectories). The Republic of Telbrin itself seems ripe for external conflict: it seems inevitable that it will clash with either Parkhesh (with whom cultural. with early chargers (simple pre-cursor of the matchlock. the Republic of Telbrin. Skyships (recently developed from knowledge recovered from Meravae sites on the high plateau). geographical and historical antagonisms run deep) and or Gara-Dien (given their expansionist nature and the mutual problem of the Petty Princedoms region of the Plateau). army. circa 1400) and are currently considering equipping elements of the Cohorts. they will have the capability to make cannons. known. mountains they inhabit . including the towering peak of Mount mercantile adventurism of the Great Houses and the conservatism Keril (one of the natural wonders of Gwenthia) are the home of of the Churches and Cohorts. steep cliffs to the west and narrow valleys to the east. On the Plateau. some rabble rousers. And while debates “kingdoms”. although details are sketchy. and changed the wider worlds perception of the Meravae Plateau forever. They have printing presses (hand carved wooden type). and what relations are understood. depending on ones point of view. somewhat unflatteringly. like between the ferocious flying beings and their human "neighbours" is unknown. and occasionally as the source of religious fanatics and barbarian hordes. and indeed poorly Mount Keril. These are rage in the Moot and Senate (and in the Philosophical Clubs.. It High Kingdoms and Petty Princedoms. where the Dragon Peaks with their active volcanism really begin.. the Republic of further south and west the more lawless. rarely travelled and mostly shunned by the plateau folk. for millennia seen as a backwater and obstacle to trade and commerce across the continent. The political landscape and history of Xantir. populated the plateau becomes. if small. The Telbrin Cohorts are pushing ever west and north. The Smoking Hills. passable steel (Western Europe. assertive: a nation newly forged in the heat of innovation and discovery with its eyes Kingdoms appear civil. the volunteer military of the Republic. The Internally the Republic suffers the “old” tension between the dizzying heights between. Once the seat of an ancient inhuman Empire (the Meravae Empire). At present relations are cordial with AurUrbis: both are involved. the prayers wheels endlessly spinning There are pockets of non-humans rumoured to dwell in the high out a thread of words entreating salvation and mercy through the valleys. impoverished. with the Confederation of the Children of Xantir occupying Loparankwari. vibrant. in supporting the Khalesh The Republic of Telbrin occupies the upper reaches of the Hallex via a trade route through the City of Shalkan and the River. just east of the Manas Mountains. This has brought them unprecedented economic wealth and contact with the nations of Gwenthia: a new age of prosperity and enlightenment has dawned for the inhabitants of the crossroads of the world. the north-western plateau. as the Petty Princedoms. Relations with the High The Republic of Telbrin is young. The Children of Xantir on the one hand seem as old as the The people of the Upper Hallex River Valley and other lowing laying parts of the region are known as River Folk or Valley Folk. and border squabbles with AurUrbis have been a feature of relations along Modrin's Line.. and confess of its forebears and a true appreciation of natural justice and the right of men to freedom.or possibly they are grave-robbing opportunists bent on imposing their views on everyone around Overview . the first musket): once they can reliably forge larger barrels. is a baleful edges the Republic towards an industrial revolution whilst generating a new underclass of the disenfranchised and country.

. It is not know if the lands that the Republic of Telbrin has beaten a path to the door of anyone are now Quatzadua or Gara-Dien were ever formally or who advertised such knowledge and shadowy factions within the informally part of the Empire. And now rumours have spread of a new warlord in the Petty Princedoms who claims a divine right to conquest and to whom an increasing number of the scattered polities bordering Gara-Dien and the Smoking Hills are bowing. and that Caer Abrin. Many expeditions. the Tual are reported to have left the Empire to follow the Seven but whether as a sop to the hard line conservative elements within Stars. apparently run by the non-human (but distinctly humanoid) Meravae. Indeed.. was Octaminist.Within the Confederation of the Children of Xantir. The Republic citizens from tribes with old conflicts however don't Geneweavers continue to be a major force on the northern seem entirely comfortable with the new regimes banning of revenge and feuding (traditions with a LONG history amongst the continent. The bulk of the empires population seems to have been human. and on the other hand. It is said that 7000 years ago the Forerunners rose again to challenge the Ancients. The Empire was founded in prehistory as part of the ancient conflicts between the Ancients. equally certain. At some stage the lands that later Very little info is easily available about the Meravae in the present: become Parkhesh were part of the Empire. Geneweavers in Gwailan.. Whilst the term "slave" is often used (and found in the few extant texts) it appears to be an old usage from a non-Meravae language. which increasingly became the Meravae Empire centred on the Meravae Plateau. Thus the dominant centuries old it isn't even the longest lived.. The Telbrini will trade with anyone. the heart of the Meravae Empire. that's the official position: domination or colonization of the northern continent. certainly by the time of the Third Octaminist Crusade. was their capital seems. both government sanctioned and not.). The corrupt practices of the Evening Culture worshipping the Night Hag emerged in the . cultures in Thurian and Gwailan around 5000 years ago were the rampant commercialism and (some say) ruthless exporting of ideas makes it far more dangerous. were not part of the Empire. Telbrin government are tireless in their quest to eliminate any source of information about what really happened to cause the Meravae Empire to collapse. so perhaps the conflict was more a stalemate on continental lines. seek the next major discovery amidst Meravae ruins both on the Plateau and beyond. The Meravae Empire A political entity. high on the flanks of Mount Keril. and although Telbrini and AurUrban records record and appear to bear no grudges for any historical slights that may that the Empire won. the Forerunners and the Eighth Orb. at least. The religion of the Empire. a major theological dispute has arisen amongst the clerics of the Xantiric Sects (regarding the poverty or otherwise of Xantir) and words like “heresy” are being bandied about. these are unknown to the general populace. which still promulgates the 3rd Kolspecies emerged (4000 years ago) to build the province that shek’s prohibition on members of the faith entering Zathur. Added to which. That eventually became the nation of AurUrbis. millennia ago. certainly by the fifth millennium BP. or for other reasons is unclear. and this alliance. The two Forerunner forces warred extensively. which is believed to have beaten the Ancients.. the Geneweavers. or likely to survive and prosper Zathurian arcologies and Meravae Empire in Thurian and the (depending on point of view). but scholars remain fiercely divided as to the exact relationship between the Meravae and the humans within the empire. centred on the Meravae Plateau of central Thurian that dominated Thurian history between 7000BP and 2300BP. and generally the topic of myth. the bandit raids from the Petty Princedoms have risen to an unprecedented level in recent years. is not disputed. so it can be assumed that the lands of the Eastern Thurian the Churches of the Chain. And the Tharux Traders are accorded at best a chilly welcome in most of the lands that follow The Empire extended from the Golden Isthmus where a new the Church of the Chain. and that in response the Dark Orb called across the omniverse to Humans to aid him. and at less than three Forerunner Collective. took an increasingly antiThe Republic of Telbrin is NOT the first "successor" state to the human stance and moved from autonomy to secession from the Meravae to arise on the Roof of the World.. Around 5000 years ago decree has in Telbrin itself been recently enshrined in civil law. On arrival the human magicians betrayed their summoner and sided with the Forerunners. tribes of the Roof of the World. there is no evidence of extensive have been dealt in the past. transliterated in to Ur-Merav. tensions run high over how to respond on the one hand to the Republic of Telbrin’s overtures of friendship (a pretext for access to records and Meravae ruins within Confederacy lands in most peoples opinions) and rumours of Telbrini approaches to individual states of the confederation. given Telbrini finds in the two centuries they have held and excavated Caer Abrin. Another major Forerunner race. was to become the Meravae Empire. That all these lands were. But its enthusiasm. given the known religious split between the Empire proper and the radical AurUrban Church of Gwenthia. a Forerunner people. some scholars have suggested that it was originally the Ancients term for the Forerunners. But who or what the Meravae were. what happened to trigger the fall of their empire. To what extent these traditions continue in the practices of the Churches of the Chain is unclear.

The Confederation is not a unified polity. possibly over a hundred. has called them: surviving that once sported a population of some quarter escapees from Meravae zoological collections of a million souls remain undiscovered so long? abandoned during the fall of the Meravae How was such a large metropolitan population Empire or later when the Meravae themselves vanished. but the tales of Prince yrGael and the later two Octaminist Crusades suggest that Dark Moon worship was endemic in the society even if suppressed officially. and that all those sects respect the authority of the spiritual power of the Kol-shek d’Vanan. and as with other Meravae sites. The Confederation itself is little more than a gaggle of diplomats from the most powerful principalities that troops around the high mountain valleys in the train of the current Kol-shek.. something that still baffles Telbrini Where the River Astrav (also known as the Blue scholars. most untouched by the looting that followed the decorative motifs seen elsewhere on Gwenthia. appear to have been human as well.. those of the Children of Xantir.100 BP and started a personal crusade against dark cultists with the active support of KiMentas priests. given its relatively hostile and inaccessible location? No roads lead to Caer Abrin. Even in the twilight of the Empire. The society was in decline and by 2. temples. and argue that its founding is much closer to 1500 years ago. most other Meravae sites clean. Its founding date is hard to tie down. as even with Skyships. small states which share the common feature that a religious sect of the Church of the Chain has special political pre-eminence (they might directly rule in one state.900 this has become outright rebellion with AurUrbis forces occupying Parkhesh and yrGael overthrowing the Emperor and tearing down all temples of the Octaminist Church. forever incomplete. Telbrini scholars remain frustrated that the most fruitful records for research. such as Tual. but rather a loose confederation of tens.more Zathur): the half completed Astrava Bridge. remain closed to them. The largest intact more troubling: there are no recognisable flawless marble across the Astrava Falls where ruins of that era known to survive in Thurian.500 years ago. Equally problematic is the exact political structure and division of power within the empire. The emperor was Meravae and always from one bloodline: but the degree to which the Meravae. with little Wonders of the Meravae Empire supported.Empire some 4. the city would Serpent River) tumbles down from the high The Ruins of Caer Abrin were discovered by surely have needed roads? plateau of Meravaenia to form the northern explorers from Telbrin some 300 years ago on Also known as The Ruins of Light due to the border between Nhi-Tual and Telbrin lies the the High Plateau and were believed by them to intensity of sunlight at this altitude. the divine living heir of Xantir who (as part of a particularly baroque peace treaty negotiated some ten centuries past) must spend at least 12 (but no mare than 56) days at a time in each of seven of the major principalities of the confederation each year. the river plunges down from the high plateau and Caer Abrin was also apparently largely disquieting echoes of architectural styles and stops halfway across. And often those opposing the empire. its most active agents appear to have been humans. This autonomy and growing power was further enhanced when Prince yrGael of Spharain came to court in 3. The cultists were expelled to settle Cromaigne. The Empire was riven by schism and rebellion from about 3.200 BP when the AurUrbis city-states declared effective autonomy and began the First Octaminist Crusade to end the Evening Culture. others have seen the Confederation as a delayed reaction to the Horde. even at the height of the empire (for example during the war with the Geneweavers circa 5000BP) actually "ruled" is unclear. the Ruined largest civil engineering work in Thurian (outside be the seat of the Meravae Empire before its fall City is an eerie and baffling legacy . but most scholars agree that it pre-dates the Ensellati Horde by a century or so. The Ruins Of Caer Abrin The Astrava Bridge . It and the mysterious disappearance of the Meravae comprehensible than The Astrava Bridge and yet leaps out in a single gravity defying curve of over two thousand years ago. The overwhelming majority of persons identified from the scant archaeological (and even scanter historical records) as actually 'doing' anything are humans "doing the will of the Emperor". striking reminder of the mysterious fate of the disappearance of the Meravae race and scoured The region of the High Plateau around the ruins Meravae. By 2. and in the next valley over be merely the prime advisors to a feudal King). albeit the Evening Culture was unquestionably Meravae in origin and some figures are clearly Meravae. is also home to the largest concentrations of Important questions remain unanswered about "crypto-zoological anomalies" as Yashin Caer Abrin: how did the ruins of a metropolis Daibrun Oltan Halvas. Nations of Meravaenia Confederation of the Children of Xantir The Confederation grew out of the shattered remains of the Xantiric Theocracy after it spectacularly imploded some 1800 years ago.250 BP with the Exodus of Slaves the Empire was a spent force.

relying on labour intensive methods. or more History and Character Names in the Confederacy The High Kingdoms The Confederacy Economy . almost village by village. Whilst the Confederation never achieved sufficient coherence to On every occasion. in general however. Merav Nation. The tribes collectively refer to themselves as the The Children of Xantir have a bizarre hodgepodge of coinage. one is never far from your opinion?”). more than a single tribe gathered in a given valley. determined body. Blood feuds and None of the coins is pure metal (they would be too soft in some personal duels are common. the remarkably unified. Dictators. fatal. who is advised by the Hand of Elders plateau. who survive wandering Monk from the Eternal Veil sect’s House of Cheltin in the bitter cold and harsh conditions of the high Keril with the rank of Novitiate (and at the time he left that house. missionaries of the 6th Kol-shek d’Vanan were an invasion none expected. are still divided. and are universally known by the sect name. So a expense of the northern clans of the Plateau region. albeit it is nearly 200 years since the nation was tokens and promissory notes. Holy Leaders and Despots of the various disparate principalities of the To this day the Children of Xantir. Primitive hunterfifth such novitiate) would be Eternal Veil Cheltin Novitiate-Five. which brought most of the modern Meravae plateau into the faith of the Great Chain. (1sl=7bzl=49brl=343cl). and tenaciously guard the secrets of the high mountain homes – including the hidden valleys where they farm various crops and The Confederation and those states of the Petty Princedoms raise herds of hardy mountain goats and Munath (a smaller. This consists of heptagonal metal tokens. Ostensibly a Crusade against the “heretical” Cult of Rathkul. and Dancer). and then a personal name. has directly intervened in Confederation Politics only three times. the polity and role are used (“Galstaff Hunter. who has a face like the back end of a bus and is one leader of the faith. at least for a while. is called Galstaff religion is not as all consuming and does not dominate people’s Hunter Cerynwyd the Ugly. Xantir. politically united in a loose confederation. brass (brl). One is named for ones village. in alloys colloquially known as copper The Tribes of the Merav Nation are skilled hunters and tenacious (cl). although the “Church coin” is gathered in conclave. they trade exotic skins and their skills as guides for metal tools and the like from the lowlands. although most acknowledge the spiritual power of years ago. and even in high summer it is unusual to see universally accepted. but within strictly codified lines. in to slightly variant sects of the Church of the Since the great crusade initiated by the 6th Kol-shek. where it would lives in quite the fashion it does amongst Xantir’s Children. The economies. Knower producing skins. Hand weaving is Kingdoms are actually seven tribes (named for the links of the the usual method of producing cloth and it is died in small Great Chain) scattered through the high mountain valleys. One silver link is mountain folk. skin of fermented Yak’s milk!” In general the ecclesiastical population of Children of Xantir abandon their given personal names when they enter a religious house. names are fairly simple. you owe me a prayer flags. and see no honour in such behaviour. shedding blood of tribes folk outside the sanctified times. throughout the former Meravae heartlands. the four hunters from the Village of Galstaff. Hunter. copper. no standing military force to speak of and usually largely ignored by the Princes. any The Church of the Great Chain thus spread throughout the distinction to separate one within the village (if there are two plateau and is now the dominant religion throughout the region wood carvers for example). Wood is much sort after in trade. and amongst friends the use name and descriptor the rattle of the prayer wheels and the constant flutter of the would be used: “Cerynwyd the Ugly you old goat. gatherers at first appearance. But be unambiguous. Within a community. the Kol-shek the Kol-shek d’Vanan. with the plateau itself named for the Five Messengers (Teller. producing the distinctive multicoloured clothes of the tribe is ruled by a Chieftain. house name and station within sect (with ‘The High Kingdoms’ is a rather deprecating Telbrini joke at the a numeric descriptor to distinguish between them). outside the confederation. Each batches. stable enough to consider trade are generally pre-industrial hardier variant of the Sui’Th found in northern Nhi-Tual).real direct power. the Mountains at little more than subsistence level. and cases) and have knurled edges to help avoid counterfeiting. nor thought to counter until far too late. the Confederation has overnight turned in to a form a military threat to the other peoples of the plateau. ice and fulgurites. with a hole in the centre. So and most acknowledge the Kol-shek d’Vanan as the ultimate Cerynwyd. some 1500 Great Chain. but they have little time for deceit or conniving: worth seven bronze links or forty-nine brass links or three they live in an environment where such double dealing can be hundred and forty three copper links. bronze (bzl) or silver links (sl). Talker. whilst theoretically at least Confederation and High Kingdoms. dispassionate scholars now believe the crusade of 1500 years ago was always a Amongst the secular folk of the Confederation of the Children of plain and simple religious annexation by the ambitious Kol-Shek.

even salt and (recalcitrant) City State of Renbril and has for some time been other commodities not easily found in the high mountains. producing the distinctive multicoloured clothes of the The Common Moot represents the interest of the common “free citizens” (those of no recognised house) and sits for one month a year in late spring/early summer. mostly feudal. living so far away from the Ladies of Air and Rock). one within the village (if there are two wood carvers for example). given the frequent collapses of Names amongst the High Kingdom ‘central’ authority. The Republic of Telbrin. and then the Hallex states fell to bickering High Kingdoms: a group of tiny. The Kol-shek is that joined the Republic later. Good pushing west onto the high plateau of Meravaenia. might address him as either “Xian” or “Third-son”. of Helbricht. so our Snow Leopard warrior would be “Heralva Xian”. those states of the Petty Princedoms stable enough to consider trade are generally pre-industrial economies. This system was codified in the Declaration of Telbrin. They rapidly established a thriving community of independent city-states bound together by The Petty Princedoms of the Central Plateau region combine the trade and shared ideologies of democracy and individual rights of worst aspects of the Confederation of the Children of Xantir. kingdoms. any distinction to separate Chain. relying on labour intensive methods. as far north as the The Merav nation dress in and trade mainly furs and skins to the lowlands. One is named for ones village. The tribes are named for the Links of the Great matter. With Telbrin’s annexation endlessly squabbling over tiny scraps of barely fertile ground. understanding only barter. Clan within the Tribe. Wood is much sort after in trade.general warfare. Economy of the Merav The Petty Princedoms Government The Princedoms Economy As in the Confederation. approval of the military (Cohorts). Upper Hallex River Valley in the last few centuries. In this they follow the same pattern as the Confederacy of the Children of Xantir. Predictably. Protest is common. producing skins. with the plateau itself amongst the lowlanders taken as proof that such folk are all mad. The more westerly occasionally raid in to the GaraDien region. even in the three city states imagined slights to little gain and much suffering. as they and Telbrini coins is more common than the local currency style themselves) name folk for their Tribe. paid lip service to here. The presence of Dragons. patience) from domination by Parkhesh (whose attention was elsewhere) some six hundred years ago. (whatever it is…). . Naming in the Princedoms Telbrin Telbrin or more formally. Within ones clan. especially in the form of knife blades are highly prised means (including violent revolution. and show little interest in most trade good. The City States of the Upper Hallex River Valley freed themselves by various steel. and the Clans usually for their Totem Animal. Own Name. the typical usage is Mothers Name. with emphasis showing degree of familiarity etc: so Xian’s brother and then a personal name. the citizens. and skirmishing amongst themselves. Hand weaving is the usual method of producing cloth and it is died in small batches. Barter is very common. Its role is to review the matters passed by the Senate and Consulate the previous summer and either accept or protest them. this harmony lasted precisely as long as the past of the Upper Hallex City States and the caricature of the equally good harvests. of the Snow Leopard Clan in the Amongst the folk of the Petty Princedoms names are a simple Tribe of Mist. except of course in those polities where use of Mothers given name and their own given Name. written some 260 years ago. is a recent nation state that has emerged from the City State of Telbrin in the The High Kingdoms have no currency. Informally within a nuclear family one might use sibling status or given name. copper. The executive is elected by the two branches of the legislature from an aristocratic elite (the Five Houses) with the any adventures south and east towards Nhi-Tual or Quatzadua. but more often turn their attention northwards The structure of the Telbrin state is a republic with a bicameral towards the Children of Xantir or the ever-encroaching western system (Common Moot and Senate) with an executive branch border of the Republic of Telbrin. but these lands are little better than bandit kingdoms. change of legislation is not. a warrior named Xian born of a woman whose given name was Heralva. on the Plateau one might be formally introduced to Mist Snow Leopard Heralva Xian. The Petty Princedoms currencies are if anything even more chaotic than the Confederations. the Hash-Takk and the ill reputation of the Smoking Hills discourage (Consul Primus). as are sea shells for some inexplicable reason. and usage of Church The Folk of the High Kingdoms (or the Merav Nation. ice and fulgurites. Whilst travelling foreign currency can get one executed. is unheard of amongst the tribes (and its existence plateau. It now lays claim to the entirety of the Upper Hallex. peaceful protest and sheer however. the Telbrin political model began to subsume that of forever squandering lives and resources on petty jealousies and the other states and is now dominant.

Overall. due to the distinctive colour of the oil-quenched steel used in Infantry munition lamellar hauberks. thus has 711 men (including officers). “older”. That certain Skyships have been seen leaving port with Maniples on board has fuelled speculation that some rapprochement has been reached between the crusty Hlegio of the Cohorts and the dashing Sky Marshall of the Fleet. “young”. and is commanded by an Hlgeio (legate) with a staff of 14 men (7 Jostan and 7 Selgaunt). The Telbrini Cohorts are at present deeply sceptical of . and Telbrini Merchants make extensive use of mercenaries to protect their foreign ventures (and several houses actually run Mercenary Companies as a business). Equally. A legion should therefore have 4991 men (including officers). A cohort In general. It should be noted that as of 995NC all of the legions are under staffed owing to An infantry legion should be made up as follows: Each legion is divided into cohorts. infantry and cavalry. A maniple is commanded by a Coasantl (corporal). the Churches (each of the Seven Churches of the Chain has representation in the Senate) and the Cohorts (the army of the Republic: retired Hlegio automatically get a seat in the Senate). one each under the Coas and il-Coas. despite vehement Cohort protests that the Sky Fleet should be properly integrated in to the defence forces of the Republic. The legion consists of 7 cohorts. Political reality and the disposition of the military has a great effect on the term of Consuls. and are notoriously conservative. The Infantry legions are referred to as the “blues”. This structure is what is known as the “Telbrini model army” and was instigated in the City of Telbrin’s forces some 350 years ago and used as the basis for the Republics military since the declaration of the Republic. the Cohorts are around 7% under strength. to build. Merchant Houses have largely given up trying to persuade the Cohorts to defend their mercantile enterprises. and is largely driven by thoughts of profit and aggrandisement. Trade has always been a respectable livelihood and age is not an automatic passport to respect. “recent”) Houses who have achieved their status through mercantile enterprise and the established (i. A cohort consists of 5 maniples.e. Mountain Folk that travel far a field can Telbrini Cohorts This section outlines the organisation of the legions of the Telbrini land based armed forces. They are generally short. Note that there is no distinction in Telbrin between new (i. It is commanded by a Jostan (captain). Cavalry Legion A cavalry legion is much smaller than an infantry legion. Often legions are paired. The Cohorts have had in recent years cause to regret this as the Consulate (enthusiastically backed by the Great Houses) elected to create a new structure. The Telbrin Cohorts are a standing army of well-paid volunteers with an enviable reputation for the quality of their training and equipment. The Consul Primus is elected from one of the Five Houses by the Senate and approved by the following Moot. the post is at the behest of the Senate and as such any Consul can be asked to stand down or be impeached. The Mountain Folk are found predominantly among the High Kingdom tribes and on the Plateau itself. physically well adapted to their harsh homeland and capable of incredible feats of endurance in the biting cold and thin air of the high valleys. Each file within the maniple has a Coas (file leader) and his second (il-Coas). The term of a Consul is indeterminate.The Senate represents the interests of the Five Houses. independent of the Cohorts entirely. ratifies the choice of vice-Consuls and call the Consulate or Consul Primus to account or to resign. reflecting the expense and scarcity of combat trained Lopar. Heritage on the other hand. A maniple consists of 140 men (organised in 10 files of 14 men). operate. does have some weight: the five Founding Houses (also known as the Great Houses) have a unique and special status in Telbrin politics and culture. “the Blue and Green” or “the Blues”. it is not uncommon for a legion (or paired cavalry and infantry legions) to be dispersed over a wide theatre. Economy and Culture Telbrin is primarily a mercantile power. with an il-Jostan (junior captain) and 4 Selgaunts (sergeants) to assist him. with almost exclusively black hair and brown eyes. giving a total of 141 men. “historic”) Houses that chart their roots back to the early days of the Republic (and in several cases beyond). although the latter term is strictly a reference to the infantry legions. recruiting difficulties. They are however not numerous enough to support more aggressive adventures by the Telbrin government. There is a substantial requirement for support staff. stout. one of each type working together. Infantry Legion There are two types of legion. can veto decisions of the Moot. the typical Legionaries in the Infantry will be equipped with lamellar hauberks with ring mail trews and sleeves and a full helm and carrying a halberd (or short re-curve bows if archers) with a falchion and buckler as back up side-arms. responsible for the other 12 (and theoretically capable of splitting the file in to two half-files. maintain and man the Telbrin Sky Fleet. also referred to as “the Cohorts”. especially the Blues who can (and often are) broken down in to single maniples to deploy to specific locations. The totals given in the two sub-sections below are of fighting men. Mountain Folk One of two broad ethnic types of human found throughout the Meravaenia region. although even here the tendency is to think of ones House before ones self.e. which are in turn divided into maniples. The upper house sits for three months a year and approves legislation.

lithe accepted as a euphemism for "black-mailed under threat of military action after a generation of political manoeuvring and of build and tend towards straight hair and light colourings. Mountain Folk are Helbricht notoriously superstitious. but are perhaps not quite as hardy or well suited to the extreme conditions of the high valleys. known as the Declaration of Helbricht and is accepted as the They are found in greatest numbers throughout the central founding document of the Republic. Research led to the discovery of the remarkable properties of Serin wood and eventually to practical Skyships. some 400km long that runs Telbrin. in 735NC. The smallest discrete unit in a cavalry legion is a file of seven mounted soldiers. seconded by an ilCoasantl. The treaty that detailed the union of the two cities is predominance of black hair and their slightly “Han” appearance. The Legions are: Infantry: The Hammer (1st Legion) – Northern border and Badlands operations The Hallex River Valley Irregulars (2nd Legion) – Home defence in Republic The Helbricht Company (3rd Legion) – Southern and Eastern borders (and perhaps beyond) The Fourth Legion (Modrin’s Legion) – “Plateau posting”. Renbril was conquered by joint AurUrban and Telbrini military action in 875NC and (over AurUrban objections) the city was annexed by the Republic in 880NC. and have as yet no experience of them in a military context. In general. The Republic Air Fleet is the worst kept secret in modern day Thurian politics. they make the best crews for Telbrin Skyships. Freed from domination by Parkhesh after a series of bloody secession wars begun in 221NC. with a cavalry Falchion and Buckler as a back up side arm. being a leading force in the secession from Parkhesh in 221 NC and frequently leading or launching its own expeditions in to the Badlands. plateau and the Upper Hallex River valley and represent the River Folk “mixed” population descended from the original inhabitants and the Meravae Empire's human population. with the Coasantl in command. as often in conflict as allied against their common enemies until the City State of Telbrin annexed the neighbouring City of Helbricht. River Folk display a degree of inquisitiveness and adaptability greater than their Mountain Folk kin. City States of the Upper Hallex River Renbril Renbril is the most northerly of the cities of the Republic of Telbrin. The cavalry legions have traditionally been referred as the “greens”. This gives a total of 540 men (including officers) in a Cavalry legion. again led by an Hlegio with seven Jostan and seven Selgaunt.have real difficulties adapting to the thicker air and temperatures campaigning brought the rest of the Upper Hallex cities in to the away from the plateau and are in general not great travellers: albeit Republic within a century and a half. They are generally tall. although their close kinship with the Mountain Folk shows in the intermarriage between key Great Houses in Telbrin and Helbricht". human city states that arose from the mingling of the river cultures and the mountain folk in the upper reaches of the Hallex River to the east of Meravaenia. In general. albeit "join" is generally type typical of the Meravaenia region. Subsequent political. 7 cavalry Cohorts comprise a standard Cavalry legion. Two such files form a maniple of 14 riders. they existed as a loose association. Helbricht is the second city of the Republic of Telbrin and was the first of the City States of the Upper Hallex River to join the The River Folk or Valley Folk are the second major human ethnic nascent Republic some 260 years ago. . leading to Modrins Line the Declaration of Helbricht and the founding of the Republic of Modrin's Line is a continuous wall. economic and military eastward from the city of Mull in AurUrbis and roughly defines “horses”. lead by a Coasantl or il-Coasantl. Notorious for its involvement in (some would argue precipitation of) the "Sword Wars" of the 3rd Century NC when it launched an assault on the southern AurUrbis city of Mull. Five maniples form a cohort of 75 men and mounts. The City States of the Upper Hallex River were a number of independent. including a command group of one Jostan and four Selgaunt. Cavalry: The Merav Light Company The Hallex Heavy Company The Telbrin Guard Telbrin Skyships Telbrini scholars had long suspected that the Meravae possessed some means of practical rapid transport. due to the distinctive short green capes issued to cavalry Order of Battle as at 995NC The Cohorts of Telbrin currently consist of seven legions: four infantry and three Cavalry. Renbril has always been the most warlike and aggressive of the Cities of the Hallex River Valley. the typical Legionaries in the cavalry will be equipped with lamellar hauberks with ring mail trews and sleeves and a full helm and carrying a Light lance (or short re-curve bows if archers). close to the northern borders with AurUrbis and the Badlands.

Local legends say that its peak kisses the Orbs as they pass. forming a vast table of land in the middle of Easternmost of the great cities of the Republic of Telbrin. to defend the City States of the Upper Hallex River from raiders from Badlands between 234 and 242 NC. the plateau is not widely only by shallow draft riverboats. its streets Astrava Mountains that divides the plateau from the High Pampas thronging with the robed tribes folk of the Loparankwari and in or the twisted vales of the great glacial valley that divides the recent years merchants from further a field. Flora and Fauna Aerial Fauna Of The Meravae Plateau The Meravae Plateau. They are also regarded as more superstitious and parochial by the other cities of the Republic – not unreasonably given the large segment of the cities population that is Mountain Folk. The Red Desert stopped their migration so they settled in a wide plain of arid grasslands where they live off the Lopar. Tovrili are renowned as miners and crafters of metal and stone. the river (not the Hallex. for all its extremes of altitude. Shalkan marks the half of Thurian. Southwards the river is too regarded as particularly hospitable and has a wider variety of savage and unpredictable. depending on point of view. Also known to the Khal as the Blue Serpent River and the Tual as the Kha'ta'la River. Astrava River Name on the Meravae Plateau for the river whose upper reaches forms the Republic of Telbrin's border with Nhi-Tual. Geographical Features Meravae Plateau Shalkan The Meravae Plateau dominates the northern centre of the continent of Thurian. supports a surprising variety of life. Whilst the domesticated (and semi-wild) flocks of Lamox dominate the "civilised" regions of the high . The northern most of the great peaks of the Keril Mountains that form the plateau. And certainly unsupported humans cannot survive even on its "lower" slopes. Tovril allied itself to Telbrin in 794NC and formally joined the Republic in 879. High in northern Thurian stands the headstone of Meravaenia. Shalkan petitioned to Mana and Keril Mountains and the wide tundra of the central formally join the Republic in 879NC. The Merav Nation tribe folk regard the mountain as holy ground. also the chain of mountains that runs from the Golden Isthmus in the known as the City of Proud Knives. from the towering peaks of the Manas Mountains and through extensive rapids and cascades as it rushes down from the Keril Mountains in the north to the active volcanism of the mountains. It was built by the war leader Modrin of Renbril. Mount Keril Tovril Southernmost of the great cities of the Republic of Telbrin. also known as the City of Stairs and The City of Granite.the border of the Badlands and Telbrin. though southern tribes and caravan guards will venture to the Khaleshi cities (notably Khalut). nine years after the Republic plateau. and discourage outsiders from trespassing. the Meravae Plateau is a large region of elevated southernmost extent of easy navigation on the Hallex. The city of Shalkan (Easternmost of the cities of the Republic of Telbrin) is the only city that many Loparankwari will ever visit. heavily influenced by north to the very southern tip of the continent in Quatzadua Loparankwari culture. It is also a city of cultural transition. Like the High sheltered and fertile Hallex River valley to the arid grass lands of Pampas region that occupies a similar position in the southern the Western Plains region of Parkhesh. Tovril has a unique character. Many Loparankwari are hired to guard the caravans that carry silk from Khalesh to Shalkan and the trade goods from Shalkan to Khalesh (including weapons for the Khaleshi to fight the Parkeshi). and then terrain. Unlike the pampas however. There are unsubstantiated observations of extensive ruins at over 8000m (estimated by observation from a much lower altitude) by Telbrini explorers before they were abducted by Merav Nation tribe folk. and allied forces from Tovril liberated the city from occupation by the forces of Renbril. trapped in steep gorges and coursing terrain. Astrava is believed related to the UrMerav root for “dragon”. but a tributary) being entirely un-navigable. The cities of the Republic are usual characterised as cities of the Hallex river valley – Tovril is a mountain city. The Loparankwari (Lopharkwan by the Parkheshi and Khaleshi) are the descendants of a group of people who migrated eastwards from the high plateaus. A city of transitions from the relatively between the Falls of Cozar and Corxax Sound. or the anchor of the Golden Isthmus. as the lower reaches form the border between Parkhesh and Nhi-Tual. Loparankwari The tribes who live on the plateau that borders the west of the Red Desert and the east of Meravaenia are known by the Lopar beasts they ride. Mount Keril literally dwarfs all the other mountains in the known world.

The carnivorous Seskerlin are larger. in the less settled regions of the plateau many strange creatures are known to survive: legacy of by gone times. Several hundred beaks can inflict debated in the Philosophical Clubs of Telbrin. the fruit of which are their primary food source. All the species so far recorded share some basic characteristics: they are found. trapping the prey for the Killer to consume at leisure. some can be quite aggressive and have been known to regarding large. Three main subspecies of Seskerlin have so far and scavenging species favour the aerial herbivores. Seskerlin Jolvedrins Killer Sipperlins Sipperlins are not a single species but rather a group of related species with similar characteristics. and the lower reaches boast herds of the hardy mountain Lopar. considerable damage. down from the high Plateau of something recognisably translucent and iridescent leather-like material. Sipperlins are exotically coloured with a wide One sub group of species is well known across much of the variety of skin patterns and colouration. herbivorous members of the Aerial Fauna of the Plateau. and as yet unclassified. typically only 25-30cm in gelatine that unless correctly treated decays rapidly after the length. and a number of other as yet unclassified shrubs native to the high plateau. The smaller herbivorous species seem particularly fond of the Serin Tree. grazing on the hardy mountain grass and nests. • Seskerlin concealed amongst foliage or an outcrop until such time as prey • Jolvedrin's Killer passes by. Other species can Seskerlin in body form.plateau. have a weirdly translucent flesh vaguely reminiscent of glass or Raven's Seskerlin: a pack predator. typically around 9cm. This forms a sticky mass on contact Unconfirmed reports have also mentioned: with air. predating on each other and the mountain Lamox. What it preys upon is a mystery. dwelling species have been reported. Although most species rely Telbrini scholars have yet to exhaustively catalogue the creatures on numbers and flocking behaviour to protect them from and some expeditions to the plateau have made outrageous claims predators. It then sprays a unique mucous from glands either side • Hunter of the Air of its mouth onto the victim. The slime is strong and sticky.2m in length. There are unconfirmed plateau. 3-18cm in length. a lone predator including it has recently been acknowledged (after the sensational that typically reaches 40-50cm and predominantly preys on return of the Shelvrin Expedition) unwary humans. but will also been classified by Telbrin scholars: prey on birds (which are somewhat scarce on the plateau) and land bound creatures (Lamox flocks are known to be a favourite). This is unconfirmed as are reports • Arboreal Cephalopod of Merav tribesmen eating the slime. specimens that are hotly mob perceived threats. long ago imported (possibly unintentionally) from Quatzadua. although some ground shrubs. or the result of some mad sorcerers tampering with the Chain of Being. Several subspecies build the thin mountain air. mostly in inaccessible locations. only above 3000m and are exceptionally rare below 3500m. descendants of zoological specimens escaped from Meravae collections with the fall of the Meravae Empire. Most Sipperlins are small. although will scavenge to supplement its diet.. but 1. Jolvedrin's Killer is an unusual ambush killer that specialises in Those species so far recognised are: trapping Sipperlins. Some species are rumoured to produce a toxic • Old Man of the Sky or envenomed form of slime. and which be another lone predator. they have two eyes on raised stalks at the front of the head for binocular vision and a recessed beak for teasing out berries from shrubs and trees. The skins of The High Mountain Seskerlin: one specimen has been brought some species produce (again when properly treated) a fine. more aggressive and carnivorous relatives of the Sipperlins. as previously noted. It is speculated to provide a tougher material suited to making armour. The True Seskerlin: the first species identified. cheese like consistency and some species are edible. swarming in "flocks" or "shoals" of hundreds and more at 33500m around sources of water and stands of Serin Trees. Flat in body shape. making them a known risk to lone travellers who blunder in to a nesting shoal.. Unlike its prey Jolvedrin's Killer has a muted • Sipperlins colouring and camouflaging markings that allow it to lie in wait. It is one of the fastest of the aerial fauna and possessed creature’s death in to a foul smelling slime. They are the smallest . All the fauna Sipperlins. but only above 3000m: a whole ecology of flying creatures reports of chameleon like sub-species that can change their that most strongly resemble fish of the ray or skate type thrive in markings to impersonate other species. the Merav Tribes are known occasionally to fashion somehow in to rigid translucent plates to form remarkably effective personal armour. but atrophies in to a brittle form • Dancers of the Clouds after a few hours. Correctly preserved (a of both a sharp hooked beak and barbs at the end its "wings" technique of the Merav Nation tribes) it sets in to a firm almost hook prey.

Purple • Lady of Air: Wind. Since the Merav Tribes guard the reported range of these creatures (the slopes of Mount Keril). Manipulation and Survival Talker: Trade. Churches of the Chain The Churches of the Chain are also known as the Children of Xantir. Arboreal Cephalopod If it exists. Giving Orders. but oral accounts are imprecise) and are arranged at the base of a large (medium sized pig equivalent) ovoid body. roughly analogous to a shark or Manta Ray. Credence is give to the tribal accounts as such a species would logical provide possible prey for the Hunter of the Air Old Man of the Sky Even more circumstantial than the evidence for the Dancers of the Clouds. serious scholars concede that it remains a possibility. Telbrini scholars however. may be as many as twelve) tentacles that serve as both ambulatory and manipulator appendages (there may be some differentiation by role. the folk-hero unique to the High Kingdoms baroque shamanistic (and possibly Octaminist) take on the Great Chain of Being common to religious beliefs throughout the region. Orange • Father of Fires: Sun. the folk tales frequently refer to these creatures also appearing as unnaturally tall old men. also Sorcery and hidden wisdom Dancer: Sky and Spirit That which is outside the Chain. If this creature (or group of species) exist. Learning. This practice is not part of official church doctrine. but to date no material evidence has been found to support these stories. the Arboreal Cephalopod is certainly the strangest creature on the plateau. it is assumed to be a fast. playful and curious. the Broken Link • Void: Darkness and Devourer Civilised folk (or those who like to think of themselves as such) throughout the Plateau worship the Great Chain of Being and in general most favour the Church of the Lady of Air. the accounts seem to indicate that these creatures prefer the cover of trees and undergrowth. Blue • Weaver of Mists: Mist. Several expeditions have attempted to search for specimens. Several Telbrini expeditions are currently outfitting to attempt to secure a whole and. as with other claims. Grey • The Green: Plants • The Red: Predator. but more like archetypes and astrologers of the Chain can (apparently) predict much about a person's life based on precise charting of the position of the Orbs and the Companions at the time of their birth. Religions of the Plateau The cultures of the Plateau of Meravaenia are Hectaminist and all adhere to some form of the Church of the Great Chain of Being.fast. the Xantiric sects or the Churches of the Seven. sleek killer. Dancers of the Clouds Merav Tribal accounts. few expeditions have had a chance to confirm the stories.Hunter of the Air Although no specimen has yet been seen whole by reliable witnesses. most serious scholars believe the tales of the Old Man of the Sky to be just tales. They share a belief that the seven Orbs somehow represent or embody certain fundamental aspects of existence which together are the links of creation that make existence possible. but it is . if possible. speak of a large (dolphin or porpoise sized) omnivorous or possibly herbivorous creature that frequents the higher altitudes (a lower threshold of around 3750m is estimated from the evidence) . Leaving aside the plausibility of an aerial creature some two meters from nose to base of tail that resides only above 4000m. or the Lady of Stone (also sometimes known as Mother Gwenth). Prey and Carrion The Companions of the Chain • • • • • Teller: Direct Dominance. Yellow • Lord of Waters: Sea. and whilst none have as yet been secured. Co-Operation Knower: Knowledge. The links of the Chain are regarded as abstract forces / principles and although ascribed a gender in some cases are not viewed as anthropomorphic personifications particularly. The Companions are similarly viewed as somewhat abstract. they are a variety of mollusc-like creature with many (probably at least six. Conflict and Revenge Hunter: Subtle Dominance. the Merav Tribesman refer to a large predatory species and have shown teeth and other hard body parts from an aerial species that is estimated to bulk roughly equivalent to a large wolf or smaller big cat in size. The Anchor of the Chain: • Mother Gwenth The Links of the Chain: • Lady of Stone: Rock. From the teeth and bones seen. despite numerous expeditions to the High Plateau region. live specimen for study. and unreliable witness statements from the higher altitudes of the Confederation of Xantir and Petty Kingdoms. Although capable of gliding considerable distances. Communication. with the typical "flat" body shape. wrapped in long cloaks. these creatures feature prominently in Merav Tribal folk tales and are clearly identified with Dancer. surrounding a sharp beak. supported by the absence of any specimens. maintain a healthy scepticism.

Dancer) of Elders. and quit clearly in pre-Octaminist Crusade beliefs of the region was the Eighth link of the Great Chain. concentrating on fanatical opposition to "life-clinging" and other forms of Necromancy. In fact. to be said over a dead body and which cause the body to burn to ash. like most of the followers of the Xantiric theology of the Great Chain. A 'hand' is publicly seven companies (35) and at full strength the official commissioned strength of the order is 'a hand of hands' (245). In general. Darkness. Hunter. The Eater of All and a variety of other names) is feared and reviled throughout the plateau. largely marginalized and ignored. Priest Tongue The only full language in current use derived from Ur-Merav. All the Meravae Plateau cultures regard life clinging (spirits remaining housed in dead flesh) with great repugnance.. is the Priest Tongue of the Confederation of the Children of Xantir. but a central figure in folk myths and old wives tales throughout the plateau and the primary myth figure amongst the Merav Nation. Even the poorest family will have a shrine to their ancestors. being both the first Shaman and the primary ancestral figure of all the tribes. The true elite of the order (in what are known as the "Hidden Hands") believe that doing this will actually allow the Yellow Orb to heal his brother the Dark Orb. ‘scholar’ (intelligence) and a jack of all trades fifth. Whilst Telbrin. and heavily influenced by the Companions of the Chain. and woes betide the family abandoned by (or that abandons) their Honoured Dead. It organises itself in companies of five Children: a commander. It was established in the Meravae Empire after the imposition of the Church of Gwenthia on the population of the Empire by the KiMentas as a result of the Third Crusade. Children of the Fire The tribes of the High Kingdoms pay most direct attention to the Red and Green. Void (also known as The Dark. each of which is governed by a Hand (Teller. and the Kol-shek d’Vanan has indicated his displeasure as well. The Righteous Order of the Children of the Fire are a martial order in the Republic of Telbrin affiliated with the Church of the Father of Fires (the Yellow Orb). The order itself has no priests but maintains an ascetic tradition and could be characterised as an order of warrior monks. releasing the spirit to continue in the cycles of the chain. Ur-Keril Ur-Keril is conjectured by Telbrini scholars to have been the root language of the human slave population of the Meravae Empire. the Republic is moving increasingly towards a secular state and the Churches of the Chain are increasingly marginalized – but the first overt hostility has been against the Beast Cults so the other churches have perhaps not realised the extent to which that hostility is symptomatic of wider anti-religious sentiment in the Consulate of the Republic. Several modern languages of the Plateau region are derived from it: Priest Tongue in particular. It is generally identified with/conflates the Night Hag and the Dark God so often found in Thurian belief systems. such that the actual strength is 320 operational troops (an eighth company in each hand. Publicly (and internally amongst the lower orders of Novices and Lay Children) this means eliminating all traces of the Night Hag and its spawn from the surface of Gwenthia. Knower. are respectful of the Kol-shek d’Vanan. Languages of the Region Ur-Merav is a dead language: known only through scholarly conjecture and fragmentary inscriptions. and is thus the parent language of several of the languages and dialects of the Meravae Plateau. Talker. The spirits of the Honoured Dead however (those ancestral spirits released from the shackles of material existence that choose to return to guide their descendants) are treated with great reverence and much folklore revolves around the ambiguities and difficulties of placating angry or upset ancestral spirits. Ur-Merav Dancer is a mercurial figure in Xantiric theology. plus the secret Eighth Hand forming the hidden 'hand of hands' of an additional 75). a 'speaker' (communications). Xantir teaches that the spirit (“that which is bound by the chain”) must be free to move along the chain at death – all sects teach the Words of Releasing the Spirit. Indeed. ignoring ancillary staff and Novice and Lay Children not yet qualified to leave the Orders training Houses. the seven Churches of the Chain in the Republic are independent of the direct authority of the Kol-shek d’Vanan. The order is dedicated to the cleansing fire of the Father of Fires and believes that Gwenthia must pass through fire to be redeemed and the great chain reforged. The order was originally formed as a sister group to the HagHunters of AurUrbis.remarkable how many organisational structures in Plateau cultures use a unit of five. and thus restore the Chain. the Republic of Telbrin is becoming openly hostile to the violent rights of the Beast Cults in the Hallex River Valley. although in Telbrin is generally regarded as a “metaphor” rather than a reality. but their shamanic tradition is markedly different to the Churches of the Red and Green found in the rest of the Plateau. .. The Devourer. there are also the companies of the hidden hands. a scout.

and on to the Meravae plateau itself. River Tongue is a fast. Scholar Tongue as it is also known is a complex. and which is used for all official documents of the faith and things like prayer flags etc. as much a signalling system to communicate across the high mountain valleys as a true language. but have mingled with other languages to create a wide variety of disparate languages that are effectively distinct. The two languages most often referred to as Traders Cant are spoken along the Hallex River Valley and in neighbouring regions. Traders Cant that blends Lidin. despite their common origins. It is also quite effective for insults and intimidation. how rapidly news travels amongst the tribes of the High Kingdom. or River Tongue. and many of its children have drifted a great distance from their roots. suggesting that actually Lidin may be the root language of both (or the most recent linguistic overlay). Priest Tongue. and in some cases related linguistic roots. Telbrinese and Lidin with many loan words from Parkhsi that barely functions as a general language but has immense richness and subtlety for the pursuit of the best price for a brace of Yak or the merits a bundle of hunting javelins. In the Upper reaches of the Hallex River Valley. Telbrinese The Tribal Tongue of the tribes of the High Kingdoms? is forbidden to those not of the tribes. This language appears to have been remarkably stable for a considerable period of time as far as Telbrini scholars can estimate (texts discovered in ruins from the Ensellati Horde era. Traders Cant Traders Cant is the name for a number of languages of similar function. Telbrinese and elements of as yet unidentified languages (perhaps Elucen or more likely the mysterious Tribal Tongue of the Merav Nation tribes) is the common means of communication. to some degree. All have their roots at least partly in the dead language of the Empire. found throughout Thurian in lands once ruled by the Meravae Empire. The most commonly encountered UrKeril derived language is Telbrinese. Ur-Merav. and little is known of it by lowland scholars – but it is conjectured to have similarities to Priest Tongue and is thus believed to be another derivative of UrMerav Ur-Keril has innumerable derivatives. Common in the lower reaches of the Hallex River Valley and in the Badlands is one form of Traders Cant. The two varieties of Traders Cant are largely incompatible.in which the Holy Scriptures of the Churches of the Chain are written. Tribal Tongue . but actually possessed of a predominance of low syllable count words. The quality of writing can have importance in certain religious and formal social contexts (applying for a merchant alliance. although it is itself also a dead language. Mountain folk joke about River folk gabbling. although fluent Lidin speakers have some chance of making themselves understood in either. another variant of Elucen Elucen is language of whistles. the official language of the Republic of Telbrin and the predominant lingua franca of the Upper Hallex River Valley for the last thousand years. River folk say there isn’t enough air in the high mountains for the Mountain folk to talk at a sensible speed and think. clipped language of short distinct phones often concatenated in to apparently long single word multi-syllabic statements. although most of the Confederation of the Children of Xantir (the innumerable religious sects of the Church of the Chain) are deeply hostile to allowing Telbrini scholars access to their holy books for appropriate study. proposals of marriage etc) and throughout the Confederation and Republic talented calligraphers can command high salaries. albeit it helps explain. some 1800 years ago appear virtually identical to modern texts in usage). tonally sensitive language with a complex glyph based written form that is notoriously hard to master. an ugly polyglot mix of Ur-Merav.

living in the lowlands and flats of Nhi Tual. Where the Nhi-Gha River meets the sea. The tribes. with each tribe consisting of several different Clans. Lô-Tual. and wrestling with their harsh environment. battered by harsh winds and extremes of heat and cold. usually worn cropped. They believe in racial purity and are unbending in their beliefs. Around 3. with an abundance of crops. they are a well educated people. This makes them rather insular and xenophobic. lesser Clans. They are sturdy. drought. but these are rare. a place of winds. where goods from all over NhiTual are gathered for trade and barter. and understand that life is never without suffering. in eastern Thurian. the Goddess Khur-Ishida came to NhiTual and challenged the Seven. She drove the Seven from Nhi Tual and returned the land to its rightful state: hard. there is one major seaport. Each settlement is controlled by one of the many Clans. The land is hot and semi-arid. The Tual are seminomads and split into four tribes: Shikün. which are no more than villages made of simple primitive wooden structures. a few Tual have set up permanent farmsteads. and that every scrap of food and drop of water must be fought for with sweat. for helping the scales to fall from their eyes. the Tual. surrounded by a wooden palisade. with black hair. is part of the Tual lands and is located a kilometre or so off the east coast in the wide bay of the Golden Sea. The People The Tual are a hardy and vigilant race of humans. and Takôda. Since the land along the river is more fertile. because they are quick to adopt new customs and to accept outsiders. They are looked down upon by the others. but was once lush and verdant. the Tual give thanks to this most benevolent Goddess. and the Tual people scratch a meagre living by driving livestock along feeding trails. and the constant threat of famine. or economical power. have the military might. tears and blood. and possesses its own unique customs and beliefs. and a skin with a reddish hue. There are a handful of permanent settlements along the Nhi-Gha River. Mutsümo. the Tual grew and prospered. Hôkurik. Despite the hardship of their existence.000 years ago. who only grant access to the village to kinsman and recognised traders. Hôkurik. unwilling to accept even the slightest change. The second of the tribes. being taught skills and crafts from early age. An island. imposing their religious view points on others. The only thing the Clans have in common is the worship of the Goddess Khur-Ishida. Watched by the Seven. through the clan structure. Each tribe controls a region of Nhi-Tual. And now. to maintain control over the smaller. They are devout in the worship of the Goddess. They are of stocky build.Nhi Tual The Dragon Chosen N hi-Tual nestles between the realms of Meravaenia. harsh and unforgiving. and rife with vegetation. Quite a lot of their customs have been inherited through marriage and trade with people from Quatzadua. A detailed history of the Tual people can be found under the History of the Nhi-Tual. The Hôkurik dwell in the southern and central . fruits and wildlife to support its people. used to a life of toil and conflict. The Shikün tribe is the smallest numerically. the gods who ensured Nhi-Tual was a land of plenty. and are quick to put heretics to death. called Gha-Shasta. It is a dry and barren land. This is the main hub of the river. It is believed by the other Tual that the city of Nhiaquat was founded by members of this tribe. exposing them as trickster demons that had beguiled the Tual and led them away from the only true path to enlightenment and happiness. is the largest and most cosmopolitan. Parkhesh and Quatzadua.

but by other Tual in search of fresh water. boys are trained in the arts of archery and swordsmanship. One of the few tribes that build permanent settlements is the militaristic Takôda. This is good business for Takôda. moving up and down the river. Many of the Tual would be considered poor. to the more civilised eyes. usually for mutual trade and protection. there are the Monks of Lô-Tual. raising them from their eternal slumber as slaves. or because the trade is well developed along the river. creating a hub for rivertrade. But such people are shunned. many Monks believe that the recent She-Eth incursion on Lô-Tual is a sign that they are becoming complacent. and looked upon as heretics and blasphemers. They welcome one and all to the island of Lô-Tual. living their lives by a strict code of conduct. When not on campaign. or they feel that they will better off with the new ally. These meetings can often be bloody. Usually. Usually the most powerful of the eligible women will select the strongest and bravest of all the warriors. This has led to the rise of a new Cult. in which they live. Mutsümo are known as the River People. The Monks live a simple lifestyle. they are not large enough to control vast territories. Many settlements have sprung up around these forts. However. even traders from other nations such as Quatzadua. But a lot of the Tual live in permanent settlements. Women of Takôda are the ones that choose their husbands. Since many of them hold no allegiance they have been known to swap their loyalty to another in the blink of an eye. the act of worship takes precedence over all other . driving their Targheth lizards along the feeding trails and in the mountains in the west. as a sign of their wickedness. often plotting to bring them down. Not all of these settlements were built by the river people. Not the other way around. As infants. lesser tribes. They associate with one of the four larger tribes depending Settlements belonging to the Shikün tribe are normally built up on the region they inhabit. or hold economical or military power. especially where there is fresh water. and make a living as Mercenaries. Gara-Dien and even Spiria. The settlements inland tend to be small villages. spending much of their time in prayer to Khur-Ishida. but poor warriors. Finally. as the Tual are abundant spiritually. or mending their boats. It is true that some are seminomadic. and farming. and has forced the Hôkurik to trade their meagre livestock and belongings to hire mercenaries for protection. which the Monks believe was sent by Khur-Ishida. It is only fear that prevents them from doing this. taming and riding the Targheth Lizards that live on the plains. hiring themselves out to the other tribes. in regions less suitable for agriculture. the Sui’th herders scratch a living on the bleak slopes. This has forced them to drive cattle along feeding trails. They are excellent riders. and living in poverty. They dwell along the banks of the Nhi-Gha River. The Monks do not hold allegiance to any particular clan. scraping a living from the harsh environment. They believe in honour. Being a very in disputes between the main tribes. There are those that do dwell with the ancient ruins of the long forgotten Tual cities. It is true that the Mutsümo control the rivers. The people of the Mutsümo spend much of their day fishing. Often. and on the coastal regions of NhiTual. or forts. because they are threatened. levering a hefty duty to those merchants that wish to do business. and care little for wealth or material gain. warriors of the Takôda will carry out duties. herding animals. past to a number of small tribes being wiped out in a terrible bloodbath. The Tual are content to live this way. the Mutsümo. and insult the Sleeping (the Tual term for the dead). and are built in areas to safeguard the Takôda’s own interests. paid off. farmsteads. They have built up an economical power based on their resources. These are usually forts. they are repairing them. They are excellent fishermen and boatmen. who can control the trade in the area. They are the most Nomadic of the people.regions of Nhi-Tual. At sometime or other in the past. In the desert that covers the eastern regions of Nhi-Tual. which often brings them into confrontation with the other tribes. The Monks of Lô-Tual would never trade with the Parkhesh or the Tharux. Not all the Tual are nomads. Tual Lifestyle The Tual are a hardy race. There are no sprawling cities in Nhi-Tual. and too reliant on material wealth. The Parkhesh are devils. each of the other clans has hired members of Takôda. Any onlooker drawing such a conclusion would be mistaken. who sees the invading She-Eth as a sign of redemption. as the teachings of Khur-Ishida tell them that happiness comes through toil and labour. It was the Mutsümo that built the town of Gha-Shasta on the mouth of the Nhi-Gha River. Takôda are a militaristic people. or in the unofficial capital. The other tribes have become envious of the wealth that Mutsümo has acquired. However. they are forced to choose sides around shrines and temples to the Khur-Ishida. and raise taxes for their military campaigns. chasing the fish-stock. If they are not casting their nets. The richest of the Tual live either on lavish estates. A few settlements have sprung up along the Nhi-Gha River. such as building. The Tharux were blighted by the power of the Night-Blind Plague. These are the true warriors of the Tual. which have often led in the zealot people. only the nomads live. and are built by members of the other tribes. But they prefer to live on their houses-boats. But this hasn’t stopped them in the past from butchering women and children. There are many smaller. GhaShasta. They control much of the trade along the Nhi-Gha River. as Mutsümo can use its economical might to buy mercenaries.

Being the most cosmopolitan of all the Tual. such as Targheth bone or tusks. which they use for trade with foreign merchants. foreign influences start to creep into Hôkurik settlements. however. Once the ceremony ends. Since only a handful of Tual use any form of currency. During this process. It is very rare . with a square hole cut into the centre. (due to the amount of silver used in its minting). and sometimes even stone. so many farmsteads surround these southerly settlements. However." The monks of Lô-Tual do not believe in profiteering. the Tual can handle the metal. many believe that the Tual are technologically backward. Since fresh water can be rare in some places. from arrow points to cutlery. Anyone who breaks this tradition turns their back on the blessings offered by Khur-Ishida. “Impure” Metal Since all metal is seen as impure. Only those who have been ritually cleansed by the priests of Khur-Ishida can handle metal. To the priests. using specially prepared oils. prayers are said over the person. Once the metal is to be cast. such as cereal and bamboo. This is a lengthy ceremony. Trade and Economics Since most of the population are farmers of one variety or another. and the rewards the afterlife has to offer. A deep. Prayers are offered up as the metal is melted. to keep the She-Eth threat at bay. the less value the coin has. It is true that they do tax the traders that come to Topax. This depends on the purpose of the metal. Targheth bone is extremely strong. Usually this money is used to restore old temples. The person who wishes to handle the metal has to be cleansed first. and exchange fresh-water for precious minerals and natural resources. and even a fortified structure for a militia to be stationed. The coin used in Nhi-Tual is the Rhül. metal is considered impure. whilst retaining a similar strength to the bone. The Tual have found ways around the absence of metal. forged into weapons. Each village will have a shrine or temple. But they do encourage open trade. before it leaves the temple. especially close to the boarder of Quatzadua. and for intermarriage between the two peoples. which he places in a specially prepared bowl to be sanctified for use. It is quite common to find shrines to the Earth God in the boarder settlements. There is a saying amongst the Tual. specific prayers are offered up. Metal weapons are forbidden and can only be carried by those who have been purified by priests of Khur-Ishida. booming bell. Depending what the metal is to be used for.activities. Only in the major settlements. the signal for the call to prayer. making it good material for things such as composite bows. in exchange for what they have to offer. a large circular coin. by using Targheth bone and cartilage. the monks believe in spiritual wealth. Any Tual who even touches anything made from metal is automatically considered unclean. this has led the Tual to find alternatives to using metal. To make matters worse. Once the metal has been turned into its desired shape. or meat. but it is not for finical gain. A lot of it ends up at Gha-Shasta. and finally at dusk. such as Gha-Shasta is money used. This produce is transported all over Nhi-Tual. bamboo. and can be turned into a variety of different things. Some settlements even have permanent structures. where the Shikün come together to discuss important matters that affect the settlement. while priests watch on offering up prayers to Khur-Ishida. the next ceremony will vary. The coin isn’t widely accepted for various reasons. the metal can be removed and then taken to a specially prepared room in the temple. The same could be said about their settlements. via caravans. it is cleaned once again in water. All metal must be ritually cleansed before they can be handled by others. a market place for trade. at midday. but some outsiders speculate it may have something to do with Tuals past use of Tainted Silver. All Shikün pray at least three times a day: at dawn. or minted into coins. built from stone. the basis of all trade in Nhi-Tual is agriculture. to livestock. The metal is left in the bowl of purified water overnight. They believe that greed and corruption is blasphemy in the eyes of Khur-Ishida. most of the goods are bartered for. to wherever it is needed the most. Like many Tual. The cartilage is extremely flexible. Tual Technology Due to the belief that metal is impure. This ranges from crops. It is a meeting place. the Hôkurik have adopted a lot of the traditions from the other tribes. and the denouement of Tharux machines. "Never trust a money lender. the priests of Khur-Ishida decree that the Tual are forbidden to handle or even use anything made from metal. made from silver. or to build new ones. hide. The larger the hole is. The Mutsümo have taken advantage of this. So temples and shrines are always at the centre of Shikün society. A village will often exchange plentiful goods they have for another they are lacking. it can often become a vital piece of bargaining power. and takes many days to perform. At first light. In recent months. Where this strange tradition originated from is not clear. before bathing in sanctified water. to be later transported to Topax for trade with merchants from other nations. This is not the case. can often be heard ringing out from a Shikün village. melting the metal is just as much as the purification ceremony. The majority of the Hôkurik are farmers or herders. it has been used to pay for mercenaries. as they believe that metal is only pure in its molten form. and many refuse to even handle coins. as many Tual would rather barter the goods they want. This has led to the Mutsümo accumulating vast wealth. The further south you travel. Prayer takes priority over food or work. for the prosperity of the Tual people as a whole.

bamboo. but they are similar to one another. by his Master. Finally. Prized composite bows are highly sort after. The Magistrate is probably the most powerful man in all of Nhi-Tual. after he has completed his Apprenticeship. But there are rumours of it being spoken by the She-Eth invaders. Language There are three principle languages: the first is Ishid. The Chieftain is the most powerful member of the tribe. The Chieftain is selected by the various clan Elders. and can be usually understood by members of other Clans. The Elder is responsible for the running of their particular clan. the everyday language is Ishid. making it superior to a bow made from wood or bamboo. It is their job to make sure that everyone in their village adheres to the laws of the clan. and are responsible for selecting deputies to help them enforce the law. the Magistrate controls all city business and commerce.to find someone carrying a blade made of metal. it is the most prestigious of the warriors that is elected and in the Hôkurik the position of Elder is hereditary. The final language is Celestial. and organise the defence of their community. Those that do are considered to be people of high prestige and honour. punish wrong doers. The Elder is the leader of their clan. The Hierarchy of the Tual Throughout the Tual tribes. One is often presented to a Warrior. or a combination of the three. who answer directly to the tribe’s Chieftain. Each clan has its own dialect. The Constable is responsible for the law and order. and is usually elected from the oldest or wisest of its members. They command the respect of the lowliest peasant to the mightiest warrior. or the tongue of the Dragons. The most commonly found weapons amongst the Tual are bows and spears. This is a life long position. As the governor of one of the busiest sea ports. The Magistrate is duly elected by Clan Elders of the city. and pass down a sentence on those found guilty.fetch massive sums in some parts of Gwenthia. Their other duty is to act as arbiter. The position is very important and failure can be costly for the Headman. and spoken by the majority of Tual. the makeup of the hierarchy is very similar. and is responsible for the day to day running of their community. The Targu blade is the chosen weapon of a Warrior of Kh’Nhar. which demands respect from all within the tribe. can be sharpened to a superb edge. and usually bear a dragon name. Amongst the Takôda. and immediately cast out from Tual society. is seen as unclean. only the females have tusks. remediate in disputes. which are governed by an Elder. These are made from either wood. Targheth tusks are just the right length and shape for making into scimitars and as the ivory is especially tough. as the Targheth cartilage and bone increases the firepower and range. They have to make decisions that affect their village. Different tribes will have different ways of electing someone to the position. raking-in a huge fortune through taxes. In the Mutsümo it is the richest member of the clan. which is a derivation of the Quatzaduan language. Gha-Shasta is governed by a Magistrate. Each Constable is selected by their clan Elder. Targu blades can be rare. with the exception of Gha-Shasta. which is made up of a high pitched hissing and spitting. the clan Elder is selected from the most powerful of the priests. with voters being bought off. deciding the innocence and guilt of anyone thought to have committed a crime. Each Headman is selected by their respective clan Elder. . The majority of bladed weapons are usually finished off with a lacquer transported from Spiria. Of course. and serves for a seven year term. Any Tual who handles a metal weapon and has not been cleansed. It is said that Khur-Ishida spoke it. In the Shikün tribe. and is taken from one of their number. and the Monks of Lô-Tual are fluent in it. The Clan language is used in communicating formal clan affairs and for ceremonies. and as females are prized. Especially fine examples known as Targu blades . Not many Tual can speak this rather strange dialect. Their word is law. is governed by a Headman. or Targheth bone. They are usually in charge of the local militia. Each tribe is made up of their respective clans. Usually this means that only the richest and most influential can run for Magistrate. The second are the clan dialects. It is their duty is to keep the peace. and enforce any decrees passed down by the Elder. if not the richest. and do the work they are supposed to be. Copyright 198 1 Richard Huber. Corruption is rife and many elections are rigged. Each settlement. who can be quickly replaced if necessary. and is the overall ruler. and answers directly to the Headman of their village.

The Shasteen grant their hosts with limited invulnerability. Daku Arashi (see below). and speaks only through Daku Arashi. and the two have never seen eye to eye. His rival is none other than KharJigeren T’sua. Junatas. the mysterious Shado Kun claims to be a spiritual leader of the Shikün. (Many blamed a She-Eth attack for the priest’s death). depending on the import of the situation. followed by an annex (Khar-Shadasher. he radiates a charisma that commands respect. high priests. his right-arm and trusted friend. Khar-Jigeren T’sua Shikün Khar-Jigeren T’sua is the military leader of the Shikün tribe. being a Grandmaster of Kh’Nhar. Hidden Secrets: Being opposed to the School to train Kh’Nhar. Khur-Jigeren T’sua is believed to be on Lô-Tual. for example). So far their intentions appear peaceful. allowing its host to escape death. and believed to be a devout follower of the teachings of Khur-Ishida. Hasta. Khur-Jigeren T’sua plans to bring it down any way he can. for example). Korhinir. Spiteful rumours claim that Shado Kun is in fact the Dark Magus. such as murdering a vocal priest who was a strong supporter for the School. the given name. The Clan name is simply the name of the particular Clan of birth (for example. His fanatical view point as led him to perform some rather underhanded tactics. and believes in the ancient traditions of the martial art. The Dragon Name is always three syllables: Khar for males. known as Kh’Nhar. Currently. and the Clan name. but only after he had voiced objections to the school being opened on the island of LôTual. but sometimes the full title or even the Clan name might be used. Nhi-Tual Personalities Shado Kun A resident of Lô-Tual. but also a formidable warrior. Kotu. Due in some measure to this scarring. He is a pious man. even for a Tual. again followed by a three syllable annex. and sports many hair-braids. It is rumoured that he is a master of an ancient martial art. and he is never far from his mentor’s side Hidden Secrets: Both Shado Kun and Daku Arashi have been infected with the Shasteen Horror. he wears a suit of red leather and bamboo armour. aiding the Tual in their struggle against the She-Eth. representing his many achievements in battle. Nothing has been proven. A typical Dragon name could be: Khur-Jigeren T’sua Shikün. The Shasteen can turn a fatal wound into a superficial one. it will be bloody. because of his priestly upbringing. The very few people that have meet him say that he is very pious about his beliefs in Khur-Ishida. he speaks rarely and then only in a soft husky voice. A typical name might thus be: Shaleena T’sua Kotu In most cases. Khar-Shadasher Kotu Takôda Khar-Shadasher Kotu was chosen to head the school of Kh’Nhar. such as great warriors. Mosata) People that have proven themselves in life. He is often flanked by his protégé. This is the reason why Shado Kun is long-lived and Daku Arashi has survived many duels. V’esk. will often have a Dragon Name. But whatever it will be. Whatever the ambitions are of these collective entities is also unknown. Family names are no more than two syllables: a stressed consonant followed by a short. In deference to both his nickname and the battle of Kha-Sanata.Names Names consist of three parts: the family name. Recently has he taken an apprentice. however. He is a tall man. as they rarely stray from their temple. the given name is the usual name used. What his next move will be is still unclear to his followers. Khar-Jigeren) and Khur for females. The Blooded Hand. as the son of a Warrior-Priest. conducting the on going battle against the She-Eth. Despite heavy scarring to his face. Daku Arashi Shikün Daku Arashi is a master of the ancient Tual martial art of Kh’Nhar. Shado Kun has never shown his face in public. He has earned a fierce reputation through surviving over one hundred duels. H’sha. vowel/consonant combination (T’sua. This rift . He is the loyal protector of Shado Kun. chieftains. This has earned him the nickname Hando Chi. He is a member of the Shikün tribe. Given names are three syllables and softer (Shaleena. Both men cover their faces with cowls or masks to disguise the greenish pallor which would betray the Shasteen presence. How this happened is a mystery. He is also a master of Kh’Nhar.

the Tual were ruled by Seven Demons. only overcome by toil and struggle. the Tual believe that the soul is transformed into a dragon of great power that flies to the Celestial Court and takes-up residence in true paradise. under be transformed into the four Guardian Dragons of Nhi-Tual. Khur-Ishida. The Hôkurik have had good relations with Quatzadua. save for Khur-Ishida (or Dragon Mother). allowing all Tual to ascend to the heavens as dragons and to join her in her Celestial Court. and the teachings of Khur-Ishida. Their numbers are normally drawn from the Shikün clan. and it has been known for the Takôda to trade with the Khal in southern Parkhesh. Many Tual break this law. who raise the dead as land there was. that washes away the impurities of the people. Zathurians. This is the reason why he wishes to pursuit a priestly existence. But KharJigeren would never dare to openly challenge Khar-Shadasher. In return. But four warriors rose up against the Seven False Gods. ever since KharShadasher decided to head up the School on Lô-Tual. and the area to area. This has condemned the people of the land to scrabble around in a dark age culture of technological poverty. The Cult of the Metal Grinders (Cha-Ead) seeks to actively smash foreign inventions that enter Nhi-Tual's borders. golden age. building great cities and wondrous machines. scratching meagre livings by driving their bipedal Targheth along the feeding trails. Tharux traders from Zathur were driven away by the deadly Night Blind Plague. including is rival. and has taken up permanent residence on Lô-Tual. To the Monks this is a blessing. After the Awakening. Indeed. The rule of the Seven False Gods went unabated for thousands of years. sent by Khur-Ishida as a warning. Khar-Shadasher Kotu prefers his priestly pursuits to his military lifestyle. Of they die.between the two men has only grown wider. The four surviving warriors reward was to It is forbidden for the Tual to practice any sort of magic. and the Crusades against the Night Hag. One of the consequences of the Lô-Tual rejection of the Tharux Traders is that Nhi-Tual has been prohibited from accessing the advanced technology of those people. and servants of the false gods. Khur Ishida’s Awakening Cult of the Metal Grinders In the Distant past. Nhi-Tual (which means Land of Tual). denying them their Dragon death-right. the Tual were forced to worship the Seven Demons. Dragons of Nhi Tual Hidden Secrets: In the past Khar-Shadasher Kotu was a drunk. who the priests of Khur-Ishida claim to be the enemies of the Mother Dragon. was kept vibrant and fertile. It is believed that the Religion Magic . After the four warriors drove out the false gods. the borders of Nhi-Tual were closed to all outsiders. Khar-Jigeren T’sua. They are clear that Tharux machines are blasphemous and must be destroyed. the Tual opened their borders to the rest of the world although not all nations were to their liking. despite several rebellions. rarely settling in any one given place. He drank heavily of both wine and beer and was often found passed out in one of the local drinking houses. the Tual would no longer accept any other Gods. and the Blue Dragon of the Sea. If the truth ever got out. For the next thousand years. and overthrew them. The only way into the cult is by invitation. and Khur-Ishida calls upon the Dragon-kin to deliver the world into a new. Upon death. the Tual people left their cities and technology behind (which had become symbols of their decadence). she chose seven warriors. On the island of Lo-Tual. The Tual realised that they had been tricked by the seven false gods into believing that the world was a nurturing place. and became nomadic. the Monks welcome traders from as far away as Spiria. When the Goddess came. so that he can stay clear of any impure influences. and empowered them with the ability to overthrow the Seven. with the help of mysterious Goddess. This shameful secret is not known to many. who demanded to be worshipped as Gods. such as alcohol. the Tual moved from mindless slaves. awaiting the time when the final battle is upon the world. who appeared in Nhi Tual shortly after the eighth moon disintegrated in the sky. For thousands of years. The Gold Dragon of the Sun. International Relations During the rule of the false gods. The four major clans of today are made up of their direct descendants. and study all Tual believe that they may be given the Dragon mantle when in secret (like the Dark Magus and his circle of apprentices). who breathes life into NhiTual . No sane minded Gwenthian would sell Tharux machinery to a Nhi-Tual for fear of Zathurian repercussions. whose light shines down during the day. Only the most holy and fanatical are allowed to join. Awoken from a dream. When Khur-Ishida came down from the havens. Thanks to the reign of the Seven False Gods. it was harsh and bleak. the shame would dishonour KharShadasher. They wish to keep their ranks pure. when in reality. allowing them free access to their borders. The Tual thus believe Goddess brings eternal life. Khur-Ishida transformed them into the four Guardian Dragons of the Tual. the Red Dragon of the Mountains. the Silver Dragon of the Winds. course such people are seen as heretics. incursions by other nations. the Tual became a technologically advanced people. or cultivating what little fertile The majority of the Tual distrust Parkhesh. The Tual returned to the simple life.

The war never once spilled over into Nhi-Tual. Little did they know. The First Demon offered the Tual people victory over their enemies. and was close the gates of the first city. After being subjected to torture. servants. if they would barren. by a Meravae war band seeking pieces of the Eighth Orb. and his one However. and great cities around the temples. and they followed what they called the Seven Stars. cutting arrows from out of the air. things changed for the worse. retainers. All they could do Tual history begins with a period known as the exodus. Around -5. the accompanied by their wives. Around -4. Only Kh’Nhar comes close to any form of magic. pelted the walls and inhabitants with rocks from their catapults. The people within the walls were starving. By then. The technique was first employed by the priests of Khur-Ishida for meditative purposes. a small group The leaders of the Tual people decided that the seven tribes of Priests felt that there was something wrong. trying to locate where the the worship they were being offered. In fact it was 500 years before they touched the Orb Fragment. fragments of the Eighth . had once been the homeland of the soulless Shé-Eth. warriors lowered their guard. the First Demon is said to have marched out of the city The Meravae Empire had not colonised this small part of the and slaughtered the war band. the destruction of the Eighth weeks.000 BP. Orb. when a Tual pilgrim was captured in western Nhi-Tual. and wore a crown of silver. could salvage nothing of use. and they were struck down by the Tual’s descendants continued to follow the Seven Stars long after fanatical priests. the blood of the enemy was spilled over the six become their home. Fanatical as they were. and offer up prayers to the Seven Stars. like the first. One by one. such as leaping great distances. following the Seven Stars. the land that would Like the first. fruitless environment. they would protect the Tual from their enemies. Awe-stuck by what they found there. (Land of the Tual). This is an ancient marital art that employs the use of “Ki” like abilities. wanted to be worshiped like the Stones before them. all the races of Gwenthia went to war with each other. Many priests still practice Kh’Nhar. not knowing where it would lead them. They were the Temple of the Star. Remnants of the She-Eth empire were scattered all over other Dark Orb fragments. carried Thurian continent. worshipping the fragments like gods. the Tual people paid homage to the Seven Stars. travelled for many decades. They slowly ravaged the population. the Astral Magus. In the seventh week. and did not deserve the length and breadth of Nhi-Tual. Deep down. the tribes discovered the stars. and in turn a Demon appeared. world. They witnessed blood. and broke open to reveal the first of the they seven stars fall to earth in an uninhabited region of the Seven Demons. They had seen a sign in the heavens. the Tual people were to encounter an outside threat. Each. However. and found themselves in hundred and twenty three great-grandchildren. began to crack. Those who followed him inhabitants. For many years. with his bloody hand would reach their destination. But the Tual In return.power of the Dark Magus is taken from various sources. Tual’s family had become It is written in the ancient scriptures that the stone drank his a small Nation. The Tual were quick to build temples around the stones. or have a standing army. This was the place the Tual believed that the Stars were leading them too. Each tribe travelled knew that the Seven Demons were false gods. but it is now mainly used by a chosen few warriors. or to destroy them. after this. the land they dubbed Nhi-Tual. The wall to The refugees were led by a man called Tual.000 BP. It was lizards occupied the plains. Their intention was to reach the gates and open them. they miscalculated their route. Other practitioners of magic are likely to have gained their knowledge with the help of outsiders. the priests agreed. The first great Tual Kingdom was born. The war band lay siege to the city and. for the city was breached by a hundred warriors from the war band. the pilgrim revealed the existence of the Seven Stars. which comprised of seven tribes. Nhi-Tual was at peace. The Tual people believed it was because of its harsh and The First Demon told the Tual how to summon his Six Brothers. Rumours have it that one or two Parkheshi or Quatzaduan sorcerers are willing to teach a Tual their secrets. they should split and search out the Seven Stars. The war band Chieftain decided to march on the nearest city. bipedal bow down and worship him. from She-Eth artefacts. a small group of refugees left the Meravae Empire. his fifty-four grandchildren. in fact. and didn’t possess many weapons. For 500 years. Then came the time the Tual called The War of the Stars. The priests immediately did. and only strange. Seven Stars had fallen. This changed however. The Tual were a peaceful people. Facing very little resistance. but later grew into a martial art. History of the Nhi-Tual For the first time in 500 years. to either to gain control of the fragments of Eighth Orb. There was little vegetation. and even subduing an opponent with a single touch. and offering up sacrifices to them. to secrets stolen from the Seven False Gods. were his seven children. little knowing that they were. for many headed out into the unknown parts of the Thurian continent. The land they entered was bleak and a spear of jet. As the last one lay dying. and disease Orb. Those that practice Kh’Nhar have been seen performing fantastic feats. It is written that he was wreathed in flame. which draws upon a persons inner strength. they cut their way through the he had studied the heavens all his life. he reached out and the death of Tual himself. and bodyguards.

The Seven cities thrived. This dragon Dragon of the Sun. and its shadow plunged the island into darkness. Leaderless. an era of peace began for the Tual. it was a large silver dragon. called upon the Tual to follow his banner. and sided with the seven false gods. until a Crusading army marched into Nhi-Tual. and seven armies came into existence. and the boat and its passengers were washed up on the shores of a small. before the sky turned black as night. this was also a period of isolation. In the many years that Fearing that it was the power of the seven demons. It also promises the The goddess called forth warriors from each of the seven tribes. before they were reduced to ash. and the Blue Dragon of the Sea. Historians do believe that yrGael was gravely wounded. and liberate the Tual glance upwards were met by the sight of a silver dragon: Khurpeople. During this period. The scripture speaks of a great battle. and their kinsmen. Takôda cut off yrGael’s sword hand. and how to where three of the seven armies were defeated. This peace prospered for 200 years. The four armies of Khur-Ishida lay siege to the mighty city. the bloodiest battle of the war. Tual that upon their death. to gather residence there. the Then followed what the Tual call the War of Restitution. The Tual watched as the seven false gods burst into waters was a beautiful sight to all that beheld it. The seven warriors returned to the mainland. and the food was bountiful. The ground shook with a powerful earthquake. This event changed the course of the battle. heretics worshipping her. No one dared venture into Nhi-Tual. and that the power of the seven false gods was but an illusion. army after army marched into Nhi-Tual. But as victory was in the grasp of the KhurIshida followers. those who Monks remained on the island of Lô-Tual. The Tual wanted for nothing. that washes away the impurities of the people. which lead to the Khur-Ishida defeat that day. and a mighty wind raced across the battlefield. duelled with Prince yrGael. follows of Khur-Ishida and the seven false gods. golden age. Whether the next part is accurate. and strike down the and gathered under the protection of the war warriors. . she blew fire over the city. There they found a mountainous paradise. the seven false gods laughed. the remaining four warriors became even more determined to rid their homeland of the seven false gods. they prayed that a stood living on the battlefield trembled. It is said in the Tual scriptures. Each in turn was either driven away or massacred by the Seven Demons. The Tual built marvellous machines. uninhabited island. as the Years of Blindness. the Tual prospered. and created many strange wonders. it was a bloody affair. A terrible storm erupted. The once fertile plains of Nhi-Tual started to die. the seven false gods manifested themselves within the walls of the city. as rumours of the Seven Demons of Death were widespread on the other side of the boarder. it is unclear. covered in lush green vegetation. However. Prince yrGael’s army was quickly defeated. In the Khur-Ishida scriptures. This led to the dividing of the Tual people. and Khur-Ishida calls upon the Dragonwarriors. the was the Goddess Khur-Ishida. the follows of Khur-Ishida waged war on the seven false gods. when Red Dragon of the Mountains. Silver Dragon of the Winds. But those who did dare to messiah would come down from heaven. its tail stretched for over a the four warriors into the four Dragons of Nhi-Tual: the Gold mile. Many believe that worship Khur-Ishida. According to the flame. He was born through toil and struggle. in true paradise. that the Crusaders were turned to stone. utterly Comet fell from the sky and into the sea. and not the gods. and for waited for yrGael and his forces to enter battle. The survivors left the cities. one of the four warriors. Upon hearing the defeat of the three armies. each had differing ideas of how to make a living. There followed a decade of brutal warfare between the Ishida ascended back to the Celestial Court. About -3. Prince yrGael personally slew the three generals in combat. and their Kingdom flourished. a great Ishida herself. scriptures. There remains are said to be very standing stones. Then the war kin to deliver the world into a new. It became green and lush. in the valley known as The Plain of Stones. and grew into bustling metropolises. The city was the base of Prince yrGael and his Army of Cromaigne and AurUrban forces. and takes up gods. It is written that during the fight. the soul is transformed into a Dragon She empowered them with the ability to defeat the seven false of great power that flies to the Celestial Court. and survival proclaiming that Khur-Ishida was a version of the Night Hag. and there was an abundance of raw material. Takôda. It was this moment that the priests realised that the true world was harsh. What arose from the destroying it. What followed a year later was the Battle of Kha-Sanata. This period is called by the Tual today. What was left In the scriptures it is written that Prince yrGael of Cromaigne had been ravaged by a decade of war. who breathes life into Nhi-Tual. to them by Khur-Ishida: the world was a cruel place. The truth had been shown came to Nhi-Tual. It was nature that provided for the people. The death toll on both sides was tremendous. Over the next 500 years. Khurbegan.000 BP. From all accounts. This formidable force was the only thing that stood in the way of the Khur-Ishida followers and over throwing the seven false gods.The priests retreated from Nhi-Tual. After this. of dedicated prayer and patients. in search of Dark Orb debris. and set sail on a small boat. The water was pure. When the two huge armies finally clashed. under the ruler-ship of the Seven Demons. and was forced from the field of battle. After the wars came to an end. awaiting the time when the final support for their cause. whose light shines down during the day. There followed another period of Isolation. In one breath. However. Many flocked to the banners of the seven battle is upon the world.

each choosing a separate path to take. This was the birth of the
four tribes of Nhi-Tual.
The island of Lô-Tual then became a religious centre for the Tual.
Pilgrims from all over Nhi-Tual would make the journey to the
sacred site where Khur-Ishida first appeared. The Monks built
monasteries, shrines, and even a religious centre; a settlement
filled with temples called Nhi-Ishida. The Monks chose to lead a
peaceful existence, spending much of their time in study,
meditation, and prayer. The Monks would mediate in the disputes
between the tribes, and offer consul for travellers and pilgrims.
The island became a sign of unity for the Tual.
Not many insignificant events were written down by the Tual.
Out of a small handful of such incidences, only one is
remembered. That is the birth of a very small and insignificant
cult, called The Cult of Rathkul. The cult became a joke amongst
the Tual, and even to the present day, it is the butt of Tual jokes.
As quickly as it surfaced, The Cult of Rathkul vanished. But there
are many tales still told to this day, from speculation to what
happened to the cult, to why the cult arose in the first place. The
biggest question asked by the Tual is: why were they lost? This has
become a hot topic of debate amongst the Monks of Lô-Tual.
Over the next few centuries, many nations came to trade with the
Tual, including the Tharux. Trade with the Tharux went unabated
for decades, until Khur-Ishida discovered that the foreigners were
under the thrall the Zathurians. In her vengeance, Khur-Ishida
struck them down with the Night-Blight Plague, and they were
driven from Nhi-Tual. After this, many traders feared going into
Nhi- Tual. To the Tual, trade was important. It was a lifeline in
the desolate world.
During this period, the Monks of Lô-Tual opened the island to
traders. They built a harbour and the small settlement of Topax,
allowing for merchant ships to dock, and do business with Tual
traders. Thanks to this, the island prospered, and many people
came from as far away as Spiria. Unfortunately, this led to the first
encounter with the Parkhesh. After seeing their ships filled with
the walking-dead, the Monks were horrified. The Parkhesh were
denying the souls their birthright to descend to the Celestial
Court.
Faced with such as terrifying concept, the Monks refused to trade
with the Parkhesh. They even turned violent and attacked the
ships. Word quickly spread of the Parkhesh to the mainland. The
leaders of Shikün quickly whipped up support for a Crusade
against the Parkhesh, and many pilgrims, warriors, and priests
travelled to the northern borders of Parkhesh. There they formed
a massive army, and marched into the Red Desert. Ill prepared for
such a journey, the Crusaders never met the Parkhesh in battle.
All succumbed to the Red Desert, dying from thirst, diseases, or
the blistering heat.
Many other Crusaders followed, but none of them returned. It is
written in history that all the Crusaders were defeated in battle.

That they died trying to save the souls of the Parkhesh. None of
the Tual knew the true story, as no one survived from the long
march into the Red Desert. Believing the Parkhesh armies to be
invincible, the Tual never crossed into the Red Desert again.
Instead, the Tual purists would brutally kill anyone they thought
to be from Parkhesh, or crossed over the northern Nhi-Tual
border. However, despite succumbing to such a terrible fate, the
dead Parkhesh were buried in the traditions of the Ishidaian faith,
thus granting them a chance to ascend to the Celestial Court.
In the south, things were different. Trade with the native
Quatzaduans had flourished, and peaceful relations between them
and Hôkurik were cemented. This led to the construction of a
permanent settlement, Nhiaquat, over the boarder in Quatzadua.
Both peoples lived peacefully, side by side, co-existing and trading
their goods. This custom continues to this day, and has led to
inter- marriage between Quatzadua citizens and members of
Hôkurik.
Over the last few centuries, Nhi-Tual has been relatively peaceful.
There has been civil unrest between the dominate clans, due to
their cultural differences, and their differing view points. These
often have a peaceful conclusion, but sometimes can lead to
bloody confrontations. The peace is kept by the Monks of LôTual, who use the principles of the Ishidaian faith to keep order,
which unites the Clans. In recent years, a new enemy has arisen,
one that is a threat to all Tual: the She-Eth. This has unified the
clans against one common enemy.

Parkhesh
Ancient and Octaminist

Parkhesh

human race of peoples who have no love for the Parkheshi. It
makes for a fractious land. Below is a map showing the different
arkhesh is in north east of the continent of Thurian - caught political areas. Note that the islands of Kaipor and Shumtira are
in a war at one end, but peaceful at the other. To the north equivalent in size to England on Earth (that's without Wales and
Scotland).
of this region, is the province of Parkhesh itself, the
dominant human power of the region. To foreigners, the whole
region including the province of Parkhesh, the Red Desert,
Duresh, Ju'Gara, Phasarna, Tu'Kresh, Shumtira, the Loparankwari
Parkhesh is a large state of heterogeneous geographic nature.
Lands and Khalesh are all known as Parkhesh. Indeed at one time
Running along the north and east coast are various chains of
in the ancient past this region was a unified province of the
mountains (The Zotcharakh Olakha – literally the Backbone of
Meravaenian Empire. The authorities in Parkhesh City still like to
Olakaha) which feed rivers to the land on either side. On the
believe that they hold sway over parts of the Red Desert, but that
north and north-east coast the city states, dominated by Parkhesh
has always belonged to the mysterious and ancient nonhuman
City, live off the produce from lush fertile strips of land. To the
peoples known as the Red Desert Nomads. To the west of the
south-west is the arid Red Desert, a large basin of rolling red
Red Desert are grass plains which sweep up to the Meravae
dunes where an inland sea once lay. However, microclimates are
Plateau, where the Lopar Riders (who call themselves the
sustained near the mountains, along the coast, and oases in the
Loparankwari) make their home. To the South East lies the
Red Desert. City States dot the wide River Kha’ta’la (The Blue
province of Duresh, settled by the exiles from Durustan who
Serpent) bordering with Nhi-Tual, its climate similar to Egyptian
came here long ago after an epic voyage to find a new homeland.
Nile valley on Earth. Further city states lie on the south-east coast
They partially displaced and intermixed with the indigenous Loand around the large island of Shumtira (derived from a nonTak barbarian tribes. In the inner heart of Duresh live the Ralami,
Parkheshi name) off the south east coast of Parkhesh. The inland
and some tribes of the Yakhmi, both nonhuman races whose
slopes and valleys of the mountain chains are home to tribes of
numbers are in sharp decline. To the South and South West of the
peoples who owe allegiance to Parkhesh City. In the south east is
Red Desert lies Khalesh which broke away from Parkhesh a few
a wild bush like land very akin to the outback of Australia and the
centuries ago; the Parkhesh City League has currently annexed
Savannah of Africa. To the west of the Red Desert are dry but
part of their lands on the border with Duresh. Off the coast to the
fertile plains which rise up to the Meravae Plateau.
south east, is the large island of Shumtira - peopled by another

P

The Geography and Climate

The Flora and Fauna
At first glance, most of Parkhesh may seem to be
lifeless, but the Oases abound with insects, reptiles,
birds and small mammals, and even the desert has an
ecology. Zoologists at the University Of Parkhesh City
are still wondering how so much life managed to brave
the deserts to reach the Oases. The answer lies with
the Red Desert Nomads who actively foster life in the
Oases and the history of the Red Desert. At one time
all the Red Desert was a lagoon with many tropical
islands which are now sites of ancient ruins. These
oases are sacred shrines to the past. Life has always
been there and the oases are still islands, islands in a
desert.
In the South East, in Duresh, the vegetation is much
more bush like. On the coasts the City States have
groves of olive like trees which they press for an oil
that they use for lamps, food and other uses. Animals
include the Dureshi Buck and Dureshi Hog.
Before the appearance of horses in the stables of the
elite, imported from Cromaigne at extreme cost, the
only animal for fast travel was the Shamuul. The
Shamuul is a sleeker cousin to the Khamuul, faster,
more agile, smaller and more elegant, but without the

of a polyglot of peoples now
collectively known as the
Dureshi (they are exiles from
Durustan), on the crossroads
of trade routes, who pay
tribute to Parkhesh City in
return for protection. These
cities are allowed much
freedom by Parkhesh City and
are, for all intents and
purposes, autonomous states
within the Parkhesh City
League (or Empire).

water saving hump. As a consequence, the Shamuul requires
frequent watering. In the West the Loparankwari ride the llamalike Lopar, larger than the Terran species.
Up in Tu'Kresh, Ju'Gresh and Phasarna, heavily irrigated lands
provide lush agricultural terraces and lands sloping down to the
ocean. In Tu'Kresh the spice Intigro is cultivated.
In Khalesh, herds of Targarth lizards can be found along the
banks of the Blue Serpent River and in some cases these lizards
have been domesticated and used as meat animals or beasts of
burden. These creatures are sacred in Nhi-Tual, a potential source
of conflict on the few occasions Tual and Khaleshi meet.

The People
The peoples are varied in stock. To the north and east the people
are much more olive in skin tone (like Arabs in appearance).
These people are an old race called the Parkh, with Parkhesh City
being their cultural capital. This is the region that is rightfully
called Parkhesh, the heartland of what used to be the Parkhesh
City League. The southern river cities of Khalesh
have traded with the Parkh for millennia but they
are more Mongolian in appearance, calling
themselves the Khal (Blue or River People) and
share many cultural traits in common with the
Nhi-Tual to the south, though they pride
themselves in their independence from that state
(helped by living on the north of a very wide
river). They became part of the part of the
Parkhesh City League about 800 years ago but
regained their freedom through bloody rebellion
about 350 years ago.
The south-eastern corner of Parkhesh is peopled
by a dark skinned hardy folk known as the Lo-Tak
(the tribe from which the conqueror Aran hailed),
various tribes who live in a Savannah like bush
environment. The south-eastern city states consist

The non human races in
Red Desert Nomad
Parkhesh are very unlike the
human community. The Red
Desert Nomads are some seven to eight feet tall with web feet
and fingers. They are descended from an amphibious race who
swam in the warm lagoon that is now the desert. . Along the east
coast of Parkhesh and the Pirates’ Teeth live the Zimkhlor,
descendants of the amphibian race who once lived in the lagoon.
In Duresh there are the Yakhmi who are lion like centaurs
(human torso on a lions body) and the Ralmi who have three
forms each unable to mate with one another but all having once
been one people split by a curse (a lion form, a humanoid lion
form and a human form). The Ralame and Yakhme despise each
other, the latter believing themselves the purer form of a race that
both descended from.

The Language and Names
Parkhsi is the spoken tongue of the Parkh peoples who originate
from the north of Parkhesh. It became the main Parkhesh
language some 800 years ago during the dominance of Parkhesh
City in the Parkhesh City League but an older archaic form of
Parkhsi was used back when the whole region was a province of
the Meravaenian Empire. Khalian is a mix of old
Nhi-Tual languages mixed with Parkhsi and
Meravaenian and Loparankwari speech.

Parkhsi Male

The Parkhsi script is cursive, made of many curved
lines and dots (similar to Terran Arabic or Ancient
Egyptian Hieratic). Spoken Parkhsi is also much
like Arabic or ancient Egyptian with a stress on the
penultimate syllable like in Spanish. The ‘Kh’ is like
the Scottish ‘Ch’ in Loch. Parkhesh is pronounced
Par-Khesh with stress on Par. Khal is Kh-al with
stress on Kh, though Khatala is Kh-a-ta-la.
Shumtira is Shum-ti-ra. Zotcharakh Olakha is Zotcha-rakh O-la-kha. Most of the peoples of this use
the cursive script, except the Nomads who have an
oral tradition without writing consisting of their
own language.

Kingdoms and Cities Parkhesh consists of eight regions (nine if you include the autonomous Loparankwari). The League also includes the internal regions which sit between the Zotcharakh Olakha mountains. Those that owe allegiance to the Parkhesh League are formidable desert fighters . An unfortunate waste of resources from a Parkheshi point of view as the dead from the besieged are usually beyond the point of mummification and thus useless in the army. Dhilkhan and Matan. Much politicking takes place. Ju'gresh. to have an administrative capital. Caran. It consists of as the Parkhesh Civil Wars. Harsan. Khilzuda. Both Kha and Khot mean Lord but only when they form part of a contracted phrase. or the ‘a’ dropped to produce Khot.Middle Parkheshi speech consists of words that are generally contractions of phrases in High Speech. canals and Parkhesh gardens. Parkhesh City was too far away for effective rule. which are the original City States that formed the Parkhesh City League under the conqueror Aran. the South East that. These make up Greater Parkhesh. The Navy (originally a merchant fleet now military in nature) is a vast group of fleets dominated by their War Galleons which often spat with other navies. but all that changed 850 years ago when the travellers have been amazed by the beautiful minarets. At about 800 years ago the self appointed Prophet King Maluja added Khalesh to the Parkhesh dominance and then Shumtira was added shortly after Although a loyal part of the Parkhesh City League. A Parkheshi will always pronounce the word Lord on it’s own as Khaot (unless they are from the lower classes who are not educated enough to know the difference). Dara'lea. the City States of Khasan. is situated on a river mouth on the north coast of administrative capital of Duresh. Parkheshi names sound very much like Arabic and Turkish. Where High speech will always pronounce the separate words in a phrase.guarding the caravans of desert beasts of burden from the occasional Red Desert Nomad raid. large conqueror Aran managed to unite the Duresh region along with the east. Parkheshi names tend to be 2 or 3 syllables in length. The Regions. Political Structure and History Duresh Province Every year there is a Meet of the League at Parkhesh City. the peoples of the South of Parkhesh still have ideas of their own and bandits and such still roam the southern desert of Parkhesh and the inner valleys of the Zotcharakh Olakha mountains close to the Red Desert. Many mutual protection. but it seems to work. Parkhesh Parkhesh City . Duresh and Phasarna. Tu'Kresh. Parkhesh itself is the Imperial Up until about 850 years ago. Provinces. Duresh City. Middle Speech will make a word out of a phrase. Laziness in the language is shown in the dropping of ‘Kh’ and ‘a’ from Ma'tikh'khaot to form Matikhot. A period of peace reigned in this region up till 350 years ago province of Duresh is so populous and far from the northern when Khalesh overthrew Parkhesh rule and started what is known Parkhesh cities that it enjoys considerable autonomy. Dizhun. known as the Parkhesh City State Wars. It has been known for Parkhesh to send an undead legion to bring a recalcitrant city state to heel. However. The two main strengths of Parkhesh is in it's Navy and in it's Legions of Undead. However. is usually too involved with domestic affairs to get involved with any other sovereign power. The word for Lord in a phrase – Khaot – can have the ‘ot’ dropped to form Kha. though Duresh City is seen by Thurian and it soon became apparent that each Province needed the locals as the capital (it was the city first conquered by Aran). a land that outsiders recognise as an entity more often than the constituent parts! Parkhesh City League The five provinces of The Parkhesh City League (sometimes called the Parkhesh Empire) are Parkhesh. north east and north of Parkhesh in a series of campaigns squares with fountains. All debate their taxes and how much men and resources they will contribute to the League. Parkhesh was a fractured region Capital of the Parkhesh City League situated on the southern with many city states which coalesced into City Leagues for coast of the Sea of Brass on the north east of Thurian. Khasan is the Parkheshi Parkhesh City. Phrases are contracted by the dropping of vowels or the dropping of an ending.

The nation detests and fears the Zathurians. Oil can be found in other parts of the world but in very small quantities and requiring quite a bit of engineering to secure it. often called Khalsi by the Parkheshi. Merchant ships ply the seas to the east and north of Parkhesh and trade routes reach Quatzadua to the south and Aur Urbis to the north and beyond. The Red Desert Parkhesh has strained relations with nearly all its neighbours. Just north of Khalesh is the Red Desert and Nhi-Tual is to the south (above the cliffs to the southern border of Khalesh). The Khal have various treaties with the Red Desert Nomads.stopped their migration so they settled in a wide plain of arid grasslands where they live off the Lopar. who once served the Forerunners. and trade with Telbrin. The Parkhesh navy is very strong. Having said that. Every 8 years the Octaminist Clipper race is held between all the nations of the East of Thurian and from the northern continent. the Khalesh people are not Parkheshi. it has a religious significance in Parkhesh where they believe it is the blood of Olakha. carrying 10 tonnes of purest Parkhesh Intigro. The Loparankwari (Lopharkwan by the Parkheshi and Khaleshi) are the descendants of a group of people who migrated eastwards from the high plateaus. Trade occurs across Parkhesh. Shumtira has a key role as a trading post for carry silk from Khalesh to Shalkan and the trade goods from Shalkan to Khalesh (including weapons for the Khaleshi to fight coastal trade from and to Quatzadua and on to Gara-Dien. and view themselves as an independent state. During the 450 years of Parkheshi rule. The city of Shalkan The Island of Shumtira lies off the south eastern coast of Greater (Easternmost of the cities of the Republic of Telbrin) is the only Parkhesh with various cities of its own. Oil has been recovered from open pools in the Red Desert by intrepid explorers. Parkhesh has used the Nomads on various occasions as mercenaries or as a buffer against foreign invaders. It is a lush land inundated with silt when the Blue Serpent River bursts it's bank every spring. Economy The north and north east Parkhesh provinces produce spices (such as Intigro). they were once conquered by the Parkheshi but rebelled and have fought an almost constant war (with long periods of truce) with Parkhesh. The Parkheshi may consider them part of their territory it is not clear that the Nomads view it the same way. Red Desert The Red Desert belongs to an ancient race. thus only the Tharux nations have learned to extract it from the crust of Gwenthia. the prize is the ashes of the . and if it was not for its huge size and internal conflicts it would strain them further. southern NhiTual and further afield. Some of the fastest merchant vessels race around the Sea of Brass from Parkhesh City to the city of Duxi in AurUrbis. Many Loparankwari are hired to guard the caravans that a short hairy indigenous race whose primitive interior homeland has not been pacified. The Red Desert Nomads. consisting of large Battle Galleons which guard the shipping lanes and patrol the Pirate’s Teeth. Nhi-Tual. The the Parkheshi). many of whom have disappeared without a word. where pools of it are found in the Red Desert. AurUrbis and Meravae are involved in supporting Khal in it’s war against Parkhesh. Shumtira International Relations Khal City State Whilst outsiders often do not understand it. their language was suppressed so that the majority of the populace speak a pidgin form of Parkhsi. grains (like rice) and fruits of varying kinds. Who can carry the spices the fastest is the official point of the competition. A law unto themselves these peoples shift allegiance like the desert sands. wild hinterland also provides a steady flow of skins. Parkheshi have come to this belief because of the spectra of light seen on the film of oil and in Octaminist belief. exotic raw materials for drugs and medicines. merchant ties with Parkhesh abound between Cromaigne. the 8th Orb. Parkheshi forces have used it on occasion in warfare but with much ceremony and magic. AurUrbis. Loparankwari The Loparankwari are the Lopar riding tribes who live on the plateau that borders the west of the Red Desert and the east of Meravaenia. except the Khalians who are distant kinsmen. The lush fertile terraces provide a green and fertile land in stark contrast to the arid interior of Parkhesh. trade with the Loparankwari to the west of the Red Desert. The Nomads do not help such exploitation. reaching Parkhesh City via a number of passes. the destruction of the 8th Orb was precipitated by that of the seven other orbs. all primitive products no longer found on the mainland. This is the nation through which the lower Blue Serpent River flows. interbred with and caravan guards will venture to the Khaleshi cities (notably Khalut). Oil was first found in Parkhesh. Some contact is with the Nhi-Tual but it is very limited. a string of islands scattered from north east Parkhesh to the island of Kaipor. The people here are a mix city that many Loparankwari will ever visit. some suspect they secretly oppose it. with other languages and some original Khalian words. They are Hectaminists and are doctrinally as well as racially different to the Parkhesh. NhiTual despises nearly all Parkheshi even though Parkheshi have nothing against Nhi-Tual. Khalesh and Quatzaduan. Caravans wind their way from the South to the mountains to the north. though southern tribes of Parkheshi. furs. The peoples of Khalesh are dark tanned with mongoloid appearance. A peoples of much intermingling.

seen as former consort .Sphere of Plants Blue . Blue . Zambala. His female aspect is the goddess of blossom and of spring. God of gardens and palace grounds. This god is associated with the anger of fire. Red . Octaminist priests see the proof of this in that the other Orange . the Nomads and distant AurUrbis. Also the despoiler of history.Khalut . Statues in temples have orange gold for their skin. The KiDelan of AurUrbis can as easily travel via the western route . the joy of spring.identified with the heavens / stars . The midwife and a fertility goddess.Plants sphere . God of farmers. Closely associated with the Sun.Water sphere includes the sea. Parkhesh has invented paper money in the form of IOUs. sheep and river fish.A war god in some parts of Parkhesh associated with the torching of enemy strongholds. The hunter and the hunted.Parzhur . Orange is used in Parkhesh to portray the gods’ skin. brings light to plant life. Red is the colour of blood and the life giving fluid. God of agriculture and horticulture.Matikhot/Olakha . the god of Oases in the desert. a body with no direct religious significance in the orb-centric society of Gwenthia.Ralashon .Bikhon . the tree lined boulevards of civilisation. bringer of pestilence and plague. they would much rather compete with the trading competition than fight.I Parkhesh the skin tone is a deep browny red . Often given a feminine aspect as a doe giving birth.Sphere of the Flesh Yellow/gold . Green . Meravae. It is Gibrash who is invoked to blot out events from history. The Khal City States rely on the rich alluvial deposits of the Kha'ta'la river. Indigo . Merciless lady of the depths. the Loparankwari. Zim'a'al is also the one who quenches one's thirst. mercurial and deviant. Precious metals are still the best way to transport or store wealth. The Parkheshi War Galleons are pretty ponderous against nimble small merchant vessels but have a significant arsenal and fighting force against a flotilla of ships meaning harm to any of Parkheshi ports or trade routes. Blood is spilt in war. but the Gold Signet is the main coin. Almost like illusion – he plays with light. but all seafaring nations have a naval force.Fire sphere Green . Infestations and War.Gibrash .Fauna sphere.Matikhot/Olakha . A limited quantity of this cash is issued by the various Parkhesh banks (all owned by mercantile families). A god of blacksmiths (who also worship Olakha) as he is the rage of the furnace.closely aligned with Blue and and Black.bones of the black pirate. Except at the Dark Watch when Olakha is sacrificed to.Bikhon . The Parkheshi merchant vessels are smaller than the Galleons and though they might pack the odd gunpowder device. He is the blazing sun in the desert.also identified with sky . Ralashon is god of courtesans and those who seek to affect the minds of people.Yakhmetra . They worship the eight moons and view the Dark Moon as still extant yet invisible.Fauna sphere and God of Insects. Bringer of winter in the high mountains. Black . An elemental god – not very clear in it’s communication.Gibrash . She is also the god of merchants who rely on her waters to pass in their ships.which all other cultures see as being Dark or having no colour.Keeper of the Dead Black . Without Gibrash most of humanity would starve.Zim'a'al . He is also the trickster.Air Sphere Violet .Stakhat . seven colours are seen as reflection on the surface of Oil which is believed to be the blood of the eighth Moon. Currency Parkheshi coinage varies from province to province. For them the Dark Moon is seen as being the moon with two diametrically opposed halves.In Parkhesh this sphere is also given the colours Silver/crystal/white and is identified with the eighth Moon . God of civilisation. Quatzadua.Yakhmetra . His female aspect is the warm bosom. the expanding bush and the seeming hatred of the plant life for the ruins of civilisations.Ralashon . Orange .bringer of rain .something which the Parkheshi would prefer to discourage.Fire sphere . Parkshi Octaminists acknowledge sixteen moon related deities – two for each moon. ever shifting. She is sacrificed to before leaving land and while at sea. showing his light here and then there. God of insects and infestations – it is Bikhon who is also the bringer of diseases.almost orange. the small sun in the hearth. Currently their sea route has been blockaded on and off by Parkhesh for 350 years so they trade mostly with Nhi-Tual. All who tend plants are blessed by him. They have an agricultural economy with meats such as the Khamuul.Flesh/Body . healers (because of healing plants) and anyone who has dealings with plant life.Sphere of all Water Indigo . and the misery of winter. She also provides the cool plazas in the towns and cities as her fountains provide cool spray to cool the air.Earth sphere Red . Religion Parkhesh City League The Parkheshi Religion is actively Octaminist. Parkhesh see the eighth sphere as the Master of all Magic. Yellow/gold . she is the maker of ice and glaciers and together with Khalut can make the cold climes inhospitable. Zambala is said to be one of the aspects of the The Invisible Lord. A dour god but also a God with the joy of life. banishes the night hag and vampires from day. Goddess of the spiteful sea and of sailors.Zim'a'al .Air Sphere .Earth sphere . the blaze of a bush fire in the heat of summer. Parkhesh tries to control the amount of goods reaching more northern climes by sea from the southern states.

(communication or education). Khalut is the Ancestor God of the Khalesh people. Order of the Silken Veil . The Mind soul and the Body soul. Order of Matikhot – Undead Legion. She is the great mutator. The Crusade was quite ineffectual and yet it forced the Octaminist church to adopt a Hectaminist cover. the barren yet fertile mistress of Matikhot. She is also married to Matikhot as the Witch of Hell. Khal Religion The Khal are Hectaminsts who fled from Nhi-Tual when KhurIshida expelled the worship of the Seven Demons (orbs).One of the Mercenary Orders.to express the fact that they are messengers. Order of the Severed Skull . The Parkheshi don't believe that the souls of the dead go to a mythical underworld . Those that worshipped such malign entities were exiled and fled up the Blue Serpent River to the Upper Valley beyond Khalesh.Night Guard.in opposition to 8th Moon who allows the veil between the dead and living to fall away. somewhere in Gara-Dien or Meravaenia. from Zim'a'al. When priests travel in spirit form they travel in the realm of Stakhat. She rides the Dark Watch with Matikhot. but this Orb is associated with Khur-Ishida and ritually shunned by the Khal. The Khal lived under Parkheshi occupation for some time and in a mirror of the Third Crusade were forced into Octaminism. the full bodied bloom of Yakhmetra and Gwenthia. they are identified with interactions between people .Spirit/Keeper of the Dead . They worship the benign aspects of the Seven Orbs in much the same way as the people of Meravaenia alongside the Goddess Gwenth. Gwenthia – is the Earth mother. Guardians of the Gates of Dawn. Seduction (domination by subtle means). The Parkheshi hold the eight moons. There are Five Messengers. Khalut is also father to the Night Hag who he fathered against his will when a succubus came and sucked his seed from at the time of the Great Ice Darkness. Sorcery (inner knowledge uncommunicated).military. Violet . It is the body soul which is used to reanimate the dead.of the 8th Moon as it's full glory is revealed at night. and their worshippers are ostracised and stoned on sight. Nearly every Saint has one or more military orders associated with it and a number of minor orders or guilds. There are two aspects to her – wife to Olakha as the holy parents – Earth Mother and Earth Father – but there is a sinister side to her. They now despise each other.Stakhat . It is her who the Parkheshi believe is the Night Hag – in her association with Matikhot.courtesans. Each saint has a number of orders. To that end and to this day Parkheshi will often talk of the Invisible Lord as a euphemism for Matikhot/Olakha. and the Parkheshi Gnostics. Birds rely on her for flight. (domination by aggressive means). God of storms and tempests. the spawner of beastmen and weird creatures of the night. You can see the true nature of Air when the sun is set. Each God has a number of saints associated with it oversees a part of everyday life. The Shumtiran primitives have suitably primitive shamanistic and totemistics beliefs. The Undead in Parkhesh The Parkheshi faith believes that the body has 2 souls. Khalut the Ancestor God of the Khal people and Olakha the Benign God. and any Parkheshi abroad is very careful to avoid discussing the eight way nature of their beliefs.that realm belongs to Matikhot (not Olakha who is in charge of the Earth and not the Underworld) who is the god of the hell like underworld. She stole the ability to produce water via rain. as it lingers in a corpse for 8 days after the death of a person. God of illusions and the spirit realm – the astral plane. Khalut is also the ice maiden . Generally. To this day some Khal temples have altars to the 8th Orb. The colour of twilight and the sky at night. The provider of cool breezes but also responsible for the cold of the night. half sister and half brother of Olakha. the Parkheshi do not see the use of the dead for mili- . husband to the Goddess Gwenth and father to Olakha the Benign God. Examples of orders: Order of the Scarlet Scimitars . The four maidens are the female aspect of Gibrash and Ralashon – as the maidens.the bringer of the cold winds in the mountains. The minority religions of note in Parkhesh are a small but vibrant Hectaminist flock in the northern city states within the Human Church of Gwenthia. but is also worshiped by sailors to provide wind in the sails. It is the mind soul which departs the body and enters into blessed communion with the eternal saints. and the old hag of Gwenthia married to Matikhot. The Third Crusade was waged in Parkhesh against the Octaminist Church in the northern Parkheshi city states (at that time part of the Meravaenian Empire). and Gwenthia herself as the fourteen Gods. Watchers of the Night . This is in keeping with the belief that Olakha is the progeny of Gwenth and Khalut. Without Khalut no one could breath. Khalut is the ancestral father of all Khalesh Olakha is seen as a benign god in Khalesh and not linked to the 8th Orb. Other Religions It is simply not known if the Red Desert Nomads have religion at all. Knowledge.The Day Guard. He rides the heaven in the Indigo Orb and protects his children from above. The Night Hag and Matikhot are seen to be evil twins. The Body soul is that which makes the body stay alive and it is not considered to be as important as the Mind soul. They are independent of the 8: War. Trade/diplomacy (co-operation). five messengers.

The military also provide the engineering skills for the Parkheshi Empire and are responsible for building and roads. abandoning his priestly career to become a Temple Sorcerer by entering the eighth College where he studied the darker arts of Sorcery deriving from the Dark Orb's malign aspect. The Order of the Severed Skull is an order set up originally for Mercenaries containing the 34th Foreign Legion. The him when he should pass to the Blessed Underworld. The bodies of those who are considered to be high born. and it consists of some 53 Legions. The number of a Legion denotes its age (the lower numbers being old Legions) and can not be repeated or duplicated . related to that orb. have their bodies burnt on pyres.the Invisible Lord who is also undermine their peer who had become the new Grandmaster. so masters were admitted to be trained by the new pontiff to replace their magics and influence are slaves to the eighth Orb. Aran. and so forth. College were abroad.when a Legion is destroyed it is struck from the lists (very much like the Roman Legions). To Parkheshi the seven orbs are slaves to the eighth. This permeates through to military life as well. more valuable than the Magic. He is believed to have found the Bronze Sceptre of Ruin in an ancient Forerunner ruin. People of Note Maluja Maluja was one of a long line of Prophet Kings. As associated with Gwenthia with which it merged when it fell to soon as the new Grandmaster had been appointed then eight new Gwenthia. Warriors eighth College. The Order of the Scarlet Scimitars is an order for Soldiers founded by Aran. Each successive 'King' has utilised these loyal forces to varying effect in the later dynasties. The burning of a body is seen as a way to release the body soul from the decay that is inevitable if the body was allowed to rot. College Grandmaster. Courtesans to love magic. Only the survivor of the contest localised. or even who are rich enough to pay for exemption from mummification. The order of Matikhot was set up by the First Prophet King. The ashes of those of high status are placed in canopic jars which either form part of the travelling tabernacles of the Legions or are interred in the bow of a galleon . and caters for all the Undead Legions. In Parkhesh. They see the bodies of those that are low in class as expendable resources. as each city became part of the Parkheshi Empire (still called the Parkheshi City League) the Legions still stayed within the Order of the Severed Skull.and contained the Legions drawn from the different Cities in the Parkheshi City League. Vazhan who Each order or professional Guild provides personal magic named him as one of the new council of master mages in the provided to it via the Saint and God associated with it. All would temple of Matikhot has the secret eighth college which has access be trained in the potent shard magics which relied on shards of to the magics which only the eighth Orb can provide . and it became widely practiced as the City States grew in wealth. The Order of the Scarlet Scimitar has the honour of being the Arak was a great chieftain who united the Lotak during the arrival of the Dureshi back in . When the Grandmaster died. son of Arak With the Bronze Sceptre of Ruin. Maluja was a member of this College. Maluja.the Shard moon rock from the fallen Dark Orb. the position could not be filled. The father of Aran he was cut down by a Doru phalanx during a battle that saw his son take the throne. first Order to be established and has some of the earliest Legions to be founded in the Parkheshi empire. Orders will have one or more Parkheshi Legions attached to it. Only one associated with one of the eight orbs can create powerful magics could survive and the rest had join Matikhot in the Underworld. These are also filled with the ranks of dead foreigners who are slain on the battlefield. at least according to written records). He rose rapidly through the temple hierarchy. which consists of non-Parkheshi soldiers (those not from the province of Parkhesh) seeking to become citizens of Parkhesh . He first began his career in the priesthood as a follower of Olakha but at 30 he changed allegiance and joined the Temple of Matikhot to become a Mortuary Priest. all the seven visible orbs are seen for such powerful sorcerer priests would constantly seek to as aspects of the eighth Orb . was the first Mortuary Priest to use arcane means to animate the dead so that he created the first Legion of the Dead about 800 years ago (which lead to the rise in influence of the Temple of Matikhot over the City States). With time. adding to the undead legions.tary purposes as corrupt. The ceremony performed at the cremation captures the body soul and it forms a spiritual complex with the ashes of the deceased. The bodies of the low caste are the ones used for undead legions and as the undead rowers of the Galleons. Magic Military Arak As mentioned in above.the galleon then being named after that person. a contest was tailors to magic that will aid their trade. found by his father. most Parkheshi civilian life revolves around the Parkheshi Orders and the patronage of a particular saint. Mummification was practiced long ago (2000 years ago. Aran took the throne of the united tribes of the Lotak in what is now . The magic is held among the council of eight. Maluja. He soon caught the eye of a newly appointed Grand Master. largest cut jewel. More powerful magics are wrought by the Seven became the Grandmaster so as long as two Masters of the Inner Colleges of Priest-Mages using Parkheshi Sorcery. which only consists of eight sorcerers led by the will have access to fighting magic. or the most precious metal. Each college.

Shumtiran raiders. His united empire fell into the hands of the Temple of Matikhot. he brought the Duresh City States to a honourable truce.Duresh. such as Nhi-Tual. and great general. An astute man. Red Desert Nomads and the Khal to the west. Aran was murdered in 172 NC by his camp followers. . He realised the power that the City Leagues would bring and he helped to create the Dureshi City States even though he was a barbarian king and fought in the Parkhesh City State wars which culminated with the taking of Parkhesh City. allowing the Doru exiles and their Parkhesh allies to settle in the Lotak lands in return for mutual support against other hostile factions in the region.

Expansive freshwater irrigation (including aqueducts) are used productively by the populace for the cultivation of rice. Geography The country is a juxtaposition of high mountains. To the East are verdant pasture and wetland. Lush tropical rainforest. this boasts a natural harbour which is sheltered from the prevailing Easterlies. This Temple/fortress is built into the slopes of Mount Terexta. West-North-West of Taxica lays the City of Nhiaquat. inquisitive trading nation. high pampas and sub-tropical grass and wetland. thick crevasse-filled rainforest to the West and rugged mountains weaving Northward towards the high plateau of Maraevaenia. which grew up as a place of barter but is now the main Easterly centre for export and trade. Though not expansionist. long-haired llama) which are farmed both for their fine flaxen fur and for their meat (making a four year crop rotation in all. Northward along this rugged trail lies the ancient city of Terexta. they are happy to integrate other cultures through peaceful means and ready to defend themselves when necessity dictates. The midsection rises swiftly from Nhiaquat to a high. steaming tropical jungles. The Southeastern shores are home to the City of Taxica. the culture is relatively young. and pasture for the long-haired Camelids (a species reminiscent of a short. Fed by the water and minerals washed down from the mountains and high pampas to the west. these do not see regular rainfall. the last being fallow). high grassy heath-land and low-lying plains and deltas make up the majority of Quatzadua. Only in the past two thousand years have its disparate peoples come together under the common banner of the Earth-God. Pineapple. central undulating plain (the High Pampas). a living God in his own right. which nestles in a valley surrounded by the lightly forested foothills of the High Pampas. as well as being the sole representative of "The Earth God". from which it takes its name. reed and hemp. God Fruits (potatoes). Under his guidance they have grown into a confident. is covered by light rainforest to the North-East. From here. On the first stretch of the Thexadin River navigable by larger vessels. Home of the Xatahople (pronounced Zatahopple) League and the Tarazon. And. Arable land is also maintained for the cultivation of Maize. the Thexadin flows eastward and empties (eventually) into the Golden Sea. Lying in almost the last of the navigable ports heading west before the central cliffs.Quatzadua Land of the Earth God Q uatzadua covers the southern region of the Thurian continent of Gwenthia. the city is an amalgam of Quatzaduan and ancient Nhi-Tual architecture. The Western lands mainly consist on deep rain-forest as well as . whilst ancient ruins dot the landscape. which ends in the sheer cliffs to the South.

tropical storms are not unknown in the west during the fall. they were once hunted for their meat and eggs. low-lying regions of the Kafax River. these each with their own unique ecosystem. Another bird of the Western jungles is the Thistle-Billed Macree. The height of this region tends to attract rainfall. the latter is the main Western trading of choice. they now have The natural environment of Rubber Trees (Hevea Quatzadiensis) are little trust in humans and have been know to attack en masse when threatened. up to Balsa and other softwoods endemic to Quatzadua are grown and the size of a mackerel. far below. Above 2000ft. below the Southern Cliffs. For simplicity. these humans and QuatzHunds (see Mammals. These bulbs are weighted and always fall domesticated form. coffee. The second variety produces a The main exports of this region include metal goods. sustainable beautiful lilac flower. however. In the wild. The aperture is inserted into a hollow metal tube port. they cocoa and hardwood. It is also This huge flightless bird (standing at 7') is now all but extinct in used (along with leather) to create flexible containers for bullet the wild. Good water supplies though keep it lush and green. ranges of under sixty feet. at which point a sticky-coated seed is Pineapples to create a sweeter meat). Whilst both are devastating weapons. The Mauk is a flightless seabird that stands at around 3.5' tall. The Bullet Bulb proper the cities of Xzanpthia and Pazzoxa. hemp. Another plant of note is the Ground Pitcher. They grow below ground and can attain a size of about three feet. both of which are triggered by the application of water. The former is built on a site can be held in the palm of the hand and is the Quatzads weapon of religious significance. Additionally. they are shot at high velocity back into the canopy. buildings to enable them to endure minor earthquakes. hence the North-Easterly desert regions. spices. Amongst them are reed. Cork. nuts and carrion. Xatahople league scouts (see "the People(s)") have been known to seed unfriendly borders with these. low cloud and cool rain are common from autumn through to late spring. High rainfall sets off a eggs are both treated as delicacies (some are fed a diet of mainly chemical reaction in them. The Climate Quatzadua has a tropical climate and although temperatures tend to remain fairly constant throughout the year. Its decline has been due in equal part to hunting by Bullet Bulbs are a product of the Bromid plant. especially around the central peaks and High Pampas. there to create a new sometimes used as steeds by Arboreals (see the People(s)). All is not lost flower in the high canopy before dropping their bulbs onto the for this bird. this can easily pierce the hide of a Dromal (discussed below). At establishments and the occasional tavern/Inn. Rubber is vulcanised and used in the foundations of The Tagooer or Dagger Bird is said to be related to the Mauk. These thrive in light soil or boggy areas around rivers to the west of the High Pampas. Citrus fruit and camelid products (such as size of a football) and so. their flesh and with a sealed aperture facing upwards. do not travel well and are unusable after around three to five months of storage. rice. Quatzadua. quantities of sand-eel and fish. In the main this is due to the desert conditions north of the Thexadin River in Nhia-Nual. plant. land but powerful swimmers. cineapple and citrus fruits. These are now cultivated in many places. Found in large rookeries on rocky outcrops The varied geography of Quatzadua makes for numerous habitats. So are some sustainable hardwoods. meaning that areas Eastward are drier. fruit. A single camouflaged hole (enough to trap a foot and lower leg) is the only surface sign of these dangerous plants. less practical in combat. All cities are linked by wellmaintained stone roads. which sets on impact. where it feeds on small animals. Their survival has been assured in a semidry ground. leather and ivory). The bulb is also much larger (around the softwoods. only plants sociable creatures are ungainly on and animals of note are recorded here. As exported. with way(originally bamboo. Farmed in the Western lands. This bill can also deliver a vicious blow. which led on numerous occasions to major side wells a common sight along their routes. below). A number of grasses and fruits are also cultivated. potatoes. Birds of note. Its natural habitat is the deep jungles of Western bulbs. cocoa.Two varieties of Bullet Bulb have been engineered. Flora and Fauna . The East of Quatzadua is less humid and enjoys a dry heat when exposed to South-Easterlies. Maize. as well as small quantities of coffee. This fires glue wool. They are easily "sniffed-out" by QuatzHunds though. from which these plants gain their nutrients. This region also has a high level of humidity during the spring and summer months. Their Quatzads are born horticulturalists and have cultivated several bill is ideally suited to catching large plants over many centuries and put them to practical use. Any living matter falling into the interior are broken down by powerful acids. as well as boarding splinter-damage injury) and fires a sharp lozenge-shaped seed.

all. People The Lamox is the second species. mating calls bear a striking similarity to a deeply offensive obscenity in the tongue of the Nhi-Tual. it is also The Bellow-Head Pathoxa is a curios fresh-water dolphin uniquely used to differentiate true Homo sapiens from the Arboreal and Shade sub-species (two distinct but sexually compatible human found in the silted waters of the Kafax River. They are prized as pack. especially the male of the species. leather. they also hunt wild pigs. species residing within its borders. Tanned skin. These are shorter and herded Arboreals tend to be more secular but some do frequent towns . the QuatzHund is a native and overall build. population found in the thick Western jungles. Confusingly however. Standing at In higher altitudes the Dromal is replaced by Llamas. both names Zathuria. Resident in both the High Pampas and the rich imitation skills. Often raised from pups by Arboreals. two distinct breeds have been sharp eyesight. a medley of calls. as they are more sure-footed in rugged terrain and make which are reminiscent of the native fauna and said to carry for ideal pack animals. Whatever the differing racial origins of Quatzaduan nearly blind. although in private they still Nhia-Tualians as steeds. dark hair and dark eyes being prevalent in extent Dromals (see below). It is said to be groups). some consider them more versatile than use their own "short-speak". though by nature. That's not to say that there aren't differences in facial shape Standing at over four feet tall. as they most have a natural aversion to the ocean. line. the natural prey The most wide-spread of the sub-species are the "Shades" (Homo of the sapiens chameleus). all regions. along with hominids are equally at home on the ground or in the trees. marsupial beast. It is the Thurian continent. Often South-Western stock tend to be of slighter frame than those found in the High Pampas and mountainous regions around found tracking herds of Dromal. Khamuls and to a lesser are today. make them much sought after by mariners. Many have been domesticated. The Lopar could be mistaken at a distance for a horse. which makes them highly prised by the warrior caste. who are wide-shouldered and more stocky. Where it not forested areas of for this ability (along with the six proto-filaments growing over the ears and into the hair-line). who are found in QuatzHund. Generally they hunt in mated pairs. coupled with their ability to easily traverse the treedeveloped. ivory and milk. Litopterns (strange gazelle-like Tapirs) and humans in the jungles Terexta. Also referred to by Closely related some as "the bright ones" (due to to the fierce the females' golden-red pallor Khamul of when in season). these derive from the races' natural more docile beasts are found ability to subtly change their skinwild across most tone to match their surroundings (a of the low-lying useful ability . Pure-breds are easily recognisable by their wide eyes and long arms. they are farmed for their soft flesh and fine their song is completely innocuous in the local parlance.This colourful.where minimal open and lightly clothing is required). which is reminiscent of Pangolins. eastern appearance and one would be hard-pressed indeed to differentiate between many of them and their northern The Dromal is neighbours. The difficulty cross-border interaction has led to the populace having a more is catching a pregnant female QuatzHund to steal the pups from. so that now. mated pairs East and along the southern borders of Nhi-Tual. tropical starling is highly prized for its much like sheep. The term "Quatzaduan" can be applied to any of the human subMammals of note. animals. In the Northof Quatzadua. these light-boned have bred these for thousands of years. along with climactic strangest thing about this aquatic mammal is the scaling on its conditions have evolved them into the recognisable peoples they back. centuries of of QuatzHund make a fierce pair of fighting guards. their fleece. In speech they tend to have the same height and build. For although grassland to the East. Shades look all but human. Used by both Quatzads and use the common Quatzaduan tongue. make up the majority of the made into a rich cheese. Perhaps the humans. large. millennia of inter-breeding. Quatzads only around five feet on their short legs. and are cunning and vicious predators of any soft fleshed creatures. relying on sonar to seek its prey. which is Arboreals (Homo sapiens arborealis). miles when required. as well as for their meat.rumoured that they are the children of the first Tarazon . clicks and whistles horses. as shown by the following images. Their the (now rare) wild Llama.

being female. Tarazon is blessed with an The most sympathetic of Nhia-Tual clans is to be found on the extremely long life-span island of Lô-Tual (know in parts of Quatzadua as Topax).Those that look like humans are treated fairly in the major Cities (and as a consequence tend to congregate there) but still face occasional persecution and derision in some of the more remote settlements. no Tarazon has yet made his/her 400th birthday. known for attacking the trade caravans that travel Xatahople league and the between Parkhesh and Quatzadua. as well as being highly prised scouts and soldiers in general. Every fifth year they decide who amongst them will next represent them in the Senate. the Felloxor river forming a natural boundary between the two. However. Others inherit abilities from both parents. The monks welcome hundred years Quatzads but distrust Parkheshies. although peoples from the Oxore Dominion and their neighbours from the Sheshaan Canonry are tolerated and even invited into the country (see Emerald Order). (the current incumbent is Standing alone in the middle of the Golden Sea. tribes. coinage was loosely based on the trinkets exchanged with visiting explorers in return for goods. Homo sapiens. A Senate will sit for five years and rubber-stamp the will of the Tarazon.Although long lived. Both in looks and abilities. Political Structure Quatzadua is an Imperialistic Theocracy with a central puppet The nation of Gara-dien lies to the North-West. Quatzadua also enjoys good relations with the "Lake People" of The first was warped in Terex-Gha on the Nhi-Gha river and in North-Eastern parts. Later examples are more lavish. they make up the private guard of "The Living God". some appearing no more than their common ancestor. Therefore Ta-Tarazon III would be male. currency has evolved. their offspring range greatly. The sea route (via the Golden high priesthood. intermarriage is not unknown. Trained to the peak of fitness and skilled in the use of both traditional and "natural" weaponry. this is their said to be over two spiritual home and their only real settlement. Economy Arboreals dwelling deep in the western jungles today.being male and Na. and Merav Trader's Cant. bicameralistic (locally elected representatives) Senate. Religion Families and Clans of the Arboreals living in heavily-rainforested areas still have representatives but follow more of an Anarchocommunistic lifestyle. Large gatherings (or Moots) happen every spring. Where the two races mingle. With the coming of the written word. Some being shaped into amphitheatres or inverted pyramids. The Tarazon resides in Terexta and is instantly recognisable by his dark leathery To the East. Senate members are also indoctrinated into the church and leave as priests of the "Earth-God". Arboreals still prefer to use their own tongue. Union. Its North-Easterly neighbour Nhia-Tual is home to the Guarded by the desert nomads. peppered with the odd words of Parkheshi. an oracle the largest and most cosmopolitan of the four major Nhi-Tualian International Relations . For example. Within these five years. his sole representative on Gwenthia. Quatzadua trades with Parkhesh and the Gwailan skin and glowing red eyes. Names Bartering was the common currency until around 150 years ago. the Sea). several groups may unite to quickly build rope bridges across deep canyons or share locally grown speciality foodstuffs. post for commerce between all three countries. Originally. Ta. There are also rumours that an inner circle exists. Early temples were no more than open-cast mines. surrounded by ornately carved pillars or pagodas.and cities. Quatzaduans have adopted Lidin as the language used during trade negotiations. his 372nd year into a Quatzad humans have nearly fully integrated with the Hôkurik. "Living Totem". Relationships have always been strained. and is still in use today by Suffixes normally denote the sex of a person. The religion of the entire country is regulated by the priests of "The Earth God". where the Gods riches were reaped by his followers. is therefore preferable. made up of highly intelligent assassins. The latter are often persuaded to join the elite Xatahople league. although it is used as a staging old). The Earth God and the Tarazon The Earth God has provided guidance for his people of Quatzadua through his mouth-piece the "God's chosen" or "Tarazon".

I am Murazcoatl With such a ferocious beast as its totem. The Cult of Murazcoatl. The last Tarazon changed this by decreeing that the common calendar of Gwenthia be observed. This city complex is built into the slopes of Mount Terexta. and chanted as a mantra during its rituals. for that would be unfaithful towards the Earth God. the cult members are sorely tested during their membership and the incidence of . The Priesthood is made up of the Senate and the fanatical WordBearers. Secondly. Body which never feels pain. to avoid any ambiguity. Prior to 540 years ago the Quatzads followed their own calendar based on the position of the sun and seven moons. According to the fragments left by Lord Xocotal. Foremost amongst these is the cult of Murazcoatl. the Fearless Death. the cult has slowly been subsumed by the warriors of the Xatahople League – including members of the Tarazon's personal guard. Lord Xocotal lived. Originally created by the high altitude head hunters living in the region. and was deeply impressed by the animal which had butchered both his entourage and a pack of quatzHunds without hesitation or acknowledgement of its wounds.of sorts. Mind which never knows death. other secretive sects worship in the mountains. The Year consists of 7 months each of 35 days (each of 5 weeks of 7 days) and a shorter 8th month (the Dark Month) lasting 10 days. as the murderous creature tore off his left arm in return. with only trusted warriors being invited to join the cult if they display the right character. in the form of wall paintings. The cult of Murazcoatl does not worship any deity. the Senate have two great duties to perform. Feathered Death In the northern mountains of Quatzadua lies the ancient city of Terexta. murals and pictograms (see below). till mortally wounded it faced Lord Xocotal alone. Upon the death of following Tarazons. the furious animal assailed the human hunting party. Murazcoatl. Heart which never beats with fear. when many were drafted into permanent armies. the old Tarazon is taken to Xzanpthia and the body laid to rest at the base of the Oracle (see People of Note). then they disintegrate on contact with this. The age of a Tarazon can be deduced by visiting many of the temples. The savage onslaught killed all seven of his loyal bodyguard. A story from the years before Terexta was built recounts a hunting party of Lord Xocotal the head-taker. and from then on trained all his personal head-hunters to fight like the creature had. with much ceremony steps through Terexta's "Smoking Mirror". Major historical events and religious teachings are kept on permanent record there. as here it represents the darkness of the earth. the year is (7x35days) + 10 = 245 days of normal months plus 10 days of the Dark month. He immediately ordered a shrine to be placed upon the mountain to mark the spot. a vicious beast Eyes which never part from your foe. To recap. divided into 8 watches named for the Orbs in the sky. Claws which never fail to taste blood. Instead the cult teaches the stoic warrior path inspired by a strange animal. feathered death. the sole representative of "The Earth God". The latter travel the land spreading the true word of God which is tattooed into their skin. the highest peak in the area. It is still actively practiced. The 8th month is a time for celebration in Quatzadua. If they are not deemed worthy by the EarthGod. the Lord decided to stand up to his nemesis and slashed with his jade sword. This is a time of the creatures of the night but revered equally with the others in Quatzadua. Roughly translated. they chose a replacement from amongst their number.in The Temple of the Oracle in Xzanpthia. and is home of the Tarazon. Although mutilated. But despite the authority of the Tarazon. which resides to this day – unmoving . despite its many injuries from the `hunds. the fearless. Before they could act. His expedition was chasing a pack of QuatzHunds into the mountains. the Fearless. The candidate (invariably a Shade). which is the only time when the sky is fully dark. The tenets of the cult are heavily based upon close study of Murazcoatl. is the Black Watch. If they step through successfully then they are accepted by their God and become the next Tarazon. First. With warriors who each fought like five. The secret philosophies of the cult continued to be passed down through the head hunters of the region until the time of the first Tarazon. Having no place to run. Lord Xocotal started the great unification which eventually led to the formation of Quatzadua. no one knew the name of the strange animal so he named it himself. The 8th watch. when they came upon a strange multi-hued creature slaughtering the carnivores. Text has only been added over the past 300 years. Each day is 32 hours long. a feral Iqari. which attacks anything which stalks its shadow. it goes.

after which they are taken into the shrine which comprises of a chamber and a large pit. That's not to say that other magic's don't exist.which is deemed to be the physical manifestation of Murazcoatl. At the end of a week. Separated. a new candidate. Any who complain about the treatment are marked for later segregation. since they now have the blood of a friend on their hands. At first a ceremony is held to induct the applicants with the cult tenets. Another is in Xzanpthia and is said to lead to the afterlife. and to achieve third rank they must slay a mated pair. The cult has three levels of initiate. ordeal which forces the survivors to many months of self analysis afterwards. skill and stoicism are invited to join. and the resulting carnage is used to educate the remaining candidates as to Murazcoatl's prowess. The one in Terexta is covered by two ornately decorated doors and only opened at the behest of the Tarazon or. If accepted the aspirant is granted several weeks leave of absence for some plausible reason (death in the family. Such buildings are small. and yet deeply philosophical. prize amber talismans which contain preserved life forms. although genuine examples do exist. legion holiday lottery. They are then shown to sleeping quarters and allowed to rest in preparation for their trials. and forced to rely upon each other to overcome challenges during the days. . split into teams of two (carefully selected by the priest and higher initiates). Quatzaduan Cities Nhiaquat The city of Nhiaquat lies on the southern banks of the Thexadin River (which acts as a natural border between the countries of Quatzadua and Nhi-Tual). After several days spent walking circuitous routes. The candidates are also taught that fearlessness is the key to success in battle. the candidates are forced to prove their mettle by slaying their partner. If they survive they are deemed worthy of priesthood. Within the pit is the guardian spirit – a feral Iqari . and only using veiled references in case the offer is refused. and takes strenuous paths to increase the suffering of the sightless. such as the leaping death. and only those who have achieved third rank may attempt to claim it. it is thought that the city was built by the Hôkurik. etc) and is then taken with a group of other candidates to one of the many secret shrines hidden in the mountains. Those who complete the task are granted initiation. They believe that they are gifts from the Earth God and the wearer will be imbued with the abilities of the creature therein contained. but also allows access to further levels of martial training. Tarazons who have passed on however are treated differently (see Role-Playing Ideas). Magic Incantations and books of spells are not the magic's found in Quatzadua. There is only a single priest per shrine. The test is simple. Sadly. Initiation is the first step. such as sleep poisons. Any who attempt to flee after this point are tracked down with trained quatzhunds and torn limb from limb. the largest and most cosmopolitan of the four major Nhi-Tualian desert nomad tribes. projectile firing plants and the fruits of the soil. but also prevents the aspirant from ever informing on the cult. for example. it's just that the populace are generally ignorant of them. and their silence is held in trust of their lives. Only those who display bravery. following his death. With this shocking start to their training. and that a brave death will allow the soul of the warrior to be reborn as an avatar of Murazcoatl. This not only tests dedication. The next days are spent being taught cult fighting techniques inspired by Murazcoatl. Those who refuse are fed to Murazcoatl. At this point all those aspirants who complained during the harsh trek are then thrown into the pit. The journey is made blindfolded. The most powerful "magic" is the preserve of the priesthood. and those who seek command rank usually become initiates if they wish to progress further. Higher rank not only commands greater respect (and possible promotion in the military). The prepared bodies of high-ranking officials are ceremoniously pushed through this particular mirror to join their God in the depths of the earth. However. A priest is marked by having a specially cleaned and disinfected Murazcoatl feather placed under the flayed skin of their chest and the skin sewnback in place. Beyond initiate lies only the rank of priest. the majority of these have no charm on them at all.disappearances or fatal `accidents' is unusually high. superior performance. They are trained together as a team. the scything claw and the screeching terror. The natives prefer instead the blessings of their benefactor "The Earth God". a process during which they must utter no noise. and located near a croft which raises Lamox used for sacrifice to the shrine's guardian spirit. The initiate is thrown naked into Murazcoatl's pit armed with their preferred weapon. the aspirants are warned that they have set foot on a path of no return. Temples exist which contain strange "Smoking Mirrors" which are held in great reverence and guarded fiercely. This comes in the form of natural magic. Both tests are conducted by the cult and performed before the eyes of their brother worshippers. and have a many coloured feather tattooed upon their upper arms. To gain the second rank of initiation the aspirant must defeat a quatzhund in single combat. the aspirants are finally delivered to the temple. Although the city rests on the Quatzaduan shore. indicated by the number of feathers in their tattoo. the cult is prevalent in the upper echelons of those legions raised in the mountain areas. It is a potent. the aspirants are tested. Many Arboreals.

the powers that be do not recognise the rights of imported whom's shrine is said to be its oldest building). origins lie over 3. The city lies on the Kafax River respect it in equal measure. aqueducts and forts. only the hardiest of houses both The Oracle of Xzanpthia and a Smoking Mirror troops make it. the modern city is a thriving hub of commerce. Terexta The Obsidian Order Xzampthia . although most believe it to be a lands hereabout. The Amber Order defends Eastern-Quatzadua. head-taker. Arboreals (around 35%) and Shades (around 25%). the Emerald Order is an army of slavers. the disaffected slaver types from the Oxore Dominion (who were Terex river runs east to Lake Terex-Gha in Nhi-Tual. Starting life as a fishing port.000 years ago. this objective was thwarted by their inability to penetrate his arcology. a column which contains the combined wisdom of the past Tarazons. Unlike Taxica in the East. Stirred-up by the Zathurians. building roads. made up of the Sharing its defence with the local militia are several units of the following parts: fell Obsidian Order. imported slaves and criminal chain-gangs. Close-by. the Amber Order maintains a huge military presence here. The Emerald Order Unlike the Amber and Obsidian Orders. Pazzoxa has had relatively few internal struggles of its own. The majority of Quatzaduans both fear and which leads to the afterlife. along with a decimating ripper-plague. There are thee main armies in Quatzadua. rumoured to have been sent by the Earth-God himself. it was all but destroyed round 2. Initiates of both use tatooing to denote rank and it is thought that The official line for the order's name is that it fits neatly with it was developed by the head-hunting tribes who once ruled the those of Amber and Obsidian. bridges. maintain a strong presence in the city. The city's 40%). It is said that he started the great unification which eventually led to the formation of Quatzadua. Not surprisingly. Quatzaduan Armies Taxica The Amber Order To the east of the high Southern cliffs of Quatzadua lies the last navigable port of Taxica.Pazzoxa Pazzoxa is the most Westerly of the cities of Quatzadua. and includes the Quatzaduan navy and customs functions. The Obsidian Order act as both the police and the defenders of Western-Quatzadua. it was founded by Lord Xocatal and counts amongst its leaders members Xzanpthia is a city of major religious significance to Quatzads as it of the Cult of Murazcoatl. as it is home to both the Tarazon. It is home to the "Oracle". Most famous of these was Lord Xocotal the veiled insult to Gara-Dien. Being the oldest of the armies.000 years ago by an invasion of Hash-Takk from Gara-Dien (see time-line). Terexta could be considered the Spiritual centre of It is worth noting that whilst slavery of the indigenous population Quatzadua. built up over hundreds of years. originator of The Cult of Murazcoatl. Rebuilt following its rebellion in 907 MC. Formed 308 years ago (908 MC) following the Taxican rebellion. Despite the city's geographic location (and the appearance of a fortress). Quatzaduan exports from as far a-field as the High Pampas leave here for destinations in Parkhesh and AurUrbis. It is made up of Humans (around surrounded by the dense jungles of Western Quatzadua. It's proximity to the Gara-Dien border has led to it being besieged on numerous occasions and the city is in a constant state of alert. Indeed their ranks are still bolstered from time to time by further émigrés from these conquered lands. Though that is not to say it hasn't seen strife. the natural wide but sheltered bay led to it evolving into the thriving and cosmopolitan trading centre found today. Being the oldest inhabited city of the region. the true target of this attack was the destruction of their renegade member Ta-Tarazon I. slaves. the Amber Order even to this day. It was originally made-up of Terexta in the northern mountains of Quatzadua. Although besieging and laying waste to the city. Trade formally inducted into a tributary relationship with Gara-Dien in between the "Lake People" and the city is substantial and has been 674 NC) and their neighbours from the Sheshaan Canonry. sole representative of Quatzadua and their neighbours in Nhi-Tual is punishable by of the Earth God and The Cult of Murazcoatl (the latter of death. They work as sappers. Despite the years that have past since its internal troubles. The Order was officially recognised in 722 NC but was in existence for The city complex of Terexta is built into the slopes of lofty Mount at least fifty years prior to this.

he is fondly remembered as a man of peace. The Earth-God was able to change his genome.The Oracle began life when the first Tarazon (a renegade Zathurian Charioteer) evolved into a pillar around 2. Before the city of Terexta was built. none but his offspring are able to approach. Over time. The Oracle of Xzanpthia . Within his own Arcology (now covered by a stepped pyramid). On the passing of each successive Tarazon. In Xzanpthia. their bodies are placed at the base of the column and slowly subsumed – mind and soul . the evolved column has grown. In making him the first Tarazon. leaving only an effigy of their faces. Despite this. 520 years ago. (the first was a Zathurian Charioteer). This has led to all following Tarazons being either Shade or Shade-Arboreal crossbreeds. through which the Oracle occasionally speaks. Lord Xocatal Lord Xoxcatal is famed in Quatzadua as the man who brought unification to the country.People of Note The Tarazon As "God's Chosen".into it. Offspring are the Shades. the Tarazon breeds with humans. it is unsurprising that those who opposed the one armed head-taker were swiftly silenced. . With warriors who each fought like five. he ordered a shrine to be placed upon the slopes of mount Terexta to mark the spot where he had fought the fearless Murazcoatl. enabling him to mate with humans and father the Shade race.

Spiria Home of the Mountain God S piria. but not volcanic activities. This is another reason why Spiria is sparsely populated for the most part. mostly around ports and Lake Atrox. Sea creatures are few. potatoes. The People Although Spiria is known to be home to a small number of humans. the mountain rock and they can use this as a form of sustenance. If a base. this can cause the rocks in the mountain to become agricultural produce. is one of peaceful (and sometimes profitable) aspects. They have long snouts. which are known to eat up to itself. Wildlife includes squirrels. mountain cracks. big eyes. These include extremely fresh water fish and small algae eating lizards that tend to stowaway on ships and feed off the moss that grows on them. Spiria generally prospers by following its own political and social structures without the hassle of bordering nations presenting conflicting ideas and lifestyles. Even Iqari are known to fly over to Mt Oreas. which female Lapithians usually reside in during their The Geography . the fertility of the soil in Spiria is unusual as there’s no obviously logical reason as to why the soil is so fertile because the cracks in mountains and most fertile soils are covered in forest areas.. Lapithians also have long tongues Spiria is well known for its incredibly fertile soil and rare plant life. The Climate Being a part of the northern hemisphere and close to the equator of Gwenthia. s. but not extreme in either case. Spiria is also prone to earthquakes. it would be a mixture of Scotland (for the climate and landscape) and Roman Italy (for the style in which most of the cities are built). carrots. Regardless of this.. similar to that in Cromaigne. Being isolated from the other nations of Gwenthia. particularly in the heavily wooded areas around Mt Oreas (due to the high population of Snap Traps there). small ears and hands slightly bigger than that of a human. medium sized animals and attach themselves to tree roots. Lapithians are bi-pedal mountain dwelling creatures that stand at an average height of just over six feet tall and are covered in longish fur (usually grey) except for around their mouth and nose. beavers (particularly on the River Elzix). It’s hot during summers and cold during winters. which they use to get into small In fact. The island is alive with much of its land mass being covered for forests and mountainous. cabbages and grapes. Spiria doesn’t have a set climate and its weather changes seasonally. Snowfall sometimes occurs earlier during the year. boars. This makes Spiria a popular choice for agriculture and Lapithian fails to Spirian fruits can vegetables are usually of some of the finest quality in Gwenthia and is often used in trades with other nations. but do exist. their saliva is capable to dissolving the salts in oranges. find any insects residing in the Agricultural produce include sweet rubies (apples). yet the cities thrive with social lively hood and trade There is a large variety of wildlife in Spiria. but settles very thinly. but land based wildlife tend to dwindle in numbers. some of the settlements on Spiria (particularly Montemphis) purposely plant Snap Trap seeds in neighbouring woods as a form of defence from any attackers. the island neighbouring Cromaigne. however. foxes. a lot of feed off small people believe that the source of this phenomena emanates from insects they find in Mt Oreas as the majority of plant life on Spiria grows around it’s them. hence its mountainous nature. Spiria rests on a fault line that runs horizontally through Gwenthia. it is also known for its dangerous plant life brittle and this causes caves to form within the mountain face such as the parasitic Snap Traps. rocky areas. For an Earth equivalent of Spiria. Although Spiria is well known for it’s wealth of high quality Over years. hands and feet. wolves. It may be because of this that the island is as sparsely populated as it is. the island is mostly populated by a race called Lapithians. leeching any nutrients they suck up.

The Lapithians and the Humans that live on Spiria have been known to co-exist. Spelling Pronunciation Shu She Sha Th Eigh SS-hue Sa-he Sa-ha Tee Ay Letter Ph X F K Lapithians and their cities are the only ones that are generally given names in accordance to the Mountain tongue. as they have quick access to the nutrients needed to keep their babies healthy. but more because of differences in social structure. Spelling Names in Mountain tongue On top of these spelling pronunciations. it could mean “Virtue of the kingdom”. particularly those who gather a lot of a specific resource. smaller and more barbaric cultures tend to be centralised solely around one particular figure of authority.pregnancy. and are usually managed by council members of each government involved. Animtoris. particularly the Lapithian population are very sceptical of the Southern continent of Gwenthia due to the . some spellings and letters are also pronounced as specific letters. Gorderyx. Examples of names given by those speaking the Mountain tongue include names such as Spethia. if he’s not available at the time. Most governments within Spiria are friendly towards each other. The first and more common trend is that the names generally contain one or more S’s and/or “th” in their name somewhere. and are usually headed by High Priest Sherba or. Lapithians and Humans generally keep to their own species. Mountain tongue uses the same words as the common tongue does. This is not because of racial hostility or xenophobic tendencies. however. Political Structure Words pronounced in Mountain tongue are usually pronounced very differently to how they would be in common tongue for the most part. another member of the Mountain Temple. and both meanings could also apply to a city or Lapithian with the name Virtuinion. International Relations The people of Spiria. Usually these governors will be accompanied by councils of varying sizes to help them finalise on any major decisions they need to make. Montarul The capital city of Montarul is the political central point in Spiria. and it’s where the name is made up of prefixes and suffixes of meanings used in the Mountain tongue. but only largely in Spiria’s capital city of Montarul. Trade connections between different cities and villages are very common. Prefix Suffix Meaning Mont Gord Virtu Skep Cap Auri Anim Fili Iphi Eryx Emphis Atis Inion Arul Terra Ferro Auris Ola Mountain Guardian Virtue Kingdom Capital Earth Courage Son Daughter Other than these slight differences in pronunciation. although there are a few similarities in the way some words are pronounced. The second trend is usually reserved for Lapithian nobles and major cities. some of the smaller villages are known to hold grudges over resource distribution or some other reason of similar relevance. Whenever a political issue of such importance that it involves the whole of Spiria arises. Other than that. Names using the less common prefix/suffix method are generally vague in their meaning and are only used as a rough guide to the background of the person or city involved. however. These meetings usually consist of a good mixture of Humans and Lapithians. Skepatis could mean “Kingdom of virtue” if given as a name to a city. for example. Each city/village of Spiria has its own governor or its equivalent. Spiria is a known as a nation divided by language as the Humans rarely speak in Mountain tongue and the Lapithians seem to struggle with some of the pronunciations in Common tongue. The Languages There are two languages spoken within Spiria: Common and Mountain tongue. which decide on any major political decisions that occur within the city/village itself. major government officials from different cities come to Montarul to make a final decision on how these issues are to be handled. Montemphis would be pronounced “Mon-tem-fis” and Lake Atrox would be pronounced “At-rok”. These names generally follow one of two trends (or sometimes both). Elthis and Balthaxs. whereas if it was given to a Lapithian. For example.

but the list is not limited to these particular trades. facing Montarul lies the Mountain Temple. Because of this. they will settle in Belinthus. Sherba in particular also wears an amulet around his neck called the “Eye of Oreas”. but many rumours say that they have connections to the spirit of the Mountain God hidden deep within Mt Oreas. there are still many people in Spiria who believe the Mountain god is not dead. Magic Although magic isn’t practiced throughout most of Spiria that is not to say that magic does not exist in Spiria. most of the island’s population (particularly the Lapithians) have a firm belief in the Mountain god of Spiria. Currency Spiria doesn’t have a set name for their currency. a Quartz is about 2. High up on Mt Oreas. there are many aspects of magic that exist throughout the lands of Spiria. It’s not known to any specific extent what these properties are. particularly in Montarul and Montemphis. on which the Mountain Temple stands. The amulet is about 9cm in width. 6. Within this temple reside the clerics and sages of the Mountain god. High Priest Sherba. the Lapithians (who are believed to be a direct creation of the Mountain god) regard Mt Oreas as sacred ground and fanatically believe that only they should set foot on the mountain. but rather choosing a more natural physical state from which to take care of his people. .5cm in height. if this is not possible. The coinage names go like below: 1 Regal = 50 Imperials 1 Imperial = 10 Quartz 1 Quartz = 10 Pennies A Regal is about 5cm in diameter. Sherba has never been seen without it around his neck. Although some of the finest goods go straight to the leaders of Spiria’s communities. During a particularly vicious battle. however. 1 Regal is the equivalent of about £25.5cm in diameter. Economy Spiria is a nation that thrives off trade between cities and nations. building. except for the Imperials which are silver. back in the dawn of Spiria’s birth. the Mountain god created all the landscapes and life on the island. Specific beliefs vary between different people and different cultures. Members of the Mountain Temple claim that they forged this amulet from a mysterious metal they found deep within Mt Oreas which they believe was a part of the armour the Mountain God wore when in battles with other gods. in particular those with connections with the Mountain Temple are very anxious to please the people of Cromaigne in hopes they will help them with their Iqari problem on Mt Oreas. Trades between cities and villages go through them. a place built by Lapithians as a shrine to their god. merchants will call the currency by one of the types of coinage (most commonly they will call their currency the Regal). Most of these alchemists try to secure homes at Montarul so they can be as close to Mt Oreas as possible. As well as magic practitioners migrating into Spiria. In real-life equivalents. particularly around the base of Mt Oreas is incredibly and unusually fertile and full of nutrients that aren’t found in other parts of Gwenthia. most merchant ships are only authorised to leave from their ports. it has been known for Alchemists to move to cities and towns relatively close to Mt Oreas to study and use the nutrients found in the unique soil found in that area for their experiments. whereas an Imperial is about 3cm in diameter. seafaring and merchant. it is known that High Priest Sherba and the other members of the mountain temple possess magical properties. however. but particularly big trades (especially trans-national trades) go through the Mountain temple in Montarul. Whereas these same Vulcanologists put this down to previous volcanic activity within Mt Oreas centuries ago. masonry. the Mountain god was badly injured and transferred his life force into Mt Oreas in order to keep his island fertile and prosperous. Religion Religion is the foundation of most of the Spirian societies and constitutes many of the laws and lifestyles on the island. All coins appear a brass colour.This unusually fertile soil has attracted particular trades to move to Spiria for further benefits and studies. Most of the economy is handled by government officials. These trades very often include things such as blacksmithing.xenophobic nature of the Zathurians. Spiria has strong trade connections to the Northern continent and Cromaigne. and even then. who are located so near to the Southern shores of the island. Instead. It is said by Vulcanologists that the earth in Spiria. however. The Lapithians. According to the believers of the Mountain god. as well as the Augwatey and the spiritual leader of Spiria. Most notably are farmers. however. In fact. the Lapithians and the members of the mountain temple remain insistent that this is because of the Mountain God rewarding his worshippers for their faith in him. looks to be pure gold and seems to glow a mysterious red colour. much of the population depends on its trade to make money. however. Many people within Gwenthia regard the Mountain god as a dead god.5cm in diameter and a Penny is a mere 1.

For a while. For decades. . In defence. let alone outside of Montarul. totally devoted to their Mountain god and good natured to anyone they met. The Augwatey The Augwatey are seven warriors chosen by High Priest Sherba to protect Mt Oreas from any defilers. As time went by. The Iqari used the Lapithian sacred grounds (Mt Oreas) as nests and often dropped Lapithians from great heights. and always wears the Eye of Oreas around his neck. calm and wise is just a few words that have been used to describe Sherba. The Lapithians have always lived as a peaceful community. Kind. but many Lapithians (particularly those who have had the honour of having an audience with him) believe that this is because Sherba is fulfilling the requests of the Mountain god as a prophet until something else requires his presence. Sherba resides in the Mountain Temple high up on Mt Oreas. peaceful life. They are dressed in armour and cloth adorned with the Mountain god’s symbol and are said to be vicious defenders of Mt Oreas. overlooking the Spirian capital city of Montarul.History In the beginning of Spiria’s life. most notable are the ballistas. One thing is for certain though. Some Human non-believers of the Mountain god say this is arrogance on Sherba’s part. courage and strong belief in their god and are very often recruited from the Lapithian barracks set up in Montemphis. leaving the rest of the population to revert back to their original. the cities flourished. They are chosen for their skill. Sherba also has an eerie habit of knowing peoples true intentions when confronting them. however. the Lapithian population suffered a decline in numbers. In light of this. and the Lapithians had built the city of Montemphis (which is now the island’s military capital) as a training ground for Lapithian warriors and templars. The Lapithians and the Humans set up an alliance and the Lapithians used designs the Humans had constructed for weapons to use against the Iqari. whilst other sceptical people put this down to incredibly good judgement. many Humans decided to live in separate settlements in fear that they would constantly be attacked by Iqari. there are still many events yet to happen in it’s future. there was a great burden their race had to bare along with their settlement on the island: The Iqari. this worked and the Lapithians endured a period of great peace… that is until the Iqari learnt to use their flight to drop boulders from a great height. People of Note High Priest Sherba Sherba (Pronounced Sa-Herb-A in Mountain tongue) is the religious and political ruler of Montarul and all other Lapithian cities and towns within Spiria. Sherba is rarely seen outside of the Mountain Temple. Spiria is still a growing nation. wiping out big chunks of the race on each flight over from Cromaigne. nobody other than the members of the Mountain Temple and Sherba himself really knows much about him or his connections with the Mountain god and Mt Oreas. the Lapithians were the only known civilisation on the island. the Lapithians were forced to forge weapons and armour and took up arms to defend themselves against their winged attackers. such as the Iqari. He dresses in a white cloak made of the finest silks available within Spiria and brown undergarments. seeing them as arrogant zealots worshipping a dead god and left them to their own devices. giving a mystical glow around his person. Many had lost hope until Humans from the northern continent discovered Spiria for the first time. Many say this is just one of the powers granted to him by the great Mountain god. Some even took a major disliking to the Lapithians.

Geography itself is a place of myth. The Konastorm Sea is mist shrouded and dangerous water. It proclaims itself to be the most ancient land in all the world. an expanse of rubble lethal creatures. it is formed of smashed and broken rocks that tear at ship keels and are strewn with the remnants of To the far west of Zathuria the coastline is dominated by the ancient conflicts. shrouded by impenetrable fogs and haunted by the monstrous servants of the Zathurians. Many ships have been becalmed and lost in these It is bordered by the Sea of Circles to the north. the Great Ocean waters. Those who survive the vast dunes forest and deadly wilderness. and legends of sea devils. Yet the hardy Tharux ply these waters in their noisy clanking and smoking vessels. The coast has become known as the Ship’s On the high cliffs above these deadly reefs stand the six of the Graveyard. and its shore is littered with the bleached skeletons of great cities of the Zathurians. whose shifting sands have swallowed many a shipwrecked sailor. in search with AurUrbis and Meravaenia. The northern coast of Zathur of trade. ruled by immortals that remember when the gods walked upon the earth and man flew in the heavens like seraphim amongst the stars. filled with all manner of exotic and stagger into the windswept Charmedi. each surrounded with torturous vessels from all over Gwenthia. where the only time clear skies are seen is prior to one of its torturous The realm of Zathuria occupies the north west corner of Thurian. lost civilisations and arcane ruins. known as the Zathuri Marg. sea storms. Only the rare sailor-priests of the Zathurians cross from the holy city of Dhasham to Khranpur. and shares eastern borders mysterious vanishing islands abound. Karamakan Desert.Zathuria Immortals & Manipulators Z athuria is a land of three distinct cultures living together in an uncomfortable symbiosis. Their last city stands on the island of Khranpur. . were they enact their strange rituals amongst its ageless temples. entrapping weeds and to the west. by Gara-Dien to the south.

strewn hills. They claim to have ‘Strode across the cosmos to be here’. called the Aurval Seeps. This combined with the gold deposits found in the walk amongst the heavens. The divide between the arid Zharaghal and more temperate Rasen is famed for its Great Market. The is more temperate. Given the Zathurians' comparison to surrounding lands an oasis of fertility and plenty. the size of a small city. the Akanda. with hot summers. a secretive folk. although temperatures can plunge moves slowly across the land. these same winds blast across the Zharagal making it south and Aurval in the east. subject formations. Zagoro Gazelle. Zebrax and Jankabeest roam the land. smelling sulphurs pools and steaming streams. however the Tharux have recently begun to construct a great bridge across the river. Most of the land is flat grassland with occasional patches of forest. creations of the Zathurians themselves. the Tharux. except when it floods. possibly inhuman race once dominated the region. narrow valleys and wind blasted many people follow their routes in order to cross the land more hills are the home of the Zharaan nomads. They are a xenophobic and agoraphobic race that dwell in sealed cities of great age and . most notably iron. Rasen is a successful and the Tharux can provide two harvests a year. not native to Gwenthia. that Tharagax region is the Grieve Hills. this rain settles across the lands of the Tharagax. The desert is like a shimmer cancer of Gorva Hills have been extensively mined by the Tharux. cinnabar and Touchers. a region of vertebrae like rock acts as the trading hub for most of Thurian and Gwailan. and above the Aktalar is unbearable throughout lands of Zathur extend as far as the great rivers of Charrax in the the year. The north-east of Zathur great bores and torrents make is treacherous to all around. where little water flows. The Aurval River is a raging white water flow. The large island north of the Zathuri Marg is called Rasen and is jointly governed with the Cromaignian kingdom of Menerain. Khamul. only the Clanking Ships can cross it. The region largest of which blew its top and created the majority of the seems to cause severe mutation in anything trying to live in it. and cool wetter winters. the hottest regions of the desert is the great crater of Mana Mountains were once part of a great chain of volcanoes. many of its weird and deadly fauna and flora are unknown in Gwenthia. Zathur can be found strange megalithic structures. The Mana Mountains stand over Zathur like sombre pitiful creatures tread its burning surface. The region expands from the eastern hills of the Charmedi to the roots of the Mana Mountains in the east and encompasses the Gorva Hills. where the air shimmers both day and night. Many herds of wild effectively. hunted by the wily tribesmen. but most predominantly Black Fever carrying mosquitoes. The baking death. but The western coast of Zathur is blasted by powerful winds. waters of the Charrax originate far beyond the borders of While the northern coasts are lashed by winds from the Zathuria. an arid grassland networks of invisible roads along which the Zathurians travel in where water is scarce and what does exist must be sought their Wind Chariots. Yet Throughout their sparsely wooded sides can be found foul despite the trials of the environment people do come here. Zharaan alike. and it is used as a trade route by the Tharux and Konastorm Sea. a fanatical cult of men who believed it was their right to diamond. it teems with wildlife. a tortured landscape of blasted glass. and Torendi coastlands. The Central Tharagax region of Zathur is by trade council. The Rasen Concord. the only vegetation is thick forests of Tang Thorn and the winds scour the skin from the bone. The mountains when the gods turned their wrath upon the sinful city of the Sky are rich with mineral deposits . which warm here throughout the year. it is taboo to travel along these pathways. as the force of the river is too great to ford or sail. At present the is unnaturally hot. Drought is a factor in dynamic example of Zathurian enterprise and shrewd the life cycle of the Tharux. which bursts from the Mana Mountains and then slows into an oozing marshland Zathurians The Zathurians are an alien race. and then its below freezing during the winter nights. The rocky plains. Their true origins are only known to themselves. Its banks are home to several Tharux cities. possibly descended from the Zharaan. and the well irrigated fields of handled by their proxies. The Charrax is a vast river. well prepared. Climate The People The Great Sudeg Marsh is formed by the floodplains of the Charrax. but the many ruins along the rivers length suggest that another. these structures form a complex The southern lands of Zathur are the Zharaghal. but underground. Konastorm Sea and the island of Khranpur. but they are called the ‘Children of the Moons’ by many cultures. and do not survive beyond the deserts borders. Only the marshland is traversable. that suggest that seeking for ancient secrets amongst the impossibly melted ruins of the mountains may only be sleeping and not yet dead! Throughout the land. This region was formed rusty gods shrouded in cloak of crisp white cloud. It is also the home to the Ghazazi People. however so many slaves In the north-west of the land sits the impossibly vitrified desert of have died from Seep Rot that the project may never be Aktalar. where only the most completed. but their fortified hill top cities are manipulation. many of which are riddle with ancient caves and to the consensual laws and tariffs of the Zathurian/Menerain sinkholes. the air agriculture dominates the regions around each city. It reticence to involve themselves in mundane affairs (usually is criss-crossed with many rivers.

with faces like tools. with trees. their strange way stones are the most common example of their technology and can be found across Gwenthia. A Zathurian who remains in his city does not age. allowing for good night vision. which their masters allowed. they are capable of changing this colour (seven colours in total) and with their sensitive eyes they can read each others moods. carved stone. However. their their cities from both people. They have never The Wardens are burly forgiven men for their treachery. They are uncomfortable in normal Gwenthian environments. They have access to devices and knowledge far beyond the rest of Gwenthia. The Savant also develops eyes of both nations as living gods. It seems that each of these but disappear. Tharux and Zharaan’s remains relatively stable at present. although they may It seems that the Zathurians mourn the loss of their ability to physically develop and alter. Each year the Zathurians take slaves to serve them in The Savant is tall. They come in several different varieties. known as the Era of Joy. Over the aeons the redundant caste. but very acute movement there is some trigger in this process that causes the Zathurians to perception and night vision. The fingers and toes of the Charioteers are capable of races worked together in harmony. their heads are topped with fine wiry tendrils until humans stood as equals with their masters. much like the carapace of a black beetle. The relationship between thankfully rare. Then the great city of men was destroyed by a their intellectual caste or a Zazathiss or Heavenly.advanced technology. their a distance. Their faces become again. The Zathurians were After some undefined period the Charioteer undergoes a forced to turn upon the humans is a bloody and holy war. maintaining control through subtle devices. but it is unseemly to use the feet. a human like face. but are humanoid. The Zathurians claim that when they met caste is the Zachara or Charioteer. never progressing in their development. with long graceful necks and limbs. they leave the secret of Star Walking. Their eyes are nations became technologically advanced from their close much larger and they have proximity to the Zathurians. The most commonly and return to their home. the Zathurians. They also seem to sow their seed amongst both nations. Many think they are the ruling class of . at this stage the Zathurians visibly age and change form. They are great thinkers and spend decades Zathurians are more than capable of proving. and tried to touch the gods themselves. The Zathurians that look like hair but move and sculpt themselves into elaborate talk of an idyllic period. and a second series of tendrils that hang by most other nations of Gwenthia. each capable of viewing a different colour of light. or appear irrelevant to the viewer. They seem to issue commands to the Wardens and Charioteers. The their combined wonders. but still enslave them as useful creatures. either a Varda or piece of human technology was destroyed and men were cast back Warden. they are tall elegant came to Gwenthia that all men were but primitives dwelling in creatures. long. and became the Aktalar Desert. and one it seems that the down from their chins. and Gwenthia was filled with manipulating tools. a fact that is rarely dismissed noticeable earlobes. The eyes of the Zathurians have seven nictitating membranes. when the two hairstyles. such strange weapons which can attacks are always absolutely lethal. pondering deep secrets. However once they leave their cities travel the heavens. however they have become dissatisfied and their head tendrils all with each and have destroyed them. Lesser purges are known such sear the flesh of their foes at as when they destroyed all the telescopes (and their creators. The skin of all Zathurians is black and stone like it is burnished with colour. ornate understanding of the cosmos. a Zavaar or Savant which is into the forest. smallish heads. and yet they seem to dwell in a state of arcane stasis. leading people to believe that they are telepathic. they are masters of science. and through history they have been archaic spears or sometimes known to assail other nations to remove this knowledge. but are deadly in the hands of their warriors. They work in materials that seem organic or alien to the touch. Their equipment appears overly ornate. every metamorphosis into one of three forms. Zathurians have sought-out the pieces of the Eighth Moon in an attempt to return his body to the heavens. being murdered and cast from heaven. preferring their bizarre self contained cities. They used their science to upgrade them and educate them. The Zathurians are not human. which is their warrior caste. The Zathurians They fight with vicious seem to be extremely jealous of any race that seeks deeper hooked swords. community to breed and to carry the messages of the higher their actions were a blasphemy and resulted in the Eighth Moon castes. They remain in the forming crowns above their heads. and that is their only desire. to leave the world the ravages of time soon attack their bodies. descend upon their slaves like a plague of locusts. they are families and their homes) fifty years ago. Their weapons seem crude. their necks have all but disappeared into Throughout the aeons since their arrival the Zathurians have ruled colossal shoulder muscles over seven great nations. almost goat like and their head tendrils become rigid. these people are never heard from movements are very controlled and restricted. humans tried to steal the Charioteer is the fertile stage of the species. a defunct and heavenly bolt. and an items function may be heavily concealed.

Heavenly will be their guides. sturdy steel armour for war (when the hot weather allows). tall stature and quick However the Tharux are immensely secretive. heads and thin limbs are their ideal of beauty and many Tharux They hold great festivals in the honour of their lords. The Savant have made good use of irrigation. many of them shave off or braid into locks in emanation of the Zathurian The Tharux greatly revere the Zathurians and each year offer head tendrils). They do not allow movements. water wheels and have begun to can also transform into the ruling caste. Foreign slaves are a common sight in all Tharux clans. The Heavenly is a strange creature. and even they do so with fear in their hearts. Slave markets are a common feature the time comes for them to walk in the heavens again the of their cities. and they are renowned as alchemists. both being a sign of intelligence and wisdom. Amongst men the ideal form is to possess a large head. these can be found in and around all of the Arcologies. although its application organic entities. which look like great black columns of carved organic ornate war machines and cannons against their enemies and don flesh. It is no man may speak badly of the masters. even if it means features that makes them more like the masters of the land. and if they do sell their technology and have a natural affinity with they disguise its working and function beneath deep layers of science and technology. The Tarovens are fused. and then the Tharux charge are black. with long stretched earlobes. religious hokum and some very nasty anti-tamper claim was bestowed upon them by booby traps. Wardens sometimes change into the unmoving sophisticated culture. you and old alike. bedchambers and holy places is always believed to be acceptable Some Tharux carry Zathurian genes.the Zathurians. Tharux favour the wearing of ornate. older Zathurians can have greatly lengthened skulls. their skin tends to range from dark black to golden brown. however and left to their eternal slumber. and The Tharux are a rich dark brown are the only known producers of gun powder in all Gwenthia. frames. They are a technologically strange creatures. apart means. known simply as Thu or develop steam power. all When a charioteer transforms into a Heavenly it instantly enters a castes apart from the Domvens maintain slaves in their coma like sleep and cannot be communicated with by any modern households. Like the Tharux the clans which form the backbone of the nation. survival. Long necks. piety. If called to war the Tharux will rise to the challenge membranes or the ability to adjust skin colour. and possess nictitating and just. skinned people. The Ramovens is made up of a warrior hierarchy. and many of death and the cities of the Zathurians are portals to heaven. The incursion of the Charioteers into Tharux lands. with no movement in its neck and wrists. Those who purchase their machines often discover their Zathurian overlords. and the penalties for such also common for women to cut their earlobes into pleasant forms. with keen black eyes and strong hooked noses. who rely upon to good will of their masters for tendrils extrude. noted for their slim which has become their major export in these troubled times. the head tendrils become very long and whip like. . The Zathuri Marg is deemed a holy land. tight fitting clothes. especially as a means of crude propulsion Thoughts. Only the Zathurians have ever looked upon these rudimentary understandings of electricity. Their eyes that they have very limited life spans. but this is incorrect. taboo to enter on pain Head moulding is common amongst both genders. They are a powerful. It is law that use neck rings to extend their throats to a pleasing length. They Their powers are unknown. use Guardians. indiscretions are extremely harsh. This emphasis on appearance has lead to a caste system developing amongst the Tharux. gold There are two more transformations known amongst these jewellery and flowing cloaks. or perhaps natural without mutter or grumble. small forth their brightest children to serve their demi-god masters. children are destined for greatness. The next social rank is the Hagovens. The rest of the landworkers. Finally the Domvens are body becomes sheathed in a hard carapace from which multiple landless peasants. a gift they superstition. Their knowledge of chemistry and physics is possibly the most sophisticated amongst the The Tharux City Folk humans of Gwenthia. They are great thinkers. their inbreeding has lead to them developing extremely Zathurian like characteristics. its body is almost completely and is extremely militaristic in its make up. as is there hair (which extortionate prices for the devices repair. such certain death and hardship. anyone into their workshops. The The Zharaan Nomads ruling nobles form the highest caste. The Zathurians believe that when this in not for want of trying. scientists and engineers. their warriors carry crudely rifled guns. They have developed Khranpur. They have enslaved all the people of Zathuria. they rule These surly brutish people are all of desert stock. farmers and petty crafters. but believed to be deadly. is strictly for religious purposes. made of thinkers. they become part of the living city on the island of for their Clanking Ships and Grind Wagons. They are placed in great catacombs beneath the arcologies from the resilient Zharaan and their cousins the Ghazazi. this practice is which are looked upon from the sea with great reverence and of course enforced by parents on their children.

it is a shame that only the Shaman’s of this culture use it in such a manner. Cities Of Zathuria Each Zathurian city seems to maintain its own identity and function within society. it demands blood sacrifice. However weak children are left to die. It written form is extremely effective for making mathematical and technical notation. Each year the Zharaan are visited by a great floating obelisk. yet they are rarely seen preferring their primitive existence living in floating reed houses and ply the waters in dug out canoes.barrel chested people. they are uncomfortable in cities and towns. eyelid movement. gives gifts of strange artefacts and takes special children to the Blessed and Gilded Cities of myth. wearing cured animal skins and living in animal skin shelters. The Zharaan are ever restless. Men and Women both have distinct. They maintain a strong culture of music. it is strangely cuneiform in nature. with pale brown/olive skin and remarkably straight hair. body position and concepts beyond normal human comprehension. They are renowned psychics and are famed for their prophecy. The Tegreet are a race of enslaved mountain men who serve the Tharux in their iron mines. The Languages Za’Laj – This is language of the Zathurians. but equally important roles in Zharaan society. Both races know the consequences of conflicting with the Children of the Moons. but like the Tharux they are swayed by the whims of the Zathurians. They only come to the cities of the Tharux to trade their meat and skins for metal or if a Tharux leader is seeking their employ as mercenaries. with the lower social ranks having little autonomy. some characteristics such as the ability to change skin colour will lead to the child being adopted by the Zharaan’s animistic priesthood. shamans and the tribal circle hold sway over the every day decisions of life. All Zharaan are trained to tame and herd the fearsome Khamul. The proclamations of the so called ‘Finger of the Gods’ have immediate and long last effects upon the culture of the Zharaan. and is well suited to poetry and saga a like. In times past the Zharaan made war against the Tharux. The Zathurians are at the top of this order. a role which the Zathurians seem to tolerate and some foreign commentators have suggest ‘relish’. They hunt actively. now they live in a strange symbiotic truce. travelling about the Zharaghal as the grazing and the seasons lead them. when this the birthing of ‘special children’ increases ten fold. a powerful armoured camelid that is indigenous to Zathuria. which was forged by the Zathurians. who seem to be descended from Zharaan stock. The Zharaan have a natural affinity with the wilderness. and no war chieftain would work against them. They seem isolated from each other as the inhabitants rarely travel between them. but both can become leaders. If they act for or against another nation it is because of their own agendas and has nothing to do with feelings or relations with other. Tha-Yux – The Language of the Tharux. but the Zharaan uses ornate symbolism to support their oral traditions. and contains some characters so small that they are imperceptible to the human eye. Zharag – The language of the nomads is a strangely flowing tongue. it is an inhuman tongue that relies heavily on empathy. The Ghazazi are secretive marsh dwellers. heavily muscled. there exist several other cultures that dwell amongst them. yet never show any Zathurian traits in their genetics. Some Tharux with high Zathurian characteristics in their gene pool can understand this language. and conveys vast amounts of information in seconds. they seem to treat them more as pets or children than as equals to debate with. interspersed with technical complexities that make it difficult to understand. placing great emphasis on lineage and ancestry (which they trace through the female line). Lesser Peoples of Zathuria Despite the strength of the three great nations of Zathuria. a servant of the Zathurians. with beautiful musical overtones. Sometimes the obelisk is escorted by black angels who enter the women’s huts and bestow their blessings. defined by their strong cultural castes. Like the Tharux they to can display Zathurian characteristics. but to comprehend the actions of their masters they have deified them. their interactions with each other and those outside of the communities seem unfathomable. It sounds like a fluctuating stream of screeches and clicks. for they are feared warriors renowned throughout Gwenthia. They are great survivalists. being defined as living gods. War leaders. However it is the Three Brother Kings and their lords that control the actions of Tharux society. Political Structure The Zathurians are above the petty politics of humans. but only one person. Their culture has been enslaved so long that they rarely seek to escape or rebel against their masters. Zharag does not have a written form. The Zharaan are a primitive tribal culture. The Tharux operate a feudal system. It caste maintains a vocabulary suited to their social and cultural needs. The written form of Za’Lai is even more complex than its spoken form. they have to be based on their harsh environment. but this is due to the . if the features lead to strength and increased survival then the child will live. religion and language. however the role of a child born with these features varies greatly. Thar Andamalaxx the great founder of the Tharux is ever to have reputedly spoken it. it is a language of fast flowing thoughts. with well proportioned limbs. While they are the lords and masters of the Tahrux and Zharaan. They are small folk.

Sometimes a particular tribe seems to gain special dominance of their fellows or several tribes will ally together to combat a special foe. including Cardaraz in the far south which is only accessible across the Zharagal Plain. and is seen as the controller of the soul of the country. Like his brother one of his cities. these are ruled over by the Three Brother Kings. Their names change and flux as the generations pass and the tribes travel about their homelands. . this may be as a centre of religion or for some more obscure reason. each deriving their name from a great ancestor. Demna lies across the plains. he is the leader of the Tharux faith. Farux reigns over the western Tharux cities. controls the Maramarj. great act or totem. a renowned philosopher and prudent law maker. which has made Tharux extremely stable. The Emlin Marj is ruled by Emlinada. Marax. the central and coastal region of the land. The Zharaan tribes are many. However despite their differences the Three Brother Kings maintain and deep fraternity and closeness. He travels regularly with his priestly retinue and vast array of courtesans to the holy cities of the Zathurians. but such power is fleeting. Eye of Knowledge his sprawling capital. The Kings came into power ninety-five years ago. and due to their high Zathurian characteristics have aged little since their ascension to power.Zathurians ability to communicate over great distances. but is more easily accessed. such as the Aurval Bridge and the Mines of Har in the Mana Mountains. and encompasses the eastern most cities. He travels little. he is exceptionally scholarly in his outlook. Emlinada invest a great amount of his energy into construction projects. This area known as the Faru Marj in his honour is renowned for the quality of its inventions. remaining cloistered in the famed Gardak. which his nobles fear would lead to conflict with the Zharaan. There are three major regions of the Tharux nation. Emlinada is rumoured to be planning a great road from the city of Mascatta to Demna. The city of Khranpur seems to be of great significance to them.