Seareach

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Seareach is a county of the Turamzzyrian Empire.

Crest

  • a red eagle before a golden sun on a field of deep blue

"The crest of Seareach is presently the result of compromise between the two powerful interests of the western and eastern halves of the province. The sun representing the Sea of Fire to the east, and the blue, the ocean to the west. The previous banner, simply an eagle on a field of white, had caused much consternation as those in the west claimed it was an osprey, while those in the east a desert eagle. Reportedly, tensions flared so greatly over the fowl lineage of this bird that they led to the death of a minor noble who had affronted the dignity of a higher noble too far during a conference held by the Count of Seareach over matters of trade. In the western half of the county, ospreys are commonly kept by the nobility and the higher noble had particularly fond feelings for his feathered friend. In both areas of the county, birds of prey are often associated with divining due to their great sight said to see into the future."

— Culoney of Hendor, The Crests of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Geography

"Seareach is a vast coastal territory in the north of the Empire. The climate is very mild, with warm, sunny summers and wet, rarely harsh winters. Seareach hosts many port towns where sea trading is common. Travel by sea is almost as common as travel over land. Mountains in the south of the territory are particularly rich in iron ore.

Seareach lays claim to the vast desert known as the Sea of Fire. As a result, many strange trade goods make their way into Seareach, along with the copper from imperial mines within its depths. Seareach also provides many goods to the peoples within the Sea of Fire, though trade relations are tenuous due to the ongoing strife over the copper mines. However, the lucrative copper trade and rare spices, herbs, and animal products gained from the Sea of Fire have made Seareach one of the richest territories in the Empire.

The city of Phannus sits atop a high hill range to the north and east of Seareach. It is close to the Sea of Fire, and caravans coming into and out of the city are occasionally raided by small bands of thieves from the desert. The military presence in Phannus is relatively small, and more adept at negotiations than most, having to deal with the nomads from the desert. Phannus lies on the primary route of ores and gems from the DragonSpine toward the coast.

The city of Brisker's Cove started out as a small settlement on the cove of the same name. The city is bustling with trade, and the ports operate day and night. All varieties of ships arrive at Brisker's Cove, from small skiffs to warships. The people are generally well educated and well off, sometimes considered snobbish, even by empire standards.

The Sea of Fire is a vast desert waste dominating the eastern half of Seareach. The area is harsh and unforgiving. Typical warfare and tactics successful in other regions of the Empire have proven ineffective here, and the peoples, though officially governed by Seareach, are largely tribal in social organization. The wares from the Sea of Fire are as unusual as the lore and tales that hearken from the vast desert. Some merchants have successfully set up trade agreements through the region, bartering passage through the regions claimed by various warlords and tribal leaders, but these are few and far between."

— Deinirius Antroydes, A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

Customs

"Skill in divination is much prized in Phannus, and its practitioners are regarded as the best in the Empire. The Sisters of the Hidden Eye are famed for their ability to divine the future, and they are often hired by merchants before engaging in important business decisions, and by uneasy parents before betrothals. For more utilitarian tasks, the most common tool is a hazel twig with nine ends cut from an old hedge when Liabo is a new crescent. This wishing-rod can be used to discover springs of water, veins of ore, and hidden treasures.

The old fishermen of Brisker's Cove still follow the ancient custom of predicting the season's weather and harvest by setting three nets in the sea. The middle net is closely watched, and if crabs, lobster, or shellfish fill it, then a poor season with bad weather will follow. But if scaly fish enter the net, then a plentiful year with good weather is assured. All along the coast "windsellers" can be found, and from them can be purchased winds of many kinds. To bring the wind from any direction they have only to turn their hats and wish, and it is whispered that they trap foul winds inside eggshells stoppered with shoemaker's wax, to dash against a stone whenever they desire to call forth a storm.

One of the stranger items found in the Sea of Fire is the snake-stone, said to cure afflictions of the eye and many other diseases besides. The most popular tale of origin states that in the spring, snakes gather in large numbers to fight great battles, writhing and hissing with dreadful abandon. After the fight, a pale froth covers the ground, and in the midst of this can be found the snake-stone, always cold to the touch, and usually in hues of light green, misty blue, or pale terra cotta."

— A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

Organizations

"The Sunriders of Seareach are based in Phannus in the County of Seareach, on the edge of the Sea of Fire and Tehir territory. These troops, founded in 4895, were initially a dismal failure as they were not equipped and poorly trained to deal with the harsh conditions of the desert and the hit-and-run tactics of the Tehir. During that time, imperial soldiers set up two strongholds in the Sea of Fire where the Sunriders operated. After heavy losses in 4902, primarily to desert conditions and poor organization, Emperor Rallick II recalled the bulk of the soldiers from the edge of the Sea of Fire and left the strongholds behind to operate more as functional outposts to provide a small measure of comfort and protection for hunters and trades bold enough to brave the vast land beyond. The Sunriders remained as the predominant fighting force at the strongholds, but their role switched more to defense and trade protection and very few incursions happened into the Sea of Fire.

Over sixty years later, in 4966, copper was discovered within the region of the Sea of Fire. This caught the interest of Emperor Yarrowe, and so once again a focus was placed upon the desert land, and imperial soldiers were dispatched to strengthen the garrison at the two strongholds and provide protection for the copper mines. The County of Seareach began to actively recruit for members of the Sunriders, and for a time, their numbers swelled as the Empire embarked on numerous small-scale conflicts with Tehir tribes and warbands. Time had made the Sea of Fire no easier than before, and so many soldiers eventually left the Sunriders, positioned elsewhere within the Empire, while others found their lives claimed by Tehir raiders or other dangers of the sands.

It was not until 4968 that the then commander of the Sunriders was replaced, his position soon taken over by Commander Drenden. This new commander immediately converted the infantry unit into light cavalry and copied the tactics of the Tehir raiders with whom they have had numerous costly engagements. Such tactics included using yierkas as mounts, and so far the changes and new leadership have worked well in keeping the Tehir raiders at bay, increasing the safety of the imperial copper mines and emboldening trade caravans moving through the region.

Their symbol is a red cutlass before a golden sun."

— Lord Brieson Cassle of Highmount, Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire
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