Talador

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Talador is a barony of the Turamzzyrian Empire.

Crest

  • a white square on a field of black

Formally outlawed by Jantalar law, the Talador banner once simply represented the place that mining held in the region with the blackness of earth opened with the white square of a mine. As Talador had been ruled by council, the crest on the flag that flew over Talador often had silver diamonds representing those council members. Resistance against the Jantalar rule have altered the banner by reversing the colors, in part to honor the dead who were killed within the province's mines during the Jantalar take over.

— Culoney of Hendor, The Crests of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Geography

"Talador is a thickly wooded territory to the north of the Empire. It is bordered by the northern wastes to the north and the elven woods to the east. The region enjoys lush but short summers, balanced by long, bitterly cold winters. Most of the wooded areas are pine and fir. The northern areas of the territory are mountainous and support many mines.

Talador (city) is a city that, until recently, relied primarily on mining as a primary source of income. The dwarven miners of Talador were legendary for their goods and services. In 4519, the dwarves built Doggoroth Keep near the city of Talador, allowing them to mine protected from the continual assaults by humanoids from the north. For nearly 500 years, the city was inhabited primarily by dwarves, until around the year 5000, when the silver mines start becoming depleted. With the silver quickly running out, many dwarves migrated to more fertile mines. As the dwarves left, humans moved in and took over control of the city and the barony. In 5030, the Empire annexed Talador as an Imperial territory.

In 5087, Jantalar invaded and occupied Talador, making it formally part of Jantalar. The reasoning behind this invasion was the lack of noble leadership in the province. This hostile move by Baron Lerep Hochstib caused new rules and edicts regarding inter-territorial relations to be established."

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

Doggoroth Keep

"This stout keep was built by dwarves nearly 600 years ago to protect their silver mines in the area. The great citadel withstood the orcs, ogres, and hobgoblins of the territory for 60 years before falling to a massive orcish onslaught. The orcs terrorized the region for over 500 years before being defeated by Jantalarian troops a decade ago. Jantalar has placed a garrison in the keep, and the humanoid threat has greatly diminished."

— A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

"By 4862, more and more humans had made their way into Talador, which was mostly home to the Egrentek dwarves, and adjacent to the mine at Zul Zybrano. In spite of the increasing human presence within Talador, most of the dwarves continued to offer trading privileges to those humans of Vornavis - as part of the silent agreement made hundreds of years ago by the clan leaders at the time of the excavations of Solhaven Bay. Jantalar's soldiers often beleaguered dwarves traveling from Talador to Hendor, wanting to be offered the same goods as their neighbors in Vornavis. The dwarves disregarded the soldiers as nothing more than jealous, and took no heed of them. Occasional skirmishes broke out, but no battles of any significance.

By the early 4900's, the humans had established a noteworthy presence in the mining of the DragonSpine, after 600 years of effort. During this century the racial tensions relaxed a bit, as thousands of centuries of experience still made dwarves the premier metal smiths and gem artisans throughout the lands, including the Turamzzyrian Empire. During the early 50th century there was a decline in the mines near Talador, and by 5030, and the local Clans relinquished much of their entrepreneurial interests in the town in favor of other, more lucrative areas. Talador remained part of the Roramnoak Clan's trade routes, as many good trading alliances had been created there. The local mining clans, however, moved their interests elsewhere, maintaining their control on a local silver mine only. In recent years, Hochstib of Jantalar had taken over Talador and the local mines, at one point enslaving dwarven miners as well as blocking trade with Vornavis. In a show of power, Hochstib destroyed part of a mine in 5094, killing hundreds of miner dwarves trapped within. Embittered Parkshnuum Clan dwarves destroyed the rest of the Talador mine shortly thereafter. The other clan leaders made no official statement against this retaliatory attack, as it is well known that dwarves do not take well to any type of slavery. Those Egrentek dwarves that escaped Hochstib's attack participated in this raid as well. It was the boldest attack in a hundred years of minor skirmishes with Jantalar soldiers, and it saw the greatest amount of casualties, as the mine was well guarded by Hochstib's soldiers. However, with the mine destroyed and both sides suffering loss, the conflict was deemed futile to pursue."

— Lutiernse Angalamor Illistim, A History of Dwarves

Independence from Jantalar

In 5114, Lord Kuligar Gardane was chosen by Earl Eddric Jovery and a council of local merchants as the new Baron of Talador, but died in a riding accident shortly before his coronation. His place was taken by the impostor Deylan of Wehnimer's Landing, who himself was killed at the coronation ceremony by agents of Elithain Cross. Discovery of the deception led to a brief but bloody war between Talador and Wehnimer's Landing. Without a ruling baron, Talador maintains independence under a council.

For more information, see Talador Baronial Coronation Festival and Cross Into Shadows.

Talador Obliterated - The Bleaklands

On the 13th day of Eoantos, 5116, Talador was essentially destroyed.

An ancient obelisk, forged of blood marble, and powered by the potent blood of half-elves, which carry both human and elven traits, was activated and released a wave of golden, burning light that washed over all of Talador, turning a majority of the once lush Barony into a haunting wasteland now referred to as the Bleaklands. There had not been witnessed such destruction on a wide scale since the creation of the Wizardwaste.

As the dust settled after the massive carnage, it has been surmised that thousands of imperial soldiers and support were lost on the ground in Talador, not to mention the thousands and thousands of citizens all throughout the Barony’s capital and various cities, towns and other hamlets. The only known survivors were a few dozen Imperial Drakes and over two hundred soldiers who were spared the impact of the blast by magical shields. This instinctively quick action of some of the Drakes left patches of unblemished land around Talador, which many now aptly call “The Tears of Koar.”

Customs

"Eonak, Imaera, and Phoen are particularly popular deities among the hardworking folk of Talador, and their festivals often honor these gods. The height of revelry comes in the month of Imaerasta, when the locals celebrate the marriage of Imaera and Eonak with the Festival of the Land's Bounty. Three days of feasting each culminate in singing, dancing, and trysting between young unmarried couples. Handfasting ceremonies are especially popular during this season."

— A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

Organizations

Grey Order

"Miners turned mercenaries, the Grey Order is primarily comprised of human citizens of the Barony of Talador who once toiled in the dozens of mines in the area that have since been mostly exhausted. The miners had endured less than ideal living standards under the cruel rulership of Baron Lerep Hochstib, and once mining became a dying trade, there was little elsewhere they could go, and so naturally many adapted to a life of the sword, having already been in good physical condition.

For years, The Grey Order served as a mercenary group, deriving their name from the "ash and soot" from their long days of mining. They were typically used as armed escorts for wealthy merchants in and out of Talador, the few who existed during those times. After the death of Baron Lerep Hochstib and a semblance of freedom returned to Talador, the members of The Grey Order were officially conscripted into service within the imperial army, but maintained their own faction and leadership. Many within the group even became skilled engineers and sappers, often called upon for their expertise in tunneling under enemy defenses. The ranks of The Grey Order had dwindled off over the years, but most recently in 5114 they have seen a new flood of recruits sign up for their organization.

The influx of new members is easily explained as a result of the boom of business that has recently come to Talador with the discovery of blood marble in a once abandoned silver mine. The highly sought after material has reached elevated levels of demand all throughout the Turamzzyrian Empire, and Talador is finally exploring the wealth that comes with such a commodity. But fortune does not always bring the right kind of attention, and while many merchants and other traders have flocked to Talador in recent times, so too have bandits and other unsavory types, some even trying to illegally mine the blood marble themselves or explore other sealed-off mines currently untouched.

The ruling council of Talador has tasked the soldiers of The Grey Order to focus primarily on protection for their mines and workers, and who better to be assigned to such a job than a group whose origins began in that industry.

Their symbol is a grey pickaxe on a field of black and white."

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

Green Sisters

"Imaera, the Goddess of Nature and Autumn, is one of the most revered Arkati throughout the Turamzzyrian Empire, especially along the outlying areas of the provinces, where nature and land play more prominent roles in the daily lives of imperial citizens. The Green Sisters, as they have been come to be known as, traced their original foundation to the outskirts of Talador long before it had been annexed as part of the Turamzzyrian Empire in 5030. The group consisted of women healers and rangers, many who preferred to focus on the protection and nourishment of nature and less occupied by the struggles of the mortal coils of men. However, drastic measures eventually caused the Green Sisters to take a more active and tragically costly role during Jantalar's invasion of Talador in 5087.

The Green Sisters worked tirelessly to try to help run communications between the merchant council of Talador, the military officers of Jantalar, and Baron Lerep Hochstib, himself. The Green Sisters understood that the conflict was unavoidable, but wished to help mitigate the destruction done to the land in the surrounding area, as flesh was not the only victim of war, and so too would nature suffer. Unfortunately, because of their mission, the Green Sisters lost favor in the eyes of both sides as many Taladorians viewed them as traitors, while the Jantalarians often saw them as a pesky obstacle to overrun. For months, the Green Sisters' reputation of powerful earth magic kept them from being easily swept aside by Baron Hochstib's forces, and so the talks continued, and their pleas were heard, if for nothing else than to appease them. It was on the first morning of Autumn in the year 5087 when Baron Hochstib dispatched a host of Jantalarian soldiers accompanied by three dozen witch hunters, whose greatest ability was to help combat against magic users. At the time, the Green Sisters' primary residence was in a Temple of Imaera, just a half day's travel from the main gates of Talador's capital city. Historians recount that Baron Hochstib, in all of his cruelty, specifically waited until the first recognized day of autumn to strike the Green Sisters, finding no small pleasure in the irony of murdering Imaera worshippers at the change of the season. The witch hunters struck first, assaulted the Temple of Imaera and its surroundings with massive destructive spells, then augmented the abilities of the Jantalarian soldiers, effectively squashing any magical counterattack the Green Sisters could hope to mount. The battle was over quickly, and is known today as the Harvest of Blood, one of the last conflicts before Baron Hochstib officially invaded Talador and occupied it.

The remaining Green Sisters who had escaped the massacre, or had not been present when it occurred, shifted their focus away from trying to mediate, and instead provided what services they could to the Taladorian forces, often in the form of their healing arts. Their efforts were short lived, because Talador lacked the fighting force to properly stand up against the Jantalarian might. In addition, it is said that many within the merchant council of Talador, even the ceremonious Baron Donnebrugh himself, struck a secret deal to allow Baron Hochstib's abrupt victory.

After the dust of the war settled, and Talador was firmly in the grasp of Jantalarian control, the Green Sisters found themselves returning to their work, despite their losses, and trying to find some level of comfort and worship in the new rulership. At that time, a renowned healer referred to as the Earth Queen, took great measures among the surviving Green Sisters to refocus their order onto the land and the protection of nature, to move beyond the war and not lose their sight of Imaera's true nature. It was the Earth Queen's logic that the wars and lives of men would rise and fall, but the laws of nature needed to be protected to ensure the cycle continued. Because of the realignment of their faith and purpose, the Green Sisters branched out, almost a third of their surviving members finding new residence in Oire. They became heavily involved in erecting new shrines and temples to Imaera where their people hold the Goddess of Nature in high regard, praying and reflecting on her in their daily lives. But the Green Sisters still began to rebuild in Talador, seeing the war-torn land not as a blemish to avoid, but instead as a wound to heal. In modern day Talador, great revelry occurs in the month of Imaerasta where locals celebrate the marriage of Imaera and Eonak with an event called the Festival of the Land's Bounty. For days, the citizens of Talador enjoy feasting, singing, dancing, and handfasting. These ceremonies are commonplace during these annual events.

Their symbol is of a green leaf on a field of gold."

— Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire

References

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