Vornavis

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The Barony of Vornavis is a province in the Turamzzyrian Empire known for two cities: Vornavis itself and Solhaven, which is located adjacent to the walls of Vornavis. Access to the City of Vornavis is strictly controlled, with guards controlling who may and who may not enter the gates. Usually, only citizens are allowed into the city. Vornavis is known for its tolerance toward the non-human races, which has caused some issues with the much less tolerable Barony of Jantalar. The baron of Vornavis from at least 5095 to 5107, was Dunrith Malwind.

History

Dwarves settled in the area first in the year 3725, having found opal-laden cliffs along the eastern end of what is now Solhaven Bay. Fifty years later (3775), the community established within the caverns near these cliffs was completely wiped out, the only thing remaining of the population being dwarven limbs and blood. This event is why the nearby falls are called the Cascade of Tears.

Roughly 200 years later, in 3961, an elven family, called Wildwood, settles on an island in the middle of the Cairnfang River, close to where modern Solhaven is. Due to increasing attacks by humanoids, the family, among with many others that were attracted by the island's relative safety, begin constructing a castle and battlements.

The Wildwood island, in 4168, is completely destroyed by continuous magical blasts. The city was actively protected by magicians while less magical inhabitants fled before the protections are overwhelmed. The survivors built a makeshift fort atop the cliffs on the southern side of the Cairnfang River.

In 4410, the fishing town established there is wiped out in a single night. In fact, in each of the following three years, the rebuilt town is wiped out mysteriously. Stories by the survivors allow listeners to piece together the possibility that the opal-flecked beaches are a Kraken breeding ground. The sealed dwarven caverns are discovered and the dwarves are asked about the incident that occured in 3775. It is, at this time, that the humans learn that the nearby waterfall is called the Cascade of Tears and that the cliffs are called "vorn ahvis". The cliff-top fortress takes on this name, and to remove the kraken problem, the denzens of Vornavis begin removing the sand from the opal-flecked beaches, which takes several decades. The last of the sand is removed in 4476, when they begin to cover the cliffs in granite to prevent the beach from reforming again. It isn't until 4596 that the beaches are built on, again. The history of the land below Vornavis does not encourage the growth of the community, but the need for growth of the port is recognized. Vornavis constructs an extensive wooden platform off the removed beach, over the rocks and tidal pools, and into Solhaven Bay.

In 4680, the Mercantylers' Guild forms. The guild convinces the ruler of Vornavis to give the port town "free" status, and the ruler requests membership from Emperor Baeronnar II a year later. The paperwork taken to the emperor names the port as "Solhaven." The free port of Solhaven and the city of Vornavis are accepted into the Empire.

In 5096, Jantalar declares war on the Barony of Vornavis. This war is not settled until the death of Baron Lerep Hochstib.

Rumors and Legends

There is evidence that the area of Stoneharrow Swale used to be a Giantkin royal city, as evidenced by a regal-looking giantman bust wearing a crown found within the dwarven caverns beneath Tor Aganrahk. The bust possessed the name, Telimnar.

Crest

  • a single ivory swan facing right on a field of emerald

"One Vornavian myth states that after the destruction of Wildwood Island, a ragged band of survivors swam the treacherous currents of the Cairnfang in the depths of night. The fell magics that ravaged the isle were such that the river seemed to turn back upon itself, and each time that they thought they had made it to the other side, they instead found themselves on the shores of the island once again. For six nights and five days, this cycle repeated itself. They grew wild with hunger, and used only the river water to slake their thirst, for they dared not set foot upon the isle for long. On the dawn of the sixth day, one of the survivors, a young servant named Oren Malwind cried out when he saw a white swan in the distant waters. Its feathers glowed like crystal quills in the morning sunlight. At first he believed the bird to be an illusion brought on by hunger and thirst, but others saw the creature too, and they gave one last ragged attempt to escape the isle by following the bird.

It did not lead them astray. The bird kept always just a few spans ahead of the refugees, until they approached a thankfully unfamiliar shore. Without taking flight, the bird waddled up onto the emerald green banks of the Cairnfang and vanished in a wash of golden light. The years passed, and the refugees thrived on the fertile shores of what would be called Solhaven Bay. None among them ever forgot the regal swan that had saved them, least of all young Oren Malwind, who grew to become a leader among the settlers. He shared the tale with his son, and then his grandson, and the tale grew into myth as the Malwind line rose in power over all of Vornavis, never forgetting the messenger that had delivered their progenitor to freedom.

The swan became their crest, framed by the green of the Cairnfang bank that had been Oren's salvation."

— Culoney of Hendor, The Crests of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Geography

"Vornavis is a coastal province on the west coast of the Empire. It has wonderfully warm and sunny summers and temperate winters for such a northern province. The people tend to be more tolerant of humanoids than most other provinces, a position which has caused friction between Vornavis and her neighbor to the north, Jantalar.

The walled city of Vornavis is the capital of the territory. It is located on the western coast of the province, and overlooks the city of Solhaven and Solhaven Bay. Vornavis supports a large garrison, and is well situated and protected from siege.

The vineyards of Vornavis are lush and bountiful, and the wines of the region are in demand throughout the Empire. The two most popular wines are the dark Vornavis mourverde and the pale Vornavis chardonnay."

Imports - Coal, iron, and gems.
Exports - Ships, wood, wine, oil, silk, and fish.

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

Solhaven

For more information, see Solhaven.

"The city of Solhaven is one of the only free ports within the Turamzzyrian Empire, and is known for its open accessibility to all manner of tradesmen and merchants. Set along the coast of Solhaven Bay, the large port is a regular recipient of trade ships and travelers from distant regions, even the dwarven land known as Teras Isle. It was largely run by the Mercantyler's Guild, with only minimal guidance and oversight from Vornavis, until the assassination of Empress Mynal'lyanna Anodheles took place within the city in 5103. As a result, the free port status was revoked.

In 5107, Emperor Aurmont Anodheles renewed Solhaven's free port status after an investigation into the former Empress' death revealed no due negligence came from the city. The Emperor firmly stated in his decree, however, that there be a strict edict of change. Now, the Mercantyler's Guild has far less control over Solhaven, having to deal with the baronial beaucracy and guardsmen patrolling the streets. Further, under the order of Baron Malwind, Vornavis has established a naval presence within Solhaven Bay, offering protection and inspection of cargo and its port.

The free port status of Solhaven has resulted in a long term increase in the city's trade traffic, greatly enhancing both Imperial and Baronial income."

— A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire
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