Dragach

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Dragach is a barony of the Turamzzyrian Empire.

Crest

  • a red bighorn ram facing right before white mountains on a green field

Nearly synonymous with Dragach is the bighorn ram, the beast that gave Krinklehorn its name and fearlessly roams the peaks of the Dragonspine that envelops the barony. Often the banner decorated with the crest is trimmed in tartan, while a black banner variant is hoisted on the occasion of the death of a member of the McGarry ruling clan. Traditionally, once a year Dragach sent a bighorn ram to the court of Tamzyrr as a symbol of loyalty, where a McGarry clansmen slaughtered the creature and ritually presented its severed head as a gift. In recent times however, some McGarry barons have opted to save the ram and present a pair of golden ram horns instead.

— Culoney of Hendor, The Crests of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Geography

Dragach is a mountainous region, harsh and extreme. The highland people living here are fierce, having adapted to the harsh environment, and they have a healthy respect for nature and a hearty appetite for life. In winter, travel virtually ceases as fierce blizzards and ice storms plague every road and pass. Humanoids and wild barbarians still dwell in tribes in the great mountains of Dragach, but their numbers are much diminished from the past. Dragach and the DragonSpine mountains serve as a natural barrier against the Elven Nations to the east.

Connedale is a town that sprung up in a valley between two vast arms of the DragonSpine mountains. The town serves as a way station at the northern end of MacGregor's pass, providing supplies and a base camp for those traveling south into the DragonSpine, and serving as a haven and solace for those traveling north returning from that treacherous range. It is simultaneously a place of hope for travel ahead, and a place of woe for fallen comrades.

Krinklehorn is a town that has sprung up in a valley in the DragonSpine range, at the southern end of MacGregor's pass. Krinklehorn is a small city, well defended and very orderly. It has become home to many travelers who, upon seeing the daunting DragonSpine, halted their northern travels here.

The town was named for a great bighorn ram that confounded hunters in the region for nearly a decade. The immense sheep was finally taken by a local hunter by the name of Ewen MacIntyre, but the huntsman's glory lasted less than a fortnight before he fell to his death on a treacherous mountain path. Locals claim that MacIntyre fell to the ghost of the wily Krinklehorn, and from time to time it is reported that the ram's ghost has been spotted in the mountains near MacGregor's Pass. Krinklehorn's bust is mounted in the city's moot hall in honor of both the great ram and the hunter.

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

Customs

The powerful winds that whistle through Connedale are the source of much superstition. Roaring gales are regarded as being hungry and thirsty, and in order to pacify them it is common to throw out a handful of flour or meal, followed by a bowl of water or milk. Wishes are whispered to the west wind, and a soft breeze in summer means good news is sure to follow.

Lanark Falls near Connedale is best known as a pilgrimage site for those seeking a glimpse of their future. Legend has it that he who wraps himself in the skin of red deer slain by his own hand and is laid down alone at the foot of the falls will hear his future in the sound of the waters.

Every Ivastaen in Krinklehorn a great battle between Winter and Summer is acted out by the men of the region. The leader of one company dresses in a long robe trimmed with fur and a tall white hat. He is armed with a stick of ironwood and a shield of fleece stretched over a metal frame. The men following him all wear white fur vests and sing the praises of Winter. The opposing company, distinguished by their short coats tied with colorful ribbons, is led by a man in a green robe garlanded with flowers who carries a leafy branch of hazel and a buckler of woven grass. As a group they all parade to a field outside the town where the battle is staged. The men of Winter fling dry brush at their opponents, while the hordes of Summer return fire with ferns and small flowers. After much fun and mock-warfare, the victorious Summer leader is carried by his supporters to the town center, where feasting, drinking, and assorted games take place over the next several days.

— A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

Organizations

Tornak's Irregulars

Tornak's Irregulars are born and bred in the cold valleys of Krinklehorn, tucked away near the southern base of the DragonSpine Mountains in the Barony of Dragach. Some time ago, Baron Farneth McGarry's life was put in danger on a hunting expedition when he suffered a fall, disappearing into a cavern where he broke a leg and arm, leaving him a potential victim to a cave bear awoken nearby. A young woman, known as Selgrid, who grew up as a trapper for her family, overheard the commotion of the imperial soldiers seeking to rescue their Lord, and she rushed in to drop herself down into the pit, where she single handedly defeated the bear, tended to the Baron's wounds, and helped to free him from the pit. Because of Selgrid's bravery, Baron McGarry appointed her as commander of a new provincial army within the Barony, named Tornak's Irregulars. The unit's fealty is to House McGarry and the Sun Throne, but their primary focus is the safety of the region near the mountains, protecting the Barony and its people from barbarians, monsters, ice creatures, and any wild elves from the Wyrdeep Forest.

Led by now Commander Selgrid Tornak, a demure and soft spoken woman until she enters battle, the Irregulars are a heavy cavalry unit that has seen service in many skirmishes and battles along the low hills and cold lands of Dragach, fighting back beasts and barbarians alike. Known for their tenacity and ferocity in battle and their habit of sounding hundreds of warhorns made from curled horns of mature mountain sheep throughout their charge, these men and women are excellent horsemen and fiercely loyal to their commander, of whom it has been said can drink any of her troops under the table. Many times, enemy lines have broken solely from the sound of those warhorns due to the reputation this unit brings with it to the battlefield.

This unit's battle standard is crossed golden lances beneath a white horse head on a field of scarlet. On a side note, Selgrid Tornak has thrice been chosen for knighthood for bravery on the field of battle and she has declined, respectfully, all three times, citing her aversion to spurs, believing them cruel to horses.

Their symbol is of a red bear on a field of white and green.

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

Keepers of the Golden Key

In Connedale, in the Barony of Dragach, there exists a large Temple of Lorminstra nestled among the mountainous valleys of the harsh, cold region. Because of the proximity to the Dragonspine Mountains, the Temple faces survivable conditions in the summers and chilling dangers in the winter. But it is in this place of worship, and almost eternal cold, that the Keepers of the Golden Key feel at home, ever surrounded by the natural display of the Goddess of Winter.

The Keepers of the Golden Key are a solemn group of scholars, healers, and clerics, who pride themselves on their vast religious and philosophical knowledge and are ever willing to offer their restorative arts to travelers to and from the DragonSpine Mountains. Connedale is a waystation for those braving the dangers and cold of the DragonSpine mountains, and more often than not, those adventurers never return from their journey. The Keepers of the Golden Key hold regular sessions both in their Temple and at a smaller church within the city itself.

Many Dragach citizens visit the Keepers when praying for those traveling into the mountains or even asking for prayers on their behalf to help Lorminstra guide their souls home if they are lost or never return. It is because of this that many of the members of the Keepers of the Golden Key are treated with high regard and praise, as they are seen as not only healers and counselors of the flesh and soul, but also as having a direct line to the Goddess of Death and Rebirth, so that even if their loved ones perish, there is some hope that their souls will find peace.

Every year in Connedale on the Eve of the Reunion, the Keepers of the Golden Key host an all day and night Ceremony of Remembrance to honor the lives of lost loved ones. Each night during this ceremony, when the veil is said to be weakest before the Ebon Gate, the Keepers perform a great commune to the Arkati Lorminstra, and if the Goddess shows favor upon the region, then many spirits of the dead will wander down from the mountains, returning only for the night to share tales and be with their families once more.

Their symbol is of a golden key before grey mountains on a field of black.

— Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Nonhumans

Arctic titans

Black airships continue to pour forth from unknown locations along the DragonSpine mountains, like a steady stream of black smoke. Scouts along Krinklehorn have reported that the ships break up into fleets, some moving west, while others press south. Dragach has received no assistance from the Hall of Mages, but Baron Firmin McGarry has created a temporary alliance with the hulking arctic titans of a large icy stronghold near Connedale. The arctic titans have been able to provide significant defense by hurling boulders at the airships as they pass. In addition, rangers from the Guardians of Sunfist have ascended into the DragonSpines, searching for the source of where these airships may be being constructed.

— War report, Cross Into Shadows, 5114
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