Highmount

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Highmount is a barony of the Turamzzyrian Empire.

Crest

  • a white bear in manacles facing left on a field of red

"The present crest of the Barony of Highmount dates back to the second conquest of its eastern lands over the T'Kirem giantmen tribe, the prior inhabitants of the area. The bear being a symbol of that tribe and a symbol of strength, the crest was designed to represent the victory of the empire, to honor its fallen and subjugated foe, and the blood spilt in the process. Since the success corresponded with the recapture of the fortress-city of Kragsfell, the crest when seen on a flag is often referred to as the Kragsfell Banner."

— Culoney of Hendor, The Crests of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Geography

"Highmount is bordered to the east by high, largely impassable mountains. The denizens of the mountains sometimes raid smaller towns and merchant caravans, making travel in the region dangerous. The remainder of the territory is forested, with the huge Lake Maelshey at the center.

Highmount is a barony of contrasting terrain, and the people exhibit similar contrasts. The lowlands are heavily forested and many of the people live in small isolated logging communities. These people tend to stick mostly to themselves and many jokes are made about the hermits of Highmount. The residents of Maelligh and the surrounding areas tend to be friendly and open. Many of them enjoy a comfortable lifestyle on the shores of Lake Maelshey, supported by the bounty of both the waters and the woods. The people who live in the mountains and the city of Kragsfell tend to be gruff, hardworking types.

Maelligh is a large city on the banks of Lake Maelshey. The lake provides a way of life for most of the people in the city. The fishing industry is booming, and a boat ride across the lake has become preferable to navigating the surrounding forest.

Kragsfell was founded in 4314 as an Imperial outpost marking the new borders of the Empire. The citadel was sacked and all but destroyed by barbarian giantmen in 4405, and rebuilt in 4451. The area has become secure under Empire rule and is now a thriving city. Located in a mountainous region surrounded by forests, the city hosts mostly hardy woodsmen and stoneworkers.

Kragsfell is not only known for the raw gems and stone produced from the surrounding mountains, but also for the artistry of the local stoneworkers. Much of the marble in the Imperial palace was imported from Highmount and statuary from Kragsfell is found in many a Turamzzyrian noble's home or garden. The mountain people tend to worship Eonak and Kragsfell contains a large, beautiful temple in his honor. The more devout among the citizens stop by there daily to say a few prayers on their way to or from work. Outsiders often look upon the Kragsfell residents as being humorless and stodgy, nearly as dour as dwarves, yet the private homes of the city are some of the most beautiful found anywhere in the Empire, with intricate wood and stone carvings gracing even the most modest of residences."

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

Customs

"Boating on Lake Maelshey is not only a way to make a living via fishing and providing transportation, but pleasure boating has become a sophisticated hobby. Even those of the lowest classes usually manage to find a way to acquire an old rowboat. Boat builders and owners try to outdo each other with elaborate designs; some of them so odd and impractical that the boats are barely seaworthy. The annual Maelshey Regatta in Maelligh is known throughout the Empire and is the largest festival held in Highmount each year.

Nutting season brings with it festivities of all kinds. Large parties of men and boys go out nutting, then return to distribute the bounty equally among all those gathered. For the rest of the day, games are played using nuts as fines and forfeits. The evening is spent dancing to flutes and fiddles playing a variety of traditional tunes."

— A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

Nutting festival

You hear the sound of laughter and whispering just behind you. The voice of a young maiden calls out, "How about this dress for the nutting festival?" She is answered by murmurs of approval from her friends. There is more giggling, and the sound of a brush sliding through long hair. The girls sing softly as they ready themselves, overlapping one another in a simple round that grows quieter and quieter before fading out altogether.

You hear a sudden gasp, then cheers erupt from all sides, though no source is visible. A deep voice booms out, "And now, the challenger!" There are more cheers, then the sound of a ball rolling along the ground and clicking against two others before coming to a halt. Triumphant shouts break out on one side, and good-natured grumbling on the other. The deep voice shouts, "Our new champion!" and the cheers grow loud before fading back into silence.

Fiddle music plays from somewhere very nearby, echoing as though inside a long room with a high ceiling. A flute joins in, and a large crowd claps along with the beat. After a short introduction, you hear the sound of many pairs of feet dancing about in time to the music. Snatches of conversation float in through the pauses, and laughter carries through like a minor theme. The tune changes, you hear a few loud hurrahs, then it all fades away.

This time you hear the flute most clearly, though the fiddle is still playing somewhere off to your left. The musician runs through a tricky passage, then pauses for a moment. You hear running feet approach, a soft giggle, then the sound of a daring kiss being delivered to the musician's cheek. The feet run off, the musician chuckles, and the playing resumes. The sound of the festivities grows louder and louder, then disappears, leaving only the sound of the flute. That plays on for a few more beats, then itself fades away into nothing more than memory.

— Loresong: an amber-inlaid engraved silver flute

Religion

"In the provinces with the lower population density, where rural communities are prevalent, the gods of field and fertility have increased importance. From Highmount up through the upper half of the Kannalan Crescent, Imaera and Oleani have increased importance, as do Eonak and Phoen, courtesy of being their spouses. Some claim of the strength of Imaera worship in Highmount that it is a legacy of sylvan migration thousands of years ago which resulted in the goddess taking a special attention to the region. Of particular note are the surviving groves of the old forests that still play setting for old rituals despite the insistence by the Church to eliminate them."

— Worship in the Turamzzyrian Empire

Organizations

Dragoons of Dragonspine

"Along the base and foothills of the DragonSpine Mountains, in the year 4883, several gem and ore mines were discovered as imperial forces pushed back monstrous hordes and expanded the Empire's territory. The city of Kragsfell in the Barony of Highmount saw increased business and trade because of these mines, and there quickly became work-a-plenty for woodsmen and stoneworkers. In order to help protect their financial interests in the mines along the lowlands, the Barony of Highmount created a specific branch of cavalry units called the Dragoons of DragonSpine, whose sole purpose was to patrol the range of the mountains, scouting and defending against T'Kirem giantmen, orcs, and goblins, and to prevent any incursions of elves.

The members of this unit are trained in martial combat and highly skilled when fighting on horseback or sometimes even yak and mules. Many of them are also skilled in archery and carry their own messenger birds to quickly dispatch warnings or information to officers and various outposts around Highmount. They are fierce in combat and know the wilds and region around the base of the DragonSpines better than any other soldiers or units in the area. The Dragoons are a source of pride for many citizens of Highmount, and each year a number of knights and decorated officers travel to Immuron to partake in the annual tournament named, "The Feat at Rallick's Field."

Their symbol is a red horse before grey mountains on a field of white."

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