Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

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Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

Map of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Contents

The human cultures are as diverse as those of any other race, though perhaps they fall more completely along geographical and political lines than any other. While all human groups are agrarian in nature, many are known for specialization in various crafts (shipbuilding, weaving, carving, scrivening, armoring and weaponsmithing, gemcutting, mining, woodcutting, etc.) In general, the resources available in each location played a large part in each culture's specialization.

The following guide should provide invaluable to the casual traveller, and it is my hope that the reader will come away from this text with a taste for each region's unique flavor.

Deinirius Antroydes
Sage, M. H. S., of the Lost Tower
Nydds
10, 16, CE 5102

The Imperial Territories

Aldora

Aldora is dominated by the Gattrof mountains, a wide, low range which occupies the eastern half of the Duchy. The west of the Duchy is inhospitable hills, broken by an occasional oasis-like valley, the largest of which is the Valley of Hourouth. Aldora is land-locked.

Aldora has very little farm land, but the hilly terrain provides exceptional grazing for the mountain goats and sheep that are abundant there. The storms that sweep up from the southwest have made the hills rocky and barren, while the protected valleys flourish and produce some rare plant life. The climate is hot and harsh.

Major Cities and Towns

Elstreth is situated in the Valley of Hourouth between the Gattrof mountains to the east, and a range of hills to the west. It is the garden spot of Aldora, and is rich compared to the rest of the Duchy. Elstreth has high walls and strong fortifications. Miles of shanties have sprung up outside the walls, full of people making their living on the vast amount of trade coming through the Duchy's hub. Elstreth also hosts a satellite college of the Hall of Mages in Tamzyrr.
The House of the Paladin, a temple built in honor of Voln, was founded in Elstreth as Voln's faithful surged in the face of numerous conflicts with the Horned Cabal. Unlike many of the more influential families within the Empire, the Chandrennins, led by the aging Duke Bannon Chandrennin, are devout followers of Voln. Here, more than any other of the southern territories, ordlyn and hathlyn are considered equals, or nearly so, to the human majority, as Voln's brotherhood finds worth in any who would take their endless cause against the undead.

Resources

Weaving houses are found throughout Aldora, and the Duchy is well known for its skilled crafters of brocade cloth. Dyes for the cloth are imported from the Duchy's coastal neighbors, and the cloths are traded throughout the Empire, bringing much needed iron in return.

Aldora is famed for its magnificent wineries, as the Duchy is perfect for grape-growing. The region has become most renown for its riesling and champagne.

Exports Imports
Meats Silks
Cotton Iron
Hides Produce
Gems Grain
Silver Dyes
Wool
Rare Herbs
Coal
Cloth
Perfumes
Wine

Local Lore and Customs

As well as the traditional methods of empathy and herbal remedy, some of the healers of Aldora practice an art called stone-tending to care for the sick. This complex belief holds that illnesses are caused by a division between the waters and the airs in a person's body, and that proper application of aspects of the earth can reunite these two forces. A stone-tender will give instructions as to how certain gems must be placed on a person's body and for what periods of time to relieve the illness. The most expensive stone-tenders use emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds, while less skilled (and affluent) stone-tenders treat illnesses with quartz, peridot, and spinels and tourmalines of various hues.

Allace

Allace is a smaller territory than most of those in the Empire, but is strategically significant, as it comprises a vast expanse of coastline, supporting many major ports and a very lucrative fishing industry. The shoreline faces northwest, meaning that the strong storms that sweep up the coastline usually lose much of their power before they reach Allace. Estoria also serves as a natural buffer for Allace. The terrain is largely hilly, with the major city Ubl being located on a massive delta. The climate is moderate.

Major Towns and Cities

Ubl is a port city, though not as large as Tamzyrr or Fairport to the north. The people of the city are friendly and easy-going. The military presence there is just enough to defend the city and patrol the surrounding wilds. The people exhibit a love of nature and a fondness for shoreline dwellings.

Resources

The sea's bounty is the focus of trade in Allace, from fish, to lamp oil, to fine dyes extracted from mollusks.

The wines of Allace are quite good, and the most popular exports include the dry, plummy Allace syrah and the golden Allace muscat.

Exports Imports
Fish Wood
Ships Grain
Produce Silver
Dyes Hides

Local Lore and Customs

In 5020, two thousand men from Ubl died at the mountain of Skyreach in a terrible battle against the Horned Cabal. Word of the terrible defeat took only two hours to return home, leaving the city heartstruck and grieving for its loss. Allace has ever after been particularly wary of the Horned Cabal. On the Eve of the Reunion, the citizens of Allace honor the dead of Skyreach by arming and guarding their cities throughout the night as if they were besieged, and they thank the dead for protecting them and promise that their sacrifice will never be in vain.

In Allace, people with eyes of a particular shade of clear, bright sky-blue are said to have Niima's Eyes. Women and girls with Niima's Eyes are often found aboard ships that set sail from Allace, for they say in Allace that Charl will not harm a woman who reminds him of his daughter.

Visitors to the city of Ubl often remark upon the incredible fondness that the Ublites have for their pets and upon the wide variety of pets kept in the city. Rangers visiting Ubl feel particularly at home, for every courtesy is extended to a ranger's companion. The Ublites feel that a person without a pet is not properly balancing the impulses of nature with the impulses of civilization, and a newly born baby is presented with its first pet on the seventh day after its birth. The character of the animal, whatever it might be, is said to shape the child's personality forever.

Bourth

Bourth is covered with lush woodlands, including the vast Wyrdeep Forest in the northeast, and veined with plentiful, free-flowing rivers and streams. This provides for a most lucrative wood trade. Bourth has grown the reputation for generating the finest wood in the Empire, and also produces the most, supplying the shipwrights of Tamzyrr with their much-needed timber. Beyond the Wyrdeep Forest, to the north and east, the region is protected by the great DragonSpine mountain range.

Major Towns and Cities

Named for the baron who built this stronghold on the edge of the vast Wyrdeep Forest, Gallardshold boasts a stout military garrison to protect the woodcutters, trappers, and huntsmen who comprise the majority of its populace. The recent renewal of racial antipathy within the Turamzzyrian Empire has not significantly affected Gallardshold, and the largely independent elven communities within the Wyrdeep are on good, though reserved, terms with their baron. After centuries of cycling conflict and peace, Gallardshold has gained some aspects of elven culture and lore, and tales of elven witches and warlocks in the surrounding woods are common folklore when regaling the battles that captured this region of Bourth.
The city of Krestle was founded in 4332 near the site of the destroyed Kedshold, a surviving city from the Kannalan Empire. Krestle is a center of commerce for the woodsmen who make their trade in Gallardshold. It is a hub of travel and known as a place where one can contract for goods and services cheaply. The people are open to strangers, although largely intolerant of humanoids, due to the region's bloody past.
The first of Voln's monasteries was founded not far from this city over a millennium ago by a giantman manor lord, Fasthr K'Tafali's. While not as large as the brotherhoods in Nydds and Elstreth, this monastery is still active in the region, and Voln's pilgrims often come here to walk the battlefield where their patron was first revealed.
Deep and foreboding, the Wyrdeep Forest is the greatest wood within the Turamzzyrian Empire. While the Wyrdeep Forest is claimed by the Barony of Bourth, only the fringes of the forest are settled. Elven, sylvan, and half-elven refugees fled into the forest centuries ago to avoid oppressive imperial edicts, and still have villages hidden within the strange wood, though even they are unwilling to risk the mysterious and dangerous depths of the forest. Disappearances among the woodland communities are most often attributed to legends of fey magic in the wood itself, immortal faeriekin come to steal innocents for their wretched amusement, or the Wyrdeep Huntsman, a regional bogeyman of sorts.

Resources

Exports Imports
Wood Grain
Fish Iron
Gold Coal
Marble Horses
Hides Wine
Oil

Local Lore and Customs

Local lore holds that the Wyrdeep Huntsman was once a great ranger whose heart was twisted by the fey forest. Now but a shade, the Huntsman haunts the Wyrdeep with his pack of direwolves, preying on those who wander too far from the guarded villages. Some claim that even the ghostly Huntsman fears entering the heart of the forest and risking the dread denizens therein.

Some of the citizens of Gallardshold wear either a single hawk feather braided into the right side of their hair or a white leather bracelet on their left wrist. The display of the feather indicates that the person feels that the elves of the Wyrdeep should be exempt from Chaston's Edict, while the display of the bracelet indicates that the person supports Chaston's Edict in the case of the elves. The tension between supporters of the edict and supporters of the elves is subtle but distinct, though it has rarely erupted into violence. As long as no humans, braceleted or feathered, bring harm to the elves when they trade, the elves are largely uncaring regarding the humans' beliefs.

Chastonia

Chastonia is bordered by low mountains to the west, which block out the severe storms that move in from the coast. The moderate climate makes for many large farms and vineyards. The southern borders of Chastonia are often raided, making that area less settled than most of the rest of the Empire.

Major Towns and Cities

The Swale is a center for trade, as many of the regional trade routes intersect at the great caravan hub in this city. Though The Swale is not famous for any particular product, almost anything wanted can be found here. The people in The Swale are suspicious of strangers because so many traders make their way through the city, many with ill intentions. The Swale also hosts a satellite college of the Hall of Mages in Tamzyrr.
Numerous trading and caravan companies are based in The Swale, including the powerful Company of the Three Maidens and the Ulterlain Traders.
Toullaire was once a center for magic and prominent Mage Households within the Empire. Toullaire was utterly destroyed in 4593 in a magical catastrophe, creating the magically-ravaged wasteland known as Ba'Lathon. The destruction of Toullaire supported the Empire adopting a more rigid stance regarding arcane instruction.

Resources

Chastonia produces considerable amounts of food, and fair quality wine. Though land-locked, Chastonia enjoys frequent trade with Selanthia. Due to the heavy trade traffic in this duchy, Chastonia has a great number of wagon and wheelwrights to build and repair caravan wagons.

The most prominent Chastonian wines include Chastonia clarets and a rosy Chastonia blush.

Exports Imports
Meats Wood
Cotton Iron
Hides Gems
Wine Coal
Produce
Grain
Cloth

Local Lore and Customs

The inhabitants of Chastonia have been known to keep a bit of dirt inside a small pouch around their necks or to fasten some turf to their hatbands in order to protect themselves from magic and possession. Similarly, it is common to hold a small handful of earth to one's forehead when swearing an oath.

A curious yearly custom known as "lifting" is followed by the peasantry of this region, wherein a person sitting on a chair or stool is lifted from the ground three times in succession. In the morning of the Festival of Oleani the men lift the women, and in the evening the women lift the men. The person being lifted is expected to give a few silvers to all those who exalt him in the name of good luck.

Dragach

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.

Major Towns and Cities

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.

Resources

Exports Imports
Iron Grain
Gold Oil
Silver Fish
Gems Salt
Stone Hides
Medicine

Local Lore and 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.

Estoria

Estoria is a large peninsula that juts out from the main continent. It has wet, hot summers and cold, bitter winters. The largest storms of record have swept across Estoria. It has a great deal of coastline, and is home to fishers and whalers.

Major Towns and Cities =

Idolone is a major port for the Empire. It is situated on the north-facing bank of the peninsula that comprises most of Estoria. Idolone is a trade center and is open to ships from all ports. However, non-humans are regarded with suspicion, and have to go farther to prove their trustworthiness than humans. For this reason, there are more human merchants and travelers utilizing the facilities than non-humans.

Resources

Estoria relies on the seas for most needs. Fishing and whaling industries provide food enough for the Earldom as well as the major exports: food, lamp oil, and dyes from shellfish. Inland farms dot the landscape as well.

The small inland farms of Estoria barely manage to produce a rich red burgundy wine, battling wet summers and cold winters.

Exports Imports
Fish Iron
Oil Wine
Ships Wood
Dyes Hides
Pottery Cotton
Glassware

Local Lore and Customs

A slender, craggy rock called The Antler marks the western edge of the beaches near Idolone. When sea winds are strong, a haunting wail comes from the rock, and local legend holds that it is the spirits of the drowned wailing. Sailors claim that a tempest is on the way if one sees a sea-stallion galloping around the rocky spire.

It is common folklore in Estoria that a dose of seawater taken every morning immediately after getting out of bed, from childhood onward, will ensure a long life. Bunches of seaweed are gathered to hang in the kitchen, where they serve to keep evil spirits at bay. Those who suffer from nervous complaints are advised to take nine successive plunges in the sea in one morning.

Highmount

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.

Major Towns and Cities

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.

Resources

Exports Imports
Marble Oil
Granite Coal
Wood Wine
Hides Cheese
Iron Grain
Gems Produce
Gold
Silver

Local Lore and 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.

Honneland

Honneland, nestled between low mountain ranges to the north and south, enjoys a warm climate. Winters are mild, and rain is frequent, though rarely torrential. Crosswinds often blow from west to east across the Earldom, making for dust storms, gales, and occasional tornadoes.

For centuries, Honneland was an imperial borderland, and the towns and culture of this earldom reflect their martial past. With the borders distant, the primary source of high adventure lies within the treacherous Wizardwaste, for those brave or foolish enough to enter. The knights of this realm have taken a fancy to great tournaments and festivals to gain glory and fame. With Kezmon Isle now but a memory, the flower of extravagant romantic chivalry has bloomed brightly in Honneland, rivalling the great Duchy of Selanthia.

Major Towns and Cities

Named in honor of the legendary Emperor Immuros, Immuron is a well-fortified city that can act in times of war as a military stronghold. It was built upon the site of the ill-fated city of Gor'nustre, and proudly served for centuries as the outermost defense of the Empire. The people are orderly and peaceful, with the peace assured by the overt military presence of the Silver Shields, Immuron's city guard. Though little conflict reaches this far into the Empire today, Immuron still serves as the example of a fortified city.

Resources

Farming and tending livestock are prominent in Honneland, and with its rolling hills and vast prarie, peaceful Honneland is the breadbasket of the Empire. The earldom has a great supply of wild horses that is famed within the Empire. Honneland also has plentiful silver mines in the low mountains.

Exports Imports
Silver Wood
Produce Gems
Grain Oil
Iron Hides
Livestock Silk
Marble Wine

Local Lore and Customs

Immuron's famed Silver Well is said to grant wishes. Long ago, a young woman wanted nothing more than to have her father, an Imperial soldier, return home to take part in her wedding. One day at dawn when she was drawing water from the well, a deer stepped out from the trees and instructed her to descend into the well, fill her mouth with water, then walk once around Imaera's temple without losing a drop. She did so, and the very next day her father returned, alive and well. Ever since that time, young men and women have done the same in hopes that their wishes will also come true.

Jantalar

Jantalar is a hilly region with interspersed fertile plains and large, fast-flowing rivers. It is bordered on the west by the mountains of Mestanir, now a subjugated territory and considered part of Jantalar. To the north, Jantalar has also taken over Talador. Due to the position of Jantalar, with humanoid threats on the northern and eastern borders, there is a strong military presence and an unusual fervor in the application of Chaston's edicts.

Jantalar is a recently expanding territory in the Empire. The expansion of Jantalar has now consumed two other territories, Talador and Mestanir, and now threatens Vornavis and the wilds to the northwest including Wehnimer's Landing. The geographical position of Jantalar, combined with the obvious military effectiveness of the army garrisoned there, makes Jantalar a natural seat for the Northern Sentinel.

Major Towns and Cities

Jantalar was originally a northern outpost of the Empire built in 4735, to guard the Empire from incursions by the barbarians and humanoids from the north. With large forests to the north and east, Jantalar guards very fertile plains to the south, and quickly grew into a major city and the capital of the barony now known as Jantalar.

Resources

Jantalarian woodworkers are exceptionally skilled in their trade, and their fine furniture and decorative craftsmanship are in demand throughout the Empire. While Jantalar has plentiful forests of its own, non-indigenous woods are imported by the craftsmen, giving the woodworkers a wide range of styles and flavors for their craft.

Exports Imports
Grain Coal
Produce Marble
Wood Wine
Livestock Gems
Wood

Local Lore and Customs

About four miles from Jantalar is a large white stone, called Emil's Lamb by the locals. It is said to have fallen from the sky, and the powder formed by scraping it with a knife is said to be most efficacious in curing rabies and gout.

The custom of Cockle Court is still followed in some of the villages of this region. This elaborate mock trial is performed to expose quarrelling spouses and serve as a warning to the young. A judge and jury are appointed, along with counsel for the prosecution and defense. All of these parties proceed to the Moot Hall, banging on pots and pans and drawing behind them a wagon carrying two men disguised as the husband and wife in question. Once assembled, the quick-witted counselors present their case and the judge and jury decide upon a verdict (usually something to the effect of charging the couple with keeping the peace lest they be set on the dunking-stool). At the trial's conclusion, all involved adjourn to a nearby tavern to drink to the good health and happiness of the husband and wife.

Kezmon

Kezmon was a volcanic isle off the west coast of Selanthia. It prospered and entered into the Empire in 4270. It mysteriously disappeared in the year 4873, with no survivors to tell the story of the fall. Rumors hold that the disappearance was the result of an ancient Elven Curse placed on the Isle by Inar'ru, who prophesied the destruction of Kezmon in 4310.

Major Cities and Towns

Kezmon was once the home to the ancient city of Kai Toka. Kai Toka was a bustling port, drawing trade from all along the western coast of Elanthia. The city was once a cultural wonderland within the Empire and shipping center of the civilized world, and her shipwrights were rivalled only later by Tamzyrr.

Mestanir

Mestanir is a mountainous region of land north of the Sea of Fire. There are few rivers on the surface and little farmland, but the region is geologically rich with underground water and ranges of richly veined and gemmed mountains and hills.

Mestanir is the home of several very important religious sites, such as the Fist of Koar and the Crown of Koar. Citizens of the Empire make regular pilgrimages to these holy sites, and the Church of Koar is a powerful presence in the region, overseeing the region from Everwatch Tower just outside the city.

This small barony was known for its rogue spellcasters; witches, warlocks, and hedgewizards who long practiced their magics outside of the watchful eye of the Hall of Mages. These unconventional magic users have secretly taught their arcane lore to young practitioners over the years, and it was this crime that led to the fall of Mestanir. Using the "rampant disregard of imperial law" as justification for invading, Jantalarian troops, bolstered by the dreadful Mandis Crystal, conquered Mestanir and annexed the barony into Jantalar in 5092.

In the year 5103, Baron Lerep Hochstib failed in his conquest of taking the Barony of Vornavis and the northwestern wilds, including Wehnimer's Landing, and the Mandis Crystal in Mestanir was destroyed. Reconstruction of the Barony of Mestanir began under the guidance of confidants and advisors of Emperor Aurmont Anodheles and the interim ruler of Jantalar, Delpinuria Hochstib, sister to the deceased Baron.

With her investiture as ruler of Jantalar in 5107, Baroness Hochstib relinquished Jantalar's claim on Mestanir. Shortly afterwards, Emperor Anodheles named Baron Seurdyn Moraughton Chydenar ruler of the renewed Barony of Mestanir.

With the influence of Baron Chydenar's wife, Lady Sionwryn, a daughter of a prominent Mestanir hedgewizard family, the spellcasting community of Mestanir slowly begun to accept the registration of all wizards and sorcerers mandated by the Hall of Mages.

Major Towns and Cities
  • Mestanir
Mestanir is the capital city of the territory of Mestanir. The city is nestled between two mountain ranges. It is a temperate region, buffered on either side by the terrain. Mestanir was founded in 4883 near the Crown of Koar.

Resources

The breweries of Mestanir are renowned for their splendid honey meads and brown ales.

Exports Imports
Gems Grain
Silver Wine
Hides Silk
Coal Oil
Ale

Local Lore and Customs

Mestanir abounds with tales of legendary mages and their astonishing feats, though capriciousness seems to be a common theme. The wizard known as Blacksnake appears frequently as a cautionary figure. As the story goes, one day he came across a farmer carting hay, and begged a fork-load of it for his pony. The farmer refused and continued on down the hill. Hardly a moment later the farmer's horses fell to their knees and could not be roused by any means. The farmer pleaded with Blacksnake to undo the spell, but for a time he refused. When at last he felt that the farmer had been punished enough, Blacksnake allowed the horses to stand and the farmer gave him as much hay as he desired.

North Hendor

Hendor was once a Kingdom apart from the Empire. Hendor fell in 4630, two years after the first appearance of Issyldra, the Ice Queen, in the DragonSpine. The campaign for Hendor, fought between 4635 and 4638, liberated the territories from the occupying humanoids and made North and South Hendor officially part of the Turamzzyrian Empire.

In the year 5103, with the crowning of a new Emperor of the Turamzzyrian Empire, the Earldom of North Hendor became the seat of the Northern Sentinel, Earl Eddric Jovery.

North Hendor is abundant in natural resources. Large forests and plentiful rivers and lakes make North Hendor a lush, forested paradise. While North Hendor is land-locked, rivers are plentiful, many large enough to support river towns and river commerce. The tips of the mountains that border between Hendor and Dragach are very high peaks, and it is from these peaks that the Ice Queen descended upon Hendor.

Major Cities and Towns

The city of Lolle sits just west of the DragonSpine, where it was founded nearly a millenium ago. Lolle was the first and hardest hit in the Ice Queen invasions, but has fully recovered to become a busy, productive city. The superstitious citizens of Lolle remain vigilant and militant, awaiting the return of a threat from the mountains. Lolle serves as the busiest thoroughfare for traders and miners working the imperial mines in the DragonSpine. Lolle also supports a significant militia.
In 4357, General Pfelstev of Hendor defeated a great army of orcs, hobgoblins and ogres in the Battle of Mensyl Pass, during which Lord Gyles of Lolle slew the great ogre shaman Hrg'golg. This battle opened the northlands to the Kingdom of Hendor under the protection of Mensyl Keep, which overlooks the pass. The region that has been host to humanoid occupation on and off in the years since Hendor's victory, falling to orcs and ogres when Hendor fell to Issyldra's horde. In 4644, Mensyl Pass was once again won, and the Keep was reopened and has remained so since, allowing for the further northern expansion of the Empire. Mensyl Keep supports a vast militia, many battalions of soldiers trained and battle-hardened at fighting off the indigenous humanoid population. Surrounding the Keep, many small settlements have sprung up supporting the keep with trade items.

Resources

Not surprisingly, with the wealth of gems and precious metals found in this earldom, gemcutters have flourished in North Hendor, and some of the finest jewelry in the Empire comes from Lollan craftsmen.

Exports Imports
Iron Produce
Silver Grain
Gold Coal
Gems and Jewelry Meats
Wood Medicines
Oil Rare Herbs
Marbles

Local Lore and Customs

Working in mines and superstition have always gone hand in hand, and Lolle is no exception. A common belief in this region is that a dove hovering over the mouth of a mine is a sure sign of disaster to come. Cited as proof is the Black Mountain explosion, where a dove was seen hovering outside the mine for three days running before the calamity struck.

The midwives in and around Mensyl Keep frequently prescribe red clothing for patients suffering from fevers. For particularly difficult cases, the bed and windows are hung with red curtains as well. Sore throats of all kinds are treated by folding a cut of bacon inside a red flannel scarf worn around the neck. Likewise, a yellow ribbon tied around the neck is used to cure jaundice.

Memories of the Witch Winter persist in Hendor, and cautious folk draw white curtains across their windows every night to ward off the glance of the Ice Queen. It is also whispered that Issyldra still roams the mountains in the form of a snowshoe hare, and for this reason no one will eat these creatures, no matter how dire the circumstances. A few have reported seeing a woman in white appear in the snowy hills at midwinter, holding a bouquet of iceblossoms in one hand and beckoning slowly with the other.

Oire

Oire is on the west coast of the Empire, nestled between Torre and Seareach. The lands are rich for farming and cattle, but offer little else in the way of natural resources, and the area is one of the poorest in the Empire. The shore in Oire is mostly crags and cliffs, making shipping difficult. Only small port villages and towns have cropped up along the ocean. Oire enjoys mild, temperate climates with only occasional large storms sweeping up from the south and west.

Oire is a quiet little barony that draws little attention from the rest of the Empire, and the people like it that way. The culture is mostly agrarian, with the wars and political intrigues often plaguing other human territories having almost completely bypassed Oire. The Villaunnes have been the ruling family for several generations. While none of the barons or baronesses have come to prominence within the Empire, they have been generally much loved by their people. The Villaunne family maintains a long tradition of being fair-minded rulers who are truly dedicated to their holdings. This is reflected in the general contentment level of the citizens of Oire.

Major Cities and Towns

New Myssar is a large, sprawling city in the hills in the center of Oire. The city is simple, comprising mostly traders from the surrounding farms and grazing lands. The city is not opulent, and offers little to visiting dignitaries, so it is rarely traveled to. The troops there are few and poorly maintained.

Resources

The mostly simple people of Oire do have an overwhelming sense of pride where one thing is concerned, and that is their wines. Oirean vintages, in particular the luscious Oire grenache and the ruby-hued Oire port, are appreciated throughout the Empire and they frequently grace the tables of nobility. The citizens claim to have the most sophisticated palates in all of Elanthia and their children are raised from a relatively young age to be able to appreciate and discuss various wines in depth.

Exports Imports
Grain Oil
Produce Gems
Meats Wine
Hides Wood
Wool Iron
Cloth Ships
Wine Gold
Medicine
Coal

Local Lore and Customs

Due to the mostly rural nature of Oire, the seasons play a large part in the daily lives of the people. Oleani, Phoen, Imaera, and Lorminstra are the most revered of the Arkati. Many of the roads and farms have small shrines where frequent offerings are made. The city of New Myssar has two large, and surprisingly ornate, temples dedicated to Oleani and Imaera. Weekend farmer's markets and small faires are commonplace throughout the summer months where the hardworking people get a chance to enjoy some fun.

The most important celebration of the year is the Rite of Spring, which is held on the first day of Ivastaen. The normally easy-going and somewhat reserved citizens throw all caution to the wind for this raucous (some might say debauched) festival. The Rite celebrates the union of Oleani and Phoen, love, and fertility. Large feasts are held in all the towns and villages, with food and strong drink in abundance. Music and dancing are a central part of the celebrations, and bards often travel from all over to participate. As night falls, couples and groups wander into the fields and woods for trysts under the spring moons. Children conceived on that night are considered to be especially blessed.

Riverwood

Riverwood is a plush, wooded region crossed by many free-flowing rivers. The woods provide plentiful game and other natural resources. Though the winters can become harsh, they are generally short and mild.

Major Cities and Towns

The city of Helt is a proud, rich city in the heart of the wooded territory of Riverwood. Helt enjoys access to two major rivers, providing excellent trade routes and access to surrounding territories. Helt is a walled city, with tall, pitch-cured timbers serving as a daunting deterrent against would-be invaders. The troops in Helt are skilled with the bow, and are great huntsmen.

Resources

Exports Imports
Wood Ships
Hides Grain
Fish Iron
Exotic Meats Wine
Gems
Gold
Silver

Local Lore and Customs

Custom in Helt holds that, before a newly fletched arrow meant for hunting can strike true, it must be blessed three times: once by a relative of the fletcher, once by a cleric of Imaera, and once by a person who will partake of the bounty of the arrow's first hunt. Similar custom holds that an arrow meant for war must be blessed once by a war leader, once by a cleric of Kai, and once by a person who will be protected through the arrow's use. Even the most arrogant hunter can be brought humbly low by asking his aged mother to please bless his newly fletched arrows, for the use of an unblessed arrow will bring terrible misfortune upon the one who shoots it.

As well as the Arkati, citizens of Riverwood often practice rites to honor Jes'Tamaline, a local spirit of the many rivers of Riverwood. If Jes'Tamaline is dishonored, it is said that the trees will bear no fruit, that deer will hear a hunter's footsteps from seven miles away, and that all the fish rivers will dry to dust with all their fish transformed to stone. Jes'Tamaline is honored on the last day of Ivastaen by singing songs in her honor, dancing through the woods, and garlanding people and trees with flowers. It is also custom for maidens in their first year of womanhood to spend Jes'Tamaline's night sleeping in the wood, so that the spirit will guide them and advise them. According to Riverwood legend, in hundreds of years of this ritual, no women have ever been injured in wild beast attacks or accidents in the darkness during Jes'Tamaline's night.

Legend claims that, centuries before Helt was founded, there was a terrible plague in the land later known as Riverwood, and all the streams were fouled. While other mortals wept for their own lives, there was one, a hermit, who wept for the death of the forest itself. Imaera had intended to let the plague run its course, as natural events must, but the hermit's grief attracted and touched her. When the hermit died, Lorminstra gifted the hermit's soul to Imaera, and the hermit arose out of death by Imaera's will as a nature spirit, so that she might protect the wilderness she had loved forever. Thus Jes'Tamaline came to be.

Seareach

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.

Major Cities and Towns

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.

Resources

Exports Imports
Fish Medicine
Oil Hides
Ships Furs
Produce Gold
Iron Wine
Copper
Pottery

Local Lore and 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.

Selanthia

Selanthia is split north to south by the Yssian mountain range. The western border is shoreline, and host to hundreds of small port villages. The east of the territory is largely plains and hills. The climate is moderate and fair. Severe storms are seasonally swept up the coast toward Tamzyrr, but the low mountain ranges generally break up the storms before they do much damage.

Major Cities and Towns

Emperor Aurmont Chandrennin Anodheles rules from the capital of the Turamzzyrian Empire, Tamzyrr, located along Selanthia's western coast. Tamzyrr is the largest city in the Empire, and affords the citizens the most luxury, as the services and goods found in her markets are unrivalled within the Empire.
The city of Tamzyrr is the political and cultural center of both Selanthia and the Turamzzyrian Empire. The city has a rich history and is host to festivals and events of all sizes throughout the year. In addition to the cultural offerings, Emperor Aurmont holds court once a month. Nobles from all over the Empire gather to attend to business such as submitting grievances, requesting aid, and making alliances (or hatching plots). Aurmont's court is a simple affair, but includes sumptuous feasts for court attendants--quite a contrast from how his first cousin and predecessor, Empress Mynal'lyanna Anodheles, ran court before her assassination.
Tamzyrr is home to the Hall of Mages, the most prestigious of the arcane colleges in the Turamzzyrian Empire. Founded nearly 750 years ago under the auspices of Emperor Immuros Kestrel, this college educates students interested in the arcane arts, focusing on the responsible use of magic to improve society and the Empire. The Hall of Mages maintains satellite colleges in Elstreth, Nydds, and The Swale.
The Imperial Drakes are also based in this wondrous city, under the auspices of the Royal Magister. This magical branch of the imperial military consists solely of skilled wizards. Under the tutelage of House Kestrel, magical training for the Imperial Drakes has been standardized and focused for specific military needs, increasing their usefulness to military commanders.
Numerous chivalric orders can be found in Selanthia, and most are based in Tamzyrr. While Tamzyrr is well protected, and no foe has seriously threatened the city in centuries, the activity of the city's courts draws many knights. Those knights who seek to prove themselves for the Empire often venture south to aid against the Horned Cabal and other threats from the Southron Wastes, or east to aid in defending the Demonwall.

Resources

Selanthia has an abundance of farms and flatlands, supporting grain, vineyards, produce, and grazing livestock. The low mountains are spotted with small mines and produce iron and other precious metals.

Selanthia also hosts Tamzyrr, the greatest port in the Empire and home to the finest shipwrights known. Tamzyrr boasts a massive navy, staffed with the finest sailors and military officers.

The mild climate of Selanthia causes vineyards to flourish, and Selanthian wineries thrive on trade throughout the empire. The region is famed for two wines in particular: the pale Selantha marsanne and the dry, dark Selantha merlot.

Exports Imports
Ships Wood
Grain Medicines
Vegtables Silks
Cattle Gems
Sheep Hides
Wine
Ale
Fish
Cotton
Wool

Local Lore and Customs

The festival season starts in the spring with the grand Seafarer's Carnival, a celebration of the city's ship building industry and maritime traditions. It is also an opportunity for the citizens to peruse and purchase the latest imports. In the summer months, many smaller festivals are held and military parades are very popular. Imaerasta brings about the Harvest Fest, which rivals the Carnival in size and popularity. The fruits of the land of all types are celebrated, displayed, and entered into contests, but most important is the grape harvest. Vintners from all over Selanthia attend to show off their wines and compete for the highly coveted first prize.

At the beginning of the new year, the Pilgrimages of Koar take place. Holy sites, such as the Crown of Koar, are visited by the devout from all over the Empire. The High Hall of the King in Tamzyrr is a major destination for the faithful, where the Patriarch of Koar presides over the Church. People travel from far and wide, often undergoing great hardships, in order to participate in this holy festival. The Patriarch himself officiates over the nightlong prayer vigils. Children born in the previous year are dedicated in the temples and the priests often mediate disputes brought before them by their parishioners.

Another Selanthian tradition of note is the Conquest Fete. The tradition goes back hundreds of years, waxing and waning in popularity. Fetes are held in all the larger towns and cities, though Tamzyrr has always boasted the grandest spectacles. Empress Mynal'lyanna was quite fond of the Fetes and they are a frequent amusement for the populace. The Fetes consist of various types of battles to the death between two or more contestants.

Conquest Fetes serve a dual purpose. They provide entertainment for Selanthians and they help keep the citizenry under control. The combatants are culled mostly from the prisons, but when the pickings there become sparse, no one of any importance seems to mind that "undesirables" are plucked directly off the streets as unwilling participants. The Fete goers love nothing better than to see a couple "dirt elves" fight to a bloody death.

South Hendor

Hendor was once a Kingdom apart from the Empire. Hendor fell in 4630, two years after the first appearance of Issyldra, the Ice Queen, in the DragonSpine. The campaign for Hendor, fought between 4635 and 4638, liberated the territories from the occupying humanoids and made North and South Hendor officially part of the Turamzzyrian Empire.

South Hendor is some of the most plush and resourceful land in all of the Empire. Plentiful streams and lakes, and rolling valleys make up what many consider to be the garden spot of the Empire. While South Hendor is land-locked, rivers abound, many large enough to support river towns and river commerce.

Major Cities and Towns

The city of Waterford is rich, even by Empire standards. It is central to the territories, and to the Empire itself. It is a hub of commerce, and is also very well ordered and lawfully ruled. Justice in Waterford is swift and absolute, deterring most major crime. The citizenry of Waterford pay considerably higher taxes to support this level of protection. Waterford¿s glory, though still well renowned, has diminished in the past century, as the quake that created the great falls on the Tempest River disrupted river access to the sea. River traffic in lumber and other distant resources still arrive in Waterford, but now require overland shipping once received.
Nydds is a wondrous city located south of the hilly land that borders the Sea of Fire. The culture of Nydds is different from most of Hendor, with the citizenry open to foreigners and strangers, and its people require a greater degree of freedom than most cities in the Empire. Serving as the scholastic center of the Turamzzyrian Empire with its numerous sages and colleges of the arts, Nydds also boasts a satellite Hall of Mages for students of the arcane.
The Halls of Solace, a monastery devoted to Lord Voln, can be found in Nydds. One of the most influential Voln monasteries in the Empire, the Halls of Solace have been instrumental in aiding Aldora against the Horned Cabal.

Resources

The merchants of Waterford are renowned for their magnificent silks, as the weavers of South Hendor are among the most skilled in the Empire. In addition to the great scholastic fame of Nydds, scriveners and artists abound.

Exports Imports
Wood Medicines
Cloth Rare Herbs
Silk Produce
Hides Grain
Furs Coal
Marble
Books

Local Lore and Customs

Waterford has an ancient harvest tradition known as "The Harvest Bell." At the time of reaping, a handful of corn is left uncut in the field, and at the end of the day the reapers stand a marked distance away and aim their sickles at the "harvest bell" (a sport that is not without its share of injuries!). When at last the shock of corn falls, there is a fight for its possession, with the victor carrying it in triumph to the harvest feast. On the way, young girls throw bowls of water at the sheaf-carrier, who is meant to dodge them all and bring his trophy safe and dry to the village hall, where he is lauded as the hero of the evening.

The historians of Nydds love to tell of the winged serpents that used to populate the area in days gone by. They were described as very beautiful, sparkling all over as though covered with jewels. Some were colorfully crested, and their bright wings had eyes like those of a peacock's tail. Despite their splendor, the serpents wreaked havoc on poultry and other farmyard creatures, and were eventually exterminated.

Though not generally superstitious, the people of Nydds are still loathe to enter a grove of oaks at midnight, for it is said that the spirits of the past assemble there, especially those who fell to the Ice Queen. It is also well known that he who cuts down a juniper will die within the year. In the older parts of the city one can still see strangely shaped houses built to accommodate one or more of these revered trees.

Nydds is sometimes called the City of Flowers both in reference to the glorious fields of wild orchids that cover the hillsides nearby and to the prevalence of flowery windowboxes that decorate Nyddian homes. The phrase, "Sweet as Nydds in Spring," is commonly used throughout the Empire when referring to something with a particularly pleasing scent. The young maids of the city are especially fond of wearing garlands and floral circlets, with different flowers to symbolize beauty, chastity, romance, devotion, and other popular themes.

Talador

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.

Major Cities and Towns

  • Talador
Talador 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.
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.

Resources

Exports Imports
Gems Wine
Silver Oil
Grain Fruits
Horses

Local Lore and 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.

Torre

Torre is located near the center of the Empire on the west coast. The weather is generally very mild, with the exception of a prolonged rainy season in spring. The territory is centered around the Maelstrom Bay. The capital city of Fairport accounts for most of the county's population, with the rest being scattered fishing villages and farmsteads.

Major Cities and Towns

Fairport is the major port city for Torre. The bustling port services the coast, and with regular trade routes seaward to Tamzyrr, Ubl, Idolone, and Brisker's Cove, the city is a well established component of the Empire's economy. Fairport once maintained a lucrative trade route with the inner Empire via the Tempest river by way of the Maelstrom Bay, but the Great Quake that resulted in the creation of the Tempest Falls closed that route in 4565.
The customs of Torre's citizens are married to the sea, and local jargon is rife with references to fishing and the sea-faring life. It is not uncommon for parents to bring their newborns to the Tower of the Sea Princess in Fairport, seeking to placate Charl through his daughter and ask the blessings of her priestesses. Tragedy is common among those who sail the seas, and Niima's temple is never lacking in wives and children beseeching the goddess for mercy and the safe return of loved ones.
In the days of the Kannalan Empire the island of River's Rest was a beacon of art and trade. The fall of that empire and the resulting anarchy begat a long social decline in the region. Its location at the juncture of the Tempest River and the mouth of Maelstrom Bay, however, made River's Rest a natural trading center. It was inevitable that it would be rebuilt.
Very likely River's Rest would have regained its prominence if not for the Great Quake of 4565. The quake not only devastated the island itself, it shifted the land to a degree that a large waterfall was created on the Tempest River. This almost entirely disrupted the river trade on which the prosperity of River's Rest hinged. The island has never recovered.
With the loss of River's Rest's economic base, the County of Torre and the Turamzzyrrian Empire lost much of their interest in the region. Imperial indifference and neglect made River's Rest an attractive location for outlaws, smugglers, pirates and fugitives. Although in recent years some rough form of law and order has been established, the island of River's Rest remains underpopulated and primitive.

Resources

Exports Imports
Fish Produce
Ships Grain
Silk Iron
Gems Oil
Gold Wine
Wood
Glassware

Local Lore and Customs

The First of Lormesta is a popular holiday in this region, during which children travel the town wishing their neighbors good fortune in the coming year. They wear silk flowers in their hats and carry silver-spangled oranges on the ends of sticks. At each home they are welcomed with a cry of "For those without and those within, let the newfound year begin!" and given gifts of sweet foods and money.

The ships that sail from Fairport almost always carry with them a cat, and the actions of this beast are said to have great predictive powers. If she stretches so that her paws meet, a storm will be encountered soon. If she turns her back to the captain or the galley fire, the ship is likely to be stranded. And if the cat scratches the mast with her claws, the ship and all her crew are surely doomed.

Local custom dictates that an offering of roasted barley flour and fruit be left by the ocean before embarking on a fishing expedition of any kind. This ensures the goodwill of the seals, who will then be sure to drive fish of all kinds into the fisherman's nets. If this offering is not made, it is said that one's luck in fishing will be poor and the fisherman's nets will tear. Old people tell of "sealsingers" hired to laud the virtues of these aquatic beasts on special occasions.

Trauntor

Trauntor is dominated by hilly lands with occasional mountain peaks. To the east, rich forests provide an excellent source of lumber. The territory was once a badlands, with continued hostility from the Scourge, among other enemies. Since the building of the Demonwall, Trauntor has flourished.

Major Cities and Towns

Brantur is one of the cities near the Demonwall, which separates the Empire from the demonic Scourge that harries the lands to the south and east. Brantur has a strong complement of the best of the Order of the Golvern Star, and is a very militaristic town. Crime is almost non-existent, as all offenses are very harshly punished. The people are extremely distrustful, even of each other.
Brantur is also the site where Tyrgh, the Chaos Lord, raised an army out of Ba'Lathon and devastated the city. Fortunately, reinforcements arrived in time to recover the city.
The Citadel of Barrett's Gorge is more of a military installation than a town. The region is harsh, and historically war torn. The Citadel at the center sports a series of high walls built for extensive defense against a potential siege. The sprawl outside of the innermost walls consists of the housing, shops, inns, and bars that have developed between the defenses. Each section of the sprawl is separated from the other by walls with four gates. Though the innermost walls are tallest and strongest, the wall at each interval is capable of withstanding a siege.
Barrett's Gorge is also the primary training area for the Demonwall Watch of the Order of the Golvern Star. This particular branch of the OGS prides itself on its extreme militancy and zealous commitment to their Order, their Empire, and their duty.

Resources

Exports Imports
Wood Gems
Coal Silks
Hides Wine
Weapons Oil
Armor Iron
Coal

Local Lore and Customs

Within the city of Brantur is Longwitton's Whetstone, which is said to have magical properties. Commoners claim that if a brave man sharpens his sword on it, all the wounds he causes will prove fatal; but if a coward uses it to sharpen his sword, he will only ever cause injury rather than death.

The Narran Valley just to the north of Barrett's Gorge is known to be haunted by a night-hag. She has been seen flying low above the streams, her long black robe trailing in the water and her leathery wings flapping in the air. Those who have had the misfortune to encounter her up close describe her as having long black hair, black eyes, and dark skin. From time to time she is also accompanied by black hounds with red eyes and enormous fangs. A foolish man once ignored all advice and spent the night asleep in Narran Valley. The next morning he was found, unconscious and battered from head to toe. When he came around, he recalled having been attacked by the hag, who clawed and pecked at him "like a great bird of prey."

With the Demonwall so prominent in the minds of Brantur's people, and Ba'Lathon so near to mind as well, gestures and oaths of warding against evil magic and possession are quite common in Brantur. Sorcerers are especially distrusted, and even shunned, in Brantur. Most merchants turn sorcerers away from their establishments, and the punishment for use of sorcery in a harmful manner is typically death.

Vornavis

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.

Major Cities and Towns

  • Vornavis
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 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 1507, 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 bureaucracy 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.

Resources

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.

Exports Imports
Ships Coal
Wood Iron
Wine Gems
Oil
Silks
Fish

Local Lore and Customs

Within the barony, legends persist of a mischievous nature spirit named "Booga." Resembling a halfling, but furred and with rodent-like features, the creature is encountered north and west of the Cairnfang River, according to the most reliable claims. Booga is commonly blamed for soured milk and wine, broken boot laces and pack straps and small shiny objects suddenly gone missing. A centuries-old stone sculpture discovered in the dwarven caverns beneath Tor Aganrahk on the barony's northern border lend credence to the creature's existence.

The legend of a giantman kingdom and its leader is also supported by a second dwarven sculpture discovered within the same caverns. The stone bust of a regal-looking giantman wearing a crown and bearing the name "Telimnar" is regarded by some as proof that the ancient granite blocks scattered throughout the Stoneharrow Swale are indeed the remains of King Telimnar's royal city, the center of a giantman kingdom that thrived sometime during the early Modern age.

A ready topic for popular speculation, but difficult to verify, is the legend of Wildwood Isle. Located northeast of the city of Vornavis, in the widest stretch of the Cainfang River, the island is surrounded by magical barriers raised during a battle that took place during the earliest days of the barony's settlement, barriers that still prevent any sentient being from setting foot on the island. Founded as a refuge by a noble elven family, the settlement and keep on the island eventually drew the attention of foul creatures in the area. Recognizing that an all-out attack on the island was bound to succeed, the members of the Wildwood family sent all non-combatants to the south bank of the river as they drew in the attackers from the north bank. Once all of the attacking forces were on the island, the magical barrier was raised and has stood intact to the present day. Activity on the island ceased during the night of the attack, and no signs of any survivors of the battle have ever been seen.

The Tehir

An extended discussion of the Tehir culture is available here.

The Tehir are a relatively primitive nomadic people of a tribal culture. They live in the Sea of Fire where they have adapted to the extremely harsh environment within the great desert, typically migrating from oasis to oasis throughout the seasons, herding their few goats and yierkas, and living off of the sparse desert bounty.

Sometimes referred to as the Veiled Men, due to their tradition of wearing veils over their noses and mouths to show that a man has reached adulthood, Tehir legend holds that this veil protects against the evil spirits of the desert. The various styles and colors of the veil have additional meaning, e.g., one color might reflect strength in combat, while an unusual cloth indicates wisdom of an elder.

Tehir women do not wear facial veils, rather they wear head-scarves once they have married. It is customary among Tehir women to have elaborate tattoos on their faces and necks, which the Tehir people find to be very attractive. Tehir men also wear tattoos, though they tend to be around the eyes and on the arms.

Goatskin and yierka-hide tents woven by the women of the tribes are the most common shelters in Tehir culture. In the southeastern desert, nearest the mountains separating the desert from Hendor, caves within desert cliffs are sometimes used for the more sedentary tribes.

While there are a handful of Tehir tribes that are on good or neutral terms with the Empire, most of the fierce Tehir are constantly in conflict with the Turamzzyrian Empire over the copper mines found within the Sea of Fire. The Tehir hit-and-run tactics coupled with the harsh environment make them a difficult enemy for the Empire to defeat. At the same token, the Tehir are unable to drive the outlanders from the mines, and often their raids are ineffective against the well-guarded imperial caravans.

Prior to the discovery of copper mines within the desert, the Tehir tribes often fought one another for control over various oases and herds. On the occasions where such conflicts led to a complete defeat, or the capture of enemies, it was not uncommon for the victors to enslave their captives. This practice is still held in a few of the Tehir tribes, and it is rumored that on rare occasions imperial soldiers have been taken as captives. By and large, however, the practice of enslaving captives has dwindled or died out in most of the Tehir tribes.

Turamzzyrian Wines

The Turamzzyrian Empire has numerous mild coastal regions that are rich in vineyards and fine wines. While each of these regions are capable of producing several varietals, they have become famous for one or two specialties.

The Aldora riesling wines are known for their floral perfume. Depending on where they're made, they can be crisp and bone-dry, full-bodied and spicy or luscious and sweet. The small, white wine grape flourishes in the hot, harsh climate of Aldora and vineyards struggle to expand production, using every bit of rocky, barren hillscape they can find with sufficient soil for rootings.

The silvery, effervescent champagne from Aldora is a result of tenacious efforts of a small group of vintners. Though the grapes seem to prefer the dry, warm climate compared to the cooler, damp weather of several other regions, finding patches of land sheltered from the extremes has proven difficult. This contributes to the pricey cost of the bubbly wine, as well as the limited quantity each harvest. In addition to its pale, silvery color, the champagne is also of the dry variety.

The Selanthia marsanne is a rich white wine imbued with an undertone resembling pears, citrus and nuts. Light in both color and feel on the tongue, this delightful dry wine is meant to compliment foods instead of overshadow them. The verdant farmland of Selanthia, blessed with cool, moist fog along the coast during the evening, makes an ideal growing zone for this delicate grape.

The Selanthia merlot is a red wine with medium to full body and herbaceous flavors. Typically softer in taste than other dry red wines, merlot can be bottled as a stand-alone wine, or blended with other red wines to create more complex varieties. The foothills of Selanthia are often terraced with the vineyards that produce this wine, the lush green rows contrasting against the golden summer fields.

Chastonia claret is a light, red wine, created from a blend of local Chastonia grapes and small percentages of neighboring regional red wines, giving this soft but complex wine its unique flavor. Redolent of berry with a touch of oak and grass, the claret reflects the temperate climate that envelops the area and nourishes the vines.

Chastonia also produces a light and sweet blush wine, which gets its rosy color from a very short period of contact with the grape skins during the wine-making process. The temperate farmland of Chastonia has helped the region create a niche market for blush wines, especially with the sheltering mountains to the west, containing the area's micro-climate.

The vineyards of Estoria provide hardy grapes that produce a quality table wine for every-day use each harvest. Without quite the finesse and polish of its pricey cousins produced in other territories, the burgundy remains a local favorite. Often served with mid-day and evening meals and during festivals, the wine is particularly popular for the blessing of the fleet as the fishing season begins, and the harvesting and crushing of the grapes themselves.

The syrah grapes of Allace can produce monumental red wines with strong tannins and complex combinations of flavors including berry, plum and smoke. It makes tannic, age-worthy wines easily identified by a very characteristic floral, black pepper fragrance. Using the labor-intensive delestage, or rack-and-return method of fermenting and development, the wine develops slowly and spends a long time aging in oak barrels after delestage. Cool summer weather, often a hazard for fertile vineyards near the Allace coastline, can ruin an entire harvest or produce a winning crop.

The Allacian white muscat grape produces spicy, floral wines that often do something most other wines don't: they actually taste like grapes. Muscats can range from very dry and fresh, to sweet and syrupy. The deep golden hue of the Allace varietal distinguishes it from most white wines produced in the Imperial territories. Usually savored alone or with dessert, the perfect blend of undertones can be attributed to the close proximity to the coastline, where the damp night air lengthens the growing season.

From Vornavis comes a dark mourverde, a pleasant medium-weight wine with cherry and berry flavors. Offering earthy aromas and a pleasing palate, this luscious grape produces a good drinking wine from the rolling vineyard-striped hills of Vornavis. A reserve vintage sits in oaken barrels in the wine cellar of Baron Malwind, and is sometimes served at special celebrations.

The Vornavis chardonnay is a white wine that can range from clean and crisp with a hint of varietal flavor to rich and complex oak-aged wines. Chardonnay typically balances fruit, acidity and texture. Winegrowers in Vornavis often keep the chardonnay vines to the more level farmland areas, unlike the mourvedre vines which prefer hilly locations.

Oire grenache is a red wine with a fruity, spicy, medium body and evident tannins, that can stand up to accompanying heavy, rich foods and meats. The often rough terrain along the coast of Oire provides a challenging location for the vines, creating a flavorful grape. The hearty, peppery wine can be blended with white wine grapes, to produce a dry blush wine for lighter fare.

Often growing side by side with the grenache vineyards, Oire's production of muscat grapes creates a quality port with cherry undertones and a slight chocolaty aroma. Often served to compliment complex desserts that can stand up to the full-bodied wine, the dark port has a beautiful, brilliant ruby hue when held up to the light. Whether sipped alone or used in a sauce, this treasured port can often be found in good quantity, while other vintages aged for a good many years cost a pretty sum.