Thursday, May 23, 2013

Regional Overview - North Central

The Dragon Mountains
The Dragon Mountains traverse the continent of Desylinn from the north-central coastline to the south-western coastline, with a split near the center by a large plain that connects the Vol-kyn with Eartlinn.  The chain was first claimed by the Dragons and by extension the ten dwarven clans, which divide the region up between them. The Northern Dragon Mountains are ruled by the Gold and the Silver clans. The largest city of the region is the Gold Clan’s city of Jinjia. It’s a massive edifice going deep into the mountain’s heart. It has intimidating golden walls that act as an impenetrable defense against attack. Located on the south end of the northern range, bordering the territory of the Lead clan, it is the only city of the Gold Clan that an outsider may see.

The central Dragon plain is claimed by the Copper and the Lead clans and acts as the bread basket for the dwarves. Small farming and mining villages dominate the foothills to the north and south of the region. Villages elsewhere in the region are often impromptu short lived affairs and serve as staging areas for the boar and rhino cavalries of the two clans, which raid deep into the interior of the Vol-kyn to attack the Unkhan tribes. Occasionally they are joined by Kindred warriors who hope to quell the threat of their violent cousins.  

The Great Imperial Highway divides the Dragon Plain, meeting the Snakes Highway from the south at the Black Clan’s city of Kagejo. With massive towers soaring hundreds of feet in the air, Kagejo makes an easy landmark for travelers. The city is home to the Black Clan and is the center of trade in the region. It also gives the monastic Black Clan a central location to administer healing and curative medicines to other dwarves (and all seeking succor).

The South Dragon Mountains are home to Red and Iron clans. The Red Clan’s city of Shinkyuden sits on the border of the Vol-kyn. A sprawling and chaotic place, it is the only dwarven city with a significant population of Kindred. Urban fortress, originally built as a first defense, are now lost in the chaos of the streets, hidden by the ramshackle houses and buildings that sprawl off the central walls.

Far north, in the foot hills of the western side of the mountains and slowly progressing south is the White Clans wall Bai Qiang. Meant to protect and isolate the dwarves, it is the White Clans goal to have the massive edifice span the length of the mountains and the Dragon Plain as well. The wall has reached the Dragon Plain causing poor relations with the Kindred of both the Vol-kyn and Eartlinn. The situation is made worse by the foundations of a similar wall being laid on the eastern side of the mountains. Hidden away in a long desert valley in the southwestern part of the mountains, near the Dragon Sands is the Zhen Tanzo, or True Forge, this is where the newly born dragons first came to worship their parents Bahu and Tiala, and is the holiest of places for the dwarves.

Sandwiched between the Northern Dragon Mountains and the Geato Marsh, Eartlinn is a land of rolling hills, meandering rivers and small forests. Idyllic and one of the safest region of Desylinn, it is also the most populous. Much of the region is given over to farming and raising cattle, though some mining and forestry enterprises do exist. No formal government unites the regions many small towns, villages and cities though those along the Great Imperial Highway often have a common benefactor. The most prominent city, Hub, sits at a major crossroads only maintaining control of the immediate area.  Many villages and cities act as way points along the highways, with trade pouring through going from the Fertile Lands and the Free Cities in the East to Kagejo, the Vok-lyn, Old Mariea and the Dragonsands to the West. It’s along this route that the Merchant’s Guild has the most control, and many towns were built as stopping points for the great guild’s caravans. It’s also here where Gren can be found in most abundance outside the Fertile Lands, their clan caravans plying the highway and side roads of the region.

The region has no obvious boundaries, though frequent raids by the Copper and Lead dwarf clans on Kindred’s Pits let them know where they can and can’t build. Most consider the abandoned dwarf village Daara’uul to be the western border. The Kindred Pit village of Mudpit marks the southern boundary and the Free City Q’Lazz the eastern boundary.  Some towns off of the Imperial highway have begun to band together for mutual protection. This is particularly true for those that have settled nearest the western edge of the Blackfire Mountains.

Tucked away in the rolling hills of Eartlinn is the vast sprawling city of Hub. Home to thousands and thousands and thousands of residents, the city is the center of civilization in Eartlinn and the northern part of Desylinn. Founded by Bjord Half-foot and Wargog, two of the Glorious Transcendents, in the days after the collapse of the Mariean Empire it has grown massive, stretching beyond the original foundations Bjord anticipated. The city is divided into five districts, each controlled by one of the Five Great Guilds. The center of the city, controlled by the Church of the Five, serves as a neutral territory for the Guilds. The five districts are distinct, though no walls divide them.

The Merchant’s quarter is the most organized and the wealthiest. The streets laid out in a rough grid shape, are clean and guild patrols regularly keep the peace. The Workman’s and Mage’s quarters are a ramshackle of rough temporary housing built next to (or on) more permanent structures. In the Mage’s quarter particularly the streets are apt to change due to fights between the Mages Schools. Neither quarter is safe, though more people tend to disappear in the Mage District. The Blacksmith quarter is dominated by five large monastic compounds that make up the Blacksmith’s Guild. Housing and shops line the streets between the monasteries, and the Blacksmith’s maintain tight control over the area. The Music Guild’s quarter appears as a mass of chaos, with winding mazelike streets. It’s easy to get lost and end up someplace that you didn’t know you wanted to be.

The city hums with a life all its own, and on quiet nights the hum can be felt. Whether this is the sound of the “sewer beasts” processing the filth of the city into fresh water for the aquifers, or the sound stone and metal constructs that speed along tracks that circle the outskirts of the city none can say. Less than a league away is The Circle of Bad-Blood. A miles wide region completely void of magic, save for the small bare stone in the center that has enough magical energy to warp reality around it. It was here, in the Circle, where Bad-Blood destroyed the Imperial Legion and their fortress Ashasalva. The center “Bad-Bloods Footprint” is where she last touched the ground before ascending beyond the Seal.  

The Geato Marsh Plateau
The Geato Marsh was created by the blood of the Nameless One and is shaped like a great shallow bowl. Sitting on a large plateau south of Eartilinn marsh catches most of the run-off from the Black Fire Mountains to the east and the Dragon Mountains to the north and west. South a large escarpment surrounded by a lip of boggy hills along the edge prevents adequate drainage into the Kristog lands beyond. Peppered with shallow lakes, winding waterways and teeming with strange abundant wildlife the marsh is known to have a vast array of curative plants and a multitude of poisonous ones. The Geato Abira (lizard-folk) maintains and controls temples to the goddess Ishari and rules over villages throughout the swamp.

Three cities dominate the region: Tari Dar (The City of Blue Stone), the largest of the Geato Abira cities, is the center of worship for Ishari. The population is dedicated to feeding and housing the Seers of Ishari and maintaining defense of the city from some of the more aggressive beasts in the swamp. Access is restricted to outsiders to a few small areas. Gol Dar (The City of Bridges) is at the southern edge of the swamp and built on a series of small islands. The city acts as a way-station for travelers journeying to the city of Qynjb in the Kristogalog. The third major city is Kaza Dar, and while a Geato Abira city it’s significant in that it has a temple to the goddess Daras instead of Ishari. The rulers of the city are warrior priests and unlike the temples of Ishari, they allow non-Geato Abira and all genders to join the temple as long as they are dedicated to fighting for the death goddess.