Jewel of Chijin Culture: Kadmir


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If there is a point in Gaitan history that could be pointed to as the moment the north and south’s hatred for one another boiled over it would be the battle over Kadmir. Before Kadmir the northern region of Gaitan stayed out of the affairs of the south, permitting them to move into the Western Valley and through the middle of Gaitan, which was at the time unclaimed territory. They saw no reason why unused land should be ignored and if the South wished to have that land, then the north was more than happy to give it to them. The problem only escalated when the south grew greedy, wanting more than just the middle land of Gaitan and began encroaching on the land primarily under the Chijin peoples care in the east.

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The city of Kadmir was known as the Jewel of Chijin Culture with their colourful birds, lushes fields, ample forests, and luxurious culture. They were exporters of rare spices and
masters in economics. One could say that Kadmir’s elements were what forced Sydrin to build La’reen out of shear jealousy of the fact those of Easterly were gifted enough to be the most advanced of the people within Gaitan. The first theater was built within the city focusing on music, drama, and other pieces of the arts. The famous play Fates Above covering the creation of the world and the early life of the Three Gods created by the famous playwright Delverkin Van Morsner was one of the many piece of Chijin art found within the remains of the theaters archives.

Wishing to be the ruler of all free men, King Ja’kle of Syder raised a force to intimidate those within Kadmir to abandon the city or at least give ownership of the city over to the south. It was with this news the northern king – Nor – raised an army to come to the Chijin’s aid. Those in Kadmir welcomed those of Derm with open arms, which in turn enraged King Ja’kle further causing him to retaliate by burning the city to the ground, salting the land, and poisoning their water. In their mind, if they couldn’t have the city then no one would.

These heinous actions against Kadmir pushed those in the North to attack King Ja’kle and his troops resulting in the southern king’s demise. The conflict could have ended there but with the death of the southern king and the loss of Kadmir the new king of the South – Ar’id the Avenger, eldest son of Ja’kle’s eight children – swore to seek justice for his father’s ‘murder’ by declaring war on the Northern Nation of Derm.

All that remains of the Jewel of Chijin Culture is a wasteland worn away from years of battles fought upon its soil. Pieces of the once proud buildings said to be laces with silver and gold are no more than outlines of foundation. There are still some places that remain in one piece, mostly the tunnel systems that once snaked through the streets. Those studying archaeology and history in the universities throughout Gaitan say that there are still murals depicting everyday life and culture scattered throughout the vast tunnel systems. Kadmir’s artifacts like pottery, surviving manuscripts, and art can be seen on display at the University of Calin. Some pieces like the original screenplay of  Fates Above or maps of the city can been seen upon formal request.

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Derlin the City of Kings


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Derlin – the capital of Derm – also known as the City of Kings, is the third largest city in Gaitan. The population is mainly Dermite but there is a fair amount of Chijin living within the wall of the city. The population of Derlin fluctuate throughout the year. During the winter months the city has about 943,800 residence but when spring comes around and the passage to the Isle of Steel opens the populations goes down to 678,300 (give or take).derlin2

As Derlin has a channel that leads into King’s Port, they mainly use that for transporting their goods. Derlin is where most goods are sorted, stored, and priced for trade to other countries such as Easterly or some communities in the west. Their main form of trade is Demori Steel (shipped in from the Isle of Steel), feathers, wood, granite, grain, cotton, and hemp. King’s Port also ships fish to the capital where it is mostly salted and stored.

Outside of commerce the city of Derlin is also where most government discussions between the councils are held. Once a year for two months representatives of the countries across Gaitan gather in the inner chambers of Derlin’s Castle to discuss trade treaties, open border agreements, and other political arrangements.

Leaders of the Dermite military are also trained within the walls of Derlin, taking part in similar training as the Gryphon Guardians that train in the higher levels of the castle close to the Gryphon Keep – the highest point in all of Derlin.

The Castle of Derlin is built into the mountainside with ornate architecture that tells the stories of historic battles and important moments in Dermite history. The carvings continue on the inside of the castle where you can see the faces of the hard working craftsmen that built the castle carved into the archways along with symbols and words long forgotten by history. Rumors say that one of the hallways in the castle was dedicated to Kanrow Farbic – prophet and creator of the Prophecy Six.

Although Derlin is considered rich from their commerce and their population is relatively happy the city isn’t without their problems. When the villages outside of the city suffer with bandits and slavers Derlin’s guards battle with keeping the gangs and thieves under control. One group – the Hanging Boatmen – have been causing the most issues since they made themselves known about five years to the common day. The Hanging Boatmen got their names from raiding the ships using the channel between Derlin and King’s Port and leave the crew hanging from their mast. No one knows what they do with the supplies they raid, but it is assumed that they are selling it on the black-market to help enemy forces.

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The Western Valley: The Mountain City of Morza


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Morza is the city best known as the Masters of Dragons and mountain people of the West.morza

While most would stay away from the dangers of the Western Mountains the people of Morza learnt to live in harmony with what many would fear. After being exiled from Sydrin over 400 years ago, the Morzi people made their way West and settled in the mountains where they set up small yurt like buildings. They grew to depend on everyone pulling their weight and did not see gender as weakness. A man could do a woman’s job just as well as a woman could do a man’s.

The Morzi mostly kept to themselves, trading with lone merchants travelling between the North and South. Although their relationship was rocky with the South they kept friendly with the large nation that had let them live.

They were one of the only groups asides from the scattered few across Gaitan that follow the Grand Three belief where all three Gods work in unity to make the world spin. Most consider this a deluded belief as many believe that the Gods are in constant conflict just like the land of Gaitan.

The Morzi did not have a king. Instead they were led by a leader they called the Mor. The Mor, in a sense is like a Warden, making the final decision in tough situations. Most issues were decided by the people with the Mor having the last say in the matter if need be. Second to the Mor was the Shazamest – or Master Healer. The Shazamest was the keeper of history and tradition as well as the most skilled healer of their people. The Shazamest worked as council for the Mor and at times could over power the Mor if in the best interest of the people.

Morza was the smallest territory with the smallest population. They rarely imported goods unless for special events like their New Years celebration which took place during the early fall. Their main exports were dragons and dragon items (leather, teeth, bone), which they raised and trained from the caves close to their city.

Not much is known about the Morzi people as they considered themselves private and few outsiders were ever granted permission to learn the complex histories of these people. What knowledge we have on record is through oral communications with Ambassador Suzara, and texts discovered upon further investigation after the massacres. We at the university of La’reen hope to find further insight regarding these unique people and will continue to update this entry upon discovery of new knowledge.

Records by Sage Beltervil Vedmolc (Middle Summer, fourth week, Age of Cain) 

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The Western Valley: The Stonework of Stone Creek


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stonecreekStone Creek is a work camp caught between the Western Valley and the Northern border. Its main purpose is to cut marble from the old Mia river basin that was redirected by Dermite workers when the marble was discovered over 130 years prior.

Only a handful of workers live in the camp, switching out every three months to visit family in Derm or Menk. The marble is sent to the Dermite capital of Derlin to fortify the walls or grow the city within the walls. The marble is also sold to the East for their elaborate architecture, although the East prefers to work with alabaster and limestone.

The camp consists of thirty men at one time which spend most of their hours cutting and moving stones out of the quarry. Stone Creek is abandoned during the winter seasons and resumes near the end of spring when the snow has fully melted. Those that work in Stone Creek are friendly and up for trading food for stories if you happen to be travelling through that way.

Not many choose to stay at the camp unless they have to but new faces are always a welcoming sight for the men working the quarry.

There is a Chijin sculpture by the name of Havin Grockburnker that spends his time in the quarry. Since the age of ten, he spent his summers with the workers learning about marble and at times negotiating prices with merchants that wish to buy. When he was fifteen, Grockburnker began using the flawed pieces of marble for his personal projects, sculpting ‘the spirit’ of the marble. He has created over 100 pieces and is paid to do commissions for very influential clients, (Empress of La’reen and Father Valkrin of Sydrin). Now, at the age of 56 his work is bought by royalty and the money he receives he uses to better the lives of those in the quarry by buying new equipment, lodging, or food.

Havin Grockburnker’s most famous pieces – The Three Siblings – can be found in the Arrowhilm Temple.

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The Gateway to The West: City of Demor


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demorDemor, the gateway between the Western Valley and the Northern Nation of Derm. This city was built 300 years before the common day, around the same time Morza was founded in the West. After the Dermite fled from Derlin – the capital city of Derm – many settled closer to the resources they needed for their weapons and people.

Demor is home to over 2000 people in tightly confined walls and townhouses. The area is surrounded by pine, cedar, and spruce. Their main purpose is to defend the Northern border from attackers, breed the gryphons that live in the hills and supply the capital with iron, silver, and steel.

The Steward of Derm resides over the city and keeps close watch on the relationship between the West – mostly Bay’s Lake – and the Dermite. They are far enough from the south-east to not concern themselves with the war going on between Derm and Sydrin, but they are ready if need be. The only issues Demor contends with are bandits robbing the merchants on the main roads and slavers stealing children from the outlying villages.

Although there are plenty of dangers outside the walls, Demor is surprisingly safe within the walls. With the population made up of militants and their families, that really isn’t of much surprise. The city smells of urine, wood smoke, and feces from people dumping their garbage in the streets. The Detress – wife of the Steward – is responsible in finding ways to improve the peoples’ morale and the state of her city. Asides from the terrible smell and cramped living space, Demorian’s are happy living within the walls of their city and won’t waste time bragging about it.

If you are looking at staying in Demor the best place would be the castle as there’s a lot of space once you make it through the second wall and inside the castle limits. Gaining access to the castle is difficult though, since only those welcomed by the Steward or the King are aloud to preside within the walls. This list includes council members, political officials, family, Gryphon Guardians, physicians, and special guests.

If you don’t fall under any of those titles you will likely be staying outside the castle walls. The best we can suggest for your accommodations during your stay within the Gateway City is the Naughty Norg. The inn sleeps fifty and has a good (could pass as) meat pie. They also – according to the fat Chijin that own’s the place – have the best stout in the city.

“I had the pleasure of staying in the castle. It was a wonderful experience and the Detress ensured my stay to be most pleasant. The feather mattresses were like sleeping on air. The food was made for a King and the gardens were breath taking.” – Milo Kettlebert (Mispick)

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“I like the garden, and the people in the market are friendly… although I spend most of my time reading in my room.” – Liora (Morza)

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“Best way to improve morale is to have mor-ale. Get it? Mor Ale! Ha!” – Finto Brassworth (Arrowhilm)

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“The shops have a lovely selection of fabrics and the draper is always willing to share his secrets.” – Emery Thermae (Menk)

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THE GRAND THREE (TRINITY)


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From what I was able to piece together from the traditional texts of my people and the information given to me by the Master Healer Caldor, the Grand Three was the belief that the world could not work without the Gods working in unity. Sirphan gives the world water and life. Darkel’s creations can then grow and feed Sirphan’s creations. Kidoss ensures that the creatures are protected and returns them to the earth from which they came. From this it is believed that life follows a circle and returns from once it came.

Those that followed this belief were the ancestors of my people – the Chijin – before we chose to let science replace belief. It later migrated to the Western Mountains, likely by word of mouth or merchants travelling from the South, to the primitive Morzi with their own spin on the religion where they set up stone idols to represent the three Gods. With what Master Healer Caldor explained regarding his Morzi apprentice, there was a morning ritual where she was responsible for cleaning the idols and garden on where the Gods’ ‘resided’. After the cleaning was complete she would then present gifts to the Gods, asking for their guidance and blessings for the coming day. During festival times the people of the village would gather and pray to the idols, some leaving gifts, while others touched or kissed the idols to be blessed.

This of course is one person’s interpretation of their belief as all records regarding the Morzi Trinity belief has been lost or may be mistranslated. It is also believed that the Trinity belief – better known as the Grand Three – was where the Gods’ Mark was first created. Sign of this symbol can be dated back to the first clans of the Chijin people over 10,000 year ago. You can find this symbol in Chijin architecture and even primitive clothing preserved in the University of Calin.

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Please note my attempt at the Gods’ mark above. The top of the trinity apparently represents the Goddess Sirphan, to the right is Darkel, and to the left if Kidoss. They are wrapped in a circle but their parts are separate, since they each play their own role in the circle of life but are at the same time united. Some also argue that the circle that surrounds the center trinity is a representation of the Gods’ mother, Fate, as Fate encompasses all things living and dead. This of course isn’t fact but it is a theory we must consider when approaching this subject. In regards to the use of this symbol by the followers of Kanrow – Chaos Singers – we can only assume they wanted to take a familiar symbol to make their outrageous claims of their text appear more valid than it actually is.

 

Update:

It has more recently been discovered that those of the supposed Six have been branded with the Gods’ Mark, although it is unclear if it is by choice or on purpose. The representative of the Six – Ambassador Liora of Morza – refuses to comment on the matter regarding the strange markings and responds with hostility whenever questioned about it. I quote, “Aren’t there better things to be asking than what marks are on our skin?”

At this point in time it is unclear if these brands could be the source of the Six’s strange abilities or if it is just coincidence. Further research must be conducted into the Gods’ Mark to have a clearer understanding of its purpose in the ‘Prophecy’.

 

Councillor Bargrim, University of La’reen

 

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The Western Valley: The Simple Village of Irbet


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Irbet is best known for their tavern, The Happy Farmhand, since that’s really all there is for visitors passing through the small town of 60 or so villagers.

Irbet is a self-sustaining farming and logging village in the Western Valley. Irbetians are relatively friendly folk with a mixed populace of defected Northerners and Easterners.

This village was originally a scouting post for King Ral of the North during the Era of Ago’kath. It later began logging and setting up a permanent hold in the valley after the Southern king – Ago’kath – died at the Fall of Hathos, which began the Era of Ral.

The village lived happily in the Western Valley, sending plenty of food and wood to Derm. With their distance from the Northern and Southern conflicts in the south-east, Irbet began to distance themselves from the north in hopes of defecting. Their wish to defect was granted during the reign of King Cark, who defined the borders of the North abandoning all settlements in the west.

Irbetians, although isolated, are happy with the choices they made over the years. The villagers are allowed to come and go as they please. Many becoming merchants to trade with the west and north avoiding the southern countries in fear of being killed due to their linage originating from Derm.

 

 

“If yah have the time, the brew is good and the air is fine.” -Merchant Rec  (Demor)

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“Their tavern is loud, the drinks are heavy, and the streets smell of bull. I don’t stop there unless I have to.”

-Merchant Maltoser Salvin (Arrowhilm)

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“Never would I have stayed in a place with a name like that… I was not impressed.”

-Master Healer Caldor Lefwid (Fish Bank)

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The Western Valley: Village of Menk


menkMenk is a well-known village in the north-western mountains.

The river running through Menk feeds into the Mia River (the largest river in the west). Before it became a popular resting place for merchants and travellers heading to Derm, Menk was a mining village focused on retrieving the rich Demori steel deposits from the innards of the mountain. Unfortunately it was when striking too deep in the mines that they hit an underground spring filling the tunnels and washing out the village.

When the water had calmed, people flocked to the village, this time attempting to settle the mountain for fishing and logging. Unfortunately five years after rebuilding Menk another flood came and the process repeated two more times until someone – historians assume the current mayor – came up with the idea to dam the river to control the flooding in hopes of preserving the village.

The idea worked and twenty years later Menk stayed free of flooding. The small village grew to a moderate size of around 150 people all working the mines, logging camps, and fisheries.

Brew Master Hargin from the lower valley moved to the village bringing with him his stouts and wines he was known for throughout the west. It was due to his popularity that travellers began visiting Menk, turning it into the popular resting spot along the road to Derm.

“I can’t hear myself think over the rushing river… that might be a good thing.” 

Filroot Fiddlebotton (Mispick)

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“Food is good. Drinks fantastic. Can’t complain.” 

Drog Stalbec (King’s Port)

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They Are Fiction


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Child of the Light


 

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When I first created Liora, I had created her to be 8-years-old. As I continued working with her, shaping her, seeing how to acted in a variety of situations, she became more mature. Eventually I settled on her age being 14-years-old, since I wanted Prophecy Six to be a young adult fantasy series, and therefore have a female protagonist around the ages of my potential readership.

Although the book’s first POV isn’t Liora in the Child of the Light, she is the main protagonist of the Prophecy Six Series. Without Liora there would be no Prophecy and therefore no book. Creating her character I knew she had to have traits that would help her in the middle of the chaos… and at times be the cause of the chaos. Out of all the character’s I have created for this series she is the one I’m most proud of and the one I look forward to seeing grow over the course of the series.

At the beginning of the series we meet Liora and learn that she’s a stubborn, blunt/honest, kind, selfless, smart girl with the tendency to not think of the consequences to her actions. I didn’t want to make her flawless because flawless is boring. I wanted to make her relatable and in a sense believable. That, to my readers, Liora could be a real teenager thrown into strange and most times dangerous situations.

According to my readers, they find her natural and her character true to the book. They can’t wait to see the trouble she’ll get herself into, the fights she will start, or the new friends she will bring into the group. They find her open minded, protective, and kind, with just enough mystery to wonder what’s next.

Personality:

Liora isn’t a stranger to speaking her mind. She will show those in power respect but will not call them by their titles. She treats everyone as equals – as is the Morzi way – and in turn has had others not familiar with her peoples’ customs try and alter her approach to dealing with royalty. The thing is, Liora doesn’t care if her honesty upsets people but as she gets older she learns that sometimes having a filter is better then getting a death threat. Her kind heart and natural desire to help others attracts peoples’ attention – such as her mentor, Caldor Lefwid. Being young also doesn’t stop her from being confident and sure of herself. She knows who she is and who she wants to be – her struggle is fighting against others who want her to be something she isn’t.

Liora is a survivor, a protector, and a guide. She may be young but she’s wise and resourceful.

She enjoys learning new things through devouring whatever books she can get her fingers on. Like her mother, she has an affinity for languages and can speak eight of them (three of which are dead languages).  One day she hopes to be a Master Healer like her grandmother, but as time moves on her interests start turning to politics. With her personality she is suited to become a council member or ambassador but only time will tell where she will end up. She doesn’t like being confident to a certain set of rules unless she fully understands the reasons behind the rules. There are few things that scare Liora but after the events of Morza she has found crowded places and celebrations bring back bad memories and cause anxiety. She also hates shoes. She doesn’t like how they pinch her tows or rub against her heels.

Liora is not easy to push around. She will be the first person to help you but if you hurt someone she cares about she will not hold back. Her biggest downfall is her ambitiousness and lack of foresight, which is amusing considering she’s a Seer. These downfalls get her into some very difficult situations, which leads to her quickly regretting even thinking it was a good idea to do in the first place.

Appearance:

Liora has long raven locks, usually described as wild or untamed. Most of the time she will leave her hair down but as she gets older she begins to pull it up to be out of her face. She has large almond shaped eyes the colour of steel – Caldor would say she has a doe eyed glance. Liora also has olive skin that darkens to a golden honey when in the sun.

Her clothing consists of long sleeved dress that go to her ankles made of cotton, linen, satin, or velvet.

moonmortalsandveilAbilities:

Liora is able to see through the veil – an invisible fisher between the mortal world (Gaitan) and the Gods world (Eternal). It is believed that the veil is where the memory of the universe is, (aka: all of time). With this ability she is able to see the past through peoples memories, dream/ flash visions about the present, and in time learn to be able to predict the future. The insight in the actions happening throughout time also gives Liora a strong sense of intuition where she can sense if someone isn’t telling the truth and in time sense the better paths to take. Near the end of book one Liora discovers her secondary ability of touch healing. With taking a little part of her life force she is able to heal small/ non-life threatening ailments. She also has the ability to bring those dead back to life if their body is whole, (not missing essential organs: brain, heart, lungs…etc). Bringing someone back to life though takes a lot of her life energy (light) and in doing so drains her own life force causing her hair to turn white. (NOW YOU KNOW!)

morziBackground:

Granddaughter to the Master Healer of Morza, Liora learned from a young age how to help people through her grandmother’s lessons on medicine making and traditional healing methods. Since her mother’s death when she was five, Liora grew up under the care of her grandmother. Her father left before she was born and the only information she had was that is was a Southern Soldier. Being a mix-blood (Sydi and Morzi) didn’t making growing up difficult for Liora since historically Morzi were at one time from the Southern country of Sydrin.

Helping her grandmother with keeping her peoples’ traditions alive through tending to the garden and temple, or assisting in caring for those who were sick gave Liora a stable childhood filled with socialization and a strong education. When she wasn’t helping her grandmother Liora would spend her time hearing stories from the elders or helping those in the market. In the evenings she would curl up and read books on the world outside her city and teach herself the languages found throughout Gaitan. Although she knew that she would likely never leave her city she did dream of having the chance to travel the world to bring back others’ knowledge and spread her peoples’.

The early winter of her 13th year Liora got the chance to meet a boy that would open her eyes to the world outside her city. She had met Dermite merchants and heard stories from Chijin travelers, but it was upon meeting Revris that she knew things would change. He spoke to her about the conflict between the Northern and Southern countries. He told her of his time training to become a soldier for his people in Sydrin. She realized how lucky she was to live somewhere the war had not touched and was grateful for the boy to have opened her mind to the issues outside her homeland. Her and Revris soon became inseparable. He told her stories and taught her about his people, while she taught him about hers. They became good friends, spending time at her grandmother’s hut, in the garden, or curled up on the floor of the Mors home – where Revris was staying.

The weeks turned to months and the two grew excited for the coming New Years festival at the beginning of the Harvest Season. Liora knew Revris had never been to a Morzi festival and she was happy that he was wishing to spend it with her. Upon meeting up and enjoying the festivities their evening was cut short by a rumble of explosions. Chaos ensued when those visiting from Sydrin turned on the Morzi, cutting them down and hunting them like animals. Revris tried to save Liora but both couldn’t escape the fires or the soldiers.

And that is where I will leave you all to check out book one.

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