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 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: The Orchard Village of Downrow


Downrow is a village who focuses mainly on fruit and fruit trees, in the middle of the Western Valley.downrow

It has a population of 160 people and growing, since the main road cuts right through the middle of the town. With this convince of the main road Downrow gets a lot of travellers heading either to the North or South throughout the travelling season of spring- fall. Even with the growing population and increased visitors, Downrow doesn’t have an inn or tavern.

Well they have a tavern but it’s a tented shop with wooden boxes for seats. The local rumours have it that they’ll be looking at building a tavern in the coming years if the visitors keep coming. They don’t want to waste resources on something that won’t bring in coin.

Downrow is also home to a Pellar (a basic healer that uses strange mixtures and odd items to cure people). He lives along the river’s edge outside the village limits in a tent. He likes to be alone but is known to have the Baker’s wife – Talia – check up on him and make sure he’s well.

Downrow is called the Village of Orchards for a reason, as most of the trees surrounding the village bear some kind of fruit. They harvest apples, plums and peaches. They also grow strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. They have the juiciest and sweetest fruits in the land, which even those in La’reen seek to have on their breakfast platters. Researchers from Calin believe the deliciousness of these fruits can be contributed to the rich soil of the valley and the Mia River that helps create the perfect environment for the fruit trees to flourish. The locals believe it is their hard work and passion for growing the perfect fruit that is the reason their village has grown in popularity for their harvests.

So, if you like your fruit and don’t mind sleeping in a barn for a night come stay in Downrow.

“Broket’s Bakery makes the best peach tarts.” – Rose-Marie Fiddlebottom (Arrowhilm)

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“Can catch some nice trout, and they don mind yah cookin’ it on the shore neither.” – Frow Rolbirk (Grelmik)

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“They say they had a healer, but he’s a loon!” – Kalben Aldros (La’reen)

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The Western Valley: The Hunting Village of Beck


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If you have the choice to go to Berk or Beck, choose Beck. Beck is a village made up of skilled hunters, who focus their attention to big game.

The reason? Firkin the Bear Bludgeoner of course.

The story goes that about 265 years before the present day the small town of Beck was ravaged by a giant grizzly bear. As the village at the time was focused around farming and logging, like most Northern Scout Posts were, they didn’t have the skills to go after such a powerful beast.

For ten years they fed the bear goats and sheep, hoping that the bear wouldn’t kill the farmers or Gods forbid a child. The villagers of Beck feared leaving the open fields to explore the forests that helped fuel their fires and held a variety of other resources.

That’s when Firkin, a young bullheaded Northerner came to town. He had been put there to manage the scouts and make sure the loggers were working. It was upon hearing the story of the giant grizzly that Firkin decided that it was time for the people to stop fearing an animal and he headed into the woods.

Those in the village say that they heard Firkin and the grizzly fight for three days and three nights before the large Northerner came lumbering out with the skin of the bear. The people no longer feared the forests and became devoted to Firkin’s leadership.

Firkin stayed in the village of Beck when they were abandoned by the North during King Cark’s reign. Firkin married the local warden’s youngest daughter, where they had seven children, four of which became hunters like their father.

It’s from the story of Firkin that hunters from across Gaitan travel to hunt in the western forests in hopes of finding a giant grizzly, or other big game common to the area.

If hunting doesn’t interest you, than the Firkin Inn is bound to hit that historian bone of yours where you can see the head of the giant grizzly hanging behind the bar, while it’s fur is displayed across the ceiling.

“Not much for appearances, but the game is good.”

Rynor Crawlbek (Derm)

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“I only stopped here because I had to.”

Gregindorth Pillywagon (Easterly)

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Master Healer of Fish Bank


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caldorconceptCaldor Lefwid is a Chijin Master Healer, mostly known for his medical and political presence throughout La’reen and the North. As one of the oldest characters I have created, I wasn’t sure what voice to give him. It was upon writing where this old sage came up with his own voice – one that is at times blunt and condescending but at the same time endearing. His pass times consist of reading and educating others in his interests. He loves scouting out potential and watching it blossom. He doesn’t like people who are lazy, and those who are too lazy to speak correctly.

He will not hesitate to correct you.

If you say gonna instead of going to or yeah instead of yes, Caldor will correct you. It annoys him to no end hearing lazy conversations. He also doesn’t like contractions either, believing that if you have enough time to stop and speak there is no point in shortening your words. That is why he usually speaks without contracts unless he is panicked or extremely upset.

He also doesn’t like boring questions.

Don’t ask him how the weather is. Don’t ask him how he is doing. He will just roll his eyes at you and reply with a sarcastic answer, or scoff. He will not say hello to you, but instead say ‘Good Day’. This is his way of prodding for an answer and he will analyse what you say to approach the conversation with you accordingly. If you wish to get on this sage’s good side ask him about his travels time in La’reen, recent publications from Calin, or his adventures to the South. Ask him about his discovery of the Florapeck Blue Cap Mushroom in the caves of Calin, or his experiences learning about Black Creep with the Fellowship of Flesh. There is no shutting him up if you bring up questions about other cultures, or historical events. Believe me… may characters have tried.

He is also not one that will openly show you affection. Regular human emotion confuses him, so don’t expect a hug or a supportive ‘it will be okay’. If you have an issue and go to Caldor for an answer, he will find you a book to solve the problem. Unless it is a medical issue… then he’ll poke and prod you until he figures out what you have.

Appearance:

As a Chijin in origin, Caldor isn’t much taller than 4’5. (Imagine a mix of half-ling/ dwarf).

His hair is long and balding at the top which he mostly hides with the hood of his robe when out in public. His hair is a mix of grey, white and black; as is his beard. His beard is long enough to tuck into the belt of his robe, which he twists to keep from tangling with his hair.

His eyes are hazel and he wears small glasses to assist in reading. The glasses are chipped and sit on a angle due to being put through years of abuse.

Around his grey robe, that rests on the ground hiding his woolen socks and sandals (such a trend setter), is a braided leather belt and a notebook. A pencil hangs from a string around his neck, so he is always ready to take notes.

His eyes wrinkle when he smiles, as do the corners of his mouth.

His eyebrows are like two large, black caterpillars, while his nose is slightly crooked (to the right) from breaking it when he was young. Apparently his father hit him across the face with a textbook when Caldor refused to put it down to help his father with that mornings catch…

Background:

None to speak of, according to him. His father was an abusive drunk which made Caldor’s earlier years hard. His mother was the one that supported his passion for reading and learning, protecting him from most of the abuse. His older brother Cavin left home when Caldor was twelve but worked with their father on the docks in Fish Bank.
Caldor never had interest in becoming a fisherman like his family and always saw himself in the university of Calin.
His father would try to break his spirits by destroying his books or telling him he was nothing – which only made Caldor more determined to reach his goal.easterly

One day Caldor stepped into the middle of his father’s abusive rampage against his mother, and was cracked across the face with a iron pan. He told his brother of what happened, and his brother said he would take care of it. Later that night Caldor awoke to shouting by the docks where he witnessed his brother murder his father, dumping the body into the ocean. Filled with guilt but also a sudden wave of relief, Caldor left home the next evening to head to Calin. He wanted to forget about his past and start the life he always wanted in the large Chijin city in the East. He was sixteen.

Things in Calin started off rough. He took classes at the university and worked as a net maker in the docks of the city for extra money. It was Stelo – a head professor of botany – that saw his potential and took the young Caldor under wing. Caldor worked hard to prove to Stelo that it wasn’t a mistake to give him a chance. He spent the next years buried in his work until he met a Chijin woman, named Sara. They courted for some time but Caldor chose his love for his research over the love of a woman. Sara left shortly after for Derm, making Caldor leave for the South. He spent several years studying medicine in the Glass Tower of La’reen, which sent him travelling around Gaitan to study medicinal practices from specialist across the land. At the age of thirty Caldor gained the title Master Healer.

Free from having to study to gain recognition in his field, Caldor travelled around Gaitan – this time for his own pleasure – learning everything and anything he could about disease and ethnobotany. He published several books used in the university of La’reen, in regards to proper sutures and types of infections. It was upon his publication of his book called, The Mysteries of the Flesh, a book about the strange skin disease (Black Creep) only found within the South, that the King of the North called on him for a more personal matter.

Once arriving in Derm, Caldor was quickly appointed head physician to the King and was instructed to be the Queen’s personal caretaker. Unfortunately there was nothing Caldor was able to do for Queen Azti, as she passed away giving birth to the King’s son. Caldor’s task wasn’t finished though, as it turned out the prince was suffering from his own mysterious sickness. Intrigued by the situation, Caldor took curing the prince as a challenge. No one had been able to cure the late Queen of her illness, but there was hope for the prince.

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