Torum mountains and Oturmi

The Torum mountains is an enormous mountain range covering most of the northern parts of Kotani. It goes as far west as being within sight of the city state of Nuamci, as far south as the Hypparian steppes (east-north-east of Luciat) and the great forest of Cumari. As far east as the northern reaches of Narjannast and the “slim lands” and the lowlands of the Oturmi tribes.

The Torum mountains is inhabited by mountains tribes of the Oturmi in the east, some Odani mountain clans towards the north, and within the mountain range, in the deep valleys and canyons the Wanari and Ran’uhr people live in seclusion, keeping some old, hidden danger at bay. The mountains also house many old fortresses, some hidden cities and underground roads connecting various valleys with old ruined cities and keeps. Somewhere in these mountains the old city of Shar’dahn lies, hidden and forgotten, once a beacon of hope, now a desolate and monster-ridden trap. Here only the inanimate remains of Stonehewn stand and lie about, like shattered gargoyles and face-less statues of some forgotten and perverted civilization.
The great city of Corûn lies crash-landed somewhere in the highest valleys, forgotten, derelict, yet still sustaining some life and hope for an ominous future.

The Oturmi tribes in the north east is a battle-hardened and fierce people.

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A note on religions

Religions on Pentarus varies a lot.

As for Doran and Ameron, and the other places around on the planet, I cannot really say much about the religions specifically.

On Kotani religions are very various, and mostly “small time”… to start at the beginning. My initial ideas for this world was a world that had been through a great war, a really GREAT WAR… a war that was very much caused by religion and other types of narrow minded prejudices… this has of coursed changed somewhat, yet religion is not very central in this world, not the way I GM it anyways.

Luciat and the city states of the nort-west very much abolished religious influence on the social order and infrastructure. Partly because the pain and suffering many religions caused earlier in history. This doesn’t mean that people are not religious or worship some sort of deities, but its small time and not a very dominant factor in peoples lives, as there are more present issues that press on the peoples priorities, not necessarily good ones…

If you go further north, to Odan, and especially into the northern reaches of Odan, you find more pagan and natural religions, worshipping anthropomorphous forces of nature and the like.

Narjannast has religious aspects, but mainly used by the ruling class to subdue the lower classes, and even here it is hardly present in people’s lives. The nature and form of the religion has not been developed yet.

Quein has a religion based in a goddess, forces of nature, magic and old legends. Hardly developed, yet some is known about a magic order and an order of paladins.

Da’nuhn has mainly three religions, but the state-religion is based in the deification of the empress whose extremely long and harsh rule has shaped the order and direction of the country… not necessarily to the better, but nonetheless, its a strong and dominant religion.

Tel’saris also forces a monotheistic totalitarian religion upon its citizens.

Basically my notion is that players that want a religion can develop this themselves, with help from the GM of course if its needed. Gods themselves do not exist as such, but devis and people (like Mudagu and the God Empress of Da’nuhn) of tremendous power do exist. Nature in itself can also make itself “heard” and “known” through magic in certain areas… not necessarily as conscious beings. Magical and godlike creatures and people do exist, but they are not the beings that caused Creation into being.

Diary of Willem Lafayhe

“Day one

My name is Willem Lafayhe. I’ve come from another world to find power. Or at least so it feels. The path I’ve travelled has made me cross an ocean, to reach another continent, in search of Runes of power. I currently possess one. A Rune of Fire. Or at least that is what I think it is.

Back home I have left my mother, my younger brother and my two younger sisters. I do not expect to see either of them again for many years, if I ever see them again.

I arrived at the port in Luciat, a bustling town of trade and commerce in search of these Runes. The Runes in question came into my possession when I was younger and more inexperienced. I had a very limited understanding of the things in my possession then. So I did what any other stupid teenager would do, I sold the Runes in my possession. All but one. They brought in a fair amount of money, money I used to buy a home for my family and another small place for myself. Little did I know that I had sold a fortune for no more than small change in comparison to it’s real worth. Something I found out when my small house burned down one night, and all that was left was the one Rune I had kept after the sale, to remind me of my success… Or my failure as it would prove to be.

And so it came to pass that I used most of my remaining fortune to ensure myself passage across the Broad Sea, to another continent in pursuit of the Runes I had so foolishly parted with only months earlier. And after a while I found myself in Luciat. Where I am now. I have hired the services of two local “informants”. One a wily fellow styling himself Vim, and another one a thug by the name of Pugsley. Not my choice of loyal retainers, but one got to make do with what is available.

I have followed the trail of one of the middle men in the sales of my Runes, and as improbable as it sounds, my informants have managed to dig up some information about his whereabouts.

Day two

Seems my informant was lacking on a little bit of critical information. Such as the fact that Torok, the middle man, is in fact dead. Murdered in the streets. Luciat is such an uncivilized place… And my informant almost got himself jailed over a bar brawl. I am seriously starting to doubts the benefits of this arrangement I’ve made with my two “informants”. At least they managed to scrounge up some useful information about Toroks daily whereabouts before his most untimely death. It seems the man used to live in a warehouse belonging to a merchant from afar named Genahl. As he styles himself, an exotic merchant dealing with only the rarest of trinkets, cloth and spices. So naturally I was curious about what wares he sold, in addition to what his employee might have stored in his warehouse. I think a visit is in order.

And to my surprise I found that I rather enjoyed the visit to Genahl. His selection of wares have proven invaluable. He does indeed deal with some of the most interesting amounts of rare trinkets and cloth and spices. A most curious box with ancient seals have piqued my interest, and we were able to reach an agreement about price. I have also found several scrolls with basics on learning his language, Da’Nuhn, and some scrolls retelling the story of his, compared to the savages who live here, advanced culture.

A quick search in Genahls warehouse, searching the area where Torok was supposed to live, has yielded very few substantial leads, but entirely without merit it was not. I learned that Toroks murderer, whoever he is, is in possession of at least 3 of the Runes of power. If nothing else, I am at least on the right track here.

About a week after last entry.

These past days have proven to be most interesting. I have run across two very distinguishing savages. Much more so than the inhabitants who live in this muck-ridden city.

Borgar, a savage from the far north. He seems to be a bounty hunter or perhaps a lawman from the society he comes from. He is in search of a murderer named Krais, who he has pursued from his homeland far to the north. Borgar is a most intimidating northerner, and his stature proves that the stories I’ve heard about the northerners are probably true. But he pales in comparison to the giant who travelled with him. A man of truly fearsome stature. Bran, a mountain of flesh on two legs. The fascinating thing about this though, is that Bran, more muscles than brain it would seem, is the son of a shaman from his homeland. He knows about the old powers. I must find out more. Maybe this man can lead me to even greater powers? One thing is for sure, this man is not the biceps for brains as he might appear to be.

I think it would be in my interest to help these northerns with their search for the killer they are in pursuit of. Not that I really got a choice, since Vim has made a disappearing on us, and Pugsley seems to be more than eager to abandon his contract to help with catching the killer. Most curious to find something resembling morals in a street thug.

A day after last entry.

The killer was not that difficult to apprehend and secure. But it seems that he had plenty of allies in town, and it would be wise to leave until things settle again. Annoying as it is, it seems I must now rest my investigation of my Runes of power again. And Borgar is insistent that we deliver the culprit for local justice in the land he committed his crime. Why waste the time, he is surely going to hang anyways.

Several days after last entry.

The northlands are so damned cold. So immensely cold. How can there even live people up here?

Several days after last entry.

A town, or something. A fort I’m told. Here we can rest and recuperate. and get some warm clothes. Crag Keep is the name the locals have of the place.

I have studied more of the language Da’Nuhn when possible, and it seems to be a rather simplistic language, but with lots of smaller exceptions. It’s grammar is very straight forward, but the verbs have non-standardized ways of directing time and action. Which makes it very confusing if you don’t know how it is supposed to be. So far this is the only obstacle to mastering the language as I’ve come across. It’s quite ingenious in it’s complex simplicity.

I’ve also come across a few ideas about catalysts for unleashing the powers of the Runes, from the shaman-son Bran of all people. This man is most decidedly not what he seems. Maybe I should try to see if I can get it to work.

One day after last entry.

Borgar has left us to pursue some local bandits and dispense some local justice upon the local populace. I don’t really mind, as it gives me more time to experiment.

A few hours after last entry.

Breakthrough. I can’t believe it. I finally figured something useful from my Rune. Had I not known better I would say that the thing is alive. Alive with power, although running on fumes. I must figure out how to recharge the thing. How, oh how. This is getting me more and more excited. Maybe I am finally on the verge of a breakthrough here. I can’t wait to test it out more later. And I found out that the same method I used to operate the Rune allowed me to open the chest I bought from Genahl. I believe had he known what was inside, he would have charged a higher price for the chest. Not my problem though. Most defenitely not my problem. Also a local has spilled his tounge about a place of power. Or at least so it seems from his descriptions. He claims it is not a place for mortals. It is a place with a will of it’s own and it does not like visitors. I simply must know more about this place. Perhaps I can convince the others to make the trip?

One day after last entry.

Stormy and cold. Hardly a day anyone sane would be outside. And as proof of that, I think I will remain inside today and work more on my studies. See if I can figure out some of the scrolls from Genahls box. They seem to be instructions of sorts. I am unsure of what they instruct though. I am still not fluent enough in this language to make proper sense of it all. But I will continue to study it.”

-W. Lafayhe, archaeologist.

Narjannast (draft)

Narjannast, the mightiest force in the north, or so they claim to be… my forefathers wanted to prove them wrong, and if I may say so myself, I think that history will agree, but I forget myself, this isnt a lecture on politics. Narjannast is an old country with proud traditions that go farther back than most people care to remember, King Erathon IX and his court rules with an iron-grip, yet justice as a rule, prevails. Nayr, the capitol, is a grand city, possibly the largest in the north, well defended and well fed. The palace and the districts north of the river are large, extravagant and well kept. South of the river on the other hand, things are more like what we are used to, practical, functional, grey and hard, sometimes worse than anything found here in Luciat. The rest of the country suffers from similar tendencies, the local lord or knight sits in his castle, well fed, well kept, whilst his hard-working people live in less than they deserve. So is it in a country where the noble and rich live off the work of the less fortunate, and especially when there are so many noblehouses, so many barons, knights and lords and ladies, strong and wilful ladies, beautiful and dangerous, more so than their counterpart

-Lord Nimael Bendheart of Luciat

Tenqain Templars

The Tenqain Templars is an organisation of knights and warriors, seeking out and destroying magic wielders. Their main base of operation is unknown to all but their most trusted allies and officers. They have cells in most larger cities on Kotani, and likely around the world.

In Luciat they stay hidden, as Bendheart sees them as a paramilitary group no better than religious fanatics, and there is no room for that kind of people in Luciat.

The templars originate from the eastern shores of Kotani, most likely Narjannast. Here they walk freely and openly, seeking out witches and warlocks wherever they can find them, killing most, and torturing all they find, be they magic users or just poor victims of social injustice.

The Tenqain Templars believe magic to be the downfall of civilization, of morals, ethics and the natural way of life. They believe in no god as such, but they have what one could call patron saints, which are the founding members of the order and other members of significance that has been part of the organisation since its founding, many hundreds of years ago. Some templars, and in fact all the founding members, know how to wield magic, their repertoire is not big, and they are limited to these spells on the pain of death. The spells they wield are only useful in tracking down mages, protection against magic and of killing and capturing magic users (list to come, most likely guild spells, no particular circle).

Considering the scarcity of magic and most peoples disbelief in and/or lack of knowledge of it, has led some scholars to believe that the templars are funded and controlled by a different force all together, not looking out for the best of mankind, but rather preventing the natural progression of the natural order of Pentarus. Similarly these same speculate that the templars are not of so recent origins as most believe.

Da‘Nuhn

DaNuhn:

These eyes of mine have seen the sun set on the lands of Danuhn for over two centuries now. You ask how a man such as I have achieved this feat? How I have managed to win a victory over the sands of time?

You obviously have no idea who I am, allow me to enlighten you: I am Mudagu.

Capitol: Da’Nuhn

Cities: Da’Nuhn, Te’Nahn, Go’kuhn

Villages: na’lehn, Ti’rohn, Ro’mek, an’teh, Spa’ruhn

Ruler: The Serpent Empress (The God Empress)

Religion:       Ghedra (Snake Godess), Tharloss (Spider Godess),  Arnez (Eagle God)

Other Religions:              Various

Imports:                     Wood

Exports:                     slaves, precious stones and metals

Cultures:                     Urban, Nali, Rural, nomadic, tribal.

Da’nuhn, the southern gem, home of the sand seas and the deadly jungles of Reh’na’lah. The country is the whole of the southern peninsula of Kotani, although the whole is not united as one. Albeit all pay tribute to the Snake Throne, at least on the surface. The western part is what is in actuality the country controlled by the God Empress, this is where all the cities are, the city Da’nuhn itself is placed more or less in the middle, with river connecting it to the serpent bay and the port city of Te’nahn to the north. Go’Kuhn is on the south-western shores. In between is a long stretch of sand dunes where small nomadic tribes and some towns and villages can be found.

In the east the desert goes over into barren lands and hilly mountains, before reaching the jungle Reh’na’lah, which even futher east connects to Nadu Lila.

Luciat

“As we came upon a hilltop I looked westward and in the distance I could again see the great sea, but this a different sea than the one I left so many moons ago. Around us I saw ruins of some old town or city, so little remained that it was impossible to determine what make it was how big it had been or who had lived here and how long ago. Looking back east I saw all my folk spread out, making camp about the ruins. We had lost so many over these last few months, but passing by cities always seemed to attract more followers, whilst loosing some. We numbered somewhere around three thousand souls, plus my men-at-arms and hired mercenaries. So close to four thousand souls. That would be enough to build, protect and supply a city. It was that evening, at supper time, that I made my proposal to my wife and officers, and against their advice addressed the people and founded My city, Our city.”
-From the journals of Lord Demrod Bendheart

Founded by Demrod Bendheart of Narjannast, Luciat is a city-state far to the west and north of Narjannast and the eastern shores of Kotani.

Luciat a sizeable city, holds up to around 500.000 inhabitants inside its city-walls, with many many more just outside in what is knowns as the shanty town.
Luciat has been divided into sectors, the construction work has just recently been finished, between each sector there are check points, passing through most of them is no problem, but a few require papers, especially into the warehouse districts and the wealthier neighbourhoods.
Luciat’s docks and harbour is located about 2 miles or so west of the city, a siezeable town now, yet dependant upon Luciats protection and trade. The harbour itself has been walled, with one main gate facing east to the city, and two smaller gates, one to the north and one to the south. It is patrolled by a few Ternati, but mostly it is kept safe by the new recruits from Bendheart’s new City Guard.

The area between the harbour and the city has been fully settled, all the ruins either removed or used as foundations for new buildings. This area is filled with travellers and poor people. It is patrolled, but the Towns guard, a motley crew of seamen and volunteers armed with clubs and daggers, can hardly be trusted. Most can be bribed, in fact most expect to be. Most inhabitants have to pay for protection, this has led the wealthier of the inhabitants, mostly tavern owners, to go together and form a sort of town council. They have managed to recruit some of the Town guard to work on their behalf, and there is currently a small-time war or conflict going on between the Council of Inns and Towns Guard, in addition there are many gangs of thieves and robbers who fight each other, but small alliances are forming, to prepare for the winner of the conflict between the Council and the Guard.

The area has become known as the Mid Town, it has no walls and has been mostly ignored by the Teranti and Bendheart and his council. The recent criminal activity and the small-time war has come to the attention of Bendheart, but with so many changes and plans in progress there is little he can do. He quietly supports the Council of Inns, but there is little resources he can supply them with.

Lord Nimael Bendheart, the current ruler, has formed the City Guard, trained by the Teranti, to patrol the city markets, guard at the outer city walls and keep law and order within the city walls, for the time being lead by Teranti officers.

The Outer and Inner Cloister and the Rethorus; the power centre in Luciat, is patrolled and guarded by the Hawk’s Guard, the elite and official guards of Lord Bendheart himself.

Trade is good for the city, relations are good with Nuamci to the north and trade has picked up with Be’lak. The southern towns and villages has also started more frequent trade with Luciat. In the bay of luciat ships come and go daily, travelling north, south and westward.

With this new rise in activity, the surrounding country side has become perilous for travellers, as bandits and raiders has started highway robbery of the rich and poor alike. Within the city and the immediate surrounding areas people are somewhat safe from these raiders, but the city’s crime element seems to have become more organised and bold. Bendheart and his council has tried to strike down on this, but so far with little effect. This has lead to the Teranti now being given the mandate to hunt down not just thieves and cut throats, but also petty criminals like pick pockets and scavengers. This has led to some harassment of even honest merchants, as well as swindlers and quacks. Much to the ire of the wealthy merchants and businessmen. Even some nobles are becoming fed up with the persistence of the Teranti and Bendheart. Most common folk on the other hand take the good with the bad, more strict guards and the occasional curfew is considered a small price to pay, for safer streets.

“Luciat is the northern most metropolis on Kotani. It houses somewhere around one hundred thousand individuals within its city walls, and another forty thousand or so outside, most of which can be found along the four mile long harbour, adjacent to the Bay of Luciat. Luciat sits on the western edge of the plains between Narjannast and the western seas, it rests on a hill top, looking down on to the Bay of Luciat, a small basin connecting to the main sea further north and west. Luciat was founded hundreds of years ago by Demrod Bendheart, a nobleman exiled from Narjannast. His city grew rapidly and trade has been good, connecting the northern city-states with the sea and the south, and also some city-states to the east by way of Be’lak.”

-Royal Chronicler Palpus Quir

Luciat Factions

Ruler:

Nimael Bendheart – dictator (rules by right of heritage)

The ruling council 13 members:

1. Lady Reihna Uyari (elected)

2. High Lord Quitahl Bloodmoon (permanent member by heritage)

3. Lord Wilher Uhmuri (elected)

4. Lord Karai Torran (elected)

5. High Lord Andar Suntear (permanent member by heritage)

6. High Lord Torn Rockrift (permanent member by heritage)

7. Merchant Lord Iranu Steephill (elected)

8. Merchant Lord Ytanar Oruqai (elected)

9. High Lady Gwena Windthorn (permanent by heritage)

10. Merchant Lady Turee Porani (elected)

11. Merchant Lady Elaina Naheer (elected)

12. High Lady Morina Thunderspear (permanent member by heritage)

13. Lady Norinth Penla

 This is the ruling body of Luciat. Whilst Bendheart’s will is law, most laws and reforms are discussed with his council. The last year has also seen the addition of one more member, although not holding an official position, the captain of the Teranti is present during most, if not all, sessions of the council. His responsibility being the security and safety of the city makes his thoughts and advise on most reforms important.

Other factions in the city that have some limited political power are:

1. The Merchants guild (with four representatives this term)

2. The Artisans Guild (includes smiths of all kinds, masons and more. Most of the old guilds have been implemented, the main exception being the merchants guild).

3. The Guild of Taverns (although not having large impact, their opinions and issues are usually taken into consideration, as they are the ones who give the people beer and circus so to speak).

4. The Artist Guild (is all but powerless, but they are, without exception the most vocal of the guilds).

5. Thieves Guild (whilst it doesn’t officially exist, the Teranti and the newly created city guard know of them, and some deals have been struck, to keep the city in order).

6. Assassins Guild (are publicly denied, and even in the council there is serious doubt as to the existence of this guild, especially if there is a guild house in Luciat or near by.)

7. The Underground Fighting Guild (again a guild not publicly acknowledged, it does exist, having and underground arena somewhere outside Luciat. Rumours have it that Bendheart hires particularly successful fighters.).