baboushreturns

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Hail High King Deagrin Benthorn,

In Goi'Orka we have heard scattered rumors and reports that the dwarf city of Kagansunun has fallen to a great calamity. And with you marshalling your own forces and preparing to march them so close to my own border I am certainly curious about the situation unfolding there. If you would be prepared to enlighten me I would be much obliged. Furthermore as a sign of friendship and cooperation between our two Kingdoms I would be willing to host 5,000 dwarven refugees in my own kingdom for a time should they need a place to stay.

King Oruk of Goi'Orka, Chieftain of Clan Urdnot
 

Deaghaidh

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Hail High King Deagrin Benthorn,

In Goi'Orka we have heard scattered rumors and reports that the dwarf city of Kagansunun has fallen to a great calamity. And with you marshalling your own forces and preparing to march them so close to my own border I am certainly curious about the situation unfolding there. If you would be prepared to enlighten me I would be much obliged. Furthermore as a sign of friendship and cooperation between our two Kingdoms I would be willing to host 5,000 dwarven refugees in my own kingdom for a time should they need a place to stay.

King Oruk of Goi'Orka, Chieftain of Clan Urdnot


"Do not stir yourself beyond your walls, unless it be to leave the mountains forever. My kinfolk are my concern, and if you mean them no harm do not be seen near them. The beats that desecrated Kogansunan may not have come from your city, or they might have. The truth will be found. In the meantime if you do not wish to be crushed by the hammer of justice, stay clear of its path.

-High King Deagrin Benthorn, King Under the Mountains, Lord Under Stone and Under Sky."
 

Deaghaidh

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((Sry to double post. I wanted to post some description of Highathar for the benefit of anyone thinking of setting an IC there.))

Art and Architecture Under the Mountain:
During its Reconstruction during the reign of Deagrin Benthorn a new style of art arose in Highathar. Called the New Style, it arose out of practical concerns and challenges associated with reclaiming a long abandoned city.

New Style architecture is much more simple and austere than the Old Works. Typically in a dwarf community of much size or age, every surface is covered with engravings, both of text and pictorial representations of history. However in the more easily reached halls the old engravings of Highathar had been destroyed, either in the first fall of the city or by looters (dwarves often added gems and precious metals to engravings of prominent events or people).

Facing chronic shortages of skilled labor, there was rarely any time for work that was not vital to the function or structural integrity of a given chamber, hall or delving. Columns and walls were thus left unembellished. Professional pride prevented masons from leaving rough hewn stone. The native stone was polished smooth, and pillars were left with straight, sharp edges. The primary form of ornamentation was found in lamps, which continued to be wrought of colored glass and small gems. The net result is a simple, strong aesthetic.

Initially a purely practical choice, the New Style earned many fans, especially among the younger generation. It has its detractors though. Public engravings traditionally serve an important role as a daily reminder of history and culture. Some are willing to accept the smooth walls as a temporary measure, to be fixed when the demand on skilled masons declines, but not as a finished form. Unless embellished with statuary in the halls, New Style areas can begin to blend together, making navigation a chore.

Despite this break with tradition, New Style ideas have crossed over to other crafts, particularly metalwork. Newly crafted swords, armor and tools are less likely to have jeweled handles or personal flourishes that make them distinct. Instead complex geometric patterns have become the new norm. Statuary has likewise become more abstract, trying less to reproduce the appearance of the person or thing depicted, and aspiring more to produce what the artist thinks is the appropriate feeling. The twice-life-sized statue of Wrothiron found in the Hall of Strangers is particularly controversial. It is either a grotesque insult or a work of genius, depending on who is asked.

The work (by Aryborn Vladislav) depicts the late High King looming over passers bye, leaning on his warhammer. It is carved in Obsidian, with his beard being made of overlapping axe blades. The statues face is completely smooth, polished to a high sheen. The artist meant to convey the power and strength of Wrothiron, which he felt appropriate for the Hall of Strangers, the last chamber before the second gate.

Many who knew Wrothiron prefer the Old Work style statue outside the entrance to the Diamond District. It was crafted by Hagan Fistsilver, a city dwarf mason who became one of Deagrin Benthorn's Sworn Shields. It is mounted upon a hexagonal plinth carved with accounts of his long and eventful life. The statue itself is life sized and life like, depicting the High King at the Last Council. He is unarmed, his arms thrown outwards in defiant invitation, and his mouth is open in bitter laughter. The King is mostly made of marble, with his gilded armor shining in the lamplight. His eyes are wrought of Mithril and emerald, his long white beard in ivory, his Crown and chain of office in stainless steel. It depicts the famous moment where Wrothiron laughed in the face of the Fallen Lords, and charged into battle against them bare handed.

Those who knew the King personally agree it is a striking likeness. But few non-residents ever are permitted so far.
 
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iisbroke

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((For @Noco19 and @baboushreturns )

Dear Grand Chieftain of Ghulkizad

I will be truthful with you, my liege knows not of this letter. I send this in hopes that once this war is over we can focus our collective attentions elsewhere. I DO NOT seek peace yet, that would be naïve considering the murder on your kinsdwarf. For whenever this feud ends I propose talks of unity comes. Many of my people despise you for sacking Dracona when our backs were turned, but I am not of that generation. Nor am I as beholden to appease that hate as my Chieftain Einir Tudonii is. Tell me your terms and I will work to cool the heads on this side of the battlefield so we may save our strength for greater pursuits.

With Honor,
Tanist Aelhaern Tudonii

Hail Great Ally Oruk Grand Chieftain of Goi'orka,

News of your willingness to assist in this strife pleased me greatly. I understand you do not ask to fight the dwarves, and I will not force your warriors to do so. Instead let us fight together against the Borcis and their confederation. Yes they have formed a confederation of smaller tribes who refused to join me initially. My forces have been commencing purges on many of the minor chieftains. This means anything or one that cannot hold a sword is spared, all else are cut down. Those that joined me form an auxiliary force of 1000 thegns.

Most of the campaign has been minor skirmishes with mixed results until we reached the Fields of Galn-ak. Here a force of 5000 Borci fought mine. They were mostly levy but those fyrdmen pleased their ancestors that day. I lost less men, 750 infantry and 50 cavalry, but I had few pulled to the front to begin with, and will need to bring the full force of Ordivantes over. My war council is optimistic the Borci will soon fall, but I never underestimate a foe. That is why I welcome you to come and join in our glory.

When this war is done let us drink heavy and divide the spoils. As per our previous agreement I shall give all land south of the drawn line to you, and with the war no longer occupying my time, I promise to initiate whole-hearted trade with your great tribe.

With Honor,
High Chieftain Einir Tudonii
 

Terraferma

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(@Mikkel Glahder )

A letter arrives for the Emir from the Emirate of Shiek

Greetings Salah Al-Aziz Nasir Fatumid, Emir of Damasiz

I hope this letter finds you and your realm in good health and governance, as you know the Amenra River will recede in its seasonal ebb and flow, the Emirate is interested in trade and we find that it can be a fortuitous preposition for the two of us given the tension in the area. Without a doubt the machinations of outsiders attempting to meddle in the former kingdom, are in progress. I eagerly await your response.

Hasam Khanduras Sabir, Padishah of Shiek
 

Noco19

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A Private Response is Issued to Aelhaern Tudonii,

"Aelhaern Tudonii, Tanist of the Wilders,

Know first that your Chief leads your people into great calamity by striking against the laws of honor, discourse, and civilization itself, branding your people with a savage nature through his ill deeds. Know second that justice must come, and those that drew the blood of the kin of Ghullkazid must be brought to justice by all means.

Your letter shows, however, that not all Wilders are so eager to allow this dishonor and to embrace the path to destruction. It was not the goal of myself nor of Ghullkazid to bring war to your people, and that should we be respected and should sense rule over the Wilders, we would see no reason to further bring discord to the region. For this condition to be satisfied would demand the following terms:

1. Those responsible for the murders of the Dwarves of Ghullkazid must be brought into chains and presented to the authorities of Ghullkazid
2. The Wilder Chief Einir must be removed from his high office in favor of a civilized Wilder such as yourself

These are but two simple and righteous terms, their necessity obvious in the sign of current events. Ghullkazid cannot rest until justice is applied and those who supported injustice are no longer a threat. Should you accept these terms and find it within your power to support their implementation, such actions would be highly rewarded and be the foundation for proper relations between our two peoples."
 

Sneakyflaps

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On behalf of His Majesty I must decline your request to set up a base in the province of Saxon. While you may hail from here, your birthplace and your home, then you are too unspecific in regards to what a base is. What is it you seek, is it a castle, a house, small or large, within the city, recruitment rights among the peasants who wish to join you or simply those you can gather with might, the right to carry weapons within His Majesty’s city? If you wish to present a contract where some of these things are provided then my clerks are more than happy to meet with you, but for such you must specify the goals of this base, the size of it and the location before we may go into further details and discussions with you.

- William Draker, Count of Pirvu, Governor of Saxon.
 

iisbroke

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A Private Response is Issued to Aelhaern Tudonii,

"Aelhaern Tudonii, Tanist of the Wilders,

Know first that your Chief leads your people into great calamity by striking against the laws of honor, discourse, and civilization itself, branding your people with a savage nature through his ill deeds. Know second that justice must come, and those that drew the blood of the kin of Ghullkazid must be brought to justice by all means.

Your letter shows, however, that not all Wilders are so eager to allow this dishonor and to embrace the path to destruction. It was not the goal of myself nor of Ghullkazid to bring war to your people, and that should we be respected and should sense rule over the Wilders, we would see no reason to further bring discord to the region. For this condition to be satisfied would demand the following terms:

1. Those responsible for the murders of the Dwarves of Ghullkazid must be brought into chains and presented to the authorities of Ghullkazid
2. The Wilder Chief Einir must be removed from his high office in favor of a civilized Wilder such as yourself

These are but two simple and righteous terms, their necessity obvious in the sign of current events. Ghullkazid cannot rest until justice is applied and those who supported injustice are no longer a threat. Should you accept these terms and find it within your power to support their implementation, such actions would be highly rewarded and be the foundation for proper relations between our two peoples."
(For Noco19)

Grand Chieftain of Ghulkizad

Your words bring both hope and trouble. You speak of just for your kin which is understandable, but you seem to ignore that you burned Dracona to the ground twenty years ago which is what fuels the current conflict. I pray to the ancestors you do not fall into the same trap of vengeance. Your accusation that the current chief is savage is as false as when you yourself are demonized here. I offer counter terms which may prove more useful in the long term.

1. Those responsible for the murders of the Dwarves of Ghulkazid will be brought to you in chains.
2. A peace treaty of 5 years will be made between our peoples.
3. 5000 gold from our treasury, what we are unable to pay now will be given through tribute until made full.
4. Free trade and passage for your merchants.

I am not the leader, nor will I support plans to usurp a man I consider brother, these are terms I know he would agree with and be able to convince the majority of the more powerful chiefs to agree to as well. Many of those responsible for the attack on your kin should still be alive, they had been purposefully placed on dangerous missions as a means for the spirits to determine their fate.

With Honor,
Tanist Aelhaern Tudonii
 

Noco19

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A Private Response is Issued to Aelhaern Tudonii,

"Aelhaern Tudonii, Tanist of the Wilders,

You levy harsh words for our actions of the past, but know that it transpired during a period of war, when all parties were well aware of the horrors of war. But what transpired against my kin in this modern age was not war, but treachery. They came as peaceful diplomats bringing talk of trade, and they were murdered. This was not an act borne of strategy or the natural consequences of a Great War, but of malice serving solely to spite Ghullkazid and usher in a renewed era of conflict.

And this has gone on with the open support of your Chief. There is no other word than savage to describe one who not harbors those guilty of treachery, but also backs them by opening the first volley of war by declaration of hostility. Know that it was Einir who first declared us to be a warring people, and know that it was the full intention of Ghullkazid to bring justice, not total war, upon the Wilders. The violence that threatens your people was the result only of the criminals within your people, and the Chief who holds them in close counsel.

Your terms, while promising, would only be acceptable if we were to be assured that your Chief no longer embraces the tactics of treachery he has thusly backed. Likewise, he must make it clear through public declaration that his actions and those under him have been flawed and unjust. It is not enough that we merely take his word, for he has proven it to be a word associated with deceit, so then his word must be spoken with absolute regret and absolute repentance for what has transpired. Only then may Ghullkazid feel safe."
 

iisbroke

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A Private Response is Issued to Aelhaern Tudonii,

"Aelhaern Tudonii, Tanist of the Wilders,

You levy harsh words for our actions of the past, but know that it transpired during a period of war, when all parties were well aware of the horrors of war. But what transpired against my kin in this modern age was not war, but treachery. They came as peaceful diplomats bringing talk of trade, and they were murdered. This was not an act borne of strategy or the natural consequences of a Great War, but of malice serving solely to spite Ghullkazid and usher in a renewed era of conflict.

And this has gone on with the open support of your Chief. There is no other word than savage to describe one who not harbors those guilty of treachery, but also backs them by opening the first volley of war by declaration of hostility. Know that it was Einir who first declared us to be a warring people, and know that it was the full intention of Ghullkazid to bring justice, not total war, upon the Wilders. The violence that threatens your people was the result only of the criminals within your people, and the Chief who holds them in close counsel.

Your terms, while promising, would only be acceptable if we were to be assured that your Chief no longer embraces the tactics of treachery he has thusly backed. Likewise, he must make it clear through public declaration that his actions and those under him have been flawed and unjust. It is not enough that we merely take his word, for he has proven it to be a word associated with deceit, so then his word must be spoken with absolute regret and absolute repentance for what has transpired. Only then may Ghullkazid feel safe."

Grand Chieftain of Ghullkazid

And what exactly does "his word must be spoken with absolute regret and absolute repentance" mean? Speak plainly for further misunderstandings will only lead to more conflict in the end.

With Curiosity
Tanist Aelhaern Tudonii
 

Noco19

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A Private Response is Issued to Aelhaern Tudonii,

"Aelhaern Tudonii, Tanist of the Wilders,

Plainly put, your Chief must have complete sincerity as judged by Ghullkazid, and must be explicit in his understanding that his actions were of vile nature. It is not simply that he affixes his name to any agreement with Ghullkazid and silently tolerates peace, he must be speak to the Wilder people and make clear his failings, and also make clear that no further attacks will be tolerated on my kin.

The folks of Ghullkazid are outraged by the heinous acts of Einir and those he supports, and so it must be that his tone must be apologetic and sincere. All must know his failures and all must know he acknowledges them."
 

baboushreturns

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High Chieftain Einir Tudonii,

Thank you for the information provided against the great barbaric horde we both know as the Borci. Congratulations on your latest victory as well, it certainly lightens the spirits of my troops to hear our foe has been handed such a great defeat. I hope you and your kin are doing well, I will march my army with all due haste northwards to help deal the final blow to our enemy. I am grateful however that you specified, the Ghulkazzid are not my enemy, they like you are a folk I consider to be honorable and respectable allies. Therefore I push you with all of my will towards making peace with the great King of that land for fighting him only helps those we are our mutual enemies. There must be peace in the west for our people to enjoy good lives at home. I hope you understand what I am saying High Chieftan, all due efforts must be made to bring that war to an end.

Until next we meet,

-Oruk King of Goi'Orka, Chieftain of Clan Urdnot
 

Keinwyn

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Lizard Cavalry

The general lack of vegetation in the Ashlands precluded the use of horses as beasts of burden. In their place, the Köçeri Drow turned to lizards. As omnivores, riding lizards were able to survive the barren environment on a diet of fungi, lichens, snakes, rats and other small creatures, though they require meat in order to reach their full size and maintain good health.

qxjhLAB.jpg

The Köçeri often used magical means of compulsion in the training and use of riding lizards so that the lizards were both fearless and perfectly obedient. Since settling, however, the drow of Akkum have begun to raise the lizards in captivity, although wild specimens are captured from time to time in order to vary their bloodlines. Using training techniques in place of fading magics, the lizards can be moulded into suitable battle steeds trained to bite and savage their opponents. A few private individuals possess one or two lizards, whilst the lady of Akkum has arranged for entire units of lizard cavalry able to serve on the battlefield.

Riding lizards are large; usually twenty to twenty-five feet long with their tails making up near half that length. They possess a keen balance and have four-toed feet with sticky pads that allowed them to climb vertically with little difficulty. Skilled riders are known to be capable of staying seated even when their mount is upside-down. Possessing a savage bite, the lizards are a weapon in their own right. Their scaly like skin serves as light armour, though will likely be incapable of stopping a determined spear thrust. Paired with a competent rider wielding a combination of bow and spear they are a potent force on any battlefield. With a lifespan of around 30-40 years, the lizards offer an excellent return on the time invested in their training, and trained war lizards have become highly valuable objects.

The lizards are also undeniably tasty.
 

Endovelicus

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Exile Imprisonment;
Purgatory
Part II of III IC with Sneaky feat. Greatslayer
She had lost track of time, all she could do is sit and wait, occasionally attempting to stomach the food she was given, spending most time in between sleeping, or trying to keep herself entertained, at night often counting the stars, trying to find the constellations, dreaming of home. She even started talking to the crazy woman in the other cell some times, just to pass the time. She smelled like something unimaginable, but her nose stopped caring, or rather got used to it. Even the guards often shied away from her stench.

After what felt like a few weeks some guards came and opened the door, like the old man with a loud bang, waking her.They went over and gagging her again as they dragged her out and onto a cart, she still had no strength to even attempt struggling. They took her over to another building at the village, you could even see the scars of the rebellion touch these lands if you looked around the rest of the village, these people were in the front lines. She was put in a room, a judge and several members of prominence in the village, or local gentry sitting in the jury as the gag was removed a man, well dressed stood up. “Evelia of Splitwood, you stand accused of breaking His Majesty’s laws, by illegal poaching and hunting of animals. Do you have any defense?”

‘’For the hunting, no, not really. I did what I had to do to survive.’’ She looked into the man’s eyes quickly, then moved her gaze upon the other members. ‘’And I am not Evelia of Splitwood.’’ She took a deep breath. ‘’I am Malisa Aingeal, Princess of Thaanos.’’ She could feel them stare at her, she didn’t look very regal at this moment in time, they probably still thought she was crazy. ‘’I know it does not change what I did, but it might have you reconsider what you will do with me.’’ She hoped that might help, somehow.

They just stared, an occasional cough in the room as some of the jury looked towards the judge who simply stared at the woman, others were giggling at the absurd claim, pointing towards her. “And do you have any proof of this absurd claim?”

She was sick of this question already, she knew who she was… if only she would’ve been honest to the guards before hand maybe none of this would’ve happened. ‘’One of the guards who caught me and brought me to your town, he has the bow of Hendrik Aingeal, one of my ancestors, on it all the names of its bearers are carved into it, including mine, Malisa Aingeal.’’ She still had no idea where the bow might be, she hadn’t seen it in weeks, presumably. Did that guard still carry it perhaps?

The man sighed “Do you know who any of these guards are, or just a fanciful story?” He asked, tired of this already. The jury did not seem quite convinced either, to them it must've sounded even more absurd, most of them probably forgot about Thaanos already.

‘’They carried a banner, with a sigil, it was crimson, with shields on it, two with a golden lion, one portraying unicorns on a blue background and I remember a harpy, on a night red background.’’ The way the image formed in front of her, and the way she described it somehow made her seem somewhat regal, her lessons helped her after all it seemed. It suddenly came to her, she had seen it before, ages ago, it was one of the banners she was taught to know out of her head, but she had also seen it during the time of…. ‘’The Royal banner.’’ She quickly spoke up, realizing where the guards came from. ‘’They were well clothed, armoured even. One of them was quite young, brown eyes, dark hair, facial hair as well. A Captain judging by his looks, he took the bow.’’ She tried to revisit when she saw it.

Gasps and gossip went through the room as they all looked at her, shocked at her sudden spurt of knowledge, most of the people in the room could probably not even describe the banner in the same detail she could. “You are aware of the implications this would have for you, should you speak falsehood?” The judge gave her an icy look.

‘’Death… I presume.’’ she tried to recall when she saw the banner. She faintly remembers something before the rebellions. ‘’I am daughter to Balfour Aingeal, who was a friend to your previous King, Ares who was married to the elf Eylinn Mindrilla, they were there with their son, your current King, Varian.’’ It suddenly all seemed to clear to her, perhaps it was out of the dire need of this knowledge in this situation, perhaps something else. ‘’I have travelled to Ecclestius in need of answers, answers to the murder of my father. Rumors started during towards the end of the Westmarch rebellions he had been killed by an Ecclestian. I wanted to seek out those who could help me, without my sister finding out. I had to keep my identity hidden.’’ She hoped they would understand, the proof must've seemed so lackluster to the jury. All they saw was a woman covered in mud, with the worst stench trying to defend her actions, yet speaking of regal matters. They seemed to have mixed emotions about the whole situation.

The judge just looked at her, his mouth slightly hanging until he stood straight once more. She heard the members of the jury gossiping to eachother. “The court is hereby adjourned, you will be given quarters more befitting of your so claimed station, until we receive word from court. Lets pray that it is good news, for your sake.” He said as he stood up and walked out. There was an uproar in the jury from those who didn't believe a word, some even yelling obscenities, but she felt glad, kind of.

She was brought to a new room, it was finer, an actual bed, but even better for the sake of everyone else, a bath. It was an actual proper room, a roof above her head, a window, she could not open it but a window nonetheless. She hadn't had a roof above her head for the past two years, it was a pleasant change, even if she was still locked in there. There still stood two guards outside, but at least everything else was improved, she even had access to some books.

The first thing she did was look through the books there, there were quite a lot, a lot of unique ones a lot of those she wouldn’t even be able to find in Thaanos. She took out the first one that interested her the most, it was about the history of Ecclestius. She prepared herself for a bath as it was so sorely needed, she put the book next to her whilst she was bathing, occasionally flipping a page to continue reading. In the back of her head she knew this was still a cell, but it somehow felt homely. Perhaps it was because she had been away from her own for over two years. She nearly forgot what comfort was like, even the hay from her previous cell felt like heaven compared to some of her other sleeping spots she had to endure.

After she felt clean enough she stood up from the bath, looking at the residue she left in it, she had been due for a bath in weeks. She dried herself and put on some of her clothes that weren’t too dirty. She went to the door and asked one of the guards to bring her a bucket of water, to wash her clothes with. The water quickly turned a disgusting brown colour, she requested a few more buckets afterward, the guards did comply. Her leather tunic and boots had begun cracking from the mud that dried into it, cleaning it only showing the cracks even more.

It took the better time of two and a half days for the clothes to dry after the washing, it was quite a damp cell, but at least she had clothes she could wear once more. It was her leather outfit, it had served her well, it was tough and good against the rainy weather, she also had her tunic with cowl but decided to leave the cowl off now, people knew of her identity now, no reason to hide it within these walls, and it was not nearly cold enough for a cowl either. She remembered she lost her gloves back at the camp, when the guards came, but at least she still had her leather boots.

She was stuck there for the next four weeks, it became quite lonely, she did not have anyone to talk to, unlike her other cell. This one gave her too much time to think, she tried having conversations with the guards occasionally, some of them would talk with her, most chose to ignore her however, she had been reading a lot of books however, most of them about Ecclestius, she felt she had learned a lot about Ecclestius, if not for their style of writing she thought was very keen. Then one night she was told to prepare for the coming morning, to leave after breakfast. She made sure she got a good night sleep, she ended up reading another whole book instead however, it calmed her mind more than sleep, books had been her best friends the last two years. She did as she was told the next day, she clothed herself in that which she had with her and was escorted by the guards. They passed outside.

Outside sat the lord who had arrested her months prior, dressed in well respected cloathing, befiting his station as a nobleman of the realm, among him were the royal guards once more on horse back, some of which she seemed to remember, at least they looked familiar. He dismounted and went over to her, bowing “Lady Malisa.” He said, “I’m here to escort you to Azeratii. I am Edward Garmon, Baron of Eklow.”

She eyed him with a suspicious look, this man had a bad aura, she did not know why but it just seemed that way, perhaps it was the looks in his eyes. She had wanted to go to Azeratii, but never expected it go be in this way. ‘’We have met before, but not by name as you probably remember.’’ she said. ‘’What will we be doing in Azeratii?’’ she asked quickly.

“You will be receiving an audience with His Majesty, I remembered your papers and you believed that your father had been murdered by an Ecclestian, as such His Majesty finds it concerning should there be any truth to these rumours.” He said as he straightened his back, the hooves of a horse behind him clicking against the pavement as the rider walked forward with a horse.

She would be escorted from Caston to Azeratii, it was a long way, but the roads in Ecclestius made it comfortable enough. The further east they went the better the infrastructure would be, going from trodden roads to stone roads quite quickly. They took mostly the coastal route, the one around Jacobs Bay. Even though there used to be a metropolis in its centre which was evaporated by the explosion twenty years ago, the surrounding lands were surprisingly fertile. One of the nights they spend alongside the bay, setting up camp as the sun set beautifully over the bay, with a few boats which could be seen in the distance. It was strange to think people lived there, how many people died there, buildings turned into ashes, if even that. She could've written a book describing the sight alone. She might not have been in the company of those who appreciated this sight but she didn't mind, solely the location would be imprinted within her mind.

They had also passed the Wolfswood, even the forest looked more lively than the Westmarch plains, the roads becoming even wider from this point on, she could sense Azeratii getting nearer, it took a few more days for them to get there.

She was about a kilometre away from the first huts and houses of Azeratii, it has grown bigger, beyond that which had been described in the history books. They continued through the outer Azeratii region, it was not a pretty sight, it was crowded, dirty. There were probably more people than she had ever seen just in this one place, she wondered how they would stay fed with this amount of people in the city, even fresh water must have been hard to come by in this amount. She saw a few fights going on when they were travelling through the slums, people either cheering around them, or yelling brutal words. There were but few guards, far apart as well, yet it seemed mostly stable. They passed beyond a gate, it was more heavily guarded, you could instantly see the change from the slums to the inner city, things were cleaner, the streets emptier as well however. The outer wall she passed had been in quite a bad state. They continued to the castle that could be seen in the distance. The further into the city the better state it was in, the palace was beautiful, astonishing.

She was escorted in, awaiting what might be coming next.

 

iisbroke

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A Private Response is Issued to Aelhaern Tudonii,

"Aelhaern Tudonii, Tanist of the Wilders,

Plainly put, your Chief must have complete sincerity as judged by Ghullkazid, and must be explicit in his understanding that his actions were of vile nature. It is not simply that he affixes his name to any agreement with Ghullkazid and silently tolerates peace, he must be speak to the Wilder people and make clear his failings, and also make clear that no further attacks will be tolerated on my kin.

The folks of Ghullkazid are outraged by the heinous acts of Einir and those he supports, and so it must be that his tone must be apologetic and sincere. All must know his failures and all must know he acknowledges them."
Hail Grand Chieftain of Ghullkizad

It has been brought to my attention by my Tanist that he has been in secret correspondence with you. In truth once I learned of the murder of your kin I assumed any attempts at peace would be forfeit anyway, thus going forward with war was the best option. He has shown I ered in my haste and narrow mind. While I shall deal with much revulsion from the powerful chieftains who support me I am willing to openly acknowledge that the acts were barbaric, and my foolish actions betrayed my youth and inexperience. Though as you must know words mean little, which is why I am willing to offer you several things to bridge the gap between our people.

Ever since Dracona was burned 21 summers ago it has been an uphill climb to fix our economy. Even though we should be able to pay 5000 gold within 2 seasons, at most. Those who committed the murder are already being rounded up to be sent to you to do with as you please. Once my war with the Borci is done I'll install a new tribe to govern the land, one who has more favorable view of dwarves. A law will be passed to reinforce free passage and trade for your merchants and diplomats. I will not be so bold as to ask for 5 years of peace, as you may be pressured by your people for war as well. I am willing to offer peace, and let you set the time frame.

My final point is more of a favor to an amiable neighbor. You may or may not know of King Oruk of Goi'orka. He is a neighbor of mine and has voiced to me a desire that his orcs, your dwarves, and my wilder form a triple alliance. For his sake I only ask that you begin trading with him if you have yet to. Perhaps a more neutral mediator such as he would help in our dealings, but for now I leave that to your discretion.

1. Those responsible for the murders of the Dwarves of Ghulkazid will be brought to you in chains.
2. A peace treaty will be made between our peoples.
3. 5000 gold from our treasury, what we are unable to pay now will be given through tribute until made full.
4. Free trade and passage for your merchants.
5. Open trade with Goi'orka
7. My Public denouncement of this war and instilling laws, which will be enforced, to end this feud many lust for.

With Shame and Humility
High Chieftain Einir Tudonii
 

Endovelicus

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Exile Imprisonment
Freedom
Part III of III IC with Sneaky feat. Greatslayer

She had been in Azeratii for a few days now, the city was immense, even though she could only observe it from her room, as she was not allowed to leave the castle. Yet again she had enough books at her disposal for a life time, reading through about three in the time she's been there. She had been given a proper quarter, a few rooms, well decorated, comfortable, a large bed and two servants to take care of her needs. Two days ago the tailor had been there, taking her measurements. It had been made clear that she had to wear something proper, and not appear as a peasant. The new dress had been delivered to her rooms, the servants ready to help. Along with it had been a box, inside of it having jewelry. She reluctantly put on the dress with the help of the servants, it had more layers than she was used to, going from undergarments to a kind of cover. Then over that was the dress itself, an azure blue, over that a tunic in the same azure blue however with a golden trim around it, her sister would've probably loved the dress, the quality couldn't be met by any tailor in Thaanos, but Malisa couldn't care less, in fact she kind of despised being dressed up like this, it was not in her nature. They were not even done yet, she also had to don the jewelry that came with it, it was once again high quality, expensive, shiny jewelry. It seemed to be pure gold, with a sapphire to accommodate the azure dress. She also had to wear earrings, fashioned in the same way. The servants also made sure her hair was in the best shape, her auburn hair contrasting the blue nicely. It seemed like an awful amount of work to put into a meeting she thought, did Varian want all his visitors to play dress up?

Some time passed before she was brought into a larger room, escorted by guards once more. Varian was sitting at the end of the table, goblet in his hand as his wife sat to his right, and his mother to the left, the servants standing ready to serve the food as Varian’s stomach growled, getting rather irritated with the waiting, his fingers ticking on the table. Lower down the table sat Eylinn, the Queen-Dowager, and ruler of Thaanos northern neighbour the Green Chasm in Galadriel. She stood, looking over at her with a radiant, warm smile, glistening as bright as her white, gilted dress.

She moved forward with the two guards escorting her, looked across the room till she was near the table and looked toward the King, Queen and Queen-Dowager. She felt rather inferior compared to them, their dresses and jewelry even outshining that what she was given. The jewelry they were wearing was probably worth more than the treasury of her family. It still seemed rather weird as well, that one of the most influential people in Agorath, if not the most influential was their next door neighbour, so to speak. After her fathers death the connection between the Thaanosians and Elves became practically non-existent, as with nearly all connections within Agorath, Eylinn's beauty had not changed from last time she met her however. She greeted the King as well as she tried to remember from her lessons. ‘’Greetings, Your Grace.’’ she bowed.

Varian looked at her, “Your Highness.” Even if her manners lacked, his would not. He motioned for her to allow her to take a seat as his wife stood up and nodded to Princess before sitting back down. Varian spoke up “We hope your stay here in Azeratii has been more pleasant than what preceded it.”

She returned the nod to the Queen, sat down and said ‘’It had been rather pleasant already, weirdly enough, exile shows you how to enjoy the little things in life.’’ she smiled. ‘’I am glad you received my message. My dear... ‘’ it felt rather stupid to say in this company ‘’...sister needs the truth, as do I, to what happened. I have heard countless rumors which point the blame towards your Kingdom, they are often wild accusations.’’ she was fumbling nervously with her hands under the table, it was probably disrespectful but she could not help herself, she suddenly felt so powerless, even though it was not in her nature.

The food was brought in, much to Varians joy as selected the food he wished to eat, the carver's knife cutting thin slices of meat which they placed on his plate. “I am most alarmed to hear that, for we have never wished such a fate upon the friend of our father.” He said as he cut the meat, the juice flowing out as the knife cut it off. His queen had likewise gotten her food, as she took small bites, looking towards the guest with a suspicious look.

“If I may be so bold as to ask…” Eylinn began treating, as she helped herself to carve her own dinner, waving the carver off with a dismissive gesture. “...have any of your leads made you any wiser about the true origin of duke Balfour’s assassin? Ecclestius is a large realm, yet the West is even larger. And hardly do I believe the Dwarves having any motives to encroach upon Thaanosian soil, and neither has Elf-kind.”

She felt the pressure build up, anxiety even. ‘’I… I am not sure, most of my sources are from Westmarch, dukes, lords, barons, the lot, those who fought against Ecclestius in the first place. The only proof I know for certain is that a sword, styled after Ecclestian designs, was found near my fathers body, covered in his blood.’’ She felt judged in this company, it all seemed so stupid, every word leaving her mouth. She tried looking them in the eyes, luckily Varian seemed more interested in his food, that left the suspicious stare of his Queen and Eylinn’s glazing looks. She herself could however not bare thinking of food at this moment.

“So in truth you have nothing?” Varian said as he looked up to meet her gaze as he took a piece of bread and tore a bit off, the crumbs falling on the table. His wife simply shook her head as she began eating, looking away from her. You could hear a slight snickering coming from the Queen, as if to mock her even more so.

‘’I had books full of notes… except the Baron ordered his men to burn those.’’ In fact she knew even those notes wouldn’t have helped anymore. She felt even more embarrassed after seeing the Queen shaking her head. ‘’All we want is the truth, somehow.’’ whether is be good or bad news, we need it.

“Did he now?” Eylinn said, raising an eyebrow in surprise. “Know at least that from the Chasm you will receive full support in your investigation should you need it. I do so regret how contact seemed to near seize between our neighbouring lands after that gruesome event.” She leaned her cheek upon her palm as she studied the young princess with a compassionate gaze. “Tell me, how does your family cope? I cannot imagine the difficulties you must have been through.” Varian simply looked at his mother, unimpressed with the question as he pointed to the roasted pig and the carve set to his work before the king continued eating.

Somehow she did not know whether to find Eylinn’s look and question comforting or intimidating. ‘’Our mother probably had the toughest time, she stood regent until me and my sister reached the age of sixteen, she had to lead us through the last year of the rebellions in Westmarch, there were a lot of people that lost their homes during that war, looking for shelter within our borders, my mother could barely handle it and decided to shut it down, basically closing the borders, for everything. Meanwhile my sister and I were trained for court, more focus was put upon my sister as she was to become the Duchess, as the older one.’’ It all seemed like it had just happened yesterday to her. ‘’By the time she became sixteen the people of Thaanos had changed, the people feared the outside, even those of non-Thaanosian descent still within the borders… I wished it all had not gone this way. They started crying out for a Queen, someone to pull them through the hard times into better ones.’’ She became quiet as she once again was afraid to face judging looks. She could still feel the Queen-dowager’s gaze enduring, however, still looking on with interest.

“I doubt not your sister will be that queen they ask for, as will you be the sister that she so direly need. Come now, child. Do not feel fearful. You are among friends. And myself, I’ve heard…” Eylinn smiled. “...have long ears for listening to what more you’d have to say.” Had she made it so apparent she felt intimidated? That's all she could think about for a second, as for her sister, she might be who they asked for, but she will lead Thaanos into ruin, if this continues.

Varian leaned back with his goblet in hand, enjoying the rich wine as he looked at the young Princess, she certainly seemed less secure of herself than what he remembered when thinking back. “You doubt, cast uncertainty and reluctance, why is that?” Varian asked as he finally took some interest.

‘’The events of the past have portrayed suspicions and uncertainty on me, those years have not been easy. My sister and I used to get along very well, now we couldn’t be more distant, she is the one that exiled me, I did not just want to believe her side of the story about our father's death, so she sent me away. She had been changing Thaanos even more in her two years of reign, that I have heard of.’’ she slowly gained back some confidence she had lost by talking to Eylinn and Varian, the Queen’s suspicious looks kept burning upon her face however. Varian placed his hand over that of his wife, which at least made some of the burning gaze cease, perhaps she was jealous of her in some way, it seemed a silly idea for it to have been that way however.

“Then perhaps we need reminding your sister she isn’t to feel threatened by us at the very least. Perhaps an envoy to Thaanos is in order? To break the ice?” Eylinn said while tapping her chin.

“And the point, mother?” Varian asked, as he began eating again, some fish this time. “Shall we send a message saying that we wish friendship, happy memories and fun fridays? I fail to see what such an envoy would do. If the Queen is paranoid, what would an envoy change?” Malisa couldn't even fathom reacting to her own mother like that, however being King of Ecclestius probably requires more respect than being an elder, it seemed to her.

Eylinn snorted, and took a bite from her meal. “If that is what you think than let so be it. I spoke for the Chasm, not Ecclestius.” Malisa sensed a bit of tension between them, perhaps quite a bit of it.

‘’Perhaps there is some solid proof I could bring back with me to Thaanos, we can worry about envoys later, I just need to show my sister she is looking in the wrong place.’’ She looked toward Varian, who was still feasting, of course, was this how it went every day?

He looked back at her, “Will she believe you?” the Queen cast her eyes upon Malisa once again as well with a look of disgust.

‘’I mean this with no offense, however I do believe my sister needs the words to come from my mouth rather than a messenger. It would only make her more suspicious.’’ It could just as well end up with her being imprisoned back in Thaanos, but she was willing to take that risk.

“Then I believe you have a clear task ahead of you.” He said as a servant refilled the goblet, Varian taking another piece of bread. “As for your father, I truly do not know what happened to him, my father sad to hear of his passing, but beyond that I know very little of those events.”

Eylinn shrugged her shoulders. “Perhaps my sister’s reports could lead to some clues for her to trace.” Eylinn stood and walked slowly over to Malisa, approaching with a determined yet dignified pace. In her knees she had held a letter, with a mark noticeable only to well from its image of a still lake under a canopy of trees. The sigil of Mirrorwater hold. “Take this. Read it. Maybe it will set you on the right path” It had seemed odd that Eylinn waited up until this point to give this to Malisa, she quickly forgot about that as she opened the letter however, astonished by its contents.

She asked if she could be pardoned and rushed off back to her room. She saw her bow laying there, returned to her as well as her clothes. She quickly changed into them and rushed out, some of the guards were surprised by this, someone rushing out of the palace.

She had to return, return home quickly.

((Malisa learns about her fathers death, quickly traveling back to Thaanos in an attempt to explain it to her sister.))
((Th Princess is seen travelling through Ecclestius bound toward Thaanos alone in a hurry.))
 

Sneakyflaps

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A Marriage in Shambles
(Right after Exile Imprisonment)

As the Princess of Thaanos had left and his mother retired, Varian sat in the room together with his wife, taking ripping a piece of the song bird off, putting the flavor filled meat into his mouth as the he began chewing on it, the taste and juices of the meat dancing on his tongue. He shot a glare over to his wife who sighed before continuing to eat, he kept looking until he swallowed and leaned slightly forward. In a quick motion he slammed his hand down over her wrist, holding her tightly as she gasped and almost jumped out, “That was uncalled for.” He asked, angry as he looked at his wife.

She tried pulling her hand to herself, unable as he held onto her tightly. “Is she the one?” She asked, still trying to pull her hand towards her, his grip hurting her.

“What are you talking about?” He asked as he took his goblet with the other hand, drowning this conversation in some more wine.

“Don’t play the fool Varian, it doesn’t suit you.” She said almost desperately, he could see a tear forming in her eyes as he finally let go of her wrist. “I know you spoke with Friedrich about a girl you wanted to bed.”

“Ah.” He simply said as he looked at her and leaned back. “No, that isn’t her, she has barely been here in the city. Besides…” he said as he took another piece of meat from the bird. “…She is a redhead, I thought you knew my feelings on them after I told you dismiss that lady-in-waiting of yours.”

“Then who is it?” She asked, venom almost dripping out of her mouth as she spoke. “Is it the Princess? Did she finally spread her legs for you as you wanted the last decade?” Her body beginning to shake in anger.

“No.” He said, relaxing in the chair as he stared into her eyes. “She declined me long ago and I respect her choice and wish.”

“Then how come you never respect mine?!” She almost yelled back at him, “Then who is it? Have you slept with her already?” A tear rolling down the Anne’s cheek as she spoke.

Varian simply shook his head. “But I did respect your choice did I not, you said you no longer wanted me in your bed, I obliged and found my pleasures elsewhere, it was you who denied me, it was your choice, not mine.” He said before looking at her, having grown tired of this argument quickly. “I have not and she is no whore, and neither will I have you speak of her as such.” He sighed. “Her name is Valria.” He said as he stood up from the table and went over to his wife, letting his finger run down her cheek and wiping off her tear, as he leaned down. “Perhaps now you can refrain from yelling and insulting the one I bed. Carry yourself with some dignity this time, like those before you.” He said as he straightened back up.

“How dare you.” She said quietly, short, as she stood up in a quick movement and slapped him before regaining her composure, gasping and falling to her feet, tears rolling down her cheeks, begging for forgiveness while pulling at his clothes as Varian simply stared her down, his eyes cold.

He pulled his leg to him, walking away from her as she cried. He stopped just before the door as he turned his head slightly back towards her, “The court will be informed that you have taken ill.”
 
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Terraferma

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Shiek: Muthaqaf


As far as religion goes, the area encompassing the Emirate of Shiek shares the same similarity of The Creator who created the world as we know it as well as the Dark One who was born from The Creator during the dawn of time in the era where the creatures of the planet tried to steal the power of the Gods for themselves, this is known as The Uprising. Beyond that, Muthaqaf diverts away with its own teachings and beliefs. Meaning “Enlightened” the current state of affairs is but a cycle, one of many with a beginning and an end. Muthaqaf teaches that the world goes through various iterations and transformations constantly being recreated and finally destroyed to begin anew, starting yet another cycle. The main forces behind these limitless cycles are the agents of order and change. The Creator and the Dark One are these agents representing life and death, creation and destruction. In the eyes of those who follow Muthaqaf, also known as Muthas, one cannot survive without the other for with both, a balance is created. There can be no light without the shadow and vice versa.

There were 4 ranks within the religious sect starting with the lowest the Alim, followed by the Apostle, the Cleric and the Imam. Those that are Alim are the learners, dedicating their lives to the path of mastering Muthaqaf to one day teach it to others. Apostles are the emissaries and the messengers of their religious beliefs with those who fulfill their solemn duties elevated to Clerics, local leaders who in turn elevate one of their own to become Imam, essentially a regional voice of Muthaqaf. This decentralized structure has allowed for the following to survive the heavy handed efforts of Padishah Khalib ranging from harassment and imprisonment to outright executions however infrequent.

A fringe group believes that when both the Creator and Dark One were cast out from direct interaction with the world, they created lesser beings to act in their stead. Some identify them as Demigods while others say they are Lesser Gods wielding different aspects of both the Maker and the Destructor respectively. Representing the will of the light, Sylverin and Trion were born into the world while the shadow disgorged Margaux and Palmyra. Their role was to carefully watch the world and its inhabitants only intervening when the balance was threatened. Sylverin violated these soon to be called Codes of Conduct by not only intervening frequently but creating his own race of sentient beings known as the Mythos, an avian species capable of long periods of flight as well as walking on land. His creations prospered and expanded, however, they began to encroach on the influence of others and Sylverin, endeared to his so called offspring ensured they would continue on their trajectory.

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Mythos Spell-weaver

Trion, known as “The Wise” and “Temperance” tried in vain to persuade and reign in his brother least they draw the ire of Margaux “The Deathly” and Palmyra known as “The Deceiver” but it was already too late. For Margaux in particular, enough was enough. He set out to bring back balance and cursed the Mythos first with plague and then fear allowing the species to tear itself apart with the inner conflicts that followed. A war between Demigods, known as The Disturbance, erupted over the ashes of this once powerful mortal race with Palmyra wily tricking the mourning Sylverin to change sides. This imbalance nearly wiped out everything their forebears had ordained causing The Creator to imbue Trion, exhausted from both the demigod war and Sylverin’s betrayal, with the power to create two more deities to bring back some semblance of the formally established Codes of Conduct. Using this new injection of energy, Trion brought forth Ruda and Suda, twins known as “Valor” and “Justice”. This caused Margaux to seek a truce ending the war that some say felt like mere days to the Demigods, when in reality actually raged on for over a century.

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Mythos Infighting

This fringe group worships the pantheon of 6, stating that even Sylverin known as “Hubris” had a role to play surmising in the grand scheme of things. To them, as well as the mainstream believers, it was not simply good and evil but actors playing out their given roles on the celestial stage with all denizens the audience. In what would be the following act, only the maestro knew.

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Artist's rendition of some of the members of the so-called pantheon
 

GreatSlayer

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Life by the river


While the culture and demeanour of the Deep Elves have been long since established inside Galadriel, ever since the war of Darkness a drift towards the neighbouring counties started. Here follows a short description of several different aspects of the Green Chasm since the end of the Dark War.


The Capital

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Luríen is the ancient home of the Mindrilla family which has stood for thousands of years. It was a marvel to behold, its canopy containing a whole castle in itself. But as the Dark One scorched Galadriel, Eylinn decisively torched her old home to spare it from the taint, while keeping its seeds. Now, while yet to reach its past magnificence, Luríen has again began to reach for the sky. Beneath its stem a city spreads with impressive speed.


The Melting Pot

Shortly after the Elves returned after the war to find their canyon home burnt and its mountain walls smoothed by the Dark One’s horrible fire, the daunting task of rebuilding was at hand. But not only Elves were on the flight after the war. Refugees from Westmarch, Hroniden and even Norseland came passing by, and by Eylinn’s initiative, was invited to stay in the Chasm. Some continued on their travels, and some took up on the kind offer, becoming a part of the community. Deep Elves had always been a tolerant people, albeit suspicious towards Humans outside their realm considering the long era of enslavement. For the Humans it was equally jarring at a start, however the tensions soon started to fade as the communities seemed growing stronger of it. This is not to say it’s without its problems. Issues in regards to wealth and distribution has sparked tension and jealousy in some areas of the previously homogenous realm.

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Gender Roles

The society is still sternly patriarchal, regarding the males in the families as the chief devisor and protector. Ever since the current Therain, Eylinn of house Mindrilla, returned from the dead to fight the Dark One’s pawns, more opportunities have opened up to women in the Chasm however. Standing as a role model for virtue and the power of the Light, she has become a highly revered figure among the common folk of the realm, equal to that of her ancestor Barumin during the Age of Heroes. After returning from their exodus in Wallachia, all hands were needed, regardless of sexes, and as their wole society uprooted, so was many old hierarchical structures within the civic system. One can now find female Deep Elves running businesses, managing the docks and ferry operations, and even husbandry in the Wheat Glade.


Economy and Trade

Trade and artisan goods remain the most important monetary factor for the Chasm. Despite its limited size, the lands are rich with forests, and Deep Elven lumber and wood art are well known across the region and exports go towards the rest of the Elven realms, Ecclestius and as far as Hroniden and Highathar. A rather curious custom of the Mindrilla is their refusal to tax the commoners, their income entirely dependent on tariffs and the selling of goods produced by their estates. A strict guild system where mobility between tradecrafts are basically unheard of, combined with Elves natural longevity do lead to a large and steady circulation of high quality goods, however quite vulnerable to any market fluctuations. After the influx of Human refugees that decided to settle in the Chasm, some semblance of elasticity in this regard has started to grow. Melón, a newly founded town near the border of the Inner Chasm (Mindrilla lands) and the Wheat Glade (Vielthmir lands) is a bustling example of Man and Elf leaving peacefully and productively together. It is well known as a stepping stone for Dwarves travelling from the West, and Hronidians from the South as they head north towards the Elf capital of Coal.


Religion

Deep Elves have retained their view of The Light One as the Creator, and the Dark One as a natural part of that whole, however, their respect for the Dark One has almost completely evaporated since the war. By initiative of their Therain, religious officials have taken a step back, and organized religion is downplayed considerably in society, seen now by most as a mean of misleading the people and a tempting path towards corruption. More common instead are the Light festivals, town-wide feasts where culinary treats, presents and strong spirits are gated for the peoples pallets. They mean to symbolize the future, and the love between all of the Creator’s children. Some sectarians have not found themselves embracing this new ideal, however, and started organizing covenants of zealots to congregate in old Elf custom rituals, outside society.