Kordera, as I mentioned many times before is a school of learning dedicated to teaching those with magic talent how to properly and safely apply their magical abilities to their lives. Magic is a very, very dangerous force. An untrained magic-user could hurt or kill themselves or others with a badly applied spell. Beyond that, the ability to use magic also requires talent and needs a lot of training and practice to be any good at it.

All races (except gnollen) have the capacity to use magic – orcs and tallis rarely use elemental magic, rather focusing on the use of spiritual and draconic magics, but there are a few elemental mages in these races. While Kordera isn’t a necessity in the life of a mage, most parents upon realizing their child has talent, will try to reach out to the university (or one of its satellite colleges) for assistance.

Upon enrollment at Kordera, a student is given a dorm room in either the west or east building. Each room is for one student, and the dorms themselves aren’t segregated by age or sex. The east building can hold 200 students and the west can hold 240 students. Each floor of the dorms has two rooms reserved for one of the university’s instructors, and the other instructors stay in the upper floor of the main building. Students remain in the university for most of the year, with allowance to visit family on holidays and over a month vacation every three months. The lowest floor of each dorm holds a dining hall and several study halls.

The main building is a four-story tall building shaped like an E. The lowest floor holds the majority of the classes, while the upper floors have libraries, administrative offices, and a few other classrooms. The highest floor is reserved for the instructors to sleep in, with a dining hall in one wing of the main building.

Classes at Kordera range from simple practical applications of magic – how to use magic, how to control spells, learning spells themselves – as well as history of magic, theories of magic, and various magical cultural information – such as the draconic, spiritual, or summoning magics of the tallis, orcs, and sem respectively. These different classes also fulfill the other educational requirements – such as mathematics, science, history, grammar, and humanities – that other colleges give their students. Students are expected to take four classes a semester, and depending on the level and age of the student upon enrollment at the university can spend as little as three years or as much as ten years at the school. Students younger than 10 are rarely admitted.

After completing the entire curriculum – everything from simple cantrips to high-level magical applications – the students are graduated and given the title of Practicing Mage. This title gives them certain privileges, and an identification as having graduated a very rigorous magical study program. Most graduates will find one of the mages’ guilds in the city and continue their training and skills while making some money from tasks given by the guildmaster. Some will return to the university as instructors.

While study and learning are the major goal of the university, students are also encouraged to make friends and play. Between the two dorm buildings is a large field where sports are played – often between the dorms as a friendly rivalry. While magic is encouraged as a form of practice, students are asked to refrain from any spells that might damage the facilities. The nearby town of Kordera has several taverns, shops, and theatres – places that older and younger students can go to get away from the hard work of training at the college. The proximity to the river also offers some respite – simply to walk along its shores or engage in swimming, fishing, or other fun.

Most importantly, Kordera does not accept money for its training. A student need only show a desire to learn and competence as a mage, and the university will accept the student to their ranks. All facilities and food and monetary requirements are provided by extremely generous donations from the mages’ guilds, the church of Creation, and nobles in the various cities.

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Lissa, Elder Dragon of Light – Metallic Dragon

Lissa is one of the metallic dragon species. Though other dragons may have shiny scales or those in a color that resembles one of the chief metals, the metallic dragons are another type of dragon altogether. Lissa is an excellent example of this group, with silver scales covering over her form. These are much harder than a typical dragon scale, being made up of the metal itself. She takes very good care of her scales, as they are prone to tarnish over time. Lissa is rather small, and has large wings to make up for her heavy body.

Lissa appeared along with the other seven (minus Hydros) Elder Dragons back when they were exploring the new world. She was always a bit more arrogant than the others, and her appearance caused some of the races to desire to worship her and set her as their leader. She was happy to take that position, and for a rather long while, Lissa sat in her home in the Free World, a god-queen ruling over the people.

But when science and technology started to reign, she was forgotten. Her worshippers and her people came less and less to her home. When she left the temple that had been built, they would acknowledge her and return to their duties. Her anger was strong, and she lashed out a few times, but the people stopped worshipping her over time. Distraught, she fled to Cathemega not long before the Cataclysm where she now lives in solitude in the mountains west of Moore.

Inia, Elder Dragon of the Sky – Sky Dragon

Unsurprisingly, the dragoness who took the realm of the sky is one of the sky dragons. Think Chinese dragon and you’re almost right. She is very long, has no wings, and has pure white scales head to toe. Her horns are sleeked back towards her back, and through simple undulation and a bit of magic application, Inia can fly through the air. The sky dragon species are all like this, and all of them are similar in nature to Inia – playful, a bit easily distracted, but very wise.

Inia never really was one to play along with the other dragons. She was always a bit of a headcase in their eyes. She went to the tall mountain Nier Numaqaya which is south of Dragon’s Throat as her home. This was long before the humans came to the southlands, and she always enjoyed living at the highest peak in Cathemega. When Dragon’s Throat was founded, the people called it Diamerok.

The dragoness soon became curious enough to meet the new inhabitants. Although initially frightened, the people became completely enamored with the playful nature of the beautiful dragoness. She became an icon, and although she never lived in the town, they still consider her to be an important part of the city – which they changed the name to Dragon’s Throat as an honor to her.

Dimengo, Elder Dragon of Darkness – Ancient Black Dragon

Dimengo is the oldest and the most solitary of the dragons. He is of the common dragon species – with nothing truly definitive about him. He is long, sturdy, and covered in black scales. Verosh used to be one of the common blacks as well, but left behind his dragon body for that of the dracolich. Those speaking call Dimengo an ‘ancient’ dragon to appease his sense of pride, and because he truly is an ancient dragon. He is very roughed up, with missing scales, a missing eye, and patches in his wings. He can still fly despite the ragged appearance of his wings.

Dimengo was the leader of the dragons when they left their plane to explore the new world. He was always a bit of a grouch, but never to the limit he is now. His attitude changed when he was one of the targets of the Hunt. Dimengo tried to lead his people to safety, tried to tell them to return through the planes, but they were all too stubborn and too foolish to understand. The eldest of the dragons knew he had to protect his kin.

When he fought, he used all his power to do so. He saw his family – Kasius, Verosh, and the orignal Elder Dragon of Life – fall to the evil king. His eye was gouged out by a dragon hunter’s lance, and his body scarred and wounded before he managed to escape to the mountains in the south of Tavsere. He is no longer hunted, but he distrusts the species who live in Cathemega.

Settesk, Elder Dragon of the Earth – Sand Dragon

Another unsurprising one, the Elder Dragon of Earth, Settesk, is of the species known as Sand Dragons. These sand or earth colored dragons find their homes in the deserts and badlands. Another non-winged species, these large beasts roam the sandy dunes with the ability to burrow in and dig through the undersoil. They don’t move very quickly, and use the dunes as cover to avoid being injured. Short and kind of squat, these dragons are much less capable of defending themselves than others.

Settesk always was curious about the humanoids living in the deserts. While the other dragons left from where they came in by flight, this dragon merely walked back towards the desert to the south. Here he met the humans and the Mesans living around Wivverin, and grew accustomed to their ways. When the evil king began the Hunt, Settesk fled to Canyon to protect himself.

The Mesan people enjoyed Settesk’s presence there, and called him a friend. When the king offered his fee to slay the Elder Dragon, the Mesan refused, sent the king’s army away. A small siege began, but the king’s army couldn’t last long enough and they left. Settesk still lives near Canyon, running there for protection and safety when he needs it.

I’ve been reading Terry Prachett’s “Guards! Guards!” and it prompted me to write this post on the only actual dragons living (mostly) on the planet Dramoth Gilead. As I explained before, dragons are extra-planar beings, who only visited the planet in its infancy to teach and talk and learn from the inhabitants. The majority of these great beasts left the planet behind, but a few of them remained, some due to enjoying the area, others because they were asked to stay by the tallis. There are eight of these dragons, each of them representing a different element, as each of them also embodies one of the eight types of draconic being.

Kasius, Elder Dragon of Fire – Red Gilded Dragon

The first of the dragons I’ll talk about is Kasius, the fire dragon. He resides in the high peaks near Kordera with his mate Teressa (who I’ll talk about in a minute.) Kasius is an example of the gilded dragons, a species of dragon whose bodies are coated with both regular scales and harder, golden colored ones. Kasius is one of the largest of the dragon elders, thirty feet in length, with a huge, powerful body and an enormous wingspan. He is very wise, his cave – instead of being filled with treasure – is filled with artifacts, books, instruments of science, and other tools. He often takes a human form, using his magic to do so – and the form is a young man with blond hair.

Kasius was one of three dragons to fall during the Hunt – a period of time where a brutal dictator (under command of Destruction) sought to slay the Elder Dragons, despite their docile nature. The original Elder Dragon of Life and Verosh, Elder Dragon of Death, were both killed, but Kasius managed to barely hold onto life. A young woman named Teressa found him, struggling to move and struggling to stay to life. Teressa stayed by the dragon, feeding him, caring for his wounds. Over time she grew to love him, and when the men tried to attack Kasius, she put herself between him and them. Her love for the dragon (and also his human form) was enough that she managed to keep the king’s men from killing him.

The king, however, struck the woman down, stabbed her to death. Kasius, enraged, fought and killed the evil man. As Teressa was on the brink of death, Kasius cried aloud to the elements to help. His compassion and his heartbreak resulted in a brilliant burst of energy, and Teressa’s body became that of the Elder Dragon of Life.

Teressa, Elder Dragon of Life – Celestial Dragon

While all true dragons are extra-planar beings, there’s a special place reserved for the celestials. These beautiful dragons are covered in white and silver scales, with tiny pin points of light showing through the gaps between the scales. They don’t have leathery wings, instead they have feathered wings. Teressa is shorter than her mate, and lives happily in the caves with him. Her curious nature works well with Kasius’s intelligence, and the two of them together spend a lot of their time learning and traveleing. She, like her mate, takes on human form often, looking like her original appearance despite the long time she’s been alive.

Teressa was the daughter of a wealthy landowner. She was a kind, beautiful, and full of compassion for all things. It was no surprise that she saw to aid the near death dragon, Kasius, when he needed her help. It was his nature that drew her to him, and somehow, despite the species gap, she felt love for the dragon. When he needed her to rescue him, she put herself between the mob and her love. Her compassion got her killed, but instead of going to the deep sleep of death, she was reborn into the lost body of the Elder Dragon of Life.

Now inhabiting a much more powerful form, she’s had to reconcile her new life with her old. Her family accepted her – though they’re long gone – and in the years since, she’s grown to be a wise, powerful example of dragonhood.

Hydros, Elder Dragon of Water – Whale Dragon

The whale dragon is an unusual species of dragon. These creatures live the majority of their lives in or around the sea. They have four limbs, but the rest of their bodies are designed for swimming. They have powerful muscles, finned limbs, and a sleek tail with a fin on the end. Hydros is not very big, and is a somewhat youthful dragon. Instead of scales, his body is covered in a blue, rubbery skin. He is only around fifteen feet in length.

Hydros is the youngest of the dragon elders, even younger than Teressa, although he is still quite older than the majority of those living on the planet. He came to the planet Dramoth Gilead not too long before the Cataclysm. He was not involved in the Hunt, but came to the planet near the tallis home in Sedurka. The tallis chose to build the great temple to house him, but he has never actually done much besides hold court there.

His life has been easier than the others, never having to run or hide. He spends his days swimming through the open sea, sometimes rescuing those who’ve fallen into the water. He is a heroic, strong-willed dragon, and a friend to all who do him no harm.

Verosh, Elder Dragon of Death – Dracolich

Verosh was one of the three dragons who were felled during the Hunt. Although Kasius was nursed back to health and Teressa was reborn as the new Elder Dragon of Life, Verosh had other plans. He is a dracolich, a magical construct of bone and energy. His spirit held fast within the decayed remains of his former self. The phylactery he wears around his neck serves as his source of life, and those who have sought to take or destroy it have died. He lives in the mountains near the Wild Haunt, yet another reason travelers avoid that deadly swamp.

Verosh, in life, was always a bit on the crazy side. He never truly felt kin to his dragon brothers and sisters, and always looked for power where he could find it. An old book he found talked about a way to preserve one’s spirit at the time of death, trapping their bodies in an eternal form with magic beyond understanding. His power hungry nature prompted him to attempt this magic, and also to seek a way to die.

When he heard about the Hunt, he made his way to the realm of the dictator. He used his vile acidic breath to kill and terrorize, and when the king slew him, his spirit was trapped in the magical amulet he’d fashioned out of bone and gems. Now as a dracolich, he escaped to the Wild Haunt and he lives there now, devising ways to get as much power as he can. All who fall in the swamp are under his command, a great army of undead beasts which slowly grows in power as he grows madder and madder.

Four left, tomorrow.

Gnolls are dead. The species was almost entirely found in the Free World. Gnolls were extremely tribal creatures, a slight bit on the uncivilized side of things. The humans in the Free World grew in size and population and territory, forcing gnolls to be pushed either further out into the wilderness or into the slums and dark places in the world. Some acclimated to their new surroundings, others died off. There were a large group who, however, found peace in the arms of the sem. Through a twist in genetics, they were able to have children, but those children were different from both parents. Some of the gnolls fled with the sem when they escaped to Cathemega, and the children they had continued to have children of their own. These are known as the gnollen. There are two types of gnollen – mountain and forest.

The Gnollen

What the two types of gnollen have in common is many. They are short humanoids who resemble wolf-like dogs. Both races tend to have spotty or striped fur. They are both still fiercely tribal creatures. They are very short lived – a gnollen usually not living more than thirty or forty years. They do, however, have large families, making up for the short lifespan. A single pregnancy most often produces two or three pups, with upwards of seven or eight not unheard of. Genetic diversity remains strong because families try to avoid having their children marry the same other families.

Both gnollen types have a chieftain who keeps watch over the entire tribe. He or she is the leader of the tribe as well as its primary priest and ritual leader. Each family is headed by its father, though due to the progressive nature of everyone around them, mothers are given equal share of responsibilities. Though the chief rules over all, it is mostly a figurehead type ruling, because decisions are made primarily through the families themselves.

Both tribes have a communal type structure, where every member of the tribe puts their own skills and their own abilities towards the betterment of the tribe. Each gnollen, around their eighth birthday, is considered ready to begin the rites of adulthood, and by the time they’re ten, they step into their skillset and become a tribe member. If they refuse, or are unable to show a skill, they are considered an extra mouth, and given the last of everything – the scraps of food, the smallest homes, the last of the clothes.

Mateship is usually a choice between the two young gnollen. They approach their prospective mate’s parents and tell them they wish to become mates. The parents approach the chieftain for his or her blessing. Very rarely do parents refuse a mate and very rarely does the chieftain not give a blessing to the union. Mountain and forest gnollen have different rituals for mateship.

Mountain Gnollen

The mountain gnollen are a larger breed, standing about four feet tall. They have thick fur, usually of lighter colors than their forest kin. They worship both Golem and Siren, the elementals of the earth and wind, because they are both closest to the sky and embraced within the mountainous arms of the earth. Their rituals are very heavily evocative of the wind and the earth.

They are excellent smiths, able to create impressive metallic objects, including the extremely difficult gun. Gnollen are the only species to use firearms – since magic is so prevalent with all other races. They cannot cast their own magic, so for defense the mountain gnollen use the musket or flintlock type weapon. They are extremely regimental and very well trained at defense.

Forest Gnollen

The forest gnollen are a more slender, shorter breed – only about three feet tall. Their fur is thin and dark. They are worshippers of Luna and Stella, the elementals of the moon and the stars. Luna has always blessed the forest gnollen, and her eyes (the moons) are always watching over them. The gnollen use the subtle changes in the moon as part of their ritual cycle, as well as using the positions of the stars.

Forest gnollen are woodcarvers mostly, able to use wood to their best advantage. They are expert trackers and trappers as well. Their chief defense against those who may seek to harm them are their traps and tricks.

When Creation and Destruction made the planet of Dramoth Gilead, the latent magical flow throughout the surface of the world also decided to create other races, species, and creatures. It was this simple natural creation that birthed everything from flowers and trees to birds and bees. The planet also manifested not only the normal creatures, but also those which might be called “monsters.”

Among the monstrous creatures were two general humanoid species – ogres and gnolls. Today I’ll talk about ogres and tomorrow I’ll talk about the descendants of the gnolls.

The Dramoth Gilead version of an ogre is almost the planet’s way of creating its own human species. Both versions of the ogre look very human in nature aside from a few key differences. Standing an ogre and a human next to each other would show some variance depending on which species there is. The two variants are the mountain ogre (simply called ‘ogres’) and the desert ogre (or the ‘mesan.’)

Despite the connotation of the term “ogre” – a brutal, vicious person – and the typical ogre in fantasy stories – usually hideous, monstrous brutes – neither species of ogre are violent, hideous, or brutish.

Ogres

The mountain ogre looks very similar to a human aside from their size. They stand nearly ten feet tall and are extremely strong. They have a pair of horn (sometimes four horns) that resemble sheep’s horns. Their skin is a pale color, their hair is very dark, and their eyes are a pretty gold. They live in very small family bands – often just a husband, wife, and any dependent children. When the children grow up they (regardless of gender) travel to try to find themselves a spouse to form a family group with.

The ogres live in small huts that they build out of wood. An ogre hut almost always has two things nearby – a garden and a flock. Ogres tend flowers and plants and herbs, growing a small garden of essential vegetables and herbs to flavor their foods. They will also protect beds of flowers and plants they find growing in the mountains, putting a rope marker near the plants to show that it’s protected by the ogre. They also raise flocks of sheep for their wool and for their meat. The easiest way to piss off an ogre is to mess with their garden or their flock or their family.

Ogres live very simple lives – tending to their gardens, raising their flocks. They do not terrorize or bother anyone. In fact, an ogre is one of the best things to find in a mountain because they’ll tend to be very polite – not necessarily friendly – but they’ll bring travelers into their home, feed them and give them some tea (which may actually be narcotic… it’s said to send all your worries away.)

Mesan

The desert ogre are called mesan. They, unlike their mountain cousins, stand barely taller than a human – usually a half of a foot higher on average. They tend to be slender and elegant rather than hulking strongmen like the ogres. Skin is a dark tan color, hair is usually very pale blonde or white, and their eyes maintain that same gold color as their mountain-based cousins. They live either in small nomadic packs or in one of the two mesan homes – Canyon or Mesa – which are, in turn, a big canyon and a big mesa. The large communities in Canyon and Mesa are made up of many different families. There is no real government, they share all they have with the community as a whole – any who are seen to be greedy are denied the community’s goods.

Mesan do not raise crops. The desert is far too unforgiving for that. They rely on the Herd, a huge, constantly moving group of large cow-like creatures. The Herd moves between oases, seeking the shade and the water and the good ruffage therein. The mesan follow these creatures, hunting the weak or the old, gathering the food and water from the oases, and returning to their home. They use the entire animal, paying extremely high respects to the simple creatures. Nothing is thrown out because it’s disrespectful and wasteful. Their homes are tents made of the animals’ skins, except for those in Mesa and Canyon, which are dug out hollows into the sides of the canyon or the walls of the mesa.

The mesan people have an interesting ability. They merely need to concentrate for a few moments and they can detect two things – nearby sources of water, and how far and in which direction Mesa or Canyon is. This ability is an analogy for their lives – all about choices. Do I travel the two miles east to get water when I know Canyon is over a day’s walk to the south? Will I get this water knowing it’s a sure thing or take my chances on the hope that there’s water closer to Canyon? Do I live in the shelter of Canyon or do I follow the old nomadic ways? Do I stay with my people or live with the humans?

Relationships with Other Races

Both species of ogre tend to keep themselves away from the other races – not as a protective measure, but more in that they have little in common with the created races. They have a lasting peace accord with the other races, and there has been the rare breaking of that peace – mostly from some despotic dictator or a warlord. Both species have been used in the past for fighting and sometimes as guards in the cities and towns, but the ogre races feel that the petty squabbles of the younger races are not worth their energy.

Among all the races (with the exception of the elven thoughts of superiority) the ogres are known to be friends and allies, always willing to help if they’re asked. Humans find the ogres to be extremely peaceful, and some wander to the ogre homes to learn their secrets – which results in some mutton stew, some tea, and stories shared among friends. Nün elves enjoy the ogres’ ability to live as one with nature. High elves think they’re better than the ogres, but seek them out if they need assistance with tasks suited for the strong mountain ogres or the hardy mesan. Orcs living in the deserts often band together with the mesan, but due to their huge wandering tribes, they never truly have combined their races. Tallis study the ogres, trying to figure out their societies and how everything works, much to the annoyance of the ogres themselves – tallis ask too many questions.

This is the map of Dramoth Gilead. Click it and see the embiggened size, and see how awesome my world is.

Sedurka is an island nation just northeast of Laredo and almost due south of Tavsere. It is named after its fouder.

Sedurka – The Nation

The islands of Sedurka are a small grouping of 2 large islands, about a half dozen smaller islands, and a few very small islands usually not drawn on maps. It is in the central sea, and due to its location, serves as the trade stop between North and South Relay. It is approximately 40 circuits east-west and 20 circuits north-south, so not very big.

The climate of the Sedurkan islands is sub-tropical, with very mild winters – hardly ever a frost or snow – and warm, but not hot, summers. It is a beautiful, almost paradise-like island chain, a lucky find for the tallis who live within its boundaries. The islands have flattish mountains, small groves of trees, and enough space to put enough farms down to support the population.

Sedurka – The City

The city of Sedurka is a very tight, crowded place. It consists of tall buildings – three or four stories – and a maze of thick steam pipes winding between the different homes and the street levels where they descend into the depths of the city. The town is divided into districts based upon each of the different guilds within the city.

The Steam Forge is the most northern of the districts, a home for the craftsmen of the city. It is most notable for the flat building in its center – which drops beneath the street level to access the bowels of Sedurka’s giant steam furnace. There are a lot of workers in the Steam Forge, and the people in this district almost entirely work in the forge itself or as a part of Sedurka’s militia.

The Docks are to the west of the city along the access to the central sea. Naturally it is the place where the majority of the trade happens. Tallis living here are good with numbers, working as dockworkers or merchants to take stock of what passes through the docks into the city itself. A small market resides in this district, with visitors from other nations attending to see the wares passing through.

The University is the southern district. It is here where tallis artificers and examiners reside. These are the tallis not content with making their own tools, but rather taking control of ancient works that they find, or learning the methods to control the natural ebb and flow of the world itself. The University is a place of learning, exploration, and discovery.

The Temple is in the eastern district. This location has the temple to the eight elder dragons located inside, although none of the dragons regularly live here, Hydros sometimes visits. The warrior-priests are the primary residents, although the Temple is also where the city’s graveyard exists, and where the clean-up crew resides.

The central district of Sedurka is the administrative area, the guild hall is built in this location – a five story tall building dwarfing those beneath it. The administrative workers reside in this area, those who take care of the more important but unknown tasks of the city – census data, form flow, that kind of thing.

Sedurka – The Islands

The islands around Sedurka are very sparsely populated, even the large eastern island is not home to many tallis. Those living outside the city tend to be farmers or miners, small, but important duties for the people of the nation. Although there may be a small collection of homes on some of the islands, they’re not big enough to be considered anything more than a family home.

Sedurka – The Government

Sedurka is a very structured nation, with a very strict governmental regiment. Each of the guilds – Craftsmen, Militia, Dockworkers, Merchants, Examiners, Artificers, Torgaruna, and Reclaimers – is run by a guildmaster, who is sent to the Guild Hall. The guilds each work together to decide the best method for growth in the nation. They do the best for themselves and their guilds, not necessarily for the people they rule over.

The guild is the most important part of a young tallis’s life. When they turn 13, they are apprenticed out to a guild member. While they train under the guild, they learn new things and learn what their position is. When they graduate from apprenticeship, they are able to take a home away from their family and move up in the ranks of the guild. After promoting a few ranks, they can train their own apprentices. Guild members who continue to rise in the ranks become important members to the guild itself, and can eventually become the guild master if the previous one retires or dies.

Wivverin, or more properly Wivverin-Laredo, is a city and its port in the desert. It is named after its founders.

Wivverin – The Nation

Wivverin lies south of Tavsere, connected to no other country besides that north nation. It is situated entirely in the desert country on the narrow neck that separates North Relay from South Relay. It has a shoreline on both outer and inner seas, and due to its proximity to Sedurka, it has a very good trade relationship. It spans approximately 200 circuits north-south and 75 east-west.

The climate is dry and warm, as expected in a desert environment. It is not, actually, all that hot. It’s mild for a desert climate, though still much warmer than the other cities on the continent. The city of Wivverin is located near a very large oasis, which serves to not only supply the city with water, but also to allow for minimal crop growth and especially the spices that are desired the world round. It is largely flat, except for a large mountain range in the south – which is the location of the Mesan home of Canyon. A row of mountains blocks the desert from the southern land.

Wivverin – The City

Wivverin is a desert city, mostly a square except for the bit of the wall that is slightly curved to make room for the oasis on the outskirts. The city doesn’t so much spread as it does grow upwards. The homes are built like an adobe-style building – clay walls supported by wooden frames – and as more people move in and the population increases, homes are built up on layers above the lower city. There are no real districts, as the city is not separated by any real distinct areas.

The main square is built around the market. Though not as bustling as the markets of Tavsere or Seiis, the market is a great place to find unusual goods and is one of the few places that Mesan artisans will hawk their wares. On the outskirts of the market are mostly residential homes, except for the large building dedicated to the government of Wivverin.

Wivverin – The Port

The only outside town belonging to Wivverin as a nation is the port town of Laredo. This smallish port town is an area of much excitement for the workers. The docks are always busy, trade being sent to and from Sedurka and Dragon’s Throat. Laredo, like Wivverin, has an oasis nearby that fuels the crop and spice growth of the small port town.

Wivverin – The Government

Wivverin is a democratic society, although not a pure democracy. It has a single chief representative under which are four councilors. Each of the councilors is responsible for a quarter of the area of Wivverin. The councilors listen to their residents and bring the problems to the chief representative, who then asks for a vote from each of the quarters. When the people vote, the majority opinion of each quarter is tallied, and the chief representative clears up any ties. The entire government is voted in on four-year rotational intervals – so a new representative is elected each year for one of the four quarters. The representative is voted in at the end of the four-year rotation.

The Nature of Balance

I’m gonna take a quick break from the Nation description to explain a very important thing to my stories. Let me grab a lengthy quote from one of my commentators, Stevarious:

As far as the (sort of) dualistic major deities, I really like what you’ve done here. So much of reality is, on the surface, binary – day and night, light and dark, ignorance and knowledge, war and peace – shoot, proton and electrons, matter and energy. Why would there be only one major deity responsible for all these opposites?

Except, if you look deeper, things aren’t really binary – and thus the third godhead. Day, night – twilight. Ignorance, knowledge – the student or the apprentice. War, peace – cold war. Protons, electrons – neutrons.

The third major god is subtle, hard to find, easy to deny even it’s existence as a third option. So many see it as just a halfway measure – but as the atom shows, neutrality is a position all it’s own, with it’s own weight and purpose.

This description is exactly right. The World of Dramoth Gilead is one of balance. Everything has its opposite. The opposite of the city-building, orderly humans are the nomadic, chaotic orcs. The opposite of the down-to-earth, communion with nature elves are the cloud cuckoolander, binding of nature tallis. But for every opposite there is a third thing, a pivot or a fulcrum as you would. The human-orc opposition has the mesan – who are both nomadic and dwell in permanent homes. The elf-tallis opposition has the gnollen – industrious, yet honoring nature.

That’s what’s so intersting about my world. If you look at all my stories it’ll be very difficult to notice, but there’s always a third power engaged there. Something that doesn’t truly help either side, but serving a great importance to the story as a whole. I’ll try to spoiler out the plot of the first novel to show:

So the bad guy is doing bad things while the good guys are trying to stop him from doing these bad things. While good and bad things are happening, there are several minor subplots that shape the story, that certain good guys would not be in the story at all if they didn’t happen, and that if these good guys weren’t in the story, the bad guy would have a different path which may have been unseen.

Those subplots are the agents of Unity. Some of them are really sad, some of them are merely business as usual. If not for these – the story would be missing key individuals who help the story as a whole finish.

That’s balance, that’s the nature of Dramoth Gilead. It’s interweaved throughout the entire lifeblood of the world. Stories, legends, and peoples would be vastly different if not for the third element.

Seiis is the nation of the elves. Although largely populated by elves, it is not exclusive to them.

Seiis – The Nation

Seiis takes up almost the entire eastern part of the north Relay continent. It only has its eastern border not to the sea – and this is split by the Korderan mountain chain, north of the chain it’s shared with Moore, south of the chain it’s shared with Tavsere. The university town of Kordera rests along the river that flows east from the fork in the middle of the Korderan mountains. The country is about 150 circuits east-west and 150 circuits north-south.

Seiis’s climate is much the same as Tavsere – slightly warm temperate, with mild winters and rainy summers. The country side is very heavily forested. Besides areas outside of the Seiis forest and the grounds along the Kordera river – which are farmland. The southern fork of the Korderan mountains are entirely within Seiis, though they only have minor mineral production. Most of Seiis’ s production comes through the lumber trade.

Seiis – The City

The city of Seiis was once a giant tree, the greatest sign of magic that the ancient Nün elves performed. The tree stretched out over the old city, and a series of elevators led up high into the branches. The tree died, however, and came crashing down to the old city, killing many. The remnant stump dried up, and latent magical energy turned it into a flat-topped mountain. The old city was buried under the streets of the new – catacombs and ancient tunnels showing its nature. The only thing on the surface of the old city are the remnants of the counterweights – five pillars extending from the side of the mountain.

This mountain serves as the main center of government. Upon its top is the Temple of Creation. It is not only a place of worship and enlightenment, but also a home to Creation herself (although she usually chooses to live in one of the homes on the outside of the temple.) Beneath the higher layer of this mountain is the council hall, built on one of the plateaus extending off the side of the mountain.

The city itself is divided into four districts – north, south, east, and west. Unlike Tavsere and Moore, they are not separated by purpose. Residential homes can be found throughout the entirety of the city. Divided up on streets encircling the city – which is shaped like an almost perfect circle – if it weren’t for the shoreline to the south. The eastern district contains a few of the major guild halls – the mages’ guild, the militia, and guild of craftsmen. The northern and western districts contain some marketplaces and a larger number of shops – as these are the first where visitors come. The explorers’ guild is located in an inn situated in the center of the western district. The southern district is the docks, with the dockworkers’ guild and the merchants’ guild located here as well.

Seiis – The Villages

Seiis does not have major population centers outside of the city. Besides the few small villages that dot the countryside – usually farming or lumber production – there are only two major notable villages that could be considered major towns. The northernmost of these towns is Kera, a lumber town situated between Kordera and Dugan’s Pass. The westernmost is the town of Royrn, a farming village near to the border of Tavsere.

The town of Kordera, however, is considered a part of Kordera’s territory, although as it has no actual government, it falls under Seiis’s jurisdiction and protection. This small town is on the northern path towards Moore, just across the Korderan river. The only inhabitants are the families of the university’s professors, as well as the older students. It is a place where students go to get away from their studies. At a further date, I’ll describe the university itself.

Seiis – The Government

Seiis is a literal theocracy. It is ruled by a god. In a way, at least. Creation is manifested in the form of a girl every time she dies. The High Priestess of the Order of Creation is able to detect the new form, and she alerts the parents. At about seven years of age, the girl is taken to the temple, where she’s taught and where she’ll live. When she is around eighteen, she is given control of the nation itself. In the eighteen years she’s growing up, the High Priestess performs the duties of ruler.

Although Creation could rule on her own and make and pass laws that help her – she defers to a council of guildmen. The council hall was built for this purpose alone – to provide her with a place where the guildmasters could speak openly to her. They have no actual power in the society, but Creation has been nothing if not extraordinarily fair. She takes the input of the guildmasters, and is sure to pass judgments that serve the needs of the city as a whole. There are heated debates between guildmasters quite often, but Creation is sure to clear up any issues before calling the meetings to a close.