The second of the major nations is called Moore. The nation is named after its founder.

Moore – The Nation

Moore is a bit smaller than Tavsere, resting at the northern part of the continent of Relay. It stretches from the northeastern point of the Korderan mountains to the outer sea. It has a large coast line, but no ports because its coast is entirely on the outer sea. It stretches approximately 200 circuits east-west and about 100 north-south at its thickest. It shares a border with Seiis and Tavsere. Tiyris-Neresheim is surrounded by what is Moore’s territory, though the minor nation controls both the Neres mountains and the Tiyris forest.

Moore also has a temperate climate, although it’s a little colder than Tavsere due to its northern proximity and the cold air from the outer sea. The country is rocky and hard, with a few mountain chains in the east and west. It’s higher elevation than Tavsere. While crops can be grown, the major exports of Moore are its livestock and its gems and minerals. There is an enormous forest to the southeastern side of the city of Moore – with a gnollen tribe living deep within.

Moore – The City

The city of Moore rests on a cliff face overlooking a valley. The cliff is angled upwards, and the highest elevation of the face of the cliff is where the castle is built. The people in Moore are primarily human. The diversity of the mountainous country is less than that of Tavsere. Moore also has a large sem population. The city is divided into three shelfs, each with its own districts.

The highest shelf is the castle where the royal family live. The huge castle sits overlooking the valley and the kingdom around it, as well as the city beneath. Outside of the castle walls proper are the military barracks for the large army that Moore has. The castle itself is the seat of the government of Moore.

The second shelf holds the noble houses as well as some educational, political, and magic facilities. The noble houses are enormous mansions, family homes that hold more than just a single family. There used to be seven Houses of Moore, but after the War of Seven Thrones, three of the houses were destroyed and one was elevated to the throne. The four noble houses were turned into housing for ambassadors, colleges for students, and a place for the city’s mages to practice their arts.

The lowest shelf is the place where the common folk live. It is divided into three districts – the market district, the sem district, and the human district. The market district is the home of Moore’s marketplace, a single street from the gate of the city to the gate to the second shelf is dotted with shops, stalls, and hawkers of wares. Outside the street are numerous inns, entertainment houses, and places that serve as homes for the non-human, non-sem members of the city.

The sem district is a small district of the city designed to house its sem population. There are walls around the area and huge iron gates – for their protection. It is poorly guarded, poorly maintained, and far too overpopulated to hold the entirety of the sem population. The human district, on the other hand, is open to the humans in the city. It’s sprawled out across most of the lower city, split in the center by the market district, and taking up the portions of the western city not along the walls.

Moore – The Territory

The nation of Moore does not have states like Tavsere. Outside of the city walls there are three major population centers; Hearth, Forest’s Edge, and Dugan’s Pass. Towns dot the landscape along the major roads between Moore and Seiis, Moore and Tiyris-Neresheim, and Moore and Tavsere – as well as towards Moore’s lands in the west.

Hearth is a city in the western part of Moore’s territory, nestled in the foothills of the mountains. It is a major mining town, with gems and precious metals coming out of it beyond the plain ore. Forest’s Edge is an eleven town situated on the northeastern edge of the Moore Forest. Its people are lumberjacks, hunters, and farmers. Dugan’s Pass  rests on the end of the Korderan mountains, serving as the gateway between Moore and Seiis. Due to its proximity to the mountains, it is a mining town much like Hearth.

Moore – The Government

Moore is a pure monarchy. Before the War of Seven Thrones, it was more of a monarchical council – each House sending its ruler to the council to make the laws for the city. When House Salena won the war, it took over control of the city as its sole ruler – deferring to the three remaining houses as needed, and setting them up as heads of the cities of Hearth, Forest’s Edge, and Dugan’s Pass. Due to the pressing needs of these territorial cities, they stay out of Moore for the most part.

House Salena sat on the throne for over 200 years before its direct line ended with Loris Salena, who never had a son. His daughter married a commoner, and the two of them left Moore to live in Forest’s Edge. A cousin of the princess ascended to the throne, maintaining the House’s rule, but with the name Corin. No King of Moore has even been maliciously cruel. They have generally regarded sem as deserving to live in their poor area (they’re free to leave if they don’t like the atmosphere.) They have ruled fair and wise, although a bit too much interest in maintaining House Salena/Corin’s stakes.

Now I’ll begin the posts that everyone (well, one certain person at least) have been waiting for. There are 5 major nations, 7 minor nations, and several places that are merely “homes.” The major nations are bigger and more powerful than the minor ones, they produce more goods and have more trade and military power. The major nations make a point to assist the minor with needs both physical and martial, and they share very strong treaties and trade agreements between themselves. The first of the major nations I’ll describe is the one that is the biggest and the strongest, Tavsere (a dragon tongue name meaning “edge of the sea.”)

Tavsere – The Nation

The nation of Tavsere rests in the northern portion of the continent of Relay, with its southern border on the northern edge of the central ocean and its western border on the outer ocean. Its eastern border is shared with Seiis, its northern border is shared with Moore and Tiyris-Neresheim, and the southern with Wivverin. It’s a very large nation, spanning 225 circuits (a circuit is approximately 1.5 miles) from its border with Seiis to its border with Wivverin, and about 75 circuits the other direction at the most.

It is largely a temperate climate, nearing a warmer climate towards its border with Wivverin. The land is mostly flat plains with small groves. The country itself is home to many farming communities along the heavily traveled trade routes between Tavsere and the nearest nations. It only has one minor mountain chain in the south near Wivverin, but the entirety of the Neres River flows south towards the city itself. In the foothills around the mountains are numerous vineyards where Tavsere’s famous wine is produced.

Tavsere – The City

Tavsere itself is on an island near the delta of the Neres River. It is a rather large city, with a couple hundred thousand residents. Humans are most common, but it’s not unusual to see any of the other races living in the city. There are four major areas – the residential quarter, the merchants’ quarter, the docks, and the magic quarter.

The residential quarter is the largest part of the city, entirely half of the island is taken up with homes for the many people residing there. It is further subdivided into three general areas – High Street, Low Street, and the city center. High Street is closest to the city center, it is where the large residential buildings are built – homes for the rich and the affluent. They are usually divided into small yards, with gated fences around them. Low Street is where the more common folk live, smaller homes with shared walls or small, separated buildings. Poverty is rare, as the government tends to take care of its worst off members. The city center is the seat of government, the castle of Tavsere serving as both the council hall and home for the royal family.

The merchants’ quarter is the first place that visitors to the city will enter. The three major trading routes from Moore, Wivverin, and Seiis all come out of the central square of this area. The market is an enormous, bustling trade hub, with many wares from many people being bought and sold there. Inns, taverns, and places of entertainment share the streets and passageways spiderwebbing out from the square. There are homes in this area, but they’re mostly reserved for the owners of the various shops, inns, and establishments throughout.

The docks are, as imagined, the docks. Warehouses are the most common sight, however, there are some inns and taverns for the sailors from other countries who don’t want to travel into the merchants’ quarter to sleep. There is a large grouping of military barracks for the naval forces of Tavsere – for which the city is known.

The magic quarter is the smallest area of the city, nestled between the other three districts, there are two major buildings – the library and the wizard’s college. The library is known for its enormous collection of books, although they are all tucked away in the upper reaches of the library itself. A scholar need only ask for a title or topic and the librarian will fetch it for them. The wizard’s college is a small branch of the University of Kordera, a place for study and residence for students and mage’s guild members.

Tavsere – The States

There are nine council states in Tavsere. Each one has its own borders, its own local government, and its own interests in mind. These are largely agrarian states, farming communities located on the major roadways. Only one of these states has a major mining interest – as expected, and a few also have fisheries.

Greenfield is the northernmost state on the Tavsere-Moore road. It is a small state populated by a couple hundred farming families. Sterling shares its eastern border with Greenfield and its northern with Tiyris-Neresheim.  The region is dotted with foothills, and Sterling’s wine industry is the largest in the entire country. Forks is a state that is nestled at the point where the two northern trade routes split – one to Tiyris-Neresheim and the other to Moore. Forks, being a good distance and located in a nice location for it, is known as a rest station for weary travelers. Many inns and taverns are found in the city itself.

Oren is the easternmost state in Tavsere, sharing its border with Seiis. It is a major farming hub like Greenfield. Taleva is the state in which Tavsere is located. As it is between all three major thoroughfares to the other nations, the state is very rich. The states of Westen and Goldbrook are the first two states on the road towards Wivverin. These are mostly fishing communities, though Goldbrook has a larger farming base as well. Stonebar is the mining state of Tavsere, controlling the entirety of the mountain range in the south country. Finally Southgate is the last of the states, nestled on the border between Wivverin and Tavsere – a community of farmers as most of the country.

Tavsere – The Government

Tavsere is a representative monarchy. Each of the nine council states has its own local government. In states like Greenfield, it is made up of representatives from the smaller communities within the state, while in one like Stonebar, it’s made up of guild members. Each state government is run by a council member, who is elected to the position by the rest of the representatives. These are usually temporary assignments – held for a few years before stepping down for another to take their position.

The council members bring the needs of their states to the government seat in Tavsere, where the King (or Queen) sits over the council itself. While the council usually comes to an agreement among themselves, there are the times where a few members are unable to attend a meeting (or they abstain from a vote) and the King is needed to break the deadlock. A simple majority vote is needed to pass most edicts, except the most important laws, which require six of nine votes for, as well as the King’s agreement. The King has the power to veto any edict, as well as to return edicts with changes should he feel it necessary.

Two posts in one day? What kind of crazy superhuman am I?

The kind who writes two posts in one day.

Anyway, Essas and Daikteri, if you can recall, are the two other continents of Cathemega. My original thoughts for them are still, in essence, there. However, I’ve adjusted for size, so to speak, and they seem a bit more rationally designed.

Essas

The island known as Essas is the more northern of the two continents. Upon this island are two minor nations and one non-nation. It’s the smallest of the three major continents, and the southern half of it is an island-wide desert, spanning from the south-western to the north-eastern shores. The rest of the island is temperate mountains and forests.

Enseya is one of the two minor nations. It’s built on the western shore, facing towards Relay. The city itself is rather small, merely serving as a port town to the rest of the continent. Many small villages dot the countryside of Enseya, and each of these little towns has a growing population of farmers, lumberjacks, or vine-growers. The other minor nation is Freeholm, a city built on a large island in the center of the major riverway. The surrounding territory is largely wooded, but with an easy access to the mountains where much mining is done.

The non-nation is Mesa, the home of the ancient Mesan people. This small, peaceful city is located in the center of the huge desert. While a horrible place for most to live, the Mesan are sturdy enough to survive the climate and smart enough to follow the great herds to locate sources of water when theirs runs dry.

Daikteri

The dagger-shaped southern continent of Daikteri is a much longer one than Essas. Along its entire eastern shore is a mountain range consisting of giant mountains. While as a whole the countryside remains sparsely populated, there are two minor nations on it. In between these two nations are the locations known as the Wild Haunt and the Water Gardens. The Wild Haunt is a large swamp land, noted by an almost ever present fog bank. Few venture into the Haunt, except those lured by tales of ancient civilizations and treasure. The Water Gardens are a series of small lakes that dot the land like a patchwork quilt. These lakes are small, but very deep. Visitors can see the signs of ancient civilizations deep within the clear water, a curious sight and a mystery as to who used to live there.

The first of the two nations is Perdamas. This tiny nation is seated in the north near Essas. While it is a key location for a port, there are many hazards in the waters to the north, and the quickest trade routes are populated by pirates – forcing trade from the other of the Daikteri nations, Kiesa. This nation is at the closest tip to Relay, at the point of the dagger. This location makes it a key port for trade from Dragon’s Throat, although it is a very poor nation because of a lack of natural resources.

Thus finishes the geography of my world. In my next series of posts, I’ll explore the different major nations – Tavsere, Moore, Wivverin, Seiis, and Sedurka – including their population demographics, territory, government, and general culture.

Apologies for the gap between these posts. Rather than getting to Daikteri and Essas right now, I’m going to explain the two islands. Sedurka and Dolles. Sedurka is an actual nation, and Dolles is very special.

Sedurka

The island nation of Sedurka is the home of the Tallis. It’s a smallish nation located in the perfect spot to be a trading hub. Almost all trade routes between the cities of Relay go past Sedurka (all except the one between Wivverin’s port and Dragon’s Throat.) It’s got enough mountains and forests for production of its own goods as well as the space to build farms to support its population. The tallis home is a land of technology unlike that seen outside of it. Crossing over and through their city streets is a network of steam pipes and vents that carry energy to the homes and public buildings of all the people. Most of this is from the natural geothermal energy that bubbles up beneath the island.

Dolles

The center of the world – in relation to the ley lines – is the island of Dolles. This island is also called “The Heart of Magic.” It is a tiny island upon which rests a single large mountain and a strange fortress that protects the mountain’s entrance. This fortress does not appear to be crafted by human hands – the walls have a strange curve to them that appears both to curve inward and outward, and they are made up of single stones rather than a series of bricks or blocks. There is no room for people, either. Statues adorn the walls and the paths leading to the fortress, and sometimes they seem to be moving. The mountain itself is actually a single huge crystal from which flows the essence and energy of magic through the ley lines. A thick, rocky crust surrounds the mountain, making it appear no different from any ordinary mountain face.

I swear I’ll get to the post about the two islands soon. But just before I do, I think I should do a quick explanation about this event: the Cataclysm. I’ve mentioned it a few times, and from the name it definitely suggests a terrible event with dire consequences. But just what was the Cataclysm?

Around 2000 years after creation (remember, the people were created with knowledge and culture ready to advance) the people began to advance their technology. Prior to this, the world went through a few different cultural awakenings – from what would be the equivalent of classic Greek and Roman periods, to the early Medieval, to the Renaissance and Exploratory phase of the world, and up to about the early Technological Revolution. Science, industry, and technology began to boom, and the people advanced far beyond their previous cultures. It was a technological goldmine. Though Cathemega – due to the influence of the magic around it – retained a lot of the Renaissance-like atmosphere, it still had some technological awakenings of its own.

All throughout the vast majority of the world, people were using tech to a greater level than they ever used to. They became advanced in science to know the genome, to know about methods to exploit the land for all it was worth. Though they never developed much past electric engines, they were manipulating genetics to actually create new beings. They were on the cusp of developing internal combustion engines when all went wrong.

Magic, as I’ve mentioned, is an energy source. It’s able to be tapped into, able to be used. When one doesn’t use energy, it backs up – it has nowhere to go. While people were enjoying a technological revolution the likes of which had never been seen before, magic was not being used (except very sparingly in Cathemega and places around it.) One morning in the capital of the Freeworld, there was a loud crack, and the earth split apart along the ley line of life.

All along its length, people were hit by terrifying magical effects – icy storms, electrical explosions, bursts of light, and unnatural darkness. Other effects manifested throughout the entirety of the rest of the world (except Cathemega, which remained safe.) Cities began to crumble, destroyed by the effects of the magics around them. Many hundreds of thousands of people died, and even more were stranded with nowhere to go. The earth itself began to split and pull apart, fracturing the Freeworld into many large islands rather than the cohesive continent of its past.

Then, the plumes appeared. When all quieted down, the populous thought they were safe. Rebuilding efforts began as scientists tried to determine what had gone wrong. The missing were being counted, people were trying to get back to their homes, others were trying to get to the port cities to escape. Late in the evening on the third day after the beginning of the terror, the earth began to rumble again. The central capital shook and quivered like never before, and as people fled from their homes and the towers, the earth ripped open and a great hole opened in the ground. Gouts of magical energy pulsed out of the ground, filling the air with the thickest, blackest night they’d ever seen. A few minutes later – and a few hundred miles north – a similar energy pulsed, covering the earth with light that blinded and burned. This continued along every major trunk, at every single point where the magical energies ceased.

With that last burst, that last shudder, the planet calmed. The few survivors of the Cataclysm tried to leave, to go to Cathemega to make a new home, but they were stopped by a great wall of rocky reefs. They ran out of food on these ships, and eventually storms, waves, or the reefs claimed their lives. The ones who didn’t flee found a similar fate, as their food stores ran out and riots began. Farming was impossible, as the world had changed dramatically. Outside of Cathemega, there were only a few tiny settlements that popped up again, but soon died out.

The world had ripped itself apart, sparing only the heart of magic.

Another aside here. As I was drafting the post on the areas outside of Relay, it occurred to me that my maps were screwy.

When I drew the map, I adjusted my thoughts to noting where, approximately, the major cities and areas were, drawing borders and mountain ranges and major forested areas. However, upon reaching the other continents, I completely forgot about distances. So while Relay is properly sized for a regular world, Daikteri and Essas are not. So that is a bit of a problem.

Case in point. There’s an area on Daikteri called the Wild Haunt. When I drew this on my map, it takes up about a good chunk of the continent. Without realizing it, I made a marsh land of about the size of the state of Texas. There are large deserts and large ranges like this in the real world, but my description of this area made little sense with relation to its size.

In addition, I added a few needless cities to Essas. One makes absolutely no sense, in that it’s a major trade hub on the other side of the island from the central sea. No trade would go through that city ever. If this was, however, a small island, it would make plenty of sense, same with the Wild Haunt and the equally ridiculous Water Gardens. I had unknowingly designed the rest of the continents as if I were working with small islands rather than continents spanning something as big north-to-south as Australia.

So I have to rethink Essas and Daikteri. The essentials are still there – but in returning this to a properly sized land, I’ve got huge swaths of empty land filling these island continents. This must be taken care of! So for now, the entry on Essas and Daikteri will have to wait for another day when I’ve reasonably thought through the whole thing once more and adjusted the map accordingly.

However, I’ve got three more places to work in for one more geographical post before getting into the major cities. I’m trying to draw these out better than I did before, and I keep getting this crazy idea to make the cities in Minecraft o.o I’m insane, I know.

The continent on which my stories take place is called Cathemega. It’s another Dragon Tongue word, meaning “great cage.” It consists of three large islands – Relay, Essas, and Daikteri – and a few smaller islands in the sea. It’s the relative size – from its furthest point west-east, north-south – and location of Australia if we continue to use a familiar planet as a reference. The weather is mild temperate, and the terrain is largely forests, mountains, and plains – with a desert and a jungle along the same parallel on opposite islands.

As mentioned yesterday, Cathemega is in a unique place. It’s the only location on the planet where every kind of magic is available for use. It is also surrounded by a ring of large standing stones and thick, almost entirely impenetrable underwater walls of stone. This Guardian Reef is what gives this continent its name. There are passages through the reef, but most are too small or too difficult to navigate through. (Exception, the one in my second novel.)

Relay

The island of Relay was the first and main island inhabited by people. The name comes from the person who discovered this land in the past – long before the Guardian Reef was created in the Cataclysm. It is a large, C-shaped island. Rather thin in all of its parts, but long if you were to travel from one end to the other, several months of travel by horse. There are four major nations, three minor city-states, and a home for a single race.

Tavsere, Moore, Seiis, and Wivverin are the nations. Each have their own type of government, and each controls a fairly large amount of their nearby territory. Tavsere borders and separates all three other nations from each other, making it a major cultural and financial hub. It is a fertile land – relatively flat with a long shore to the south – so it’s very highly developed with agriculture and fishing. Moore is to the north, a mountainous, rocky area known for mining and raising sheep and goats. To the east is Seiis, an elven kingdom with a major port because of its direct access to Essas. On the west – the mid-part of the island – is Wivverin, a city in the desert with a large wealth of technology and history, as well as a booming livestock, gem, and spice trade.

The three minor city-states are Kordera, Tiyris-Neresheim, and Dragon’s Throat. Kordera is nestled into the mountains that are along Moore’s eastern border and Seiis’s northwest border. It is a small city originally designed to take advantage of the mines in the area, but has also become the foremost magic university in the area. Tiyris-Neresheim is a dual-nation of the farming town of Tiyris and the mining town of Neresheim. They are located right on the western borders of Moore and Tavsere, mid-way between the two nations. Dragon’s Throat is the only major city in the southern part of the island, a fishing village in a deep-cut fjord.

The last major area is Canyon, the home of the Mesans in Relay.

Next time I’ll talk about the other two islands – Daikteri and Essas, and follow up with the final post on the other smaller islands.

I’ll get to the post about Cathemega next. But for now I have to explain this, otherwise you may be a little confused.

Grab a globe, or load Google Earth on your computer. I’ll wait.

Got it? Good. Now, find… oh, I dunno… Fiji will do (it’s north of New Zealand.) From this island, draw – in your mind if you don’t want to wreck your globe – a line extending to the east ending in Brazil, a line extending to the west ending in Angola, a line extending to the north ending in Russia, and a line extending to the south looping over Antarctica and ending about the south Atlantic somewhere. Congratulations, you’ve just drawn an approximation of the major ley line trunks.

Each of these trunks contain the energies of five of the major elements. The north trunk contains Life, Darkness, Light, Summer, and Winter. The west contains Holy, Moon, Sun, Earth, and Wind. The south contains Death, the Void, Stars, Desolation, and Nature. The east contains Infernal, Fate, Dreams, Fire, and Water. Along these long trunks, each of these elements has a point at which its energies stop. These termination points end in the order mentioned. From the trunks themselves, extending towards Fiji, are spider webs of thinner tunnels of energy. They criss-cross underneath the surface of the planet, the energy itself expanding upwards and outwards as they go.

As you go along each of these trunks, magic becomes weaker. The elements a master wizard can cast become limited. Going west, for example, a wizard could cast earth spells up and until the end of that energy, at which point they’d only be able to cast wind, winter, water, and nature spells. Even more, the elements are weaker in their opposite directions naturally – so a water spell would be stronger cast east of Fiji than it would if it were cast west of Fiji.

The important thing is that there is one place in the world – one grouping of large islands – that is suffused with every elemental energy type. Every other continent on the planet exists with the lack of some elements or with weak magical natures. This one continent is the melting pot of magic, a place where even the lowliest mage can perform stunning magical feats.

That continent is Cathemega.

As my blog is titled, and I’ve already said a few times, the world in my stories is known as Dramoth Gilead. This is an ancient Dragon Tongue term meaning “world of men.” This post will detail the more broad geological and cosmological details of the world as a whole, with future posts detailing specifics about the inhabited continent and the major cities on that continent. For now we’ll talk about Dramoth Gilead’s place in space and the minor details that make up this planet.

The Helix

Not to be confused with the Helix Nebula (which is quite lovely,) Dramoth Gilead exists in a galaxy that its inhabitants refer to as “the Helix.” This is in reference to a legend about the elemental of the sun, Solus, whose hand directs the planet’s course through the helix of time and space. The galaxy itself is a rather average spiral galaxy, with a relatively flat disk. Dramoth Gilead’s system itself is about the same distance from the galactic center as Earth’s system. Dramoth Gilead’s sun is a tiny bit smaller than Earth’s sun and the planet itself is a tiny bit closer to the sun than Earth is. So all in all, Dramoth Gilead is pretty much in the same place and holds the same solar attitude as Earth.

There are five other planets in the system, one closer and four others outside the range. Due to its prior technological level, these all have been discovered. Only Dramoth Gilead itself is viable for life due to either the extreme closeness of the first planet, or the distance of the other planets. There are numerous smaller planetoids in the furthest ranges, again discovered by scientists, and comets and asteroids as well.

Dramoth Gilead

The planet of Dramoth Gilead is a little smaller than the Earth. It is mostly water, with 5 major continents – the Free World, Cordiss, Aimus, Lorkin, and Cathemega. Only Cathemega is inhabited; the Free World, Aimus, and Cordiss were devastated by the Cataclysm, and Lorkin has no ley lines through it so it’s a barren land. Besides the natural ebb and flow of the planet’s inner mantle and core, Dramoth Gilead is also weaved almost entirely over by a series of thick “trunks” of energy called the ley lines. The planet has mild weather, a mostly temperate climate with easy winters.

The planet is actually a double planet, with a moon sharing its rotation. This moon is much smaller than the planet – only a tenth of the total mass, and the two objects are tidally locked to each other, showing their faces to each other always. This moon is called the Protector, and it’s made of a soft white mineral. It’s visible during the day, and goes through phases as Earth’s moon. Additionally there is a second moon further out called the Destroyer. This moon is made of an extremely dark mineral with a low albedo that it can only be seen when the planet is closest to the sun.

That’s it for the planet itself. I’ll explain about the continent of Cathemega in my next post.

To round off the explanation of the four primes, I leave you with the biggest oddity in the world – the tallis. This race was created by Destruction with the essence of fire embodied within them (and by me to fill a niche left by the lack of the small humanoid races – gnomes and dwarves.) They are the only one of the primes that stands out as different. Line a human, an orc, an elf, and a tallis side by side and you’ll see a human, a dust-skinned, tough human, a slender, darker-skinned human, and a dragon.

The Tallis

Tallis is an old dragon-tongue term that means “worker.” Indeed, this race is an industrious and hard-working one. They were created as an affront to nature itself, a way for the beings on the planet to always know they had a creator, and that nature and natural evolution did not make them. They are somewhat shorter than humans, also much lighter. They also appear to be human-shaped dragons. They walk on two feet, have scales, claws, a long tail that can serve as a third limb due to its prehensile nature, a snout filled with sharp teeth, and a pair of wing-like flaps on the sides of their heads for protection of their ear-canals. They are actually mammals, with breasts, hair, warm-blood, live birth, milk production, and the specialized inner ear bones – but all draconic creatures and dragons in Dramoth Gilead are mammals anyway so that’s not unusual.

Tallis do not know much magic. There is a group of dedicated warrior-priests who have focused on learning the magic of draconic seals – emblems and patterns given to them by the eight elder dragons. The torgaruna (as they are called) wander the continents in search of the homes of the eight dragons. When they receive the blessings of the elders, they are given the knowledge of their particular seals. These unusual patterns are difficult to reproduce properly, so only the torgaruna are able to use it. Instead of magic, the vast majority of tallis work wonders of science instead. They’ve mastered the control of steam powered devices – their city of Sedurka is a technological wonderland. This technological marvel is seen as bizarre to the other races, and they don’t trust the tallis devices without there being a tallis to fix them. Some say the tallis are capable of doing anything, and they just might be.

Tallis culture is designed around learning and application and study. They are run by a number of council-members elected from the heads of the guilds. Each tallis is put in school from the time they are very young and taught all subjects to help them along. When they reach the age of 13, they are sent to a master to learn their ways, and then after their apprenticeship is over, they are put into one of the many guilds. Their art is unusual, formed by twisting and beating metal. It does not resemble any normal structures – drawing from the abstract and the ideological rather than the concrete and story-based artistry. While most tallis cannot be bothered with ritual worship, the majority at least pay some respect to the elder dragons. The torgaruna are the priesthood of the elder dragons, and even they do not ritualize their worship.

Socially, a tallis is not really interested in any sort of limit to their strengths. Male or female, rich or poor, able or not, a tallis strives for excellence, and the greatest of the tallis are those that rose through adversity to become guild leaders or council members. They pay high respect to their parents – their surnames made from the first few syllables of their parents’ names as well as the last syllable from their parents’ birth place. Other races see the tallis as highly energetic, a bit too imaginative, and kind of dangerous – but they respect their knowledge and their abilities. Tallis enjoy the company of other races, always willing to listen and hear everything that they say and know.

And with that, the four primes are done. There are a few other races in the world I’ll get to another time, but for now I’m going to explain a few minor details about the world, then in depth about the cities.