Archive for the ‘Doth-Eria’ Category

The Ruins of Mehn-Toth

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

These haunted ruins are located deep within the southern mountain forests of The Barrowlands, near the border with Gracia.  Originally this was one of the largest forts of the Gracian Tribes and was built to protect a sacred shrine to Oda, the Gracian God of the forest.

During the last war between the Gracian’s and the Doth-Erian’s this fort became the scene of one of the most brutal battles.  When the Doth-Erians finally arrived at its gates they immediately besieged the fort.  The siege lasted two years before the Doth-Erians assaulted its walls and exterminated the population of the fort.  It was during this battle that the Chieftain of the Irrian’s lost his life solidifying the authority of the Iribane Tribe over the Gracians.  This fateful day saw a change in the war which eventually led to a ceasefire between the powers.

Due to the spirits that remain in the ruins, the woods that surround it remain quiet as animals have learnt to give this area some distance.  The lack of wildlife only goes to enhance the haunted feel of the ruin and impose a sense of fear to those who travel near it.

Upon approach the ruin seems to have become part of the forest, as its breached stone walls are weathered and covered with moss, ivy and brambles that will take a strong arm and a sharp blade to cut through.  The gates lay catawampus half rotted upon the ground, their iron hinges and reinforcing bands rusted with thick undergrowth obstructing passage through the gate house.

The interior holds a similar scene of overgrown vegetation, covering the courtyards, stone buildings and defensive structures.

Strewn amongst the foliage is rubble from boulders, buildings, walls and the dead.  Their skeletons still litter the ruin on wall tops and open ground and reinforce the scale of the battle that was fought here.

There are two major structures in the ruin the first is the central keep.  Made of stone and standing forty feet tall its thick walls held against the battering rams and catapults of the Doth-Erians until the very end, which saw a fight for its control held at every doorway and stairwell until the Gracian’s no longer lived.  There was no surrender and no quarter given in the final assault by either side.

As such the doorways are littered with decayed skeletons, scorched by the burn marks of magical spells and covered in cobwebs.

The second major structure is the sacred shrine.  This once was a grove of huge Oak trees that had grown in a ring, surrounding a natural pool of warm water and the sapling of the sacred Ashfern, a rare and magical tree sacred to the followers of Oda as these trees are delivered to the mortal realm and planted by Oda himself.  This shrine’s great Oaks have now started to regenerate after being burnt by the magical fires of the Doth-Erian wizards but their trunks still show signs of the devastation wrought upon them.  Missing however is the sacred sapling, taken as a trophy by the Doth-Erian’s its location is now unknown.

The brutality of the battle was such that many of the fallen, both Gracian and Doth-Erian, still haunt the area.  Many are benign yet there are those self willed ghosts who seek revenge upon the living for what has happened the most powerful of which are the guards of the sacred shrine.  Known as the Uth Vast, these powerful spiritual warriors still guard the shrine in the afterlife against anyone seeking to damage or defile it.  In life these men and women were of noble birth, well armoured, armed with mighty two handed axes and wielded the magical powers of Oda.  In death they are no less fearsome.

Gibsview Abbey

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Half a day’s travel to the north of the citadel of Langhorn is Gibsview Abbey.  Located on an overhang looking out upon a valley called Gibs Vale, this is a small quaint Abbey of worshipers of Belemai, the god of knowledge and wisdom, who spend the majority of their time in reflection upon the words and teachings of Belemai .

When not in quiet contemplation and discussion they spend their time growing barley and making Ales in their brewery.  These Ales are highly sought after and are usually high alcohol, very flavoursome rich brews that utilise an open ferment system to obtain unique flavours.  Their most commonly requested beer is the Serpents Wing Ale, but produce a great range of ales from the small brewery that they have built.  Below are some of their creations…

Serpents Wing Ale: This top fermented brew is bottle conditioned and has a smooth frothy head, which is derived from the light carbonation of the beer and when poured into a glass it literally sparkles as if golden flecks floated throughout the liquid.  The brew is full of flavour and has a moderate alcohol content combined with a crisp bitter finish.

Tortlan’s Abyss: Tortlan was a former member of the Abbey whose learned study led him to believe that there were ancient texts of Belemai buried deep within a tunnel system in the Tarisan Ranges and set off to rediscover them so that the Abbey could benefit from the lost knowledge.  At the best of times Tortlan’s sanity was questionable by the members of the Abbey; however they humoured his theory and allowed him to pursue his agenda seeing little harm in it.  Unfortunately poor Tortlan has never been seen or heard of since he left the Abbey gates and is presumed to have perished upon his sojourn.

In his honour the Abbey brewed this beer which is a heavily roasted brew as black as the abyss that Tortlan set off to find.  In an attempt to mimic the juxtaposed nature of the man this brew is slightly sweet with a strong chocolate flavour and only a moderate level of alcohol.

Gibsview Cassis Ale: Made from the blackberries that are grown in the gardens of the Abbey, the Cassis Ale is one of the most expensive ales produced from the Abbey as it is aged four years prior to being released for consumption.  This ageing process helps to integrate the flavours so that the drinker is provided with a complex taste sensation upon their palate.

This fruit driven beer has a deep purple colouring and holds great balance between the blackcurrants flavours from the fruit, the sweetness of the alcohol and the bitterness of the hops.  To round out the drink its high alcohol content means that it will test even the heartiest of Dwarves.

The Doth-Erian Empire Brief Overview

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

The Doth-Erian Empire has been forged over the past four hundred and thirty years.  From humble beginnings as a single and only moderately sized nation to an empire that now encompasses fifteen provinces and stretches from the Great Synathian Ocean in the west to the Alasean Sea in the east.  Many of these province’s boarders are the original boarders of the nations that were conquered however several have been constructed by the empire to its own benefits.

In the past four hundred and thirty years the empire has seen very little time of peace, historians claim only as much as fifty years without bloodshed.  The Doth-Erian’s came to power due to their development of superior cavalry and the use of artillery on the battlefield.  Conquering two out of three of its neighbours in separate wars over a twenty-five year period they set a precedence for the years to come and with this in mind the empire continued to expand to its current size.

As is the case with all great empires, unity is seen as a key to ensuring the future of the empire thus the Doth-Erian’s routinely dominate the culture and society of the lands they conquer thus there are many dialects throughout the empire but many of these such as the Apathian or Gracian languages, practices and beliefs are banned from use in preference for the Doth-Erian culture.  This has however had benefits for those wishing to trade with and within the empire whether they be foreign or local merchants alike.

The Doth-Erians are routinely portrayed and depicted by other cultures and neighbouring countries as arrogant and in the minds of the Empires nobility why should this matter, they have won the right to be so through victory at arms.  To this date there has been nothing that has successfully challenged the Empire’s might and few on the continent of Synathia would rival its power.  Thus their demeanour is seen as justified and true amongst its aristocracy.

The Barrowlands

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

‘Bring into your mind a picture of grand landscapes, forested mountain ranges littering the countryside with streams and rivers running freely down the slopes, gradually carving valleys out of the rock.  Before the mountain ranges stretches rolling grass covered plains as far as the naked eye can see. Now soak that lush foliage and  rich soil with the blood of hundreds of thousands of men women and children so that when you walk those lands it is not moisture from the recent rains that wells in your footprint but the blood of those who have died in defence of it.  These are the southern lands of our great empire, riddled with the memories and pains of the dead.’

Carma Othius

Imperial Court Bard to Emperor Arias 3rd

The Barrowlands is a land of some diversity as its northern boundary run along the base of the Denaris Ranges holding lush, fertile plains suited to grazing sheep and dairy cattle, but as you travel further south the terrain changes to forested undulating hills, valleys and eventually mountains as they stretch further south into the lands of Gracia and the Grand Duchy of Koras.

In this southern area wide open valleys are home to small self sustaining villages nestled next to lakes and rivers.  The deeper you travel into the land the more untouched it seems to be with the landscape covered with forests, abundant wildlife, foliage that clings to the rocks of the cliff faces as they try to reach the ridges peaks, and water that cascades down the valley walls in a myriad of thin waterfalls.

Yet do not let this serine picture fool you as the lands are both wild and dangerous, particularly if you are from Doth-Eria.  The primary threat is from one of the Gracian tribes as they consider the lands still to be theirs and anyone not of their people to be trespassers.  The most common encounter with these people is from tribal scouts who have come to investigate an incursion, hunters, night time raiders or warbands.  The further south and closer to the border between The Barrowlands and Gracia one travels the higher the risk, within the midlands and north of the province the risk is not so much of open battle or capture rather it is of insult and distrust by the villages and townsfolk who descend from the Gracian tribes.

The west and north-western parts of the province broaden into a more open landscape until you reach the coastline where rugged cliffs and lashing salty waves whip against the rocks.  The western area is the most civilized with the largest settlement, the Citadel of Langhorn, solidly standing as a beacon and testament to the power of the Doth-Erian Empire.

This is a harsh land, and one that is torn between two distinct cultures.  The original lands were held by a collective of tribes who loosely aligned to form a nation they called Gracia.  This is a vibrant warrior culture who is one with the lands around them, worshiping the spirits of the forest such as the wolf and the bear above all.  The current rulers of this province are the Doth-Erian Empire.  A highly technologically and magically advanced civilization that have continuously expanded their borders over the last four hundred and thirty years.  War between these two factions has lasted for over a century and has seen the gradual retreat of the Gracian’s.  Although the Empire has never been able to completely defeat these people they have pushed them deep into the southern mountain range Known as the Tarisan and conquered much of what they once owned.

Peace has now lasted for twenty years after a ceasefire was brokered by the Iribane tribe, however those descendents that were left in the occupied territory have known nothing but repression and subjugation, with the Doth-Erian’s enforcing laws which outlaw their language, religion, beliefs, dress, names, historical teachings and folk law.  Although the Gracian’s should not have expected any special treatment as this is standard policy for Doth-Eria as a means to take control of the captured lands and bring it completely under its control.