Saturday, June 24, 2023

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States - Week 25

Compiling week 25 of the project, comprised of an additional 7 posts, this week's subject being notable leaders of the Wastelands as shown below:



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #169 

June 18th, 2023 

  • Number: 169 

  • Name: Regions, Capitals and Notable Leaders of the Wastelands: Zetroscha 

  • Location: Western Wastelands on the Arvach Ocean southwest of Afale Maug 

  • Population (approx.): 150,000 to 200,000 scattered over about 27,000 square miles 

  • Brief: A much larger and populous Zetroscha was once a region and “Church-State” of the Ta’arnan Empire whose capital was the city of Natroscha (#104, #134). During the fall of Ta’arna, especially after Natroscha was destroyed, the region dissolved into a collection of isolated settlements such as Pike’s Point (#139) and the little villages about the South Plains Tar fields (#68). A scout and explorer, Apurva Pike-MacNeill, dreams of a restored Zetroscha. She has assembled five dozen like-minded warrior-cavalry to link the settlements of the region by a message and trading service. They’ve established lines of communications throughout the area and provide escorts to any merchants interested in trading between the coast and points inland. Pike-MacNeill has enjoyed success so far, providing enough resources when desired or strength when needed such that local village leaders will listen to her entreaties. Whether Zetroscha is re-established a functioning political entity is yet to be seen. 

  • Geography: New Zetroscha, as some call it, covers about 27,000 square miles of mostly level, lightly forested terrain; a seventy-five-mile stretch (from Pike’s Point southward) of Arvach Ocean coast continuing inland about 360 miles to the middle of the tar fields. It includes the ruins of Natroscha, which are generally avoided (see #104). Pike’s Point and three other notable fishing villages dot the coast. They have some trading contact with the Church-State (#29) to the north. The ruined terrain and inexplicable happenings east of the tar fields and north in the Afale Maug prevent much contact further eastward. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #170 

June 19th, 2023 

  • Number: 170 

  • Name: Regions, Capitals and Notable Leaders of the Wastelands: Guild Watch 

  • Location: Eastern Wastelands on the Sea of Hethichol south of the Danthas River delta. 

  • Population (approx.): 40,000 to 50,000 inhabitants over approximately 4,000 square miles 

  • Brief: With the success or at least survival of the Guild output at Stormwatch (#65) other members of the Guild Collegium have made the lengthy journey from Carasta to the Wastelands. The westernmost output of the region is currently Firewatch (#138), the Arcane Guild chantry on the eastern sands of the Mu Onno Desert. The Traveller’s Guild has repaired existing roads or blazed new trails through the area, to the Danthas River delta (skirting The Silent Colossus (#33)) in the north and to remnant settlements of the Empire to the south. Members of the Builders and Merchants Guilds have followed, establishing caravansaries and attracting semi-nomadic locals to new settlements. Minh Gibson, Master Traveller, has led this current expansion, ostensibly being treated by the other Guild Masters present as the leader and voice of Guild interests. He plans to send embassies to attempt to establish relations with the Saut Tribe to the west and the Mataf Tribe of Taodeas to the north. Both are aware of the Guild’s expansion but have yet to react in any specific way. Minh, and the Travellers, are headquartered in an old revitalized Ta’arnan fishing settlement now known as Seawatch (population: 510). 

  • Geography: Guild Watch, as the Cartographers Guild have currently named the area, covers about 4,000 square miles between the Mu Onno Desert to the west, the Danthas River to the north, Sea of Hethichol to the east and an area known as the Broken Flats to the south (a jumble of broken rock and ravines difficult to traverse). There are the three main Watches (described above) along with two Outposts, manned by the Mercenaries Guild, to the north and one to the south. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #171 

June 20th, 2023 

  • Number: 171 

  • Name: Regions, Capitals and Notable Leaders of the Wastelands: The Hidden Thorps of Cloudshire 

  • Location: North slopes of the Ulu Maug, south of the Danthas and west of the Saut. 

  • Population (approx.): 10,000 inhabitants over 2,500 square miles 

  • Brief: As the Ta’arnan Empire collapsed, the wizard-seer Inari Limid sat in their tower of Cloudshire and watched the disaster unfold from afar. Touched by Corruption, so subtle that only a few sensitives like Limid could detect it, the Churches of the Six turned upon each other. The Empire shed control of cities and territories as an onion shed layers. They saw the ordinary folk fleeing into the wilderness, huddling in caves and dells in the hills about them. Inari Limid gathered their magics and covered a wide swath of the Ulu Maug in a protective fog, forming the Enshrouding Mists (#32). They descended from Cloudshire and with magics of calming about them, met each group of refugees, brought them cheer and bid them welcome to remain in the Mists. They assisted with construction of settlements, guidance in setting rules and picking leaders and instilled a strong sense of secular self-sufficiency. These “hidden thorps” were soon established and growing so Inari Limid returned to the heights of Cloudshire to watch and protect, appearing only where needed. The populace of Cloudshire are wary folk, carefully watching their borders, rarely trading outside except at well-known sites such as Danthas Crossings (#70). 

  • Geography: Cloudshire the realm covers about 2,500 square miles of the northern Ulu Maug slopes (about 80 miles west to east, 40 miles south to north). Its northern border is about 40 miles south of the Danthas River and easternmost point about 70 miles west of the Saut River and Sauville (#137). No census is ever taken, but Inari Limid “sees” fourteen unique settlements under the mists at present day. They survive by farming, hunting in the hills and mining the underearth. In the centuries since casting the Enshrouding, Limid has refined the enchantment of the Mists so that it deflects view of the area by others, but still permits light to bathe and warm those living underneath.  



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #172 

June 21st, 2023 

  • Number: 172 

  • Name: Regions, Capitals and Notable Leaders of the Wastelands: The Severed Churches 

  • Location: Western slopes of the Ulu Maug, east of the central wasted plains. 

  • Population (approx.): 150,000 inhabitants (mostly in 2 different areas) over 15,000 square miles. 

  • Brief: At the height of the Ta’arnan Empire a great city of the Six was built in the northern plains (the present-day central Wastelands) with avenues leading to six great cathedral-citadels of each of the Gods. Then the Empire died and in its death throes four of the churches disappeared; Fire submerged somewhere under The Rolling Green (#101), Air destroyed becoming The Lost Peak (#30), Water apparently enveloped by South Plains Tar (#68) and Earth lost in the ruined lands to the south. Of the fate of the central city, less said the better. Only the churches to the Light, Heliostat Citadel (#69), and Dark, The Citadel of the Five Passages of Night (#34), survive to this day. Each is surrounded by, supported by and protects small settlements of surviving adherents and other Ta’arnans. These small church-states keep a wary eye on each other as well as the raiders from the Monastery of the Passage (#136). Malam’s Chosen (of Light), Bala Fearghail, is a dour, wistful sort, his light turning dim or perhaps gray as he ages. Poul’s Blessed (of Dark), Ahmose Auor, is a young light-hearted soul, she dances in the darkness, bathed in moon and starlight.  

  • Geography: The Severed Churches describes a region of the western Ulu Maug and the plains beyond containing both Churches of Dark, in the northwest corner, and Light, opposite in the southeast corner.  Both are surrounded by small villages and thorps one to two day’s travel on foot from the cathedrals. A smaller number of settlements dot the hills of the Ulu Maug connected by game trails and wagon paths. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #173 

June 22nd, 2023 

  • Number: 173 

  • Name: Regions, Capitals and Notable Leaders of the Wastelands: The Fesea Nomads 

  • Location: The Mu Onno Desert and points south 

  • Population (approx.): Perhaps 10,000 riders scattered over 1,500-2,000 square miles 

  • Brief: The Fesea Nomads have claimed the Mu Onno Desert as their home for most of local recorded history. They travel about the sands on a ritual path known as the Eternal Passage, following the direction of their seers, the Sandfinders. The Fesea are loosely organized in extended family groups known as Vaeg, ranging from a dozen to several of one to two hundred riders. At the direction of the Sandfinders, from time to time, the Fesea gather at the source of the Saut River (#31) to select one rider to lead the nation. Lead being relative term for each Vaeg is self-governing unless they either come into conflict with one another or something threatens all of the Fesea. Their current leader is a charismatic young dervish, Abduhl Arrantir of the Wastes, an orphan with a gift of prophecy and great skill with a pair of blades.  

  • Geography: The northern stretches of the Mu Onno Desert butt against the southern Ulu Maug, encompass the source of the Saut River, and end within several days travel of the Danthas River. The travels of the Nomads bring them within sight of the Guild output of Firewatch (#138). Both groups warily consider each other. But the main concern of the Fesea and Abduhl Arrantir, are the Saut north along the river, for that Tribe if soon allied with the Tribes of Taodeas, might become a threat to the sacred places of the Fesea. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #174 

June 23rd, 2023 

  • Number: 174 

  • Name: Regions, Capitals and Notable Leaders of the Wastelands: The Tinker King 

  • Location: Western slopes of the Afale Maug, inland of the Arvach Ocean 

  • Population (approx.): 15,000 inhabitants over 5,000 square miles 

  • Brief: The upheaval of Ta’arnan’s collapse drove much of the population from their homes, turning farmers, crafters and herders into nomadic refugees and scavengers. Events both good intentioned (that created the Lost Coast (#64)) and evil aspected (that renamed a mountain as The Lost Peak (#30)) drove some locals south and others into the foothills of the Afale Maug. There some began anew about an old tower of ancient construction. The unnamed new settlement prospered for a while until one day an ancient figure appeared within the Tower. The locals fled in terror, but the figure pursued and encourage some to return with promises of protection and power. The being, of no known name but eventually nicknamed the Tinker King, organized those who remained, and others who later arrived, into groups of scavengers. Some he had pick through the scree deposited when the great waves created the Lost Coast. Others headed into the hills to explore the caldera of the Lost Peak. Materials and items were brought to the tower for the King’s “tinkering.” But it was not mundane mechanisms he worked, but biological mechanism, that is, living beings. The Tinker King provided mysterious arcane biomechanical augments to willing subjects, making the survivors his favored lieutenants and leaders. He remains in the tower to this day, surrounded by a large settlement of warriors and workers, served by his oldest and now strangest modified companions. Usually, they continue to exploit the coast and the mountains, but raiding parties have been encountered as far north as the Church-State of Earth and Water (#29) and as far south as Zetroscha (#169).  

  • Geography: The Tinker King “rules” the western half of the Afale Maug, roughly centered between the Church-State to the north, Zetroscha to the south and bounded by the Lost Coast of the western shores of the Arvach Ocean. Scouts and traders report at least five different settlements; the original tower now surrounded by a small town (population: 1,100), two to the north and one each to southwest and southeast. The populace continues to scavenge and forage the region, but more mundane occupations such as farmers and herders are now present.  



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #175 

June 24th, 2023 

  • Number: 175 

  • Name: Other Notable Leaders of the Wastelands 

  • Location:  Varies, see below 

  • Population (approx.): Varies, see below 

  • Brief and Notables: 

  • Church-State of Earth and Water - The Church-State is ruled by the cooperative effort of the leaders of both Churches. Pitseolak Martensdottir, is the High Priestess of the Seas, a young and devout leader dedicated to strengthening the Church-State's position in the region. She entertains local ambassadors especially of the Matui Tribe (#159). Gurmeet Muhfeld, is the High Priest of Stone, a child prodigy of prodigious magical power but little experience, guided by a fractious council of Earth Elders. Their slow decision-making process leads to frustration for Martensdottir and confusion for Muhfeld. 

  • Clan Ironback – The Dwarves of Ironback are currently led by a sister and brother, Thanda and Ashel Ironband. The unusual pairing is effective for Thanda’s aggressive nature, she is a skilled tunnel fighter, is countered by Ashel’s patience, he is a master gemcrafter. Their father, Gian Ironband, only recently left the throne of Ironback to the pair. 

  • Danthas Marshes - Kana Sol, self-styled Queen of the Swamps (#20), leads a large group of waterborne bandits that control a portion of the southern river bank of the Danthas and regularly raid river traffic. To date the Marshwardens (#87) have been unable to contain the swamp bandits to the consternation of the Mataf Tribe. 

  • Saut Tribe – The unofficial seventh major tribe of Taodeas, the Saut live about the Saut River in the Wastelands. Although not part of the City-State to the north, the Saut continue to have close relations with the Danthas and Mataf across the river to the north and are supported by their brethren tribes in time of need. The current chieftess of the Saut is Shelomith Ahmose, a wise woman of advancing years but clear mind and sight. 

  • Geography: 

  • Church-State of Earth and Water – The Church-State (#20) covers approximately 3000 square miles of the irregular coastline south of Taop Bay between the Arvach Ocean and Matui River to the east. A cluster of low hills provides a marker of the southern border but little protection versus outsiders. Most of the population is clustered in settlements on the two peninsulas, the two capitals (#135, population: 4,100 and #140, population: 3,900), and the mainland a day’s travel inland. 

  • Clan Ironback – Claims the northern half of the Ulu Maug on both sides of the border with Taodeas, from Blackstone Fortress (#15) to their southernmost tunnels (#67). The main underground settlement of the Clan is a citadel (#50, population: 1375) about 25 miles south of Blackstone Fortress. Tunnels and chambers radiate outward from the citadel throughout the mountains, connecting mines, natural sites, surface settlements like the capital and natural features like the underground source of the Danthas River. 

  • Danthas Marshes - East of where the Saut River joins the great Danthas, the latter becomes wider and sluggish, meandering through an area of wetlands that frequently floods from the west after winter and from the east due to ocean storms. An abandoned monastery on one island is now home to Kana Sol and her followers (population: 245). From there she controls the marshes for a day’s sail in each direction. 

  • Saut Circle – The Saut lands are along the Saut River from Sauville (#137) north to the junction with the Danthas at Saut Falls (#122). The tribe’s circle (#161, population: 750) is a large settlement on both sides of the waters in the center of their territory. A great platform for ceremonies rises above the river, connected by wooden bridges to each bank. Buildings cover the lands including the usual residences and businesses. 


No comments:

Post a Comment