Tectoctar

Jevanicia

Tectoctar was a small city of 6,000 people who the rest of the world described as degenerates. Tectoctar was one of the most awful places one could imagine to live in. It had food and shelter, but not of a particularly good kind. The place had its share of problems with all the bugs, the seasonal flooding, and the continual sinking of any building into Danar’s Swamp. It’s rumored that some of the oldest buildings have basements so far done that they go into the Underdark.

Tectoctar was built on Danar’s Swamp, not next to it, under it, or over it, but on it. The town was built by Tectoctar, a Xorian general turned renegade, who led his army to the north and settled in the swamp when he received a sign from Zeus. Zeus had intended the usurper to die in the swamp, but Tectoctar was an excellent commander and managed to force his troops to stay and work through the absolute discipline he had instilled in them prior to their expedition. Additionally he had his lieutenant general cast a spell that let him read people’s thoughts allowing him to punish traitors before they committed their first act of sedition. Unfortunately for Tectoctar the side effect of knowing every man’s thoughts within a two mile radius is rather destructive. The tyrant general went insane and disappeared into the western reaches of the bog. The citizens of the city had already settled down and knowing they would not be welcomed back in Xoria decided to stay.

Tectoctar had no city plan of any kind. Occasionally an architectural accident would make a front door unreachable and required a new one to be cut in the walls. The principal building material was wood sent upriver from Bigby’s forest. The wood was used to create a frame for the house and then covered with hides, leaves, or hay to keep the rain and bugs out. Any building made with a heavier structure sank into the ground within a few months and even the wooden structures were constantly sinking, creating basements of ever increasing size beneath the city.

The extremely moist soil of Tectoctar was quite good for growing rice, but excruciatingly bad for anything else most people consider edible. A type of flower grows in the swamp that can be eaten called shorehorn. The animal life that served as the protein for most Tectoctarian dishes is revolting. Snails, slugs, leeches, unclean fish, snakes, and other reptiles. The lucky outsider is served tojanida. These monsters dwell in the swamp and when a dead one is found it was often sold to the wealthy of the town.

As Tectoctar grew older more people immigrated who were rejected by other cities and countries and were told of a paradise where everyone is welcome. Many of them were not impressed by the “paradise.” Some vagabonds left if they could, but most had run out of money getting to the city and were forced to stay. The rare few actually liked Tectoctar better because at least they are the same as everyone else here. The descendants of these immigrants composed the majority of the city’s population.

Tectoctar neither exported nor imported anything because it is nothing more than a large poor town in the middle of a swamp. The one attraction to the town was their local artifact of chewing gum, a type of food that oozes from trees that you cannot actually stop getting sustenance from. You could chew gum forever and never have to worry about eating, drinking, or going to the bathroom again. Unfortunately this miraculous item does not keep for more than a day, so it was only traded in mass quantities to the most foolish of tourists.

The city was ruled by the Race Council. An influential member of each race that lived in Tectoctar was appointed by their brethren to the council. The council had representatives from many different species including, humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, dragons, ogres, giants, goblins, orcs, lizardfolk, gnolls, trolls, kobolds, and troglodytes. Each off shoot of one race was still considered the same. A rather extreme example of the inequity of this policy was present in the representation of Drow by a High Elf councilor. The Race council met once every three months to decide on issues that affected the entire city.

The Xorian government long resented the existence of Tectoctar as it was technically a rebel city. During the regency of Queen Anajakaze, the Xorian army attacked and defeated Tectoctar. It’s people were executed, enslaved, or driven out of the city. With no one else to inhabit the buildings, the city slowly sank into the swamp. The structures still exist beneath the muck, slowly rotting away, but also perhaps holding magic treasures for explorers brave and clever enough to find them.

After the destruction of Tectoctar, Queen Anajakaze created a new colony on the edge of Danar’s Swamp named Jevanicia.

-GoCorral

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 25

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 24

Boom! Navillus is back! There’s also some more recent history with the Night of a Thousand Kings where Hrotomak is unseated, replaced by the mercenary, Jizero, and other stuff in the Upper Maw. Someone finally stands up to the grez at Bronze Port. Not much for me to add on this one beyond that. In the future I’m hoping that Jizero and his descendants will do something cool in a campaign. Or really anything from the Night of a Thousand Kings. Pretty much anybody can claim the Najar throne now and I’d love to have an adventure centered around people scrabbling for little bits of power related to that. Oh, and of course the Blockade finally ends in this post.

730 NA: In the ruins of Prestounasi the Leaguers rebuilt. From the ruins of the old the city was reborn, New Prestounasi. As Prestounasi was rebuilt more Hykman workers completed construction on the hobgoblin city of Vassal at the site of Nanatok as well. Meanwhile, more forces were conscripted in Hykma, fueling the growing militocracy. The rana continued to expand the Shanties, having reached Domicilius, they continued to grow between there and The Hearth.

731 NA: In Balkus, the Bastards of the Tattered Book eyed Proaxium hungrily. They raised a fleet and sailed to the island, raiding the city. Knowing the cost of slaying the Humans on the island to be immense, the Bastards left them mostly alone (aside from plundering their belongings). But the Metal Dwarves… some were certainly killed, but the majority were sold into slavery and scattered about the world. The raid a success, the Bastards sailed away.

The merfolk horrified at what the Blockade caused, apologized profusely to the dwarves. The merfolk lifted the Blockade. They took over management and protection of Proaxium with dwarven blessings and the great institution was restored to its former state. With the new knowledge available at their fingertips the merfolk researched military submarines. Submarine fleets were constructed in Drolfo’s Cove and Cyflenwi with a regular fleet to match in New Tortuga.

The grez ice expanded onto the Hearthland continent.

732 NA: The grez froze the northern area of Hearthland including Bronze Port and Tylraniria. Then they sent all their armies at Bronze Port. The Hero and the skeletons joined the attack. The city fell to the onslaught of undead. The grez sent a short message to the Metal Dwarves, “Your decadence is your undoing.”

733 NA: The Metal Dwarves called for help from their brothers on the Upper Maw, but the call went unanswered. King Hrotomak had other concerns on his mind. Najar was undefended and ripe for the taking. Seeking the Imperial throne King Hrotomak took his armies from Cynelle and Syluk and marched on Najar. As the core of defenders were at Bronze Port, Hrotomak captured the city easily. The men went through the city finding vast treasures that the grez left untouched. They city was devoid of any living being. All the humans, frozen so long ago, had either decayed or animated to join the invasion of Bronze Port.

King Hrotomak came upon the old throne room. He sat upon the chair and found it to his liking. Behind the royal chair was a curtain that covered a thin volcanic shaft. The shaft went down, down, down, to the heart of the dead mountain. When Hrotomak thought he was alone in the room he heard soft whispers coming from behind him, welcoming him.

734 NA: Hrotomak’s victory was short lived. Reinforcements arrived from the cities of Cynelle, Alixria, and Alrdia, singing the praises of the King of the Red Peaks. These praises became damnations as the reinforcements turned upon the celebrating dwarven armies. The ensuing battle was ruthless; the Najarns stormed the throne room and cut down King Hrotomak the Conqueror. His “unified” nation separated and devoured itself. The Night of a Thousand Kings descended on Najar, as lords and laymen, both human and dwarf, laid claim to the seat at Navillus’ feet and were in turn cut down by friend and foe alike. A terrible laughter seemed to echo through the city, up out of the deep crypts.

The heart of the fiery mountain in Najar began to beat once more. Throughout the world the children of Old Najar, whose blood ran thick with ancient oaths sworn by their ancestors at the feet of the Black Prince, felt that ominous beating beneath their skin and in their very souls. The Dark Lord had returned.

The Night of a Thousand Kings ended with Mercenary Captain Jierzo sitting upon the Red Throne. King Hrotomak’s son, Tenzomak, escaped to Syluk. The old city-states of Najar devolved to fighting amongst themselves as they did when Najar fell to the Hero and the grez.

Although the Metal Dwarves’ call for aid to the Empire Dwarves went unanswered, there was a different power that cared very much about the trade route that the grez interrupted. The Frugal Profiteers sent out messengers and their mercenary armies assembled at Tylaniria.

The isolationist dwarves, when threatened, reacted quickly. A massive force was assembled in the depths of the Tiers and then poured out across the icy desert, to Bronze Port. The Profiteers, communicating with magic, moved at the same time across the ice between the cities. The dwarves slammed their hammers upon their shields outside the cold gates of Bronze Port, proclaiming the land as still theirs. The dwarves and mercenaries sustained many losses, but the grez were defeated and forced to flee from the city, back to Reesrevoton.

-GoCorral

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 26

Crafterton

Crafterton

Crafterton is town with a population of about 60,000 people, most of whom are halflings. The town’s economy is based around factories powered by the strong wind blowing to the west towards Cecilia. The factories were once powered by wood fires, but the island’s forest has been severely depleted. Cutting wood is now only allowed during winter and even then only by government permit. Some of the more entrepreneurial halflings import wood from the lumber port of Makotako, but most are content to do without.

The ban on woodcutting leads to many of Crafterton’s dishes being uncooked, heavily spiced, and/or soaked in acidic juices. All the newer buildings and furniture in the city are made from stone imported from Bradel Fields. Any of the city’s surplus tax revenue instead of being saved is spent on a restoration project. The City’s Commercial Council (CCC) once worked in line with the thief’s guild of Balin’s Holt to discover many new secrets that can help Crafterton’s factories and forests. This cooperation stopped after the Xorian occupation.

Crafterton’s factories do not use an assembly line, but put a bunch of people in the same space using the same large power machine to make many products at the same time. The power comes from windmills on top of the factories and from imported fuel for the bigger factories that use fires. When no wind blows laborers are hired to turn a large crank that keeps the machine going.

The factories produce everything. One of the more famous ones, Lindertur’s factory, makes houses and then exports them. The exportation of the larger commodities requires help from golems made in Havdrast’s factory. The fault in this whole system is that Crafterton has almost no natural resources beyond fish and good soil that is only being used for personal gardens. Everything has to be imported or magically created.

Due to the large demand for transportation many magical schools have opened in Crafterton about those disciplines. Most wizards in the city are conjurers. Bags of holding, portable holes, and Heward’s Handy Haversacks are all produced in Heward’s factory. The Wayfarer’s Union, providing teleportation services, is also located in Crafterton.

Something even more preternatural than the rest of the city is the Factory of Ideals. It produces potions that twist people’s thoughts to a different prospective. The Factory of Ideals produces potions that make people fall in love, do evil things, do good things, and even release bodily waste in public. The factory is allowed to keep working for unknown reasons by the government. Most people assume bribery.

The CCC is a guild comprised of all the factory owners in Crafterton. They decide the amount people are taxed and where that money goes. They are in effect an aristocracy without representation. They are all very rich and have no obligation to the poor of the city. Prior to the Xorian occupation the public accepted this arrangement. Whenever the public was upset they would strike and start building up farms to live off of. The strike negotiations started quickly and the problems are always quickly resolved. This feeling of goodwill has changed since the Xorian occupation.

Crafterton was occupied by the Xorians in 437 BCE. A military governor, Commander Borgawitas, oversees the CCC now, preventing any possible seditious activity. Many of the factory owners have become dragovinians and enjoy the benefits of integration into a larger empire. The common folk of Crafterton have easier access to goods with the removal of import tariffs, but their civil liberties have been seriously limited. Many of the halflings have been forced to work on the restoration project without pay.

The hurricane floods of 401 BCE destroyed many of the smaller buildings of Crafterton and without the wind break of large trees, almost all the efforts of the restoration project were undone in one night. The CCC was quick to rebuild the factories, but the rest of the city has been left to languish. Efforts to strike are no longer met with concessions and negotiations, but whips and executions. Dragovinian animals are everywhere, watching the captive populace to prevent insurrection.

-GoCorral

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 15

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 14

Remember that dwarven invasion that took many of the cities from the Najar Empire? And do you remember them ever taking Najar, the capital of the Najar Empire? Because they never took that capital. The invasion stalled after all the other cities were claimed.

Najar became a point of light for the rebellious humans in the new Dwarven Empire. After a century and a half of minor revolts, the Najarns finally got enough coordination to take back a few of their cities. Cynelle already came back under human control with help from the merfolk. Alixria and Alrdia now revolt in unison. Najar and Cynelle help them and the dwarves are forced to hide in Syluk.

The elves have similar problems and must also retreat to their capital city. They fortunately do not have an ancient demon god tormenting them. The elves fare a lot better than the dwarves.

The end effect of this revolt is to solidify the differences between the Empire Dwarves on the Maw and the Metal Dwarves on Hearthland. The Empire Dwarves continue to make ethical lapses as they are now unwitting pawns of Navillus. The Metal Dwarves… They just want to get away from all this, but there will be more on that later.

453 NA: The Black Prince watched Najar and the lands beneath the Red Peaks. The Holy City began to stir, its people cried out to be saved from the dwarven tyranny and to know once again the pleasures of Old Najar. And so they took up arms against their oppressors! Full-fledged rebellion broke out in the twin cities of Alixria and Alrdia, enough to clear the way for advancing troops from Najar to reclaim their cities.

454 NA: The Najaran forces marched towards the mighty fortress of Syluk but stopped in the foothills. No mortal man ordered the halt. Only one whisper from Navillus and one sly smile stopped the army. He would deal with Syluk himself. With no unifying purpose, the armies dispersed. A few Najarn commanders demanded obedience, but a higher power controlled affairs in the Upper Maw.

Morale sank in occupied Syluk. News of the retaking of the twin cities of Alixria and Alrdia had reached the dwarven commanders from their post in the mountains and with the fall of Cynelle and the elves on the coast they were surrounded. They were safe at least, they told themselves. No foe could storm the mountain under the fire of dwarven siege machines and the old city was rich and well supplied for a siege. They had the military might to keep the native population under control and while sabotage continued, it was petty in its nature. And then, soon after the other cities fell, the nights began to grow longer. Restlessness settled in amongst the dwarves as nightmares plagued their dreams. Animals were born hideously deformed. Crops seemed to whither and turn to ash. And the Najaran sabotage seemed to grow at supernatural speeds.

They were dwarves of hard metal but as nights grew longer and the pressure grew… they began to break. Madness, paranoia, and strange illnesses plagued the Syluki Dwarves. New military tribunals were formed with harsher punishments. Loyal dwarf soldiers began to be executed by their own officers for trifling offenses. Suspicions ran rampant. To those in charge it seemed that all of their men were traitors. The few remaining pure souls wept for the fate of Syluk, the city of terror…

467 NA: The Bastards’ invasion horrified the elves. They had never seen such brutality. The hobgoblin race terrified the sylvan people as well. The elves begin setting traps within the forest, both mundane and magical. The elves set a great ward around Crodolan to prevent any outsiders from entering the city.

475 NA: The darkness in Syluk began to lift. After twenty years of endless sabotage, military tribunals, and sickness, a semblance of order returned to the mountain city. The Empire Dwarves took stock of themselves cut off as they were from the Dwarves on Hearthland. The whispers of Navillus had turned them away from the Holy Books that they used to know. The priesthood corrupted. Human sacrifice began to take place to ward off the evil. Little did the dwarves know that the souls they sacrifice went to feed the Dark God. Farpoint, the other dwarven controlled city in the Upper Maw, was too far away to lend aid or even effectively communicate with the Syluki Dwarves.. The Empire Dwarves knew that the crusade must be completed or their failure would be remember in history for eternity. They recruited among the humans in the city who finally accepted their new masters. Soon, they planned to march to Najar and face the evil master of the Maw as they should’ve done in the first place.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 16

An Overview of Gurutama Part 2

This maps shows the vast trade area influenced by the Merfolk in Gurutama.
This maps shows the vast trade area influenced by the merfolk in Gurutama.

Previous: An Overview of Gurutama Part 1

The merfolk inhabit the seas, islands, and coasts of the flat world, Gurutama. At the edge of the world the sea runs off, so the merfolk stay in the central seas where no such threat worries them.

The merfolk have two basic sub races within them, True Merfolk and Landwalkers.

True Merfolk dwell within the sea and never leave their saline environment for extended periods of time. True Merfolk speak two languages, one for the water and one for above it.

Landwalkers are a race of merfolk that can breath air just as well as water. They seen publicly far more often than True Merfolk, leading many people to think that there is only one race of merfolk.

Landwalkers serve as the intermediates between True Merfolk and other races. Without them it is unlikely that the merfolk would have the significant impact on the world that they do.

The merfolk leadership was never described in our game of Dawn of Worlds, so that remains to be written. However, we did create an active and present patron god of the merfolk, Drolfo.

Many of the tools and skills that the merfolk have are attributed to Drolfo. He built the Great Canal. He tamed the animals of the sea for the merfolk. He gave them ships. He modified the True Merfolk to make the Landwalkers. Or so the stories say.

Other fantasy worlds would make these stories fact, but we prefer an open interpretation. Whoever decides to DM with those myths as plotpoints may choose which way they go. Still, the stories remain and our characters can debate about which version is true and which version is false.

Along with the avians, the merfolk were one of the first races to develop a civilization. The two civilizations soon came into contact and conflict.

The avians attempted to win the conflict by building a large nest on the Lower Maw. The nest is marked on the upper left of the Lower Maw as Nanatok.

The merfolk prayed to Drolfo and Selcatnet, the giant octopus, tore apart the nest, causing the avians to flee.

The merfolk used their superior knowledge of hydraulics to flood the eastern half of Rontu-Aru, creating the swamp it is today.

The avians are a jungle people and they could not adapt to the swamps fast enough to fight back against the merfolk.

The merfolk won the day and the avians have essentially be a slave race ever since. If a slave is encountered in Gurutama there is a significant chance that the slave is an avian with clipped wings.

Recently, a resurgence of religious zealotry entered the avian jungle. More and more crusaders for the avian god, Izquitl, joined the fight against the merfolk.

The avians retook the Fluren Peninsula from the merfolk and rechristened Tortuga as Hubru-Peche.

From Hubru-Peche, the avians flew across the Neck to the Halusho Forest in the Lower Maw.

The merfolk retook Tortuga, but the avians have become a force in the world once more.

That’s about all we got on the avians from the Dawn of Worlds game, but there’s lots more to come about the merfolk in the Maw!

-Mister Ed

Next: An Overview of Gurutama Part 3