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Author Topic: Raevalem- ABANDONED  (Read 4939 times)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« on: 02 April 2010, 21:51:43 »

Overview
The colony of Raevalem, founded circa 1000 b.S. almost a half century after the Vardynian Atonement, is the only human settlement of any permanence or size on Caael'heroth. Situated on the Peninsula of Aden, it is shielded from the harshness of the rest of the peninsula by the Shaddhar Mountains, affording it a unique isolation from the rest of the world. Raevalem was first established as a masthead for the colonization of the Peninsula, but the unfriendly terrain further north hindered this progressas did the presence of orc tribes further restricted Erpheronian expansion into this region. Now the colony merely control the terrain south of the Shadhhar mountains, though wars and skirmishes with the orcs to the north over the little habitable land in the region have left this control tenuous at best. Raevalem also serves as a penal colony, where the prisoners are used to mine valuable aurium, a task which is dangerous given the propensity with which orcs have been known to raid the supply groups travelling to and from these mines.


Description

Raevalem sits at the mouth of the River Aden, on the north-west bank. The river, which feeds into the Sea of Tears, forms a natural barrier and has been incorporated into the defense of the settlement since it's inception. The surrounding landscape is not a kind one, the rocky foothills to the nearby Shaddhar mountains rise up no less than a dozen stralls from the colony and it is from here that the people make their livelihood.

Raevalem is a the largest permanent settlement on Aden, comprising some 8000 free people, and no less than 500 criminals in the penal mines at any one time.

Buildings feature sharply angled wooden or slate-tiled roofs that almost reach the ground. Thks keeps the snow from piling up on top and forcing them to collapse inwards. The base of these buildings is uniformly made of stone, the last wooden buildings having burned to the ground during the fire of 1602 a.S. The settlement is surrounded by a wall of no less than four peds in height and roughly two fores thick. This wall extends to the river, and wraps around until it reaches the docks, whereupon it ends in sentry towers. The wall has only two points of entry, a large ironbound gate, which is barricaded when not being used and the docks.
Outlying buildings are designed to be abandoned in case of attack, with the middle of the settlement placed behind a ditch a ped and a half deep. The inner buildings are uniformly stone, with crenelations around the slightly sloped roof, and arrowslits in place of windows.

On the water, the docks extend into the river Aden and are the only other method of entering the settlement. Raevalem's docks are equipped to serve as a place to moor or repair ships, with a drydock and extensive supplies. Raevalem is the last port on Sarvonia before the crossing to Akdor, and so traffic.



Location
Raevalem sits on the south-western coast of the Peninsula of Aden, which sits at the tip of Caael'heroth in Northern Sarvonia. The Peninsula is separated from the rest of Caael'heroth by the Shaddhar mountains, and opens into the Sea of Tears on the south-west, the Ice Sea in the North


People

Raevalem was originally an Erpheronian colony, established in 1000 b.S. King Thaelerin offered vast sums of money to soldiers to entice them to settle in Raevalem with their families. The intended use of Raevalem as a waystation along a trade route to Akdor brought sailors and shipwrights as the docks were constructed, and several mercantile warehouses were built in anticipation of trade with the far-flung Akdorians. Circa 950 b.S. following the discovery of aurium within the Shaddhar mountains, Erpheronia begian shipping criminals not worthy of execution to Raevalem to work in the mines. Since the founding of Santharia, Raevalem has become a colony of the United Kingdom and several shifts in policy have made it more hospitable. While it remains a penal colony, upon completion of their time in Raevalem, prisoners are given a Certificate of Freedom. This enables them to either return to Santharia, or remain in Raevalem and seek further employment. Few make it to this point, and those responsible for overseeing prisoners working in the mines will often add to their sentences for minor infractions in order to keep the labor force supplied.  very little has changed about the Raevalem settlement's population. The penal workers make up roughly an eigth of the population at any one time, though this can vary wildly.


Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms of Raevalem has its root in the original Erpheronian coat of arms, a blue shield with a red chevron at the bottom, featuring three stars, above a black mountain.

Climate
The climate of Raevalem is comparatively mild when held against the rest of Caael'heroth. The colony does experience vicious winters however, which can bring life in the settlement to a grinding halt. Heavy snowfall, driving winds and hailstorms with sheets of lightning and peals of thunder that often cause avalanches. Ships may be delayed by months

Flora
Small stands of Arvin's Cedar and Tulmine tree grow in and around the settlement and are cultivated for their wood by the colonists.

Fauna
Very little dwells on the ground in Raevalem. Mice and rats are a guarantee, but little else. The colonists raise cats or dogs to catch these. There are some seabirds, seasonal migrants from the peninsula of Kr'ull, and fish. Evoor spawn in the upper reaches of the Aden come spring. Bonehead spawn in the mouth of the Aden, not far from the settlement and are a staple of the settler diet. While they are not common, the massive Kuk'arg spawn in the region north-west of Aden, and are prized for their meat. Ulgaroths migrate from the north to the south along the river and spend some time in the northern grasslands before returning to the Heaths of Eph'denn. Most feared, Black Drakes are known to roost in the Domchar mountains.

Resources
The only resource of any note are the aurium veins in the Shaddhar mountains. While these are small veins, they are larger than any deposits found in Santharia and continue to be mined to this day. There are veins of iron ore that run nearby, and the colonists exploit these as needed as well as the sparse local flora and fish from the River Aden. Evoor are caught for their oil and used as bait for Bonehead fish, while Kuk'arg are considered a rare treat.

Myth/Lore
Raevalem has been reseeded twice in its history. It is the circumstances of the second reseeding that mystify to this day. Upon arriving, the supply ship carrying the most recent load of prisoners found no smoke emanating from the chimneys and no hands at the dock. Upon further investigation they found the buildings empty. Devoid of inhabitants, though there was no sign that they had performed some exodus elsewhere. In the middle of the settlement, the winter snow had melted down the cobbles without explanation and a great arrow had been gouged into the ground pointing south-west towards the sea. No footprints could be found, nor evidence of where the prisoners and other colonists had gone.


History

The Peninsula of Aden – First Encounters (941 b.S.). Thaelrin’s naval scouts determined the most suitable location to establish a colony was on the western shore of the Peninsula of Aden, just north of the Donchar Mountains. Three shiploads of troops landed on the peninsula and engineers etc. began to build and fortify a fort large enough to accommodate 300 soldiers and their families. The king offered free housing to any soldier who volunteered to take on this mission, and additional wealth to bring their families with them.

The Peninsula of Aden – Struggles with the Khrosh'uag-Oc (941. b.S.). Orc tribes forced out Thaelrin’s initial army after less than a month – the fort was unfinished and the materials destroyed or pillaged by the orcs, after the king underestimated the orcs’ organisation and ability to mobilise forces so quickly. Thaelrin dedicated the next eight years to building up naval capacity and increased military funding – taxes were raised in the country to offset the strain on Erpheronia’s coffers.

The Peninsula of Aden – Raevalem is built (932 b.S.). Eight years later, Thaelrin sent a second, more concerted effort to establish a colony on the Peninsula of Aden. Raevalem was built and fortified, but unable to grow beyond the boundaries of those fortifications. Orcs attempted to invade the fort, but were unable to force out the Erpheronians who had the advantage of a naval fleet able to bring supplies and fresh troops to Raevalem.

Myracor’s Birth (922 b.S.). Thaelrin and Saenessa announced the birth of their son, Myracor. The pair were rumoured to have had a turbulent relationship, and spent much of their lives apart from one another. Except for court occasions of importance, Saenessa remained in Quentron. They did not have any more children.

The Siege of Raevalem (920 b.S.). After a night raid that decimated the guard along the fort’s south wall, the Khrosh'uag-Oc pressed their advantage and breached the walls. One corner of Raevalem – the Old Merchant Quarter – was destroyed by the orcs, who managed to set up a temporary base camp just outside the walls. After losing more than a third of the force in Raevalem, Thaelrin sent in a massive force that quickly won the battle.

The Battle for Raevalem (912 b.S.). The Erpheronian army at Raevalem was caught unaware during another night raid, and a significant portion of the walls and keep were destroyed. Up to this point, Thaelrin’s forces had faced only orcs, but during this battle, dark elves were involved, who ensured that the orc forces were more organised and better supplied with food, water and weapons. For the first time in Raevalem’s history, fighting occurred within its walls. Once the fighting was finished, some of the residents returned to mainland Erpheronia, though a few stalwart families remained behind.

Rebuilding Raevalem (912-905 b.S.). Thaelrin sent more money, soldiers, water, food and other supplies to Raevalem. A stone wall was built around the colony and fortified with engines designed to defend against a siege, such as catapults and trebuchets. This massive period of rebuilding came with a heavy price, once again depleting Erpheronia’s coffers.
« Last Edit: 24 March 2017, 12:52:03 by Valan Nonesuch » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 03 April 2010, 02:28:09 »

How's status with Cort'Mangar, Valan? Don't forget to finish what you've started!  :)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #2 on: 13 September 2010, 01:13:33 »

So, except for history, I'm just about ready.
Thoughts? Comments? Wisdoms?
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Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #3 on: 14 September 2010, 02:35:19 »

Wish all due respect, Valan...but where is the rest of it?  huh

Surely the flora could use more description than one sentence. What about the life of the people? Thorough descriptions? Gates? Security processes? Are there any specific people associated with this settlement such as current rulers? You have a one sentence mention of black drakes which seems like something that can be expanded upon. What about orc problems? Does the settlement share any history with the Dinali people?

Given that this is the only (known) human settlement in Caaehl'heroth, I would like to see more information.  ;)
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« Reply #4 on: 15 September 2010, 04:53:29 »

Well, yeah, I have to admit Azhira has a point here... Especially as I personally thought that Raevalem must be really a major settlement. Or at least must have been, and if I take everything into consideration it's just impossible that it's a mere 500 souls village right now.

Maybe I don't know enough about the region, but what I do know is that Raevalem had to fight a lot of orcs in the past down there and that even hero's like Jaek Armerson sought to prove themselves there because onslaught was so fierce. And that it took several kings to establish a route to this point. With other words: Massive troup contingents were at work here, yet they eventually couldn't conquer the orcs up north, so the conquest had to stop there. That there live only 500 people in Raevalem is pretty much improbable if you ask me, because if this is all the Erpheronian presence we have up in Northern Sarvonia, they would quickly be history. There'd need to be several thousands at least to maintain the status quo I'd say. There also needs to be a good reason to stay there if it's so troublesome to expand, this could be the mines you mention, and this needs to be stressed.

But there's lots more to do to make Raevalem really important - it needs to be a key town up north there if you ask me. And there's lots more that could go into the description what makes it very Erpheronian.

What do you think, Azhira? Shouldn't it be a much larger settlement? With everything this entails?
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Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #5 on: 15 September 2010, 22:22:02 »

Yes, the Erpheronians should still have a major presence in Caaehl'heroth, likely having settled much of Aden by now. Or, at least the peninsula was settled at one point and perhaps different events caused it to shrink, etc. Maybe different rulers back on the mainland each had different priorities for Raevalem over the years. The dangers of the orcs further east and the Shadespell Gorge have not allowed the humans further east, that much is certain. But there still is much history and development that can take place in Aden with all that land.

If you would allow me, Valan, perhaps I can write an entry or two in Aden to help get things started? What of that settlement called Ogh? Orcen I assume given the name. Is there a possible location for the black drakes? There are three named mountain ranges already should that drake entry be revised to include them. Maybe a historical entry detailing a major battle between the orcs and humans (something more contemporary as opposed to the War of the Chosen era...)

Lots of possibilities. But I don't want to encroach on you if you have plans laid out.
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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« Reply #6 on: 16 September 2010, 00:34:29 »

In my head at least, it looks a little like this: The mountains and foothill have kept things liveable. The northern side of the mountains are bleak and unliveable, and life slowly bleeds into existance as you exit the foot hills. It's not easy to live there, a lot of the wildlife is sort of savage, and you have black/red drakes hanging around the Caith mountains. The Aden grasslands are probably the safest spot, the river separates it though, and the orcs in Ogh probably control that region.

Ogh. Ogh was a settlement of the little Dinali offshoot that was warring with the Ancient Osther and the Dark elves around the time Cort'Mangar wasn't a nightmare. They might have had other settlements further north, presumably those are all ruined now. The orcs might have done a smash and grab and taken it for themselves when things were still shaky.

It would take some serious doing to get to Aden from Ogh, following the river is more or less the only option, I picture the Erpheronians there have strung up a barrier or something across the river, or maybe some signal towers as a matter of usefulness.

If you want to wander on over to Ogh, be my guest. Same with the mountains or the river. I am going to stay this side of the Shaddhar mountains for the forseable future, as soon as that Spined Wyrm entry is finished. Battles, I'm fine with. I have trouble fabricating history out of whole cloth. Or write a bestiary entry! We don't have anything that actually lives down here other than the ones you can steal with a broad look at things. Something green with teeth!

I'd started to write up a little revision for the black-red drakes, but I ran into the problem that there wouldn't necessarily be enough for them to eat given the numbers suggested and the lack of fauna in and around Aden (there's suggestions of migratory Ulgaroths I believe, which makes no sense, since they'd be coming DOWN Caael'heroth) unless they were cannibals or something. There's a problem there. I assume at some point it will be fixed.
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« Reply #7 on: 16 September 2010, 02:57:37 »

Seems the main thing here is to first make at least a rough concept on how things look in Aden, then we really know what we can and should develop.

So here's how I roughly pictured the Erpheronian colony in Aden:

- Raevalem as the main port, the place where all ships land and depart from. A large city therefore, heavily fortified. Because if Raevalem is lost, everything's lost.

- In the close vicinity and further away until a certain degree: A bunch of minor settlements, maybe a larger one here and there.

- The settlements stretch until a certain point which marks the border into much more dangerous land. There could be walls there, huge guard towers, things like that. The Erpheronians might have made several attempts to conquer land further up, but failed.

- Now what you described here doesn't really look like Raevalem to me as I had envisioned it. However, if we make the colony actually a whole bunch of settlement with Raevalem as some sort of capital, you might just rename your entry, Valan, and make it one of these settlements. Or use parts of the entry for the main Raevalem entry, and other parts for such a settlement. That would make the most sense to me.
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« Reply #8 on: 16 September 2010, 05:21:25 »

To be fair, I didn't really have a handle on the scope of the entry.
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« Reply #9 on: 17 September 2010, 02:22:46 »

To be fair, I didn't really have a handle on the scope of the entry.

No problem, Valan. Usually with new region developments it takes a few tries to get comfortable with a scope. Having a solid idea of the region's history will help as you coordinate populations. Don't feel like you have to do this Arti and myself are always available to help.
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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« Reply #10 on: 17 September 2010, 06:59:42 »

Eh, If I ever want to get into the things I'm looking at, I'll need at least some feel for this sort of entry. Never been especially good at settlements, so might as well make the time to practice.
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« Reply #11 on: 17 September 2010, 14:45:43 »

I guess it helps especially with settlements if you want to work on something of major importance to first post a rough overview (just what you would put in the Overview section perhaps) for Places mods and area expert to look at. Then problems might already be apparent in early stages, so that they can be sorted out before the bulk of the entry is written.
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« Reply #12 on: 18 September 2010, 04:30:50 »

Ah, overviews, my old nemesis. Well, it's up there. I've blacked out the sections that aren't current and new additions are in red
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Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #13 on: 19 September 2010, 08:26:25 »

Overview
The colony of Raevalem, founded circa 1000 b.S. almost a half century after the Vardynian Atonement, is the only human settlement (I would suggest not to make this so definite. Maybe say only -known- permanent human settlement. Just in case someone comes along with another human settlement later) of any permanence or size on Caael'heroth (I am wondering if both peninsulas (Aden and Caaehl'heroth) might get confusing to the reader when referring to either one. Maybe keep Aden as a region all its own without mentioning Caaehl'heroth as a whole given they are distinct regions?) Situated on the Peninsula of Aden, it is shielded from the harshness of the rest of the peninsula by the Shaddhar Mountains, affording it a unique isolation from the rest of the world. Raevalem was first established as a masthead for the colonization of the Peninsula, but the unfriendly terrain further north hindered this progressas did the presence of orc tribes further restricted Erpheronian expansion into this region and now they merely control the terrain south of the Shadhhar mountains, though wars and skirmishes with the orcs to the north over the little habitable land in the region have left this control tenuous at best. Raevalem also serves as a penal colony (maybe say that Raevalem later served as a penal colony, or a penal colony system was added later?), where the prisoners are used to mine valuable aurium, a task which is dangerous given the propensity with which orcs have been known to raid the supply groups travelling to and from these mines. (Another question...what tribe of orcs now occupies Aden? A clan of Osther-Oc most likely, split from the Mt Osthen variety years ago? We'll need a name for this clan at some point to establish some history. But that's not urgent right now at this stage.)

Otherwise, looking good! The Overview gives a better scope and definition now.


EDIT: I forgot. I did start the practice of Osther-Oc orcen clans with the Inuk living in the Caaehl, and with the inter-tribal mix of the Mist Hunters. So I would say a definite clan is needed for Aden.
« Last Edit: 19 September 2010, 08:29:44 by Azhira Styralias » Logged

No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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« Reply #14 on: 20 September 2010, 22:36:06 »

I did consider goblins, briefly as an option, bit the Osther work just as well. Call them Oghak, in terms of clan maybe.
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