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Author Topic: Cort'Mangar- Masterwork  (Read 15674 times)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« on: 15 December 2009, 11:08:16 »

•  Overview
Far to the north of Sarvonia, the ruins of Cort'Mangar, once a great city populated with dark elves and orcs, sits in the north of the peninsula of Caaehl'heroth. South of the Deep Winds Portal at Osthemangar, on the western coast of the Sea of Tears, Cor'tam'Angarek as it was called, the City of the Dark Claw in orcen, was believed to have been home to the ancient Ae'es'th'er'oc tribe and dark elven spellcasters. Built to stand against the savage Dinali, Cor'tam'Angarek stood strong for over two and a half millennia. The city was shattered by the birth of Shadespelll gorge, some few stralls from the city, the vile taint of the Netherworld seeping out into the city and the land around it, killing everything. Since its destruction, Cort'Mangar has become a place of nightmares; a desolate shell, surrounded by wasteland, inhabited by terrifying abominations that some say emanate from the Netherworld, the city's former residents made into the very Shades that haunt its fog-shrouded streets. Some claim it cursed, but regardless, the shadowy inhabitants of Cort'Mangar are not to be trifled with.


•  Description
Few people have ever visited dead Cort'Mangar, seen its ruin and its desolation, and survived. The first records of a fortified city, populated with nightmares, came from the journal of Marvan Swiftrook, an Erpheronian explorer to Caael'heroth. Swiftrook and his companions found Cort'Mangar, but their fates are uncertain as Swiftrook's journal was discovered by Kaa'er'darshin Mist Hunters in the possession of a Ghun'Moirta'Oc in the Mists of Osthemangar some two centuries later.
Syras Kelweather, an Injerin Explorer, recovered Swiftrook's journal from the custody of the Mist Hunters at some point around 1400 a.S. Drawn by the mad ravings and descriptions in the journals, Kelweather discovered a second entrance to Cort'Mangar, a great vaulted bridge across one of the chasms around the city, and added further to the notes of Swiftrook.


"Erpheronia’s majestic castles hold not a candle to these dark ruins. I find them strangely beautiful…" Marvan Swiftrook wrote of the shattered, jagged spires of Cort'Mangar. These massive towers rise above the riven and ruined walls of the city, which enclose the mist which obscures much of the rest of the city, and its unearthly inhabitants.

Much of Cort'Mangar's remaining construction seems slapdash. Block shaped orcen buildings standing alongside great elven towers of night, broad streets broken up by arcane circles of stone megaliths engraved with some sort of symbols. Researchers cannot approach the city close enough to investigate these further, for fear of life and limb.


The towers of Cort'Mangar, supposedly of dark elven construction, stand easily 160 peds tall in their broken state, as has been estimated by the use of complicated mathematical formulae. The design of these towers is strange, more like they were grown than crafted, resembling nothing more than great, black backbones stretching into the sky, splintered tops clawing at the clouds.

The towers stand in sharp contrast to the blocky orcen built ruins below. In several places, jagged shards of towers crater the surface of the ruins heavily, or litter the mist covered streets.

Very little of the city itself can be distinguished where it is shrouded within the mists. Those structures which are not towers are laid out in an ordered grid, long since broken and mutilated by the destruction of the city. The orcen ruins are blocky, with harsh corners and heavy battlements around what must have been doors or windows. Though few remain, orcen wall defenses seem to have tapered to a spike-ringed tower with an open top.


"I can sense a palpable malevolence in the area" is what Swiftrook wrote of the region around Cort'Mangar. It is true that there seems to be less light the closer an observer approaches to the ruins. The cause of this seems to be two-fold. The weather around the ruins is in a state of permanent changelessness. The air does not stir unprompted and a permanent bank of dark cloud extends from the city for about ten strals in all directions. It does not rain or snow within these ten strals usually referred to as the "Desolation of Cort'Mangar". Nothing green grows on this frozen plain. It requires a great deal of effort to do more than crack the ground and digging is nigh impossible for any one man. The second reason for this pervasive darkness is thought to be the sapping influence of the Netherworld.
Kelweather wrote "This desolation is not natural, like the plains of ice to the east. It is a dead place. It is the taint of evil that has seeped into the land here. As though some grim malice has taken hold of it and made this its own. Its den."
 It may be that the proximity to the Shadespell Gorge, or one of its "tributaries" sucks the very light and life out of a place. Few dare approach the ruins and this remains mere conjecture.

The ruins can only be approached by two means. The south, where Marvan Swiftrook undoubtedly made his ill-fated expedition, and the west. Initially, only the southern route was known yet, upon later exploration, the Injerín explorer Saryas Kelweather discovered a great bridge that crossed the body of the Shadespell Gorge and ended near the city. This is the only known crossing of the Gorge and remains structurally sound despite its age, suggesting the use of magic in the construction.

•  Location
The Ruins of Cort’Mangar are located on Caaehl'heroth in the north-easternmost section of Northern Sarvonia. The nearest visible landmark, Mount Osthen, is estimated to be some hundred strals from the ruins. The Ruins lie to the south-west of the Deep Winds Portal at Osthemangar and at one end of the Shadespell Gorge. Cort’Mangar and the immediate region are often referred to as a whole as “The Desolation of Cort’Mangar”. Scholars suspect that a fissure from the Shadespell Gorge extends underneath the city itself, leaking its otherworldly aura into the region.

•  People
In the long ago days before Thar, the king; the fortress of Cor’tam Angarek, ("City of the Dark Claw" in an ancient, long since dead orcen dialect) was an orcen fortress, built to keep some enemy , from encroaching further into Caael’heroth. The orcs built high walls and tall towers in Cor’tam Angarek and girded it for war. This enemy, believed, from recovered artefacts in the Shaddhar mountains, to be an offshoot of the Dinali, feared soldiers of the Chosen Eckra the Cruel

Eckra the Cruel, one of several chosen dwelling in the North of Sarvonia ruled from the Keep of Tak'dinal. His soldiers were the fearsome Dinali, by all accounts a barbaric and violent people who some scholars infer to have been of Ice Tribes stock at some point, twisted by cruelty, malice and magic into engines of killing. Eckra was among the most feared of the northern Chosen and his keep remains a Forbidden Zone, on the peninsula of Kru'ul. He is thought to have perrished in the Battle of the Winds along with the other Chosen in that region and their armies when the Eight Winds Bay was created.

Fragmented records from Injerin libraries suggest that during the War of the Chosen, Dark Elves were believed to have enslaved the orcs inhabiting the city, building dark spires of impossible heights, summoning circles and eventually creating twisted, evil creatures for the war, making Meph'guor and other monstrosities to do battle.

After the destruction of Cort’Mangar1, the exact cause of which remains unknown, the only inhabitants of the ruins are the enigmatic “Shades”, "Hav’ak Lohks” (lit. Faces of Night; Kh'om'chr'om) to orcs. Terrible spectres who flit silently among the decaying city. "They do not walk. They…slither on barely perceptible legs. As if their lower bodies are bathed in shadow. I see hundreds of them. Maybe thousands!"

"They are not alive, but neither do they seem to be dead. They are as the leaves on a dying tree, their colours faded to nothing, clinging to the branches before the storm wind blows them away. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of these creatures. They seem faded, the impression of life left long after life has deserted this place, like a footprint in the mud. I can feel... wrongness about this place, about these walking shadows. They and it are paradox."
Kelweather called these creatures "Náfreánh" (lit. Faded; styrash) and refused to speak of them further in his notes

The nature of the creatures remains unknown. Two of Swiftrook's expedition were killed by the Shades, Swiftrook himself seems to have barely survived.

"Their eyes! They see me! Like dull emerald orbs, their eyes perceive me. I am frozen in place. One pair grips my soul. Another looks as well. And another. More and more can see me hiding! I rise in my spot. I hear cries of pain as my companions react. Suddenly…they are around me. A Shade suddenly appears next to me. I watch in horror…its long, graceful fingers reach out to touch my companion. The old man Riggs twitches violently! The shade’s touch bore into the man’s forehead…he falls to his knees…

[...]

Poor Riggs and Foeman…I run and can only watch as their bodies shake and scream for mercy. The shades converge on them…their flesh melts away to reveal the same inky blackness underneath. The shades devour them. They become one.

[...]

My shoulder is cold. I was hurt. Like a dagger of ice under my skin. I was touched. The shades tasted me. Gods.

Why does the world look so grey…?
"

The Shades appear to be cunning, at least in some sort of mindless predatory fashion like that inkling of intelligence which exists in wolves and in other such beasts. Whether or not they feed or simply add to their numbers with this deadly touch is unknown.

"We can divine very little based on Swiftrook's observations. He was obviously in a state of panic when he wrote what he did. He may very well have been dying, or going mad. What we can conclude from Swiftrook's journals and later notes by Syras Kelweather is that the creatures inhabiting these ruins are not natural. Neither are they the result of magical tampering, such as with Meph'gu'our or their ilk, but something else entirely.

Most closely, they resemble the stories of the Shadow Elves, the Moh'rhim of Fa'val'car.
However, taking into consideration the history of the area, these may very well be the spirits of those inhabitants of the city, the ancient Ae'es'th'er'oc, the dark elves who conquered the city and any foolish or unlucky enough to run afoul of it since.

The influence of the Netherworld is unusually strong in this region, we have several places where it seems to bleed into Ca'el'hereth like ink seeping through paper, Chaos Rifts. The Deep Winds Portal at Osthemangar, the Mists surrounding it, the Shadespell Gorge and Cort'Mangar.

Whatever these creatures are, they are not living, rather they seem to be caught between Cael'hereth and the Netherworld, much like a fly trapped between window panes."

-Vekarn Kha’mal, Discussions on the North

Kha'mal, a Volkek-Oshra demonologist, has published several treatises on the precise nature of the various phenomenon around Caael'heroth. His earlier work, "Ineffable Madness" garnered support among scholars to the theory that the nature of Cort'Mangar lies with the Netherworld.


The Osther-Oc believe them to be the spirits of the orcish warriors that inhabited the city, punished for angering the land and cursed to keep all creatures from it for eternity, and share this belief with the Kaaer'dar'shin Half Orcs.


•  Climate
The weather surrounding Cort’Mangar can hardly be called such. Like much of western Caaehl'heroth, the ruins are perpetually shrouded in cloudy greyness. It does not rain or snow about Cort’Mangar, nor does the wind blow, making the soundless air seem strangely dead.

This becalmed aura extends for six or seven strals in every direction from the ruins, leaving the ground cold, dusty and desolate. A perpetual black fog lies on the ruins themselves, obscuring the ground from easy inspection, and wreathing the towers like fell smoke.

The air is biting cold, and only grows colder as the approach of the city continues. No wind touches Cort’Mangar, nor its coast, and sea-faring vessels daren't approach it for fear of becoming becalmed. Time behaves oddly within the Desolation, twisting and knotting, warping like wood left to dry. There is no discernible pattern to how this behaves, days can last blinks of the eye, or blinks stretch on endlessly until they seem to be days in ending. The air smells of cold and faintly of decay, despite any flesh in the city having rotted away aeons ago.

•  Mythology
Fragment of Dinali text, recovered near the orcen ruin of Ogh ca. 730 b.S.
"And we fled to the sea, we crossed it and came to land, and were driven back into the sea by monsters."


Osther-Oc Oral History (transcribed and translated from Kh'omchr'om by Tharoc Wargrider)

In the days of our grandsires' grandsires, vermin came to the land. The clans fought them, but they could not kill all the vermin, weak as they were, for they were too many.
To keep the vermin from their lands, the clans built a fortress. They built its walls high and strong. They called it "of the Dark Claw", and there they made camp.
The clans killed the vermin, drove them back across the mountains and thought them crushed and dead and returned to their camps, never more to cross the mountains.
But the vermin returned, and brought more with them.
And music of battle sounded on the plains and the spirits rose up, angered by the blood of the vermin.
The angered spirits tore open the land, and made it barren and drove orc and vermin both from it.
And in their anger, the spirits cursed the fortress. They tore down its walls and broke its camps and killed its peoples.
They cursed its people to keep all from it, and to walk the land for as long as stone is hard and water is wet.
And the cursed warriors died and rose up, clothed in the night.
Their faces were the night, and they rose and kept the land from vermin and from orc.



•  History

Author's Note: Information derived from old Injerin records, orcen oral histories and from scrolls recovered by Saryas Kelweather.


11700 b.S. - Dark elves and Orcs Migrate North
Dark elves and orcs migrate north together to Caaehl'heroth to conquer unknown lands. The dark elves prove superior and no longer share power with the orcs and begin enslaving them to be used as laborers and mercenaries. The orcs call themselves the Ae'es'th'er'oc clan and become subjugated under dark elven rule for the next several centuries.
      
ca. 11500 b.S. - The Deep Winds Portal is Built
Accounts are few and much of the origins of the tower is steeped in myth, but it is generally believed by some scholars that the tower of Osthemangar was built sometime after Fá'áv'cál'âr was destroyed and the elves moved north. The exact nature of the construction is not known, but some believe that dark dwarves had a hand in it. Most likely, the portal was built as a means for the dark god Coór to enter the world of Caelereth, bringing forth his dark armies with him. The Mists is believed to have come about at this time also. Once the portal was opened, the Netherworld atmosphere seeped into the world corrupting it.

ca. 11000 b.S. - Invasion of the Dinali
The Dinali migrate and settle the Peninsula of Kru'ul and begin incursions into the Peninsula of Aden across the Ice Sea. They come into contact with the dark elves and Ae'es'th'er'oc. A war begins over territory as the human Dinali attempt to move east across the Aden Peninsula.

ca. 10150 b.S. - Cort'Mangar is Built
The fortress city of Cort'Mangar (originally orcen "Cortem'Angarek" is built as a defense against the Dinali barbarians. The city is built using strong stone works mined from a nearby chasm. The dark elves use ancient magic to help build the city and construct high towers within.

ca. 9500 - 9000 b.S. - The War of the Chosen
The War of the Chosen devastates much of Caelereth, including Caaehl'heroth. One of the largest battles thought to have been fought during this war was centered around Cort'Mangar.

ca. 9600 b.S. to 9500 b.S.    The Rise of Eckra the Cruel
A powerful Archmage known as Eckra the Cruel builds Tak'Dinal Keep in the region which should later be known as the Forbidden Zone. Eckra slowly expands his domain until he is the sole master of the peninsula he is in. Eckra builds more armies to crush the orcen and dark elven warriors in Caaehl'heroth. The Dinali are reinforced with fresh troops while the orcs and dark elves retreat into Cort'Mangar for one last stand.

ca. 9450 b.S. - Humans and Icelanders Join the War in the East
The humans in the Stone Fields of Peat and the Icelands are forced to enter the War of the Chosen as mercenaries for the sorcerers. They are used in battles and magic experiments as expendable material and they prove to be hardy yet undisciplined warriors.

ca. 9023 b.S. - The Battle of the Winds
A great battle between the four most powerful archmages in Northern Sarvonia takes place at this time. It ends with the unleashing of incredible forces that rip the land apart and create what is now know as the Eight Winds Bay. It is also said that the archmages and their armies are destroyed when the sea rushes in to fill the gaping wound they made in the earth.

ca. 9023 b.S. to 9000 b.S. - Years of Cleansing
With the death of the archmages at the Battle of Winds, this makes it much easier for the combined races to throw off their shackles of servitude and cleanse the land of the remaining acolytes of human magic, and the last armies of the archmages. These years are marked by the use of elven Xeuá magic, to heal the wounds the archmages created.

ca. 7500 b.S. - The Shadespell Gorge Is Born
Eventually, long after the Portal is built and after the War of the Chosen, the Netherworld instability finally reaches its climax and a one huge earthquake rocks the region. The Netherworld energies burst forth from the crack and suck in all living life nearby, including Cort'Mangar. The orcs and dark elves likely are caught by surprise and are turned into hideous living shadows in a matter of a few blinks. The city falls apart, towers crumble and thousands of inhabitants are lost.


ca. 4700 b.S. The Year of Ghosts
Injerin records and orcish oral history report strange, unnatural weather out of the north-west from across the Sea of Tears. Storms the carry the sounds of battle, unnatural wailing and screaming in the wind and a persistent smell of death in the air occur almost monthly for a year before suddenly disappearing.


ca. 1000 a.S. Erpheronian Explorer Marvan Swiftrook Discovers Cort’Mangar
Shortly before his disappearance in the Mists, Marvan Swiftrook discovers the Shadespell Gorge and the city of Cort’Mangar. His discovery and narrow escape from the Shades slowly drives him mad. His journal tells of a mysterious people that live in the city now completely overrun with shadow and Netherworld presence.

ca. 1200-1300 a.S. Swiftrook's Journal recovered by Kaer'dar'shin Mist Hunters
A group of Mist Hunters recovers Marvan Swiftrook's journal from a G'hun'Morta-Oc in the Mists. This journal would later find its way into the hands of Syras Kelweather and from there into the possession of the Santharian Dream.

ca. 1400 a.S. Syras Kelweather rediscovers Cort'Mangar
Syras Kelweather rediscovers Cort'Mangar by way of a bridge over the end of the Shadespell Gorge and observes the creatures Swiftrook called "Shades".


[1] The compendiumist has attempted to maintain scholarly neutrality by avoiding subscription to any of the dozen theories as to the cause of the opening of the Shadespell Gorge.
« Last Edit: 06 June 2010, 22:49:18 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #1 on: 05 February 2010, 13:59:30 »

It is finished!
*cringes and then falls over*
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« Reply #2 on: 05 February 2010, 14:24:55 »

*lends Valan a hand to get to his feet again, gives him some cookies and a glass of Tali  wine*


I couldn‘t sleep, and as I have won half an hour for me, I looked out for something enjoyable to do before the day begins and I found your submission on the top. Not that this town is very enjoyable, but your way of writing it, was. I‘ve got some proposals , and Azhira surely has a lot more to say, but I think it is nicely written and not much needed to add, though of course here and there some additions are possible. (I mean, plainly spoken, it is long enough!!)


•  Overview
Far to the north, the ruined city of Cort’Mangar looms in the north of the peninsula of Cael’heroth. The city, believed to have been fortress-like in it’s days as a settlement now sits cracked and decaying like a putrid egg near the infamous Shadespell Gorge.

Is it a ,city‘? Or a town? I see a huge town, when I say city, do you want to hint at that? Was it so huge? Maybe try to give a number below, even if that is difficult. Where there living 100, 1000, 10 000 or 100 000 people? Maybe that is impossible to say, but then you could estimate the squarepeds of the ruins, or say, how long it takes to surround them, or x peds to y peds..

I like the comparison with the putrid egg, that was a word which has escaped me so far!


•  Description
"Erpheronia’s majestic castles hold not a candle to these dark ruins. I find them strangely beautiful…" Mavram Swiftrook wrote of the broken, jagged spires of Cort'Mangar. These massive towers rise above the cracked and broken walls of the city, which enclose the mist which obscures much of the rest of the city, and it's unearthly inhabitants.

Maybe here how widespread they are

The towers of Cort'Mangar, supposedly of dark elven construction, stand well 160 peds tall in some cases as have been estimated by the use of complicated mathematical formulae. The design of these towers is strange, more like they were grown than crafted, resembling nothing more than great black backbones stretching into the sky, splintered tops clawing at the clouds. The towers stand in sharp contrast to the blocky orcish built ruins below. In several places, jagged shards of towers crater the surface of the ruins heavily, or litter the mist covered streets.


'like they were grown than crafted, resembling nothing more than great black backbones stretching into the sky, splintered tops clawing at the clouds. 'I love such an imagery! ,mist covered streets‘


"I can sense a palpable malevolence in the area" is what Swiftrook wrote of the region around Cort'Mangar. It is true that there seems to be less light the closer an observer approaches to the ruins of Cort'Mangar. The cause of this seems to be two-fold. The weather around Cort'Mangar is in a state of permanent changlessness. The air does not stir unprompted and a permanent bank of dark cloud extends for ten strals from the city. It does not rain or snow within these ten stralls usually referred to as the "Desolation of Cort'Mangar". Nothing green grows on this frozen plain. It requires a great deal of effort to do more than crack the ground and digging is nigh impossible for any one man. The second is thought to be the sapping influence of the Netherworld. It may be that the proximity to the Shadespell Gorge, or one of it's "tributaries" sucks the very light and life out of a place.

"I can sense a palpable malevolence in the area", permanent changlessness Great!

What about smell? It is cold, so you won‘t smell much, but there could be something strange, maybe a hint of something burnt, the bitter smell of smoke?

•  Location
The Ruins of Cort’Mangar are located on Caael’heroth the north-eastern most section of Northern Sarvonia. The Ruins lie to the south-west of the Deep Winds Portal at Osthemangar and at one end of the Shadespell Gorge. Cort’Mangar and the immediate region are often referred to as a whole as “The Desolation of Cort’Mangar”. Scholars suspect that a fissure from the Shadespell Gorge extends underneath the city itself, leaking it's otherworldly aura into the region.

•  People
In the long ago days before Thar; the city of Cor’tam Angarek, City of the Dark Claw in an ancient, long since dead orcish, was an orcen fortress, built to keep Erpheronians from encroaching further into Caael’heroth. The orcs built high walls and tall towers in Cor’tam Angarek During the War of the Chosen, Dark Elves joined the orcs in inhabiting the city, building dark spires of impossible heights, summoning circles and eventually creating twisted, evil creatures for the war. After the destruction of Cort’Mangar, the only inhabitants of the ruins are the enigmatic “Shades”, "Hav’ak Lohks” or “Faces of Night" to orcs who flit silently among the decaying city. "They do not walk. They…slither on barely perceptible legs. As if their lower bodies are bathed in shadow. I see hundreds of them. Maybe thousands!"

Why have you suddenly another name? .. long since dead orcish ??
Maybe you could add another sentence or two describing those inhabitants of today? And which orcs are visiting the town?


•  Climate
The weather surrounding Cort’Mangar can hardly be called such. Like much of Caael’heroth, the ruins are perpetually shrouded in cloudy greyness. It does not rain or snow about Cort’Mangar, nor does the wind blow making the air seem strangely dead. This becalmed aura extends for six or seven stralls in every direction from the ruins, leaving the ground cold, dusty and desolate. A perpetual black fog lies on the ruins themselves, obscuring the ground from easy inspection, and wreathing the towers like fell smoke. The air is biting cold, and only grows colder as the approach of the city continues. No wind touches Cort’Mangar, nor it’s coast and sea-faring vessels daren't approach it for fear of becoming becalmed. Time behaves oddly within the Desolation, twisting and knotting, warping like wood left to dry. There is no discernible pattern to how this behaves, days can last blinks of the eye, or seconds stretch on endlessly until they seem to be days in ending.

Resources? There are none, but maybe there were? Do people come here to try to find lost valuable things? Precious metals, artifacts, magic items lost in time? Any adventures? Who researches this town, who wrote the report you are here presenting? Mavram Swiftrook?


Rest  later! Family is awake!

« Last Edit: 05 February 2010, 14:50:21 by Talia Sturmwind » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: 05 February 2010, 15:05:08 »

•  Mythology
Old Aerpheriane text:  (Who are the Aerpherians? Add that in a half sentence, not everyone is familiar with the North)

In the days of long ago Erpheronia, men and orcs did war upon each other on the great plains of Caael'heroth. The Proudmen did seek to expand their dominion further into the north and drove the orcs before them.

The orcs built a great, black city of war upon the coast and they named it Cor'tam'angarek: The City of the Dark Claw. Dark Elves, wielders of forbidden and black arts and magic, joined in the war alongside the orcish hordes. They too came to Cor'tam'angarek and raised tall, black towers in which to cloister themselves.

Enemy after enemy they (who?) burned, swords black with blood, pyres and crows blackening the skies above the sites of the battles they waged across the land. And the Proudmen they drove back to the mountains, but they could do no more.

Here, they (who?)  did work their magic, summoning forth the strange and terrible powers which lurked elsewhere. Blood they did call for, and battle and they built great circles from which to call their newfound weapons. Demons they summoned. Beasts they created, terrible and vile creatures the like of which may be found no more. For in their search for greater and greater power, the elves dove to deeply and far too greedily also.

The Proudmen pushed their forces towards Cor'tam'angarek, intended to besiege it's black walls and high towers, but they never reached their goal. The orcs, elves and their monstrosities marched forth in a dark flood from their fortress and met the Proudmen on the plain to the west of Cor'tam'angarek.

They brought forth too much power in their last battle and in doing so they rent the very earth upon which they stood. They wounded the land and evil poured forth from it. The evil drove them mad, driving the very flesh from their bones and tainting the spirits of those caught up within the cataclysm with blackness.

And so their weapons fell back on themselves?

They drove back to Cor'tam'angarek, blight and madness and evil following in the wake of their grim crusade. They descended upon the fortress and tore down it's high walls with malice. Its towers they broke with their hatred. The streets were rent in twain by madness. It's peoples were slain and rose again to join battle against their fellows. And the flames of the city expired, and the sounds of life ended with the last of the violence. Cor'tam'angarek was no more, neither man, nor beast of the field tread the ground. Birds of the air forsook it's dark skies. Madness and Decay and Death held illimitable dominion over all.


I like the tone, the feeling you create very much, the way you are telling this with those partly short sentences. Can‘t excatly nail down, what it is that I like. But you need to say a bit more clearer, who did what, give them some names, describe who did what.


•  History

ca. 9800 b.S. The City of Cort'Mangar is Built
Scholars estimate that the ancient dark elven city of Cort’Mangar is built to function as a fortress city against incursions from the Aden peninsula. It is said that the city had spires far grander and taller than any known in the present day.

Ahh  well, that contradicts a bit with those 160peds you metion above. Or are these 160 peds only the remaining rest? The Ximax academy has far higher towers.

ca. 5000 b.S. Cort'Mangar is destroyed during the Battle of Osthemangar
The Battle of Osthemangar rages for many days over most of the northern reaches of Caaehl'heroth. Cort'Mangar's defenders fall to a siege that lasts over several weeks. As the dead lay in the thousands among the fresh ruins, the influence of the Netherworld presence along the chasm somehow infects the bodies. Over time, Cort'Mangar becomes a city of shadow.


That is a bit unclear: The Erpheronians did not succeed with their siege, I thought, so who brought the city to fall then?


ca. 1000 b.S. Erpheronian Explorer Marvan Swiftrook Discovers Cort’Mangar
Shortly before his disappearance in the Mists, Marvan Swiftrook discovers the Shadespell Gorge and the city of Cort’Mangar. His discovery and narrow escape from the Shades slowly drives him mad. His journal tells of a mysterious people that live in the city now completely overrun with shadow and Netherworld presence.

Please explain from where the name Cort‘Mangar comes, should in the history not be mentioned the name you have above?


Great work, Valan! I like it, a neat masterwork!
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« Reply #4 on: 05 February 2010, 15:43:30 »

Just a quick observance.  Caaehl'heroth is spelled wrong in your Overview.

EDIT:  Actually, it is spelled wrong everywhere but the History section.

Interesting read, however.  Looks good. :)
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« Reply #5 on: 05 February 2010, 20:25:15 »

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Valan,

I like Talia's suggestions, so please see about working with her comments. PM me if you need help, especially the History section where the background of the city may need some clarification.

Also, I would take other sources of information about Cort'Mangar from someone else in addition to Marvan Swiftrook. Marvan visited the city only briefly, as detailed in my Shadespell Gorge entry. Perhaps account for orcen legends, or myths from the Injerin elves. The Injerin are long time record keepers and would have some information. Of course, nothing concrete! The city is far too old and twisted now and gone in myth. It is always good to have different sources when describing ancient places, especially when they sometimes contradict and add holes here and there. For example, some orcen clans might view the city as a place of reverence while the elves view it as a place of evil. Dark elven myths would be a fantastic source of information if they can be found. It is highly unlikely you meet a Shadow elf though...but get creative!
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« Reply #6 on: 05 February 2010, 21:35:42 »

I agree with evrything said so far. Good work, Valan.

In the dim and distant past when I was given my Masterwork approval, I decided to create a place further south, about half way up Caaehl'heroth, which would be another large settlement built around the Gates of Hell'wrung.
It was built by an ancient human/Dwarf allied army to hold back the encroaching orcen hordes.
Long story short, they failed miserably and the Gates have been in orcen hands ever since, apart from short periods when one army or another managed to wrestle them away.

I never actually got round to starting the project properly, but if you want any more info, just PM me and I'll see what I can do.
« Last Edit: 05 February 2010, 21:39:51 by The Silent Watcher » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: 05 February 2010, 23:27:31 »

Talia: Aerpheriane is the Erpheronian dialect of Tharian (it's listed under their tribal language heading, sorry I'll clear that one up right away. I didn't mean to get into anything resembling a Nybelmarian length but it seemed far too short before. I'm not sure what exactly Cort'Mangar was, I get the impression it was a fortified settlement of some sort

Alt: It's that H. I kept forgetting it it seems. All fixed now.

Watcher: I'll take you up on that offer if/when I get rid of some of the other shame inducing entries on my to do list.

Azhira: I knew I'd forgotten something. I seem to remember an Injerin explorer mentioned in the gorge entry. I'll have to look that up. I thought it would have been drow dark elves, not shadow elves though?
« Last Edit: 05 February 2010, 23:35:48 by Valan Nonesuch » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: 06 February 2010, 00:30:04 »

Valan

We really need more places like this around, I am going to love this city once you are done with it.  Looks great so far!


Make sure you read well the Shadespell Gorge entry their appears to be details in that entry that are missing here.

An example :

Quote
The ruins known as Cort’mangar sit along the south edge of the gorge. This ancient city is thought to have been a once fortified city during the War of the Chosen. It is also thought to have been used during the massive Battle of Osthemangar in 5000 b.S. It is here nearest the ruined city that an impressive stone bridge spans the width of the chasm. The bridge seems to smoothly erupt from the ground like clay, creating a curve above the shadowy tendrils. Most scholars agree that the bridge was likely created using powerful earth magic to shape the stone. As it would have taken many days walk to circumvent the rift to reach the other side, the bridge provided a quicker path, if a dangerous one. Cort'Mangar today, according to the few accounts available from various explorers to the region, is a place of eternal night. It sits forever haunted and cursed, inhabited by strange creatures of the shadow.

We will want to see that this entry provides maybe even more insight into the things mentioned in the Shadespell entry, otherwise there is no need for another entry.  

 As an artist I thrive on the detail provided in order to visualize a picture.  (as you can guess)  So whatever you are picturing in your mind try to get it into words in the description.  What are the streets like, what are the buildng made from, are all the building black or are they gray.  Is there anything like mossess, fungus growing even.   Are there any sounds (well I can't draw that)?   Are there any other building besides the towers that  you would want someone to visualize.   Is there a wall around the city?   Does the fog leave the ground and building wet, does that turn to ice?  Or is everything dry?  

These are just some thoughts, not everything needs to be answered.  I apologize if any of this was already mentioned, I did not read through everyone's comments carefully.
« Last Edit: 06 February 2010, 00:31:55 by Seeker » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: 06 February 2010, 00:37:36 »

Hi Valan, with half a day gone and some food in my stomach, some things get clearer ;)

Quote
Talia: Aerpheriane is the Erpheronian dialect of Tharian

Oh well, I'm sure, other people don't know this either, so tell it!  :)

I have now read this sentence again and know, what I missed this morning:

Quote
In the long ago days before Thar; the city of Cor’tam Angarek, City of the Dark Claw in an ancient, long since dead orcish language, was an orcen fortress, built to keep Erpheronians from encroaching further into Caael’heroth

You have three names: 

- Cort'Mangar
- Cor’tam Angarek
- Cor'tam'angarek

The last two should be the same, or is there a difference between orcish and elfish names? Cort'Mangar is obviously a short form Cor’tam Angarek, but you need to tell us that! The sentence above might still be misleading, I would make it plainer, that City of the Dark Claw is a translation of Cor’tam Angarek.

Maybe the orcish linguist could make up something, so that Cor means settlement e.g. tam 'of ' or 'clan' and Angarek Dark Claw?

Proposal , example
In the long ago days before Thar,  the (long deceased? mighty ) orcish clan of the Dark Claw built a fortress they called Cor’tam Angarek or 'the stronghold of the Dark Claw' (or whatever you want to name it, could be something entirely different, refering to their gods, whatever!) ,  to keep Erpheronians from encroaching further into Caael’heroth
 




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« Reply #10 on: 06 February 2010, 01:54:34 »

Talia: Naming the city after a clan of orcs: It doesn't sound quite right, and seems to take away from the mystique of the region by being too concrete.
On the subject of names, the Battle of Osthemangar (which destroyed Cor'tam'Angarek and tore open the Shadespell Gorge) occured circa 5000 b.S. So roughly 6000 years ago. Since there would be no way to recover documents from the ruins themselves names would be hard to find or verify. Orcen history seems to me to be more of an oral history than a written one in any case. Oral histories have an excellent track record in some cases but they can decay just as easily as written ones. So I'll leave the old names out if you don't mind.

Seeker: I've got to say I'm envious of your ability to draw but I've tried to integrate your comments as best as I can.
« Last Edit: 06 February 2010, 02:03:50 by Valan Nonesuch » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: 06 February 2010, 02:23:49 »

Valan and others...

What I wrote in the Shadespell Gorge entry is intentionally vague and open to interpretation. The Shadespell entry is to be used as a guide rather than concrete fact. Try to be consistent with the Shadespell entry, but Valan is free to interpret and create new ideas about Cort'mangar as he pleases. Other than what is in Shadespell, I have no other ideas for its direction as I never intended to develop the city myself.

I use alot of orcen oral history and tradition to help explain the region. One could also find ruins in nearby places with the old orcen language on it explaining stuff. There is evidence of the extinct tribe all over Caaehl'heroth, which is an idea I am developing and have mentioned in my Kalta'Goor entry. So feel free to go that route too.

Also Valan, I have no ideas about the Battle of Osthemangar, or what it involved. The battle is mentioned here and there, but there are no facts about it. So go ahead and develop that idea if you wish to maybe help explain how the city came to ruin. We can discuss ideas anytime.  thumbup
« Last Edit: 06 February 2010, 02:26:16 by Azhira Styralias » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: 06 February 2010, 02:36:33 »

Well if there's no one to tell different, you can say that the Erpheronians laid siege to the city, took evil to task, kicked their asses and then the corpses started rising up and being evil, rather than say everyone collectively getting theirs handed to them by elves messing around with Forces Beyond Their Ken. I mean, the humans were the only ones to really walk away from that. Winners, no matter how badly they get bloodied, write history.

I've added Kelweather to the entry, if I can get some sort of orcish input I think it'd be well on its way.
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« Reply #13 on: 06 February 2010, 04:46:28 »

*Hastily scribbles down copious notes for the Gates of Hell'wrung entry*

Orcen oral history is kept by story-tellers who are revered in a similar way to shamen. They are highly respected members of the tribe, and are exempt from fighting etc.

I actually created one in a field report sent to Azzy by Ishmael Valaire. I'll se if I can find it. It's in the Library somewhere.

Epheronians, eh? Sound like prime candidates for building the Gates, if you ask me! And that would tie-in nicely with your entry as well, Valan. Give some extra history and length to both our tales.

I've been a bit out of touch Santh wise, as you know, but feel free to ask me any orc-related posers, as well as Azzy. I'm sure we can bash something out between us!
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« Reply #14 on: 06 February 2010, 05:09:01 »

Thar: So is it fair to assume that the most we would have from the orcs is that the ones at Cort did something bad and that they all died/rose as shades? Any story tellers in Cor'tam'Angarek would have died with the fortress I'd wager. So the best we have is a second hand "This is people doing it wrong" greek allegory sort of way of looking at them.

Erpheronians... Hmm. It would explain why they haven't moved further north from Aden. In my head they haven't crossed the Shaddhar mountains since the Battle of Osthemangar. The weirdness surounding Cort'Mangar might be just enough to discourage them from ever leaving their settlements on the peninsula. I like it.
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