Lu'Weilima, meaning "Weilima's City" or "Weilima's Fortress" is the greatest of all Kuglim towns and is said to have been named after one of the three daughters of the Vir'tog Helvet. It can be found in the Celeste Lowlands of Northern Sarvonia in the land controlled by the Helvet'ine Kuglim ("Brave Helvet's Tribe"), perched upon the middle hill of a range of three hills known as Beinaz'mur or Three Sisters. The population is ever in flux, so it can be said that conservatively there are about 7.000 regular inhabitants. Though efforts have been made to clean up the city lately, it is still considered somewhat squalid by Santharian standards. Though, this might add to it's appeal which it has definitely and is rarely found anywhere south of the Tandala.
Picture description. Street scene of the Kuglim City Lu'Weilima. Image by Bard Judith.
the promotion of Dro'go Minar'ian as
Dirg'mystrume of the entire Kuglim
peoples, this city has grown a decent amount.
Dro'go is known to have said, "Here
is the center of the Kuglim, and
here will I make my throne." Thus, with the prominence of the city changing
from simply the seat of
Helvet'ine power, to the capital (if it can be called that) of all of the
Kuglim, did it grow. This was a wise
choice by Dro'go as the
Helvet'ine are the most
prominent of the Kuglimz'torik ("House Tribes"), they are in fact considered
the core of the Kuglim empire. So,
the city was already somewhat set up to be able to hold the various officials
that riddle the government that comes along with the Dirg'mystrume. This growth
has mostly occurred outside of the original walls of the city, making it spread
out from the hilltop all along its slope and there are even some buildings on
the area around the hill.
For the most part the streets are narrow and quite crooked, especially in the part of town contained within the original walls. The Kuglim joke that the inner part of the city is thin and crooked like an old man because it is old too. An exception to this is the single, straight road that runs from the keep perched at the top of the hill, all of the way down to the final gates. This allows a quick mounted strike from the keep to any invading force. Nearly all of the buildings in Lu'Weilima only have a single story. Only two buildings in the whole of the town are larger then a single story. Those buildings are the temple to Sur'tyan the All Father, and the keep itself. So, while things may be a bit crowded together one can always see the sky above, which is an important thing to a Kuglim.
Most of the buildings bear a strong resemblance to each other. They are commonly made with a stone foundation of rock brought in from the nearby Celeste Mountains. Wood from the sturdy ret'tif (also called bag tree or tulmine tree), is used for the rest of the structure by joining planks of sawn wood together with wooden pegs. Above that is a slanted roof made from dried, woven alth'ho with tanned hides laid between the layers of alth'ho, all laid atop wooden beams to better keep out the water and making it so only the outer layers of alth'ho need to be replaced when they begin to molder. While there are inevitably some buildings that differ, they only belong to either wealthier inhabitants or are used for government and religious functions.
The walls and constant sight of armed men walking about gives the impression that the city is unsafe, however this is not true in the least. Few cities can claim to have less crime then Lu'Weilima. Strong walls were built as a defense against the other Kuglim when there were constant struggles and squabbles between all of the tribes. The armed men are not guards, rather all Kuglim men, and quite a few of the women as well, go about armed. It is just their way, and though they may look fearsome they always have a ready smile for anyone whether friend or stranger. Besides, any criminal activity found in the city is quickly, and some would say harshly, dealt with.
City Sections. The various city sections can be described as follows:
Easily the most dominating building for leagues around, the keep is the center of Lu’Weilima and is in fact known as Lu’zovr, or Heart of the City. The Kuglimz being a humorous people say that the keep was named that way because it is cold and stony just like Wilima’s heart was. Stone mined by the Fird’gorm, or Gorm’s Pick Kuglim, was used to build most of the keep. This black and gray stone is of a higher quality then other stone found in the area, as it was mined deep in the Celeste Mountains and was given to the Helvet’ine as part of a peace treaty between the peoples. The actual joining of the stone is done much better with an adhesive material used to mortar the stones together. Being the largest building means that it has three stories rather than one or two.
Its own exterior wall protects Lu’zovr, as the keep is the last line of defense for the inhabitants. For the bottom, the wall is made of the same stone for the first four peds, the next two peds are made of wood however. This is due to the fact that they simply ran out of stone, and it was important that the bottom of the wall would not burn. All of the wooden part of the wall is made up of small trunks of ret’tif, which are placed straight up with the tops all sharpened to points. In the midst of the wall there is one large wooden gate that is bound with iron. The door is carved with all sorts of fantastic creatures and scenes from their legends. A walkway around the interior is at the point where the stone and wood meet, this is made of seasoned wood cut from the heart of the tree to keep it from rot. This walkway allows the defenders protection as they launch their arrows and javelins.
Inside of the wall there is a decent sized courtyard that contains several buildings within it. To the right are the stables where the kevz’lor (lit. "Strong Horses)" are kept. To the left is the armoury with all of its various weapons and sundries. Right next to the armoury is a small, open forge where anything that was damaged during a battle, is taken to be fixed. A secondary wall made of wood that is only three peds in height runs from the sides of the square shaped keep to the outer walls, effectively cutting the inner space in half. Barracks as well as a good amount of open space occupies the back half of the inner circle. One can only reach this part by going through the front doors of the keep. The main floor is in fact mostly one large hallway with some guard rooms and a single stairwell off to the sides. If the rest of the city were to ever fall the people would stream through this tunnel, out of the back gates of the keeps into the fortified courtyard where they could gather.
Several defensive measurements can be found on the keep itself. There are of course iron bound doors to the front and back entrance of the first floor. Holes are cut into the ceiling of the, so-called “hallway” which allows defenders from above to get at the attackers below. The second and third stories of the building get progressively smaller, this is because there is an outer walkway at each story to allow more defenders to attack any enemy that may breach the main gate. On the second story are several different offices of government and the like, and the third story has the work and personal quarters of Dro’go.
It is here that the core of the Kuglim people can be seen. Meandering streets make their way all around the grassy slopes of the hill, winding their way past homes, shops, and taverns. Most of the streets are unpaved and thus often muddy with the near constant rain in the area. One of the improvements currently being made to Lu’Weilima is the addition of cobblestones to the streets. While there is room for two men to walk abreast in the wider walkways, there is barely room enough for a man on his horse to use many of the streets. The most interesting thing about the old city are all of the carvings to be found everywhere. It are these carvings that turn the similarly built buildings into separate works of art.
It is common for the homes here to be smaller as the walls around the city limited growth for a long time. The walls that surround the old city are exactly the same height and have the same top and inner walkway as those around the keep, however it is made completely of wood. Once again, the gates echo those found on the outer wall around Lu’zovr. Warriors are attributed to the intricate carvings upon the gate and the walls. This has been known to be done during long shifts to keep boredom at bay, or while the city was under siege. Unsurprisingly these images are all of battles and warriors doing heroic deeds. There can also be found, written in runes, different warrior names or the names of their loved ones. A more interesting one goes as follows when translated, “Last night I killed an orc, today I killed Ash’mari, tonight she went and killed our love. So, in the morn’ I spare an orc, tomorrow I spare Ash’mari, that night I see her sister.” It must be noted that Kuglim warriors are not known for their poetry, if that’s what was attempted.
Due to the size constraints it is common to find people’s living areas attached to their work areas. The most common arrangement is to have the shop, tavern, etc. in the front and to have their living areas behind. This allows customers easier access to wares and gives the owner more privacy for his own area. While this is common, the winding streets make it so that quite a few homes are designed the opposite way as well. There are no signs of any type to announce what type of building it is. Rather the carvings upon the building do so. The personal areas of the structure are covered in the work of children and parent alike, and the theme varies. However, on the business side there is a set theme for the designs.
Only several years old, this section of the city is already larger than the rest of the city. "New City" refers to any of the buildings outside of the wooden wall that surrounds the old city. A fair amount of buildings were already there as the homes of farmers and the like, however with the building of some many new structures and the inclusion of an outer wall, these older buildings are still referred to as a part of the new city. Local light gray stone was used to build a wall around the base of the hill at a height of nine peds, while more easily damaged as the stone used around the keep, and not as well mortared, but it is better than a wooden wall. A second gate was added to the back of the wall, allowing access to a newly built bridge crossing the Heir’ortorm (lit. "Snake River") to the lands of the Ger’ak (lit. "True to Gerak"). Another difference is that the streets are usually paved and much wider to travel along.
When the Ash’mari and the Diorye’oleal conquered the city they destroyed several of the structures, this included the temple to Sur’tyan as well as the temple to Helvet. So it is here in the new city that one can find these impressive temples. The one to Sur’tyan is two stories in height, while the one to Helvet is one story per the requirement that any temple to Sur’tyan must be larger then one dedicated to a Vir’tog. Sur’tyan's temple is made of dressed stone with enormous timbers for support. Local stone was used for this building as well. Every nailsbreadth of the building is inscribed with Kuglim runes and artwork, it was the first building started when Dro’go became Dirg’mystrume and has only lately been completed. Truly it is a feast for the eyes, for the adornment appears haphazard at first, but when one steps back they can see how it comes together to form the mythology of the Kuglimz. The temple to Helvet is nearby, and while well built and decorated it does not compare to that of Sur’tyan. Outside of the temple to Helvet there stands a stone statue of a man two peds in height. The statue has actual iron rings strewn its carved beard and hair, and holds a lance made of gold.
It should also be noted that in the new city, the buildings are not nearly as uniform in design. Also, a fair number of them are made entirely from the local stone. This is due to the influx of not only people to the city, but also of wealth from the trade agreements that Dro’go hammered out for the Kuglim. Several Santharians have even come to the city and set up shops and the like. Their buildings stand out quite a bit and don’t even need the large signs or tiles that they hang out from their doorways. Anyone who comes to visit is likely to stay in this area as the nicer taverns can be found here as well. There is also the matter that the Kuglim view the old city as theirs, and while friendly they will not allow most strangers into that area. Due to this reason many of the governmental offices and a second set of offices for the Dirg’mystrume can be found in the new city.
Location. Lu’Weilima is between the two other cities that belong to the Helvet’ine Kuglim, located in the hill range known as Beinaz’mur. To the north is Lu’Cargnathia, and to the south is Lu’Deidre. Rivers are a key to protecting the city and have been a natural defense of the Helvet’ine for hundreds of years. Close to the east is the Heir’otorm, and in the west is Heir’jyrl (lit. "Hook River") and there is the great Luquador River to the south. North of Lu’Wilima lies the vast Celeste Mountains who rise from the ground wreathed in their soot filled clouds.
People. Being the
traditional seat of power for the
Helvet’ine, you will find
them the most numerous of inhabitants, especially in the old town area. Many of
the other Kuglim spend their time in
the new city and can be distinguished by their tendency to have red and brown
hair, whereas the Helvet’ine
are prone to blonde. The Kuglim
people are universally large, not fat, just large. The men and women both wear
their hair long, but men leave theirs unbound, and for the most they have iron
rings known as fei’put scattered throughout their hair. Once the men, warriors
usually, have quite a few fei’put in their hair they begin to grow a beard and
start adorning their beards with the prestigious rings. It is not uncommon to
see an older man, his face adorned with scars, with his gray hair and beard
almost unseen underneath all of the iron he has in them.
Another way to tell the difference between the various Kuglimz present in the city is through the colours that they wear in their clothing. Each tribe has a different colour or pattern that they prefer to use. For example the Helvet’ine use gold and black in a check pattern, while the Fal’cone use red and gold in a horizontally striped pattern. The men can usually be found in a keyhole or round neck tunic that is belted at the waist and reaches to mid thigh. Under that, they wear brightly dyed breeches of leather; usually this is topped off with a cape of fur and plenty of gold adornment. Women wear ankle length dresses of simple lines with either a “v” or square cut neck. The simple lines are more than made up for with intricate embroidery found along the edges along with well-dyed material. Fur and gold are not limited to men, as many a woman has a fur cloak or shawl and necklaces, earrings, and bracelets of gold.
It can be said that the Kuglimz are some of the friendliest people there are. Quite a few strangers who have entered the New City and asked for directions have been greeted with a large smile, a crushing grip to their forearm and asked a million questions. It is easy to spot someone after their first day as they are often found surrounded by Kuglimz, and holding a horn of mead while having a dazed expression upon their face. There is however, quite a different side to them as well which was discovered by several miscreants who thought it would be profitable to set up a thieving guild in the city. Nearly every person knows how to wield a weapon and keep one near them, from the axes of warriors to the dagger the women hide about themselves. So, when these thieves attempted to rob a shop owner they were quickly killed, for this is the law concerning thievery. Kuglimz will share when asked, and there is no one that can be said to be needing, but they will not take anyone stealing from them.
Any occupation that can be found in another town can be found here as well. The New City area especially has quite a lot of commerce and industry located within it. There are Trk’Matiu Kuglim harking their wares of fish, Fird’Gormz Kuglim smiths at work in fiery forges, and other Kuglim craftsmen make wondrous golden adornments. Several of the Mei’vor Kuglim have even set up a stable and breed their agile horses. Outside of the city there are some farmers and herdsmen as well as a small quarry from which the stone of the area is excavated. One of the larger occupations involves turning the alth’tiert in a high quality yellow dye.
Coat of Arms/Sign. Dro’go laboured hard over the coat of arms for this city. It had to be something that would not cause one of the tribes to feel any more important or any lesser than another, something not easily done with their touchy honour. Several designs were tried and soon disregarded such as a shield having all twelve tribes’ colors. That was too much, just as the banner showing each tribes’ sacred symbol.
Finally, Dro’go went with a much simpler idea. All banners that waved from the city, all shields that the city’s warriors carried would be gold. That is it, simply gold. Clever as always the Dirg’mystrume explained that it was Sur’tyan and the Vir’togz that brought them all together and made them into one, thus only the sacred color gold should be used to represent the wonder.
Climate. Due to its location, Lu’Weilima has very distinct climates. While being different from each other, they combine to create an ideal locale for the needs of its people. In spring there are immense storms with lightning that rip apart the cloud filled sky. It is from the cold clouds that come the east and crash into the height and heat of the Celeste Mountains. Rain comes down in a torrent and the nearby rivers grow fat with their greedy swallowing of the rain. This gives new life to the region, crops are planted and some inevitably washed away. However the althz’onn do well in their puddles and small lakes of water, and the alth’ho turns a vibrant green. Animals are awakened from their winter slumbers and come out to eat the newly budded plants. The people of the city hope that the cobblestone additions to the streets are done so they do not have to muck their way around another year.
Summer creates a mild temperature, which is perfect for campaigns; in fact summer is often referred to as Rarik’mystrume, which is translated as "Battle Season". There is an old saying amongst the Kuglimz that goes, “The rain has stopped soaking the ground so that the blood may start.” The ever constant fighting that this fine weather allowed has more or less stopped in the past few years, since Dro’go united the Kuglimz. By now the rain has stopped and the ever-present winds have died down some. The days can get humid on occasion due to the nearby rivers and the presence of the large lake not too far away. This is a time of ripening fruits and a general feeling of well-being.
Fall has always been considered the best time of year, and the time in which many thanks are given. Rarik’mystrume has finished and families give thanks for their loved ones' unscathed return from battle. Farmers harvest their crops and there is plenty for all. The temperature is cool, but not yet crisp. A time indeed that many a young lover rollicks in the freshly cut alth’ho. Many of the animals of the area gorge themselves on the ever-present berries and seeds, preparing for the dreary winter ahead.
Winter is known as the “Bane of Men” in Northern Sarvonia, and while winter in this region is not nearly as severe as further north, it is still something to be careful of. Howling winds weave their way through the Celeste Mountains carrying the acrid stench of sulfur with them. Snow blankets the ground, at first pure and pristine, then mulched up and dirty as people and animals tear it up. Very little is done during this time, many merchants shut up their shops and people tend to stay in their homes. For the first several weeks everyone enjoys the extra time that they have together. Men whittle and carve, women sew, and children learn their lessons. However it is not too long before the women shoo out both men and women and wish for spring again.
Government. The government of the city of Lu'Weilima is similar to that of the Kuglim empire. The Dirg’mystrume is the overall leader of the Kuglim, but does not have much time to run every city in his kingdom. So, what happens is that inevitably the people of the city end up picking several different people from varying occupations to head the city. The Dirg’mystrume will occasionally visit the city and meet this group of people, giving his judgement on those the people have picked. With the Dro’go being in residence at this city he does have a little more interaction with the head group of the city. The Dirg’mystrume tries to meet with the city council on a monthly or bi-monthly basis to make sure that everything is going well and that the populace is happy.
Resources. There are not a lot of resources to be found in the small area outside of the city, and there is none in the city itself. Many of the resources used to create different items come from either the Celeste Mountains or the nearby plains regions. The only two natural items that can be said to be found in the nearby area are the tulmine trees, which are great for building and carving, and also a small quarry from which gray stone of a decent quality is cut. There is a well known breeder of the impressive kev’lor horses, these horses have been a foundation of the Helvet’ine power for some time.
Production/Trade. Since Lu’Weilima is the hub of the Kuglim lands it is also the center of their trade.
The goods from all of the different tribes come to this city. Due to the fact that Lu'Weilima lies within the Helvet’ine lands and Dro’go is of the Helvet’ine people they gladly give tribute of all sorts of goods to the city. Many of the foodstuffs such as caroot, althz’onn, and grains that support the city are grown in the nearby city of Lu’Deidre. Hunting parties range the nearby lands and bring back woolly boar and ho’loch. Some of the food also comes from trade with the Fal’cone and Trk’Matiu who bring ocean fish and nul’tum meat. The Kuglimz from the plains bring ho’shi along with tuber roots from the Luquador River and Crystal Lake.
Other trade goods include metals such as iron and gold, along with other sought after rock such as obsidian and granite are imported from the Fird’Gorm Kuglim. The Fal’cone bring in nul’tum fur for use in clothing. The northern Helvet’ine city of Lu’Cargnathia brings in plenty of alth’tiert plant so they can be turned into the dye that the city is so well known for. Lu’Weilima is also a meeting place between the plain tribes of the east and the west to bring their own pure bred lines of the kev’pye horses. So that influx, plus the kev’lor horses of the region make Lu’Weilima known as one of the greatest horse trading towns in not only Northern Sarvonia, but some argue that it is one of the greatest in all of Sarvonia.
This city of Lu'Weilima is well known for taking in raw materials and turning out fine goods. An excellent example of this is alth’tiert dye. Alth’tiert plants are naturally yellow in coloration due to the heavy sulfur content of where it is found. Dye makers take the plant and begin by boiling it to help release the color; the other ingredients they add are unknown and are kept a close secret. The finished product is a rich golden dye that is highly demanded by the rest of the Kuglimz, due to the religious importance of the colour along with its common use.
Another fine example of this process concerns the stone and metals that come out of the Celeste Mountains, which are brought in by the Fird’Gormz Kuglim. Raw ores, iron in particular, are transported by cart and tirpan horse to the many forges in the New City region, where it is made into fine swords and lances. These weapons find their way throughout the Kuglimz. The Kuglimz’ura, or Plains Tribes, tend to buy or trade for large quantities of iron arrowheads. Gold ore that is brought in is taken to goldsmiths who turn this lumpy material into intricate jewelry and other adornments. There are some parts in Santharia where this jewelry is in high demand and is considered the latest fashion, as the designs of the Kuglimz are far different than that found in the south. Several craftsmen also use obsidian and turn it into small boxes or other decorative pieces.
Festivals. The most important festivals celebrated in Lu'Weilima are as follows:
Taug'rik'tyan (Feast of Rik'tyan)
During Leir'tyan'uvt, the Month of the All Mother, the rik'tyan blooms. The blooming of this flower lasts only three days, and is seen as a gift from Lier'tyan. All of the women of at least child bearing age leave the gates of the city to gather the many flowers that bloom in the surrounding area. Once the rik'tyan has been gathered all of the women begin simmering, squashing, and drying the bloom of the flower. This is done for the first half of the day, for the second part of the day, the women turn the nectars and pieces of the bloom into sauces, glazes, and mix the heady mead that the Kuglimz so love.
While the women do this the men gather all sorts of foodstuff from their larders and storehouses which they bring to the women. They also go out into the surrounding region and hunt throughout the morning and midafternoon, bringing their dressed kills back for the feasting. Next the men drag out benches, tables, and other furniture outdoors. For it is essential that the feasting takes place outdoors. The next ten days are filled with feasting, drinking, and drunken bouts. It is quite common to fall asleep at the table, wake and begin eating once again.
Taug'alth'ho (Feast of Alth'ho)
At the very end of Zam'uvt, the Month of the Harvest, after all of the alth'ho has been brought in from the fields and plains. Much of this grass goes to stables for the feeding of the many animals in the area, but a fair amounti is left for this festival. All of the men and boys gather to dig a ditch about a ped deep around the whole of the hill, it is quite an undertaking. While the men are doing this, the women fill in the ditch with alth'ho. This work continues far into the night. After finally completing their labours the people gather within the city and Dro'go himself comes and sets the alth'ho alight. It quickly catches fire and encircles the city.
Every tribe does this to its capital city in rememberance of being forced to flee their ancient homelands during the Year of the Burning Night. There have been stories of portions of the city accidentally catching fire during this procedure, but it has not happened in some time. During the burning of the grass bards circle the city telling ancient stories and singing dirges for all of the ancestors that were lost. The mood is very subdued, and there is not eating or drinking in rememberance of their kin who were not able to do so when they fled.
Taug'drei (Freedom Festival)
Out of all of the festivals, this has been going on for the fewest years. In fact it has only been celebrated several times. Known as the freedom feast/festival, its name is indicative of its purpose. Dro'go overcame the Ash'mari and Diorye'oleal in Mon'uvt, the Month of Ice, driving them from the city and staining the snow with their blood. This began the liberation of all Kuglim from this dark horde and thus is celebrated in this city during the twelfth day of the month.
It is a single day celebration that begins with Dro'go riding down from the keep all of the way to the city gates at the head of a contingent of horsemen. He is spendid in full battle gear and royal regalia, riding an impressive kev'lor. People line the main avenue and cheer him as he makes his way to the gates. Once he reaches the gates he proceedes to a nearby field set up for the feast. Many of the townspeople come there, while others just stay home with loved ones. Throughout the feasting there are all sorts of exciting things going on. Some of these events are shows of horsemanship, combat tournaments, javelin throws, other athletic events, and plenty of games of chance.
History. The time before this has not been recorded, but it can be assumed that it has been besieged several different times, though it has not been conquered prior to the time it was under Ash’mari control.
Information provided by Drogo