THE ISLANDS OF R'UNOR

HISTORY

R'unor is a group of isles located in the north of the continent of Nybelmar. R'unor by some is called "the most wretched place in the known world" and by others it is said to have "a bizarrely enchanting beauty about it, the spires of twisted obsidian rising above the black sands and strangely colored rocks along the beaches. The iron gates and black stone are contrasting beautifully with the pale reddish haze that envelops the island."

A woodland stream in R'unor

View picture in full size Picture description. A tranquil scene at a woodland stream in R'unor featuring the gossiper bird. Image drawn by Seeker.

Geography. R'unor consists of a total of over 20 islands, the largest of which has a land mass that exeds that of most of the other islands combined. The R'unorian Isles are inhabited by plants and animals that tend to be as strange and dangerous as they are fascinating and beautiful. The city of R'unor is actually one giant structure originally built as a military outpost but no longer serves this function. Directly north-east of the capital city the Hlph'xn'in'kri Mountains (elvish: "gazing longingly at the method of our destruction") are located, their stony barren slopes generally avoided by the inhabitants of the city. To the south-east lie the Black Fields, named for dark coloration of the dusty soil. This area is primarily used for the farming of Pit Worms. South of here lie the Grey Mountains, a scarcely inhabited but beautiful range of mountains known for the reddish grey fog and multicolored crystalline formations, some of which are hundreds of peds tall. To the east of the Black Plains the Forest of Souls can be found, rumored to have a rather large Troll population this forest is known especially for the many strange creatures dwelling there such as Crystal Spiders, R'unorian Blood-Toads and the famous Black Unicorns.

Government. The government of R'unor is controlled by three seperate (and at times even hostile) groups, namely the Guild of Librarians, the Imperial Court, and the Guards Council.

Culture. The people of R'unor are considerably more cautious, some say even paranoid, than most people in other kingdoms. This is important to note as the few foreigners that do find their way to the island sometimes mistake the attitude of the native R'unorians for xenophobia, although this is completely untrue. In fact the suspicious attitude is considered simply normal caution.

Clothing, general notes. When studying the clothing of the people of R'unor one seems to come across a rather strange aspect of R'unor: While being famous for (among other things) the excellent quality of clothing produced there, nudity is not considered taboo, even though its not exactly a good idea, at least when journeying out of doors, except for the warmer parts of summer. Also as mentioned above the R'unorians are not only known for the quality of their clothing but also the availability of it, as well as things such as violet dye, which, while being rare and expensive in other regions, are surprisingly common in R'unor. It has been noted that an average family in R'unor is dressed as well and lives as comfortably as the wealthier sections of society in other kingdoms.

The R'unorian Coat of Arms

View picture in full size The R'unorian Coat of Arms drawn by Koldar.

Currency. The basic unit of currency in R'unor is the G'url, a small iron coin with four tiny diamond fragments set around the center. See also: the table of R'unorian currency.

Women's Clothing. On non-formal occasions such as simple family gatherings and the like, the R'unorian woman dresses simply in normally dark colored clothing and with surprisingly little jewelry when compared with other cultures. In general such a clothing consist of an ankle length, close fitting dress of relatively heavy material and died either black or a dark violet and a simple leather belt occasionally featuring brass or iron studs along its length. Attached to this belt often hangs a small dagger. During colder times of year a heavy cloak is also worn.

On more formal occasions such as weddings, and certain holidays a woman would traditionally wear a floor length, sleeveless, and heavily embroidered dress with a low cut neckline, a pair of black elbow length gloves and a thin rope like belt upon which, as with the everyday clothing, usually hangs a small dagger. When attending a wedding as a bride the R'unorian woman is traditionally clad in a bright crimson robe and around the left ankle a simple silver anklet is worn on which the name of the person whom she is marrying is engraved.

Men's Clothing. On most non-formal occasions a R'unorian man will be found dressed in a long dark colored robe, normally either black or a dark violet, fastened with a simple leather belt, which occasionally is adorned with brass or iron studs along its length, hanging from this belt normally hangs a small dagger, sometimes tipped with some sort of toxin, in colder weather a heavy cloak is also worn.

On more formal occasions the R'unorian man is traditionally clad in a long, richly adorned robe, fastened at the neck with a large pendent, normally crafted in the shape of a turtle. Around the waist a blood red or bright violet sash, is worn too and in addition the traditional dagger, the latter is not attached to the waist but is located on the inside of the robe, where it can still be reached easily if need be.

Military Clothing. Unlike in other lands a R'unorian soldier is reluctant to wear heavy armor and is unlikely to wear any armor except some extremely light chainmail. Under normal circumstanses the R'unorian military uniform consists of a light, but extremely well made, hooded black cloak and a black mask that covers the chin mouth and nose. The typical dagger is also carried but is combined with a light thin bladed sword which is sometimes coated with some sort of toxin as is the dagger. Other weapons of choice include several different varieties of crossbows, rapiers, light scimitars, long daggers, barbed javelins, etc.

The Isles of R'unor

View picture in full size A map of the numerous Isles of R'unor, designed by Xenos Ravenbeack drawn by Artimidor.

Turtles. The turtle is considered to be an extremly important animal for those who inhabit the island of R'unor. This is evident in the fact that the form of a turtle is a common finding in R'unorian sculpture, painting and architecture. An image of a giant sea turtle is even found on the R'unorian imperial banner. Although the exact reason for the R'unorian fascination with turtles has become blured by the centuries it is important to note that on the third week into summer, the southern beaches of the larger islans are litteraly covered with turtles laying their eggs. A grand feast is held in the city of R'unor the day after the last turtle has left.

Technology/Magic. Another important aspect of R'unorian life is the high level of scientific and magical knowledge which is rivaled only by the Aeolian Brownies. R'unorians are particularly well known for there fine clockwork devices and wickedly efficient weaponry. Another fine example of R'unorian ingenuity are the artificial hot-springs found in most of the larger cities. These "springs" are created by using huge iron pipes to transport sea water to large tanks located underground where the water is heated by the hot gases rising from deep underground. The hot water is then moved through a second set of pipes to the surface where it is pored into large pools providing the public with warm water in which people bath and/or socialize. R'unorian magic is also unique in the fact that it tends to be much more practical and less mystical then in other lands. It is viewed and treated much like a science and unlike at other parts of the Sarvonian continent incorporating magical components into mechanical devices is quite common. Important persons involved in R'unorian scientific and magical advancement include the founders of the Great Library, Markus Wormgrower and Lotus The Gray, as well as the famous inventor Gregory Firelance.

Orcs.
Another point that one will come across when studying R'unor is that only 40% of the population of R'unor are human, 40% are orcs, and 20% are a mixture of the two. Also the orcs of R'unor are orcs by race alone, meaning that they often behave in the same way the humans do and thus are considered to possess a great deal more intellect than orcs in other regions of the world.

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THE ERA OF MYTHS
(YEARS 4.300 B.S. - 3.170 B.S.)
ca. 3250 b.S. The Glorious Reclamation begins
R'unorians begin to reclaim the island of R'unor from the orcish tribes that dwell there. The bloody, protracted war takes fifty years as the humans surround and snuff out pockets of orcs throughout the island.
ca. 3250 b.S.
to 3.245
End of the Glorious Reclamation
The Glorious Reclamation ends with the surrender of the last two clans of orcs to the R'unorian forces besieging them.
  

ca. 3230 b.S. R'unorian Explorers arrive on Glara
A R'unorian expeditionary force arrives of Glara and is surprised to find the settlement there.
  

3229 b.S. Glara joins R'unor
A formal invitation to join the burgeoning Empire of R'unor is extended, and accepted by Glara.
  

ca. 3200 b.S. Unification of R'unor
The Isle of R'unor is unified under the rule of Varana Turtleblessed, the first Empress.
  

3190 b.S. First Governors appointed
The heirs of houses sworn to serve the Empress are appointed to govern her newborn empire and maintain it. In order to prevent a conflict of interest, they are stripped of lands and titles and branded as property of the Empress.

THE ERA OF WAR AKA THE AGE OF BELLIGERENT III KRATH
(YEARS 3.170 B.S. - 2.970 B.S.)
3150 b.S. Capture of Vale Island
R'unorian forces land on the nearby Vale Island. When the P'thia tribesfolk living there resist peaceful integration, R'unor invades and captures Vale.
  

3146 b.S. Capture of the Isle of Kraak
The Isle of Kraak, to the south of R'unor, is taken, and the slow process of integrating it into the empire.
  

3142 b.S. Capture of Grall and Voggra
R'unorian forces land on Grall and Voggra, and subjugate the islanders quickly.
  

3140 b.S. Fall of Bluesteel
The last P'thia settlement surrenders at the sight of a R'unorian fleet headed by a pair of Carserrian gopags.
3140 b.S.
to 3120 b.S.
Consolidation
While most major pockets of resistance have been neutralized, the war with the P'thia largely ignored smaller islands. Twenty years are spent bringing the rebel tribe to heel, a cycle of brief sparks of rebellion followed by vicious and bloody oppression.
  

3110 b.S. Death of Varana
Varana Turtleblessed dies, her daughter Varaya ascends to the throne, despite consternation from the nobility, beginning the Turtleblessed line of Empresses.
The first Invisible War
Disgruntled opponents of the fledgling Empress Varaya launch a series of attempts at assassination and sabotage. While some of the ringleaders are initially identified and publicly executed, the campaign continues. This persists for two years before the sudden death of roughly half of the Imperial Court, at which point the hostilities abruptly cease.
THE CURRENT AGE
(YEARS 2.970 B.S. - 1.667 A.S.)
45
to 60
The Bloodied Empress Reigns
Vanawe Turtleblessed, the Bloodied Empress, reigns over R'unor. Her campaign of cruelty against orcs eventually sparks an uprising which leads to her death. Many orcs flee to the more outlying islands, or take refuge with one of the guilds.
  

61 Orcish Uprising
Mogh the Half-Orcen leads a bloody uprising against the Empress, beginning with an audacious capture of the city of R'unor itself, and ending with her flayed corpse being paraded through the streets.
61
to 89
Reign of Mogh
Mogh implements a number of cultural reforms, including granting greater freedoms to the guilds of R'unor. Several guilds take this opportunity to expand beyond R'unor for their own safety.
  

88
to 89
The Flameseer Rebellion
Kirvana the Flameseer begins a rebellion against the Emperor Mogh, culminating in the Flameseer herself storming the gates of the Imperial Palace and throwing Mogh to an angry mob.
  

90 Kirvana Flameseer Ascends
Kirvana is formally crowned Empress of R'unor. Her first act as Empress limits the power of future rulers through the creation of a triumvirate council to advise the Empress.
Creation of the Triumvirate
The Imperial Court, Librarians Omnibus and Guard's Council form the Triumvirate by imperial order to advise, aid, and if necessary, limit the Empress.
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 Date of last edit 21st Changing Winds 1672 a.S.

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