THE CITY OF SALSAIR ("CITY OF SALSAI")

DESCRIPTION - KEY LOCATIONS - LOCATION - PEOPLE - COAT OF ARMS
CLIMATE - RESOURCES - SPECIAL OCCASIONS - MYTH/LORE - HISTORY

Salsair is a large city of 20.000 people, mostly Centoraurian, found in the northern Vardýnn province of Santharia on the continent of Sarvonia, once named after King Salman's wife Salsai back in 1620 b.S. Where the waters of Lake Aelignós gently lap against the shore near the source of the Aelunn River, Salsair started out as a small fishing village. Over time it grew in size and importance, where it now serves as a wonderful summer retreat for the wealthy who want to enjoy the beauty of the lake. It also serves as a major hub for both fishing and agriculture in the area. Being part of the Aerelian Lakes system as well as on the Aelunn River, Salsair takes advantage of the water system to be a center of trade in Vardýnn province.

Description. Salsair is for the most part a typical Centoraurian city. Narrow cobblestoned streets wind their way like a spider web through wattle and daub buildings. Some are whitewashed with timber frames others simple mud covered homes of poorer citizens. Some are larger stone buildings.  Return to the top


Key Locations. Key locations of Salsair can be listed as follows:

A City of Salsair ("City of Salsai")
View picture in full size (map names) Image description. View of the City of Salsair next to Lake Aelignos with the White Citadel in the center and the Foiron, the Temple of Foiros in the background, recognizable by its white tower. Illustration drawn by Seeker.

Location. The Santharian city of Salsair is found on the northern shores of Lake Aelignós, one of the six bodies of fresh water that make up the Aerelian Lakes system. This is in the northern province of Vardýnn, part of the Kingdom of Santharia on the continent of Sarvonia. Directly across the lake is found Salsair's sister city, Corgammon.

To the north is the great city Milkengrad, and further on, the provincial capital of Voldar. To the northeast the rich and fertile Salsair Farmsteadings are found, sometimes called the Breadbasket of the North. To the east, the ominous smoke of the Hèckra Volcano rises toward the heavens. In the west the important coastal town of Thyslan is located. Return to the top

People. Salsair is a city of close to 20.000 people. The vast majority are human, being mostly Centoraurian. The Duke of Aurora has made his home here for centuries, and before that the Centoraurian Kings ruled. Salsair has deep roots in Centoraurian history. But, within the human community, a large number of Helcrani can also be found. Many of these are relatively new to Salsair, being merchants who set up shops and industry. This was because Salsair was a good stopping point between Milkengrad to the northwest and other Helcrani communities such as Menegula, Sostra Town, Codomma, Ahaiwanna and Heleroth to the east.

A community of Daran Gnomes also make their home within the walls of the Old City. This community is divided into two main groups. By far the larger of these groups has very good relations with the humans of Salsair. They are referred to by many as the "Salsair Daran", which has been shortened to "Salran". Salran trade, and interact with humans, not fearing to travel into human areas as well as inviting humans into their area. A particular Daran Gnomes, called "The Salran", is even called upon to serve in the city council.

The second community of Daran Gnomes is found deep within the Salran community, though they are separated by a wooden picket fence. This group refuses to deal directly with the humans, and humans are banned from entering this community. The Salran express their respect for the Darans by discreetly guiding humans away from the Daran area, and most Salsair humans have no idea this subgroup of gnomes even exists. This keeps the peace between the two gnome groups.

Other races and tribes can be found here as well, and for the most part they get along. Salsair has been at peace for many years and few want that to change by foolishly igniting the racial tensions that used to flare dangerously. Return to the top

Coat of Arms/Sign. Salsair has a Coat of Arms that consists of a White Citadel against an azure blue background emphasized by darker blue wave lines. This represents the Duke’s Citadel, the white clad building within the city that is home to the Duke of Aurora, while the blue is obviously Lake Aelignós, which has long played an important role in the area. Return to the top

Climate. The climate of Salsair is very much affected by the Aerelian Lakes. It is a place of generally mild winters and refreshing summers. During the winter, snow falls mostly between Dead Tree and Molten Ice. The temperature rarely gets extremely cold, and can sometimes warm to the point where the snows will melt. If conditions are right, a freezing rain can fall, leaving everything covered in a thin coating of ice. Mornings can be a beautiful sight, with the sun coming over the horizon and refracting off the frozen fields. This layer of ice usually melts during the day.

Summers are cool, again with much rain, though it is more prevalent at night. The combination of warm days followed by a cooling in the evening has contributed to Salsair's reputation as a summer retreat for those wealthy enough to have a summer home there.

Wind is predominantly from the west and southwest, which is why the farmsteadings to the northeast get such moisture that allows for near continuous bumper crops. In winter the wind switches to predominantly from the west and northwest. The winds of winter are much stronger than the winds of summer, which causes the occasional blizzard, but the general mild climate dictates that these storms are rare and short in duration. Return to the top

Resources. Salsair is rich in resources. Of course, Lake Aelignós provides much of this. Fishermen here make a good living throwing their nets from their fishing boats and bringing in hauls of Mithanjor and other varieties of fish. Dried and salted, or smoked, this fish is then sold all over northern Santharia.

The Salsair Farmsteadings are famous throughout Santharia. Due to the good amount of rainfall, the mild summers, early spring and late autumns, plus the rich dark soil in the shadow of the Hèckra Volcano, crops grow quickly and full here. Most years, farmers here are able to plant a second crop, called the "Winter Harvest", which they collect in late autumn. This has led to the farmsteadings being referred to as the Breadbasket of the North. Because of the richness of the land, most of it is owned by only a few noble houses. To keep as much of the land workable, the nobles do not keep large buildings for housing. Instead, most of the labour used on the land comes from Salsair itself in the form of wage labourers. During the sowing and harvest seasons, temporary camps, made from tents, are created to house these labourers from Salsair. When the work is finished, the camps are taken down. Land is not needlessly wasted here. Grain here is delivered and sold throughout the north of the kingdom, not only in the province of Vardýnn, but neighboring provinces of Xaramon, Nermeran and Enthronia.

The Equine Plains to the northwest are vast tracts of rich grasslands. These are used by herders to graze many types of cattle and sheep as well as horses. Thus, Salsair is able to sell much livestock to other areas of the kingdom. Add to this the wool that these herds of sheep produce, and Salsair can claim to be a major trading hub.

Artisans in the city also use the wool to create much in the way of cloth, which is sold elsewhere. Most of this cloth is taken by merchants and exported to Carmalad to be dyed, thus increasing its value.

The Daran Gnomes create much in the way of jewelry. From wooden items to fine metal and gem encrusted trinkets, the Salran have created a name for themselves, and their Jewelry guild has insisted that each item be stamped with a tiny symbol bearing their mark. Items with this mark often times are sold for up to three times an item without the mark goes for.

Water truly is a resource that Salsair is rich in as well. From a haven for artists to come and create beautiful masterpieces commissioned by well paying nobles, to perceived special properties, it is the lakes themselves that draw people to the city. Artists flood the city each spring, most by commission but many to simply paint and sell their works on the streets of Salsair, and they stay through the summer.

As well, many of the breeders in and around Salsair firmly believe that the waters of the lakes have special properties that make their animals more special than other animals of the like. This is especially true of the horse breeders. Centoraurian horses are considered some of the most beautiful in the kingdom, and those from around Salsair even more so.

To add to this, and to expand the reach of the lake waters, a gnome inspired irrigation system is being created to bring water from the lake direct to the Equine Plains. A man made aqueduct is being built that will bring water from Lake Salestra to the plains. The aqueduct is fed by a oxen powered pumping station that draws the water up to the aqueduct, where a gentle slope takes the water ultimately to the plains. It is not yet finished. Return to the top

Special Occasions. Salsair is also well known for a couple of special occasions:

Myth/Lore. Many tales are traded from Salsair's past, the most famous of course being the story of its founding:

The Founding of Salsair. It is said that King Salaman was traveling across the Aurora Fields with his contingent of horse warriors and immense horse herd, when they drove the herd to the mouth of the Aelunn River to water them. Salaman’s wife, Salsai became so enamoured of the location that she stated that she had finally found the spot where she could put down roots and raise the king's children. It is said that although as a true Centoraurian, Salaman could not understand her desire to stay in one spot rather than the nomadic way of her people, he was so much in love with her that he was unable to deny her every whim. He chose a prime spot on a rise overlooking the sandbars that were home to the local fishermen, and he built her a palace that all who saw it were envious. This must have made her quite happy, for she bore him 15 children, all boys but two.

One of the many myths surrounding the Sunken City relates the story of a young man named Tylunn.

Ages long past, Tylunn was the son of a fisherman in Salsair. By all accounts he was a hard working serious young man who never let his chores fall by the wayside. One morning Tylunn was on his way to meet his father’s boat for a day on the lake pulling in the harvest of fish they would catch in their nets. He heard some splashing in the water and the sounds of girls laughing. His interest raised, he came to the edge of water near the Sunken City. As soon as his presence was perceived, the figures in the water dove beneath the surface, leaving only ripples as evidence that anything had been there. Tylunn was baffled as anyone would be, and a bit concerned. He called to the figures, but no answer came, and no one came up for air. Curious, he crawled out onto the ruins of a partially submerged building and stared into the deep blue green waters of the lake. At first he could see nothing, but then he thought he could see his face. He wanted it to simply be his own reflection in the water’s surface, but the image got stronger until it was clear that it was not his reflection. The face was one of a very beautiful young maiden. It was clear for a moment, and then was gone.

Each morning thereafter, Tylunn was to make his way to that particular spot and stare into the water until the face that captured him so would reappear, then vanish again. He began to dream of the face beneath the waves and his heart longed for her. Soon he was not the same lad he had once been. He began to miss going out on his father’s boat in order to spend more time staring into the water. He began to go at twilight as well, and each time his maiden would be there staring up at him.

He tried to call to her, but each time he did, his maiden would disappear, so soon his time with her was one of silent longing. He missed meals, he lacked sleep, he lost friends. He was consumed by her; his every waking thought was of her.

Tylunn began to kneel, getting closer to the water, then took to lying on his stomach, his head out over the water. One day, when sleep was threatening to overtake him, his head nodded downward, to where his nose broke the surface of the water. Just as he was about to pull up, the water broke and the maiden’s lips touched his. Ever so gentle it was a kiss that filled him with love and longing. So each morning and each evening he would lower his face to the water’s surface and each time his maiden would come close enough to give him the sweetest of light kisses before disappearing into the depths.

Tylunn vowed to teach himself to hold his breath so that he might join her. He asked his family, he asked his friends, but all simply told him the foolishness of his plan and advised him to leave her be. But Tylunn was unperturbed and began to place his head beneath the water, holding his breath as long as he could. Each day he could do so longer.

One day, Tylunn could not be found, though many searched for the young lad. His family was convinced that he had drowned, seduced by the maiden into diving beneath the waves. His father vowed to kill the folk beneath the waves, and each day he stood on the same shore that Tylunn had stood, harpoon in hand, hoping to kill the maiden. But he never saw her or any of her kind or even his lost son.

One day, about a year later, the father and his boat were caught in a sudden squall that blew in on the lake. Trying to get back to the safety of Salsair, his boat was swamped and he fell into the water, prepared to die. Just as he was about to sink beneath the waves, within sight of the shore and Salsair, he felt hands under him, holding him above the water and carrying him toward the land. He was deposited gently in shallow water and he knew he would not drown.

Turning and staring out at the choppy waves, he saw Tylunn in the water, next to him the face of a beautiful young maiden, and between them a child. Tears filling his eyes, the father waved goodbye to his son and his son’s family, never to see them again. And never again would he hunt for the maiden with his harpoon.

Another legend of the Sunken City is related as follows:

The Offering. It is said that immediately after the storms and floods that caused part of the city to sink beneath the waters of Lake Aelignós, that the clerics of Salsair begged the Duke to make offerings to the Twelve where the city had disappeared and many of the city's inhabitants had perished. The Duke, whose own daughter was one of those who had died, angrily refused and cursed the gods. The clerics were dismayed and ominously predicted dire consequences for the Duke's angry words.

True enough, within a fortnight, those who had died beneath the lake returned as zombiis, those who had died beneath the lake began to rise again, changed terribly, with pale, tumid skin, their former bright clothes hanging in worn, bleached rags from their unshaped limps. The miserable dead came up onto land each night , dripping wet and smelling, and haunted their relatives, trying to get back into their houses and beds, ignoring their former beloved though, killing those who tried to get into their way. Nobody managed to chase them away, the guards were helpless. Trying to slash them did not work, they just moved on, not recognising, that an arm or foot was missing.

The clerics of Salsair wondered, why such a disaster had smitten their town, first the floods and part of the city sunken into the water, then the dead coming out of the water. What was amiss? Soon they realised, that there was a magnificent temple for Foiros, the god of fire, but only small places where Baveras, the goddess of water and Grothar , the weather god were worshipped. Should they have been angry and therefore sent those plagues? Money was collected with everyone giving freely and soon the foundation of a temple for Baveras and Grothar was laid. In a short time a two story building was raised close by the water - the base level, dedicated to Baveras was susceptible to flooding, the upper dedicated to Grothar open to the winds, a building concept which was copied many times after and widely known as a Salsair temple.

The clerics of Salsair coalesced behind the Clerics of Foiros, the most powerful faction of clerics in Salsair, who then revisited the Duke and pleaded with him to appease the gods. So the Duke and Duchess, with a retinue of a hundred guards went to the shores of the sunken city, where the new temple was erected. Against the plaintive cries of his wife, and the earnest advice of his guards, the Duke waded out into the water until it was up around his waist raised his arms and began to pray to Queprur, calling out for her to end the invasion of the dead and bind them to her realm. He began to pray to Baveras and Grothar, and most of the Twelve , naming them and begging their forgiveness and asking that the curse be lifted from his city. He then offered himself as a sacrifice to them in order to seal the bargain.

Almost at once, dozens of the drowned undead rose from the depths and grabbed the Duke, who stoically allowed himself to be dragged beneath the waves. The Duchess screamed in her grief, surrounded by the guards, but not one of these abominations who had been their relatives came to the shore and all disappeared beneath the water.

Instead, suddenly the sound of laughter could be heard. As everyone stopped and listened the laughing grew louder as did the sounds of splashing. Looking out over the water, the Duchess was able to discern the shapes of rivermaids frolicking merrily. One rivermaid in particular caught her eye, and it swam nearer the shore. This rivermaid had all the features of her dear departed daughter who had drowned when the city sank. The rivermaid locked eyes with the Duchess for the briefest of moments, appeared to raise a hand in greeting, then dove beneath, its tail slapping the surface with a splash.

The Duchess and the clerics knew then that the gods had been appeased and once more granted life to those who had died in the disaster, allowing them to live as rivermaids in the waters of the Aelunn river.
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THE AGE OF AWAKENING
(YEARS 1.655 B.S. - 822 B.S.)
1120 b.S. The Founding of Salsair
The Centoraurian King Salaman names his palace "The Salsair", after his wife Salsai. He has built a small palace on a patch of high ground where the lake pours into the Aelunn River. A village grows up in the shadow and protection of the palace, and flourishes due to the fishing on the lake.
  

850 b.S. The League's first Contacts with the Humans
The League tries to re-introduce the elven civilisation to the humans. Among the first they contact are peaceful villagers living in the valley between Salsair and the High Fores. Elves from Goltherlon will visit them and familiarise them with the elven culture. Prince Tacunija from Goltherlon is the most important of them. Moreover, it will be interesting to monitor their reaction to the next human-elven war.

THE AGE OF THE BLOOD
(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
736 b.S. Death of the Goltherrhim Rónn Envyanath
In the year 736 b.S. Rónn Envyanath of the Goltherhim is killed in an accident as he returns victorious from a battle against the Caltharians. On his funeral Agaran meets Curogane for the first time and appreciates his courage to come alone among his enemies just to honour a worthy opponent. After the funeral, the Ac’rónn Nyermag Avaelan agrees to a peace treaty with the human leader.
Human Army stationed in Salsair
A few months later, the human army under Helronn, Curogane’s son, is in Salsair to assist king Armandil of Centorauria in breaking the siege of his capital. The Anactar is in Sostra recovering from a wound and planning a campaign against the Vontron elves. If the Sanhorrhim are defeated, then the Helcrani could withdraw from the war for a while and try to promote a truce. Curogane's dream is to form a league of rulers against the war and then drag the others in a peace treaty. He considers Nyermag a valuable ally in this effort and hopes that what happenes with the Goltherhim could repeat with the Sanhorrhim.
Nyermag's Treason
After the death of the elven acron Envyanath's at the Goltherlon, his heir Nyermag Av'aelvan ("The One-Eyed") originally establishes peace with the Helcrani. But when their army is in Salsair to assist the city, which is under siege, he invades Helcrah. Curogane dies in the battle defending the Helsalari passage, but he manages to delay the elves until his son, Helronn, arrives from Salsair with reinforcements. Nyermag is caught unaware and very few of his army survive. A peace treaty isfinally established between the elves and the Helcrani. Helronn becomes the Helcrani king taking his father's place.
  

637 b.S. The Battle of Thyslan
The Helcrani over seven years captured one Centorauria stronghold after the other and at last corner Ephiagar in Thyslan where they lay siege upon him. The vast majority of the Centoraurian folk are supporting the Helcrani rebels. The last Centoraurian king, Ephiagar of Salsair, is finally killed in this very battle of Thyslan.
The Milkengradian Tephron becomes Centoraurian King
The Centoraurian King Tephron
The last Centoraurian king, Ephiagar of Salsair, is killed in the battle of Thyslan. Tephron is anointed king of Centorauria. The Helcrani are the ruling class now in Centorauria and the process of their assimilation with the Centoraurian population begins. In a few decades the word "helcrani" would mean both "person deriving from Helcrah" and also "Centoraurian aristocrat" as many Centoraurians are awarded the title of "Helcrani" as a sign of honor.
  

626 b.S.
to 625 b.S.
War Erpheronia vs Centorauria
A war between Erpheronia and Centorauria breaks out only to end in a stalemate a year after:

In 626 b.S. the Erpheronian army invades Centorauria. They advance fast from Cemphiria to Salsair and set the city under siege. Tephron sends Curgan and Cumrann to encircle the enemy. The Erpheronians suffer a defeat under the walls of Salsair, but nevertheless they manage to escape in friendly territory.

During the next weeks the war evolves around the bridge of Cemphiria where the two armies faced each other but didn't decide to fight. The Helcrani launch a series of sabotage operations with great success. Curgan prefers military targets like the stationed Erpheronian fleet and their catapults, while Cumrann aims at the enemy's morale with operations that hava a psychological affect on the enemy rather than a tactical one, like the kidnapping of Rabellu, the Erpheronian six year old princess. Finally, after a year of warfare the two sides decide to sign a peace treaty abandoning futile confrontation. Renevor, the Erpheronian king, would remember this year for a long time to come.
  

617 b.S.
to 607 b.S.
Chaos rules in Centorauria
The rest of the Centoraurian cities except Milkengrad become independent, offering submission to the Red Alliance in 617 b.S. However, in less than a decade Thyslan and Salsair plunge into a war with each other in their attempt to reunite Centorauria under their rule. Ximax stays out of the conflict and is happy to be ridden of the central government. Horth temporarily allies with the strongest regardless if it is Salsair, Thyslan, Ximax or Kyrania. Chaos rules in Centorauria.
617 b.S.
to 580 b.S.
Reshuffling of Territories and Alliances
The city states try to preserve their independence and expand their rule to the rest of their countrymen.

The islands of Efirhal and Esperoth to the north are given to a bulk of Stratanian pirates and Ashmari mercenaries, collectively called the "Turacanthians" after the name they had temporarily given to Milkengrad. Thyslan and the nearby area of Thysland form the homonymous duchy. Salsair is the capital of the Aurorian duchy and Ximax the capital of the Magicroth Common. The small town of Horth forms the small duchy of Hypheria. At this time Helcrah emerges as another independent Centoraurian state and gains its independence from Caltharia. Kyrania annexes the area south of the Aurelian Lakes.
  

507 b.S. Curogana's first Campaign
About a week after Ascandir’s funeral, the Centoraurian army have to defend the besieged Salsair. The expedition force is ready to depart in Milkengrad. They are led by Jonahir son of Zarehim, Fratrageta of the Helerothi Fratra, a capable and valiant general. The men however are demoralized. “Where is the king?” they ask only to reply to themselves "No king will ever lead us to war again. The sons of Curogane have failed. Cursed we are and cursed we shall fall." Curogana is informed of the situation and decides to go to the army assembly. She wears a long red cloak. As soon as she reaches the Hypheralean Square, the army’s welcome is cold and without excitement. She addresses the army and among others she says the following, as it is recorded in "Curogana's Deeds" by Meroh son of Ishoc the Ahai.

"You seek your anactar and you cry for his loss. But has any one of you mourned more than me? I have lost what remained of my family in one day. The rest of my kin was killed fighting for the common cause. You seek your anactar, as if you have none. Am I not bearing Helronn’s sword? You want your king to lead you to battle? Well, you have no king. You have a queen though and she will lead you!"

At this point she throws down her cloak and reveals the armour she is wearing. The army roars like thunder in her sight and the men clash their weapons. - Thus begins Curogana's first campaign that ended in victory.
  

70 b.S. Desecration of the Aurora Fields
Renegade dark elves of Alvang ambush dwarves of the Nerterean fratra of Milkengrad clan at the Aurora fields near Salsaír in order to capture their dead bodies for experiments with dark magic. The terrible bloodshed cumulates at the Battle of the Fores where the joint forces of the Milkengrad and Helcrah dwarves trie to take revenge for the assault, but are defeated in the valley between the High and the Low Fores, which should later on be called "Bone Valley" according to this incidents.

THE AGE OF CHANGE
(YEARS 50 B.S. - 172 A.S.)
13 b.S. Assassination of the Human Ambassador to the Alliance, Aelric Salazath
The Tharanian King Marzevash "the Adamant" fears to lose his powers and supposedly plots an assassination of the highly respected Ambassador to the Alliance, Aelric Salazath. While Marzevash is a prominent figure in the Alliance between the races, the face of the kingdom to the elves and dwarves is Aelric, who helps to negotiate between the races. The alleged plot to kill Marzevash's internal foe succeeds, but several representatives from other races are killed as well unintentionally during the ambush near Salsair. This causes a part of the plot to be uncovered, linking the assassination to Marzevash. However, Marzevash's guilt or innocence can never be proven in its entirety.

THE GOLDEN AGE OF KINGS
(YEARS 172 A.S. - 547 A.S.)
232 The second of the Santhran's Long Voyages
This time the North is Lysarian's goal so he leaves early in the year as soon as the roads are free to visit Naios, Caelum, and Ximax where he stays for two weeks enjoying the atmosphere of the magical city and spending a lot of time in the library. He continues to Salsair and Thyslan, then Milkengrad, Voldar, Nyermersys, Ishmarin, and Astran, Holm and Acht, Jernais, Veltin, Carmalad, and finally Cavthan - it has been a very long and tiring voyage. The hobbits of the Alianian Hills welcome him so heartily that he decides to stay for another two weeks, resting, sleeping, eating.
  

233 The Birth of Myrissa of Thyslan
In the first month of the year Gravenness Mariama of Thyslan gives birth to a red-haired daughter with green eyes, Myrissa of Thyslan. Mariama's uncle Thyram, the Graven of Codáth Lake and Coram Duke of Salsair visit Santhala and speak with the Santhran on behalf of their relative. It seems that they have come in vain.

THE CLERICAL AGE
(YEARS 610 A.S. - 825 A.S.)
642 The Night of Great Sorrow
A huge storm hammers Salsair. Part of the city is washed away, while some buildings sink beneath the waters of the lake. The resulting area is now referred to as the Sunken City.

THE ERA OF THE SOUTHERN WARS
(YEARS 825 A.S. - 1.062 A.S.)
987 Reconstruction of the White Citadel
Harhold, Duke of Aurora, greatly reduces the size of the palace, using much of the leftover stone to build the old wall. Though smaller in size, it is built much taller, giving him a spectacular view from the rooftop gardens that link to his private solar.

THE AGE OF DISCOVERY
(YEARS 1.144 A.S. - 1.440 A.S.)
1.392 Beginning of the Festival of the Horse in Salsair
King Raevalem starts the Festival of the Horse in Salsair as a competition between warriors. Lasting initially only two days, it includes Horse Racing, Jousting, and Battle of the Sword, as well as both types of archery.

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 Date of last edit 23rd Awakening Earth 1674 a.S.

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