THE POTTERY VILLAGE SEREKEYE ("CLAY VILLAGE")

DESCRIPTION - LOCATION - PEOPLE - COAT OF ARMS
CLIMATE -
FLORA - FAUNA - RESOURCES - TRADE - MYTH/LORE - HISTORY

This terracotta dependent village marks the southern border of the Dragon’s Back region, which is located in the Zhunite plains in the southwestern part of continent of Nybelmar, famous for the pottery it produces and the vibrant colours of the women’s clothes, the colours that either match the soft orange pigment of the surroundings or create amazing combinations with colourful and vivid variations of other colours and that pigment which makes these dresses unique in the Dragon’s Back. The mud-brick houses of the “Clay Village” welcome you like so many plump cats, stretching their backs and basking in the midday heat. The village draws most of its water from the underground stream sauntering through the clay-rich earth of the surrounding area. The settlement’s proximity to the Kimb River and its more southerly air, being damper than that in the north, creates the perfect environment for the craft of pottery.

Description. As you close in on the lively village of Serekeye you will probably think of the lines in a certain famous book written by Dearan Asaen; they truly capture the feeling of the village and its inhabitants.

"Serekeye is already up, displaying her proud earthenware at the busy marketplace. Rows after rows of pottery are left out in the sun to dry, sometimes with the occasional sleeping sentry. Perhaps they tan in imitation of southerly ladies? Perhaps they bask to greet the flirting wind? Wrinkled woman sit in vibrant garments before the clay shaping wheels, bent in working meditation to mould those daily miracles. You decide to leave the town scurrying about after familiar toil humming merry Zhunite tunes as they work."

-- Dearan Asaen’s "A Zhunite Sunset, Tome 4: The Northern March", Chapter III, Dawn Over the Sleeping North; Section: Introduction: A Northern Cascade, Subdivision: The Voyage Through Dragon's Back

Let's look at Serekye and describe the various aspects of the village in detail:

Location. This peaceful, colourful village is located in the Dragon’s Back region, in the southwest of the continent called Nybelmar. The proximity of the vast river Kimb presents a good connection with the southern parts of the Zhunite plains, specifically the town of Evansos and the much more distant city of Kimbar. In approximately a day of casual riding north, you can reach the traditionally folkloric village of Ktsarmashik and after that the secretive mining station of Katkara. A bit to the northwest of Serekeye, just before you reach the Forefingers of the Earth, you can find the proudly standing capital of Dragon’s Back Region, the Dragon City of Karakan. Return to the top

People. The Zhunite men who inhabit the Dragon’s Back  region, are typical of Northen Zhunites who honour the traditions of their Krean and Krathrian heritage while sometimes adding their own flavours to it; the villagers of Serekeye are no exception. Talkative and optimistic, the people of this village can be described simply as traditional or conservative, but also quite stubborn and determined, which probably comes from working with earth. As the village of Serekeye was made famous for its pottery and terracotta industry it is mainly populated by potters and brick makers, but the village doesn’t rely only on those professions, there are enough people of other trades to keep the village running. The travellers that often come to the Clay Village are also an important ingredient to the colour of the village. They come bargain for the orders for pottery and bricks they get from the rich land owners, primarily in southern Zhun. There are not much adults that want to travel far to the big cities to sell their bricks or vases as they are completely committed to their work, be it pottery brick-baking or any other trade, and they don’t want to leave it even for a day. Return to the top

Coat of Arms/Sign. The dragon is traditionally used in the insignias of this region, and Serekeye honours its connection with the other settlements in the Dragon’s Back by keeping the symbol of the dragon in its arms.

On the banner, which stands in front of the Council House greeting the light breeze, you can find a scarlet dragon on a golden background balancing a gorgeous amphora on his head. The beautifully and carefully arranged; orange and brown pigments on this amphora truly present people and the village of Serekeye. Return to the top

Climate. As in the rest of the northern Zhun, Serekeye’s summers are quite often dry. This gives the clay gatherers in the outskirts of the village a lot of work to do, as they have to constantly wet the earth on their farms to not allow it to dry. The winters bring a lot of rain to Serekeye which, in it's turn, brings new troubles for potters and brick-bakers. Frequent winter floods are possibly the worst enemy of this peaceful village. The water, however, wets the clay and makes it better for shaping. This enables the villagers to make and sell more products, allowing them to repair the damages caused by the flood. Return to the top

Flora. The waist-high Zhunite yellow grass dominates the landscape with olive groves here and there. The tidy little tables are usually found under those olive trees with some old people playing A’charil or any other game and relaxing on warm summer afternoons. Thick bushes cover patches of land here and there, most notably redberry. The most common flowers are daisies which are spread all around Serekeye and are also used in decorating houses and rare gardens. Wheat and other grain crops are usually cultivated to the northeast of the village as there is the most fertile land in this area. Return to the top

Fauna. Butterflies are the most eye-catching part of the fauna in the region around the village of Serekeye. The cloth-makers in the village often catch butterflies of all sorts to make interesting and vivid brooches for southerly ladies, of course after delicate procedures of preparing the creatures for this most unpleasant decoration (as it is considered by bystanders from other areas of Zhunite plains). Other varieties of insects are also found here, like intriguing myrmex, seean beetles and some less interesting insects. These insects, along with the frequent floods have made the cultivation of crops around Serekeye impossible. Return to the top

Resources. The most notable resource the village of Serekeye has is, of course, the clay rich earth from which the villagers earn most of their income. The few cattle the villagers have, provide milk, cream and cheese, most notably the Serekeyean Orange Cheese (Mud Cheese) which is known all around Zhun for its delicacy and tender aftertaste, and meat, while most crops and other useful plants are imported from other towns and villages throughout the Dragon’s Back. Return to the top

Trade. Serekeye has a monopoly of trade in mud bricks and pottery products in the Dragon’s Back region; this has made it a very busy village, possibly one of the busiest settlements in all of Zhun. The bricks are exported in all directions and are often used for building in other settlements, due to the lack of wood in the Zhunite plains, while the village’s imports most often consist food products and draught animals. The brick industry had more significance during the colonisation of Zhun because the Krean government wanted to build new colonies faster than the Evaquis. The discovery of Serekeye’s valuable clay made this possible.

The Serekeye pottery is much more famous in larger cities like Karakan or Kimbar and even Marmarra. The most valuable pottery pieces can be found even in far lands like the Santerran kingdom. One can recognise the worth of vases, decorations and other art made of clay in Serekeye when one sees the collections of these pieces in the courts of famous lords and ladies, even in the United Kingdom of Santharia. The profit rarely goes directly to the village’s treasury, however: traders buy the pottery in Serekeye, transport it to the far away lands and sell it for a much larger price than that they paid to the villagers of Serekye. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. The villagers of Serekeye have a deep hatred and fear of Marmarrans and there is a famous story to that. It is told that not so long ago, a Marmarran noble, a possible member  of one of the four Kogian families, entered the village to order a special shipment of amphorae. When they were all made it is said that they were of a pretty blue colour with an image of a snake on them. Once they were all set in front of the Maramarran noble, he ordered his men to “release the snakes” from his wagon. A dozen lisdra snakes rushed out of the nobleman’s wagon and entered the amphorae which were made for them. The terrified villagers hid in their houses not willing to get out of them for a week. It is still said that the local potters have to take an oath not to fill any orders which come from Marmarrans.

Another story tells about the origin of the name of the village, although the story is probably not true. It is said that in the Zhun tongue, "serek" meant "enemy". So in the translation, the name of the village would mean "Eye of the Enemy". This would only seem to make sense if the Krean gave the village its name. Return to the top

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THE ERA OF MYTHS
(YEARS 4.300 B.S. - 3.170 B.S.)
3476 b.S. The Founding of Serekeye
Being one of the latest founded colonies in Zhun, Serekeye is nothing more than a little guard post where the Evaquis watch over Krean and Krathrian activity in the region.
  

3180 b.S. The Invasioon
The village Serekeye is discovered and considered a threat to the defensive politics of the Krean government during the Krean-Evaquis conflict. The attack that leads to the downfall of Evaquis efforts in Zhun is a success and the village of Serekeye is now under Krean military control. The information that during the battle, one of the
noted generals is hiding in the village and killed in the heat of conflict marks a great loss for the Evaquis in this battle.

THE ERA OF WAR AKA THE AGE OF BELLIGERENT III KRATH
(YEARS 3.170 B.S. - 2.970 B.S.)
3053 b.S. The Discovered Clay
As the military have left the village Serekeye it is no longer supplied by the Twin Kingdom. This leaves the new Krean settlers needing to find a new way of income. During the years they spend in Serekeye, they notice that the earth here acts differently than the one from their homeland. They begin to use their new discovery to aid them in keeping the colony alive.

THE CURRENT AGE
(YEARS 2.970 B.S. - 1.667 A.S.)
2658 b.S. The Poisoning
The underground creek that the villagers found and used for several weeks has become suspicious when half of the village that drinks from that creek gets sick and dies. It is concluded that this creek was somewhat sabotaged and the villagers pursue and execute many men which supposedly had something to do with the poisoning. Hundreds of bounties are placed upon dozens of innocent men and women, they are hunted through all Dragon’s Back and other families, fearing of un-rightful accusations flee the village never to return to the homes forcefully taken from them.

It is only discovered later that the creek had been actually full of clay which acted bad and even lethal for one’s health. The authorities that are to blame for the hunting of honest villagers are replaced and punished, some by hanging and others by less extreme measures.
  

1649 b.S.
to 1600 b.S.
The Breaking
Although all other settlements in Zhun have troubles with the disappearance of the Zhunite woods (which are essential for building), Serekeye simply uses its mud-bricks to build and repair all sorts of things. The first couple of decades after the Cataclysm are the most prosperous time of Serekeye because once the leaders of these other settlements understand the value of bricks in these though times, Serekeye brick-bakers habr thousands of offers coming from each side of the Zhunite plains.

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 Date of last edit 26th Turning Star 1668 a.S.

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