Jernais is a city located on the Heath of Jernais between the Thaelon Forest and the Twinnean Peaks, in the Santharian province of Vardýnn. Though initially located on territory belonging to the former Erpheronian tribe, Jernais is now home to a connected community of mostly Caltharians, who maintain a happy and comfortable life in the city. The population of the city at the moment lies somewhere between 8.000 and 10.000 residents. With a laid back but caring government and a equality for all members, everyone enjoys a comfortable standard of living. The city is always full of activity and things to see, and is as colourful as the people who live there.

The Heath of Jernais

View picture in full size Image description. View from Jernais on the surrounding heath and a bunch of xazure herons, typical for the region. You can also spot the Hèckra volcano to the south and the High Fores to the east. Picture drawn by Bard Judith.

Description. The City of Jernais is perhaps one of the brightest in Caelereth, quite literally. This small town in the midst of the Heath of Jernais is filled with brilliant colours and contented people. The insides of the city are fairly close together, grouped closely like a bunch of gossiping girls. There is a clear difference where the end of the city ends, as the outside of the city is surrounded by farms where wheat and corn is grown, along with farmed forests to supply the city with the wood it needs.

The general atmosphere of the city is a fairly lively one, perhaps influenced by the bright colours. Many traders and travelers will make it a point to stop by to enjoy the hospitality and good nature of the members of the city, though most admit that the beer isn’t the best, unless it’s imported from the Helmond Shire in the Silvermarshes. Much of the food is fresh, though, and the people are genial and amicable.

Despite (or perhaps because of) so many of the people being woodcutters, the town is filled with beautiful trees that are allowed to grow freely on the street corners. Some of the street signs are, in fact, built into trees still living in the city. Though birch trees are scattered throughout the town, trees like red oak and maple are some of the favorites, perhaps because of the colour of their leaves in the autumn.

Crime is virtually non-existent in the town. Very few households have anything of monetary value, like gold or precious gems and jewelry, so there isn’t really a lot worth stealing. The classes in this town are difficult to distinguish because of the similar economic position of most of the members. Taxes ensure that no citizen of the town gets too rich or too poor. In times of surplus, the taxes are saved. When needed, that money is given back to the people to stimulate production again.

The City of Jernais can be devided into the following Districts:

Location. The City of Jernais is located to the east in the Heath of Jernais, about half a dash from the River Vandrina, running North of it and separating it from the Thaelon Forest, where some of its wood supplies come from. The City also lives relatively close to Ephirn’s Lake, from where some of the city’s fish is imported. The location of the city makes it a wonderful stop for traders on their way to Milkengrad and the Aurora Plains from Carmalad, so people continually move through the city. Return to the top

People. Jernais is a very interesting place, in terms that the town and so the people living in this city have changed quite a bit over the millenia. In the Sarvonian Wars Jernais served as a military base for the Erpheronians, which later on got abandoned and once Erpheronia and Caltharia were united in the Tharian Kingdom, more and more Caltharians moved into this former border town of the northern realm to start a new life. Ironically, the life people established there is almost contradictory to the militaristic orientation of the ancient Erpheronians, so that the saying about a "Bardavos of the North" is not that far-fetched, as Jernais represents a constant pool of regeneration and joy for inhabitants and visitors alike, a rarely found oasis of peace.

The permanent residence of the city today is almost uniformly Caltharian, and thus, the inhabitance have a very light complexion, that which not even Foiros’s rays can darken, and light hair, often light brown or, at the darkest, light brown. Their light eyes seems always to glisten with something bright and mirthful. The residents of Jernais, like the others of their tribe, typically decorate themselves with bandanas, often of all different colors and combinations, sometimes even stitching them together to make unique pieces of clothing. Their standard of living is a bit higher than most Caltharians, and they are not restrained to the rags that many Caltharians have to wear. Their flourishing economy has led to a great amount of wealth coming into the city. The clothes they wear are still humble, but are not so poor to be called "rags."

Though many of the Caltharians here have their hair in the traditional deadlock style, some have taken to wearing their hair neat, sometimes combed, and the current style of braids grows every more popular among the inhabitance, while men are slowly beginning to cut their hair so that it doesn’t get in the way of their work.

Dying and woodworking in the main vocation of most Caltharians in the city. Tree farms and wood imports supply the town with the wood it needs to create all sort of artwork out of the material. Fabric, as well, is often imported, especially from large cities and the Aellenrhim, though sometimes the Caltharians will import string for a cheaper price and do the sewing themselves. Though these are the main occupations, there are many others as well, including inn and bar-workers and waiters and waitresses.

The Caltharians in the town of Jernais are known for being very amicable. They will greet even strangers with a smile, and will be happy to help out those who need it - especially if you're an artist or a dancer. Black Butterfly Rovers are always welcomed into the city, despite their reputation for being robbers and thieves. It is this kind of attitude, this friendly mood, that has allowed the Caltharian people to live in such peace. No one feels contempt against any of his neighbours; they teach and learn from one another, no matter age or status. Everyone is in about the same class, and distinctions are thin. Because of the equality established by the mayor of the city, all people respect each other, not on wealth, but instead of skill and personality. Those held in the most reverence tend to be the ones who often help give back to the community. Thier attitudes have produced such sayings as "As happy as a Jernaisite!" (meaning: care-free, happy-go-lucky) and "...not a Jernaisite's worry..." (meaning: not a chance, very slim).

The size of the city, which contains between 8.000 and 10.000 residents, makes large celebrations rather difficult, but large events like weddings and births tend to excite at least a section of the huge town. At such events, many of the people bring died cloth or clothing for the newborn infant, or families will band together to buy pieces of furniture for a new couple. And in times of sorrow, perhaps when a house burns down, the community will help to rebuild it. It is a very nurturing society. Return to the top

Coat of Arms/Sign. The Coat of Arms for the city is derived from the true coat of arms, which shows a rounded shield in the soft colours of blue, teal, and white. While the background is virtually identical, the sword is instead a woodcutter’s knife with a wooden handle wrapped partially in a piece of died cloth, showing the skills of the town.

Since the city is rarely at war, though, and thus does not need to show any proud banners while charging into battle, the good nature of the Caltharians and the humor some wandering artists experience at the Caltharian’s way of life has lead to sillier variations, including the wood-cutters knife being replaced by a flower with different colors for each petal. Others show two pieces of cloth and a curved knife, making a happy-face. The favorite variation by far is the coat of arms exactly as it is, but instead of a knife, a purple sock, after the famous street. Return to the top

Climate. Jernais, being rather inland, is prone to slight extremes in weather. The spring is fairly comfortable, being rather warm and being generally time of enjoyment and laughter, during which most inhabitants will enjoy the new life beginning to sprout. It is during this time that flowers begin blooming and fruits and such can be seen on the trees around town. Many of the villagers living just outside of Jernais will plant tnew trees and crops to grow within the coming warm months.

Summers are rather hot, though not humid. The air tends to be very dry, and thus the water is re-routed through canals and aqueducts from the River Vandrina to the city to help keep the residence hydrated during these months. Many will find shade and comfort inside their houses. The wooden build of the house helps keep the housing relatively mild during these hot months. Children will sometimes cool off by playing in the fountain of Baveras, along with even some adults, while others may cool down in the temples made of stone.

When autumn comes, a chill runs through the streets and nips at the cheeks and noses of passersby. The town is perhaps at its most stunning during this season. Just like the colourful houses and clothing of the people living here, the trees growing in the city put on a flashy shawl of seasonal wears. Brilliant leaves colour the town in striking scarlets and bright gold that, as might be assumed, the Caltharians adore. The chill itself prompts the wearing of more dyed clothes, and colourful scarves are warm to further brighten the streets.

Winters shed snow on the cobblestone streets and on the roves of the houses, covering much of the colours in white. By this time, the brilliant colour of the trees has turned to bare branches lined with fallen snow. The winters can indeed be rather cold, and most Caltharians stay inside to avoid the freeze. It has, however, become tradition for, when the winter comes, to decorate the streets with pieces of dyed cloth to help bring colour to a rather bleak season. Return to the top

Flora. Caltharians love them, and they do not hesitate to decorate their city with them: Birches grow quite content on street corners and between houses, on the streets. The slender figure of the birch allows it to grow in rather small places, which tends to be helpful for a city. Their small leaves fall gently on the rooftops and streets, and on the cobblestone roads that pave the larger streets in Jernais. Though many of the birch trees are associated with strange myths about ghostly elven queens or deaths of strange women that call men into their midst, the Caltharians view the trees as happy creatures. The sound of the wind running through the leaves of the birch, the Jernais residents say, sounds like laughter, and thus surely the birch must be a happy spirit.

Birches are not the only trees grown here, though. Maples are one of the most popular, especially in the northwestern part of town, where the syrup they release can be gathered up and used in the various taverns there. The maple is also a lovely tree in the autumn, when the leaves turn gold and red. At times, though, springs with this plant can be difficult, when pollen covers the tree in haze.

Oaks, especially red oaks, are certainly one of the most popular, and can be found throughout the city at almost every major corner. The branches sometimes display the name of the streets, carved into their bark. Children will sometimes watch the travelers go by and can be found laughing and smiling in their strange branches that reach out over the city. Sometimes the oaks on either side of a street have grown so large as to actually entangle one another, creating a natural arch, as is the case at the entrance into the city from the west.

The Meldarapple is one of the more endearing trees in the city. Their large leaves in relation to their short figures, coupled with their sweetly sour fruit makes them a very loved tree. Many like to grow them close to their house. It is even customary to plant a meldarapple tree around the house after a new couple moves into a place, or when a new baby is born. Meldarapple trees are also found growing all around the temple to Jeyriall, and even around the modest shelters for the homeless, along with many birches, oaks, and maples. Their sweet fruit is often harvested and made into a plethora of dishes.

Other plants, which aren’t trees, such as lyth’berries, dalferias, and fáberiges also grow here, commonly in small gardens kept outside the house or in small gardens just outside the window. Return to the top

Fauna. The city of Jernais, being a city, doesn’t have a lot of animals. The trees, however, do help attract a bit of animal life to the city. Kuatus will happily make homes from the various oaks that grow around town, eating the acorns when they hang from the branches. They dash through the streets, and have gotten rather familiar with much of the population, that will, once in a while, give them scraps of food to eat.

Aelirels find the city delightful, especially around the temples where it’s relatively quiet and where there are many trees in which to make their nests. They are certainly active in the spring and in summer, and it is believed that the laughter of children playing in Baveras’s fountain attracts them to the city. They usually make their nests in the trees around the temples and around town, though many have even made nests on top of buildings.

No house is complete without the local pest! Small mice nibble on the leftovers of the household, and, unfortunately, wander through the cabinets and pantries to raid the food supplies, chewing through the containers and sometimes spoiling food. They are also famous for chewing holes in the walls, and it is rare to find a house that does not have at least two mouse holes in the wooden walls.

If the pest problem gets too bad, though, there is always the option of getting a cat. Cats are fairly popular pets, and both stray and domestic ones live in the city. Though usually these cats tend to be barn cats, most here aren’t completely pure, and have a bit of Brendolian or Avenor blood in them. Because of this, the eye and coat colour is subject to change. Most households have a cat or two, and many taverns will keep them, too, though they tend to keep them in places where the guests won’t see them as they prowl for mice. Return to the top

Government. A mayor, who takes orders from the local Duke, runs the city of Jernais. The mayor is typically voted in, stays there for about 8 years, and then a new mayor is voted in, unlike many other places in Santharia, especially in Erpheronian territory, where the ruler is decided by bloodline. There are customary taxes, which never run too high, but are required to pay for various institutions, like the local orphanages and healing houses. Taxes also go into helping to pay for keeping the city clean and safe. Street-cleaners help to move out horse-manure and trash from the streets, while friendly guards patrol the sidewalk, making sure all the citizens are safe.

The government is, for the most part, out of the picture, and there is more freedom in trade and production. No regulation is really required to keep things running smoothly, to keep business going and the people happy. The mayor, along with his advisors, lets the market forces find their equilibrium, and trust in he generosity of the people. Whenever a surplus is taken in through taxes, it is saved to help out when economic activity is low. In this way, the city of Jernais manages to maintain a pretty balanced life style. Return to the top

Resources. Most of the resources of the town are imported from other areas for production. Most of the wood for carving comes from tree farms grown around the city. In such farms, oaks, birches, maples, and many other kinds of trees stretch out for dashes before they slowly fade into the Heath of Jernais. There are many tree farms farther around in the heath, though these, singularly, do not produce as much wood as the tree farms around the city. Sometimes woods are also brought in from the lower south, from places like the Goltherlon Forest.

Most of the fabric also has to be imported, but imports are high, as the people here die clothing for many other people all around Santharia. Just across the Vandrina River, however, lies the Thaelon Forest, where a huge concentration of silkel trees grows. The Caltharians by no means cut down these trees, but will harvest the bark that peels from the trunk.

The peeling of the trunk is something of a ritual in itself. Hundreds of men and women will sail across the Vandrina and participate in the harvest, working in a soft, almost enchanted silence to pull off the slender strings. It is a time to reflect on the beauty of nature, and to look inside to one’s self. It is a spiritual time; some believe a time of growth and a time of thanks to nature and nature’s children.

The silkel tree is believed to be the result of unicorns wishing to be turned into trees so that they could give back to the people in their bark and leaves and nuts. The tree symbolizes the sacrifices people and animals offer to make the people of the world happy. The silk harvesting also tends to be something of a rite of passage. When a Caltharian is old enough, typically 15 or 16, they are allowed to visit the forest and help harvest. Those who are new to the forest often don’t harvest as much silk as the veterans, as then are so enchanted by the beauty of the forest. Return to the top

Trade/Production. Jernais depends completely of trade to sustain itself.

gfx gfx
(YEARS 1.655 B.S. - 822 B.S.)
1650 b.S. The Dragonstorm hits Jernais
After the death of the Adamant Dragon Seargon by the hands of Wergerim, hundreds of dragons led by Ol'dem'brey arise from the Tandala Highlands and descend upon the region, burning everything in their wake. The City of Jernais, though still a modest town at this time, is burned to the ground. Hundreds of innocent villagers die in the fiery onslaught.

1649 b.S. The Vardýnnian Atonement
After prayers to the gods for relief from the attack of the dragons, it is believed that Foiros causes the Injèrá to descend below the horizon and not rise again for one entire year.

During this time, the people of the city of Jernais, with their town still in shambles, leave their fallen city to find sanctuary somewhere else. Many travel to Voldar, leaving all their belongings behind. In the years following the Atonement, some would return to Jernais, but the population of the city would not recover from the Dragonstorm and Atonement for many years.

(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
806 b.S. The Beginning fo the First Sarvonian War
After the assassination of Gorm and the seizing of power by the former Caltharian leader, Viginold Deresvungen, war forms between the two dominant races of Sarvonia: The elves and the humans. It is during this time that many human tribes join together to fight against the elves, with thoughts of domination of all of Caelereth. The Erpheronians and Caltharians join together with other tribes.

Because of Jernais's close proximity to both provinces, it is chosen as a military base where generals of both armies can discuss battle tactics. Fortifications are put up around the base to keep it save from any attacking elves. The city, however, is never attacked.

800 b.S. The Curse of Fire
In the dying breath of the elven Ac'rónn Tacunija, he cursed the humans with a curse of fire. His curse is to come to pass in the form of Héckra erupting. Though the smoke and ash did not reach Jernais, save a little on the breeze, the tremors the eruption causes leads to the crumbling of many houses and parts of the fortifications surrounding the city. The city is abandoned by military leaders, and the fortifications are never fized. In time, they crumble away.

481 b.S. The Founding of Tharania
Jernais, a city ruined by war and plague, is strengthened by the founding of the United Kingdom of Tharania. With new faith in the human union, the city begins to gather new populations, especially the Caltharians who travel northward to find homes closer to the Thaelon, where the renowned silkel tree grows. The fortifications of war are happily torn down and destroyed, and houses made of wood are slowly erected. The city begins to grow.

292 b.S. The Destruction of Jernais
On the approach of orcish forces towards Carmalad, the city of Jernais is raided, ransacked, and set to flame. Thousands flee towards the south. Of those that remain, fewer than two hundred survive. Little more than ashes remain. The city is almost entirely abandoned, and those that stay must hide from the various orcish and dark elven armies that travel down from the south.

203 b.S. The End of the Third Sarvonian War
The conclusion of the war sends a few journeying back to Jernais, but the city is still in shambles. Most of the buildings are still burnt, and debris covers the streets. Some lose hope on the city and travel to neighbouring towns and cities.

(YEARS 50 B.S. - 172 A.S.)
0 Jernais thrives again
The Kindgom of Santharia is formed under the reign of Santhros. The people sense a new age beginning, and more and more Caltharians, hoping to find a better life by helping to harvest the threads of the silkel tree, that which grows plentifully in the Thaelon Forest, journey to Jernais. Despite it being a province ruled mainly by Erpheronians, the Caltharians make a place for themselves in the town and surrounding countryside. The people are brought together by a courageous will to restore the city, eventually turning the city into what it is today.


Information provided by Rayne Avalotus View Profile