The territories known today as the "Venlaken Enclave" are located in the south-central continent of Nybelmar, on the western side of the Anpagan peninsula. The Kingdom of Anis-Anpagan once colonized them, but now they are the place of residence for the so-called Daedhirian Mages - former humans that have become undead in their quest for immortality. Anis-Anpagan still claims that the Venlaken Enclave is a part of their realm, but the truth is that since the Daedhirians settled in the area, the region became more or less autonomous. And because few people dare to venture there, and also because Daedhirians rarely showed any disposition of leaving these "Cursed Lands", no one really ever questioned this rather strange claim of the Anpagans.

Description. There are three distinct regions in the Venlaken Enclave, arranged on a north-south axis. To the south, the Zylos River delta dominates a lowlands landscape with misty marshes covered by thick vegetation. Gradually this type of landscape makes way to a grassy plain with scattered willow groves, having the fortress of Venlaken in the west and the huge ancient ruins in the east. The northernmost part of the Enclave is mainly a parched wasteland extending far beyond the Daran River into the Nybelmarian region named "The Bucket" by the passing caravan leaders. Because of this wasteland, the northern borders of the Enclave were ever blurry, a serious problem for the caravans traveling to or from Tyr Faerath, as it is well known that many of those that lose their way through "The Bucket" and venture too far south, may never be seen or heard of again.

Location. The Venlaken Enclave is located in south-central Nybelmar, on the western side of the Anpagan peninsula. To the south and west the terrible and unpredictable Zyloth Sea is washing at its shores. To the southeast, the Zylos River stands as the border to Anis-Anpagan and to the east the high Bothon Mountains constitute the natural border to the Empire of Korweyn. The Daran River should mark in principle the northern end of the Enclave, but in reality the Oblivion's Call wastelands and the temporary nature of the river make it an ever-blurry border. Return to the top

People. Besides the Anpagan popular myths about "The Land of the Dead", there are only two sources used for understanding these people: the Anpagan Republican Wars (which led to the creation of the Enclave) and the Dark Plague (the only time when Anpagan troops crossed the Enclave's borders). All the accounts regarding the Enclave are kept in the custody of the High Mages of the Ansaran Island, always being a reason for endless arguments between the Anis-Anpagan's Mage Guild and the Guild of Historians.

There aren't only mages among the Venlaken inhabitants; some noble families and lots of peasantry also took the path of exile in the Enclave. Supposedly they become in time either disciples of Daedhirians either subjects to their experimentations. Also some Anpagan governments preferred to send their unwanted in Venlaken. However, there is one thing that each of the Anpagans knows for sure: there is no return path once the Enclave's border is passed.

With the discovery of the Daedhirian scrolls, the Ansaran Mages' interest for the Enclave was revived and thus many tried again to explain their way of life. By studying these theories we were able to draw a short classification of the various types of Daedhirians:

The insignia of Asbavaer

View picture in full size Description. The insignia of Lord Asbavaer. Picture drawn for the game Mystical Empire by Faugar, used with friendly permission.

Coat of Arms/Sign. There is no coat of arms common for the entire Enclave. If the Daedhirians are using any, most probable they vary greatly with each Lord. As for one example, the minions of Asbavaer were seen during the Dark Plague, carrying insignia representing a white winged figure, of a vaguely human shape, on a black or dark gray background. Some scholars claimed that the respective insignia was actually a representation of a dream tempter but, given the special nature of the dream tempters, that can only be a speculation. Return to the top

Climate. A hot and wet climate reigns in the southern parts of the Enclave, while the northern parts are hot and dry. The Sea of Mirrors lies in between these two extremes. Return to the top

Mythology. The region, which is now known as the Venlaken Enclave, was not always like this. From the gigantic stone ruins present there we can conclude that once a majestic realm existed there. Also, before the Daedhirians, the Anpagans have colonized it, the city of Venlaken itself being actually founded by them. The Daedhirian mages emerged only a few decades before the Year of Darkness as a heretical movement within the Anpagan Mage Guild. They were claiming that they were actually only following the principles and truths taken from the last writing of Armand DaRan (considered to be the greatest Anpagan magician of all times), called "Daedhir, the Book of All Fears - the teachings of a wise shadow to the mage Armand DaRan". This writing supposedly resulted from a magical inspiration that Armand had while he was exiled in the east. Some interpreters went even that far as to pretend that the respective "wise shadow" shows a connection with the Murmillions' bizarre Arkhaeon Guild, yet there is little need to say that such an interpretation is not at all popular in any Anpagan scholarly environment. In fact the official position of the Mage Guild up to this day is that "Daedhir" is just an apocryphal writing. The truth is that "Daedhir" was somehow lost during the Republican Wars and only several fragments were found so far, not enough to support any of these theories. And again, regardless of the scholarly disputes, the Daedhirians are continuing to practice their foul magic in the Enclave, while the place itself seems to have changed beyond any recognition since they settled there. Return to the top

Flora. The willow trees are the mark of Enclave, as their presence seems to be ubiquitous. Apart from them various other tropical species abound mostly in the southern parts. An interesting mention though would be the bone trees that, despite their plant-like appearance, are actually an apparition. These bone trees seem to be encountered mostly in the northern parts of the Sea of Mirrors and in the southern parts of Oblivion's Call. Return to the top

Fauna. Corbies, vultures, wolves, jackals, and feral dogs, generally any animal that has no problems scavenging abound in the Enclave. An interesting mention would be the black unicorn living in the southern marshes - a beast or an apparition; the scholars never reached an agreement on this issue. Apart from the usual beasts, the Enclave is known to be haunted by perhaps the most variated line of apparitions in all Caelereth. The Daedhirians are calling them by the term "Lost Ones", as not even they seem to know which one is a direct result of their foul magic and which is just an abnormality. Return to the top

Resources. It is not known what the Daedhirians use or need and the Enclave never trades anything. Presumably iron ore and granite deposits can be found in the Bothon Mountains at the eastern border of the Enclave. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. To a certain extent everything is a myth about the Enclave. After the Year of Darkness the Anpagan commoners started to call this region "The Cursed Lands" or "The Land of the Dead". The Daedhirian presence there was interpreted as a sign that the Enclave is actually the border to a world beyond, where the souls of the dead are going to rest - a Netherworld. This kind of view was later adopted even by some of the scholars who were claiming that they know exactly where such a connection may exist in the Enclave. The increasing success of the Anpagans' Mage Guild atheistic views however have caused this view to slowly fade away even from the minds of the common people. Even if there is such a world apparently not part of our own, they say, it surely cannot be a place where the souls of the dead are going to rest. This Netherworld, if real, should be a part of nature just like our own world is, as we perceive it. Then the fact that the Daedhirian magics are possible to such an extent in the Enclave could be explained as a natural anomaly that occurs where such different and maybe overlapping worlds seem to meet. Yet these are regarded only as simple speculations and not once the scholars dealing with these theories became the laughing stock of the Guild.

Beyond these disputes however, there is a fact that seems to be standing out as a truth: the Daedhirians are certainly showing an intimate connection with the place in which they settled, since none of them ever showed the slightest desire to move somewhere else. But then again, this apparent connection says nothing about a possible magical concurrence that would keep them there even against their will. More than that, seemingly just to infirm all these, we are dealing recently with an increasing number of stories told by the sailors of the Zyloth Sea, about ghost ships sailing far out of the Repose Bay to prey on the passing Anpagan trade galleys. Obviously, the Mage Guild is still trying to minimize the impact of such stories and dismiss them as products of an inflamed imagination. The truth, as always seems to be veiled in every piece of knowledge about the Enclave, yet we have to admit that it is still tempting the imagination of Anpagans and any other humans that come into contact with them. Return to the top

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