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The land of Temir is a lush river valley on the northern edge of the Lankaeran Sea, a part of the Madjan Krugtoje. Once the site of immense kingdoms which stretched beyond the mountains that frame the valley, and home to beautiful cathedrals and cities whose spires rose hopeful into the night sky, it has long been reclaimed by the forest, spires crumbled and kingdoms buried. At its heart stands the last city of the Madjan, called Tachros by outsiders, an ancient word which has long since lost its meaning, and called Jadoch, meaning sundered city, by those who dwell in Scything Crag. It is best known to its inhabitants as Chakja, from the Suraj words for First City. Long ago it was the centre of that great empire, a city which has stood for as long as anyone can remember, a hub of trade on the sea and a haven for travelers from all points on the compass.
But the last few years have not been kind. Just under a year ago the forces of Tachros succeeded in driving back the armies of Scything Crag, an ancient fortress of dwarves and giants to the west, but at a high cost. The war left the border forts in the west weakened, and the towns there vulnerable. The city itself was devastated by the war, though the forces of the Four Lords never actually besieged it. The political turmoil created by the conflict allowed the isolationist Delran faction to seize control of the senate and seal the gates. No one has heard from the city in months, and what has gone on within remains a mystery. Several border lords in the eastern reaches have declared independence from Tachros, a few even allying themselves with the tribes of the 5 lakes, whose lands lie to the east near the city-state of Morghab.
Temir has many organizations and syndicates, some old, and some new, all with histories, rivalries, and their own agendas.
- The Taer’sulei, rangers of the frontier, do their best to keep the peace between border lords, but they are stretched thin, still trying to guard the trade routes from wild beasts and Scything Crag stragglers.
- The Camonna Tong, are an organization of somewhat criminal entrepreneurs. They have taken advantage of the war to strengthen their foothold in Temir, expanding outward from the Samarese City-States in the east and bringing extortion rackets and the slave trade with them.
- The Tanril Agezar (Madjan for Empty Hand) are the traditional criminals of Tachros, and thus Temir. Thieves and assassins, they conduct themselves according to complex codes of practice. For the past fifty years they have been involved in a shadow war with the Camonna Tong, who seek to usurp their criminal dominance.
- The Rilador are orcish pirates who sail the Lankaeran sea and take special delight in raiding and pillaging Nirmalan traders. It is said that there are more than a few orcish merchantmen who keep the red sail of a Rilador tucked away in their hold, just in case business gets slow.
- The Aecha Ostai, called the Wizards on the Coast by those who fear to speak their name, are based in the town of Isard on the western edge of the Lankaeran sea. An ancient organizations of mages, their tower near Tachros was seiged and destroyed during the third war with Scything Crag, almost two hundred years ago. They are an order of magical scholars and seekers of truth, though some formidable warrior mages have emerged from their ranks when needed.
- The Therengrad Spellbinders’ Ring is located in the farming town of Therengrad, founded forty years ago by mercenary mages from Morghab, who ventured to Temir seeking treasure and glory. Their forces diminished after the war, they are currently hiring out as mercenaries once again, as well as recruiting heavily to recoup their losses.
- The Saoshyar, Archpriest of the Temple of the Ivory Throne holds court in the town of Satu Mare now, and has since the sundering. The Cathedral of the Seven Spires in Tachros is said to have collapsed during the sundering, a sign that they must move elsewhere. Many border towns in the east follow the teachings of the gods of the Ivory Throne, and rumour has it that the Saoshyar seeks a sign that it is time to return to Tachros.
Several locations of note have come up, and deserve their own space.
- Scything Crag, the sometime antagonist of Tachros, is an ancient fortress in the mountains to the northwest of the sea, surrounded by dangerous territory. It is ruled by the Four Lords, leaders of the races most in ascendence at the time, and home to many more races besides that. Illithid, dwarves, giants, some goblin tribes, gnolls, ogres, bugbears, ushemoi, and deep Imaskari are known to dwell there, enjoying shelter from the wilds without, but always wary of the beasts within.
- The 5 Lakes Tribes are three tribes of plainswalkers who dwell in the southeast, chiefly human, centaur, and minotaur, though the humans maintain most of the villages, slowly giving up their nomadic ways in the face of foreign trade.
- Isard, Therengrad, Satu Mare, Malkara and Volos are the Cities by the Sea, city-states that look to Tachros for protection. All but Therengrad are coastal towns, their outlying villages still recovering from the war.
- The border forts lie further out, barely within the purview of Tachros at the best of times. Each of them was founded privately, and is ruled in much the same way. Some of them are like small towns, and though better defended, they are the first lost to the beasts and raiders of the wilds.
Races of Temir:
There are too many races living in cosmopolitan Temir to list them all, but here is the perspective of some.
- Dwarves: Forgemasters of Scything Crag, the dwarves craft deadly blades…For a price. Feared as merchants of death, the dwarves have proven themselves formidable warriors, securing a position in the Four Lords from the Gnolls.
- Elves: Blood and honour are the marks of the elves, now the Ashkel, cast out of Scything Crag in shame after Jha’dur’s defeat. Mistrusted by all, sometimes traders and sometimes raiders, they wear their stories on their skin.
- Gnomes: Two factions of gnomes exist here, the Suraj from Maharashtra who trade, gather stories, and travel the world, and the more local Whisper Gnomes, few of whom hold with the beliefs of the Suraj, and many of whom are involved with the Tanril Agezar.
- Halflings: The Shoal Halflings dwell in the town of Malkara, strong allies of Tachros since their war with the now banished Kuo-Toa. Primarily traders and merchants, they are best known for their underwater caravans which move in greater safety through the rivers of Temir.
- Goblins: There are many tribes of goblins in the area, some of whom serve as scouts and trackers for Scything Crag, as the pressures of the southward moving ogre tribes have driven them from their hunting grounds. Other tribes have become mercenaries, employing themselves in the same capacities at various border enclaves.
- Kobolds: The miners and builders of Tachros, they dwell in its depths, an underclass and a working class. They form the basis of the Astore faction, who support integration with the Samarese City-States, and the protection that would bring them from Scything Crag and the wilds.
- Minotaurs: Sailors and pirates, the Nirmala have long sailed the Lankaeran Sea. They trade with the coastal towns, and are present in the warlike faction of Tachros, as well as having a longstanding relationship with their colony in the 5 lakes.
- Orcs: Pirates, fishermen, and pistoliers, the orcs dwell in Volos, far from Tachros. The orcs of Volos are renowned warriors, and their valiant defense of their town during the last war is the subject of many songs. Their siblings in Tachros form much of the Kinalae, advocating the destruction of Scything Crag.
- Half-giants: Linked to the Kalashtari and Scything Crag, they see themselves as the spiritual inheritors of Temir, and their Hitasu faction wishes to make peace with Scything Crag.They revere the old dream gods of the Kalashtari, dreaming of the ascent of Tachros once again.
- Kalashtari: Founders of Tachros, the Kalashtari are a broken race. Once there were millions of them living in comfort, but the mindplague whittled them down to barely a hundred, and many of those have emigrated to the Kalashtari lands in Nafaanra, far to the West. The dream of Tachros is over for the Kalashtari, but a few still remain, seeing it through to the bitter end.
- Deep Imaskari: The Deep Imaskari came east from Nafaanra a few centuries ago, quickly establishing their magical dominance in Scything Crag, and securing a position among the Four Lords from the sorcerers of the Ushemoi. No one knows why they came, but they seem to be here to stay.
- Goliaths: Oldest of the races of Tachros, the Goliath are ancient allies of the Kalashtari, slow to move, but hard to stop. Distant kin to the stone giants of Scything Crag, what few goliaths there are speak for the isolationist Delran faction. The world will attend to itself, after all.
- Humans: Humans are everywhere, as they breed like rabbits. Commonly found in the Tachros Navy, the humans maintain the Tachros Marines and hold a strong voice in the senate. Many of the towns on the frontier are also founded and run by humans, their expansionist zeal driving them to try and reclaim the ancient kingdoms to the north.
In this land of ancient ruins, feuds, mysteries, and opportunities, there’s plenty of room for an ambitious adventurer like yourself.