Hey everyone, Derek Hampton here.
It has been an exciting few months writing the Weekly Lore segments as the character of Douglas Stoutforge. Unfortunately, all things must come to an end. Between completing my masters and writing Book 2, my time is best spent in other areas. For those still reading the weekly lore segments, I'm happy to answer any questions on twitter, reddit, and even email!
Season 2 will return with the release of Book 2.
Thank you, and I hope to see you all then!
To the west of Nylevran lies the Buervan Highlands. A land consumed by war, there is little to be gained from claiming territory in the barren plains. Various warlords seem to constantly be at one another’s throats, despite the lack of plentiful resources, and has been the norm there for the last half a century.
In a past life, the Nienilef held a vast domain there. The land has been in a constant state of decay following their disappearance. Reports that do come in, say crops and various goods can be raised, though the arid ground seem to grow more and more resilient. This is only compounded by the lack of rainfall in the area.
Five contenders currently stand. Horas Graubenon, Thogar Bransson, Aurelon Saresyl, Aldrich Morterrar, and Ravious. Each about as royal as a mule down by the stable, they fight for total domain over the Buervan Highlands. Horas carries the unofficial support of the High Court. His desire to trade and keep an open dialogue makes him an ideal contender.
Talk of Ravious’ power, however, is… Concerning. Even Maar Baruch, leader of the Whispering Shadow, has spent a great deal of time in the Highlands. Whether to steer the political climate in favor of Nylevran, or dismantle the warlords' regimes, he must have a good reason for seeing to matters in such a place.
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I feel I’ve been all business in my writings. In hindsight, this might paint the wrong idea about culture on Cyrdoma. While taking care of issues is at the forefront of our society, especially in Nylevran, leisure is quite important. Art, reading, and the like is greatly valued in downtime. It helps ease the mind.
While entertainment comes in many forms, music is one of the most celebrated. Bards, especially, can be found in taverns throughout the land. These actors/musicians put on lively musical performances for eager crowds. While some tell jokes, others strictly play music. Some can provide more serious melodies.
They typically use instruments that are easy to carry; lutes, a wooden frame with a neck and strings, are chief among them. Drums, flutes, and harps are also spotted often. Rarely, one can come across a Bard playing a Steelboard. These are flat wooden boxes, with several wooden pegs along the top, with metal work inside. Each peg produces a different sound. Pressing them in the correct combination can create beautiful music.
For a drop of unneeded information, my favorite song is called Surely You Jest by the famed Bard Jajern. He comes to Nylevran every few months and I make it a point to see his shows. Good Gods can the young man sing, even if some of his music is a bit silly. While work is your livelihood, never forget to rest and relax.
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A little over four thousand years ago, a man named Barus Simynn achieved great political power in Nylevran. After so long, people had grown disillusioned by the Elves ruling over them. It was exactly this that led to his popularity among the people. The political responsibility that befell them was due to the High Elves, afterall.
Barus, having come from humble roots, had a harsh view of the world. This did not dissipate, even after his rise in the Court. Soon, his ideals and warped sense of relations spread like the plague. People of every stripe began to hate the Elves and the busy, but relatively well off, position they had put the Humans in.
The ever watchful eye of their overlords had somehow skipped over Barus and his rise. On one fateful night, he and his followers made the boldest move imaginable. Barus Simynn proclaimed himself the Emperor of Nylevran. Before long, Elven politicians and ambassadors had been killed or taken into custody. Many citizens grew nervous, but those believing in his message cheered his name and new seat of command.
When the letter of this declaration arrived before King Soran’Vythellas, he was shocked more than anything else. It was with great hesitation that he deployed his army to Nylevran. To the surprise of his people, Barus fought. He clashed head on with the royal army of San’Aormet. Being a politician, and not a commander or warrior, he was brutally defeated.
King Soran’Vythellas took to the High Court. Many assumed he was there to have the leaders answer for the false Emperor. Meeting with the court, in a legendary decision, the High Elven King granted the Humans complete freedom. Any responsibility the Elves had thrust upon them, they were liberated of. Records of the time recall it being a somber occasion.
Few things changed. Nylevran had made its living off of politics, and continues today. The good will from the King led to better future relations between the two races. With a strong symbiotic relationship developed over the years, Barus’ foolhardy rise led to prosperity and newfound mutual respect.
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Commerce and trade is at the forefront of Cyrdoma’s life as a society. Trading goods and services helps keep economic stability. This is made easier by having a base system of tender with a set value. Currency comes in many forms throughout the country.
After the War of the Lines, the collective of races established a form of monetary value in the Imperial Mark. To this day, the same system is used. Marks are a gold piece, which all value derives from, in the shape of a small wheel printed with a crown on the face and a laurel on the back. Gol’Anais, Khalggorn, Nylevran, and San’Aormet all use them as their primary form of currency.
Delrin uses a similar coin, though it carries much less pizzaz. Their currency is simply referred to as Gold. These are also printed on wheels, with the depiction of Sorianeth on the face and a mountain on the back. Their value is relatively high when compared to the Imperial Mark.
Yvoria prints an odd coin called the Plains Penny. It is a squared bronze coin with a punched hole through the middle. Considering the country’s immense emphasis on trade, it comes as little surprise that they find melting gold into currency a waste. The Plains Penny is only slightly behind Delrin’s Gold coins in value.
Ogaitnas, Pirfwandis, and Tinechi use unmarked gold circles as their currency. With their lack of involvement in the High Court, Ogaitnas and Tinechi are condemned to their own devices with trading. Pirfwandis, however, has some delegates from its more notable cities. Despite this, as they cannot collect into one unified nation, they cannot be granted access to Imperial Marks.
Despite the many currencies, Cyrdoma operates quite well. The economic disparities between classes, however, are present. In areas like eastern Nylevran and the Buervan Highlands, poverty is rampant. While a world full of wealth is ideal, even in the far future, it will never be realistic.
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King Jargos Vulkan has been the ruling monarch of Delrin for the last twenty nine years. In this time he has many great feats under his belt and proven to be a benevolent and kind leader. Delrish Kings have a specific order called the Crown Vigil, a handful of loyal guardians that see to the country’s stability.
As we discussed previously, Eric Frankell is the leader of this brave collective. Having been lifelong friends with the King certainly helped him attain this impressive rank, though the man’s hulking figure helped secure it. He is regarded as a master of all weapons, carrying an arsenal with him at nearly all time. Some speak of a technique in which he dual-wields a maul and a greataxe.
Regarded as Eric’s second-in-command was Fivthen Arrliac. He had nearly served as long as his superior, falling short by just a handful of years. Fivthen is regarded as a crude man who is easy to get along with. This, however, does not eclipse his ferocity in combat. He wields a black greatsword and uses chains of Dark Magic to pierce or subdue his enemies.
Next is Amadeiya Turner, a fierce woman from Nylevran, who journeyed to Delrin on a personal quest. It was on this quest to restore an inert magical weapon that she met Jargos. With his help she succeeded in restoring her ancient family blade. Over the years, she married and made the snowy country her home. She now guards the King with her life, using her family’s precious blade, Zephyr, and impressive Air Magic..
Ardremmalech was initially made as Jargos’ ward, sent by the Ogre King Huruk. The young Ogre found much comfort in the Delrish King and learned Water Magic from him. Thankful for such a warm upbringing, Ardremmalech swore to defend Jargos with his life. Most notable is an intricate hammer he carries with him at all times. A glass orbs resides between the faces of the weapon. I’m curious as to how the thing hasn’t shattered into a million pieces by now.
Finally, there is Kylar Stenvarg. Nephew of the famed Wolflord Darien Stenvarg, Lord of the industrial Delrish city of Hokkal, the young Vigil member had large shoes to fill. Traveling to Nylevran in his youth, he learned Fire Magic under Michael Hadiel. Today, he is regarded as one of the most creative users of the element, developing a combat technique that involves giving flames a physical form.
Though there are only four members and one leader, the Crown Vigil’s small number helps ensure coordination on the battlefield. Their methods have defended Delrish Kings for several centuries, giving them quite the reputation. They are certainly not an organization to be trifled with. Their combined force is among the most powerful collectives on all of Cyrdoma, if not Vinadorin.
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Frankell is a name associated with craftsmanship and ancient martial techniques. Their family crest is an axe and a blacksmith’s hammer laid over a skull. This symbol perfectly encompasses the Frankell’s claim to fame. It is said their line dates back to the humans of Goaranor, and are among the original settlers of Nylevran.
The family has spread greatly since then. When the merchant lords travelled northwest, an auspicious Frankell arms maker went with them. When Sorianeth took Delrin by storm, he brought a young Frankell as his personal armorer. The rest, however, stayed to see to their homeland of Nylevran. Today, things are good for the Frankell family.
Eric Frankell is the patriarch of the family's Delrish branch. They say the man is impossibly tall and wields many weapons into battle. He is the leader of King Jargos Vulkan’s Crown Vigil, as well as an accomplished craftsman. Despite following the monarch around, he owns a small and prestigious forge.
Cecilia Frankell is the matriarch of the Nylevranian branch. Like her cousin in the north, she too runs a blacksmith in the city of Valencia. Her massive foundry is famous for how quickly it can put out quality steel. Despite her relatively small stature, her ability to hammer metal is unrivaled. She has earned quite the reputation for herself by innovating weapon production.
Pierre Frankell is the patriarch of the Yvorian branch. He is a relatively wealthy merchant, dealing in the weapons trade. His company, Hammermark Arms, has business across all of Cyrdoma. Many have criticised him for selling to the Ogaitnans throughout the years, though he defends himself by claiming lack of ignorance.
Even in The War of Black Dawn, the hero Lukien Frankell was instrumental in taking down the death God. Honorable and proud, the Frankell family is one of rich history. With a well practiced trade, they have ensured success for many generations to come.
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Yvoria is a nation that rose from the success of another. When a merchant class finally arose in early Nylevran, a desire for more grew. Those with an eye for power traveled northwest and came across a flat and fertile landscape ripe for the taking. Establishing the coast hub and capital city of Port Caeryn, Yvoria quickly prospered.
Using the fertile land, vast amounts of crops were grown and sold. To this day, it remains as Yvoria’s main export. In time, vast gold mines were found across the plains. After developing a self-sustaining economy, the merchant roots of the country came back out. Port Caeryn quickly became the largest market on all of Vinadorin. You can find anything there!
A Merchant King or Queen rules over the people for ten year terms. They are elected by an elusive council of trade lords. Their sole duty is to ensure the economic prosperity of the country and safety of the common people. While the monarch can establish new laws, they are forbidden from changing term limits.
With such a huge emphasis on trade, the country has maintained prosperity. Though, in this, they have not become complacent. This wealthy nation has built a sizable navy and military. Far from the largest in each, they are still quite the force to be reckoned with. All-in-all, Yvoria is a robust and successful nation.
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I never talk much about my homeland of Khalggorn. I find it hard to discuss, as my saturation of Nylevranian culture has left me very much at odds with them. I’m a Dwarf and, at the end of the day, I love beer. Have ever since I could walk. My mama could make a mean milk stout. Today, I think we’ll take a look back at several brews to be found across the Dwarven homeland.
Each of the main Dwarven clan is famous for a unique ale. Based on where they reside, their beer can change wildly. The process starts with barley, hops, water, and yeast. From there, it can be enriched with any number of ingredients. That’s where the real magic happens. The secrets are lost on me, but the flavor is not.
The Malden clan, residing in the far north, is famous for creating an ale with nutrient rich soil. The earth is gathered and refined, then left to ferment with the rest of the concoction.
The Jyhkbol clan, residing in the heartland of Khalggorn, makes a beer from yamak fat. The fat is cut off the raw meat and left to boil until it becomes liquid. Bold flavor from that.
The Thunderkegs, residing in the east, have an unorthodox method. Facing heavy storms blowing in from the Hygorrian Ocean, the Thunderkegs leave barrels of already fermented beer out in the storm. Submerging a cap with a lightning rod on it, the storms strike the rods and give the beer a fizzy taste.
The Doraen clan, residing in the south, have a selection of brews crafted from fruits. Blueberry or apple spice, they’ve got it. The produce are mashed up fine and what’s left is poured into the fermenting barrels.
Finally, the Whelan clan is known for their seafaring lifestyle. With a large fishing population, it was only natural they make a beer with fish oil. Sometimes, they sneak a bit of honey in. The high alcohol content make it pack a punch!
There are many other clans, with an infinite number of brews. Unfortunately, I’m not as much of a Dwarven beer connoisseur as I’d like to think I am. While I do miss the wild variety, I’ve grown comfortably numb with the human brews. They lack innovation, but their appreciation is admirable.
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P.S. - My favorite is the static ale from the Thunderkegs. I just had to play favorites.
Nine-hundred and twenty years ago, a young Sorianeth Trumonde journeyed to the icy peninsula of Delrin with a small army. He had been sent by his grandfather, the mighty soulwarped hero Aevitas Trumonde, to bring peace to the warring Kaevalonian tribes that had settled there. With a great deal of aggression inside of him, he was hellbent on destroying his enemies.
It took Sorianeth all of three years to bring the barbarian tribes to heel. Near the end, some surrendered, rather than face his might. It came down to him and Skaalgorm the Iron King, facing off in an open field. Though he took the man’s leg, he was merciful. Sorianeth had plans contrary to why he had been sent there initially.
Taking the barbarian King’s daughter as his bride, the young man crowned himself as the first King of a unified Delrin. He ordered a great capital city to be built immediately. With a legion of soldiers, who had grown incredibly loyal to him, and a horde of subjugated tribes, he could withstand any retaliation that his home may launch against him. Fortunately, it never came.
Sorianeth was a firm ruler, establishing and enforcing laws upon a lawless people, he was dubbed "the Breaker". He and his wife had three children, who continued on the Trumonde royal line. A real integration of the Nylevranians that had come with him and the Kaevalonian people took many generations, but led to the strong Delrish people of today.
While the Trumonde’s of Nylevran faded to time, the Trumonde Kings of Delrin were forever immortalized as great leaders. The line is now at its end, and the final Trumonde as Queen, the Vulkan line has been placed into power. While Jargos has thus proven a great leader, the Trumonde mold could never be shaken from the country and the hearts of its people.
Today, Delrin and Nylevran bear no ill will against one another. Ironically, the Delrish play a large part in the High Court. The younger prince of Delrin, Benjamin Vulkan, recently studied law here. He was a bright young man. I believe you can always talk things over, as Nylevran should have done with Sorianeth. That was nearly a millennium ago, yet I still feel the strained relationship could have been avoided entirely.
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