::Minas Ithil by Benef::
Our influence stopped the Beastmen, but before that we held the line!
New Turath has a hard earned history saturated with desperate struggle and grinding battle. Originally a tiny town named Anaroc, it was claimed by Cambion refugees led by Brisalis and renamed in honor of their lost home. When the Cinderfell Empire grew in power and offered New Turath a place among their ranks, Brisalis quickly accepted, and lived to oversee New Turath grow from little more than a military camp to a proper, though still very militaristic, town. They were prosperous enough to expand their walls around the residents and their fields, with the idea that as the town grew, the fields would gradually be pushed outside the walls with the residents still protected.
When Brisalis grew old, Valor was appointed Lord Protector. By that time, the attacks from the North had become frequent and harsh. Military service was mandatory and, though pride prevented it from being said aloud in public, the threat of a breakthrough was looming. Most of the influence of the city came from either being a successful military leader or having money invested in the military. Shortly after taking power, however, Brisalis had the opportunity to end the attacks from the Beastmen by participating in the Battle of Thrones in the the ruins of Utica. It cost the city dearly, but peace was finally brokered between Cambion and Beastman as they fought together to save the Empire.
Unfortunately, when the Cambion armies returned to New Turath, it was gripped by the Hell Fire and under Jotun siege. The city would likely have been ruined by famine and disease had Baldred Hammerfast of The Dawn Patrol not returned with his vast knowledge of medicine and the newly rediscovered healing magic. This new knowledge rapidly spread, healing injuries that would otherwise kill or permanently maim, raising the life expectancy of everyone in the city and lowering the infant mortality rate.
Lord Protector Aderes inherited a booming city surrounded by a booming empire. Populations are on the rise everywhere. New land is being tamed and worked. New cities are arising. New Turath is beginning to shift from being a military-run town. Attacks from the Jotun are rare and weak, and civilian politics are gaining more momentum. The walls were, again, expanded to include new residents, and the city is enjoying peace and quiet for the first time in its history.
The city of New Turath is wedged in the narrow Hich Pass of the Spine. The Hich Pass, or the Blood Pass as some have come to call it, is the only pass large and clear enough to be traversed by large groups. Surrounding the city are three notable peaks- Mount Erebus, the smallest of the surrounding Mountains can be seen to the Northeast with its trecherous, and often deadly, Geryon Cliffs guarding its Northern edge right up to the Norscan seas. Horen’s Peak is South-Southeast of the city, and any travel toward the Southern cities is hampered by its obdurate, almost conscious will to murder any travelers daring to cross through its territory rather than take the long road around. To the West is the largest of the Mountains, Mount Kahler, whose grandiose image has been painted by so many artists that it amazes the local population that travelers new to the city are still surprised by it. Within the pass, there is Source Lake, fed by several mountain tributaries, and draining to the North via Source River.
The weather, while chilly, is not so cold as to be completely un-arable. Hardier plants find little problems growing on the rich, though limited, farmland available South of the city. Due to the position of the City, wedged between tall mountains on all sides, the days here are very short and the dawn and twilight hours stretch to make up more than half the day.
Plant and Animal Life
Animals in The Spine mostly consist of large, hardy creatures such as bears, mountain goats, badgers, and caribou. There are much more dangerous animals living farther from the city, but no one has been able to get any hard facts on these creatures, and they remain real only to countrymen and those who regularly traverse The Spine. Plant life generally consists of evergreens and large maples, as well as thick, thorny underbrush. The bushes alone make traversing the wilderness of The Spine nearly as impossible as the boulders and ravines.
New Turath is run on a dichotomy between the military and civilian leaders. This balance of power is carefully tended to by a figure known as the Lord Protector, who lives and works at Valerica alongside his or her Protectors. These Protectors are specialists in their fields, and act as advisers to the Lord Protector. For a list of the the actual people, refer to the NPCs page
Unlike many other cities, the leadership of New Turath has allowed Houses to form and congregate in the city, and now more than a dozen Great Houses live in and help rule the Cambion lands. Of them all, however, there are four that stick out as the most influential and largest. House Vid is the wealthiest House, and has single-handedly kept the Guild of Deals out of New Turath since its inception. House Rosornos is known for the skill of its mages, and many among the Rosornos go on to join the Obsidian Obelisk. House Iendis is a house comprised exclusively of elves, and boasts some of the most impressive warriors in all of Vulcanica. Finally, House Grav, which has a long-standing reputation with the Cartographer’s Guild as being the keepers of some of Vulcanica’s most precious and treasured history.
Born of refugees and criminals on the run, New Turath has come a long way from the muddy, lawless shacks huddled behind the military station high in the Spine and far from the more well-patrolled cities of the south. It’s hard to shake your roots, however, and New Turath is still one of the more likely places a person might disappear or lose all of their worldly possessions. Most notably, in the poorer residential area of the city, there is a neighborhood colloquially known as “Low Town”, where a public fountain was dug to provide a free source of water for those who couldn’t afford to live near enough to the water. This area is a source of gang rivalry and is always in contention. Most go out of their way to avoid the area altogether.
Contrary to popular belief, demon travel is not allowed within the walls of the city due to its disruptive, ‘loud’ nature. Other cities have banned it altogether because of this. Within the city, people move around most easily by the walls. No buildings are permitted to stand within several yards from the building, far enough for two full sized carriages to pass one another. In addition to this, the Source River bring imports to the city as well as making food and supplies easily moved from the farmlands south of the city to Belphegor Academy and Garrison.
The Military plays a critical role in Turathi history. The Blood Wall, guarding the northern edge of the city, was the only thing standing between the hordes of the North continent, Norsca, from overwhelming the “vulnerable” Southern cities. Boys and girls were required to serve a term on the wall in order to be considered men and women. Since the Dawn Patrol allied with the Northern armies, however, the Jotun attacks have been decreasing in scale and power, and many civilian leaders are questioning the need to keep the same security measures up on the wall. When boys turn sixteen, and girls at eighteen, they are still required to serve until they’re twenty-one.
Most commonly heard within the city is Estanic, though the upper echelons of Turathi society often speak High Turathi amongst themselves. A day in the Financial District or the Golden City will reveal almost every language spoken in the Empire, but it’s expected that vendors and their customers speak in common Estanic. Being unable to speak Estanic is considered a very low-class, backward flaw.
Races and Racism
By far the most common race in New Turath is Cambion. It was Cambion refugees that built the city, and Cambions rule it to this day. It is the only city that being Cambion holds no fearful connotations, and the only city where Humans are not an everyday sight. Elves are also found in force, and, in fact, hold an esteemed position within Turathi society, mostly through the Great House Iendis and their incumbent warrior heroes. At the bottom of the racial totem pole are the Norscan humans, and the dirt that pole stands in are the Beastmen. After generations of battle against the Beastmen, and after so many barrels of Beastman blood spilled on the white marble Blood Wall, relations between Turathi citizens and those of Norscan lines are lucky to find decent slave work within its walls.
Men and women in New Turath are generally held in similar regard. They both do time on the wall, though women serve a shorter required first term, and both genders can be found in politics. In fact, there has never been a male Lord Protector, which is a sore point to the Rookers and their followers, who believe that it should be a position exclusive to men.
The material, and therefor the style, that buildings are made of are dependent on class. At the most expensive, including the walls and Velerica Tower itself, is Marble. Marble is actually the most commonly found material in the Spine, but the work involved in extracting and moving it make it a very costly thing to build with. If one can’t afford Marble, polished wood is highly prized, especially if it’s carved with intricate artwork. The lower class are left with concrete. No one can mention Turathi architecture without mentioning Valerica Tower, the tallest building in the Cinderfell Empire. Made entirely out of carriage-sized bricks of white marble, it is the staple of the city. Like much of Turathi architecture, its designed around a compass dial. Centralized in circles with sharp wings jutting out. The roads are nearly all cobbled with stones from the nearby Source River. Between the marble and concrete, as well as the frequent snows, the city is stark and blends into the surrounding mountains with a natural ease.
The statues here run with the theme of the city: Marble depictions of war and its heroes. There are large statues of the two previous Lord Protectors, Brisalis and Valor, standing on the grounds of Valerica. There is also a marble statue of Cerlissa Grav-Norsca of the Dawn Patrol on the grounds of Belphegor Academy, similar to the statue every member has in their respective home towns.
Music / Types of entertainment
Music in New Turath consists mostly of drums and stringed instruments, as wind instruments tend to get pitchy in the cold. The music here ignites dancing of the stomping, clapping, twirling variety along with spontaneous bouts of songs passed mostly by ear from generation to generation. In the summer months, the people put on free theatrical productions and concerts in the more open, recreational areas of the Dogleg Forest.
Due to the year-round cold, the food tends to be heavy and high in calories. Potatoes, meats, pastas, breads, cheeses, and most of all, butter. Fruits and vegetables are more pricey and considered to be treats.
Holidays / Festivals
At the beginning of every spring, the whole town gathers for the Spring Wall Parade, where costumed dancers, elaborate floats and bedecked Norcsan Moose walk and dance and prance the walls in celebration of the first battle fought and won against the Norscans.
While furs, leathers, and thick cloths are a staple of any northern city, the latest trends include platform boots, tricorn hats, and brightly colored veils.
There are two main seasons in Turathi sports; Sepak Raga and Broomball. During the warmer months Sepak Raga is played by kicking a woven filled with rice or beans over a net with the intent of making the opposing team miss or drop the ball. Broomball is played during the winter over the hardened crust of Source Lake with three teams. Each player is armed with brooms and attempt to score points against eachother by whacking the two weighted balls into one of the other team’s nets.
Views on death / funerals
Death is a grim fact of life in New Turath, and when a death occurs in a family, the local Rookery sends a single chime into the air. To invite friends and family to funerals, it’s customary to send a white glove (often in the size the deceased would wear). Funerals are short, the dead are burned, and those left behind try to move on.
There are many religions spanning Vulcanica, but in New Turath, two are most prominent. The majority of people here, as well as abroad, follow the Path of the Martyrs. This religion reveres the sacrifices of Corax and his companions made to heal Vulcanica, and seeks to honor those that similarly make sacrifices for the benefit of others. Followers of the Martyrs travel to different sites, most notably Raven’s Rest and Shadow’s Fall, to seek enlightenment. Conversely, there is the Rookery. The Rookers view the body as sacred, and believe that crows are the bearers of souls, particularly on the battlefield. The Rookeries are shrouded in a fair amount of mystery and rumor, though it is well known that they believe men and women to be more fundamentally different than current societal ideals reflect. Women from the Rookery are veiled, which is where the fashion trend stemmed, and they have three separate “ranks” within the religion. First are the Red Sisters, higher are the Oracles, and highest ranking are the Brides of the Crow. No one but the leaders of the Rookery know what these ranks mean, or what their roles are within the Rookery.
Young children are primarily taught in the home, either by their parents or by hired tutors. Older children and teens are sent off to apprenticeships and young adults, after serving their first term on the wall, may attend Belphegor Academy, located on Irvine Island, to train in various specializations. Most famously, however, the academy teaches battle tactics and various forms of magic.
Magic is well accepted in New Turath. Most notably, Pact Magic. In other cities within the realm, Magic in all its forms (save Dragon magic) is considered to be ‘loud’, disruptive, dangerous, and generally unnecessary. The only form of magic that is not accepted is blood magic, though it remains a steady, low-level problem for the authorities. Vulcani Magic and Pact Magic, while not day-to-day, are certainly not uncommon, and anyone visiting a major hospital will absolutely come into contact with Old Magic.
Myths / Folklore
New Turath imports most of its supplies from the southern cities. In return, the city has both guarded the wall from the Norscan hordes and provided high quality soldiers and experienced army support personnel. Most of the city’s revenue, however, comes from the lightning rail, which is technically owned by the Cinderfell Empire, but operated entirely by the Turathi government.
-The forbidden order: there have been whispers threw out the empire of this new order of assassins known as “the forbidden order” it seemingly came out of no where and is now a major influence in both the crime world and politics. The order has shadows everywhere, shadows are people the order takes care of and protects but in return they feed the much needed information from around the city to the order, these shadows can ranged from the common beggar to politicians and high ranking officials. The order communicates threw dead drops to ensure they are not found. To contract the order you must make a contract with just the name of your target and the city in witch this person lives. If the order accepts the contract they will contact employer and ask them to sign the contract in there blood, cause they believe that you must give your own blood if you want blood was to be spilled in your name, the order also used this as an insurance policy. As for the crime world the order has struck fear into the thieves guild making all there business go threw the order keeping the guild in check because the order doesn’t want to much attention being brought to the golden city/low town. Anyone that decides to not stay in line from the guild will be delt with.