An introduction to Mor Nadar
The Alchemy quest included a short tour around Mor Nadar, giving a first glimpse of many places. Our first stop on the tour is:
The Land of the Jotnar
To the North of Na Glinn lies the Land of the Jotnar, a place of rugged beauty full of fjords, forests and snow capped mountains. The Vik people live here farming the land close to the sea and using their mastery of navigation to trade across the world. However in recent years the Jotnar have enslaved the Vik people and hold many of their loved ones hostage. The Vik are forced to pay constant tribute to the Jotnar as they live under their tyranny. Many of the Vik are no longer able to pay those duties through farming and trade and some desperate Vik villages have taken to raiding the Southern Lands to find booty to please their oppressive masters.
You travel West of Dun Mordhain into a land carved by canyons into huge land masses. The northern most land mass is Na Glinn (the Glens) which is filled with mountains, hills, rivers, forests and lochs. It is a much wilder place than Torrach and has a few well travelled roads through it linking the major Celti settlements.
To the west lie the Areten Reaches, peaks covered in clouds for most of the year which are said to be inhabited by the Areten a magical people of innate goodwill. The Areten are reclusive and have not been seen for centuries, only the oldest Brethren Lore Smiths remember them.
The Western Orahkee
To the South of the Areten the land rises and the temperatures start to grow warm. Of note here are the Mystic Orakhee, or the western orcs as some may call them. A peaceful race of mystics settled in high cliff top communities; the western branch split from their eastern cousins millennia ago at the time of the Great Sundering.
The Orakhee are the only culture to have seen the Newcomers before and despite warning the Sax and Celti people of the wrath that would come they were ignored.
Across the river and deep into the mountains of Teth Fearann (the Warm Lands) dwell the Gnimshka a diminutive but powerful martial race. The Gnimshka maintain a standing army of Sarissa armed warriors formed into regimented phalanxes. When in the field or on campaign the Gnimshka pioneers will construct massive artillery pieces, these machines are used to provide covering fire for the warrior elites who march to battle on enormous War Badgers (Waradgers) striking fear into the heart of their enemies.
Dun Mordhain, the greatest city in the known world home to a reputed two million souls and growing rapidly since the Newcomer Conquest. High above the city towers Eagle Bridge a wonder of engineering connecting the Celti with their homeland in Na Glinn. Along that bridge lies a formidable fortification, a barracks, bridge and gatehouse all in one, known to the locals as the Floating Castle. Beneath the Floating Castle sits the home of those who built it. Brethren Town - many an artisan resides on that little island, rumours abound that there are numerous ways to Dorcha Ciuin from that district.
Across from the multiple harbours you can see the Middens a dank and foul area where people live in squalor, unable to afford the benefits of the City beyond the Walls. Those Walls - huge stone defences providing safety for those behind them and intimidating those trying to get beyond them. There is no easy way to access the City and its wonders beyond without the wealth required for entry. And in these troubled times the price for entry is high, much too high for you weary traveller.
The sewers of that great city empty out into the Shuth Boglach - The Endless Bog. Your journey through that fetid swamp was broken only by the calls of Formorii hunting parties. You'd heard before of the strange beings that had been forced to retreat into the Endless Bog, but never grasped more than a glimpse of them as you fled to the north. Torach may have been conquered by the Newcomers but it surely must be safer than being hunted through a bog.
Following the river from Shuth Boglach you travel to the east and into an enormous fertile plain with undulating hills and endless wood land. This fertile plain (known to the Celti people as Torrach) stretches to the Range - a massive uninterrupted mountain chain running all the way from the Warm Sea to the Cold Sea. High in the middle of the Range lies Aes Nu (Evermist) a sacred place of enormous waterfalls which fall into a deep loch and then splits into various rivers.
These plains were once controlled by the Sax but despite the Orakhee warning, the Sax were ignorant of what was to follow until it was too late. The Newcomers came in one huge army from the East, Knights riding huge beasts supported by troops brandishing spears and wearing coats of maille. Within two years the Newcomers had conquered all of the plains of Saxlund and were at the gates of Dun Mordhain laying siege, this was known simply as The Conquest.
You leave the sight of Evermist behind you and travel through lands in a state of upheaval that were until very recently known to the Sax as their home. The Newcomers now build 'Motte and Bailey' castles to enforce their 'protection' on those unfortunate Sax who have not been able to escape the serfdom forced upon them.
These new castles are intimidating but they are not the true wonder of these lands. Every now and then, as you cross a river or copse of trees, you notice them; glimpses of light, a shrill laugh or a flutter of wings. For these are the lands of the Fey, and the Sax people learned mastery of those beings in a way the Celti never have. No other culture has a truer understanding of the Fey than the Sax, it being quite common to find a local farmhand with some talent which helps her call on their aid with minor tasks.
Turning south to follow The Range down towards the Warm Sea , you finally see Ridgefort. This was once a great Brethren Hold, at once both towering above the ground and burrowing deep beneath it. The land was gifted to the Brethren many years ago by the Celti who were delighted to have a more substantial fortification watching the pass. No one ever thought the massive walls of Ridgefort could be damaged let alone breached.
What followed is a tale for another day, but the terrible fate of Ridgefort was the catalyst to the Brethren leaving their great Holds in Torrach. The Brethren had not the manpower to resist the persistence, aggression and numbers of the Newcomer Army and rather than see their beloved homes being torn apart they simply locked them up from the inside and were never seen again. Some say the Brethren Holds are abandoned and trapped, some say that a number are still inhabited by a resolute few who would rather die than leave their homes. One thing is certain; mystery, wealth and danger await any adventurer brave enough to investigate the Brethren Holds.
Crossing the Great River Mordhain
As you follow the road South West from Ridgefort you stop at Pilot's Rest - a huge deep water bay granting safety to the river dwellers from Thunderfall where the great river Mordhain drops into Te Oer (the Warm Sea) beyond.
Pilot's Rest is now a changed place, many of the boats have left since the Newcomers arrived, the taxes imposed on the shipping trade being too high to bear. Those captains that remain will only work on official (taxable) business for fear of losing their ship, you cannot afford such a crossing and turn back West again until you reach ‘Doir Bhoid’ a small, dangerous but often used crossing for smuggling goods and people across the river at night.
You secure safe passage across the great river Mordhain and land safely at the Crannogs - a timber city full huts on boardwalks and stilts built round the craggy coastline on the other bank. The Crannogs, the most Southerly outpost of the Celti people stands resolute in the water, far too difficult a target for the Newcomers (or any others) to capture easily. A trading haven, the Crannogs provides shelter and a chance to trade goods from the Warm Sea and ship it up the mighty river to Dun Mordhain for profit.
As you leave behind The Crannogs, you head East to the mountains near Thunderfall, here the land changes dramatically, the soft wet hills of the Celti lands are replaced by the hard arid mountains of Achea. The climate is warm and dry, the farmers grow olives and grapes and as you walk through the mountain pass you enter the beautiful lands of Achea.
Achea a land of rival city states nestled into mountains and sea ports. The Acheans have a rich cultural heritage and their wisdom is sought out by many across the world. Many Acheans hire themselves out as tutors, doctors and even mercenary warriors selling both their intellect and skill with the spear as a much valued commodity.
When the Siege of Dun Mordhain finally ended the Treaty of the Peoples required that Dun Mordhain be treated as a free city with an independent and objective guard to police it. It is for this reason than any traveler to Dun Mordhain will usually be greeted first by an Achean hoplite.