This region has only been in existence since the fall of Icaruss in the year 1200, but made the loudest noise in its infancy. Shadokhan was the center of the Dreven Empire from the time of the fall of the Mad Mage, Icaruss ap-ol Ithgath, until the death of Tumian Dreven at the hands of the mixed mage known as the Klockwork Master in 1268. The exact nature of the Klockwork Master's magic is still known by only a few. Leading an army of mixed races and mechanical creatures, the Klockwork Master marched on Dreven and took control of the Empire in 1269. In 1274, after the assassination of the Klockwork Master, a rebellion overthrew the remains of the Klockwork regime and Raphael Dolek assumed the Steward's seat. Illness forced him to step down in 1277, and at his suggestion the Council of Advisors appointed Sherakai dan Rikash in his stead. Dan Rikash did much to help the region regain its feet, then, in Gentrain 1279, turned leadership over to the pragmatic and loyal Chancellor Denari Ambray.
Shadokhan is also the home of the infamous Crosswinds Tavern, which is located on the shore of beautiful Silvermere Lake, out of which the Silverwater River flows north to the mountains and thence underground. The Crosswinds was once a part of Luminii, but was absorbed by Shadokhan when Cornelius Dreven (the First Emperor) created Shadokhan as a central location for the newly formed Empire. Originally just a well-known tavern where one could get good food and a clean bed, the Crosswinds proved to be priceless to the people of the Empire. When Icaruss made his march on Luminii, few knew his true reason for invading the Region of the Vivomancers. It only became clear in the early hours before the Battle of Dawn's Early Light in the year 1200. Everyone knew that there was a rather unique portal linked to the northern portion of the tavern. What no one knew until the battle was that the portal was also the origin of the source of magic on Lyran Tal. The portal at the Crosswinds not only allows people access to the multitude of otherworldly planes, but it also allows Lyran Tal access to the magical energies of the Nexus. He who held the portal held the lifeblood of magic in Lyran Tal. If Icaruss had won that day, the face of Lyran Tal would be vastly different. With the victory of Cornelius and the Order of the Silver Moon, the Crosswinds Tavern was declared a neutral zone for all of the regions, and it remained under the protection of the Emperor until the fall of Tumian. The tavern is now under the protection of the government of Shadokhan. The Crosswinds doors are open to anyone and everyone; its fame brings many to its small but comfortable interior, and entices them to stay with its cool drinks and hot food.
A mere hour's ride north of the Crosswinds Tavern, the city of Dreven is home to Taysąyad Keep, the seat of the Shadokhan government. Shadokhan is a region with few major exports; it relies heavily on massive trade routes through the capital city of Dreven, a fact which was difficult to maintain until dan Rikash reorganized and revitalized the army. Attacks by roving bandits and outlaws on supply stores and routes has been sharply reduced. Beyond the capital city there are scattered towns erupting within a few days travel. These small towns are havens for the many aristocrats, landed lords, barons and baronesses who earned their fortunes in riding the coattails of Cornelius I. Dreven is still a young city, vibrant and filled with an earnest energy, and it's no rare thing to see a lord and lady sharing a drink and conversation with an elven woodsman or dwarven mercenary at the Crosswinds.
With the coming of the new, highly law-oriented Klock regime, illegal activities were slowed greatly. The Black Market and Underground suffered because of this. The Triad, a group led by three elves considered to be the most powerful in the thieving community, is believed to have survived this purging and is working in the background to either find a way to use the government to their advantage or replace it with one more to their liking.
There are four separate bodies of law enforcement in Shadokhan. Two of the most well known are the Dreven City Guard, which patrols within the city walls, and the Silver Moon Knights, who are -- with the Chancellor's blessing -- responsible for patrolling the area just outside the wall, including the area around the Crosswinds Tavern. The Shadokhan Army, in tandem with the Silver Moon Knights, covers the rest of the region to protect those who wish help, including the shores and borders. Finally, there is the Taysąyad Guard, whose responsibilities include protecting the chancellor, his family, and the visitors at Taysàyad Keep.
The capital city of Dreven (named in honor of the man who united the people of the empire) holds nearly a half a million people and its numbers continue to grow. It is policed by the Dreven City Guard, led by Captain Enton Harso.
Gray-walled Taysąyad sits in the northern sector of the city and is bordered on three sides by Mount Cillian. The Keep is divided into three areas, the private quarters which are the home of the Steward and his family, the government offices, and the public halls. In the center of the Great Hall is a huge Arborian tree, magically displaced during a surge in the ley lines, affectionately known as 'Bob.' Bob is under the careful protection of its new hosts.
University of Dreven
A series of buildings located in the heart of Dreven, it's believed to be the largest University in the seven regions. Its original focus on science has been taking on an ever-widening scope over the last several years, boasting subjects that include language, mathematics, culture, political and historical studies, dance, music, and art. There are, one might note, no magical studies included in the curriculum, as those are taught specifically at the appropriate mage schools (The Tòrrea Talamh, Greystone, etc.). The student body is composed mostly of nobles, upper and middle merchant class, and those lucky enough to be sponsored for admission. The University is presided over by Chancellor Margaret Higgins. A small body of elected administrators oversees negotiations with the city on behalf of the University, account-keeping, moderating exams, supervising ceremonies, and other such details. A Registrary records matriculations, admissions to degrees, and decisions of the professors.
Classes run from Fadefrost through Warmgrow, and then again from Fadewarm through Chillset.
The structure of the learning at the university is as follows:
The Imperial Library
Not surprisingly, bordering the University is the Imperial library. A huge monument of a building, it has survived attacks by magic, nature, and governments. Its Librarians are the custodians to all manner of books, scrolls, and maps which have reached its walls by standard or secretive means. While the removal of any publicly available original works is forbidden, for a fee a copy will be made by the library's scribes. All public knowledge is readily available for study in the building and rooms are set aside for research. It is rumored that down in the depths beneath the building, secret stores of forbidden knowledge are kept.
The Dreven Academy of Trades
A private institution under the auspices of Brom Stoneheart and headmistress Bliss Lovejoy.
The main hall, as it is known, is impressive. Its shape is rectangular with the exception of the rounded walls, and its polished white marble floor makes the room bright. Many alcoves are set into the walls, meant to hold works by talented students and master craftsmen. There are tapestries collected from many places, both from Lyran Tal's many lands and from beyond the portal before it closed. A high domed ceiling with mosaic depictions of the sun's daily cycle is enough to awe. Hues of brilliant oranges, reds, golds, purples and silvers begin on the eastern end of the dome, finishing in dark gray, pinks, and various other colors on the west end. Stained glass skylights depict the nighttime, with the phases of the moon from beginning to end in shades of blue, black, yellow, and clear. To the east end of the hall is a stage, it looks like stairs from one end to the other. Given the shape of the room, it is definitely in the right place for the acoustics of any group to play music. Music will carry clearly over the noise of voices.
There are four sets of stairs in the room. One set as you walk through the main door, and another to the opposite side. Each is about twenty yards from the center door. Atop the stairs is a balcony that goes completely around the room. On the east and west ends there are doors that open to an outside balcony. Both ends overlook gardens and the balconies themselves have many plants to soften the feel of the stone and marble.
Located north east of Taysąyad, the fort was once home to the Silver Moon Knights stationed in Dreven. It was later taken over and converted for use by the Klockwork Army, who ordered the execution of any Knight that refused to swear allegiance to the new regime. With the fall of the Klockwork government, its gates have once more been opened to joint occupation by the Shadokhan Army and the Silver Moon Knights.
A cavernous underground arena where fights to the death are held. It is said that if you want or need something, you can find it at the Pitt. People from every rank of society visit it, play the games. It is said that the authorities turn a blind eye - or maybe they are part of the show... (For more information, see The Pitt).
Shadokhan's silkworm farms produce the majority of the silk in the Silver Moon Empire. Along with its dyes and weavings, many of the most elaborate clothwears come from this region. Other major exports include, but are not restricted to, lace, perfumes, fine china, jewelry, dyes, illuminated manuscripts, musical instruments, weapons and armor. Recently, freshwater cultured pearls have begun being produced in high enough quantities to allow them to be exported as well.
The biggest imports into the region include lumber, iron, grain, deep sea fish, and glass.
Primary Trade: Glassware, writing materials, books
Often referred to as 'Scholar's Hill,' the centrally-located city of Dendry Hill is known primarily for its glassmakers, bookbinders, and numerous producers of parchment, foolscap, reed-paper, and vellum. As related industries, they have small success with producing ink and quills. The city even boasts a fairly large library, though not as large as the Dreven Library (Dreven, Shadokhan) or the Grand Repository of Etrauch (Etrauch City, Balthazor). Dendry Hill originally had a remote-study program with Dreven University (requiring annual trips to the capital for exams), but a new branch of DU (called Dendry Municipal College) was built in the early 1270's. Dendrans are often viewed as bookish, bespectacled folk, but the truth is that only about fifteen percent of the population are this well-educated; most are common folk.
Primary Trade: Lumber, crystal ware, ornate china
Located on the shores of Golden Lake, this one small lumber trading city found a sudden population boom when it was taken over by ex Warlord, now Baron Aelo Ralasu. Finding profit in the naturally sandy shores located around the lake, he began serious efforts to exploit this resource as well as others. One of Shadokhan's largest Merchant Guilds has recently set up residence in the city in response to this new trade. Golden Lake is also the location of a garrison of the Shadokhan army, which was recently put into operation.
Primary Trade: Lumber
Greenkeep is a frontier town; everything is wooden. A few hydromancers, using the river as fuel, are employed to keep the inevitable fires down. The roads are dirt and often mud. Raised sidewalks along the muddy tracks allow for foot traffic and even the occasional cart.
The large forest to the south, called the Gnarlwood, and the two rivers that converge provide sustenance, jobs and security. It is a town that takes care of itself and its people. The surrounding villages and crofts that pay homage to the the Greenkeeper are well protected by rough looking men and women. The main source of income, other than lumber, comes from river traffic. Boats and barges headed south to the coast are required to pay a reasonable passage fee. Those who debate the charge are likely to have their vessels scuttled, though goods and crews are politely deposited on the shore and left alone.
The woods themselves are a source not only of livelihood, but stories. Twixt faeries, tree wives and fey live there. Scary or benign, they all acquiesce to the elusive Greenkeeper, a man -- or so it is rumored...
Primary Trade: Iron, smithwork
Marrford's place in history was assured when the hundred Luminite Vivomancers ended their crusade against the Bloodgaunt Plague in 1132 UY (q.v.). Its success, however, is due to its proximity to two deep iron mines in the Sturrbith Mountains (which border two sides of the city). Smiths from across the Empire are drawn to Marrford, due to its reputation and its placement. The river Marrwater, which tumbles from the mountains and just past the city, also drives the Marrford Millwheel, a technological marvel that helps to power the city foundry (where most of its stock originates). The Millwheel is enormous; easily fifty feet wide, its never-ending rotation is often said to pull the Marrwater from the mountains, rather than the opposite.
Primary Trade: Silks
Located just southwest of Dreven, Midford has the largest of the silk farms in the region. The trade has increased with the fall of the Klockwork regime due to the opening of borders and ability to purchase the luxury items.
Morgaine Pass, a key holding between Shadokhan and Luminii and frequently contested, is an interesting geographical anomaly. Modern folklore on either side of the mountains have made it a creation of the Mad Mage, a pass blown through solid rock to give Icaruss's troops access to what lay beyond. The truth is not so dramatic. The town of Morgaine is an insular town. Its people endure harsh storms that seem to never make the 'other' side of the mountains. From Luminii, a wide, gently sloping path slowly and subtly rises from the valley floor. While starting on this path, it seems as if it is welcoming and wide, but less than halfway up, deep canyons begin to appear. Switchback turns between solid rock walls are sometimes barely wide enough for a wagon to pass. These canyons wind between the sheer faces of the Sisters, as the two mountains on either side of the pass are called. As one proceeds up the final ascent, where the gentleness of the slope is no longer camouflaged, the path goes from fifty yards wide to only about twenty feet, and the walls rise a good thirty feet overhead. This is called the Chute by the residents, who guard as well as they can against the dangers of rock slides which could cut this path off completely. Once out of the Chute, the town sits in a long, fairly narrow gorge. The buildings are low and sturdy, a reflection of the life that the residents force out of the mountains. There is but a single road, although narrow tracks lead up into the cliffs, where enterprising folk have carved spaces in which to dwell.
Two of the largest buildings are the stronghold (enlarged and occupied by the Silver Moon Knights) and the Pearl of the Goddess, a shrine erected long ago to the worship of Nostrella. The latter, now a broken-backed beast with lightless, windowed eyes and jagged, rotting teeth, lies at the farthest edge of the town, poised at the end of a cobbled path. It is ancient, far older than all the generations of merchants and farmers that have lived outside its now-crumbled gates. It has been home to fanatical priests, war weary soldiers, eager Novices and vast numbers of books detailing the origination of the Fifth Gift as well as the birth of Lyran Tal itself. Its outer walls had been constructed of roughhewn rock and timber, a mud-pieced mosaic carved by diverse hands in forgotten times, framed by a pattern of strange, archaic symbols to protect the jewel within. The inner structure was a masterpiece of seamless, polished stone that carries the color of translucent milk. Three stout towers peek over the rim of the outer walls, watching it seems, over the cluster of smaller adjoining buildings gathered at their bases. Interconnecting archways and breezeways stretch between each structure, surfaces that crawl with ornate marbled flowers and spiraling stone vines, delicate as glass but claiming the strength of crystal. An iron-banded door is set firm within huge blocks of blackened stone. Faded inscriptions and religious symbols border the dark entryway, carved long ago and whispering things of 'used-to-be' before the time of the Great War. Above the doorway perches a frozen creature possessed of a hideous smile and unfurled wings, with crystal eyes that glow in shades of green and blue. Within its fangs, the remnants of a brass bell swing silently in the wind. Neglected, overgrown hedges rise in uneven levels along either side, staggered stairs of broken twig and pale leaf climb stone upon stone. Since the days of Icaruss's madness when magical fire scorched its walls and crumbled its stones, it has simply been called haunted.
The western descent into Shadokhan begins gently enough, but a few hundred feet from the pass the grade becomes abruptly steep. The road switchbacks aggressively for about half the distance, levels out for approximately a mile, then goes through a long, naturally carved ravine that seems to literally drop straight down the mountainside. The high walls of the passage completely obstruct the view until the road spills out abruptly in a small valley. At that point, you're two-thirds of the way to down the mountains. From there, the road goes up and over a steep north-south running ridge. On the western side, the road twists and turns down through Marrford and thence to the Marrwater River.
Primary Trade: Seagoing vessels and trade
Known primarily for its shipyards, Port Ethralest is a fast-growing city inhabited by sailors, shipbuilders, and other ocean-affiliated men and women, and boasts a large warehouse district. A large portion of the warehouse district is given over to raw materials and provisions used to restock the cogs and coasters that ply the coastal trade routes. The port lies on the southernmost tip of Shadokhan, and has an excellent relationship with the outlying islands of Southern Oceanuus; in fact, Goldfall of 1278 saw the mayoral appointment of the first Half-lo in the history the mainland. Following the Mer Rebellion, a sizable number of S'oshans took refuge in Port Ethralest, then went on to purchase businesses, build homes, and become part of the governing forces. They are supported by other S'oshan natives and, some say, by the king himself.
Population: 1,700 or so (fluctuates)
Primary Trade: fishing, shipping
Poised at the mouth of the Marrwater River, this quiet little town wasn't even on the map until the Silver Moon Knights took up residence during the Rebellion against the Klock Regime. While there is (as yet) no fort in the making, Major Jordan Tegue and an entire battalion of Knights now call this home.
Primary Trade: fishing, shipping
Amidst the power struggles accompanying the fall of the Klock Regime, a wooden wall was erected around this unprepossessing village under the orders of the Mayor of Midford, who had offered protection against bandits, raiders, and allegedly Klock soldiers. It is manned by guards clad in armor and wearing tabards of green, emblazoned in yellow with a simple representation of wheat. under the protection of the Mayor of Midford. The Arrow and Quiver serve as tavern and inn for the small village.
Primary Trade: Fishing
Tatham is a large fishing town almost due south of Dreven. It boasts a moderate set of docks, though they're incapable of supporting anything larger than a cog or coaster (Luminii is known to send them around the Sturrbith to trade grain for fresh sea fare). Tathamers are generally a hearty, friendly sort; their experience with Luminian traders and mountain-bound travelers (since it's easier to cross the Sturrbith where they meet the sea) has broadened their tolerance, while their work ethic keeps them at a pleasant balance of rustic and urbane. The town has almost no high-class folk or wealthy families, as those with enough resources to leave generally find homes near other wealthy families.
Primary Trade: fishing, cultured pearls
Resting on the shores of Lake Turnan, the town has been relatively free of the conflicts that have troubled other towns and villages of Shadokhan. Due to the heavy mussel population in the lake and rivers, the people of the village have taken to growing cultured pearls. Experimentation has led to multiple color variations, including white, peach, lavender, pale blue, pale green, and black.
Primary Trade: No primary (spread evenly through shipping of goods)
One of the many port towns that line the Shadokhan coast, Villisport still sees a steady stream of arriving and departing ships due to its location at the region's western 'point.' Aside from the money the town takes in for ship repairs, docking, and the selling of goods, Villisport was once one of the few places one could purchase illegal armament for seacraft and was largely spared the Pirate's looting, as many of then of them had contacts at the port. Since the fall of the Pirate Nations of Southern Oceanuus, Villisport has seen a marked decrease in its income which largely came from pirate trade. Not surprisingly, the population of Villisport has seen a marked increase over the last few years -- including many displaced citizens of the Pirate Nation.
(Click on a name to go to the character's Who's Who entry.)
|Aelo Ralasu||Havoc Sadani||Panapolis San Giamonico|
|AJ Maran||Huckleberry Axechucker||Raphael Dolek|
|Amorina Stoneheart||Jean-Claude||Rhia Dreamsinger|
|Angelique Matteo||Kai dan Rikash||Ricoh Gideonn|
|Aslin Dreven||Karsh Silvermoon||Sasha|
|Bliss Lovejoy Gideonn||Kendra Rulyar||Tieryan Call|
|Brom Stoneheart||Kirin Fand Lexington||Tumian Dreven|
|Danisia Chambray||Marinia Dreven||Tyndarra Wynters|
|Denari Ambray||Mikkaill Gideonn||Will Lexington|
|Edail Archiras||Miles Maudibe||Ysanne Solaste|
|Geran Setalin||Mordred Anubis||Zharyka Jelahldoran|
|Gylon Dorn||Nisi Brenshca|
For more information on Shadokhan, contact: