Of all the dissolved Silver Moon Empire's regions, Thermador is the least hospitable. With territory spanning the world's largest desert, it's no wonder the people of this region are quick-tempered and nomadic. The only proper city within the region is the capital of Wadi Medani, centered near a thriving oasis within the Quintak desert. While home to many horse breeders and glass blowers, Wadi Medani also houses the Pyromancy school. Once that was the Lasair Bán Dome, a huge, white marble structure that was erected as a symbol of stability and victory for the city as a whole. In 1264 the Ash-Maker had the Dome demolished and Cnoc Liath erected in its place. Greystone to the layman, it is a palatial structure with towers and spires jutting up from the walls.
Archmage Versaisna Lucair, the Ashmaker, was the reigning leader of the Pyromancers and ruled the region after its previous sovereign, his twin sister Archmagess Shaftile Pyreslake, mysteriously vanished in 1261 until his death at the hands of two of his students in 1275 while attacking Shadokhan. He had controlled the school of Pyromancy, with the aid of his Council, a circle of six Pyromancers besides himself Chosen to aid in all decisions concerning the instruction of Pyromancers. The Archmage's seat is now held by Versaisna Tandiri. Her twin sister Latani died mysteriously while Tandiri was being held for questioning about the death of the Ashmaker in Shadokhan.
Officially called 'An Roth' inside Greystone -- so named after a constellation representing The Wheel -- the Council is rarely referred to outside of Cnoc Liath as anything but 'The Council.' Those currently seated on the Council include Sirona Lasair, Anlach Branmin, Canistaya Menaelande, Céas Amhrán, and Taven Delintae, Lucair's widow. Councilman Anbhás Dubh died in the fight against the Shadokahners. For eight years, Lucair ruled over both the city and the Pyromancers, and his grandmother, Sabrese Lysistrata Tânclaer, was instrumental in the defeat of Icaruss's army in the Battle of Dawn's Early Light.
It is interesting to note that Wadi Medani is thought to be the oldest of all the cities on Hyathis. However, those from Damansque may debate this fact. It has never been sacked and has persevered through many skirmishes and at least four wars. The Medanis are very proud of their history and the saying 'as old as Wadi' comes from the name of this city. Wadi Medani is also important for another major factor. Though there are other routes to the west and east, it is the largest and most important city one passes through when traveling from the northern areas of Thermador, where it borders Northern Oceanuus. This alone makes the city an important economical factor to the region; it is a hub for trade both within the region and from beyond, from Luminii to the south and Northern Oceannuus to the north. This is especially true because trade by sea is not what it used to be; between the devastation of Southern Oceanuus, the withdrawal of Arboria, the loss of Balthazor, and the utter eradication of Silverton by Mount Rashkana (see below), and trouble from pirates and buccaneers in the south, few ships call upon the ports of Thermador. Silverton is only slowly rebuilding, and the most prevalent of the new ports, renamed Fartrade in 1267 when it began to see real growth, still does not match the affluency and traffic Silverton once commanded.
Wadi Medani was also once known for its unique currency. Water being a premium in Thermador once led to the use of liquid currency, the unusual and magical water coins. Under Archmage Lucair's rule, Thermador has adopted the precious metals primarily used by the other regions as new currency, which has improved trade transactions and rebuilt Wadi Medani's wealth after the Hive attack of Ulen Relor in 1260. The Klockwork regime's aggressive campaign to replace old empran currency with the new 'gears' also contributed to this change. Water coins have become little more than a novelty of another time to many, and there are even those who are converting them back to their raw forms to make use of. While water is still a valuable commodity for trade and barter in Thermador, its days of recognition as official coinage are past.
The desert of Quintak almost seems alive to the people of Thermador, and in some cases is revered as a near deity to the people who live in the scattered villages and oases within the Quintak. The Quintak desert, nicknamed 'Duval's Anvil' by outsiders, is home to all sorts of creatures and flora. The desert cacti located throughout the area are a primary food source for most animals and people and it is a major export and delicacy in the other regions. The most fearsome of all the dangers of the desert, besides the desert itself, are the Firedrakes. Four drakes of various size and age are found in specific 'hunting grounds' within the confines of Quintak. The most infamous of these drakes is Plogisostican, nicknamed 'Mortis Sanguine,' an elder wyrm who once terrorized caravans moving throughout the trade routes. Plogisostican destroyed at least fifty caravans alone over the past fourteen years before another drake began to join him on his rampages. Rumored to be Plogisostican's mate, those who saw the new drake began to call it 'Nascor Sanguine.' But since the Ash-Maker's reign, the drakes have quieted and seem to no longer cause trouble. Stories hold that the drakes banded together in 1268 and wiped out the Hive colonies in eastern Thermador. Since then, people have slowly been filtering back into the southwest, confirming that the Hive is indeed gone. Some say they fled underground, and stories of sand turned to glass by the terrific heat of the drakes' powers remain potent reminders of their might. Whether this is the work of the drakes or some other power, or perhaps a strange decision to move of the Hive itself, remains to be seen.
Perhaps the last place on Lyran Tal that one would want to go is the Rashkana Range; this is the volcanic region that stretches across the very north and northeastern edge of Thermador and separates it there from Northern Oceanuus. Mount Rashkana is the greatest of the mountains here, and while volatile and seemingly devoid of all life, was once home to a small port town near the base of the volcano, called Silverton. At least four times in the last forty years, the inhabitants of this tiny town had to stave off the eruption of the volcano and the imminent doom of the town. In 1261 Slivos Von Demios, a representative of the Pyromancers once instrumental in keeping this port town alive and safe from the lava flows that occurred annually, perished with the rest of the town when Mount Rashkana unleashed its worst eruption since Silverton's construction and demolished the town. As a result, Thermador lost two of its major exports: Soniarium and lavafish. It was many years before people began to struggle to rebuild the town and jumpstart the mining trade again, but thus far efforts have been unsuccessful in the face the great bulk of tough, dense igneous rock left behind by the eruption.
These efforts to rebuild have revealed two startling finds that could bode well for Thermador if they can be extracted and exported. Something about the sheer ferocity of the Rashkana's eruption has transmuted most of the soniarium veins around it, altering the physical and magical properties of the ore. Dubbed firenium, this new material has an unmistakable orientation with the element of fire. Dull red-black when refined, it is quite malleable, comparable to gold or silver. When heated to make it easier still to work, it quickly reverts to its natural state, with one difference; firenium will radiate warmth, varying between 80 and 110 degrees F. The greater the heat it was exposed to, the longer it will radiate so. Firenium also absorbs body heat and energy from the sun very readily, and thus is rarely cold or cool to the touch. Because of how rapidly it cools, it can require special techniques to work, but its great malleability aids in this. Firenium is best used alloyed with other metals to lend it strength, again like gold and silver. It is believed that the loss of the sound-absorbent traits soniarium possess is the primary reason why it is so much less resilient.
Crystals of a new, strange gem have been found near veins of firenium, and there can be no doubt the two are related. These crystals can range from microcrystalline matrices, such as chalcedony is formed of, to foot-long constructs. Colors are highly variable running the gamut from black to crystal clear and every possible hue, and some rare samples show a seven-armed star pattern of light in them. Those who look deep into the crystals swear they see a tiny fire dancing in its heart, and this may explain the constant warmth the aptly-christened igneostars radiate. These two discoveries, plus the soniarium which remains, are treasures Thermadorians seek to control in their efforts to rebuild the north.
The Southern portion of Thermador, known as the Saelaegh Plains, isn't as arid as the rest of the region. This is due largely to its proximity to the moisture rich hills of Luminii. The rainfall in this is area is higher than that of the rest of Thermador, though still low enough to qualify the plains as semi-arid. This area even has a few rivers that run through it during the rainy season that occurs during the bulk of Sunshare and Warmgrow (May 2 - June 29). These rivers feed into lower areas and form ponds and lakes that run in a string along the Southern edge of the Quintak. When these ponds and lakes dry out salt deposits are left behind. Thermador is the leading exporter of salt to the other regions as it isn't found in many more humid areas of western Hyathis. The bulk of the moisture found through the year comes in the form of fog and mist rolling down out of the Luminiian hills, causing the Saelaegh Plains to be rather muggy and oppressive for most of the year, even through the night.
Along the southernmost edge of the plains, following the line of the Kleftian Rift where Thermador officially meets Luminii, there is a sparsely forested region. The tree growth isn't nearly as thick as the conifer stands within Luminii itself, and the further north you go, toward the Quintak, the more sparse this forest becomes until it gives way to scrub and brush. This scrub area is where the 'String of Salt' is found. The area between the scrub and the thickest part of the Kleftian Forest gives way to prime soil for growing cocoa beans. The perfect combination of rainfall and high temperatures and humidity lends to the ideal growing conditions for cocoa beans. Due to these ideal conditions Thermador is, at this time, the only known exporter of cocoa to the rest of the Hyathian regions. Many other products come from this region as well, including grains and various livestock. These mostly go north into Thermador, however, to feed its people.
In the area North of the Quintak there isn't much agriculture except in the lowlands area just West of Mount Rashkana. This area, bordering Balthazor, is lower than most of the rest of Thermador and lends itself to the perfect growing of a rice-like grain known as quishar. Quishar looks just like rice except that it is yellow in coloring and is sweet to the taste. It is a favorite of many of the people of Thermador when it is cooked in cactus milk and served as a desert. Water comes largely from dense fogs sweeping in off the ocean most of the year, eerily similar to those found in the south and similarly sweltering. The Rashkana Range stops this fog dead to the east, though the northern slopes and some valleys hunker beneath it. Rain comes fairly regularly if lightly during the months of Gentrain and Sunshare and again in Soothcool and Moonshare. The mountains again prevent this from getting too far south and block off the east, between the Rashkana Range and the Skalls, but the lowlands to the west fair nicely. Fishing villages and small ports dot the shores of Thermador, adding sea food to the Thermadorian diet on rare occasion, though most of these villages are largely self-sustaining and not exporters; even in the capitol fish commands a high price. Trade has suffered greatly in recent years, and in 1271 few ships make the long voyage to Thermador from the other regions.
Of the many small coastal villages, one has risen to claim the title of the major port in Thermador. Though not as potent a center as Silverton was in its heyday, the town of Fartrade (formerly known as Rovincael) has undoubtedly benefited from its aggressive efforts to succeed that ill-fated city. Fartrade boasts a moderate-sized natural harbor and access to the crops grown in the northwest. Its people have gone so far as to forge their own routes to connect with the old Silverton one and send out fishing vessels and local ships to intercept and direct traffic in toward them. The catalyst for this program has been the dynamic husband and wife team of Kivin Steel-Eye and Vinda Rovincael. Kivin was a soldier in the Thermadorian army before their defeat in 1257 by General Knowles. He lost his right eye in the battle, and the empty socket and the scars around it were later covered by a steal plate that masked the upper right side of his face. Vinda Rovincael was a member of the founding family of the tiny port. Her family had always had dreams of making something more out of it, but Silverton had eclipsed Rovincael. Her father, the mayor, died a year after Silverton was destroyed, and about the same time she met Kivin. He agreed to help her in her plans to see her family's dream finally realized, and what began as a business partnership grew into something more. They are determined that by the time Silverton is restored Fartrade will have replaced it thoroughly as Thermador's foremost port of call.
Throughout Thermador root crops are grown to sustain villages, and these are also sold in the marketplace in Wadi Medani, but very few of them are sold outside of Thermador. Cactus harvesting for juices, Isashek, and its milk, on the other hand, not only has not been affected by recent troubles but has grown into a prized industry, with many villages maintaining their own cactus fields so that they can sell the commodities for export within and beyond Thermador. Together with produce from the south and northwest, Thermador boasts a surprising variety in its diet, much of which is never seen by outsiders, as exports consist largely of excess, of which frugal, harsh Thermador has little.
Mainly the only livestock that Thermador has is what is needed for the survival of her own people. Many villages and tribes have chickens (or other kinds of fowl) and sheep, and also camels and quiths. Quiths are about the size of a horse and often used as beasts of burden in the manner of camels. They have thick, corded sandy or rust-colored wool to protect them from the sun and broad, thickly-padded feet to enable them to handle whatever terrain the desert throws at them. Like camels, they can bulk up to go for long periods without water, carried largely in fat cells around the torso and in the thighs. A triangle of small, vestigial horns protrude from their skulls, one on each temple and the third at the top of the head. Quiths are strong, stolid, notoriously calm and stoic creatures. Quith and camels provide milk and blood for various dishes, and sheep, quith, and camels can all be shorn for their wool/hair. The main livestock exported are Thermadorian horses. These horses are highly sought after in the other regions of Hyathis by those who value quality horse flesh.
Least hospitable of all the regions, Thermador is nonetheless important to the Empire as a whole, for without it the delicate balance would be disrupted. Whether seeking a trade route to Oceanuus, delving for precious metals and vital minerals, or simply searching for lost ruins within Duval's Anvil, one must be prepared to deal with the oppressive nature of the desert and its insular, fiercely independent inhabitants.
The major trade route used in Thermador runs from south to north. An off-shoot of the route veers west toward Spíosra, but the main route comes up from Luminii through Dorcha Taobh and Wadi Medani and ends where Silverton used to be. New offshoots have slowly been seeing more use, branches leading to other ports east and west of Mount Rashkana. Many who travel the trade route take the side path to Spíosra, trusting their chances of leaving it alive better than accomplishing the same in Dorcha Taobh. The route, named the Sand Flats, is more commonly referred to as the 'Sands.' Anytime a merchant mentions 'walking the Sands,' he is referring to an upcoming trip on this route.
Another route, less traveled, runs from west to east, going from De Ithé, past Wadi Medani, all the way to the western border of Thermador. This route is used mostly by traders from outside Thermador traveling to Wadi Medani. Dubbed the Gultch long ago by outsiders coming into Thermador, its original name has been forgotten.
|Soniarium||Silverton, Northern Thermador, Slightly North-Eastern||Virtually Non-Existent Currently|
|Quishar||Fartrade, Northwestern Thermador||Moderate|
|Steel||Silverton (actually mining villages in the Rashkana Range)||Moderate|
|Horses||Wadi Medani, Central/Eastern Thermador||Heavy|
|Glass||Wadi Medani||Very Heavy|
|Rugs, Tapestries||Nomadic Trade and Wadi Medani||Medium|
|Wool and Camel Hair||Most of Thermador, centers in Wadi Medani, Spíosra, De Ithé, Dorcha Taobh||Heavy|
|Medicinal Herbs and Potions||De Ithé, Far Western Thermador||Heavy|
|Pepper, Spices||Spíosra, Southwestern Thermador||Heavy|
|Cactus Juice, Meat and Milk||Strongest around Spíosra, also from Wadi Medani, De Ithé, Dorcha Taobh||Heavy|
|Fuilola (Blood Oil) and Other Drugs||Dorcha Taobh, Southern Thermador||Very Heavy|
|Cocoa Beans||Kleftian Forest, border of Thermador and Luminii||Heavy|
|North: Very humid, more prone to seasonal rain due to its proximity to the Frigin Sea.|
|Cycle||Average High||Average Low|
|West: Dry Heat, rarely receives rain even during rainy season (Soothcool). Prone to lightning storms.|
|South: Muggy, sticky heat, gets the most frequent amount of rain.|
|East: Gentler clime, less than average rain, very little humidity.|
|Central: Very dry heat, little rain.|
Art in Thermador:
Mainly known for its glass wares, tapestries and pottery.
Mainly horn and string-based, with small percussion instruments. Just think music from India.
The Dome was a huge exception to the architecture of Thermador: an ancient Greek-style structure in the middle of very plain structures. Nothing remains of it now, as Greystone was built over it. I imagine the palace would be patterned after a mosque, as would the homes of the highborn population. Those structures are mainly free-standing, for the truly elite and snobbish -- away from crass 'civilization.' The slightly well-to-do within the main cities would likely have two-storied structures or more decorative eaves or awnings to set them apart from common dwellings.
In Thermador clothing is made mainly for comfort. Loose, to allow the skin to breathe in the heat, and usually made of very light, thin material which would allow a breeze (should any exist) to reach and cool the skin. Just think of how you would dress if forced to spend the day out in sweltering heat. The nomadic peoples and merchants dress in layers with protection from the sun and conservation of moisture and sweat largely in mind, not having the luxury of permanent dwellings in which to seek shelter always.
Primary Trade: wool and camel hair, medicinal herbs and potions
Official: Mayor Ekaterina Duskaya
This medium-sized city is the last stop on any trade route through Thermador and into Balthazor. The road leading from it and into Balthazor is the only one that doesn't immediately lead directly into swamp land. This city has a larger population of undead and necromancers than any other city in Thermador, and oddly the people who live here don't seem to mind. Perhaps they are a bit sun touched.
Primary Trade: wool and camel hair, fuilola (Blood Oil) and other drugs
Official: Mayor Travon Kingsley
The second largest city within Thermador. This city is the first stop on the long journey from Luminii to anywhere else within Thermador. Traders love this city, as they can almost always find more than one buyer for their wares long before hitting Wadi Medani, and if it means not having to brave going any further across the drake-infested desert, all the better.
Primary Trade: Unknown
Official: The Triune, a three-person governing body.
Estrald's Reach is a non-Imperial city that's located east of Thermador, in the Skall Mountains. Its existence is unknown to the majority of the Empire (less than one percent of Emprans know it's there), and little is known of its people or culture. Estraldts prefer this isolation, most choosing to stay in the mountains their entire lives. They're a well-educated people, and put little stock in magic or wizards. They have no distinctive appearance, looking much like most 'heartland' Emprans. Formal relations with the Reach are nonexistent.
Primary Trade: quishar
The Rock of Duval
Population: a few dozen
Official: The Silver Moon Knights
The second smallest of all of the Silver Moon Knight's forts, it is located on the top of a 500 ft mesa about 15 miles from Wadi Medani. It is currently used as a harsh climate survival training ground for new recruits and re-training for existing Silver Moon Knights.
Primary Trade: wool and camel hair, spices, cactus juice, meat, and milk
Official: Mother Divya Maratobi - a well respected elder within her tribe and a medicine woman
The smallest of the Thermadorian cities, Spiosra is the only stop between Cloosidian and Wadi Medani. Trade has been sporadic since the Shrike take-over of Cloosidian, but the city is surviving the lack of incoming trade with a boon in outgoing to other areas of Thermador and into Luminii.
Primary Trade: unknown
Once a thriving metropolis of medium size, Ulen Relor was reduced to burned out buildings, some still partially standing and half buried by the sands of the Quintak, and rubble during the Festival of Lights in 1260 when the Hive attacked. Some attempts have been made to restore the buildings, but these have been half hearted at best. The thought of the spirits of the dead walking the streets keeps most people away from the burned out city now. It is rumored that one of the tribes has taken over the City, but that rumor is so far unconfirmed.
Population: ~5000 Primary Trade: horses, glass, rugs, tapestries, wool and camel hair
Official: Mayor Lucas Tinsdale - although everyone thinks the Arch-Mage is the true official of the City
(Click on a name to go to the character's Who's Who entry.)
|Anlach Bronmin||Medb ni Broin||Taranis Savern|
|Brom Dim Saer'tok||Coll Maranta||Taven Delintae|
|Eirim Fasach||Shaftile Pyreslake||Varia ni Ciaragain|
|Fear Luaith||Sirona Lasair||Westin Knowles|
|Grace Ryan||Slivos von Demios|
For more information on Thermador, contact: