A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire
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Bourth is covered with lush woodlands, including the vast Wyrdeep
forest in the northeast, and veined with plentiful, free-flowing
rivers and streams. This provides for a most lucrative wood trade.
Bourth has grown the reputation for generating the finest wood in
the Empire, and also produces the most, supplying the shipwrights
of Tamzyrr with their much-needed timber. Beyond the Wyrdeep forest,
to the north and east, the region is protected by the great DragonSpine
Named for the baron who built this stronghold on the edge of the
vast Wyrdeep Forest, Gallardshold boasts a stout military garrison
to protect the woodcutters, trappers, and huntsmen who comprise
the majority of its populace. The recent renewal of racial antipathy
within the Turamzzyrian Empire has not significantly affected Gallardshold,
and the largely independent elven communities within the Wyrdeep
are on good, though reserved, terms with their baron. After centuries
of cycling conflict and peace, Gallardshold has gained some aspects
of elven culture and lore, and tales of elven witches and warlocks
in the surrounding woods are common folklore when regaling the battles
that captured this region of Bourth.
The city of Krestle was founded in 4332 near the site of the destroyed
Kedshold, a surviving city from the Kannalan Empire. Krestle is
a center of commerce for the woodsmen who make their trade in Gallardshold.
It is a hub of travel and known as a place where one can contract
for goods and services cheaply. The people are open to strangers,
although largely intolerant of humanoids, due to the region's
The first of Voln's monasteries was founded not far from this city
over a millennium ago by a giantman manor lord, Fasthr K'Tafali's.
While not as large as the brotherhoods in Nydds and Elstreth, this
monastery is still active in the region, and Voln's pilgrims often
come here to walk the battlefield where their patron was first revealed.
Deep and foreboding, the Wyrdeep Forest is the greatest wood within
the Turamzzyrian Empire. While the Wyrdeep Forest is claimed by
the Barony of Bourth, only the fringes of the forest are settled.
Elven, sylvan, and half-elven refugees fled into the forest centuries
ago to avoid oppressive imperial edicts, and still have villages
hidden within the strange wood, though even they are unwilling to
risk the mysterious and dangerous depths of the forest. Disappearances
among the woodland communities are most often attributed to legends
of fey magic in the wood itself, immortal faeriekin come to steal
innocents for their wretched amusement, or the Wyrdeep Huntsman,
a regional bogeyman of sorts.
Local lore holds that the Wyrdeep Huntsman was once a great ranger
whose heart was twisted by the fey forest. Now but a shade, the
Huntsman haunts the Wyrdeep with his pack of direwolves, preying
on those who wander too far from the guarded villages. Some claim
that even the ghostly Huntsman fears entering the heart of the forest
and risking the dread denizens therein.
Some of the citizens of Gallardshold wear either a single hawk
feather braided into the right side of their hair or a white leather
bracelet on their left wrist. The display of the feather indicates
that the person feels that the elves of the Wyrdeep should be exempt
from Chaston's Edict, while the display of the bracelet indicates
that the person supports Chaston's Edict in the case of the elves.
The tension between supporters of the edict and supporters of the
elves is subtle but distinct, though it has rarely erupted into
violence. As long as no humans, braceleted or feathered, bring harm
to the elves when they trade, the elves are largely uncaring regarding
the humans' beliefs.