Mud Frogs

There is perhaps no more terrifying creature in Damir than the Mud Frogs, who are generally found near the three main rives in Damir: the Blue, the Paia, and the Mourning.  Mud Frogs are gigantic frogs, the size of elephants, who bury themselves in mud and then attack when its prey grows near.  They are the leading cause of death in Purewater, which is up against the Paia River and less than a league away from Oringard.  Because the three major rivers in Damir are so wide, the mud frogs have little difficulty using the rivers as a means to travel and hunt.  

Mud Frogs were at first thought to be legend, a scare tactic used by the Blood Bunch to keep the templars of Proudhill away from their hideout, deep within the Blue River.  However, in 204 ACW, Sir. Gallac and an ensemble of templars stumbled into a mud frog who devoured three of his templar knights.  Gallac slew the mud frog and the beast was no longer simply legend.  Over the centuries, many travelers have disappeared when crossing the Blue River, many believe them to be victims of mud frogs.  Incidents have dropped in recent years because knowledge of the creatures have kept travelers wary.  

Mud Frogs have a tendency of stationing themselves in an area that is soaked in mud, so travelers will usually try to avoid such areas.  In Purewater, mud frogs are still a problem, even to locals.  Thanks to the Mud Flats region, just east and north of the town, Purewater citizens have to cross the muddy terrain if they wish to reach the Paia River or head north to Paia’s Bluff where Shunjilas have been found.  Hunting is a major economy for Purewater, and the Mud Flats offer some of the best hunting ground in Damir, making mud frogs a dangerous obstacle for hunters.

Even the orcs of Oringard learned the hard way about the mud frogs and the Mud Flats around Purewater.  On more than one occasion,  the orcs have attempted to surround the river village only to lose some of their warriors to the mud frogs.  Orcs will now only assault the eastern and southern ramparts of Purewater, just to avoid the threat of mud frogs.

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Merrimont part 2

As the years and decades passed, the kingdom of Damir became intensely jealous of the elves and their ability to farm the land and dam the rivers without going through the hardships their ancestors suffered.  With control of Merrimont and the southern farmlands below the city, the elves were enjoying a cultural renaissance in Damir, and they would not recognize King Bandrian or any human king as their ruler.

In 485 ACW, the elves of Merrimont were feeling a bit brave from having occupied the fields and farmlands so successfully that they decided to try and settle on the hills north of Merrimont, on the way to Whitehood.  The Rossi Heights (or so they would be named at a later date) guarded Whitehood from the south and east.  Upon hearing that elves had moved into the area, Bandrian sent his army out to shoo them off.  The shooing resulted in bloodshed and Bandrian’s army pursued the elves by driving south, almost to the gates of Merrimont where they had a short but inconsequential battle with the elven army.  The confrontation became the 5th War of Damir, but it was closer to a skirmish, and later standoff-than a war.

Bandrian had made his point, however, and did not want open warfare (the king was growing old and weak).  He summoned his troops back to the Rossi Heights and made a declaration that the hills belonged to the kingdom of Damir and that any further encroachment by the elves would mean war.  While the elves celebrated Bandrian’s retreat they knew that his army was more than capable of destroying theirs and agreed to his demands.  A truce was called and the humans of Whitehood and the elves of Merrimont had peace.

This truce would be broken when Bandrian’s grandson, Bandrian III, thought it a good idea to attack Merrimont with the full force of the royal army.  In 557 ACW, Bandrian III was beside himself in anger over hearing about the elven prophecy: that a king would spring from their own and likely compete against a human king.  He used the prophecy as propaganda to garner enough initial support to attack the elves, but went overboard.  Instead of demonstrating a show of force against the outlying farms north of Merrimont, he took it a full step further and marched on Merrimont.  But this 7th War of Damir was brief.  Once the elven scouts learned of the human army’s intentions to invade Merrimont, they broke the northern dams of the Paia and Blue Rivers, flooding the land and wiping out the invasion force.  It would take years for the elves to rebuild the farmlands north of Merrimont, but at least their city and people had been spared.  Unfortunately, the elves had no idea what was next to come around the corner.

In early 601 ACW, several elven provinces east of Merrimont were destroyed one by one by an invasion of over 10,000 orc warriors led by the warlord, Phumbaas.  Elves everywhere fled to the confines and safety of Merrimont, hoping the city would protect them from the orcs.  The elven army tried to slow Phumbaas down from reaching the city, attacking him in small clusters, killing off the frontline soldiers, but the warlord always seemed to have plenty of warriors to replenish his losses.  The elven army dwindled, chipped away by these small battles.  They made their final stand just outside of Merrimont, near the Peach Orchards, and slugged it out with Phumbaas.  But the warlord was too strong and the elven lines broke.  The army slaughtered, Merrimont prepared itself for a siege.

Desperate for relief, and surrounded by orcs, the elves managed to send an envoy of emissaries to Whitehood to plead for help from the human king, Valimond.  The purpose of the emissary was for Damir to enter the war on Merrimont’s behalf, and save the elven people from being annihilated.  But King Valimond wanted more than just a war-time alliance against the orcs of Oringard.  He wanted a treaty with the elves and the annexation of Merrimont into the kingdom of Damir.  He wanted recognition from the elven people that they were subjects to a human king and would pledge their loyalty as citizens of Damir.  To ensure this, he stipulated that elves would have to give up their rights to land, dissolve their caucus and reduce their merchant trade.  These demands were unacceptable, but under the grave circumstances Merrimont was experiencing, they rushed through negotiations and agreed to Valimond’s demands.

Armed with the might of Damir’s massive royal army, Valimond relieved Merrimont of its siege just in time.  The ramparts of the city had fallen, half of Merrimont was left in ruin, and Phumbaas had already extinguished thousands upon thousands of elves in his wake.  Phumbaas did not anticipate the arrival of the Damish army and was flanked.  The warlord attempted to thwart their efforts to save Merrimont by dividing his army in two and leading his own side against Valimond’s.  But Phumbaas was cut down in the battle and the orcs were pushed back.  The war was over and Merrimont was spared.

Merrimont was a shell of its old self, and less than half the elven population remained.  Forced to rebuild under the stern laws set forth by the Treaty of Merrimont, the elven city would go through a century of darkness: riots and plagues would become the city’s legacy.  However, during King Valan II’s reign, the elves gained more control of their society and Merrimont began to turn around circa 700 ACW.  Their temple was reconstructed, roads re-built, fountains and archways were erected to mark the return of elven pride and cultural rejuvenation.

Merrimont part 1

Located strategically between the Blue and the Paia, two of three main rivers in Damir, is the elven city of Merrimont.  The name “Merrimont” is not elven, but human.  In 102 ACW, a massive party of immigrating human pilgrims, led by the great templar Lyndon, passed through the flower fields and grassy knolls of southern Damir.  Because of the flower fields and the small hills, it was named “Merrymont,” later spelled as “Merrimont.”

Flanked by the two rivers, the soil and ground seemed to be prime farmland that could be cultivated.  A large group of Lyndon’s followers broke off and decided to remain behind to farm and establish a human township in the fields.  Lyndon himself admired the ground but wanted access to the sea so he pressed ahead. 

Early on, it appeared the humans had found the perfect place to settle.  The fruit orchards provided plenty of food, and the humid climate added to the growth of their crops.  However, human irrigation technology was lost in the Chaos War.  Knowledge of cultivation was low, and the people were forced to learn anew.  Among the lost knowledge was how to properly dam a river.  After about ten years, the Blue River flooded the settlement and most of the outlying farms.  Five years after that, the Paia did the same.  The floods were catastrophic: dozens of people died at a time, houses and crops washed away, livestock killed. 

Feeble attempts to dam the rivers failed miserably, as the flooding continued to wreak havoc on every new settlement the humans built.  Still, for over a hundred years the humans in Merrimont gutted it out and kept rebuilding after each flood.  Then in 221 ACW, both the Paia and the Blue flooded simultaneously, wiping out the township completely, killing hundreds, destroying farms, crops and livestock; the people there were reduced to nothing.  The humans were fed up.  Every time they harvested a good crop it would flood.  Every time their livestock began to bear young it flooded.  Every time. 

By 240 ACW, virtually every human left the Merrimont region, convinced that the area could not be properly settled because of the rivers.  They went north, many settling near Mt. Whitehood and establishing a human outpost there.  Others went to Proudhill in the west.  But the fields of Merrimont were deserted.  Only a handful of human farmers tried to stick it out. 

Around that time the elves had successfully entered Oringard from the south and pushed the dwarves out.  The war between the elves and dwarves was technically the 2nd War of Damir.  It started when the elves, in search of a homeland, were given permission by the dwarves to pass through Oringard on their way north.  However, the forest proved to be just what the elven wanderers were in search for and they decided to stay and settle.  The dwarves took exception and began hostilities.  Eventually the dwarves, who had been mining up north, decided to retreat there and give up the forestland.

But in 461 ACW, over two hundred years later, the elves got a taste of their own medicine when the orcs of Nubrince entered Oringard and attacked.  The elves were too spread out and unprepared for an attack coming from their eastern border and scattered.  Iteph, their royal prince, did not escape and he and his family were massacred.  The elves that did manage to escape found themselves following the Paia west to the flowery fields of Merrimont.  In 469 ACW, the elves learned through the few human farmers that lived in the area that the land was called Merrimont and the elves decided to establish themselves there. 

The new elven township sent shockwaves across all of Damir.  Due to their location, the elves were now southern neighbors to the humans, who had established Whitehood as their primary domain.  Under their new king Bandrian I, the humans saw the elves as potential threats and fortified the hills (later called the Rossi Heights) above Merrimont.  However, many humans did not initially feel threatened by the elves, knowing they had settled in a region prone to flooding and would soon be wiped out.

However, this did not happen.  The elves knew of ways to dam the rivers, create waterways and proper irrigation, and minimize the flooding damage.  As a people, elves  often have a natural knack when it comes to cultivation and agriculture.  Within twenty years of establishing a township, the elves blossomed in agriculture and farmland.  Although the rivers still flooded, the preventative measures the elves took kept the damage manageable. 

Proudhill part 1

The first major human settlement in Damir to endure the test of time, Proudhill was settled by a large group of humans who broke off from Lyndon’s multitude of followers.  For a time, the templar Lyndon debated on whether or not Proudhill would be suitable for him.  While close to the Golden Mountains to the north and the Blue River to the west, Proudhill still did not offer access to the sea, a condition that Lyndon insisted upon.

However, Lyndon did help build Proudhill up before continuing on his way, using it as an outpost to launch attacks against the cyclopsians.  The cyclopsians were holed up in Thanoptos, a rock fortress and depot for cyclopsian war parties.  From Proudhill, Lyndon eventually crushed the cyclopsians and reduced Thanoptos to rubble.  Afterwards he pressed on, heading due west, but thousands of his followers stayed behind at Proudhill.

Proudhill offered plenty of amenities for humans to stay and settle.  They had access to the Blue River, natural irrigation for farming and agriculture, and a hill for fortification while elevating their citizens from the occasional flooding.  The township was officially founded before 115 ACW but the official naming of the hill wasn’t until then.  After the failed township at Merrimont, citizens were overjoyed to find an area so well situated that they relayed the pride they had for their new home in its name.

The town was a close knit community of devout templars, priests, monks, and goddess fearing citizens.  Because of their strong ties to one another, a council was formed to serve as a government.  A church was established and for a while the council and the templars there worked hand in hand, protecting the city from the bandits and petty criminals flocking to their establishment.

For a decade, Proudhill was the center of human activity in Damir.  It was larger than any other settlement; it had the biggest church, the markets to buy and sell supplies, and the most orderly society and government.  Being the largest also meant it attracted a lot of unwanted attention and resentment.  The humans of Proudhill who were native to Damir, having been suppressed for so long by the cyclopsians, did not embrace the teachings of the monks who reached out to them.  These humans were seen as “barbarians” and “heathens” and not to be trusted.  They became enemies to Proudhill.

A clan of these barbarians, calling themselves the Blood Bunch, launched several assaults against the farmers and the city gates, killing hundreds in a series of small wars.  The Blood Bunch frustrated the templars because they hid out along the swampy banks of the Blue river, which are hard to navigate.  They attacked at odd hours of the day: sometimes at night, other times in broad daylight, but always when Proudhill was unprepared.   While uneducated and uncouth, the barbarians were aggressive and intelligent, using spies and other clever means to detect weaknesses in Proudhill’s fort.

A dark day in Proudhill’s lengthy history came in 201 ACW, when the Blood Bunch launched a brutal campaign against the farmholds around Proudhill, sacking small villages, burning homesteads, raiding crops, killing men, raping women, and kidnapping children.  These raids prompted the council of Proudhill to adopt a different approach, and commissioned a young templar named Sir. Gallac to raise an army to deal with the savages.

Gallac’s goal was to seek out their nest and eliminate them.  To do so Gallac employed the help of someone who was of ill-repute and even feared:  a dark priestess named Sollus, who had been cast out of the church for her dark methods of healing and strange ritual behavior.  It was rumored that she had been spared from the stake because of her immense beauty, and thus was simply banished.  But Gallac tracked her down and made her an offer.  Sollus was a morph -had the ability to transform- and as an animal could infiltrate the Blue River region and locate the Blood Bunch’s base.  In return, the priestess demanded a small human female child to have as her own.  Gallac was reluctant to agree to the adoption, but because of the raids there were plenty of orphans in Proudhill.

The partnership paid off, and Gallac received the exact location of the barbarian hub deep within the swamps of the Blue River.  Marching with his army, Gallac invaded the Blue River, drove into the heart of their nest, and attacked them.  Unfortunately for Gallac he was unable to eliminate the barbarians, their numbers being far greater than he estimated, and he was forced to retreat.  However, his attack frightened the Blood Bunch into fleeing the area.  They would disappear and stay quiet for well over a hundred years before re-surfacing later.

Damir

Located in the northwest corner of the continent, Damir is about 37,000 square miles in area.  Damir has no access to the sea, landlocked by four neighboring lands: Lyndon, Gronde, Nubrince, and the Ice Lands.  Officially named by Samjin the Scout in 102 ACW, the word “Damir” is an Elvish term meaning “Land of Awe.”  Samjin considered the name on his expedition through Damir’s wilderness, across the open green plains and rolling hills, to the Reverence Mountains in the west.  Ultimately, it was the land’s high concentration of dark clouds and thunder that inspired Samjin to name it Damir.

Damir had been occupied for centuries by the cyclopsians, giants whose most notable physical trait is their one eye.  Using their size to their advantage, they had enslaved all the other indigenous races.  The brutality of the cyclopsians kept the indigenous humans and elves from prospering and multiplying.  Due to their own internal strife, the cyclopsian leadership acted more along the lines of a confederacy rather than a unified nation.  They were broken up into several clans and some of the clans resented the others.  Small wars over Damir’s lush lands yielded nothing but hardships and their culture did not progress.

Although the dwarves were the first to immigrate to Damir, they avoided the cyclopsians by staying well protected within the forestland of Oringard.  The cyclopsians knew of the dwarves but were afraid of the immense forest, and thus the two races did not interact.  However, because of how disorderly their society was, the cyclopsians did not detect Samjin, and the scout was able to move through Damir, taking note of the landscape.

Samjin was the personal and most trusted scout of the renown Templar, Lyndon.  Lyndon was leading a mass exodus of humans and some elves out from the ruins of the Chaos War.  He sent several scouts ahead of his migration north to find land that would be suitable to cultivate and rebuild.  When Samjin returned, Lyndon was convinced that Damir was the land they had been searching for. Despite the cyclopsian occupation, Lyndon felt convinced he could take the land because of the disorderly nature of the cyclopsian rule.  Entering Damir, Lyndon bypassed Oringard because neither he nor his followers had any interest in the wooded wilderness, compared to the fertile meadows to the west.

Initially, Lyndon and his followers settled near the Paia River but it flooded and destroyed their early settlements.  As a result, Lyndon pushed north and then west, and ran into the cyclopsians who met Lyndon with hostility.  It is unclear who attacked first, but in the end Lyndon drove out the cyclopsians from Damir after a five year campaign.

Along the way and during his wars with the cyclopsians, Lyndon’s followers began to settle across Damir, ending their continental migration to call the land their home.  Lyndon himself was not satisfied with Damir and had originally mistook the Blue River for a coastline.  Learning that the land of Damir was landlocked and had no access to any sea, the great Templar moved on and would later found the neighboring marshland, which would bear his name.

With the cyclopsians driven out, the vast majority of the people who migrated under Lyndon’s banner were human.  The human populace quickly spread and multiplied to become the primary race in Damir.  They would exist as a series of settlements until unification in 460 ACW by Bandrian, the first king of Damir.  The land of Damir became the kingdom of Damir and would attract other cultures and races to its lush domain.  Even with Oringard being overrun by invading orcs, the kingdom has withstood many different wars, which have shaped and molded it into a thriving monarchy.

The land of Damir has withstood thirteen wars, and have named the wars accordingly.  These wars include internal conflicts, and do not include minor border conflicts with Lyndon in 676 ACW and again in 715 ACW, both of which ended up favoring Damir.  Because the Blue River runs through both Damir and Lyndon, control of it has always been the motive behind the western border wars.  However, since the Templar Lyndon’s line was restored to Lyndon’s monarchy as supreme ruler, the two adjacent kingdoms have been allies.

To the south, the rocky and mountainous land of Gronde has been a passive neighbor to Damir.  Due to their free market, Gronde was once the center of trade in the northwest region and had a direct route to Blood Coast.  While Gronde has often distanced itself politically from Damir, the two have never shown aggression to each other, until the tyrant Rudimond took control of Gronde and formed a threatening army.  Rudimond has militarized the border between Damir and Gronde, making open trade impossible while putting a strain on their relationship.

Nubrince to the east has proven to be a nest of orc activity, but Nubrince only supplies the orcs of Oringard with recruits and has not declared open hostility against Damir.  In Nubrince, only orc law is present and that comes from the Orc High Council.  The Ice Lands to the north is a remote region of frozen tundra and hills.  It is rich in resources but no kingdom has ever been established there.  It is seen as a refuge for illegal activity and outlaws fleeing Damir and Lyndon.

The extreme west of Damir is only thirty leagues (almost a hundred miles) from the coastline, known as Blood Coast.  Although Blood Coast does not border Damir, only a sliver of Lyndon land sits between them.  Blood Coast is nearly five hundred leagues long, but only forty leagues wide, as it stretches down half the western coastline of the continent.  Blood Coast is lawless, controlled by pirates, mercenaries, and black market smugglers and operatives.  It’s illegal trade has infected nearby lands (including Damir) in a three hundred league radius.

Damir’s flag consists of a golden crown on a blue background.  The orcs of Oringard use a black flag with bright green Shogue (language of the orcs) letterings.  Since the orcs’ arrival, Damir has fought six notable wars against them.  The latest, the 13th War of Damir, was fought from 791-92.  Damir forces came close to capturing Mt. Phumbaas within Oringard, their military stronghold, but were forced to withdraw, allowing Oringard to replenish its numbers and gear up for another war.

Damir has a population of somewhere near 150,000 but it has been as high as 200,000 on more than one occasion.  Along with its wars and internal strife, the kingdom has lost large chunks of its population from time to time due to plagues (Scarlet Rash & Beggar’s Breath) and natural disasters, such as flooding.  Humans make up 54% of the population, while elves sit at 32%, dwarves 10%, while goblins and centaurs round out the population at 4%.  This excludes the orcs of Oringard (as the realm is viewed outside the kingdom of Damir despite existing within the land’s borders).

The most populated city is Whitehood, then Proudhill, followed closely by the elven city of Merrimont and  Belvadore.  Whitehood encompasses the Rossi Heights area, which sits between it and Merrimont.  When combining the populations of the Southern Farmlands and Merrimont, the population there surpasses Proudhill.  Gilstad can swell to fifth place during wartime, as the fortress is a frontline to orc invasions.  The ranking of city by population is thus:

  1. Whitehood
  2. Proudhill
  3. Merrimont
  4. Belvadore
  5. Chance Rock
  6. Duinmire
  7. Gilstad
  8. Purewater