Doves of Merrimont

The white doves of Merrimont have been part of the city since its inception, a hundred years after the Chaos War.  Even the templar Lyndon noted that the doves there were extraordinary, as they communicated to him through telepathic powers.  Many see the doves as the city’s eternal guardians, but no one has been able to decipher what exactly they’re protecting.  It is thought, by the humans, that the doves are protecting riches beyond imagining.  However, the doves rarely communicate to humans, preferring the elves who moved into the Merrimont region in 460 ACW.  

Telepathic powers are found in some animals but not exclusively in particular species.  In other words, not all doves have telepathy but the doves in Merrimont do.  The doves seem to congregate around the city’s main and largest archway, the Dovial Arch.  Superstition over the Arch circulate from bird droppings landing on citizens passing under the archway.  It has been noted that anyone who is pooped on is doomed to die within a year’s time. Because of these deaths, many in Merrimont are fearful of the doves and believe they may have powers beyond telepathy.  In 721 ACW, an elven mason was utterly convinced the doves were evil and needed to be killed.  The stone mason managed to shoot down seven doves before he was arrested and later executed for bearing weapons and using deadly force within the city (elves were not allowed to have or use weapons within Merrimont until the Farm and Riot Act of 772 ACW).

During many of the wars, such as the 10th War of Damir where Merrimont was put in siege by the orcs led by the warlord Phumbaas, the doves served as scouts and messengers for the elves.  The doves only seem to speak to a select number of elves, including certain elven nobles.  Many elves try to tap into the secrets of the doves by feeding them or cooing at them, but typically the doves fly away when such obvious bribery is offered.  It is rumored that the doves were friends with Kalliste, the blind seer, and that it was they who gave her the prophecy about the Slayer.  Kalliste never mentions the doves at all in any of her works, but the rumors continue to circulate.

In elven lore, doves were the favorite animal of Troix, the Angel of Valor.  It has been passed down from legend that Troix had a special relationship with doves, and they would speak to her and no other.  In her battles, Troix used the doves to spy on enemy outposts and armies, relaying the size and readiness of the opposing army.  When Troix was killed in battle, abandoned by her allies, it is said the doves dispersed and were never heard of again.

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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