Oringard part 1

On the eastern fringe of Damir is the vast forestland of Oringard.  Named by the dwarven immigrants who fled the kingdom of Paia, it means “Natural Fortress.”  Although it lies within Damir’s borders, it is a realm all to itself.  It is almost two hundred leagues long and just shy of a hundred leagues deep.  It stops up against the Golden Mountains in the north, and trails off into the barren land of Basmah in the southeast.  Oringard touches five different lands: Damir, Gronde, Kasmoon, Nubrince, and Basmah.  Running through the forest is the curvy Paia River in the south, and the much shorter Mourning River in the north.   

Legend has it that the forest is the creation of Hovaia, a dryad queen, who planted the many trees and shrubbery to shield the land from mortal invaders.  Despite her best laid plans, the forest was inhabited for several hundred years by the wood elves, a nomadic people who built tree houses and lived off the forest.  It is rumored the wood elves knew Hovaia and worked with the dryad queen to keep other mortals out.

Of course this did not work.  After the kingdom of Paia (a dwarven kingdom) collapsed during the Chaos War, thousands of dwarves ventured north to discover the vast forestland which they would so aptly name.  They began to settle the forest, burrowing into the hillsides, chopping trees down to lay foundations for small communities.  The dwarves had a network of villages spread about Oringard but they did not occupy all of it.  They left Hovaia and the wood elves to their own realm and interests.

For two hundred years the dwarves controlled much of Oringard, dedicating most of their time to mapping the forestland.  The maze-like paths of the forestland can be deadly to any person who isn’t familiar with them or doesn’t have a map.  The trees are thick and some areas look similar to the next.  Getting lost in Oringard is easy and a common occurrence; trails become overgrown with foliage, creeks dry up, trees fall over and block paths. 

There are plenty of creatures in the woods, but a lot of the big predators have been driven out or killed by the orcs.  Bears, wolves, and wild cats are still common, but the forest used to feature sasquatch and hippogryphs.  It was also home to a nest of gryphons.  The gryphons kept to themselves for several hundred years, even after the high elves invaded the forestland and drove out the dwarves and wood elves.  It wasn’t until the orcs took over Oringard that the gryphons were forced to leave their nests and go elsewhere.

The high elves infiltrated Oringard around 350 ACW, defeating the dwarves in the 2nd War of Damir and forcing them out of Oringard.  The high elves took over much of southern Oringard, built large townships and began to blaze trails all over the forestland.  Believing the dwarves would one day return and try to take Oringard back, the high elves set up a series of booby traps along several false trails that led to their town centers.  The wood elves either assimilated with their High Elven brethren or left Oringard all together. 

Descendants of the fallen elven empire at Jeriko embraced the rule of their leader, Prince Iteph, who was a very distant cousin of the royal bloodline, but the only known survivor who could be linked to the elven monarchy.  In their time in Oringard, Iteph had children who went on to establish a royal line.  But because of the massive orc invasion that would come a hundred years later, most of the records concerning the descendants of Iteph were lost.  When Kalliste gave her prophecy that an elven king would be born amongst them, many figured it would come from Iteph’s lost lineage.

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