I’ve written here several times about my new world, Kalagrosh, and used it as an example in some of the world building and background writing posts that I’ve put up. Well, recently one of the editors of Gallery of Worlds from Lantern Hollow Press, and he asked me to consider writing a ‘creepy story’ for their next issue. I haven’t entirely decided yet, but I’m seriously considering doing so, and I’m seriously considering setting it in Zedrun-Tor. Of course, this means that I need to some serious development on Zedrun-Tor, because right now all I have for it is a few city names and the basic idea that it’s ruled by hybrid demon summoners. Lastly, I’ve been dealing with some writer’s block lately, and whenever I try to write a blog post, well… nothing good seems to come out. So I figured I’d try to kill two birds with one stone and make my next few posts about Zedrun-Tor. I’m sure that some of you will find these very interesting, and others will probably be bored stiff. Please bear with me while I get myself together.
So, the cities of Zedrun-Tor. Zedrun-Tor is a small country, at least relative to many of the other nations of Kalagrosh, but it has nine cities or outposts worth noting:
Zorek’har: The capital of Zedrun-Tor is also one of the largest port cities in Kalagrosh. Zorek’har sits on the northern coast of Kalagrosh and at the mouth of a river known as the Hav to those of Zedrun-Tor and as the Nyoka by the Ubinese to the south. The ruler of Zorek’har is the Bhutara, or the demon-blooded, and is always the most powerful sorcerer in the nation. The nobility of Zedrun-Tor are all demon spawned sorcerers, and they regularly challenge one another to dangerous, and sometimes lethal, duels to determine their ranking. Zorek’har commonly welcomes ships from distant lands, and then trades these exotic goods with the river lords, the people of Fa’ar, and sometimes even with the Ubinese, though relations with their neighbor are often strained.
Drun’har: Drun’har serves a dual purpose, both as a grain city, sitting on a good deal of fertile land, and as a guard against the wilds of the Krevari Highlands to the west. Though Drun’har sits on the Hav, it is not much of a port city. The strong military presence combined with the generally sedate nature of the cities inhabitants lends itself to a high degree of order, which does not attract the much wilder sailors from Zorek’har. Strengthening this orderly attitude even more is the fact that the ruler of Drun’har is not an average sorcerer. While very powerful Harahen does not take part in the obsessive politics and power-plays of the elite. In fact, he is content to ignore his fellow sorcerers, and they are equally content to ignore him.
Torban: Torban is a small city, little more than a farming and fishing community, and yet it is also the port of choice between Zaronda and Zoreh’har. While the city itself is small and has little to trade, it does have a large number of taverns, inns, and hostels, and many fishermen make a little extra money by renting out their rooms (and sometimes their wives or daughters) to traveling sailor. Needless to say, the people of Torban are not exactly the most moral, even in a nation like Zedrun-Tor, but they are good at making a little money off of just about anything they can.
Zaronda: Zaronda is either the first or the last Zedrun city that river travelers see. Zaronda is also a much wilder city than Drun’har, and sometimes even wilder than Zorek’har. While Zaronda has a large farming community, much like Drun’har, the farmers do not have nearly as much control over the rule of the city proper. The city is ruled by the Yajam of the Bhatastik Salaph (or School of Demonology), and his council of instructors, which means that the magical elite has a very strong presence in Zaronda, almost as strong as it’s presence in Zorek’har. Zaronda also has a strong military presence, but unlike the defensive stance and mindset of Drun’har, the garrison in Zaronda commonly sends raiding forces into Ubio. Much of the military in Zaronda is demonic in nature, and the city also employs a large number of mercenaries.
Dulun: Dulun is more fort than city. There are a few farms and ranches scattered around the area, but Dulun itself is an obviously and entirely military establishment. Much like Zaronda, Dulun often focuses more offensive military action than defensive. There are regular raids and border disputes with Ubio, and many of these are started by the Zedruns. Of course, to the Zedrun mindset, the Ubinese are simply in the way, and haven’t yet realized that they need to bow to the greater strength of Zedrun-Tor.
Mim’har: There are two cities in Zedrun-Tor named after the great holy man and demonologist, Mim. Mim’har, or the City of Mim, was founded by the self-professed prophet of blood and shadow (though many would call him a madman). Mim’har has always been a religious center to the Zedruns, though it does not have the political clout of either Zaronda or Zorek’har. While the majority of sorcerers in Zedrun-Tor are trained in Zaronda, the temple of Masadna Kater has trained a number of the strongest sorcerers in Zedrun-Tor. However, the temple is extremely selective in their admittance, and only graduates a handful of sorcerers every year. These mostly join the temple orders and provide a strong religious foundation for the nation.
Mim: The city of Mim is important as a site of religious pilgrimage. While it is a relatively large mining city, it is also the birthplace of Mim, and was renamed in honor of the prophet. Mim is seen as a holy city, and so the temple of Masadna Kater maintains a strong presence within. The temple ensures that the population of Mim maintain the temple rituals and honors that Masadna Kater demands, and thus maintain the holiness of the city. They also determine which pilgrims are holy enough to visit the city, and which are not.
Dormiz: Dormiz is less of a city and more of a cluster of inns and taverns that stand about a day’s travel from Mim (the closest anyone is allowed to travel without permission). Dormiz is where pilgrims wait until they are either allowed entrance to Mim, or turned away, and it is also where pilgrims attempt to purify themselves in order to gain admittance to the holy city. Along with inns and taverns, Dormiz has many small shrines and temples dedicated to Masadna Kater and his many servants.
Miniz: Miniz is a port city, and is also the major port from which Zedrun-Tor’s mineral deposits are shipped. While some shipments travel downriver from Mim to Mim’har, the danger of the Mimna Usiru (or Mim’s Breath) flows into Ubio shortly past Mim’har, and the Zedruns do not generally trust it as a means of shipping goods further south, as neither Mim nor Mim’har have the military forces to effectively protect the transports. Thus, much of the mineral wealth (both ore and gemstones) or Zedrun-Tor finds its way to Miniz, and from there is either shipped overseas or down the coast to Zorek’har. Needless to say, a city populated mostly by miners and sailors is not a peaceful place. So, while Miniz sees little interference from either the priesthood or the magical elite, it is a wild and unruly city, and is known as a haven for criminals of every stripe.
Okay! So, those are the nine major cities of Zedrun-Tor. Comments are welcome, of course, and I’ll try to put up more as each city, and the nation itself, is developed.