|Full Name||Teled Varren|
|Races||Altalar, Fin'ullen, Kathar|
|Cultures||Altalar Cultures, Fin'ullen Culture, Kathar Cultures|
|Flora and Fauna|
Teled Varren, the southern-west most region of Daen, is a large peninsula projecting outwards toward Rokhara and the Sundial Isles. A rugged land of mountains and sharply cut valleys, city-state-level keeps dot every other hill behind fortified walls and the way is both exciting and treacherous to outsiders. Teled Varren is defined by the powers it has always been caught between, in a tumultuous fight for its survival and that of those it supports. The historical battleground between every power from the Allorn and Kathar to the Allorn and Suvial to the Regalians and Kathar, and the spawning ground of the Rokhaal Vampire bloodline, Teled Varren is not without its charm and is finally beginning to see strides made towards peace.
Teled Varren was the last place on the Daen mainland to be settled by the Altalar and Fin’ullen. This is likely due to its relative unattractiveness for habitation, as it is a land without much room for plantations and without any especially fertile soil. While not as barren as some other regions of Aloria, it bore originally little to offer, a fact reflected by its emptiness until the latter half to the end of Talea’s reign, on the murky timescale of that period. Those who settled Teled Varren were of similar stock to those who would later settle the lands of nearby Rokhara, daring individuals who found a different value to be extracted from the region beyond plantation crops: minerals. The mountains and crags of the region soon put thousands of slaves to work, carving first raw materials of precious or useful metals, and later different types of stones as quarries joined the expanding mines in business opportunities. Due to competition between such enterprises, serving or overseen by Altalar and Fin’ullen noble patrons and Archmages, this region was one of the first to begin squabbling even as the Consolidation was underway. These disputes ultimately intensified, and as the Allorn Empire began to crumble, Teled Varren’s wealth went with it, and the local cities isolated themselves from others. They even cut off contact with settlements on what was then the Sunbright Isles, and the colonies there that served as important trading partners.
As the Allorn Empire crumbled, there was another impact to the region, and that was the worship of the Void. Many believe it was in the shadows, caves, and isolated cities of Teled Varren that the first Void Cults emerged, including those who would become the Kathar. What is for certain is that worship of the Void, and its many forms of worship, were repeatedly reported across the landmass from the end of the Floundering to the collapse of Allorn control over the area. Thus, when the Night of the Weeping Stars occured and the Kathar truly did emerge, many would ultimately flock to Teled Varren. Local Altalar and Fin’ullen, unturned but too divided to do anything, were swept over like a child in the surf, the Kathar moving on to Rokhara but not before inflicting severe local damage. Many left the region in response, making it easier when, several decades later, the first forces of the Dread Empire landed and began to spread their influence. However, perhaps it was something inborn to the landmass itself, or it was just the Kathar way, but as they solidified into their polities, they broke down into squabbling, and their expansion stalled. The vast peninsula was ultimately deemed a lost region by the wider post-Allorn world, though the border with Hyarroc continued to see skirmishes attempting to push the Kathar out, or defending from a surge in their military strength.
All of this changed with the Dread War. While Altalar and Fin’ullen forces were turned elsewhere, focusing on the Regalian Empire in the Altalar-Regalian War, the Kathar assaulted the continent through Teled Varren and landings elsewhere. While some prongs of this invasion met stiff resistance, others did not, and the conflict ultimately forced the Altalar, Fin’ullen and Regalians to ally to help kick the Kathar out. By the end of the Dread War, the status quo was largely returned, but the border regions of Teled Varren were devastated, and the Varren Kathar were flush with slaves. But then came a returned Talea, and the rebirth of the Allorn Empire. Strengthened by the return of the Avatars of the Gods, nobles in surrounding lands all teamed up to finally put an end to Kathar dominion over Teled Varren. Unable to respond in time, the Rokhs of the region were overwhelmed, thousands of Kathar dying or fleeing to Rokhara, while it is said Talea herself spared those who were captured on the condition of obedience to the goals of the Allorn Empire. As such, the light finally begins to shine on Teled Varren, and while Kathar are still populous in the area, they are cowed into serving the Allorn Empire. The continent itself has remained unchanged, but there is also talk of altering the land, doing away with the great mountains and crags through Magic, and allowing for more traditional Altalar and Fin’ullen settlement. With their gods and long-dead empress returned, many suspect this dream is only a matter of years away from being a reality but until then, Teled Varren is a dimmed outpost of the Kathar on mainland Daen.
Teled Varren is located directly to the west of Teled Methen, in the southwest of the supercontinent of Daen. Hyarroc sits to its north, Daendroc and Ithania even further than it, while the Sundial Isles stand west of it, and it's naturally opposed region of Rokhara to the southwest. It is rocky and rugged: often compared to the inhospitable landscapes of Drowda or the rocky mountain chains of northern Hyarroc, Teled Varren is broken by chasms and ravines, some of which are natural, some of which were formed by cataclysm. The Kathar build their cities into the landscape here, so much so that stonework can be found jutting out of the sides of clefts in the earth, or citadel windows poke out of cleverly engineered mountainsides, the entire landscape working in their defense. Teled Varren has a deceptively high population density. Over the centuries, as the warfare between Dread and Allorn successor states has continued, the countryside has become more and more unviable due to the unending raids and inability of the defenders to protect everywhere at once. To countermand slave raids, the population withdrew into the cities part by part, and the present reality is that Teled Varren’s countryside is essentially abandoned.
What this means for the geography is that outside of the cities, many of which are either castle-keeps or cleverly concealed into defensive portions of the landscape, the entire countryside is barren. One could ride from Ol Lavei Fyror in the east, the uninvadable land of mountain cities, to Rokh Vanteer Ombaal the Enemy-Breaker in the west (so named for its famous cliffs), without running into a single person. Many who attempt the trip, whether avengers or foolhardy merchants are unfortunately met with Kathar slave-raiders instead. Teled Varren is at its most mountainous in the east, where the Fyror Mountain Chain begins and quickly ends. There it descends into rocky hills, which are strongest through the middle of the peninsula, and wane as the coasts are approached. Most of Teled Varren’s coast is sandy, rocky, and dry, without much in the way of appreciable beaches. However, what those who have had to defend the land for centuries certainly appreciate are its trademark high cliffs, the so-called Bloodstone Cliffs, not because the rock is red, but because of how many famous victories involve favorable winds dashing Kathar raiding skiffs against the stony shore and leading to a Kathar success.
Teled Varren has been choked out by war. Any notable flora it once possessed that were distinct from Teled Methen are assumedly lost to the depths of time, as what few jungles once existed and expanses of arable countryside have been ravaged for centuries. Indeed, there are tales told by some of the beauty and boldness of flower species that once existed in the region, something which features in the sad songs of the locals mourning the defeats of the past and what was collectively lost. But even with only the plant roster available in Teled Methen, it is impressive to see what the locals within the cities have done with them, building almost hydroponic mini-greenhouses inside their walls to steward them and keep them safe. It is a shocking transition described by many travelers to pass between a Kathar city’s gates and suddenly journey from scorched wasteland to vibrant, richly colored beauty.
The story of Teled Varren’s fauna is similar to that of its flora. Once rich with multiple forms of life, the extensive excavation of the landmass for its mineral wealth, and frequent conflicts, left scars that will never heal. However, amidst all of this destruction, do lurk a series of creatures as old as the continent itself, in brave defiance of the harsh treatment of their surroundings. The first among these is the Harpy. Considered of low intellect, these creatures both exist in the wild and were enslaved by the Kathar to serve as beasts of war, and so fit right at home with the rugged, war-torn landscape. Another aerial creature is the Varren Vulture, which exists right alongside the Harpy in the mountains of the region. Unlike its aerial sibling, the Varren Vulture has avoided enslavement to the Kathar but is much rarer in recent years. Yet in a small corner of Teled Varren thrives other aerial creatures, almost from another world, and kept safe from the machinations of the Kathar due to the nation of the soaring Fryor Mountains, those being the Thunderbirds and Fire-tail Paradise Birds found in Ol Lavei Fyror, where the Lesarra are atypically quite safe and secure. On the ground, there is also the Gilded Iguana, a species of reptile notable for its golden coloration of scales and golden eyes. Alongside it are foreign animals, who have transitioned into the area due to the plentiful dead, or other factors driving them into the region. The most prominent are Ularen Lions, prized by the local Kathar for their pelts.
The Allorn Empire now holds total sway over Teled Varren where before, it was the Dread Empire. However, this power was nominal, as the local Rokh battled for supremacy and against what few Altalar and Fin’ullen nations were left in the area. However, this fortune was dramatically reversed when the reborn Allorn Empire overwhelmed the region. The Kathar are still present, but with diminished numbers and their Rokhs now serving the Allorn Empire’s interests. They are now a spear, serving as the most likely origin point for an invasion force should Talea craft one to attack Rokhara or the Sundial Isles.
Allorn Aligned States
- Ol Lavei Fyror, an isolated paradise. This state is nestled in the Fyror Mountains and has its cities constructed on large arches between these spire mountains, sitting high near the clouds, and often also obscured by them. Ol Lavei Fyror is relatively sparsely populated, and it is often also called the Land of Peace among the Altalar because it has never been invaded and has never invaded anyone. Even the Kathar avoided going through the area, largely because the ground level offered nothing of value, and the suspended cities in the clouds were quite difficult to attack if a full assault was planned.
- Narseth Charossa, recently ruined and teeming with the dead. Narseth Charossa was once the state of Talant Charossa, a Fin’ullen bulwark against Kathar expansion, but suffered significant population decline in the Dread War. Charossa is best known for having the largest Altalar necropolises, the region fortified by Fin’ullen after several centuries of largely Altalar control. Char-Rammaël was most notable among these sites. However, the regional burial practices were disrupted in the Dread War, as the Talant almost totally collapsed, but the region’s return to the Allorn Empire has seen much of this recent damage rectified.
- Narseth Ilsuviaanth, long an outpost of military rule. Also called the Place-Of-Suvial-Departure when verbosely translated into Common, Narseth Ilsuviaanth is the historic base for the Allorn west navies when on an offensive campaign. Directly across the water from Talant Ilha Faial, the ships mustered here are often docked to be outfitted with troops from the Empire’s southern provinces before departing for a war goal. It has always been called a Narseth as it has always been under military rule. Even in the peak days of the Allorn Empire, there was no one willing to let an important naval site be crewed by a civilian ruler who could turn those resources against the Imperial Crown, so the land was always held by forces direct from the Capital, a fact which bypassed when the Void-tainted subordinates defected to the Kathar during collapse anyway. The region is now essential to Allorn military preparations.
- Narseth Val, Rokh Marraanvaal, Rokh Aynila, the core Kathar states. Held by Kathar majority populations, these three regions have been the epicenter of Allorn attention since their return. Each is notable for their city-keeps stashed away in geographically hidden locations, like mountainsides or ravines, and for their party-wild Kathar populations.
- Rokh Adëkaye & Rokh Nyäko, Rokhs of lesser note. Coastal Kathar states these two regions are less well regarded than their forward-facing neighbors because their outlying areas are more flat and passable. They are also arid and rocky, unable to support plantations or much vegetation. As a result, the settlements are entirely coastal, and instead gain their influence through trade with the Dread Empire, though now they are focused on facilitating the shipment of Allorn material into the region. The region is also one of the first likely to be improved by Allorn oversight.
- Rokh Vanteer Ombaal, the Enemy-Breaker. Also called the Heavy Hand of Draga Ifrit, this Rokh is the most prestigious Kathar state in the region. From its capital of Charcharath, the Kathar have seen off many Kathar raids into the rest of Daen and against the non-Kathar states of the peninsula, earning them great wealth and accolades. The armies raised here are famously battle-hardened and capable, and they have a reputation known the rest of Daen over. It was the only area to put up a considerable fight in the Allorn conquest, which resulted in much of its military dying or being captured, and it is likely its legacy will soon be a figment of the past.
Charcharath is the capital of Rokh Vanteer Ombaal, a sprawling city carved into the mountainside and cliffs near its coast. Its positioning being so close to the traditional landing sites of Kathar armies is both an invitation to conflict and an act of defiance against the enemies of the Kathar. The city itself has a unique infrastructure, the sort of which has become the subject matter of many urban-planning manuals–spilled out over a series of ravines and valleys which punctuate the coastal areas of the region, it is connected to its various parts by way of tunnels that are shortened with Arcane Blink-Gates, transporting causeways that snap a traveler from start to finish within a few seconds, shortening a walking or riding trip of several hours to just a few minutes. In this sense, Charcarath is far, far bigger than it actually appears, and occupies the locations of several cities at once. Some of it is stashed far underground at the living height of the common Dwarven Hold, while other parts of it actually exist simultaneously in Ol Lavei Fyror, atop a mountain kindly given the Kathar by the native Lesarra so that they can be observed and studied atop it. Its most famous visiting point is the Defiant Dragon’s Ward, a statue of a Dragon carved in ebony rock which points out towards Charcarath’s only remaining port, shielded by inward-facing bays. While some have proposed that the statue be torn down, for this reason, it is one of the few things about the landscape that simply has not changed in hundreds of years of war, making it a rallying point for the city’s defenders whenever it comes under attack. Anyone who visited, even in times of relative peace, could find positive hordes of Rokhaal milling about at its feet and exchanging sparring cadences. It is unknown what has become of them under the Allorn or given recent actions by their master.
Ziggurat of Pakaarath
The Ziggurat of Pakaarath is a structure built by the Kathar of Rokh Adekaye, in the glorification of battle and the art of combat. While it is simply called a ziggurat and implied to be a place of worship, in reality, it is the halfway point between that and a coliseum, which is also used for frequent grand sparring arena duels, both between the Kathar and their slaves. It is carved from black stone imported from Rokhara, despite the war effort. The passages within are lined with murals depicting the famous battles of history, starting at the time of the Ziggurat’s building and winding back into the days of the Allorn Empire (and some claim even before, but the accuracy of these portions is bound to be dubious at best), until the interior is entered. All the stonework decoration of the Ziggurat also is styled to resemble the corpses of the dead, as if there was a host of them entombed into the walls, while around the great sandpit in the middle are rows of seats not visible from the outside for hosts of audiences to comfortably seat themselves.
Seraphim Oxylypha is an arcane oddity located in Teled Varren’s depths, an old Seraph complex lodged deep in the rocky canyons that were impenetrable until Cataclysm re-adjusted the lay of the land to clear a large and safe enough opening. Generating a nigh-endless quantity of Petralyths, Petatrons, and further, unknown Seraph Constructs that all essentially resemble lengths of stone boulders in different sizes strung together by magical energy, they represent a formidable challenge to access the ruins all the same. Even so, many journey to the Seraphim Oxylypha just to see the graceful arcing patterns of the Seraph creatures through the air, and many Altalar and Kathar mage circles, especially the sororities of Paarthalaar and Ves Ivaëlle, come to compete against each other and see who can score the most kills. Even ancient rivalries are laid aside in truce here, and those who would normally kill each other with arcing bolts of power instead sportingly keep count. However, the region was locked down almost immediately after the Allorn takeover, and reports indicate the site is actively being explored for the first time in decades.
- Teled Varren would be a popular place for hikers around the world to journey to, if not for the unfortunate reality that it has always been an ongoing warzone.
- Some call Teled Varren the Land of Mountains, due to its many ridges.
- Many believe that while always mountainous, they were once vibrant ecosystems, unique in all of Aloria, resting between each within long-dead valleys. Their reason for death is numerous, but largely comes down to mining, and local ecosystem changes caused by nearby Nelfin settlements. Some were even the site of long established ancient cities.