|Full Name||Teled Varren|
|Cultures||Altalar Cultures, Oscithar Kathar|
|Flora and Fauna|
Teled Varren, the southern-west most region of Daen, is a large peninsula projecting outwards toward Rokhara and the Suvial. It is the birthplace of the Oscithar Kathar culture, a uniquely rugged land of mountains and sharply cut valleys, where city-state-level keeps dot every other hill behind fortified walls and the way is both exciting and treacherous. 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. This is likely due to its relative unattractiveness for Elven habitation, being a land without much room for plantations, and without any especially fertile soil. While not as barren as for example the island of Etosil, 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 island of Rokhara, mostly dissidents and escapees being pressured into penal colonies away from the ideological majority, the major difference simply being that those who settled Teled Varren still had direct noble backing. What this means is, that unlike those sent to Rokhara who were more accurately banished, those sent to Teled Varren were organized under crown charters of the Allorn Nobility and sent to redeem themselves as resource production centers. What this led to was tightly populated groups of dissidents whose leadership still held a sense of loyalty to the Allorn Empire, unlike in Rokhara, where it all went awry relatively quickly.
As time passed, Void faiths continued to uproot Estel faiths in Teled Varren, but a sense of loyalty to the Allorn Empire remained. The only Kathar group not to participate in the Night of the Fallen Star, its residents were transformed into the gray-skinned Elves for their relative ideological treachery anyway, becoming the Oscithar. Through the decline and collapse of Allorn authority, they never asserted their independence, but took steps to make sure their region was protected from the relative safety of their mountain keeps. When given theoretical invitation to the Dread Empire as a part of the Kathar people, the Oscithar simultaneously tacitly accepted and declined, having representation in the Dread capital in the form of empty chairs crewed by representatives that simply never arrived.
Since then, Teled Varren has been the primary battleground between Altalar and Kathar forces, both in its Oscithar provinces and in its remaining Altalar provinces to the east, considered Narseth, or unsalvageable warzone. It has come under attack both by direct peninsular landings from the west, and naval landings circumventing the locals’ defenses in the eastern parts of the peninsula nearer to the Narseth states, which was the area where Regalian forces played a critical role in driving back the Dread armies. Finally, with the resurgence of the Allorn Empire and a series of defeats dealt to the Dread, their presence in the region has waned, and the Oscithar are once again masters of their own land.
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 its naturally opposed region of Rokhara to the southwest, across a series of islands and small straits. 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 Oscithar build their cities into the landscape here, 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. Indeed, Teled Varren has a deceptively high population density. Over the centuries, as the warfare between Dread and Altalar 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 other 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 an Oscithar 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 the entire jungle and 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 local smourning 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 an Oscithar city’s gates and suddenly journey from scorched wasteland to vibrant, richy colored beauty.
Similarly to its flora, any unique fauna Teled Varren once has have been predominantly hunted to death. One unique aspect of the region though, is the proliferation of the Ularen Lion. As a steppe apex predator, it would be expected that this magnificent albeit massive creature would’ve been one of the first to die off as its food supply chain was entirely destroyed, but a strange symbiotic relationship has existed between it and both invading Dread and defending Oscithar forces. As the Ularen Lion does not exist on the continent of Rokhara, the Kathar nobility is forced to satisfy its demand for lion pelts in their clothes elsewhere; but trading with the Avanthar while at war with them, through the Fin’ullen Hyarroc states which are also at war with them, is not an attractive option. Thus, Saivalthar leaders can often be found forcing their Shenathar subordinates as a combination of hazing and self-sacrifice to find and feed whatever Ularen Lions are left in the area. Meanwhile, the Oscithar are fiercely protective of the animal as one of the few creatures left to them, and a way to spite the Kathar by keeping alive. So, as both sides take care of it, the Ularen Lion is plentiful in Teled Varren. A notable exception to the thinly spread fauna are the Thunderbirds and Fire-tail Paradise Birds found in Ol Lavei Fyror, where the Lesarra are atypically quite safe and secure.
The Allorn Empire has taken up positions in Teled Varren, as the Oscithar have voluntarily rejoined it. While they break with Allorn orthodoxy in multiple places including Void Cultism, Katharism, and the proliferation of Rokhaal Vampires, the Allorn Empire are willing to condone all these things as a means of avoiding revolt in their still young and questionable regime. Because they have been given these freedoms, for the time being at least, and because with Allorn help the armies of the Kathar have been pushed west and the Suvial are being successfully held against, the Oscithar are loyal to their overlords.
Allorn Aligned States
- Ol Lavei Fyror: Ol Lavei Fyror is a state nestled in the Fyror Mountains where Thunderbirds and Fire-tail Paradise Birds nestle in the tall stone spires. The cities of this Ol Lavei are 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 hard to spot, and even harder to attack if a full assault was planned.
- Narseth Charossa: Narseth Charossa is still largely intact from its previous state of Talant Charossa, however suffered large population decline from the Kathar-Altalar War of 307 AC. Charossa is best known for having the largest Altalar necropolises. Charossa and the harbors of Char-Rammaël (unusually harshly named in the Altalar language) are the chief burial place for Fin’ullen sailors lost at sea and soldiers lost on the battlefield. Even if Fin’ullen live hundreds of miles away in other Talant states, it is custom among their soldiers to be buried in the crypts and winding catacombs of Charossa. This burial practice has been disrupted since the Kathar-Altalar War, which continues to rage locally within the neighboring occupied states. Kathar warbands have been crossing the border to raid Charossa, which has resulted in a pile-up of coffins in other states when the normal pick cannot serve. Narseth Charossa also contained the famous Elven Moors that the Regalians fought the Kathar on.
- Narseth Ilsuviaanth: Also called the Place-Of-Suvial-Departure when verbosely translated into direct Common, Narseth Ilsuviaanth is the historic place of basing of the Allorn west navies when on offensive campaign. Directly across the water from Talant Ilha Faial, the ships mustered there are normally sent there to be outfitted with troops from the Empire’s southern provinces before departing for a wargoal. It has always been called a Narseth, not because it has always been in various states of societal breakdown, but simply because it has always been under military rule. Even in the peak days of the Allorn Empire proper, 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.
- Narseth Val, Rokh Marraanvaal, Rokh Aynila: All of these states are what could be considered the core Oscithar states, lands with Oscithar populations and some Altalar minorities, that have been dealing with Dread enemies for centuries. They are notable for their city-keeps stashed away in geographically hidden locations, like mountainsides or ravines, and for their party-wild Oscithar populations.
- Rokh Adëkaye, Rokh Nyäko: These are the two coastal Oscithar states that are of less note than their forward-facing neighbor, for the most part because their outlying areas are more flat and tresspassable. For the most part, the populations in these areas have suffered serious reduction over the centuries or fled farther south to other lands that can better protect them. However, with the resurgence of the Allorn Empire, there is a serious chance that they will come to be repopulated over time.
- Rokh Vanteer Ombaal: Rokh Vanteer Ombaal, also called the Enemy-Breaker or the Heavy Hand of Draga Ifrit, is the most prestigious and ancient Oscithar state. It is lauded with so many honors because from its capital of Charcharath, the Oscithar have seen off more Dread Empire invasions than possibly any other people in Alorian history. While the Altalar can claim a long history of conflict with their western enemies, and the Suvial have suffered numerous Void-Outs, the sheer number of battles seen in Rokh Vanteer Ombaal outnumber anything either has to offer. The armies raised here are famously battle-hardened and capable, and it has a reputation known the rest of Daen over.
Charcharath is the capital of Rokh Vanteer Ombaal, a sprawling city carved into the mountainside and cliffs near its coast. Its positioning 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 Oscithar. The city itself has 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 Oscithar 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 the Oscithar are not Dragon Worshippers, and indeed 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. Any who visit, even in times of relative peace, can find positive hordes of Rokhaal milling about at its feet and exchanging sparring cadences.
Ziggurat of Pakarath
The Ziggurat of Parakath is a structure built by the Oscithar of Rokh Adëkaye, in 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 Oscithar themselves, and between their slaves. It is carved from black stone imported from Saivale, despite the war effort. The passages within are lined with wall 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, though 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 sand pit 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 was 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 Päärthaläär 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.
- For 300 years, the Minister of Ceremonies in the Kathar capital has had to open every diplomatic meeting of the major Kaahls with “where are the deputies from Teled Varren?”
- Teled Varren would be a popular place for hikers the world around to journey to, if not for the unfortunate reality that it has always been an ongoing warzone.