The Dragonlance Nexus

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Terragrym

by Kranar Drogin & Carteeg Struve


Capital: Verachtet
Population: 431,583* (Igurna only; brute ogre numbers unknown)
Government: Council of Elder Houses
Religions: major - Dakranas (Takhisis), Greasnas (Zeboim); minor - Spartlana (Kiri-Jolith), Tradastern (Paladine).
Languages: Igurni, Wedoegla, Common
Trade: Gems, minerals, ore, slaves.
Legions: General army
Alignment: LN, N, LE, NE, CE

Terragrym is the northernmost of all the nations of Adlatum, and is a nation that lays claim to the most lands even though vast reaches in the central and northern parts are unsettled. Most Igurna want nothing to do with the nations on the outside, and will not pass the Endless Reach or cross the ocean to have contact with the lesser races.

Life and Society

The society of the Igurna is a highly advanced society. They have been able to use their sorcerous abilities to their advantage, and were able to make wondrous advancements in technology. Most cities are very well lit at night, have indoor plumbing, great sewer systems, modes of transportation provided through sorcery that will teleport an Igurna from one spot to another in the city. They have a vast highway system in the nation that connects all the cities via a raised road system. The road heights vary from ground level to being one hundred feet above the ground.

Newborns are examined for deformities and developmental lapses. Those rare few who fail this testing are disposed of, often by being discarded over the giant wall known as the Endless Reach. It is said that in the past failures were much more common. All children are sent at a very young age to school, and there they determine how much magical ability an ogre has. After their first year, the ogres are split into differing schools depending on their magic ability. Those ogres who have no magical ability at all are cast down to almost the status of slaves but have more rights than a slave. Only the children of those who have been deemed magically inept are put into a full status of slavery. Igurna children of full slaves are spot checked for any talents in magic. Any enslaved and any freed are not allowed contact with their families. Slaves of other races are not allowed on Terragrym's shores. Igurna slaves are never allowed to be brought out of Terragrym.

Many of the more prestigious families tend to follow ancient traditions. These traditions have varied and decayed over the centuries, but even so many of these families hold to the current incarnation of these practices with steadfast fervor. As such these families tend to be lawful evil.

Lately however a growing number of Igurna are throwing what is left of these traditions aside, seeing them more as a hindrance to whatever their aims are. This growing minority of families and individuals tend to be chaotic evil in nature.

The Igurna have a vast number of secrets about what they have available for both military and conventional use, but they are absolutely unified in making sure these secrets never fall into the hands out outsiders and foreign powers. Their dedication to protecting their way of life even extends to not speaking the Igurni language in the presence of outsiders, even the Teusten. It is for this reason that Wedoegla and Trader's Common are often learned. This way, if there are foreigners about, they will not be blessed by hearing the Igurni tongue.

Religion

As with most ogres in the history of Krynn, the noble ogres have long been followers of Dakranas (Takhisis), which means "Black Ice" in the Igurni language. Huge basilicas to Dakranas have been built in each of the major cities, along with many shrines and smaller temples. Following the Drowning, Greasnas (Zeboim), which means "Blue Deep" in the Igurni language, has found a greater following in noble ogre society, rivaling even Dakranas in followers. The current ruler of the Igurna is an open follower of Greasnas, but he has refused letting the church influence affairs of the state.

There have always been a few other sects favoring other religions. Beginning a few months ago, a couple of influential families have come to taking to the teachings of Spartlana (Kiri-Jolith) and Tradastern (Paladine). The general populace has not yet been made aware that the clerics of Dakranas and Tradastern have no talent in divine magic.

Government

Where the Igurna rule, the Elder Houses of Terragrym decide most matters. However the ruler of Terragrym, the Mahkalif, can dictate on what matters the Council of Elders may rule. If the Mahkalif does not believe the Council will judge in-line with his opinion, he may hold decisions in limbo indefinitely until the Council is convinced otherwise.

The Mahkalif meant to be the most physically imposing and demanding Igurna capable of controlling the Council. When a new Mahkalif is needed, a secret group of the strongest sorcerers in Terragrym, the Shadowed Light, use their divination talents to select their next leader from the populace, slaves excluded. This insures the Mahkalif has some magical abilities while having the physical strength and will to guide the Council. Once chosen, the Mahkalif holds his office until his death or 777th birthday. There is nothing forbidding the Mahkalif from being a woman, but it has not happened yet. It is rumored that the Shadowed Light is made up of only sorceresses, but none know their identity. How the sorcerers communicate their decisions to the Council is also not public knowledge.

The rule of the Mahkalif and the Council extend throughout the cities of the Igurna nation of Terragrym, but away their walls and into the frozen wild their say has little influence. However in these regions, there is rarely a settlement worth mentioning.

Regional Lords run the individual cities. Their selection is the only matter the Mahkalif cannot stop the Council from voting on, however the Mahkalif can force a vote on a Regional Lords removal or refuse to let a removal vote occur.

The current Mahkalif, Kutudel Un-Non of Clan Lysagra, was recently installed by the Elder Council. Kutudel was born as a seventh generation slave but was shown to have great magical abilities during the spot-checking. He is an open follower Greasnas and has been since his days serving as a kitchen-boy in a former Regional Lord's home, and was chosen by the Shadowed Light to be the new Mahkalif a few days after the thirty-fourth wedding anniversary to his second wife.

Military

The military for Terragrym is extremely powerful, but most of it is towards the defense of their nation. The entire nation is surrounded by a series of sensors called the Sentinels that when someone crosses an alarm sounds off at one of the series of forts around the border. At this fort, an Igurna sorcerer can see who has crossed the border through the Sentinel. If the sorcerer deems the person(s) to be an intruder (i.e., not an Igurna native or a Teusten trader) they will fire off one or multiple launchers on shore, called Cazariga's Hand, at the ship. The projectile is a white and black sphere that is split in the middle and will trail smoke when launched. Once the shot reaches its crest in the air it ignites in flame, and homes in through magic on the target. Once the projectile hits its target, it explodes into liquid fire. The system through a combination of magic, alchemy, and sorcery hits its target almost every time. The only possible way not to get hit is to out run them once the projectile peaks and pray.

If the invaders reach the shoreline, the army will be summoned to deal with the invaders. Most of the army is made up of foot and cavalry that have the abilities to use sorcery. Archers use their magic to enhance their weapon distance and accuracy. Fighters will enhance their speed and strength when fighting in hand-to-hand combat. Then there are the sorcerers with smaller mobile versions Cazariga's Hands and other tools along with a vast array of magic spells.

Magic and Mysticism

Clerical magic was widely accepted in older times, and although the clergy have reappeared with the undoing of the Starfall, the influence the churches have on everyday life has greatly diminished. Today, clerical magic is accepted but it is not often seen in Terragrym. Mysticism is a little more common, but it is far from usual in the open public.

The science and art of the arcane is far more widespread. Those without arcane talent are sent into a status little better than slavery, if not slavery itself. The use of magic was a regular practice, especially sorcery. During the period prior to the return of the Gods, the failure of magic was a topic feverishly researched in hopes of counter acting it. Upon its return, the practice of wizardry was rediscovered. Although it is nowhere near as widespread as sorcery, a small segment of the population uses it.

Major Geographical Features and Locations

Broken Bone Peaks: Although not as tall as the Frozen Mountains, the Broken Bone Peaks plague travelers with their own threats. Thin and unstable mountain passes on extraordinarily steep mountain faces insures that anyone not watching their every step will fall to their death. Some roadways have been constructed by the Igurna into the southern side of the range in order to assist with mining operations drilling under the rock for metals, ore, and gems. Although these roads are wide enough to give caravans and transport vehicles access, landslides from above are common, and many lives have been lost while traveling in what have been deemed safe-areas. Brute ogres keep to the northern side of the range, but they are in less numbers than in the Frozen Mountains. Strange wildlife lives throughout the Broken Bone Peaks. Most of them are likely descendants of animals, beasts, and possibly ogres who were cruelly altered by Chaos.

Endless Reach: On the border with Sakkaras, the Igurna have constructed a massive stone white wall hundreds of yards in height halfway through the rocky planes between the Broken Bone Peaks and Harkestol Mountains. The wall runs from shoreline to shoreline, continuing several miles into the water. It is a single solid stone a thousand yards thick made by both hand and magic. Guards patrol the Endless Reach to make sure no one from the Broken Lands attempts to scale, damage, or circumvent the wall. Those from the south have all heard the legends of the ogre disposing of their weaker newborns by throwing them off the wall into the Broken Lands where they can die or be cared for by others. The legend does not explain how a newborn can survive a thousand yard drop onto hard rock. The name Endless Reach has come to refer to both the wall and the plain it resides in.

Frozen Mountains: Some of the tallest mountains in all of Adlatum and possibly in all of Krynn are here. The further north one travels, even the bases of the mountains are higher than sea level, as the western shore of Terragrym contains taller and taller cliffs. A thick layer of ice covers all of the rocky terrain, however there are chasms scattered about so deep that heated vents soften the dangerously freezing air. In various sections between the monstrous peaks, there are valleys and plains of ice covered in mazes of depressions from thirty to a hundred feet deep. To transverse these mazes are treacherous, as many lead to dead ends, pitfalls, and caves home to creatures never recorded. Brute ogres live in the Frozen Mountains, and the Igurna very rarely risk entering the range.

Wounded Cove: Far from Igurna control, the Wounded Cove is home to many brute ogres who have been trying to have (or maybe just mimic) a form of society. The brutes are spread across the shore, and they have had little ability in constructing permanent structures. A few shanty boats have been built, but they are often ill kept and do not last. Still, they have proved useful in gathering fish. This sad but violent race is barely holding on to cognitive thought, and sometimes brute ogres will depart to live on their own. But sometimes brute ogres who have been born in the wild find the cove and come to live their lives here. These few often are less bestial in thought and have the ability to organize others. Unfortunately these few often come into violent conflict with each other as they struggle for domination.

Regional History

High ogres settled the Broken Bone Peaks around 9000 PD, and it became their first ancestral home. Over the course of five hundred years some of the tribes moved to the other mountains around Adlatum. The ogres progressed quickly and began to enslave the humans of Adlatum to assist in building their mighty cities the first being Verachtet. During this time, ogres began to first dabble in the art of magic.

By 6000 PD, ogres started seeing that their children were being born with deformities. This was a genetic change to reflect the cruelty that their nation was beginning to show. Severe guidelines on having children were enacted, and any deformed children were left to die on the plains south of the great ogre nation.

Then in 5500 PD a powerful ogre by the name of Roenan Gogsmoke came to power. He was a powerful tyrant and rallied the ogre nations of Adlatum in a crusade south to expand their nations. By the time they were done waging war after a thousand years, the Ogre Empire covered half of Adlatum.

At the end of the thousand-year war, Irda arrive on the continent of Adlatum and drastically change the direction of the Ogre Empire. Their arrival in the Ogre Empire brings about much internal strife, and splinters the Ogre Empire. Ogres begin to retreat to their holdings of Terragrym in the north and another nation to the south. In 4200 PD though, a prophet created the Volumes and delivered the Ogre Volume to their Emperor.

Elves and humans allied with each other in 3900 PD and began to push back the Ogre Empire. The Midlands were established as the first true human civilization and in time rivaled the Ogre Empire in size. The Nations of Light though didn't count on the Ogre Empire using its Volume. Ogre magi discovered how to tap into the Volume, and they gain an edge against the Nations of Light and hold their ground. The ogres then stepped up their attacks on elves specifically, and victory seemed assured in a few short years.

But in 3400 PD, the Graygem arrived on the continent. The southern ogre realms of the Ogre Empire were transformed into minotaurs. In the course of ten years, the Ogre Empire was unable to handle the strain of losing thousands of ogres to the transformation of the Graygem. They completely retreated back to Terragrym, and they used their slaves to build the Endless Reach. Once this was completed, deformed ogre children were discarded on the opposite side of this wall where human plainsmen pick them up. In time the human plainsmen vanished, and the half-ogre Oguna became the lost ones' new caretakers.

Most of the history surrounding the Ogre Empire after that point is in unknown by the rest of Adlatum. What is known is that the ogres eventually begin calling their nation Terragrym rather than the Empire, the Emperor was replaced with the Mahkalif, and they renamed themselves the Igurna (or noble ogre). They also moved from focused arcane magic to wild magic. During the Drowning, they lost vast amounts of their coastline to the ocean along with their southwestern peninsula. They didn't suffer as much loss of life as other nations (other than those cities that dropped into the sea) due to their use of sorcery to meet their needs and stop the collapse of many of the structures. Terragrym today continues uses a lot of wild magic in their cities, politics, and military.

Due to the tightly and viciously protection of their borders most people of Adlatum are completely unaware of the advanced civilization living in the frozen north. It is common belief among Midlanders and Ironvald citizens that ogres are ugly bestial creatures. This is based on a comparison between humans and Oguna, and then extrapolating the differences further. The concept of ogres being hulking yet graceful humanoids of beauty never entered their minds. Their misconceptions have encouraged foreigner to stay away from Terragrym's shores. The only foreigners allowed now to dock on Terragrym's ports are the Teusten humans. This trade pact has given the noble ogres access to imports they would otherwise not be able to get. The Teusten humans have gathered incredible respect for the "Great Ones," and even with their boisterous and confrontations behavior to everyone else, they are firmly closed lip and guard what little knowledge they have of the noble ogres in order to preserve their good relations.

Although the civilized regions of Terragrym are highly advanced, they have no wish to militarily impose their domination on the rest of Adlatum since that would lead to more contact with the inferior races and corruption of their way of life. They also firmly secured all regions of Terragrym, but whether this is through an inability to do so or a conscious effort to let those areas be is up for debate. The treacherous mountain ranges and icy fields covering the land are home to all manner of animals and beast. Scattered throughout the land are a much more degenerate version of ogre the Igurna have been unable to dispose of. These creatures are often roaming monsters with little sentient thought, however there are some who live in groups away from the Igurna. These brute ogres are just as deformed, but they also can make clothing out of hides and organize themselves into loosely structured communities.

Current Events

  • The Mahkalif is trying to force the Elder Council to reveal why a large military unit was sent on a seemingly wasteful mission to the northernmost reaches of Terragrym under the command of the late Costodon Drobainhash Tras-Sev of Clan Cubrenan. The Council is refusing him access to this information.

  • A number of the brute ogres have been displaying less and less animalistic-like behavior and are mounting strategic attacks against Igurna groups traveling between the cities. The Regional Lords are busy bolstering their defenses and patrols to push the brutes back north.

  • Unhappy with some of the new decisions of the Mahkalif, members of the Council have been quietly seeking help in uncovering the identity of those within the Shadowed Light. There are rumors that the Shadowed Light does not only influence events by choosing a new ruler.

  • A blood disease named prophotona has begun spreading through the young of the Igurna. Victims show fatigue and inability to concentrate for prolong amounts of time. Once the disease comes full-bloom the patient's skin requires frequent daylight, otherwise rashes and burns mar their body. Some severe cases of prophotona have resulted in children dying. So far quarantine has helped limit exposure, and although it is not airborne the exact method of infection is unknown. Adults appear immune.

Major Settlements

Verachtet (Megalopolis 134,500): This city was named after the first ogre ruler, and is the oldest city on all of Adlatum. Buildings here are massively tall, and sorcery is evident everywhere. The ruling Council of Elder Houses lives here at the Council Hall. The city being a port, deals with the Teusten slave trade to the south. A huge temple dedicated to Greasnas is located in this city.

Hetmedek (Megalopolis 80,200): Located on the east coast, it views itself a rival to the capital of Verachtet. It is the second oldest city in Terragrym, and has a strong trade in both fishing and slaves. This is only one of three major ports of Terragrym. It is the only major city of Terragrym north of the Broken Bone Peaks, and most contact to Hetmedek is achieved by boat or road to Vilesot near the Endless Reach.

Nehrdukh (Large City 26,400): The city is located high in the Broken Bone Peaks, and most of the religious zealots of the nation reside here. A huge temple to Dakranas is located in this city. It was the first dedicated to the Dark God and the oldest temple on Adlatum. Contact between Nehrdukh and the rest of the Igurna is scant at best.

Itzciel (Large City 25,700): The farthest north of all major cities in Adlatum, they have a brisk trade in the polar animals of the region. There are also major mines along the Frozen Mountains, and their precious ores and gems are brought back into the city.