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Reknahl - Main

Discussion in 'Archipelago Archive' started by Donny Bruso, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Donny Bruso

    Donny Bruso Sage

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    The Island of Reknahl is located north and slightly east of the largest landmass in the Shaded Sea. Although nominally under the control of King Pellen, its people are fractious and routinely attempt to deny the control of the throne. The island is split into six principal sections. The Reknhim lands, the Borderlands, the Fishing Coast, the Stehlwood, the Capital Lands, and the Southern Tip. The Reknhim lands are under the control of the Ministry of Reknhim Affairs, and the Capital Lands are directly under the control of the King.

    The other four provinces each have a Duke to oversee them. The Duke of Northguard, who oversees the Borderlands has in recent years grown increasingly dissatisfied with the rule of King Pellen. The crown demands that the borderlands be patrolled ceaselessly, yet refuses to provide the men to accomplish this. Duke Northguard has fallen to using his own household knights to prevent incursions of either people into the other’s territory.

    With no settlers allowed on the Borderlands, he is dependent entirely on the crown for his revenues, making him less a member of the nobility, and more an appointed commander of the guard. This, and the scathing rebukes from the crown at nearly every request, have turned Northguard into a bitter, rebellious man.

    His longtime friends, the Dukes of Stohneslide and Stehlwood, have been won over to his side of the debate. Their own arguments to the King have fallen on deaf ears. While they quietly slip money and men off to Northguard, the King continues pouring money into the Royal Facility at Southpoint Tower, and the Crossroads Fortress, the principal military facility of the realm.

    The last remaining Duke, the Duke of Mehrswatch, remains loyal to the king. With Both Southpoint and the Crossroads falling under his jurisdiction, his duchy is flush with prosperity.

    Civil war is coming, it is only a matter of time. All the nobility knows it, and the King sees it as well. He cannot remove the rebellious Dukes, as they are well loved by their populaces, save Northguard, who has none. His removal would prompt Stohnslide and Stehlwood’s rebellion, however.

    For now, the factions watch each other and wait; both unwilling to strike the first blow. But with the continual perceived threat of the Reknhim, and the dissatisfaction of the populace with the monarch, the kingdom is a tinderbox awaiting a spark.

    The southern part of the island remains the most heavily populated. At the mouth of the Mehrs river lies the capital city of Stahl, home to King Pellen and his court. The city has grown around the feet of the King’s massive stronghold to the point where it is now surrounded by the homes and shops of the common people.

    Outlying the city, there is a large floodplain along the banks of the Mehrs river. This is rich farmland, and crucial to feeding the high concentrations of people gathered in the city. In spring, with the melting of the snow high in the Lahstian mountains, the river floods, carrying snowmelt and silt down to the sea, and enriching the soil. When the waters recede, crops are sown, followed by the spring Festival of Sowing, and eventually the fall Harvest Festival.

    These Festivals are city-wide. A total and complete holiday. No man or woman, however lowly their birth or station in life is compelled to work on these days. They last one day each and are generally boisterous, drunken, debauches.

    To the south of the Mehrs, the land is more or less open. Some sparse patches of trees and gently rolling hills. It is lightly populated, and a great deal of traditional farming takes place here. While it is independent of the Mehrs floods every spring, the land produces a lower crop yield, though it does it more consistently. This region of the kingdom falls under the jurisdiction of the Duke of Mehrswatch.

    At the far southern tip of the island is an immense tower built of a green glass-like material, though even the hardest tempered steel cannot scratch it. It has been, and continues to be a source of myth and rumor throughout the kingdom. Several generations ago, King Hallah Royalized the tower and moved in a large complement of men. No one is quite sure what they do there, but from time to time the tower’s structure glows with an inner light.

    North of the Mehrs, but still south of the mountains, there is a dense, mixed deciduous and pine forest. This is the principal source of wood for the kingdom. As such, the king has laid claim to the forests, and lumbering is conducted only with the permission of the crown. Offenders caught cutting lumber without a permit typically lose a hand. The woods are heavily populated with deer, and thus also populated with wolves.

    Hunting is a principal means of income, though animal husbandry is growing in popularity. The wolves occasionally venture down towards these farms, and into the mining camps sown throughout the foothills. Typically they do not cause serious human injury before they are run off or killed, but the havoc they wreak upon the struggling herds of farmers can be devastating.

    In this area can also be found the ruins of Ghoran. Ghoran was once a raucous, colorful town, home to all manner of criminals. Ten years ago, King Pellen, after having his favorite horse stolen from him, summoned ten legions from the Crossroads fortress and marched them up the coast road to Ghoran. After slaughtering the inhabitants, the town was razed to the ground.

    North and slightly east of here, in the Lahstian mountains themselves is the Oracle at Fahru. Religion is widely diverse in Reknahl, with no state-sanctioned religion. But the Oracle commands a large following. The site is nothing more than a natural cave that terminates in a deep pool of clear green water that lies still as a mirror. Inside the cave lives the Oracle. To all appearances, she is a woman of perhaps thirty, though she is clearly far older; yet she never appears to age. She takes payment for her visions in food and goods and never leaves her cave. Upon accepting a person’s question, she immerses herself in the pool and floats for a time. When she exits the water, she provides the client with the details of her vision, though they are rarely anything but cryptic and indecipherable. This area falls under the direct jurisdiction of the king.

    All along the foothills of the Lahstian range, one can find small mining camps, digging principally for iron ore, which the mountains are exceptionally rich in. There are occasional small veins of precious metals, and the odd gem to be found, but they are few and far between. Such luxuries are usually obtained from trade with other islands. At the southeastern edge of the mountains is a large deposit of salt, which is heavily mined for the fishing industry, salting fish for export.

    The abundance of iron ore in the mountains has made iron and steel throughout the island relatively inexpensive, even for items of higher quality. Armorers and weapon smiths struggle to feed their families and frequently take commissions for simple items such as horseshoes and nails to make ends meet. Export of iron ore, steel, weapons, or armor is forbidden. King Pellen refuses to arm another island that he fears might later invade. This is the principal source of steel blades to the Reknhim.These areas fall under the jurisdiction of the Duke of Stehlwood
    Continued Next Post...
     
  2. Donny Bruso

    Donny Bruso Sage

    297
    7
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    To the east of the mountains, along the fishing coast, sits the city of Venheil. While smaller than Stahl, it is a moderately wealthy city founded on the industries of the sea. Just offshore are the Hullbreaker keys, a number of small rocks and miniature islands which are home to all manner of shellfish and sea birds. Between these and conventional fishing, Venheil and nearby smaller towns are steadily growing population centers. They fall under the jurisdiction of the Duke of Stohneslide.

    North of Venheil is the borderlands. Under the jurisdiction of the Duke of Northguard, it is a buffer zone between the ‘civilized’ settlers to the south and the ‘savage’ Reknhim to the north. Charged with preventing incursions either way, the Duke has his hands full patrolling the nearly 60,000 square miles. The nearby Reknhim Affairs Ministry provides some small assistance to the Duke, but he is constantly understaffed.

    In certain towns on the southern edge of the borderlands it is considered good sport to sneak past the Duke’s patrols and harass the Reknhim.

    North of the Lahstian Mountains is a large, open grassland. In the summer it is a wide open prairie, but in the winter is buried deep under massive snowfalls. There are few trees, and the people who live here, a nomadic race, regarded as savages by the ‘civilized’ people to the south, have learned to get along almost entirely without wood. These are the original inhabitants of the island, who have been displaced, often violently, by the kings and their progeny.

    Calling themselves the Reknhim, they keep mostly to themselves. They trade with smugglers for what things they cannot make for themselves, such as steel blades to defend their dwindling territory from further encroachment. They have no great wealth, and are further impoverished by these exchanges, but with no metallurgical skills, they have little choice.

    They are experts of concealment, and it is a common occurrence for invaders to be ambushed and slain before they are even aware of being watched. Without a ready source of steel weapons, they have turned mostly to archery to defend themselves, and even a young boy is capable of hitting nearly any mark within the range of his bow.

    This skill has served them well, allowing them to slip arrows through slots in armored helms, into joints between plates, and generally any weak spot in a suit of plate armor that they can find. Their primary subsistence if off of hunting the herds of animals who roam the grasslands with them. They have some small herds of domesticated animals they have traded or stolen from the townsfolk to the south, but they are too small to support the entirety of even one of their bands of people.

    There are five bands of nomads who roam the grasslands. They are not different tribes, such as Native Americans, but simply spread out to prevent themselves from over-hunting the country, and to prevent a surprise attack from the south from eliminating them as a people. Only in the depths of winter do they all congregate together, sharing food stores to see the entire Reknhim nation through the winter.

    Though the cold is bitter, and winter must be arduously planned and provisioned for, it is considered a joyous time among the Reknhim. Friends and families separated for the remainder of the year are brought together again for the winter. When all five bands have arrived at the customary winter campsite at Seerstone, inside the loop of the Cresch river, there is a large celebration, called the Rites of Reunion. Two days of singing, dancing, feasting, and general merry-making as the Reknhim nation is reunited.

    The Seerstone is the central piece of the encampment. A monument of the Reknhim religion, the place is utterly forbidden to anyone of a different race. A small band of the Reknhim shamans remain here throughout the year, caching supplies and guarding the site against interlopers.

    The name ‘Seerstone’ is misleading, as it is actually a formation of multiple, massive chunks of the same translucent green material that makes up Southpoint Tower. Arranged in a circle, with a massive fire pit at the center, the stones have been shaped by means unknown to resemble the likenesses of the Reknhim Gods. Time and weather have no effect on them whatsoever.
     
  3. Donny Bruso

    Donny Bruso Sage

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    Coinage


    The coinage of Rekhnal is all manufactured at the Royal Mint in the city of Stahl. The principal unit of coinage is the iron Stahlin. The amount of precious metals in the Lahstian range is insufficient to support the more common gold or silver coinage. Consequently, any trade with other islands is carried out in goods, not coin, as the other Islands of the Shaded sea consider Reknahli coinage to be worthless, aside from its value as a metal.

    The valuation of coin is as follows:

    20 clipped Stars = 10 iron Stars
    10 iron Stars = 1 iron Eagle
    10 iron Eagles = 1 iron Stahlin
    10 iron Stahlins = 1 iron Noble
    10 iron Nobles = 1 Steel Crown
     
  4. Donny Bruso

    Donny Bruso Sage

    297
    7
    18
    Weights & Measures



    The Reknahli calendar is split into ten tours, each with 36 days. At the end of the year comes the five day Festival of Lights, which is part of no month. Weeks are six days long, with six per month, 61 per year.
    The months are as follows:

    1: Tour of the Moon 01-36 Jan 1-Feb 5

    2: Tour of the Ancients 37-72 Feb 6-Mar 13

    3: Tour of the Sower 73-108 Mar 14-Apr 18

    4: Tour of the Waters 109-144 Apr 19-May 24

    5: Tour of the Flowers 145-180 May 25-Jun 29

    6: Tour of the Sun 181-216 Jun 30-Aug 4

    7: Tour of the Harvester 217-252 Aug 5-Sep 9

    8: Tour of the Frost 253-288 Sep 10-Oct 15

    9: Tour of the Storms 289-324 Oct 16-Nov 20

    10: Tour of the Snows 325-360 Nov 21-Dec 26

    Festival of lights 361-365 Dec 27-Dec 31

    Timekeeping is earth standard. 60/60/24.

    The standard weight in Rekhnal is the foil. Due to the ubiquity of iron ore, it is the standard of reference for the island. One foil of iron weighs approximately five pounds.

    Liquids are measured by the Site. One site of liquid equals one ounce.

    Therefore:

    16 sites = 1 Stein
    32 sites = 1 Flask
    64 sites = 1 Skin
    128 sites = 1 Flagon
     
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