The Crucible of the Hero Wars. A tribal kingdom, firmly of the Orlanthi pantheon.
The Sartarites are proud, loyal to Clan, Tribe, Kingdom and Gods (but not necessarily in that order), if you like them, or aggressive, violent, and quarrelsome if you don’t.
The Kingdom was founded in 1495 with the marriage of Sartar Ernalsarsson (who had united the Clans) to the Feathered Horse Queen of the time, presided over by the Inhuman King. He was named King of Dragon Pass, and since that time a Prince of Sartar married to the Feathered Horse Queen gains that title.
- Political Situation/Current Ruler/Pretenders
- Colymar Tribe
- Duck Point
- Sun Dome County
- Telmori Wilds
Political Situation/Current Ruler/Pretenders
Sartar is divided into a score or more of tribes, each a federation of clans led by a tribal King and council, and based in a tribal city. Feuds (and even tribal warfare) are common. The tribes are united by the Prince of Sartar, who arbitrates, leads them as commander in chief, and acts as High Priest of Orlanth Rex. The current Prince of Sartar is Kallyr Starbrow.1Long Live Prince Kallyr! Argrath is a pretender and has no legitimate claim to the throne of Sartar. He should stay in Pavis and rule there.
Sartarites are quarrelsome, reckless, and fiercely independent. Men are emotional, often violently passionate, with swiftly shifting opinions and feelings. Women are cunning, practical, and vengeful. Sartarites are devoted to Orlanth and Ernalda, and hate the Lunar Empire with a burning passion.
Dominant Cults/SubCults/Represented Species
The dominant pantheon is the Orlanth/Air pantheon. Most free males are initiates of Orlanth, most free females of Ernalda. Also popular are Barntar (son of Orlanth and Ernalda, patron of farming), the other Lightbringers, and Yelmalio (although largely in the ‘Sun Dome County’ portion of the Kingdom).
Sartar is home to two great temples to Orlanth: Boldhome (founded by King Sartar), and the Hill of Orlanth Victorious where Orlanth (and later, Harmast Barefoot) began his Lightbringers’ Quest.
Whilst predominantly human, troll raids enter Sartar not infrequently (or as peaceful traders) and the Aldryami (Elves, Dryads etc) are to be found in places. The main two non-human races of Sartar are the Mostali (Dwarves) and especially the Durulz (ducks), who typically act as if they were Sartarite humans, following the same gods, and having much the same attitudes. Human Sartarites are typically never entirely sure whether the Ducks are being serious or making fun of them.
The climate in Sartar varies tremendously due to the mountains and hills. In general, Eastern Sartar is drier than the West. Temperatures vary between 31c during the day in Fire season (21 at night), down to 4c (-10 at night) during Dark Season. Windchill in this Air God worshipping kingdom may make both feel considerably colder.
Notable regions include:
The second largest city in Sartar. More Tarshite than other areas of Sartar, Alda-Chur was ruled by a pro-Lunar King, before he was devoured in the dragonrise. Pro-Lunar rule continues under King Pharandros, but is much weaker than previously.
Also to be found within this region are:
Dwarf Mine (Dwarf city): One of the friendliest dwarf leaders of the world lives here. The entrance to Dwarf Mine is guarded by the Stone Men, proud statues carved from living stone and rumoured to be animated by the Dwarves’ arcane wisdom.
Snakepipe Hollow: In ancient wars against Chaos, deep in the time of Darkness, the earth collapsed to trap Chaos here, so a conquering army could charge down from one end and destroy all it met. It worked… almost. Some evil burrowed away, and although the conquerors pursued it deep into the tunnels, some still escaped. That Chaos is there still. It sometimes erupts and always poses a menace.
The first tribe of Sartar, both in history and in status, the Colymar number about 12,300 people. They are famous for their winter-grown Clearwine grapes, which they make into Clearwine. The Colymar were bitter enemies of the Lunar Empire until the empire conspired to exile the anti-Lunar queen Leika Ballista (or Blackspear). For ten years, Kangharl “Blackmoor,” a pro-Lunar usurper, served as tribal king. However, the usurper was devoured by the Brown Dragon at the Dragonrise in 1625, along with the rest of the Lunar Army. Soon after, Queen Leika returned to Clearwine, along with many exiles and adventurers, and reclaimed kingship of the tribe. Notable locations include:
Apple Lane (village)
This market hamlet is in territory disputed by the Colymar and Malani tribes. It is noted for its inn, tradehouse, and a small temple to Uleria.
Clearwine Fort (small city)
This town is the oldest continually occupied human settlement in Dragon Pass. Clearwine is the political and religious center of the Colymar. It sits within the ancient walls built by a God Time demigod. There is a weekly market, temples and shrines to the tribal gods, and many vineyards to the north and south. The main Earth temple of the region is outside the walls of Clearwine Fort.
These hills separate the Colymar from the Malani tribe. They are a mix of oak woodland and grassland. The area is populated by herders and bandits.
This small city was founded in 1583 by Prince Terasarin of Sartar for Tarshite survivors of the Battle of Grizzly Peak. Surrounded by deep and hostile forests, Alone serves as the religious and political center for a confederation of three tribes. The city has pledged loyalty to Argrath of Pavis. Notable nearby areas include:
Vale of Flowers
This is the richest portion of Dagori Inkarth, well-watered by rains and winter snows. Immense flowers and insects fill valley after valley, as well as the occasional giant.
Woods of the Dead
These dark woods are said to be ruled by a vampiric entity called the King of the Ghouls, and inhabited by his ghoul minions.
The capital of Sartar, this city is built high above the plains in a split valley amid peaks sacred to Orlanth and his pantheon. The city serves as the political and religious center of the kingdom, and a center of trade and learning. Following the Dragonrise, Kallyr Starbrow liberated Boldhome and was acclaimed Prince of Sartar by the assembled free peoples. Varanis and Berra own a house here. Nearby locations of interest include:
This is a Demi-bird breeding and nesting place. The Demi-birds are terror birds and the mounts of the dragonewts. I imagine there are hundreds, perhaps even more than a thousand demibirds there. No doubt the dragonewts provide them well fed with meat, but still I imagine bands of Demi-birds range around the Quivin Mountains hunting for meat.Jeff R. (Comment on 11 June 2021)
A small hanging glacier along the side of the narrow valley, northwest of Boldhome. It overlooks the Dragonewt Trading site.
This town was destroyed by the Crimson Bat in 1602 but has been since rebuilt. To the north is Horse Town, where the “Hyaloring” clans breed, raise, and sell horses. The town has a temple to Elmal (Yelmalio) the Horse God.
This range of hills overlooks The Creek and separates the Colymar from the Malani tribes.
This small city was built by Sartar to forge bonds with the beasts and other strange peoples along the River. The wood and stone buildings familiar to other Sartarite cities intermingle with the woven wattle-and-daub buildings of the ducks. Duck Point is the way-station between the ducks and the rest of Sartar and an important transit point for all river traffic between Sartar and Esrolia. Long held by the Lunars as a major base, there has been some city improvement by Lunar Engineers, which has been ‘adapted’ by the locals. In the area are:
The land southwest of Duck Point is set aside and protected by ancient magic, whose perpetrators, the Empire of the Wyrms Friends, are long dead. The origins of its residents are unknown, some claiming divine parentage and others perverse surgery and sorcery. Collectively, they are the Beast Men, and all seem to be part man and part animal. They live peaceful lives here, untroubled save when they choose to be.
This small city is an important marketplace for the tribes of Sartar. The city boasts the famed Jonstown Library, founded by King Sartar’s son Eonistaran the Sage. Only slightly less famous is the House of Peace, a major temple of Chalana Arroy. The tribes around Jonstown include some of the most notable tribes of Sartar. The Cinsina and Culbrea both played a major role in the liberation of Sartar, while the Malani are feared because Humakt is their tribal patron.
This tribe numbers about 8800 people. They are often called the Wolfslayers because of their feud with the Telmori werewolves.
This tribe numbers about 5,000 people. The Hill of Orlanth Victorious is within the Culbrea lands- The most sacred Orlanthi hill in Dragon Pass. Here Orlanth and his companions set off upon the Lightbringers’ Quest during the Great Darkness.
Hill of Orlanth Victorious
It is roughly 20 miles from Boldhome to the Hill of Orlanth Victorious – a roughly comparable distance from the Akropolis of Athens to the sanctuary at Eleusis. No trade road connects the two, but countless Sartarites have made the pilgrimage.
During the rule of the Princes of Sartar, the Hill of Orlanth Victorious was where many Sacred Time rites were performed by many tribes and cults, overseen and supported by the Prince, and aided by the Red Vireo. People would travel from Boldhome, Jonstown, or beyond, take lodgings in nearby villages or camp in the fields. Priests and rune lords would offer sacrifices, perform rites and ceremonies, and Orlanth and his Lightbringers would be invoked by all.
Thousands of people, sometimes tens of thousands, would attend these rites. Priests and temples would jostle for priority, but for generations the Hill was under the direct protection of Hofstaring Treeleaper, a close ally to the Sartar Dynasty, and appeal to the Prince was thus rare.
There were of course many lesser celebrations of Sacred Time in Sartar, but the sacrifices at the Hill of Orlanth Victorious was THE celebration. The Prince, his household and companions, the leaders of the Lightbringers cults – all attended.
After Starbrow’s Rebellion, the Hill was guarded by the Yelmalio Cult (instead of by Lunar soldiers), and the celebrations were much smaller (and notorious rebels were turned away from the hill). With the Liberation of Sartar in 1625, arranging the Sacred Time rites at the Hill of Orlanth Victorious were viewed by many to be the single most important and pressing priority of the new Prince.Jeff R. (12 Dec 2021)
Like all such ceremonies, the Sacred Time rites at the Hill of Orlanth Victorious would be a combination of sacred mysteries and secular partying and trade.
As a Great Temple, pretty much every associate and local subcult of Orlanth is worshiped here at Sacred Time. Storm Bull berserks, Earth Priestesses and snake dancers, Issaries merchants, Lhankor Mhy scribes, Chalana Arroy healers, Helerite Rain Bringers, Yinkini, and of course bands of Tricksters and their clown societies. Imagine the scene!
And of course folk from every tribe in Sartar. The Sacred Time rites would bring everyone who could make it there. Old rivalries would be put aside to help revive the world.
Of course some tribes are overrepresented – the Culbrea, the Cinsina, the Kheldon, not to mention the urban populations of Boldhome and Jonstown. And other tribes are underrepresented – the Ducks, Lismelder, Locaem, and Kultain are present in only small numbers if at all.
And note that the Yelmalions guarding the Hill is a direct repetition from the Greater Darkness.
Because this is where Orlanth began his Lightbringers Quest – and where Harmast Barefoot began his two Lightbringers Quest – this is a place where the boundaries between our world and the Other World are weak and permeable. Steps are taken to make sure the participants do not begin the Lightbringers Quest (as that quest is known to be extremely dangerous and unpredictable). For example, the Bad Rain is not normally summoned and the full ring not gathered.Jeff R. (Comments on 12 Dec 2021)
This tribe numbers about 6,000 people. They have a dispute with the Colymar over lands given to the Malani by the Lunar Empire during the Occupation. Centred on Two Ridge Fort atop steep-ridged butte at the end of the Oakland Back, and includes farms and pastures. and has temples to Orlanth and Humakt
This small tribe numbers about 4,000 people. The Lismelder are famous for their great beer. They are noted friends and allies of the ducks, who aid them against the undead of the Upland Marsh. Locations of note within this tribal area are
A circle of six stone megaliths is a wel lknown entryway into the Underworld. The local Humakti claim this is where Humakt emerged from the Underworld bearing Death.
This plot was solid earth once, until magically changed by Delecti the Necromancer, a sorcerer who reached magus level about 800 years ago, and who is said to “live” there still, an immortal vampire. Within the treacherous bogs, streams, and sandbars are many undead strongholds.
Sun Dome County
The ranking Light Son of the Yelmalio cult rules this small self-sufficient theocracy centred on the Sun Dome temple itself. King Tarkalor granted this land to the cult in 1579 after defeating the Kitori who previously ruled the area. The cult survives surrounded by hostile Orlanthi tribes through its drilled pikemen—the famous Sun Dome Templars. It fiercely defends its independence, until the right price comes along, at which point the inhabitants of military
age become dedicated mercenaries. This Sun Dome Temple is the ranking Yelmalio temple
in Dragon Pass, and the other temples often look to it for direction.
This small city in the semi-arid eastern foothills of Sartar is the political and religious center for a confederation of four tribes (Aranwyth, Balkoth, Dundealos, Kheldon). Kallyr Starbrow is queen of the Kheldon tribe. It is an important place of trade with the tribes of Prax. Nearby are:
On the edge of the Telmori Wilds is this traditional route from Prax to the verdant Staglands. It
is home to a small but influential troll clan.
These limestone massifs are rumoured to be spirits active during the Empire of Wyrms Friends, and believed to beparticularly unfriendly to trolls. Each had the head of a particular animal and a beautiful human body.
These rugged woods and hills are inhabited by a tribe of werewolves called the Telmori. The Telmori are listed among the tribes of Sartar, despite being considered non-human by the other tribes. They are tainted by Chaos.
This ancient fortress temple built atop solid rock is the religious center for the Hendriki tribal confederation (Bacofi, Curtali, Olontongi, Volsaxi, and others). The Hendriki tribes are closely related to the Sartarites, speaking the same language and worshiping the same gods. Indeed,
the lands of Sartar were settled by Hendriki colonists three centuries ago Long thought impregnable, Whitewall fell to the Lunar Empire in 1621 after nearly three years of siege, despite its white stone walls, 15 meters high and 10 meters thick.
Whitewall still shows the scars of the Lunar siege, and although it is still an important religious center, its political importance is greatly reduced.
This small city is the political and religious center for a confederation of four tribes (Balmyr, Locaem, Olontongi, Sambari). It has a surprising number of temples and is the main market for southern Sartar. It is famed for its artists and crafters. The tribes of the Wilmskirk confederation suffered greatly during the Lunar occupation and later liberation. The Sambari tribe is now predominant, with their king, Vamastal Greyskin, one of the new Prince’s counselors. The Olontongi are a new tribe, formed in 1624 during the Hendriking uprising out of the ruins of the Kultain and Sylangi tribes. Locations include:
This 10-kilometer long chasm is over a kilometer deep in places and marks where the True Dragon rose to devour the New Lunar Temple in 1625. Plumes of smoke still rise from the rocky bottom where the True Dragon lies quiescent.
This tribe numbers about 6,800. The tribe has been in disorder since the Dragonrise, and the Colymar now demand the return of lands given to the Locaem by the Lunar Empire during the Occupation.
The giant wasps that inhabit this cavernous hive were tamed long ago by a tribe of primitive cultists called the Wasp Riders. The giant wasps prey on cattle, horses, sheep, and even humans.
- 1Long Live Prince Kallyr! Argrath is a pretender and has no legitimate claim to the throne of Sartar. He should stay in Pavis and rule there.