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Crikland

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Crikland is a small plateau in the Northern Kingdoms of Terrwin, named after Lake Crikmere and the city of Crikburg, the largest town in the region. It is mostly covered in grassy plains, with some wetlands around the eastern edge of the lake. Five large mountains ring the plateau (clockwise from north: Mt. Rekkerkem, Mt. Ollakel, Mt. Sámbel, Mt. Ilorn and Mt. Divehi). Mt. Rekkerkem, at the north edge of Crikland, is the tallest. Crikland is about 600 ft. above the elevation of the Northern Kingdoms, and there is no way to get to Crikland without either climbing a sheer rock wall or ascending miles away and traveling through rough mountainous terrain to Crikland. People and items from Crikland are referred to as Crekkish.

Crikland is little-known in the Northern Kingdoms, though it is technically considered a part of that region. The population of the Northern Kingdoms spends most of their time and energy battling each other over the extremely fertile and verdant river soil further south, and thus most people have no awareness of Crikland's existence. Among those who do know of it, Crikland has a reputation as a rural backwater, with only a small population of semi-civilized humans and many thousands of barbarians (both human and non). This perception suits the people of Crikland just fine, as it means they are largely left to their own devices. Though Crikland is technically always treated as part of some feudal lord's claim within the Northern Kingdoms, it is rare for any such lord to actually visit Crikland or attempt to assert real authority over it.

Contents

Climate and Ecology

Like all of Terrwin, Crikland has a roughly warm temperate climate, though its altitude means that Crikland is generally colder than the rest of the Northern Kingdoms. Nestled among mountains, weather systems come from the south and get trapped in Crikland, unable to pass into the Delugian Mountains. This means that storms and low-hanging rain clouds stay in Crikland, often for weeks or months. The additional precipitation, mixed with the copious water flowing down from the mountains, makes Crikland extremely wet. Though the only actual wetlands are on the eastern edge of Lake Crikmere, small ponds and streams abound, and even dry land is very moist. The soil, however, drains poorly and is thus not well-suited for large-scale agriculture; the largest crop in the region is beets, which makes up a large port of the local diet. Some heirloom beets are sold as delicacies in the Northern Kindoms. Wild rice, barley and cabbage are also important local foodstuffs. Animal husbandry is limited - some cows and sheep are raised, and there are a few goat-herders in the area, but the only animal that forms a substantial part of the local diet is the Crakemere Yak, a small (dog-sized) yak unique to the region. Yak fur is woven into cloth, and its meat and milk are commonly consumed.

The ecology of Crikland is similar to that of the Northern Kingdoms to the south, however, Crikland is home to some unique species and many smaller or moist-adapted variants of wider-ranging species. Plant life outside of the mountains themselves is mostly grasses, of which there are dozens of unique varieties in Crikland. Only one is of major economic note: Pinkgrass. Pinkgrass looks like an ordinary tall grass while it is alive, but when dried, it turns a brilliant pink color nearly impossible to achieve using dyes. Thus, the grass can be woven into baskets while pliable then dried to create a color unique to Crikland. Crekkish fauna includes a basic array of temperate grazing deer, goats and the Crakemere Yak, raccoons and brown bears, a range of mustelids (weasels, otters, skunks and wolverines), beavers and a somewhat limited group of insects - Crikland has few native beetles, for example, and very few ants or bees. There are no birds unique to Crikland except the Blue-Beaked Vulture, noted for its dark blue beak, though raptors frequently nest there even when hunting elsewhere, so the region seems to have a high concentration of eagles, falcons and hawks. Lake Crikmere is home to an abundance of fish and shellfish, and is particularly noted for a species of freshwater scallop that is seen as a delicacy in the Northern Kingdoms. Though there are trout and other fish in the rivers, the population remains small and economically difficult to exploit - what fish there are are small in size and lacking in flavor and nutritional value. This is because the rivers are largely shallow and oxygen-depleted, and runs only a short distance before ending in a high, violently-thrashing waterfall.

The mountain peaks of the five mountains that surround Crikland are home to a unique local ecology. Snow Rainids are common, and feed off a mixture of small game, insects and birds, along with large quantities of Remezwort, a family of moss species that can grow in the oxygen-poor, nutrient-depleted and cold mountaintops. Remezwort fruit is always green and visually unappealing, but most varieties have a sweet flavor that makes them a local delicacy. The Crekkish mountains are jagged, with many gullies that can drop as far as five hundred feet. Avalanches are common, and local Snow Rainids are proficient burrowers, taking advantage of avalanches by gorging on the animals caught in them. Wild goats and sheep are the most frequent casualties of these avalanches, along with rabbits, eagles and bears.

Habitation

The Crekkish population numbers around 100,000. Of these, three quarters are humans living in Crikland or elsewhere along the lake. A few thousand humans live elsewhere on the plateau, but the rest of the populations consists of Rainids and a smattering of dwarves, gnomes, elves and other races. Aside from Crikland, there are five villages of note, one at the base of each mountain (clockwise from north: Rekke, Krendor, Esterlee, Banvir and Peltor). Snow Rainid tribes live on the mountain peaks, but interact little with the humans on the plateau; Pond Rainids likewise live in a few small tribes in the lake, but do not often leave.

Crikburg

Main page: Crikburg

'With a population of close to 50,000, almost entirely human, Crikburg, located on the western shore of the lake, is the population center for the region. The Mayor of Crikburg does not officially have any powers outside of the city itself, but he is treated as almost a provincial governor. Within the city, the Mayor has near-dictatorial powers, as the office has always been closely allied with the most important Temples and guilds of the area. He is advised by the Council of Ten, made up of one representative from several powerful local groups. He can only be legally overruled by the Council when all ten members are in agreement to do so. The Council also elects the Mayor every ten years.

Lake Crikmere

Main page: Lake Crikmere

A few fishing villages ring Lake Crikmere, totalling a few thousand people. The largest is on the opposite (east) side of the lake from Crikburg and is a stilt-town, inhabited by Delvers, which sits atop a thick marsh. It is officially called Delverton, and is home to several thousand Delvers, most of whom eke out a living fishing and trapping; some, however, live in Delverton but travel to Crikburg to thieve or similar prey on its denizens, and other Delvers operate as pirates upon the fishing villages and boats of Lake Crikmere. There is one island, Dastrüsse, which is a temple to the goddess Chamballa.

The water-breathing population of Lake Crikmere consists essentially entirely of numerous tribes of Pond Rainids. They are seen as crude bands of barbarians, though they have a complex society and culture. They call themselves the Eldathyn. Despite their ferocious reputations among surface-dwellers (who rarely interact with them), Crekkish Pond Rainids are typically benign. They do not frequently make war with each or with others, and their internal strife is largely symbolic - raiding parties use blunted tridents and the like, with injured individuals forced by custom to sit out the rest of the combat. This system is maintained by Elda, the principal goddess of the Crekkish Rainids.

The people of Crikland are well-accustomed to frequent attacks by monsters that come from Lake Crikmere. These monsters seem to have little in common in appearance or tactics, and are united only in their sudden appearance and the havoc they wreak. Sometimes killed by heroes, they usually disappear after attacking and are never seen again. Close examination of the historical record has revealed that some monsters may have reoccurred, but the subject remains shrouded in mystery. The goddess of Chamballa, who is the patron of storms and destruction, is said to be variously the mother of, and protector, from the monsters, collectively known as the Dellakwin

Mountains

Though four human and one elven village, and a small population of dwarves, gnomes, eaglings and bofro dot the mountains of Crikland, by far the most populous mountain denizens of the region are the Snow Rainids. In Crikland, they are a generally barbaric group consisting of the Seven Tribes of Crikland. At the high altitudes of the Crekkish mountain peaks, few plants will grow. Snow Rainids thus feed on small game and birds, insects and large quantities of moss, of which several varieties are adapted for the region - Remezwort.

Mt. Rekkerkem is the tallest mountain in the region, its peak stretching high into the clouds. It is the only active volcano in Crikland, and is sacred to Maraki. Rekke, located at the base of the mountain, is the only town in the region with a sizable population of elves, totalling a few hundred, or about a third of the town. Mt. Ollakel is, like Mt. Rekkerkem, sacred to Maraki. At the base of the mountain is the small town of Krendor, the smallest of the five mountain towns of Crikland. Tribes of Bofro live around Mt. Ollakel. Many of them tend to the orchid-groves sacred to Maraki (Temple of the Orchid Petal), where they make perfume for sale at Bryndoth. Mt. Sámbel, sacred to Lantern, is the smallest mountain in Crikburg. The town of Esterlee lies at the base of the mountain. Lantern operates a set of healing springs, the Springs of Sámbel, near the peak. These healing hot springs attract a multitude of visitors, for it is said that, if one is judged worthy, and disease can be healed there. Mt. Ilorn is sacred to Malvorin. At its base is Banvir the second-largest town in Crikburg, with a population of around 20,000. The Demigod Altrus lives on the mountain, though he is little-known in Crikland. In addition to the humans of Banvir, Mt. Ilorn is home to some Cave Rainids, many Snow Rainids, and the Gemsplicer clan of dwarves. Mt. Divehi, also sacred to Malvorin, is the second-tallest mountain of the five, though it is significantly shorter than Mt. Rekkerkem. There is a town, Peltor, at the base of the mountain, which is also home to a small clan of gnomes, numbering a few hundred. Mt. Divehi is also home to the Mindollian Academy, a prestigious institute of learning that is home to several hundred scholars in subjects from battle tactics to mycology.

Society and Culture

Crikland is generally a part of the Northern Kingdoms cultural area, but is strongly influenced by its remoteness to that region and proximity to the Delugian Mountains. Politically, Crikland is considered several baronies.

Linguistics

The primary human language of Crikland is Anglish, the common tongue of the Northern Kingdoms. The Crekkish dialect is thick and rough, and is difficult to understand for most speakers of other dialects. The non-human races each speak their own common languages in addition to Crekkish Anglish. The Delver clan has a notoriously complex and difficult to comprehend dialect that is distinct to them.

Loggari

The Loggari are the nobles of the Northern Kingdoms, and are, outside of Crikland, generally very powerful, with any non-Loggari being barred from most important aspects of industry and culture. Crikland is so remote, however, that there are few Loggari families, and they have relatively little power.

Pantheon

Name Zones Other Notes
Altrus Clockmaking - Clocks - Time Demigod sponsored by Malvorin
Anthophyll Iron - Mining - Miners - Armadillos - Steel - Dwarves - Soapstone Worshiped exclusively by the dwarven Clan Xenarthra of Mt. Ollakel
Chamballa Storms - Destruction - Thunder - Lightning - Cruelty - Ravens - Dellakwin
Elda Lake Crikmere - Squid -Peace - Pacifism - Eldathyn - Pond Rainids - Motherhood - Mussels - Sunfish Worshiped almost exclusively by pond rainids
Father Delver Thieves - Magpies - Salamanders - Confidence Tricks - Thievery - Lies - Trickery - Deceit - Turtles - Delverton - Delvers - Family - Criminals - Crime - Robbery - Banditry
Lantern Healing Springs - Mt. Sámbel Demigod, sponsored by Nosotros
Malvorin Blacksmithing - Cheese-making - Education - Sausage-making - Reliquarian magic - Mt. Ilorn - Mt. Divehi - Termites - Wood golems - Wood-carving
Maraki Air - Avril - Bofro - Derador - Derra - Eagles - Eaglings - Geese - Lake Draffanay - Luxury - Migration - Mining - Mountains - Mt. Ollakel - Mt. Rekkerkem - Orchids - Patience - Preparation - Psionics - Quarza - Relaxation - Strategy in Battle - Vacations - Wind - Yunty
Mother Helfa Remezwort - Feasts - Growth - Motherhood - Mothers - Snow Rainids - Health Worshiped exclusively by snow rainids
Nosotros Swamps - Community - Charity - Healing - Leeches
Poline Fishing - Fishermen - Lake Crikmere - Fish
Reymez Leadership - Chieftains - Fatherhood - Snow Rainids - Mountain Lions - Mountains Worshiped exclusively by snow rainids
Sellas Beets - Agriculture - Farming - Farmers - The Sun Avatar of Hensha
Silva Love - Romance - Marriage - Sex - Beauty - Deer
Tandrin Fatherhood - Fathers - Grandfathers - Wisdom - Virility - Masculinity - The Moon
Thuura Magic - Isolation - Divination - Ritual - Summoning - The Moon - Silence - Wizards - Cunning - Stealth - Conjuration - Rams Worshiped exclusively by snow rainids
Torgan Chaos - Mosquitos - Confusion - Righteousness - Malaria
Untoz Weather - Storms - Snow - Avalanches - Wilderness Worshiped exclusively by snow rainids
Velteris Burial - Death - Fate - Time - Vultures - Soulcleaving Local Avatar of Modroben
Welvin Bad Luck - Dice - Gambling
Zilvan Curses - Magic - Wizards
Name Type Domain
Ao-Tin Quasi-Deity The betrayal of the Il-Kuo clan on Mt. Ollakel
Chaydee River nymph Para-Deity The River Chaydee which runs from Mt. Divehi to Lake Crikmere
Dellakwin Ataxian deities Fear
Destra River nymph Para-Deity The River Destra which runs from Mt. Ollakel to Lake Crikmere
Foller River nymph Para-Deity The River Foller which runs from Mt. Sámbel to Lake Crikmere
grellpir Quasi-Deity Created from avalanches, snow-sculpted humanoid beasts that devour men whole immediately following avalanches
Lillian River nymph The River Lillian which runs from Mt. Rekkerkem to Lake Crikmere
Masahushtra River nymph Para-Deity The River Masahushtra which runs from Mt. Ilorn to Lake Crikmere
Oggelliss River nymph Para-Deity The River Oggelliss which runs from Lake Crikmere to Creklynn Falls
Relshin Para-Deity Creklynn Falls
The Snallygaster Ataxian Deity Fear
Ulterlee Quasi-Deity Volcanic eruptions of Mt. Rekkerkem
Vanadine Unclear Snapping turtle spirit associated with the Delver marshes

History

  • 4214: The memoirs of a royal chambermaid who journeyed to the Crekkish plateau provides the first historical evidence of habitation in what is now Crikland. The only population referred to was a band of hostile ogres, who slaughtered most of the chambermaid's party.
  • 4365: The city of Crikburg is founded.
  • 5929: The earliest clear historical reference to Delvers, then known called Delvirs.
  • 6102: Crikburg becomes the capital for Christos III of Vanshire, who goes on to rule much of the Northern Kingdoms from it.
  • 6117: Christos III is murdered by his ninth wife, Alcina, whose favored son, Achim I of Vanshire, takes the throne.
  • 6124: Achim I is killed in battle, and the Vanshire Empire dissolves into squabbling among Christos III's numerous illegitimate and semi-legitimate children.
  • 6578: The emerald dragon Verdain levels Crikburg.
  • 7810: An army of kobolds led by a super-intelligent general, Duxinn, takes over Crikburg and briefly rules all of Crikland as the Northern Kingdoms' first royal kobold.
  • 8199: The city of Crikburg is destroyed in a fire, which is blamed on its elven population. The elves of Crikland are massacred in retribution.
  • 8661: The god of chaos Torgan is installed as high general in the Crekkish guard. He proceeds to lead a coup and take over much of Crikland before abandoning the plan.
  • 9327: A beast, said to be Petromyza reborn, attacks Crikland, laying forth an army of undead. This is documented in Solitudes and Silence by Conrad Baines Talbot.
  • 9656: Mt. Rekkerkem erupts. This is the most recent documented eruption.
  • 9932: The Temple of the Blue Beaks is founded.

Notes


Link

Link

Provinces of the Northern Kingdoms | (from west and north)
Along the Delugian Mountains: Signursk - Crikland - North Tamarkin - Heldarrin
Ketalina River and Points West: North Vanshire - New Wentworth - Lancaster - South Vanshire - Ovlait
Tamarkin Valley: Engleside - South Tamarkin - Lake Draffanay - Joinland
Heldora River and Points East: Beil - North Sambrador - Gabblar - South Sambrador
South of the Joining: Meglarrine
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