Korashur

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Icon - Korashur.png
  • Capital: Sulla
  • Exports: Magical Items, Marble, Precious Metals
  • Currency: Crux
  • Languages: Common, Vythran (by scholars)

Descended, it is said, from humans favoured by the Ancients and taught the ways of magic, the people of Korashur pride themselves on their mastery of the arcane arts and the strength that it gives them against the other realms. In one of the most stratified of the realms, Korashur is a magocracy in which those who study or practice magic are seen as innately superior to those that do not and the most powerful lead the realm. Perhaps retaining some of the culture of the Ancients, Korashur maintains the largest slave population in the Five Realms, a resource it uses to support much of its society.

In Korashur ones gender is irrelevant, the strength of an individual’s will is all that distinguishes them from others. Those who can understand and wield the mysteries of the arcane arts are elevated above all others, and those that fail the state are the lowest of the low, often turned into thralls at the hands of the magocracy.

The upper class of Korashur is considered to be anyone of Korashuran blood who wields some form of magic. To become truly ‘human’ in the eyes of the Korashuns one needs to be a Mage, and once a Mage, there are no menial wants as such. The magocracy is so prosperous that to be one of the enlightened, one never needs to work hard for food or home. Status amongst the society is directly related to magical supremacy, whether it be through raw power or keen understanding on the complexities of more subtle applications of magic. All of the arcane arts are recognised and respected for their own specific uses.

As the Mages are interested in the higher mysteries of the world, they have little time to deal with the running of trivial things like mining and farming or producing mundane wares. The middle class consists largely of professional immigrants, mainly because those of Korashuran heritage that can afford it will take even the most fundamental lessons to become a mage and ascend to the upper class. Professionals that come to Korashur and prove themselves find that they can be paid very well to operate all of the tasks that sustain the Magocracy. Many quickly end up very rich in their own right, though their lifestyles rarely ever compare to those of the most powerful mages. It should be noted that foreign mages that come to live in Korashur are considered middle class unless fully accepted as citizens.

Making up the masses of the lower classes are serfs and slaves, along with a small proportion of freemen who are not bound to any servitude yet unable to distinguish themselves as members of the middle class. Serfs are typically farmers and simple craftsmen who owe their allegiance to a local magelord, but have a reasonable degree of freedom provided they do their duties. Far more plentiful are the slaves who must toil unfailingly for little or no recompense, usually finding themselves in that state as either a captured foreigner, or a Korashuran citizen who debts are too high and ability to repay them too low. Those lucky enough to be beautiful and well spoken are often taken as personal servants to the Magocracy. The unlucky find themselves often being treated as an almost inhuman resource to be expended in back-breaking toil in the fields or mines. Thankfully for the slaves, the prestige of a Mage is often measured as well by how healthy and well equipped their slaves are, which promotes the privileged to treat their slaves better than those who rather choose to work their slaves to death.

Finally at the absolute lowest level of Korashuran society are the thralls. These wretched souls have by grand insult to a mage or treasonous act to the realm, been condemned to spend the rest of their lives as a near mindless living automaton in service to a magelord or the realm. They serve as beasts of burden, personal comfort-slaves, or unflinching bodyguards, with the particular modifications made to their brains and bodies giving them incredible physiques and no brain with which to complain.

Heraldry and Fashion

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The common colours in Korashuran dress are purples and blues with silver accents, and draconic or elemental motifs figure heavily in ornate outfits. The most common items that a noble or person of renown will invest resources into enhancing are their staves, wands, or other magical foci (or other magical items if the person is not a mage).

In their style of dress there is the clear influences from a far more arid and warm environment than the temperate climes of modern Korashur, believed by those that study it to be a holdover from ancient times when the ancestors of the Korashurans were believed to have dwelt in lands now sunken beneath the Broken Sea. During the warm summer days many prefer to wear lighter coloured outfits in very light and revealing materials. Due to this it is then that many are able to gaze upon the arcane glyphs which some of the more powerful mages take to tattooing or painting on their body to openly display their prowess. When summer fades however, more practical considerations come into play, and the garb is more suited to the temperate climate, though with elements of the summer dress.

Life and Society

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Family

In Korashur, a marriage is a contract between two people that recognises a close bond and a sharing of personal resources. A person can have multiple concurrent marriages, but these contracts can only be finalised with the acceptance of any preceding married partners. Children born out of marriage bear the last name of the parent that gave birth to them, while those born to married parents can adopt either name. korashurans track which House bloodline they are descended from, going back to the extended families that first served and then rebelled against the Ancients. Those families/houses that did not rebel against the Ancients are said to have been wiped out or assimilated into other houses, but some of the Dark Mages claim to be descendants of these lines.

In Korashur it is the mages of the Order of Hydros that handle almost every aspect of childbirth, from advising on what a parent should be eating in the lead up to birth, easing the child from its womb, and cleaning and healing it and its parent of any ailments once the process is complete. If the Korashuran parent is a mage, it is almost completely up to them how active they are before and after the birth, though for the lower classes it is an affair more in common with the experience of Alteraanian mothers. Uncannily, using the power of magic, it is not unheard of for a Korashuran mage to transfer her pregnancy to the womb of another female, or in some cases, the abdomen of a male.

Education and Employment

Though stratified, the Korashuran magocracy require means of determining aptitude in the noble arts, and as such they provide some of the best primary education in all of the Five Realms. Up until the age of 14, a Korashuran youth, irrespective of class, can expect to receive tutelage in the mathematics, science, humanities, and of course, arcana. It is during this phase of their life that a Korashuran determines what the rest of their life will consist of. If they show magical aptitude they are provided with full tutelage within one of the arcane academies, with all the world before them. If not, they are left to pick up a mundane profession and join the ranks of the middle or lower classes, hopefully showing enough technical skill that they gain a specialist profession and the additional training that might be offered by the Technical Houses.

Entertainment

Though the clear dichotomy between the mages and non-mages in Korashur leads to segregation in various social situations, entertainment pursuits see a reasonable mixing of both groups. Foremost amongst events are the major fighting matches, ranging from the brutal Dragonball clashes to the one-on-one thrall gladiator championships. On the more peaceful side of things, Korashur is also the source of some of the finest musicals and stage-mage productions, enhanced as they are by the expert prestidigitation and pyrotechnics of their performers and stage-hands. In terms of musical instruments, the drums and Holamen fiddle are the two most common instruments to come out of the realm. In Korashur, a mage can consume whatever substances they desire.

The risk lies with those that in indulging such vices open themselves up to the machinations of their rivals. For that reason many members of the upper class either consume such substances in private, or at carefully set up group events where they have contingencies in place should someone decide to act against them. For sexual pursuits, a member of the Korashuran upper class has a veritable bounty of well-paid prostitutes at their beck and call, or for those with less discriminating desires, thralls often find themselves called on for other services. As to the middle and lower classes, drinking, drugs and sex are all common ways to indulge in a bit of escapism from the class structure they operate under.

Life and Death

While many mages in Korashur take the time to learn some basic restoration magic to keep themselves and valued members of their household intact, medical care for the bulk of the populace is provided for by the Orders of Stratos and Hydros. Though the power of magic to instantaneously heal wounds is highly valued, the indiscriminate manner it which it works means that most specialised healers in Korashur practice both arcane and mundane healing, and for complicated surgical conditions, magic is used only after a talented surgeon has tended to an injury or complication and prepped it for magical intervention.

For the traditionally minded Korashurans, the general practice is to bury their dead within a necropolis or catacomb complex. For the less traditional and more inquisitive, bodies donated or less willingly given are often subjected to all manner of re-use, from reanimation to conversion into semi-precious gemstones and all manner of other strange fates.

Commerce and Construction

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The industries of Korashur, like its society, is divided into two quite different extremes. At the lower end the realm maintains a strong agricultural and resource extraction base on the backs of the lower class, and more noticeably by the legions of thralls owned by the mages. Able to work three times as hard with no complaint, the thrall workforce operates in most of the mines and quarries, supplementing the lower classes in agricultural activities, directed by expert overseers. As there is little support for non-mage experts to develop in Korashur, many of these overseers end up being from other realms or principalities, given how few mages want to waste their time with the ‘trivialities’ of overseeing manual labour.

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At the other end, the industry of Korashur is also about the high quality magical items the mages produce. For many young mages, the way to pay for their advanced studies is through manufacturing interesting items that they then sell to merchants for trading to other realms. A notable substance primarily intended for use by the magocracy within the realm, but highly sought after on the black market is an alchemically blended wine called Ambrosia that enhances the drinker’s intellect and lifespan, though prolonged consumption will stains their lips blue. With traditions that date back to the time of the Ancients, the mages of Korashur still favour the grand style of the Ancients with its rich colours, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation. Residential structures can rise to eight to ten stories in metropolitan areas, with the middle and upper classes occupying the top levels, and the lower classes beneath them. In more rural environments, the ruling mages will often be found in towers or sprawlings palaces surrounded by gardens and then neatly laid out clusters of working class inhabitants. In terms of infrastructure, Korashur has some of the best kept highways in the Five Realms, with their surfaces magically treated and kept expertly maintained through constant works undertaken by slave crews.

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Religion

Worship of the Elemental Primes is the dominant religion throughout Korashur. Within the society of the Realm it is the mages who rule and form the upper class, and to a large degree it is from the Primes that they gather their power. While most people of the middle and lower classes do not directly owe much to the Primes, the power of the mages is more than enough to convince most citizens of the strength of the gods. Active worship is not forced amongst the commoners, but those who dissent are dealt with in a harsh manner, usually by being granted a one-to-one meeting with an elemental outsider.

Language and Communication

Aside from the Common tongue, in Korashur one can find members of the mage nobility speaking Vythran, tongue of the elemental outsiders. While far from common, there are a few that also can read the Ancient tongue, and a handful that claim to still speak it.

As inheritors of many secrets of the Ancients, Korashur has maintained the knowledge of how to construct Communication Pylons; arcane devices that a mage can communicate with and then have their messages displayed for passers-by to read, as well as sending and displaying those messages on other pylons in distant locations. The magocracy uses these devices significantly for keeping the lower and middle classes informed on matters of state and welfare information such as curfews or free state meals.

Crime and Punishment

For those who break the law, the punishment in Korashur can be harsh. Even the smallest misdemeanour can see a person pay a penalty ten times as great as in one of the other realms, with every crime being treated as an attack on the fabric of the Korashuran society. Due to the fact that it is little more than a drain on the resources of the state the sentence of long-term imprisonment is a rare one, with criminals far more likely to end up being forced into servitude to work off their crime, or face execution if they would pose a significant future threat to others.

A punishment particularly favoured by the lawmakers of Korashur and one somewhat unique to the land is that of thraldom. Via a closely guarded process convicted criminals have their higher brain functions suppressed, turning them into simple drudges that carry out the most menial of tasks without hesitation. While this is said to be a reversible process, so few people are brought back from it that is essentially a death sentence for a person’s individuality, and the factories and workshops of the nation are filled with examples of this punishment at work. Law and order all over Korashur is enforced by the Hand of the Primes, a nationwide policing force that takes its orders directly from the Council of Justice. The most feared amongst the police force are its justicars, who have the mandate to charge, convict and carry out punishment upon any member of the general citizenry by themselves, although the are required to provide notice to the Council of Justice prior to any executions.

Military

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The military machine of the Korashuran magocracy is a frightful one, with the bulk of their forces are made up of legions of thralls. The power of the military though is focused on the warmages; skilled combatants in their own right, but trained to use their magic in commanding and bolstering the thrall forces. Supplementing these forces are the occasional more standard unit or mercenary company.

Different mage commanders try to follow unique avenues for their distinguishing their units, and therefore their own careers. Some hyper-enhance the minds of their thralls to make them master swordsmen, whilst others channel their destructive magics through their thralls. Enemy commanders that have clashed with the Korashurans learn quickly to expect the unexpected when clashing against a Korashur force. Due to their pivotal role, mage commanders typically accompany their Thrall forces upon chariots behind the front line, or embedded in a heavy unit. There is almost always a frightful reason if the Commander should be encountered on the front and on foot.

The heavy use of magic to reinforce men and material makes the Korashur military quite distinctive. Magical reinforcement through the secretive procedures of the Order of Stone and Iron allows the ongoing use of cheaper bronze in the place of steel for weapons and armour. The hardening offered by the alchemical processes creates an ideal material from bronze that compares well with the characteristics of steel.

Magical enhancement has also allowed older forms of combat formation, long since abandoned in the other kingdoms, to remain effective for the Korashuran military. Their heavy infantry still form up into shield and spear phalanx supported by bow armed light chariots and spear armed heavy chariots, all only effective on the battlefield thanks to the enhancing magics of the warmages.

Power Groups and Organisations

The Grand Orders

Since the founding of Korashur the five orders of magic have through their Grandmasters ruled the nation. They each have an approximately equivalent strength that they seek to maintain, though each tends to turn out mages that end up fulfilling particular roles in society. Warmages from the Order of Pyros, and Healers from the Order of Hydros for example.

Order of Pyros

Structured as a military college, the mages of this order are drilled in the application of magic as part of the Art of War. They are taught discipline and martial power as a focus for their magic. In addition, there is a strong focus on the channeling of magic through Thralls. The present head of the Order of Pyros is Grandmaster Aliah Qual’vera, a cunning woman whose battleexploits are legendary.

Order of Hydros

Focusing on introspection and the expression of magic as a reflection of the inner self, the Order of Hydros guides disciples in meditation and in rituals that open the student to the powers locked within themselves. The present head of the Order of Hydros is Grandmaster Jal Phrysos, a collected man whose eyes seem to be able to penetrate your very soul.

Order of Stratos

Teaching that nothing is true and everything is merely the impression of a mage’s particular will upon reality, the philosophical master-apprentice model of this order focuses on understanding the higher mysteries through philosophy and the reasoning of magic. The present head of the Order of Stratos is Grandmaster Mylanna Corastis, known widely for her diplomatic tact when dealing with the rest of the Five Realms.

Order of Lithos

Aware that magic is inexorably linked to the material world, this is the most hands-on technical order. Apprentices learn to build their magic up by taking apart and remaking the fundamental materials of the world, through practices such as vivisection, sculpting, and alchemy. The present head of the Order of Lithos is Grandmaster Verena Eskharon, a fearsome warrior and administrator.

Order of Aether

Awakened to the fact that reality is essentially the same, and that understanding it requires the conception of the relationships between its component elements, the Order of Aether is structured as a pyramid with tutelage carried out in increasingly more focused classrooms until one has ascended to the point that to gaze back down is to comprehend the nexus of relationships around them. The present head of the Order of Aether is Grandmaster Admos Drakhan, a mysterious figure who is rarely seen in public.

The Council of Justice

Formed by the Magocracy to arbitrate law within Korashur, the Council consists of twenty senior arbiters who make the laws of the land and personally judge important cases. All other arbiters and members of the Hand of the Primes answer to the Council, as they have their own special justice system for transgressors within the organisation that can be far worse.

Legion of Ash

The Legion is a large and decentralised organisation whose members fight to oppose the magocracy and set up an independent realm in northeast Korashur. They are made up of dissidents coming from all levels of Korashuran society, although those from the upper class are few and far between. They strike against symbols of Korashuran authority from bases in the fringes of the Great Wastes and in the Ashvale Forest. They get their name from the ash-based body paint that they cover themselves with that supposedly protects them against the magic wielded by the magocracy and its minions.

Order of the Wolf (Hounds)

Treated as both a curiosity and an inconvenience in Korashur, a Hound in this realm must tread carefully so as not to anger one of the magelords. Due to their own studies in the arcane and in particular the art of alchemy, many mages show some respect to the Hounds and often engage them in conversation on the topics. It is when the Hounds turn to the task of hunting down the abominations of a deranged mage or spreading teachings of peace and tolerance that the displeasure of the magocracy begins to show.

Figures of Note

Serena Carcinius

Raised and trained within the Lunargent Spire of Valeria as a sibyl seer, Serena came at age fifteen to Korashur to study with the grandmasters of the Order of Stratos and quickly displayed a natural talent for divination well beyond that of her peers. Her prophecies have led to the successful discovery of seven major lost ruins of the Ancients, including a mostly intact skyship from that time that is now housed in the Athaneum of Sulla for public viewing.

Charlane Blackheart

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Formerly an Alteraanian courtesan, Charlane has become one of the most infamous slavers in the Five Realms. With a fleet of slave galleys she operates a network of slave trading outposts from the far western lands of Shezhou to the shores of the plains of the Dra’zhar. Due to her ability to supply some of the best slaves to the magocracy of Korashur, she has eminent protection, and makes use of a large number of potent magical artefacts to ensure the ongoing success of her operations.

Phyllidon Fayde

As a master of the college of Restoration and of the Order of Hydros, Phyllidon rules as the magelord of the Dominion of Holamen. Uncharacteristically for a Korashuran he is rumoured to be an advocate for the abolishment of slavery and thralldom, something that unnerves his counterparts back in the great spires of Sulla. Thankfully for him and his possible cause, no one has been able to prove such claims yet, and due to the isolation of Holamen from the rest of Korashur this situation may not change for some time.

The Prime Council

At the absolute pinnacle of mage rule in Korashur sits the Prime Council, consisting of five grandmasters each drawn from one of the Grand Orders. With the powers of arcane grandmastery at their disposal and the resources of the orders to draw upon, they spread their presence wide across Korashur and beyond, often appearing to subordinates directly to ensure actions are carried out in precisely the manner they intend, and to convey the consequences if they are not.

The Stalker

This terrifying figure is said to have been a thrall who clung onto just enough of its mind to turn against its master and beat him and his entire retinue to death before heading off into the night. The Stalker is believed now to be responsible for the murders of at least three dozen mages, including two master mages, in the forests between Talaria and Wymholtz.

Dominions

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Sullamar

The magical heart of the Korashuran Magocracy is the Dominion of Sullamar. It is both the safest and most dangerous place in the realm many believe, as there are the threats of Sachsenheim to the north, fell beasts from the wastelands to the west, and the increased chance of upsetting a magelord, given how many dwell within this Dominion. This last fear is also the reason the region is so safe, protected as it is by the most powerful magics the Five Realms has to show since the time of the Ancients.

Talaria

In the centre of Korashur the Dominion of Talaria is where the bulk of the realms population dwell, working the fields and orchards that supply food for much of the rest of the realm. Long ago this land was part of the empire of the Ancients, and many mages also like to spend their time here excavating and studying ancient ruins and the artefacts they uncover in them.

Holamen

Surrounded by seas teeming with fish on all sides, and possessing vast old growth forests, many untapped mountain ranges and fertile plains, the Isle of Holamen would be an industrialist’s paradise. Its Korashuran inhabitants are granted a greater degree of autonomy from the central authorities in exchange for continued supply of foodstuffs and agricultural materials for the rest of the Realm.

Eastern Manara

Populated by mining camps and quarries worked by legions of thralls, Eastern Manara is home to only the most adventurous mages and their retinues, troubled as it is by undead and bestials in abundance. This Dominion was occupied heavily by the Ancients in times past, and their ruins can be found all over the highlands, often occupied by successions of hostile creatures or spirits.

The Aether Horizon

Though the majority of Korashuran holdings are maintained on the surface of Sarradar, the arcane prowess of the magocracy has allowed its elite to over the centuries build up a fairly significant collection of demi-planes and astral domains ruled over by individual magelords. For the last two-hundred years, these have been part of he magocracy, though still in many aspects function like their own miniature kingdoms.

Major Settlements

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Brannaghar

  • Small City

Despite being the largest city on Holamen, the entirety of Brannaghar would easily fit into one of the suburbs of Talaria, or under one of the spires of Sulla. Also known as the city of the Needle Spire, Brannaghar is a sprawling city of well-spaced cottages and villas, dominated by a large white spire structure that can be seen for miles around built by the Ancients in times past and now used to house the offices of the Dominion’s Magelord.

Kaydernal

  • Large City

Known as the “City of a thousand boats”, Kaydernal stretches along the coast near the mouth of the Briyna River and is the major southern port for Korashur. Hundreds of ships call this port city home, with many permanently tied up and forming an extension of the city over the water. For anyone in search of illicit magical items in this realm, Kaydernal is the place to go.

Sulla

  • Metropolis

Any traveller approaching Sulla for the first time will be awed by the majesty of the cloud-piercing spires that dominate the skyline of this ancient city. There for as long as the city has, the spires house the grand colleges and much of the nobility, while the middle and working classes live in the sprawl of tenements that surround them. For those wishing to learn the greatest of arcane secrets throughout the Five Realms, Sulla is the place to be.

Talaria

  • Metropolis

Built on the shores of Vernwood Lake, Talaria is the capital city of largest city in Korashur, widely known as the Swan City due to the abundance of such birds that live on the surrounding lakes. While Sulla is the capital of Korashur, Talaria is the most populous city and the hub of the realm’s commerce.

Locations of Interest

Isle of the Fae

Hundreds of kilometres southwest of Holamen there juts out of the ocean a crag-covered island that few humanoids have ever set foot upon. It is the focal point for multiple ley lines and is one of the strongest such nodes anywhere on Sarradar. Those that have made their way into the islands interior have reported that the entire place seems to be a manifest zone for Realms of the Sidhe, and that at its centre there stands a monolith of emerald glass that is said to contain the body of a dormant god.

Ruins of Kilaghan

In the western region of Talaria there lie expansive plains that are inhabited by many farming communities. At the heart of this area there stood a city for over six-hundred years that served as the centre of commerce for the region, and as the home for several thousand citizens of the realm. It was prosperous and vibrant community, and one that produced many fine things, from works of art to talented tradespeople.

This all changed in 4:1102, when a meteorite from the Red Star struck just outside of the city. Almost immediately the surrounding fields were overrun with fiendish creatures, and it was only by the quick actions of the city watch on guard that the gates were shut in time. Nevertheless the demons began to lay siege to the city, and despite the defenders best efforts, section after section of the city fell to the horde. It is said that the final stand was made in the courtyard of the magelord’s castle, where the last few warriors gave their lives to buy time for the only remaining apprentice mage to enact a means of escape for some of the inhabitants huddled within the keep itself. Whatever the plan was, it seemed to have failed, for scrying attempts on the castle after that could find nothing but scenes of bloodshed and devastation amongst the halls.

Today the city still remains occupied by fiends, for even with the destruction of the Red Star, the meteorite in the nearby crater still acts as a portal to the Abyss, allowing numerous fiends to keep flowing through and terrorizing the surrounding countryside.

Skymetal Drifts

In the rolling hills of the southern Talarian coast, prospectors over the centuries have had a habit of occasionally turning up lumps of pale silver metal that can be found no-where else on Sarradar. Said to be a unique form of mithril, it has many of the same properties, though even lighter and more durable (if such a thing were possible).

Temple of the Flame

Built by thrall labour in the early years of the Korashuran magocracy and gradually expanded over the centuries, the Temple of the Flame is the most significant site of worship for Pyros, elemental deity of fire. In the central chamber of the temple there stands a column of writhing flame through which Pyros communicates with his chosen followers.

Located within an active volcano in the Southern Cloudpeak Mountains, the temple’s passages are perpetually warm, and disciples undergoing teaching here learn to tolerate the heat of their master’s domain. Those that fail in this aspect either remain as initiates in the ranks of the disciples, or are encouraged to convert to the worship of one of the other elemental deities.

The Hammer of Toric

Like it had been discarded by a god, the Hammer of Toric is a gigantic metallic megalith jutting out of a plateau in the mountains west of Brannaghar. Adventurers come from all across the Five Realms to gaze upon its wonder and discern its purpose. None have so far been successful, but the frequent visits has been enough for a small village and monastery to spring up at its base.

The Seal of Jaryelna

Dating back to the times of the Empire of Pharexos, the seal is a massive, flat, dark grey expanse of stone set in the plateau southeast of Sulla. Beneath it is said to be trapped an immensely powerful outsider by the name of Jaryelna who was defeated by the other elemental lords in times past. The site is surrounded by ancient ruins, and numerous altars and markings all over the place attest to the many cults that have attempted to free Jaryelna. The Council of Justice takes a hard stance on any such activities, and those that are found to be involved in attempting to release Jaryelna usually find themselves turned into thralls or executed.

Vvardan Hollow

Due to the paranoia that many mages feel towards Hounds, in Korashur the Order setup its primary base of operations in an isolated settlement in the Saltenbranch Forest. Its population previously wiped out by a cabal of vampires, the Hounds decided to re-inhabit the place themselves after they had dispatched the undead, having themselves recently been forced to abandon their previous stronghold in Tarnankh Pass due to a destructive assault by fell-beasts from the Wastelands.

Other Subjects of Note

Thrall Sports

It is a subject of discomfort for the just and learned, and no doubt much of the population of Valeria, but in the magocracy of Korashur one of the most popular forms of sport involves the pitting of thralls against each other in various different forms, with brutal and often quite fatal outcomes for most participants.

While these sports include such forms as chariot racing, gauntlet runs, hunter-hunted and battle chess, the most popular of all is trollball, where two opposing teams of thralls each belonging to a different magelord face off against each other with weapons, aiming to either wipe out the opposing team or get their ball past the goal line on the other side of the opposing team.

Games are terribly vicious affairs, with large quantities of blood and dismemberment. If a time limit is passed, or the referee deems the match has become a stalemate, an enraged troll is unleashed into the arena, or if no troll is available, all the participants in the arena are killed with a fireball.

For those teams and even individual thralls that prove themselves in trollball arenas, they can become famous across the dominions, though due to their state, few realise or derive benefit from the adulation. Magelords with particularly talented thralls will keep them patched up and sometimes even reanimate them if they believe the investment is worth it. There is even an entire alternate league of trollball dedicated to undead thrall trollball.

As barbaric as it is, thrall sports are highly popular amongst not only the population of Korashur, but also parts of Alteraan and Sachsenheim, and even as far afield as Shenzhou and the Dra’zhar lands, though often displayed in a more controlled and less fatal form.

Skymetal

Jealously guarded by those that acquire it, the rare material known as skymetal is used almost exclusively by the Korashurans to great effect. Bearing a latent aetheric resistance that can be awakened through the proper application of resonant stimulation, armour crafted out of the material is more resistant to force and damage. The material does have one notable downside though, being that prolonged or concentrated exposure to it is said to weaken and even kill. Therefore, while some do go to the extent of crafting personal armour out of it, the most common application is as armour plating on Korashuran skyships where those aboard are distant enough from the material not to be affected.

Magic and Warfare

The presence of mages on and off the battlefield has since the time of the Ancients significantly affected the fortunes of war and the role of the common soldiers. Able to sling fireballs that incinerate entire squads, spy on troop movements from afar, and capable of healing the most grevious of injuries seemingly without effort, it is rare to find a force that does not have such arcanists embedded into is ranks.

Military mages are typically attached to units that they support and that can defend them, given it is often an army’s spellcasters that are the first targets of assassins and enemy mages. The limited availability of competent battle mages and mana reserves also means that an army looking to make best use of its spellcasters will not necessarily engage with them immediately, rather choosing to wait until both forces have engaged and weak points and prime targets become apparent.

On the grand scale, the powers of mages and indeed other supernatural entities in the world have meant that armies, fortresses and any locations of importance are routinely warded and therefore shielded against such things as hostile spells, scrying attempts and teleportation.

When faced against an enemy force with significantly greater arcane support, an army will often take additional effort to occupy prime terrain or strike at night or other times when many of the advantages provided by mages become less useful or they become easier to target for elimination.