“Be wary here, traveller. For beneath the glaciers be dragons, some of goliath statures and all of an unfortunate temprement”
- - Traveller
The Orocathi Domain is the primary faction of Draokorumnoggr on Koldenwelt. An old kingdom that spans a sizeable part of the land under the Everwinter Highlands, it stands as one of the primary sources of Draonoggr articles; a class of item that rivals in quality to elven or dwarven crafts. The Domain has grown wealthy and powerful from its exports and gears to increase its holdings within its home region.
The origin of the domain is shrouded in stories, but all of them tell of Orocathrheim deep under the surface of the southern Everwinter Highlands, the massive bastion-city is one of the oldest settlements under their regime and it is speculated the caves were inhabited for far longer. Orocathrheim's location served as a refuge for primitive Draonoggr during the war between Caligaduro Provectus and the Colossi, ensuring that they emerged as the most numerous of their species.
The Domain grew vastly upon the discovery of numerous deep-vein gem deposits in the surrounding caverns. Diamonds, rubies and sapphires alike were found deep within the rock along with copious amounts of magnetite. Early Draonoggr capitalised on the aboundance and forged weapons, creating tools with which they constructed their mighty city. With its initial compeltion, many priveliged Draonoggr explored the caves that led outwards. These priveliged quickly claimed new caverns for their own, setting up their own holdings away from Orocathrheim.
As they expanded and spread out, one ambitious warlord by the name of Resmeron sued his resources to gather armies and influences in order to unite the divided people, rewarding any self-proclaimed Archons who agreed to join him (either willingly or through submittal) or destroying any who refused, resulting in the so-called "deep wars" that led to the Orocathi Domain's eventual foundation. Resmeron was declared the firstof the high-archons who would unite the quarreling nobles.
Despite ruling for alsmost 2000 years, Resmeron, like all ancients, spent more of his time sleeping to soncserve his energy. He was eventualyl muredered in his sleep by his captain of the guard; who, in a method similar to other Archons was declared the new high archon.
Expansion and Emergence
The emerging domain continued to expand thoughout the caverns beneath the Everwinter Highlands. Some ambitious mountain lords crafted their own caves and cities in the rock, creating monumental edifices.
Circa 1,200 BNA is believed to be the estimated time when the Draonoggr began to expand outside of their caves and emerginf properly on the surface. The land had changed much since their evacuation into the caves below the world and immediately they began building plain, sturdy bastions to watch the entrances to their underworld domain.
It is about this time the first dragonsworn appeared. The Draonoggr often laid informal claim to regions containing settlements of various species living in the surface wilderness or in caves a little below ground. Some of these species, awed by their immense stature and age desired to serve their new masters. In return for their subserviance, Draonoggr (particularly the mountain lords) rewarded what were often dcades of servitude and dedication. The number of non-Draonoggr grew qithin the dominion's boundaries, most hwoever ended up enslaved or eaten for resistence against their new overlords.
Most recently, contact was made with the Merovar Dynasty, establishing a trade route with the outside. From the mountains the Merovar brought back exquisite crafts from below the frozen wastes. Blades and armour of tremendous value flooded the market as well as jewlery. While originally such things were thought to be designed for giants, smalelr articles bled into the market after the Draonoggr caught wind of news of the popularity of their crafts, some eventually specialising in creating objects for smaller species than them.
In principle, the Orocathi Domain is ruled from the seat of the High Archon in Orocathrheim, the Domain's effective capital. Beyond this, the land is divided up into distinct territories, or Archara, each belonging to a powerful Archon. Territories are maintained though the strength and influence of the landholding Draonoggr, dictated by the size of their hoard and their age (and consequently size). Smaller denominations such as towns and cities are controlled by lesser Korumfalsta ("rock-lords" in Drokkoril, the tongue of the Draonoggr). Citizens often broadly used the term "mountain lord" when refering to the ruling classes.
Eschewing most forms of civility, the control over the Archara is on a "might makes right" basis: Archons often physically fight each other or show off their hoards to impress in order to win over the lands. An Archon can be usurped at any time by a rival or ascendingsubordinate, using their wealth and physicall prowess to defeat their opponent.
In Orocathrheim's central dsitrict is an arena where powerful Archons can fight to impress th local posulation and settle disputes in a somewhat civic manner. Overall however, the government is in a near-constant state of flux as all manner of Draonoggr (including the High Archon) compete for superiority over each other.
The domain is divided into fifteen major provinces, or Archara. Each province is ruled by a single Archon who, in most cases, eithe took the land by force or deposed the previous archon and claimed it for their own. The domain is highly diverse, with central archara favouring urban populations and more frontier archara focus more on growing food and mining materials.
At the heart of each archara there is usually a fortress-city that plays resident ot the local archon who in typical Draonoggr fashion will have the most impressive residence. Their lieutanants and favoured subordinates will each have their own manors in their assigned regions. Because of how large Draonoggr can become, the most powerful archon residences will be on a colossal scale compared to surrounding residences.
The surface is not that impressive. Glaciers and sahrp peaks mark this bitterly cold regionwhile a few patches of fertile ground exist. Draokorumnoggr favour being close to the warmth of the deep rock where gems and precious minerals are plentiful, therefore their cities are almost always underground with a few overground fortresses to keep an eye on the landscape. Connecting the various cities and towns are a labyrinth of tunnels that vary in size depending on the route, but most are large enough to allow passage for all but the largest-possible Draonoggr.
Among Draokorumnoggr, influence and power is directly influenced by age, stature and the size of one's hoard. Due to the trait they posess allowing them to grow in size throughout their lives, old Draokorumnoggr are frequently colossal with a small mountain of treasure they have gathered through various means inclding trade and removing 'upstart' rivals. It has become public mindset amongst ciitzens and slaves for their leaders to be goliaths among their kind, some citizens may even rise up against a comparatively small or weak archon.
Orocathi society is divided up into four distinct social classes.
- Mountain Lords are considered the elite. Making up large Draonoggr they have a minset of being able to get their own way. Often they are arrogent and content to spend their days indulging in whatever strikes their fancy. In battle they are frequently generals and warmasters, large enough to take on smalelr settlements singlehandedly - creating a nasty reputation among outsiders.
- Artisans are the lower-ranking Draonoggr and 'favoured' non-draonoggr citzens. The former comprise the bulk of the Draonoggr population, working as master craftsmen and innovators while the latter are often dragonsworn who have pledged their service to a particular mountain lord and subsequently gained favour enough to live comfortably
- Commoners are most non-draonoggr citizens in the domain. They are the largest part of the free population, often assimilated into the domain by campaigning mountain lords who were graceful enough to spare their lives. Commoners are expected to work the land and are given more comfortable accomodation than most.
- Slaves are the lowest rungs of society. Often they are non-Draonoggr who were taken captive by greedy Draokorumnoggr, aspiring dragonsworn or regular soldiers looking to impress their masters. Slaves live in the most base conditions, often they are treated as cattle and are given enough food to sustain their strength as they toil in harsh conditions. Rumours persist amongs the slave caste that increased rations are a sign that the slave is due to become food for a Draonoggor, rather than a sign of recognition.
Lacking a single standing army, the Orocathi military is divided into two distinct groups: The Eternal Guard and Archarial Militia. Archons frequently engineer their armies under advisory to suit their styles with varying themes on heraldry and weaponry used. Draonoggor soldiers, being more well-off, will typically have higher-quality equipment than other members of the militia.
Distinct from the militias are the Eternal Guard, the personal protectors of the High Archon and the central Orocathi Archarum. Hand-picked by the Archon's direct subordinates, they are a mix of elite Draonoggr and high-ranking dragonsworn. All members of the Guard command a high amount of respect, moreso among the dragonsworn as being one under the High Archon alone is achievement enough.
The primary religion among Orocathi citizens is the veneration of two Colossi: Korddraggen (referred to as The Fallen Queen of the Earth) and Arddraigr (referred to as The Young Prince of Fire and Fury). Worship revolves around the cosntruction of temples within the mountains with shrines dedicated to either being. Temples dedicated to Korddraggen are often larger and more opulent. To denote her fallen status, black bannershang from the rafters in the central chambers.
It is believed that Korddraggen shaped the caves and scattered the minerals within the mountains, and blessed the Draokorumnoggr with an affinity with the rock, allowing them to create wonders of masonry. The Draonoggr in turn believe that the mountains she prepared for them are rightfully theirs
Since news of the appearence of Arddraigr spread throughout Koldenwelt, a growing cult grew around him, believing that he was her spirit reborn from the fury she felt as she died. Smaller temples with hanging red banners cropped up in Orocathi cities thoughout the domain. It is believed that his cult could one day suprass the worship of Korddraggen.
- Merovar Dynasty - Your exotic treasures are always welcome in our halls, serpent-things.
- Draosolffnoggr - You are comfortable with such a primitive lifestyle?
- Khàrabor - Their smiths are nothing compared to ours.
- The Knights - You think praying to your divine magics would spare you?
“Hmmmm...I haven't been to the Highlands for centuries...”
- - Kinmorunddraver World-Walker
“I remember these guys...I hope they don't remember me.”
- - Hachi
“Trading with you has been very benefitial so far...I wonder what riding one of them feels like.”
- - Sultan Megrovaz II of the Merovar Dynasty
“Vos obliviscamini qui portavimus anima vestra in hunc mundum? Ille qui separari tenebras lucem? Domini ex terram? Participes perfruamur perditionis ... in agro eius. Stationibus boni faciam montes, et genuit filios et filias dui a primogenito tuo. (You forget who borne your soul into this world? He who separated darkness from light? The Lord of the Earth? ...We shall enjoy taking part in your destruction, for the highlands are his. Your mountains will make good outposts, and to drop your firstborn sons and daughters from.)”
- - Shiarchon
“Joten meillä on kilpailija... (So we have a rival...)”
- - Ioror the Blind of the Fa'agma-Tür Kingdom