Kingdoms of Frandum - Tan Lorak

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Short history

After centuries of nomading, and the centuries of war against followers of Galanhir, the drow began to settle into the abandoned dwarven kingdom of Kraggen-Kor, founding their capital of Elkozan next to the frontier of Leavern. This rather bold decision started a war with their sylvan neighbours which lasted for four hundred years, until both parties signed the treaty which would later be referred to as the Southern Peace.

After the founding of Elkozan, and along the war, the drows quickly spread their culture to the villages around, which had not been part of a kingdom for several hundred years. The area, which was still called 'Kraggen-Kor', was the prey of chaos. With no central government and tribes that lived within its borders fighting over bits of land like orcs would fight over a roast (in other words: not very civilizedly), the final doom of the "kingdom" was forseen to happen any day. Yet the drow army soon conquered the people, and ruled out their leaders even more easiliy since they brought with them visions of the old glory for the kingdom they named Tan Lorak.

Yet in this glory the tribes have not got their share: those who fought one another are now all serving the drows, and the queen taxes the tribes to the fullest, any signs of rebellion being crushed with terrible force.

Climate and geography

Tan Lorak lies in a high-temperated area. Its western and southern borders are made out by great mountains, beyond which lie Moresh (west) and the Tasaar Desert (south). To the east lies the Dragon Sea.

The only way of entering Tasaar from Tan Lorak, is through the Valley of Snakes, and to Moresh there is no known route save for the skies, since Lean has long since stopped taking part in the world's trade.

The center of Tan Lorak is where the seat of power was at in the days when the dwarves ruled the land, and that is the mountain of Kraggen-Kor wherein was established the great dwarven capital. Below the mountain lies the Eerie Forest and the Eucalyptus Forest, by whose southern border flows the river Shane all the way to the Dragon Sea.

Raw materials and resources

In older days, the dwarves of Kraggen-Kor mined the mountain close hollow, and its former riches are now gone, or beyond the reach of the drow, who are the only folk in Tan Lorak that may have skills enough to mine that mountain. Rather, Tan Lorak gets most of its income from high taxes, but also from exporting fruits and fabrics. The fabrics of Elkozan are renowned throughout the whole world, and really shows that the drow truly descends from the high-elves.

Wood is imported from the north, but some special wood (the eucalyptus trees, for example) only grow in Tan Lorak and nowhere else in Frandum, so their wood is exported and yields great riches.

In the mountains to the west and south have been made a few great foundings of iron and silver, which is mined and sold off to the northern kingdoms.

The drow work metals they import, and make them stronger. Their ancient techniques on how to strengthen any bright metal are unknown to everyone but the drow, and no drow would ever dream of revealing their secret to other races. The metals, once they're worked, do not sell very well, though: for some reason, the metal turns black and has an ominous feel to it. Though this does not make the drow disheartened, races of other alignments than evil stay far away from them.

There are a few human farmers that farm great areas of land and provide the kingdom with all the food its inhabitants need. The tribes of the forests often hunt their own food, and are thus outside the system. Except when it comes to paying taxes, of course...

People of Tan Lorak

The dominant race in Tan Lorak is the drow. Apart from them, there lives quite a number of humans there. There are no other major races in Tan Lorak but the kobolds, which are the preferred slaves of the drows.

The drow are related to the high-elves, and their creation was a horrible one. Through torture, both physical and mental, their hearts were turned black and their minds likewise, and within a few generations, they were so filled with hate that the black of their hearts and minds could not be stayed, but also coloured their skin.

As the drow have the power in Tan Lorak, and see themselves as the highest form of life, all other species have to obey them or be destroyed.

Cities and countryside

The only big city in Tan Lorak is Elkozan, which is up to 90% inhabited by drow and their hordes of kobold slaves. There are a few huge farms, especially in the north-west, that provide pretty much everyone in Elkozan with food, be it meat or cereal products.

There are also a few fishermen living by the shore of the Dragon Sea.

Elkozan is the center of events in Tan Lorak, and this is where everyone goes when they want to trade, be entertained or just spend some money. That is, if they can stand being looked down upon by each and every drow in the city.

Politics and laws

The laws state that as a drow, you are worth so much more than the other races, and if they don't do what you wish them to do, you might as well slay them. For if they do not serve the drow, then who do they serve? Do they serve anyone at all? In either case, they are worthless to the drow, and that is all that matters.

Those feeble creatures not lucky enough to be born drow stand outside the law system, and pretty much make up their own laws which they follow within their tribes.

Money is a huge factor, though: if you are human and wish to be entertained by drow, of course this can be arranged, though you might need to pay 10-15 times the price a drow would pay. On the other hand, you will be protected by the drows, who know better than threatening rich merchants who gave them their wealth.

Among drow, women are revered. The drow have ever since they took control over Tan Lorak had a female leader: the drow Queen. She is sovereign. She has all the power, and the rest of the people may not disagree with her if they want to live. The Queens tend to die rather often though, since the drow that hold a grudge against her are not late to take action and try to kill her. And, as a carrot for the ill-willed, the law states that the killer of the Queen will rule in her stead. Thus it is not rare for the drow to have three or four Queens a year.

Wars and armies

The drow have a strong and big army, perhaps one of the greatest in Frandum. Their numbers are great, and their power tremendous. Though the only big war they have fought, was the one against the sylvans in Leavern, which lasted for four hundred years. The peace was settled after the sylvans had, through magical means, became more or less invincible: they could not be seen, and thus they could not be defeated. The peace was settled with no shifts of land, but the drow ever held the sylvans high in hatred afterwards.

Nowadays Tan Lorak is stronger than ever, and as it grows stronger day by day, Leavern is in deep trouble. For how many days the peace will last, no one knows, but when war does break out, the enemies of Tan Lorak will not have a bright future.

Trade and craftsmanship

Controlling the trade from Tasaar, especially after the recent popularity of the desert's spices and the great findings of gold, Tan Lorak gets lots of valuable goods in toll when people going in and out of Tasaar have no choice but to go through the Valley of the Snakes.

Tan Lorak imports pretty much everything besides food, and exports iron, silver, fabrics, fruit and a little wood. They are great armourers and blacksmiths, though their works are feared by non-evils.

Science and education

The drow have no mandatory education. Rich people may be educated in quite much everything, from Banirian inventions through elven archery and to powerful spellcasting. There are skillful people in Tan Lorak, and most of the teachers are so revered that they are seldom murdered, as are many drows by jealous neighbours, friends or enemies. Thus their skill is great and their knowledge wide.

There is not a lot of research going on, though. Drow tend to study the sciences that are already developed enough to be useful, and when they have mastered what is to learn about it, they move on to another subject. The only fields that they do research themselves, are smithing and armouring.

Religion and magic

The people of Tan Lorak follow Shezael. Any differences in religion is often rewarded with a sharp spear through one's heart, or, even more delightful, long hours of torment with long needles and thousands of cheering drow screaming for more blood and torment. That, or a simple hang-the-bastard-over-the-fire, is entertainment for the drow.

Magic is not very well practiced by the common drow. Of course, those that have studied spellcasting make good spellcasters, but not that many do that. Non-drow seldom get any chance of learning magic in Tan Lorak.

Arts and culture

There are not many drow that earn their living as artists, for art made by anyone other than yourself is not very precious in Elkozan. Most drows make good artists, but they seldom let others see their creations, and even more seldom sell it to others. Every drow does like what he paints himself.

The drow like macabre paintings, desolate landscapes that scream with voices of death and horror, terrible enough for non-evil viewers to faint with fear.

The non-drow artists in Tan Lorak are few, and drow never buy any art created by anyone that isn't drow.

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