Introductory Information
What You Know
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You grew up in Tuluk, which lies at the southeastern edge of a broken and dried wood known as the Grey Forest. You probably grew up in an apartment or tenement in the labyrinthine Warrens, the commoner housing quarter in the southwestern part of the city.

You are probably a commoner and therefore wear the traditional Tuluki tattoos that denote your caste, including the tattooed neck band that all citizens of Gol Krathu sport, and the six-pronged star on the hand that shows you are a commoner.

To the south of the lands you spent your childhood in are flat scrublands, which eventually give way to barren deserts, and to the west and southwest lie scrub forests and, further on, plains of short brown scrub. To the east lie vast plains, inhabited by the nomadic Anyali and a few tribes of elves. The Grey Forest itself remains largely unexplored, due to the savage halfling tribes that live deep within its shelter. The trees of the forest are short and often thorny, bearing spearlike purple leaves and having a thick red-to-grey bark, and woods such as agafari, baobab and cynipri find their way across the surface of the world from the wood gatherers who work the outermost outskirts of the forest.

The primary economy of the northlands centers around hardwoods hewn from the Grey Forest. Agafari and baobab woods are the most common, but maar and cynipri also make up a large portion of the take. The majority of the northerners subsist on the fruits and nuts gathered from the surrounding scrub forests, and the game hunted from the deeper growth of the Grey Forest itself or else the plains that lie to the east. Excesses of these fruits, along a variety of leathers, complement the income from hardwoods. Duskhorn, taken from a beast with the same name, is also a substantially profitable material in the north, as is tortoiseshell taken on bahamet hunts.

Two of the three major Merchant Houses which operate elsewhere in the world also have large emporiums in the Northlands. After the initial destruction of Tuluk, House Kadius founded an entire village, although it has since become the mercantile district for the rebuilt city-state. Both House Salarr and House Kurac have established emporiums within the new city-state, though Salarr has had shops since shortly after the founding of Freil's Rest. Nenyuk, the banking house, has also maintained a consistent presence in the north since the early days of Tuluk.

Due to the recent war, which liberated the northlands from southern rule, anti-southerner sentiment runs high at times and while northerners may travel, they tend to go no further south than Luir's Outpost, owned by House Kurac, which manages to tread a fine line between southern and northern alliance.

With the reestablishment of the city-state and the return of many of the older noble Houses, Tuluk has recently begun to reestablish the form of government that oversaw the city-state when it was thriving. Unlike Allanak, the city-state of Tuluk has no true Senate. Instead, the government operates in a tricameral fashion, made up of the noble faction, the Templar faction, and the Sun King's faction. The latter was and presumably still is composed of a single individual, Muk Utep himself, while the Templarate is divided into strict divisions. You have never seen Muk Utep, but you are sure he exists.

While originally composed of both Hlum and Surif nobility, the new government has done away with the Hlum titles for the most part, the exception to this being the title of Nobility that is granted to the winner of the Grey Hunt, a contest held roughly every 7 years, or 11 in each King's Age.

Wars and the subsequent liberation of Tuluk have trimmed the many orders that once existed within the Templarate, leaving only two surviving structures: the Lirathan order and the Jihaen order. With the liberation of Tuluk, the Lirathans have assumed almost total control and the Jihaens have been relegated to a lesser role within the government.

You know that, as in the early days of Tuluk, two types of law exist within the citystate: the King's Word and the State Law. The first variety has never been voted upon by the full government, yet is still practiced out of fear of Utep's power. The second variety has been passed by a two-thirds (or more) vote of all three factions and is, literally, written in stone.

With the liberation of Tuluk, the Templarate has moved out of the Ivory Pyramid and has begun construction of the surrounding area, removing the debris of the old city to replace it with newer, burgeoning structures. Additionally, many of the old noble Houses have returned and have begun construction of their new estates. Of these Houses, Winrothol, Tenneshi, Kassigarh, and Uaptal are the largest. The remaining Houses serve a variety of lesser roles within the city.

The breakdown of the Noble Houses is as follows:

  • House Winrothol: A slaving House, they have provided the Rebellion and the Lirathans with a dedicated, nigh fanatical, regiment of troops ready to die for their cause. Symbol - A kenku warrior wielding two crossed scimitars
  • House Negean: One of the smaller Houses, House Negean is responsible for recording the history of Muk Utep and his city. Symbol - A vestric feather dipped in a jar of ink
  • House Kassigarh: House Kassigarh is responsible for the finance and foreign relations of the city. They maintain all the accounting for the Gol Krathu region and have established strong, if sometimes strenuous, ties with all of the major Merchant Houses. Symbol - A balanced set of scales
  • House Dasari: House Dasari is primarly responsible for the herbal lore of the Northlands and has gone to extensive lengths in recent decades to catalogue the flora found within and around the Gol Krathu region. Symbol - a spray of white alnon blossoms
  • House Tenneshi: House Tenneshi is responsible for city planning and rennovation.. Additionally, Tenneshi retains sole rights to water distribution thoughout the city, having taken control after the fall of House Reynolte. Symbol - Two palms cupped around a blazing sun
  • House Lyksae: Lyksae is not a large house, but has retained its focus on military strategy and is jointly responsible for defense of the Gol Krathu region along with the Templarate and militia. Symbol - A spiked mace set on the background of a rising, crimson sun
  • House Uaptal:They were, and still are, responsible for the management of resources and raw materials for the city. Produce and livestock also fall under their jurisdiction within the region of Gol Krathu. Symbol - A canopied wylrith tree

Despite the fact that the vast majority of Tuluki citizens were not alive during the initial destruction of the city- state at the hands of powerful elementals, the burning fear and hatred for the chaos wreaked by these creatures has instilled an inimitable hatred for all things magick within the hearts and souls of the population. The former temples to the elements were not reconstructed when the city-state was rebuilt. Magick is outlawed within the Gol Krathu region and its surroundings and no distinction is made between a defiler and an elementalist when one is discovered practicing these arts. Execution is swift and brutal and many discovered to be magickers do not live to face the Templarate. Psionic talents are viewed in much the same way, but those with psionic talents are usually not slain, but enslaved into the service of the Lirathans and never seen again.

While the lands of the north are not nearly as harsh as those of the south, Tuluk is not, by any sense of the imagination, a democratic state that values the rights of the individual. Consequently, slavery is a common practice within the city-state and House Winrothol is a driving force in this industry. Their talent at breeding muls are currently somewhat limited, but they have become artists at training new slaves. On extremely rare occasions, it is possible for a slave to earn his or her freedom. In these instances, particularly for muls, the slave is given a medallion that displays their freedom for all to see. Often, though, this is overlooked and the medallion has a habit of disappearing if the former slave is questioned.

There are seven distinct subdivisions of the City of Tuluk, famed for its architecture and its culture: Freil's Rest which is also known as the Merchant's District, the Red Sun Commons, the Warrens, the Tribal Market, Poet's Circle, the Old Quarter, the Heart of the Ivory which is the templars' district and contains the Ivory Pyramid, and lastly the Nobles' Quarter.

The Commoners Quarter (Warrens) and the Mercantile Quarter of the new city are by far the largest portions, both in terms of area and population. These quarters occupy the western portion of the Scaien. Just to the east of them, and south of the Old Quarter, are the Templars Quarters and the Nobles Quarters. North of the Old Quarter lies the area that the city- state has set aside to accommodate the large number of tribal merchants that enter the Scaien walls to barter for goods. The bardic history of Tuluk has been resurrected with the completion of Poets' Circle, just east of the tribal quarter. Centered within the city, the artisan district serves as the hub for Tuluki culture. Also known as the Red Sun Commons, this district is where the craftsmen and tradesman come to perfect their craft and display their talents.

Just off the main road leading into the city, a few blocks east of the western Scaien Gate, lies a walled off section in which a magnificent and lush tree of unknown origin grows. Current legend has the tree sprouting up from the blood of the fallen Jihaen Precentor, Isar. But in truth, no one really knows what the tree is or where it came from. It merely appeared shortly after the battle to reclaim Tuluk and is regarded as a symbol of freedom and good fortune.

While your sense of Tuluk's history is skimpy, you do know something about how its smaller villages were created. After the destruction of Tuluk in the Nineteenth Age, the estate of one of the Kadian merchants, Medichi, served as the focal point for Kadian trading activity. Many of the craftsfolk from Tuluk itself settled in this small village, which became known as Freil's Rest. This village has become the mercantile district of the newly constructed city-state and now houses the estates of all the major merchant Houses.

The Reynolte vineyard, founded beside the water-rich estate belonging to the surif noble family, Reynolte, has also grown into a small village which surrounds the vineyard, which produces a variety of fruit wines. With the reconstruction of Tuluk, the vineyard has expanded, becoming a subsidy of the city-state, with a good percentage of the population seeking work within the walls of the vineyard.

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Submitted by Laeris, edited by Vanth