Mor's End History and Religion

fusangite

First Post
Here's a first draft of my synthesis of the history of Mor's End. What do people think? What have I failed to include?

Legend of the Enorian Lake and Mountains

At the beginning of time when the world was covered by the ocean, fishes larger than anyone can imagine lived in shining cities of shells beneath the sea. These realms existed for countless ages until the gods raised up the world from the ocean.

While most of the fishes abandoned their cities and fled to the outer ocean, Enoria the Perch was too proud of her beautiful castle with its grey rock spires. And so she swallowed a thousand thousand gallons of water and when she was raised onto the land, she spat it out and dove into the lake it made.

It is said by some mariners that Enoria still emerges on rare occasions from beneath the surface of the lake to gaze upon the shattered remnants of her castle. It is for this reason that attracts a small number of worshippers who pray to her for bountiful catches of fish from the lake and in exchange protect the secret of her lair beneath the water.

Legend of the Founding

Year of Mor 1-70

For as long as anyone can remember, the dwarves of Irkulngoravrom have been at war with the Derro of Dvoriathroglim. But fortunately for those who live in the light of day, much of this war has taken place in the deep places of the earth where their two realms converge.

Nevertheless, the people of Enheim have, for many years, lived in fear of the Derro's slave raiders: orcs, gnolls and most often savage human tribes of the Enorian Mountains. Yet despite the raids, a tiny scattered human population has eked out an existence in the narrow realm of Enheim. For many centuries, the people of Enheim lived a marginal life, scratching out an existence either as pastoralists along the Milvius River valley, herding various animals or, more often, as fisherfolk along the shores of Lake Enoria.

One day, many hundreds of years ago, a boy named Mor was born in a small fishing village in the foothills of the Enorian Mountains. It is said that Mor's mother died in child birth and his father was a cruel man who sold his son to Derro slavers.

Raised as a glorified draft animal under the capricious and cruel yolk of the Derro, Mor nonetheless realized he had a great destiny. As one of the mining slaves, he quickly learned many of the Derro secrets of mining, smithing and masonry and came to be respected by his fellow slaves who included men, giants, gnomes, goblinoids and dwarves from Dvoriathroglim.

In particular, Mor befriended Eregh, a barbarian of the Enorian Mountain tribes; where Mor was prized by the Derro for his stone cunning and artisanal skill, Eregh was prized for his extraordinary strength and endurance which rivaled that of the hill giants who served as expensive and slothful occasional workers when feats of great strength were required.

One day, while working in the mines, there was a great cave-in in which Mor was believed to have been killed, under thousands of tons of stone. But somehow, by luck, great strength or magic art, Mor and Eregh escaped and travelled through long-forgotten passages to the surface.

Mor and Eregh thanked the gods for their great fortune in allowing them to escape and set off home. But when Mor arrived in Enheim, he found the whole land laid waste by the Derro's mercenaries and his own village reduced to ash. Mor was filled with grief and inconsolable; nevertheless, Eregh would not abandon him and instead brought him home to his tribe.

After grieving for seven weeks, Mor was visited in his sleep by a vision of him leading a great army to smash the Derro kingdom. When he awoke he told his dream to the wise man of the village who told Mor that he had himself been visited by the very same dream that night; so it was with everyone in the tribe. And so it was decreed that Mor would lead the tribe to war. Over the next seven years, he traveled to all the divers lands from which his fellow slaves had been taken and raised a great army of many races and lands including many dwarves from the kingdom of Irkulngoravrom who were eager to strike a decisive blow against their ancient enemies.

After seven years of marching, the army arrived at the gates of Dvoriathroglim and fought a great field against cunning and bloodthirsty mercenaries of the Derro. But after a seven year siege, Mor and his army smashed through the stone gates of the kingdom and met the evil dwarf kin in battle. But even as he surrendered, the Derro king pierced Eregh with a poisoned dagger and the great warrior died even as victory had been won. But the general's sacrifice was not in vain. Kin long sundered were reunited and Mor took from Derro a great horde they had collected through tribute as well as the treasures from their mines.

Even as he mourned for his longtime companion the night after the final battle, Mor was again visited by a prophetic dream -- a dream that he would build a great city wherever three eagles alighted on a cypress tree. While most of the slaves and the army returned to their homes, many like Mor had no home to which to return. It is said that following his dream, Mor and his followers marched for seven long years until they came to an island in the Milvius River across from the tiny fishing village of Vollita. On this island stood a single cypress; as Mor looked out upon the isle, three eagles alighted on the tree before his eyes.

It is on the precise site that Mor and his followers built their city (of course the cypress tree still remains at the centre of the city), aided by gnomes, giants and dwarves whose knowledge and strength allowed the construction of the many wondrous structures in the city and, of course, its impenetrable walls. But when the city was completed, instead of setting himself on its new bronze throne, he sent to the hill tribes of the Enorian Mountains for Eregh's son whom he placed on the ducal throne in honour of his father. And for the years that remained to him, Mor served as the mayor of Eregh, son of Eregh.

After his death, Mor was granted a place amongst the gods from whence he used, on occasion, to advise the city's first thirty-one dukes before their line came to an end.
The Clay Years

Year of Mor 71-169

Shortly after Mor's End was built, the dwarvish masons who had served Mor discovered that the soil west of the city was made of the richest, finest clays ranging in colour from a deep ochre to a strange violet clay whose like they had never before seen. The claybed rich, pure and spanned a great area. And so the dwarves traveled north with merchants and court officials to Irkulngoravrom with samples of the clay. After a time, Mor's End concluded a rich trade agreement with the dwarves of the Enorian Mountains who even built a trading post that humans call Kul Moren, a contraction of the much longer dwarvish name.

The combination of the clay trade, the new city's impressive guard and the defeat of the Derro led to a period of great prosperity and growth for Enoria and Mor's End. Forests were cleared, swamps were drained and the fishermen and herders were joined by farmers, many of whom were fleeing men called the Sand Barbarians far to the south.

But after a time, the scattered and defeated orcs, gnolls and other evil creatures also returned to Enoria. Lacking the resources and direction of their former masters they nonetheless made fearsome raiders who again and again harried the fledgling town and surrounding countryside. They burned crops and smashed fishing boats; three times, the city had to pay them a ransom to be spared. Often, also, the city paid tribute to the dwarves of Kul Moren or the barbarian mountain tribes to defend it against the ravages of orcs and their allies.

It was in these difficult years that a party of gnomes was forced to flee a marauding band of orcs with a fleet of perch fishers. It was during their three weeks on the sea that they first saw the water silk and conceived of its value.

The Silk Years

The Year of Mor 170-322

The Silk Years were a prosperous time. No longer did the merchants of Mor's End have to travel to Kul Moren to sell their wares (though many still did); now, merchants came from far off lands to buy water silk and violet clay and carried them off in their caravans. It is in these years that the south walls of the city were built and the fishing village of Vollita incorporated. Although not built with the great craft of Mor's original walls, the southern walls were nonetheless nigh impenetrable and more beautiful and ornate than the original walls.

During the Silk Years, the dukes ruled, aided by a mayor. So prosperous was the city that it again grew beyond its walls and a southeastern section was added. Its great wealth also allowed the duke to pay tribute levied by the various mountain tribes and ransoms to hostile armies; so proficient was the mayor at manipulating the tribes that after a time, the mayors began paying tribes to attack one another and thus prevent any of them accumulating sufficient strength to assail the city.

But the duke and mayor were too cunning for one year, an especially ambitious and cunning barbarian leader spent his tribute on hiring a team of assassins to kill the mayor, the duke and their heirs.

In what is called the Night of Invisible Blades, a group of magic-wielding assassins stole into the palace one night and killed all those inside, save for one person, the grandmother of the mayor's wife, a mysterious lady from a far off land named Lady Kelvin.

The Present Day

The Year of Mor 323-

The Cult of Mor
Domains: Earth, War, Protection
Alignment: Neutral Good
Clerics: Knowledge - Architecture & Engineering, Craft - Stonemasonry, Profession - Miner are available as class skills; also Clerics with sufficient intelligence can gain Dwarvish as a bonus language if appropriate.

The Cult of Enoria
Domains: Water, Animal, Trickery
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Clerics: Swim, Craft - Net, Profession - Fisher available as class skills; also Clerics with sufficient intelligence can gain Aquan as a bonus language if appropriate.
 

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Conaill

First Post
Uhm... not that I don't appreciate the effort you've put in, but... whatever happened to all the history we already had? You know, with Erek Nohan dividing the area between Russol Mor and "Katze" Kulpin. We've been working along those lines since the beginning and I see little reason to start over from scratch.

Here's the latest history from Knightfall's Summary posts (all of this is from the "Time to open Shop" post, there's quite a bit more there too...) :
History: In ages past, dwarves discovered rich deposits of ore in the Mountains of Kul Moren, far from the settled lands to the north, or the strange sand barbarians of the south. Fortunately, a trickle of trade between these far distant cultures was beginning and the common route passed less than a day's hike from the new dwarven mines. The dwarves prospered from this trickle of trade for centuries before humans came to the region, now known as Enheim

Erek Nohan, the infamous barbarian explorer, was the first human to lay claim to the area. With the help of his grandmother, a sorceress of great power, he was able to take control over the caravan routes that used Lake Enoria as a resting point.

One day the sorceress spots a cairn while wandering through the hills north of the Wanderers' River, as it was known at the time. For some reason she felt drawn to it. To one side of the cairn she notices a large boulder that is hiding an entrance. Curious, she moves the boulder with her magic to reveal the entrance and rough hewn stairs leading down.

Entering the cairn , she comes across a powerful, evil artifact with a insanely powerful personality. A battle of wills ensues but the ancient artifact is too powerful for her mind and soon dominates her. The artifact forces her to take control of Erek and his men, so that they get information about Auvdor Kost, a powerful wizard that originally sealed the evil artifact underground.

No longer interested in treasure from the caravans, she forces her grandson and his men to gather all available information on Kost. With the powerful artifact's enhanced magic, the sorceress divined that the old wizard was spying on the region through the very caravans her grandson was raiding. Kost was out to destroy the sorceress for uncovering the artifact.

Due to the artifact's influence, Nohan's followers raid caravan after caravan, killing all except those that could provide information on Kost. These spies were allowed to return to Kost as a warning that the sorceress was ready for anything he might have planned.

In a moment of strength of will Nohan breaks free of the enchantments the artifact had placed on him. However, he couldn't bare to kill his grandmother, who was still under the artifacts power, so he banished her instead. She was never heard from again, though many believe she went on to control a city (or citadel (?)) south of the swamp.

Erek Nohan, free of the artifacts influence, splits the region between his two best men: Russol Mor and "Katze" Kulpin. Katze continued raiding caravans crossing through the region, while Mor decided that there was more money in trading than in raiding. He built a settlement on the river. In later years, Katze, who was known as the Pirate of the Lake, often raided the small boats carrying the precious fisher-silk.

(And what of Erek Nohan? No one knows for sure, but some say he completely abandon his barbarous ways and eventually became a wizard and a loremaster.)

Not long after, Erek and his followers discovered beds of clay of unusual purity and color on the banks of the Mor River and set up a small manufacturing hamlet where the river intersected this trade route. The dwarves of Kul Moren soon introduced themselves, and with their usual dwarven interest in all things manufactured, suggested the use of some mineral byproducts (which they had previously thought of as waste) as glazes for the fine clay wares being produced. The results were unusually beautiful and durable, and were readily sold to the traders who were passing through with increasing frequency.

Sadly, as is the way of the frontier, these lands were not empty. Bands of marauding orcs, worg riding goblins and even a few of the yak folk harried the fledgling town, and nearly destroyed it more than once. The dwarves, who had begun to see the community as essential to their continued economic health, hired some mercenaries, and helped to build a palisade.
And here's my own variant of the above, which solves a few of the problems with the previous one:
How about this...

When Erek Nohan arrived in the area, he was accompanied by his grandmother Lady Kelvin, a sweet elderly lady with a habit of chiding him for his use of swear words but a powerful sorceress in her own right.

[skip to splitting up the region between Mor and Kulpin]

Mor founded Mor's End, but left the day-to-day running of the city in the surprisingly capable hands of Lady Kelvin. Erek Nohan founded the library in Mor's End, searching for knowledge about it's ancient past. Nobody knows for sure what became of him, but some say his ghost still roams the stacks. Others say he descended in the Warren and met a gristly fate there.

The first Lady Kelvin died several years later under mysterious circumstances. Around the same time the now aging Mor acquired a new mistress, who soon proved to be a capable admistrator. Before his death, Mor appointed her as head of the city, carrying the "Lady Kelvin" title which people had come to associate with the position. Ever since then, the rulership of the city, and the title, have been passed on from mother to daughter. All of the Lady Kelvin's have had raven-black hair, and the same striking green eyes as the very first Lady Kelvin - Erek's grandmother.

There are rumors that the ancient sorceress found a way to cheat death, moving her spirit from mother to daughter, or just rejuvenating her body every generation. Of course, those are only rumors... or are they?

We should be able to integrate a lot of the Erek Nohan/grandmother/Kulpin material with your background on Mor. But I would definitely prefer not throwing it out...
 
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Conaill

First Post
Some more repost from the "Time to open shop" thread, just so we have everything in one location...
Tonguez said:
Great histories all and it seems that working in Fusangites history would be easy enough - Mor was the young escaped slave who recruited the Hero Erek Nohan and thus the stories merge... (the rest of course Legend and Myth and who knows how much is true?
[....]
Silk Fishers
Do the Silk Fisher Elves need to be worked into the History? Perhaps a small group of nomadic elf clans used to come down to the Lake on a seasonal basis in prehistoric times (some ancient camp sites still exists) but many were forced out after the Orc encroachments. Later when the new city had suppressed the Orc and Goblin raids a few elf clans returned to reclaim their ancestral campsites along the lake edge and thus became the Silkfisher Clans
lalato said:
the one thing I object to in fusangite's history is that the bad guys are dwarves... I think to give things a bit more consistency the bad guys should be orcs or hobgoblins...

Hmmm... That gives me an idea with regard to merging a lot of loose threads...

The orcs to the south were once part of the orc/hobgoblin kingdom. After the kingdom fell... the orcs south of the lake reverted to clans... The actual orc/hobgoblin kingdom was much further south... almost at the edge of the land controlled by sand barbarians.
jdavis said:
That would work well with the leaderless and bickering orc clans who all dream of once again becoming a powerful force but no one orc is strong enough to unite the clans once again (and maybe when one does arise the city "takes care of him" before he can unite the clans). It would also explain the hoards of bickering aimless goblins who are wandering around the south without any sign of leadership or unity. Perhaps somebody needs to put a battle in the history where the power of the Goblinoid kingdom of the swamp was shattered and the monsterous races were driven to the four winds. Without this strong leadership to hold together so many monsterous humanoids they now fight with each other as much as they raid the city or the caravan routes.
Conaill said:
I do gree we can blend in Fusangite's background on Mor as well. Make the bad guys hobgoblins perhaps? Kul Moren was the site of the hobgoblin fortress, and after the war a small number of remaining hobgoblins went into exile into the marsh, vowing to retake Kul Moren. That's why the dwarves have a regiment stationed in Mor's End.
 

fusangite

First Post
Thanks for your comments Conaill; I would say in response:
(a) I thought people didn't want the Erek's grandmother thing -- I had read several posts to that effect and no one contradicting them so I had assumed... and excised all the grandmother stuff from the history
(b) Eregh was just a spelling I thought we could use for Erek -- just to make it a little less like Eric or Elric
(c) people said that the city was 300 years old so I couldn't very will have Lady Kelvin coming to power immediately after the city's founding if she's human (not undead or demi-human) and still ruling today -- the idea of an unbroken succession of Ladies Kelvin just didn't grab me so I decided to try something rather different.
(d) you're absolutely right about Kulpin; I think it would be very easy to integrate him into the general framework I've tried to set up -- it seems like it would be pretty easy for Mor's army to have split at the time of the city's founding and a portion of them become barbarian pastoralist/raiders
(e) you're right. My submission does suggest a fairly radical departure from the original text. If people are strongly attached to the original story, feel free to ignore this post or take from it what you wish. However, I'm personally of the view that a great city needs a dramatic founding myth so I've sought to come up with something a little more dramatic than some of the other drafts.

Anyway, sorry if I have offended.
 

Conaill

First Post
Oh, definitely not offended! I just like to pick at things. I'm the self-appointed Mor's End Nitpicker (hmm, I feel an NPC idea coming up!) Don't let me get you down, we can always use some more creativity. :)

I think most of the complaints about Eric's grandmother were from way in the beginning, when her presence still was very artificial. I think in the end most people seemed to like my version of it.

<checking> Ok, so at least lalato seemed to like it. That's good enough for me, because we hardly *ever* agree! :D Nobody else complained though... ;)

Let's try and integrate these ideas some more and see what comes out. I like what you have so far.

Do try to work with the existing elements a bit more. Kul Moren instead of Irkulngoravrom. Replace the Derro with some of the existing enemies in the area (orcs, hobgoblins etc.)

Gahd, I've got to get to bed. Mor's End is strating to cut into my sleep budget! :rolleyes: I'll be back tomorow...
 
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Lalato

Adventurer
I like the dramatic flair of this history... but I do miss some of the more campy aspects of the original history.

I was never a huge fan of the Eric's Grandmother thing... I worked it into the history to appease the Grandmother Cultists out there.

In my eyes... Lady Kelvin became less Eric's Grandmother... and more a descendent of Mor (or as in fusangite's history, a descendent of Eregh). I was thinking that it would be interesting if by chance or by fate the leaders of Mor's End only ever had daughters... and thus the control of the city fell into their hands. Lady Kelvin would just be the most recent Matriarchal leader of this city-state. Perhaps Enoria, the Perch, wants women leaders only... and has made it thus.

Other people see it differently... They want Lady Kelvin to be mysterious... no one ever sees her... She might really be something or somebody else. Personally, the more I think about it... the less I like such a fantastic concept for Lady Kelvin.

But then again... this is supposed to be the City of Chaos (hey... I think I just came up with our overiding theme). Perhaps a regular line of succession won't really work here.

Have to get ready for work... later...
--sam
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I agree with Conaill here we really need a way of combining the elements of the two stories. For instance we could modify your story thus

After grieving for seven weeks, Mor was visited in his sleep by a vision of him leading a great army to smash the Hobgoblin kingdom. When he awoke he told his dream to the wise man of the village who told Mor that he must seek out the Barbarian Warlord Erekh Nohan. Mor did so and after surviving their initial meeting eventually convinced the Warlord to support his cause...

SO I'd also dump the Derro and leave them as Hobgoblins in Kul Moren (or some other hookey name from the original list) - Otisville perhaps:D-or perhaps 'Konaal F'Shang'
 

Conaill

First Post
How about this... (just a summary, I'm not saying we should get rid of all the juicy details!)


The ancient dwarven fortress of Kul Moren has been taken over by an alliance of Derrro and Hobgoblins. Mor grows up as a slave and escapes, to find his hometown obliterated. Has a dream, goes to seek out Warlord Eregh Nohan. Eregh is reluctant, but is persuaded by his grandmother Lady Kelvin, a powerful sorceress and Seer.

Eregh marches his army towards Kul Moren, manages to reunite the remaining dwarven tribes high in the mountains, and the joint army retakes Kul Moren. Scattered hobgoblin bands flee south and seek refuge in the swamp, vowing to one day come back and retake Kul Moren. The dwarves resettle Kul Moren (they claim the Derro have been obliterated, but who knows?...) and tell Eregh of the riches in the area around the lake. Eregh splits the region between his two best men: Russol Mor (who starts a settlement at the mouth of the river flowing out of the lake), and "Katze" Kulpin (who becomes a pirate terrorizing the lake after some dispute with Eregh and/or Mor).

Mor's End flourishes, but Mor - uninterested in administration and politics - leaves the day-to-day running of the city in the surprisingly capable hands of Lady Kelvin. Eregh disappears out of the picture somehow. (In real life, I believe Eric went back to being a teacher and librarian, so it would be nice if we could add in some allusion to that. Perhaps Eregh died and Mor appointed Lady Kelvin to rule Mor's End in his honor?)

Lady Kelvin later dies under mysterious circumstances, but the aging Mor acquires a new mistress who soon proves to be a capable admistrator. Before his death, Mor appoints her as head of the city, carrying the "Lady Kelvin" title which people had come to associate with the position. The "Lady Kelvin" titled has since passed from mother to daughter, and although they have not always ruled the city, they always play a significant role in its politics (e.g. advisor to the dukes during the Silk Years). They all have the same striking green eyes as the very first Lady Kelvin - Erek's grandmother.


What do you think, does that seem to work? We essentially keep almost all of fusangite's history, but make Mor a second-in-command under Eregh Nohan (I do think we do need to keep this, if only for EN World historical reasons, and as a tribute to Eric), and reintroduces Lady Kelvin as a central role in Mor's End history and politics.
 
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jdavis

First Post
fusangite, I dub you the reluctant minister of history. (any seconds on that?)

I think that a intergration of the histories is at hand. Some name changes and such but the overall framework looks good.

Some of my sticklers.

1. I'm very fond of the Goblinoid Kingdom, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins and Bugbears. It needs a name but it plugs in pretty well to what is going on in the swamps, and gives the city something to fear, the rise of a second Goblinoid kingdom. (see the guard thread for more on orcs and goblins and such)

2. The land isn't big enough to wander for 7 years, I don't think it is much more than a couple of weeks walk from Kul Moren to Mor's End.

3. I liked the idea that the town was burned down and rebuilt in it's past, thus giving rise to the big south wall and the Muster (Mor's Ends version of a Military Draft). Please work that in.

4. We have been using the term Castellan instead of mayor.

5. Work the silk fish into the Perch goddess story, why are these jellyfish only found here in this lake. (good for mythology purposes)

6. The tree can be in the courtyard of the Citadel (Mor's ancient fortress?).

7. There are warrens under the city that are mysterious and unknown.

8. Trade is the bloodline of the city, that needs to be worked in somehow, the city is at the crossing of several great trade routes (which are still up in the air in another thread).

edited spelling to fix somebody's pet peeve:D
 
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