Ravenfort (Hex 13)

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Ravenfort (Hex 13)

Post by Pravenstern on Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:35 pm

Summary

The name Ravenfort refers to two things. The first is the last bastion of the now nearly extinct Raven Spear, and the home of Quiris Corax. The second is the very name of the county where said castle is located. The area doesn’t have a long history of habitation due to the presence of both Jatu and Mystmountainees, who would raid and destroy most of the nigh defenseless settlements. The only exception to this is the Ravenfort on the south side of the great Balanli River. Built on a hill that rises above the otherwise quite flat ground, the castle has watched over the bridge it was built to protect for nearly a century.

The area had scarcely any agriculture prior to the unification wars: the Jatu were a threat too large for many peasants. However, after King Mordred vanquished the tribes, the area started to prosper. This period of peace was very short-lived however, as the warring orders decimated the countryside despite the best efforts of the Raven Spear. The fortifications built afterwards walled a large area that bordered the river and kept the castle at its center. From there the remaining knights acted against the Mystmountainees that had stolen their homeland. The walled area would also gather many survivors from the North-Eastern Ravenstern. Now the refugee center bears the name of the castle, Ravenfort, while the areas outside it have been ploughed and turned into fields. New farms are founded steadily as the refugees start their lives over.

Geography

Ravenfort has been built on the southern side of the Balanli River. The area remains between the Eastern Mountains and the plains of Lake Avendor, and so has elements of environment from both areas. The earth is mostly flat with only the single hill breaking the scenery. The southern side of the county is mainly covered in plains of the Jatu Steppe with occasional patches of forest. The north side has more dense foliage due to the lack of any infrastructure aside from the occasional cart track and the ruins of the village Dugan. The climate is heavily influenced by the large Lake Avendor which causes severe winds within the region. However, these winds also eventually bring the evaporated water from the lake to the county. Indeed, the weather is harsh but doesn’t inhibit agriculture, quite the opposite in fact. The area has the normal four seasons, with a cold winter and hot summer that are somewhat alleviated by the neighboring lake.


The Balanli River during late winter

Architechture

Ravenfort has exactly two instances of landmarks. The first is the large castle build on top of the hill. The second is the large bridge going over the deep river. Being one of the two major bridges over the Balanli River, the area was a strategic point in the Unification Wars. It is a small miracle that it wasn’t destroyed in an effort the hinder another side of the battles. The bridge is primarily made of stone cut from the mountains nearby. It has no real name, and is simply called ‘the Bridge’. The simple but robust design means that it can take extremely tough winds without bucking a centimeter, and the breaking ice from the river won’t destroy it during the spring. Unfortunately, the times of peace have left the bridge largely unused, and the Mystmountain incursions have deterred Merchants from using it as a caravan route. The northern side of the bridge fuses with the road that leads to Dugan, and the southern side meets one of the fortified gates of the center.

The few, but slowly getting more numerous, buildings inside the fortified area are primarily made of stone with the upper parts made from wood. Every structure created is planned by the higher-ups of the county and requires authorization, which is fortunately rather easy to get at the moment. The buildings are built with efficiency in mind, something that the scholarly survivors of Raven Spear take great pride in. Out of the fortifications lie the cottages of farmers that are less high but still rather robust, as they receive support from the craftsmen of the county. In Ravenfort, efficiency is all.


Ravenfort is located on a hill. Picture before the fortifications.

Culture

The county’s culture reflects the times the people are living. People are mostly silent and do their best to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the destructive wars. Down to earth and pragmatic approaches to problems are favoured within the grey center of the County, Ravenfort. The forces of the count are present in the lives of the residents, rooting out criminals and possible spies for the Mystmountainees. Still, in spite of the glumness of Ravenfort, there is a small feeling of hope in the air, for the county is capable of supporting the people’s new lives.

Officially, the county elevates no god of the pantheon above the others. However, UllrVetr is easily the most popular god for the Ravensternian people. The people pray for His blessing to keep the barbarians away. Tallo Ver Shures is also popular among the common folk who plough their fields. Other gods have only a minor following within the county. The people have also kept the old festivities, but in the aftermath of the wars, many have been cancelled this year.

What is especially strange about the county, is that it lacks a proper nobility. All the land within the county is technically under the direct control of Count Quiris Corax. This is mainly because Ravenfort is the only major population center to survive the wars, and thus there isn’t much to rule over for the nobles aside from the newly founded village centers of Dugan and Balanli. The order of Raven Spear has taken the advantage of this by filling the needed positions themselves. A clean slate without the interfering nobles makes it an excellent testing ground for their accumulated knowledge regarding organisation.

Behind the curtains, the secretive Order

Spoiler:
Classified, or will write it later.

OOC: More to come later!
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Pravenstern
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Character Name: Quiris Corax
Counties Ruled: Hex 13, Ravenfort

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Re: Ravenfort (Hex 13)

Post by Pravenstern on Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:24 am

The Raven and Halcyon

Ravenfort, like so many other locations, has its own stories to tell. One of them is of particular note: The legend of Raven and Halcyon. The small story tells of the history of Night and Day, and their home Ravenfort, and how the hill in the middle of the plains came to be. Without further ado, here is the tale:

”In the beginning, there was darkness. It filled the seas, the air and the earth. There was nothing to pierce the black night that covered the world. The moon stayed silent behind the shadows, and the Sun slumbered in cold sleep filled with dreams of a world below. And in the darkened skies flew a raven. Her wings stretched through the heavens as it flew in a never-ending circle around the world. Times passed, but she never stopped, never to roost upon the dark earth.

The Raven had existed for eternity, and would do it again beyond the borders of time. But she also felt loneliness. The Raven was alone in the dark. She was unique, she flew in the night like no other. She was truly alone, and she resented it.

But one day, the Raven decided she had enough. She flew down, and the world stopped. She gathered things around the black earth: trees, stone and many other things. Out of everything she gathered, a nest was build upon the flat ground. And inside the nest, she laid down an egg. Even in the darkness, the egg stood out with its darkness. Like every tiny bit of light was absorbed within its walls. For what felt like thousands of years, the Raven roosted on the nest, nurturing her egg.

Then one day, it hatched. Out of the egg’s shell came forward a fowl of pure white, and the cracks in the walls shone light upon the world that had been so deprived. Out of the egg of darkness, flew forward the Halcyon. And upon the birth of such creature, the sun finally woke up and rose from the east, behind the black mountains. And the world knew light.

The Halcyon and Raven looked at each other. Their eyes bore into each other’s soul as they wondered about the magnificent creature in front of them. Then, within a second, they straightened their wings and took flight. They left the earth in their wake, and flew home. Indeed, even to this day, you can see the pair play their eternal game in the sky. Just turn your gaze at the Heavens, and you shall know it. Go to the Hill of the Raven, and see the sky as the ancients saw it.”


While only a piece of folklore and just a myth, it should be noted that the hill mentioned in the story refers to Ravenfort. It should also be noted that the bedrock of the hill contains slivers of obsidian, whatever that implies…
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Pravenstern
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Posts : 315
Join date : 2013-06-26
Location : Finland

Character sheet
Character Name: Quiris Corax
Counties Ruled: Hex 13, Ravenfort

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