- 1 Overview
- 2 Recent History
- 3 Major Features
- 4 Regions
- 5 Further Reading
The mountains of Kahraman rise from the great grasslands of Soroche to the south and the Mournwold to the north, presenting a treacherous land of broken rock and barren mountainside. Fast-flowing streams spill down deep jagged-edged valleys. There is precious little in the way of vegetation, only scrub that clings to the slopes. However, there are riches in the mountains: here, the Freeborn find precious metals and minerals, often as sediment lying in the streambeds. Scattered settlements shelter in the valleys, with the remains of stone fortresses and watchtowers decaying on the heights above, remnants from the days before the Empire when the Freeborn warred with the Marches.
To the south of the mountains of Kahraman lie sweeping grass plains, a seemingly desolate landscape dotted with strange rock formations shaped by the wind. Here the Freeborn graze the bulk of their herds of goats and sheep. The wind from the west, the Delés, is constant and bitingly cold at night. As a result, for shelter, Freeborn communities settle in bowl-shaped depressions cut from the earth, their tents sunk below the plains' surface.
The families of Kahraman have a somewhat undeserved reputation for being quarrelsome; as a response, the Freeborn established the post of Dhomiro of the Cinnabar Hills to help mediate their disputes and to encourage trade between the sometimes quite isolated settlements here. The Dhomiro is an Imperial title that is appointed each Autumn by Freeborn citizens who control fleet personal resources.
Since Liathaven and the Mournwold fell into the hands of the Jotun barbarians, there has been an increase in raids by orcs from the north. The Freeborn maintained vital trade routes and communications with the Navarr holdouts in Beacon Point, until the Jotun orcs forced the Navarr into Kahraman in late 379YE. By the spring of the new year, the Jotun had pushed deep into Kahraman, eventually making it all the way to the Great Mine of Briante until they were repelled by Imperial armies. After several months of fighting, the barbarians were chased back into the forests of Liathaven and by the Winter Solstice 380YE was Kahraman was free from barbarian occupation. However, the Jotun left a warning on the walls of Damata, saying that they had come once and would come again.
The Gilded Peak
The mountain that separates the valley of Briante and the ancient stronghold of Fort Braydon bears a most peculiar summit, which at sunset or dawn gleams as if the rock is made of gold. The mountain is treacherous, and no-one has yet achieved it, although many have tried. “Climbing the Gilded Peak” has passed into local parlance as a phrase meaning “a fool’s dream”.
The Northern Peaks
The mountains along the northern borders of Kahraman are the home of several vicious clans of orc barbarians. Descended from mine working slaves who revolted during the orc rebellion, they refused all overtures from the Empire and expressed no interest in becoming Imperial orcs. Rather they created out-of-the-way strongholds for themselves and proceeded to prey on travellers and poorly defended caravans. Most of their spite was reserved for traders trying to cross the mountains to Liathaven, but in the years since they went rogue they have launched more than one concerted attack on a mining camp or northern village. The Empire would very much like to deal with them permanently, but they are like weeds - when one group is put down, another springs up a few years later to claim its territory.
Fort Braydon is very old, built in the early decades of the Brass Coast to protect the miners of Braydon's Jasse from the barbarian orcs who once dominated Kahraman. Long before the reign of Empress Teleri brought the Mournwold under Imperial control and finally drove the orcs west into the hills, it watched over them and over the passes to the north. Several times in the centuries since there were calls for the fortification to be decommissioned - calls the Freeborn defeated each time they were raised. While the castle itself protected a "safe" border, the garrison has long served to police the northern hills of the territory against bandits and the incursions of the western orcs. When the Mournwold fell, the fort helped to drive back more than one attempt to extend Jotun dominion south, and supported efforts to keep the Lasambrians out of the rich hills. The continuing war with the Jotun has secured Fort Braydon's important role in protecting the cinnabar hills from western aggression.
The Great Mine of Briante is a Bourse resource located in Briante. Custodianship of the Great Mine is an Imperial Title that brings with it a Seat on the Imperial Bourse. It produces 22 Imperial wains of mithril every season. Control is allocated to any Imperial citizen by open auction during the Autumn Equinox.
The Damatian Cliffs
The Damatian Cliffs are a Bourse resource located in Damata. Custodianship of the Cliffs is an Imperial Title that brings with it a Seat on the Imperial Bourse. It produces 27 Imperial wains of white granite every season. Control is allocated to any Imperial citizen by open auction during the Summer Solstice.
The valleys of Braydon's Jasse are home to many small mining villages and the isolated homes of Freeborn families who value their privacy. The region is home to some of the oldest settlements in the territory - the mines here were run by Freeborn families for centuries before the formation of the Empire when most of the land here was in the hands of the barbarian orcs. The most famous feature of the Jasse is Fort Braydon, an old fortress dating from the days before the Marchers, when the Brass Coast kept watch against the barbarians and the Feni. The recent barbarian incursions have led to the rebuilding of its walls and strengthening of its defences. (OOC Note: Fort Braydon is a rank 1 fortification).
Wide, arid plains characterise Gambit - named because every venture begun there is said to run a little extra risk but offer a little extra profit. Sunk into a natural depression in the rock-slopes that mark the southern limits of the Kahraman mountains is Rojota. Surrounded by goat-farming land, it is a hard place to scratch a living. Its fame is for a peculiar method of foretelling the future. Precious - for the Brass Coast - scraps of wood are left to weather in dust blown by the Delés and interpreted by sutannir skilled in such matters.
The Jade Range takes its names both from the rich deposits of tempest jade in the hills and from the dark, rich colouration of its grassy plains, kept lush by great underground aquifers. The grazing here is good, nearly a match for that of the Great Grasses in Madruga or the Sobral Grasses of Segura. The plains are spotted with settlements, the largest of which is probably Nestor’s Bounty, named for a scrivener who made a vast fortune writing contracts for the sale of rich claims found in the hills. As with Briante, this town is well-known for its mines, particularly precious stones and tempest jade.
This hilly region is named for the Briante valley and the town that shares the same name. Surrounded by rich open-cast mines, Briante is now home for a number of displaced Navarr steadings, pushed out of Liathaven by the Jotun incursions. The town still maintains the Navarr beacons that once allowed the inhabitants of southern Liathaven to maintain simple communication with their northern neighbours - as well as provide early warnings of potential attacks from western lands outside the Empire. The Great Mine of Briante - one of the great wonders of the Empire and perhaps even the world - lies at the heart of the valley.
The Damatian Cliffs, a valuable Imperial Bourse seat, are found near Damata.
One of the most important settlements in the Serra Damata is the town from which the region took its name - Damata. For centuries a trading centre for the surrounding peaks, where rich deposits of orichalcum are still found, Damata was famed for its walls, every metre of which is covered in finely calligraphed script, recording stories that have been told amongst the Freeborn for generations. One day, they say, there will be no more room for writing, and then the town will perish, its life written. Until the Jotun invaded, Dawnish troubadours and Winterfolk scops alike travelled for some distance to learn the stories on the walls of Damata.
In Winter 379YE, an army of barbarian orcs swept down out of Liathaven, conquered Damata, and then moved on to secure the Damatian Cliffs. After the region was reclaimed by Imperial armies at the end of 380YE it was found that the town had weathered its occupation without the walls sustaining any damage. The Jotun had in fact added to the walls, carving an ominous warning that said "We came. We shall come again".
- All the regions of Kahraman are in the hands of the Brass Coast (and by extension the Empire).
- Fort Braydon is a rank 1 fortification.