The Brass Coast territories
(Created page with "==Madruga== Madruga of the Jewelled Isles is the easternmost territory of the Brass Coast, running from the Kahraman mountains down to the Bay of Catazar. Down the coast of M...")
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Revision as of 19:48, 5 August 2012
The Brass Coast is wealthy in vineyards and orchards that produce fortified wines and flowers from which they make rich dyes. The people enjoy strong trade links with foreign nations, allowing them to bring luxuries and commodities to all the people of the Empire (for a price of course!). Textiles, wines and ales from far-off places are prized treasures, but wood is a thing of beauty to the natives of the Coast. Theirs are lands of rolling plains, fertile lowlands with lush vineyards. Although there are orchards of exotic fruit trees the land is devoid of large areas of forest. Early in the history of the Coast they cut down most of their hardwood to build ships and settlements, and the fruit trees that remain are more suited for burning than building. Since fine quality wood is a valuable commodity, and dwellings tend to be piled high with rugs, cushions and furs.
The towns of the Coast are sprawling, disorganised affairs almost inevitably built around a bustling bazaar. Everything from steel to spices changes hands in these trading hubs and they are festooned with brightly coloured fabrics, gaudily painted signs and exotic wares. Contracts of trade, seals of endorsement and bonds of marque are proudly displayed by vendors who hawk their goods to the people who fill the plazas and streets at all hours. In and around these cosmopolitan bazaars, the wealthiest families maintain sprawling estates. Often plain from the outside, Freeborn structures are alive with ostentation within and lined with ornate tapestries and finery. The most influential Freeborn thread their homes with running water and glittering fountains, sculptures and artefacts crafted from precious materials, beautiful rugs, carpets and hangings, the scents of incense and the sound of music. It is important that a home be beautiful, as well as secure, “Your home,” as one ancient poet put it, “should be a comfort to your body, and a balm to your soul.”
Madruga of the Jewelled Isles is the easternmost territory of the Brass Coast, running from the Kahraman mountains down to the Bay of Catazar. Down the coast of Madruga and Feroz the corsairs and merchantmen raise their sails, running goods to Bastion and Sarvos, trading with foreign powers, and fighting off barbarian incursions. Siroc, the Sapphire, the City of a Thousand Sails, is acknowledged as the pre-eminent city in Freeborn. It lies in Madruga close by the border with Feroz. Brightly-coloured tent-shanties extend Siroc out far beyond the small cluster of stone buildings that make up the heart of the city. Sails of all shapes and sizes fill the sheltered bay, which is guarded by a series of iron woven nets and chains bought at great expense from the forges of Wintermark.
Feroz is the southernmost territory of the Brass Coast, and like Madruga has both isles and coastline. Here the climate is warm and humid, perfect for the cultivation of different plants. This is the home of the fabled spice-gardens of Feroz, the source of much of the wealth of the Freeborn. But the seas are more treacherous here, and to the south and the west the barbarians constantly threaten by land. As a result many armed merchantmen patrol the seas, and groups of young warriors journey along the borders and into lost Segura, fighting skirmishes with the ever-encroaching foes.
The mountains of Kahraman rise from the great grasslands of Soroche to the south and the forest of Mourne, on the Marches' border, to the north. It's a treacherous land of broken rock and barren mountainside. Fast-flowing streams spill down deep jagged-edged valleys. There's 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 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.
Segura was once a centre of trade for the Freeborn. Like southern Kahraman, it is a land of rolling grass plains where herds once grazed; however, on the south-western border stood the town of Anduz, a settlement built on the ruins of a much older city. In Anduz, the Freeborn rubbed shoulders with foreigners of three other nations, and there they acted as a trade gateway for the Empire. Unfortunately only twenty years ago a great force of barbarians moved in from the west and took Anduz, scattering the foreigners and the Freeborn and burning much of the grassland. Now Segura is a battleground; every year the Freeborn will try to reclaim ground and be fought back.