Pottells Explained

By Grommakk Dakkar, Dwarf Evoker and Station Three Energetic Zoologist, Naldrin University

Grommakk Dakkar

Many have said to me, “Grommakk, what is a pottell?”  Since so many in our wonderful city are woefully uneducated about even the most common creatures in the oceans of our world, I have decided to write this brief, but acutely incisive, summary.

Pottells are large to enormous leaf pads with a remarkable ability to float on the top of the sea, even while carrying significant weight. Their surface is dotted with clusters of small multi-colored flowers, and their undersides are covered with arrays of tiny, sturdy tendrils. The shapes, colors, and contours of these gigantic leaves vary considerably according to climate. They are strictly saltwater plants, although they do have close cousins in many of the lakes and rivers of the Tamarran Continent.

The immense size and strength of pottells makes them perfect for use as transportation, and indeed many ride them to travel the waters of our world. The smallest, only a few feet wide, can carry a child or a dwaheely or two. Medium-sized pottells (20-30 feet wide) are frequently used for short travel along the coasts, and typically carry 6-10 passengers. They do not go into the deep oceans, as the roughness is more than they can manage. Large pottells, however, reach spans of hundreds of feet and can easily navigate throughout even the deepest and most violent oceans of our planet, and can carry many dozens of passengers.

A pottell typically moves by drifting along the currents of the sea.  However, they do have a limited capacity to propel themselves by rippling their fringes, paddling through the water at speeds up to 25 miles per hour.  Of course, if they are carrying passengers, they travel much more slowly. I would note that folk who travel by pottell are mostly those who love the sea and enjoy getting wet.

A number of mystics have mastered the ability to pilot these unique creatures. Widely known as “pottell pilots,” though they prefer the title “navigator,” they play a vital part in using pottells for transportation. The skills of these navigators, and their love for pottells, is well-known. The most accomplished of them are able to convince pottells to curl their leaf into a ball to shield their passengers from waves and winds. Accounts tell of navigators whose pottells would curl up into  an impermeable ball, allowing them to travel through the worst storms and submerge themselves to travel under the waves for hours at a time.

With that I will end my discourse, hoping that and it serves the needs of those who desire a greater understanding of our world.

Crawn Disputes — Will there be War?

Knowing Naldrin

A weekly column about everything Naldrin City

Clara Flettwell

By Clara Flettwell, Reporter at Large, the Naldrin City Expose

Kogu 48, SP~5,020

There’s some big news coming out of the Council of Drawnwyn meeting this week, and the Naldrin City Expose has the story here, first.

Insiders tell us that hostilities may be heating up between the Karrin Crawn Lands and the other major crawn kingdom on the Tamarra Continent, the Northern Kingdom of the Szaskar Crawn.

For those of you who follow the politics of the Continent this is nothing particularly new.  The crawn Kingdoms across Tamarra are constantly bickering, usually about territorial boundaries.  We’ve even seen a few incidents of crawn troops from one kingdom (or village) getting into a brush-up with their crawn neighbors.  In the last few weeks, though, the disputes have gotten a lot more serious.

My fellow reporter at the Expose, Carton Ododo, has passed along his finding that there was a two-day pitch battle only last week between forces from the Karrin Crawn Lands and the Szaskar Crawn.  The clash took place east of Naldrin City, along great Naldrin Road just a few miles from the Mizzanur Iron Works.  The battle raged on for two days as a sizable contingent from each of these mighty Crawn Empires engaged.  Carton estimates that there were at least two thousand troops on each side, and rumors were that another thousand or more had been dispatched by the Szaskar to join their comrades.  It is quite interesting how far from home the Karrin forces were.  Their lands lie on the western coast of Tamarran many hundreds of miles from this field of battle.  Several of my own sources have told me that these Karriners were marching toward the Szaskar Kingdom when they were intercepted by Szaskar forces, and that their intent was to march into Szaskar lands.

Apparently, the two sides fought to a draw even though there were significant casualties for each.  To put it another way, the Crawn way, each side claimed victory.  The leader of the Szaskar regiment claimed they had repulsed the dishonorable invaders from the west, and the Karrin forces claimed that they had convincingly defeated the larger but weaker Szaskar fighters and left them alive out of an abundance of generosity.

It looks like that was not the only ramification of the fight.  At yesterday’s meeting of the Council of Drawnwyn, there was a venomous war of words between the representatives of the two Kingdoms.  Inside sources tell me that not only were harsh words thrown between the two parties, but that swords were drawn!  The Council guards were able to intercede before any serious damage was done, but the Karrin Crawn members stormed out of the proceedings shouting that the Szaskar would regret their actions, and regret them very soon.  Haffress, the head of the Szaskar delegation then gave a rambling five-minute rant to the Council members who were still in the chamber, and then declared the meeting over.  He then tossed his chair and, along with his entire delegation, swept out of the Council chamber “with their snaky heads held particularly high”, as one member said off the record.  Of course, neither Crawn delegation was actually in charge of the meeting, so the Council, after a short break, continued with other business.

It looks like things are heating up between Karrin and Szaskar, folks!  Keep your ears to the ground and your eyes on the Expose.  We’ll bring you the latest news as soon as it becomes news!

The Ancient Ishiri Temple of Ocheegogo

This blog post is written as a newspaper column from the in-game personality, Clara Flettwell.  Clara is a reporter for one of the largest newspapers in Naldrin City, the Naldrin City Expose.

More of Clara’s columns can be found in our BeyonderRPG Patreon and in upcoming blog posts.

Knowing Naldrin

A weekly column about everything Naldrin City

Clara Flettwell

By Clara Flettwell, Reporter at Large, the Naldrin City Expose

Kalkix 27, SP~5,021
The Ancient Temple of Ocheegogo

A few days ago I and my good friend Lorleena decided to visit the ishiri Temple of Ocheegogo (OH-chee-go-go).  This still active house of worship is a little known jewel in the Naldrin City region. It is considered one of the great architectural wonders of our region and one of the greatest examples of ishiri architecture on the Continent.

The temple is maintained by an ishiri organization known as the Okogans.  For many centuries they have kept the temple in pristine condition, and protected it from the general public.  On occasion they do offer tours to small groups of select individuals. My cousin Lorleena and I were lucky enough to join one of those groups on a recent afternoon.

What strikes you first, as you see the temple from the roadway, is its height and slender grandeur.  It rises over a hundred feet into the air above the surface of Old Naldrin Way, the ancient roadway that winds across the steep mountain ranges from the Second Tier of Naldrin City deep into the abandoned parts of the ancient city.  A warning to all travelers — the road beyond Ocheegogo is not safe and should be absolutely avoided!

The inside of the temple is even more spectacular.  The broad stone doors open easily into a long hallway with high vaulted ceilings, lined on either side with one alcove after another as far as one can see.  It is well-lit by lamps of a strange design that hang from the walls.

The alcoves, each dimly lit, varied in size.  With the help of our guide, we quickly discovered that each was its own history lesson.  The alcoves nearest the front doors we had just entered were the oldest and those with the most recent history were furthest away.  The walls of each were covered with friezes, paintings, and intricate abstract designs that told stories about the ishiri and our city.  Some stories were of heroic individuals. Others recalled great feats performed by the ishiri folk or individual clans. The ceilings often had their own art works to embellish the story told in that alcove.  Many of the larger alcoves held display cases or lecterns for maps, books, and other writings that seemed very ancient.

Gagallo

Our ishiri guide, a female named Gagallo, was patient with us, willing to take as much time as we needed to explain the artifacts we were seeing and the history they represented.  There seemed no end to her knowledge.

Near the end of our hours-long visit, I asked Gagallo if there was an alcove for Drawnwyn and her crown of Seven Eyes.  It is hard to read the reactions of an ishiri, but over the years I have known many and many of those are my friends. I could see that she was surprised at the question and somewhat disconcerted.  I immediately felt the gentle probes of Energetic Powers, likely Physic Energy, trying to detect my capabilities and what I might have in my possession.

Gagallo quickly told us that those collections were under repair and not available.

“I am sorry for the inconvenience,” she said.

At that moment several guards approached Gagallo.  They were clearly letting her know that the tour was over.  Seeing these well-armed soldiers prompted me to notice that the temple had been well-guarded since we entered.  Allowing others into their temple was obviously something the Okogans did not do lightly.

We thanked Gagallo and the guards for a wonderful and instructive afternoon. They bowed in the customary ishiri manner and stood at the doorway as we made our way out of the temple, back to Old Naldrin Way.

For Lorleena and I the journey back to the city was filled with lively discussion of the many wonders we had witnessed, and great curiosity about the things we had not been allowed to see.

If you are interested in the history of our city, the ishiri, or just a bit of mystery, the Temple of Ocheegogo should most certainly be on your to-do list.

How to Keep a Blink Bat from Blinking

Grommakk Dakkar

By Grommakk Dakkar, Dwarf Evoker and Station 3 Energetic Zoologist, Naldrin University

As we all know, Imbelnhi Ulanwey captured the essence of the blink bat in the marvelous prose of his Bestiary.  However, there remain many misconceptions about these odd and singular creatures. One question I am asked repeatedly by ordinary folk who approach me on the streets of the city, as well as by the most learned scholars in the halls of Naldrin University, is this: how does one carry around a blink bat when it has the ability to vanish into thin air at will?  This question is of particular interest to those who wish to hire blink bats as messengers for governments, businesses, and the wealthy.

The public’s ignorance on this topic is as profound as it is longstanding. In this short treatise I will attempt to press aside this dark shadow of nescience to reveal that which is, in the end, stunningly obvious.

Blink bats can teleport – that is, they can disappear from their current location and instantaneously re-emerge in an entirely different location.  As Imbhelni states in his well-known Bestiary; “They have a strong instinctive connection with Physic Energy that lets them find the holes and tunnels behind the space we see”.

There are two well-known ways to keep blink bats stationary without fear of teleportation. The first method relies on a rare Energetic skill possessed by a small set of particularly gifted Evokers, this author included.  This skill leverages the ability to imbue objects in the world with particular Energetic qualities, working with a rare metal to imbue it with an Energetic signature that disrupts teleportation. This metal, ellanum, is highly effective at saturating objects with Physic Energy, and is used to construct blink bat cages. This process has been passed down over many centuries by certain Evoker Guilds on the Tamarran Continent (the Naldrin City Guild is one of them).

Once the elements of the cage have been appropriately saturated with the correct amount and kind of Physic Energy, the material will hold that Energy in place for a year or more.  The imbued material creates an Energetic cloud surrounding the cage which, for lack of a better word, “confuses” any attempt a blink bat might make to perform a teleportation. We should be clear that it does not strictly prohibit the blink bat’s use of teleportation; however, it confuses their perception of physical space so that they are highly unlikely to end up where they intend.  When these creatures are kept in an Energetically imbued cage, the bats seem to sense this cloud of confusion and so remain docile, and present, in their enclosures.

The second method for keeping blink bats in place is significantly more mundane. We have discovered that these fascinating creatures are especially fond of the fruit of the charling bush, which grows throughout the Tamarran Continent, and is ubiquitous in and around the Sce Aldu Caverns*.  Each bush can produce thousands of small, red berries throughout the year.  The bushes are beautiful, with their striking red fruit attached to the bush under slender blue leaves. Most important, charling berries are as sweet as any berry or honey on the Continent, and blink bats love them.

The crux of this is that once a blink bat has discovered that someone has charling berries in their possession and is willing to share them, they will remain obediently at their side.

I thank you for your consideration of these words, and now please stop asking me this question.


* The Sce Aldu Caverns are a gigantic series of tunnels and caves under the Suong Mountains in the far southwestern part of the Tamarran Continent.  As Javeer Akcher notes, in one of his footnotes to Imbelnhi’s Bestiary, “The Sce Aldu Caverns have long been identified as the source of bizarre physical properties. Scholars at the Evoker’s Guild speculate that they lie on top of one of Ethem’s hearts, and thus potentially contain a higher density of spatial contortions than any other area on the planet!”.  This may explain why these caverns serve as the greatest habitat on Tamarra for the blink bat.

A New Danger in Tarnath?

By Timmarint Block, Politics Reporter, The Tarnath Weekly Chronicle

Timmarint Block

Kalkix 21, SP~5,021

Timmarint here, your source in getting to the bottom of rumors.  This time it’s about city officials. According to sources in the government and a few influential organizations, a search is on for a jewel from the Crown of Drawnwyn, a very powerful artifact that could affect who controls  Tarnath, and perhaps the entire region.

Our leads almost all concurred that Teetl and Yov, the best known private detectives anywhere on the Continent, have been hunting down this artifact for a well-placed client.  As most readers will know, Teetl, a dwaheely, and his partner Yov, an ushen, have been working together for over two decades now. And they don’t come cheap. This reporter was determined to get the scoop from the famous duo about what part they played in this hunt, if any.

We arranged to meet at the Hungry Oogert Inn in the Great Northeast, one of the best neighborhoods in Tarnath for excellent dining.  I’d met these masters of sleuthing on several occasions, but never one to one (or two). When I saw them approach, I was immediately struck by the sight of these two walking down the dusty street.  Teetl sets a quick pace as if he’s always in a hurry, and Yov, who dwarfs his tiny companion, takes one large easy step after another.  Even so, it works. Somehow.

We sat down for an early breakfast, just after sunrise.  I had the eggs and several slices of phrellas belly — best in the city in my opinion. Teetl is the more talkative; Yov tends to be quiet, but he’s sharp as a nail.  We spent some time with pleasantries as well as details of some of their most recent cases, which they were happy to discuss. The conversation got loose and fluid, and then got to my real questions.

TB: I hear that you recently did a bit of work for Mayor Sympriono.

Teetl: We’ve worked for the mayor a number of times over the years. He’s a good guy – he’s always treated us fairly and honestly.

TB: Yes, I agree.  We’ve always had good things to say about him in the Chronicle.

Teetl: I like your paper.

TB: Thanks for that.  Yes, I consider it a point of pride to get the details right on every story I write.  Like, I’ve heard from a number of contacts, I won’t name who, that the tunnels under Old Naldrin City are pretty nasty.

Teetl: Yup.

TB: And mostly under water now.

Teetl: A bit.

TB: And, when you get down far enough, well, lots of wenbelnym…

Teetl: No question.

The Wenbelnym

TB: I mean one wenbelnym is dangerous, but a swarm of them?  Emotional daemons are tough enough when they’re physical weaklings, but these guys are like twenty-foot long eels, and they can take you out!

Yov: Tee…

I see Teetl glance at Yov, who gives him a knowing look.

TB: How did you get past ‘em?

At this point, both of my breakfast companions begin to squirm a bit in their chairs, so I go for the big question.

TB: I mean, you don’t get a chance to snag an Eye from the Crown of Drawnwyn every day.

Teetl: (ahem) I don’t know what you’re talking about.

TB: The Eye of Amdrath, right?  The one that controls Emotion Energy?.

Teetl: I think you’re confused.

TB: You gotta have a lot of courage and smarts, taking on all those wenbelnym and coming out alive.

Yov stands up abruptly.  Teetl rubs his left arm as if remembering something unpleasant.

They give each other a knowing look.  Teetl stands up.

Teetl: Our thanks for the meal.

TB: So the mayor’s a very happy client, I assume?

Teetl (who stares in a way I wouldn’t have imagined he could), through pursed lips: We don’t discuss our clients!”

Next thing I saw was the backs of these two as they briskly made their way out of the Hungry Oogert.

And now, dear readers, we have some pretty convincing evidence that at least one of the famous Eyes from the Crown of Drawnwyn may be among us, and –  dare we speculate – in use against us?

The Lesaneth, the Heola Protectors

The Heolas

The Heolas

Since ancient times, heola have served the world of Tamarra by becoming Protectors of something they choose – land, folk, or even an idea. Here Aktil Na Baylarrasa, a long-lived and well-travelled martle, shares his encounter in the Suong Mountains with Drammar, a heolas Protector of the Land.

From Aktil Na Baylarrasa:

In the year SP~4,988*, my journey took me to the Suong Mountains, in the far southwestern corner of the Tamarran Continent.  These lands are dry and hot, with little vegetation. Nestled among the twisted chains of long cordillera, the ranges of the mountain, are many high, flat shelves.  These are usually small, measuring at most a few miles in length and typically far less in width. It is on one of these shelves that I found safety from a band of goblins that had been following me for days.  Many of these evil creatures infest the Suong Mountains. They have built their own kingdoms within the mountains and claim parts of them as their own.

Here I encountered Drammar, the heolas who served as Protector of this land of Suong Mara, nestled between two high peaks.  Not knowing which languages this heolas spoke, and since I know many, as is the custom for my folk, I chose to speak in the native tongue of the heola, Sahan.

“Greetings, heolas of the mountain.  I am the martle named Aktil Na Baylarassa.”  I held out my hands in recognition and bowed slightly.

Drammar also bowed, saying, “Greetings, martle.  You and your cousins are known to me and my folk.  I welcome you here if you come without harm in your mind.”  I was struck that Drammar knew the reference, “you and your cousins”.  Most do not understand that we, martles, refer to ourselves in this way.  We are cousins to each martle and each of them to us, even to our ancestors.

I could see from Drammar’s bearing, firm but polite, that this heolas was a Protector, one of those those known as Lesaneth.

“I come here to seek shelter and, in return, I would bring what aid I might to you and the this place that you Protect, if you are indeed a follower of Lesaneth.”  It was the proper greeting, and I could see that Drammar recognized it as such.

“I am Drammar.  Come and rest from your travels.  This land is protected from any that might do them harm.”

As Drammar finished speaking I heard a sharp sound of barks and squeals –  clearly the sound of goblins, no doubt those that had been following me. There were a number of goblin voices, and they were close.

Drammar did not have time to lead us to a safe place before a band of perhaps a dozen goblins appeared, slouching their way out from behind an outcropping of the mountainside.

I prepared to defend myself, but before I could do anything Drammar, with face cold and furious, moved forward to stand between me and these barbaric creatures.  Drammar faced the goblin leader and called out clearly and with unmistakable threat, “I have not given you permission to enter Suong Mara. I give you warning.”

The lead goblin hesitated, seeming to assess the situation.  As vile as these creatures are, they are surprisingly rational when it comes to war and fighting and do not often make mistakes.  After its momentary calculation, it clearly arrived at a decision. He screeched a loud, intimidating reply as he and his cohort, lunged at us.

I reached for my knife, but before I could touch it, I heard a soft incantation from Drammar, whose long, sand-brown cloak billowed up and swept back as a swirl of sand and dirt rose up from the ground in front.  A wall of earth suddenly spun before us, higher than our heads and as wide as the band of goblins that faced us. It sounded as if a caravan of wagons was crashing down a ravine.

The last thing I saw of the goblins before they were wholly consumed by this powerful storm was the look of shock on their faces.  Then, with one more spoken word and a pushing motion, Drammar sent the storm careening into the goblins, carrying them far back into the ravine from which they had appeared.

The wind dissipated, and Drammar’s cloak settled into stillness.  We both listened for a minute and heard the sound of many goblin feet heading down the mountain away from Suong Mara.

It was the first time I had witnessed the fury of a Lesaneth protecting their land, though it would not be the last.

Drammar turned to look at me.  “Are you hungry?”


* The current year is SP~5,019.