Feore Cities: Dragoste, Valdamere, Zasabihr and Mawnim
Biomes: Temperate Forest (Northern Draelyk), Rain Forest (Southern Draelyk)
There are four major Feore cities spread across the continent of Draelyk. The northernmost city, Dragoste, also serves as the capital and sits in the shadow of the Karr’ai Peak in the Ror’nam province. Spiraling almost alien coils of massive briers serve as the main building component of not only the buildings that the Feore live in, but also as one of its primary lines of defense. Invaders not only have to contend with the Feore that know the thick, oversized briar forest but the briers, blood thistles, hooklin bushes, and other vegetation that’s been both bred and naturally evolved to cause ‘prey’ to bleed out over the earth and die from exsanguination. With the largest of briers as tough as wrought iron, Feore harvest and manufacture weapons and armor in Dragoste to be sent to the other three cities as well as the numerous smaller towns and villages scattered throughout the the continent. Dragoste is home to a large magical academy where the various sects of Guards are trained as well as where all feore go to learn what the Spirits have gifted them with.
Settled somewhere near the center of the Inner Draelyk is Valdamere, which is the agricultural center of the Feore. However ‘farms’ are vastly different to what most realms might consider appropriate; a very specific sort of carnivorous plant is cultivated for not only the thick, leathery exterior, but the tarry sap they exude when cut into. The sap is used primarily for construction, but is frequently seen in the manufacturing of traps and projectile weapons.
The southernmost Feore city on Draelyk is Zasabihr, found in the Inaal province just on the coast and only a small river keeps those of the city from the island of Vrykos. Thanks to the inlet into the Tidemoot sea, which spills out into the greater oceans of Zhurin, the Feore are able to supplement their supplies through shipping routes to Sorth and on occasion, Xansai. With the opening of the portal in Dragoste, trade ships are less a necessity leaving more resources for the fisherfolk and Aqueous Guard.
Mawnim rests on the sub-continent of Llyreade at the curve of the Nrian river off the western coast of Draelyk. With it’s place off the main continent, Mawnim is regarded as the weakest of the four feore cities because of the time it takes for reinforcements to arrive as well as taking longer to receive goods from the mainland. Llyreade’s forests are less dense than those in Draelyk, with a greater abundance of fauna due to the smaller numbers of carnivorous flora that are found on the main continent and attempts to terraform Llyreade to be more suitable have met with limited success.
A rather simple name for a tree that’s anything but. Greenwood trees are quite literally, green. A thick carpet of moss, algae and various parasitic plants grow on the bark of an evergreen, while the leaves create thick bushes in the boughs, making it almost impossible for larger creatures to traverse through them without experience and training to wade through the leafmatter and find proper, solid footing. The greenwood tree is the feore’s greatest secret. From first glance, one unaware of what the tree is capable of might see little more than just another arboreal skyscraper, but to the feore, the greenwood tree is the source of much of their weaponry and armor.
Underneath the dense thicket that coats the bark is one of the hardest known, naturally grown substances in all of Zhurin and the feore guard the ability to harvest the wood jealously. Cutting into the greenwood exposes a softer coloration of seafoam green and a thick, similarly hued sap that hardens rapidly. As the sap hardens, it also grows heavier and denser to help the tree heal as well as deter whatever’s attacking the tree. Unfortunate folks who got sap on bare skin have to have it cut or torn away.
Greenwood trees are the largest trees found in the Draelyk forests, towering over the rest of the flora and piercing the forest canopy, making them ideal targets for tracking. Most Greenwoods are home to one or two families of feore at any given time, with treehouses built within the dense foliage within the boughs and generally invisible to the naked eye or those unknowledgeable regarding either the tree or the feore.
Lumber: Wood is something that Draelyk is never without and the feore frequently sell lumber in various states to those that inquire about it. While the more mundane sorts of wood is most frequently sold, steelwood (greenwood) as most non-natives have taken to call it, fetches a much higher premium. A single tree of greenwood can be used to create enough weapons for a small army and harvesting the greenwood is a secret that the feore guard jealously.
Leather: While Draelyk does have its fair share of large beasts that might have wonderful pelts, the leather that the feore trades comes from several of the predatory flora native to the continent. These leathers are naturally waxed, though must be rewaxed from day to day wear and tear, but aren’t any better or worse than those made from animals.
Food: Nowhere else on Zhurin can an abundance of fruit and vegetables be found. What most might consider exotic grow in abundance and one of the Elifah’s many tasks is to make sure that the fields are properly tended to and their produce growing healthy. Produce from Draelyk tends to last longer and generally taste better than anywhere else in Zhurin.
Dragoste is the current capital of the Feore empire, though it wasn’t always. Prior to Molvonos’ return to Zhurin, Zasabihr, with it’s position right next to the water’s edge of the straits of Vrykos, was deemed the perfect place in times long past to create what would have been the wellspring of feore culture. And it was for decades till the Alerians erupted from the island of Vrykos and laid siege to the great city, starting the first great war between the two races. That tale is best told another time, as this is about Dragoste and not Zasabihr. Dragoste is positively massive in scale compared to the other three feore cities, and even vaster than the innumerable little villages that call the forests of Draelyk home, having a population range anywhere from 250,000 and 350,000 permanent residents. The large range is due in part to the somewhat nomadic nature of the race and their need to roam freely through the forests of Draelyk.
Like the other three feore cities on Draelyk, Dragoste not build from stone or steel, but from the flora native to the forests, terraformed and grown by the feore gifted with nature’s blessing. Some homes are built into extraordinary trees capable of housing three different families in its trunk and even more in the boughs while others are far more intricately crafted, with weaving vines, thick trees, bushes and briars creating a composite manor. The Tear, the fortress that the De’Stregoi rule from, is a spiraling network of briars, vines wrapped around one of the largest trees to be found in the northern reaches of Draelyk. Between the largest of the trees are great pulleys and lifts that allow one to fully reach all of the layers of Dragoste, with each of the primary lifts being guarded by two of the Elifah at any point in time.
In addition to the city’s guards (mostly Elifah, Firdaast and Ereso), the Elifah have long since ‘domesticated’ several species of predatory flora and have them woven into the very fabric of the city. Most lay dormant until needed, merely adding ambiance, color and an artistic touch to an already otherworldly grove. With Dragoste’s status as the feore capital, it is the most heavily guarded of the four great cities and those wishing to lay siege to it might find themselves with the very elements and nature rising against them long before they reached the root-woven walls that surround the city.