Spotlight on/GBA/Week/2

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To the homins reading this

Inspired by the masterful works of Azazor Eridlo Mirihus[1], I’ve taken it upon myself to try my hand in describing the lay of the land and Cities in the Matis kingdom. Located on the high plateau of Atys known as the Verdant Heights.

This is done to allow a potential visitor a mostly unbiased look at the Matis’ realm. I’m doing it in full knowledge that some of the source material I will have to rely on, may just gloss over a few historical facts in favor of a more presentable story. I will, if possible, try to give neutral commentary. As my status as a Ranger demands of me and as I feel bound to do, for the people of Atys. In this work you will find some information on the lay of the land, its people and the dangers, as well as delights that you may encounter on your travels through the realm, should you be inclined to do so. By no means do I claim any measure of completeness as even I who has spent a lot of time in this land, do not yet know every nook and cranny, every homin living there and every creature roaming its wilderness. I present this to you as an introduction to a beautiful part of Atys and the New/Four Lands.

May you travel within its borders unmolested and in peace.

  Ranger Lylanea Vicciona, Bard of the Four Lands

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The Verdant Heights aka Matia

Overview Matis text divider 01.png

Welcome traveler.
As you might know and as is pretty obvious for anyone looking at a map of the Four Lands, Matia or the Kingdom of the Verdant Heights is located on a natural plateau of mid height, rising from the Bark of Atys in the South-East of the inhabitable region that comprises the Four Lands. Only the Fyros empire lies higher on the great Plant that comprises Atys.
Contrary to the Desert Empire, which is located inside a vast valley of natural lowlands within the bark of Atys, the Matis Kingdom’s landmass is limited on all sides by steep cliffs, leading down to a vast, mostly empty plain of dark bark. Those cliffs should be almost impossible to climb. But as we have come to know, desperate and brave souls alike have managed to do so in the past, risking their lives.
Looking down from the edge of the perimeter on a clear day, at any point, a Homin can see down to the untamed, torrid bark of Atys herself.


Travelers beware, it’s an almost fathomless drop down near vertical walls of solid wood and sadly some souls have met their final demise over the years by plunging down into the hazy unknown. For most days a fine mist of moisture hangs over the depths, the great distance preventing anyone looking from seeing more than a mostly uniform brown expanse. But some clear-viewed Homins claim to have spotted movement and green patches down there, similar to those who insist on having seen things moving, way up on the branches of the canopy.
Be that as it may, we know that some things are down there.
For on occasion a tremendous, deep roar can be heard echoing up from the depth, calling out over the ever blowing wind. Sometimes thunderous crashes accompany it, like titanic footsteps or the boom of enormous, distant guns.
Though nothing was ever seen to explain these terrible noises, some Rangers and Refugees that have traversed the wilds beyond the Four Lands, claim to have seen gigantic, unknown creatures. Or in one rather apocryphal case, a small, frog-like creature which uses fallen, hollowed out trees to amplify its croak to such monstrous volume.

Most of Matia's “coastline” is rather smooth, with some small grassy outcroppings some few feet below the edge. Some are reachable, most present a rather challenging climb though. In some places great jagged fissures in the plateau's wood reach inward, not dissimilar to those that can be found branching off the Scorched Corridor's great chasm that cuts Fyros in half. Though these are significantly smaller and no one knows what lies at their bottom.
The plateau itself gradually leads down towards the enormous basin that is Aeden Aqueous or Naw Trykoth in a series of steps and gradual downward slopes. It is of temperate climate and quite moist actually, with frequent rainfalls and thunderstorms. One would think that verdant Matia had an abundance of water at its disposal, but due to its layout as a plateau and its fertile soil not reaching much deeper than a few feet beneath the edge, most of the rainwater seeps through the relatively thin crust of soil and flows off into the mysterious depth underneath it. Probably emerging somewhere down the cliffs, contributing to the mists surrounding Matia. Rising up into the clouds and starting the circle anew. Luckily it seems that these rainfalls are rich in nutrients. As otherwise the soil would have been long cleansed of any fertilizers.[2]
The lack of reliable sources of water is the main reason for the Kingdom's prolonged conflict with its northern neighbors, the Fyros. As fertile and lush the realm may seem, ironically only a few stable watering holes are found among its green hills that are able to support its animal and Homin population
Let’s start at the top and work our way down to the other end of the realm. So from north to south we go.

The Hidden Source Matis text divider 01.png

Matias' biggest, stable source of water is located in the officially titled “Hidden Source” Region high in the Northwest of Matia. A lush oasis, a place of welcome green in what is commonly called the “Matis Desert”. This place has been contested by Fyros and Matis alike since the establishment of the New Lands.
The region mostly consists of very arid grasslands. A savanna-valley, lying about a hundred feet higher and thus being much dryer and sometimes quite a bit hotter than the rest of the “Verdant Heights” plateau. Surrounded by high wooden cliffs, in this case reaching into the sky, rather than dropping down into the unknown.
The Oasis itself is fed by at least one (maybe two) artesian wells that, according to Matis scientists who base their publishings on knowledge gleaned from the Karavan, are in turn fed by rainfalls on the distant higher regions of Atys. With the rainwater falling elsewhere being funneled below the bark, to this particular spot and being forced up and out through the beautiful waterfalls that make up the historically named “Virginia Falls”. (There’s quite the controversial, tragic love-story connected to these and their name.)
Gazing down into the pool at the foot of the waterfalls from a certain vantage point, one can perceive a tunnel beneath the bark, leading off into the distance. Matis Scientists claim that this tunnel runs beneath the whole of the plateau, branching off into a network of below-ground rivers, creeks and eventually trickles. Thus ensuring the lush vegetation of the realm. In some places this water collects and forms watering holes for the local fauna, but these are few and far between.[3]

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The Oasis itself is immensely beautiful and I recommend a visit in spring wholeheartedly. As a myriad of flowers bloom on the springs gentle slopes and the trees are nearly overflowing with bright petals.
But do not let the tranquility fool you. A vicious pack of huge Torbaks calls the southern rise its home and defends its territory with tooth and claw. In addition a gang of bandits hides somewhere in the lush vegetation, waiting for unwary travelers to ambush. Frequently getting into deadly scraps with the resident “tribe” of the “Arid Matis”. These men and women are tasked with protecting the oasis and tending to its waters. Making sure neither plant life nor the waters are spoiled. A huge, red Kirosta also sometimes stalks the oasis and hides in its bamboo patches. I have heard the Name “Tarron” spoken among the locals.
For a long time the camp of “Sirgio The Wicked” was the only presence of note in this region. A bandit leader of some repute, who had gained notoriety for his cruelty and strange penchant for storytelling. Frequent conflicts between his men and travelers as well as those trying to rein in his ways erupted at his camp, located near the aforementioned Oasis, to the southeast of the Fyros Vortex. A short way off his camp, a small number of Bolobies can be found. What's keeping these long legged root-eaters there is anyones guess.
Only a few years ago though, in a formerly hidden and inconspicuous part of the region, the feared Marauders managed to establish a permanent base-camp. Thus travelers are warned not to go too near the western or southern walls of the valley.
A sizable population of hardy herbivores like armas, gnoofs and mektoubs falls prey to a host of very aggressive cuttlers and torbaks who also call this region home. Apart from the ever present kitins, which terrorize travelers on their way down into the heart of the land.
If you ever find yourself pursued by bandits or creatures alike, try to reach the safety of the royal outpost established not too far to the east from the ramp down into the greener regions, right at the deserts edge. 

The Knoll of Dissent Matis text divider 01.png

The high plateau of Matia from there on branches off into two main arms, that house the whole of the kingdom. Right below the Hidden Source Region the so called “Knoll of Dissent” is located. A quite wild region, defined by rolling hills and well, knolls, boasting some of the most beautiful views I’ve seen in Matia. And it includes Matias only vortex down into the Prime Root region of the “Abyss Of Ichor”, not that far west from the natural ramp leading down from “Hidden Source”.
If you turn to the left at the roads fork, you’ll be on your way to the Region called “Grove Of Confusion”, which will be discussed later in this document.  From the heights of the ramp or “Hidden Sources” edge, one can be able to spot another royal outpost established during the last greater swarm in the again quite aptly named “Torbak Hills”. It was established there to keep an eye on the kitins of the Region. For a bit farther to the south-east lies Matia's bane. A kitin lair, located in one of the region's higher hills that is riddled with passages and thus was once aptly named the “Tunnel Of Woe”. Here a smallish swarm of kitins has taken residence and harasses the surrounding landscape.
As the resident kizarak is prone to venturing from its home from time to time, it is speculated by many that it is male. Hoping to find a willing female on its outings.[4]

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Huge Herds of bawaabs, armas, mektoubs and rendors dominate the region. Which is also home to a sizable population of thieving javings. Those buggers steal everything that is not tucked away securely and they love to swoop down on you while you’re having a heated argument with a torbak or other aggressive beast. Gibbais also stride through these parts in their typical languid way. Keep away from them, as they are fiercely territorial.
A little further down the road, towards the northeastern edge, the camp of the Matis Border Guards is located. These royal soldiers are tasked with not only protecting the kingdom's borders, but also are bound to provide shelter to travelers seeking refuge from Kitin or other menaces. As long as those travelers are in good standing with either the Karavan or the Kingdom, that is. The greatest thorn in their side though is a cohort of deserters, that have made camp somewhere in the woods of this region. These men and women for a long time hung on to the dream that former tyrant Jinovitch would return and reclaim the throne from his nephew Yrkanis. In recent years though they have chosen to throw in their lot with the Marauders, going even so far, as to forge an alliance with them. When the Marauders first arrived in the Verdant Heights, these Deserters helped them to establish their base-camp in the “Hidden Source”.
Right next to the fort of the Border Guard lies the “Tower Bridge Way”. A young branch of Atys, reaching into the sky to form a lovely, natural viewpoint over the camp and the surrounding area. This spot is also rich in resources and hidden from most aggressive animals. Seeing the morning mists rise from the natural gorge up against the towering branch is a sight to behold during autumn in Matia.

The Grove of Confusion Matis text divider 01.png

To the north-east of “Hidden Source” lies the region known as the “Grove Of Confusion”.
Another rather apt name, if you ask me. This region lies quite a bit lower than its neighbor and after travelers have passed the quite steep slope down into the region proper, they might notice a change in the local flora. For interestingly, quite a few plants that are also found in the Witherings of Zoraï grow here, right beside the usual shrubbery of Matia. Aside from this, the fauna here is equally confusing. As ghostly, bone-white ocyxes prowl the dense forests in large numbers. A bit smaller than their reddish, fyrosian brothers and sisters, they are no less dangerous. Speaking of danger, the kitin population in this deep forest is significantly larger than in other regions of the Verdant Heights, despite the hive located in an adjoining region. In addition, terrifying jugulas also roam the twilit undergrowth, their fangs dripping with viscous poison that can bring a hardened warrior to his or her knees within seconds. Cuttlers of all sizes will chase you down to chew on your bones even so some few hardy and especially vicious torbaks might drive them away from their catch to snack on your corpse.

Twilight Grove.jpg

Further into the dense forest, it turns into a maze of crevices and gullies, that are the regions truly defining feature. Inside these labyrinths tight pathways there is little room to sneak or even maneuver. So, my advice is to always travel in groups and be prepared for anything. Because behind each bend in the path, there could wait a many fanged welcome party ready to send you on into the arms of whichever deity you’ve chosen to follow.
At the far end of this meat grinder of a labyrinth lies a recently established Ranger Camp. It guards the only known, natural tunnel down to the small Plateau of Silan, where refugees gather and take their first steps into our society.
Herds of armored aranas, yelks and thick skinned arma eke out a living here. In addition to the only herd of huge madakams found in Matia. These are probably the only animals capable of withstanding the continuous onslaught of aggressive predators.
If you follow the Kings Road down, through the “Knoll Of Dissent”, you will eventually cross over into the “Majestic Garden”.

The Majestic Garden Matis text divider 01.png

In this region rests the beating heart of Matia. The seat of the throne and the jewel in the Matis’ peoples crown. Yrkanis, its biggest city. Named after the late King Yrkanis, son of King Yasson. Who established the city, where an arrow he had fired and left to the whims of the winds struck the bark of Atys. He then gave this newly founded settlement the name of his firstborn son.[5] 
The Matis cities and villages aren’t built per say, but mostly grown from special seeds and saplings, manipulated by the great Masters Of Life to provide shelter to their people. Thus Yrkanis itself more or less perfectly blends in with the surrounding forest. Its trees are bigger and wider to house the Homins living inside of them on several levels, with ornamental features and sporting no foliage, but an open top. This is done to collect rainwater, which is cleaned and filtered to be used for drinking in the Matis homes.[6]
Once you enter the city through the ornate main gate, you might notice the city guards post to your right and the main city stables to your left. With the Tourist guides and Refugee-Welcomer in front. Ladies (and gents of such inclination), that tall, brooding, handsome fellow in heavy armor, standing almost in the middle of the gate, is the Northern Kitin Guard. As far as I know he’s already spoken for. A shame, isn’t it?

Sap Well.jpg

If you can pry your eyes from this awesome specimen, they might fall unto the “Kings Pavilion” or simply the gazebo, for short. It serves as an open air stage for official gatherings, public declarations are made or festive balls are held here on occasion.
To the left, nestled behind a small hillock is the old Sap-Well. It is situated right beside the Karavan Shrine, with its floating machinery and its Karavan ambassadors. Or the Karavan situated themselves right beside it, who knows?
But, to look upon this once magnificent structure fills my heart with sadness and foreboding. For it is said that in the early years after the city's establishment, precious sap flowed freely from its depth. Today it is but a deep, dark hole in a dirty grey platform. Surrounded by thin, partly withered trees, a wooden wall stained by time and disuse and only a few drops of glowing sap left in its groves, trickling down into its unknown depth. Why it dried up is a mystery and lucky for the Matis no legend surrounds it. (Like the great Rotoa-Lily of which I will tell you shortly.) So it simply fell into disrepair. Which admittedly scares me more than any legend. For it shows that even a people which holds beauty and perfection in such high regard as the Matis, may simply forget about a thing and ignore the one open sore on their otherwise perfect, public face.

Opposite the well, shrine and gazebo you can find one of the city's two marketplaces. The other being in Tylini-Ward, at the other end of the city, near the palace. Here you'll find marketeers and teachers alike, who aim to sell their wares and teach those hungry for knowledge, or just wanting to better their theoretical martial skill.
Speaking of which… The city itself is divided into wards, which are named after previous Kings and important, historical figures of the Matis people.
The first is “Yasson”, named after the late King Yasson, father to Yrkanis, half-brother to Jinovitch, of whom I'll tell you later.
The second ward is named in honor of Aniro, the first King of old Matia, before the great swarm and the Exodus from the Old Lands. He secured the alliance between the Karavan and the Matis and he was the one who ordered the legendary, lost city of Karavia to be built in their honor. It is the center of our city, its heart, so to say. As befits the legendary status of this king.
The third ward, which houses the royal palace, is named after Gioni di Tylini, a famous Matis Knight of old, who founded a long lasting bloodline.
Libia ward is a mystery, as I can not find any information on how it gained its name. I can only speculate, that it must have been someone famous too. Or infamous, as it houses the only tavern of the city. Which is infamous for its, lets say “special” interior decor.

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A defining feature of the city is its Great Greenhouse. It is shaped in the form of a great beetle larva, blown up to gigantic proportions and a true masterpiece of  woodcraft. The larva snuggles up to a tree. Again with an “open top” to collect rain. You can enter the greenhouse proper by the larvas ... ehrm .. lower back end.
It holds the majestic and unique Rotoa-Lily.[7] It is named in honor of the late Matis Queen-Mother “Lea”.  It sits upon a pedestal inside an artificial spring, right in the middle of the greenhouse, surrounded by a small pool and lesser plants.
Further into the city you will surely come to regard the humble palace of the King (Karan) and Queen (Karae) of Matia. It consists of two conjoined home-trees with many fine ornamental giant fungi and beautiful, intricate windows. Areas open to the public are the atrium and the throne room. Where most royal courts and functions are held these days. A respectful visit to the magnificent throne-room is a must for anyone interested in the culture of our homeland.
Behind the palace walls, the daily business of running a kingdom is taken up by many functionaries and of course, their august majesties.
Spread out through the city a traveler can find many merchants and those who are willing to part with a few Dappers, to help on specific tasks if need be.
I will refrain from encouraging anyone to visit the local tavern though. It is a true shame that whoever designed these “watering holes” took this metaphor to the extreme it seems. The bar is a dark place, with no visitors and even the bartender mostly spending his days outside his establishment. Go there if you must, take a look inside this weird curiosity and then never think of it again.

Matis Arena.jpg

Just a few minutes of travel away from the Capital lies the great Arena of Matia. You might not have recognized it while passing it on the Kings Road. It is a great construct of living bark, that houses a field where martial artists of all lands, Guilds and Faiths are welcome to test their mettle and train. Or just beat each other over the head for fun. Oftentimes it is also used to host special festivities on the lawn of its large entrance area.
If you cross the Kings Road in front of of this magnificent structure, you may spot the near magical, technological lights of a Karavan Temple, shining through the foliage. Situated near the edge of the narrow plateau that comprises the Majestic Garden, it provides wisdom in the words of Jena to her followers and a pathway to the Almati Wood, if one is inclined to travel there.
The region itself is rather peaceful, compared to other parts of Matia. With great herds of bodocs, caprynis and a great many yubos roaming free. Some kipees also crawl through its foliage but luckily don’t bother anyone. A few packs of scavenging ragusses and gingos roam the region, but are more of an annoyance than a true menace to anyone but the most inexperienced traveler. Some small time bandits haunt the Kings Road and villages, but are kept in check.[8]
Speaking of villages, there are three in the region: Natae, Davae, Avalae. Named after the three first born children, all girls I might add, in the newly minted kingdom. They are only a short way down the Kings Road from each other and flourish by exchanging goods with each other and the capital. The town suppliers always need someone to carry supplies to and fro and a strapping young homin can earn good money from hauling packages and barrels to their destinations.
Once you have left these villages behind you’ll soon be leaving the populated area of the Kingdom. Following the Kings Road further to the south you’ll enter the next Region.

The Fleeting Garden Matis text divider 01.png

This area earned its name from the fact that since the establishment of the new Matis Kingdom it has defied each and every attempt by Matis scientists and botanists alike to cultivate it and bring its unruly inhabitants to heel, so to speak. Since the founding days the raising of a great, thorny hedge at its border to the adjoining, central region, to protect the beating heart of the Matis people is the pet project of the royal court. Some few attempts have already failed miserably and sometimes at great cost to the Kingdom. King Yrkanis and Queen Lea wisely refrained from further watering this dead seed, as Karae Lea's father found an untimely end in its pursuit, but newly minted Karae, Queen Tamiela seems to be taking a new, strong interest in it.
Geographically the region itself is a confusing mix of highs and lows, great bowls in the bark and some of the only greater watering holes of Matia, as mentioned above. One of these watering holes is known as “The Trove” and the name is well deserved. For it is not only a source of water, it holds many precious materials beneath its topsoil just waiting to be found by eager prospectors. A tribe consisting solely of Zoraï, the “Siblings of the Weed” has taken it upon themselves to protect this area from getting depleted by greedy homins though. So tread lightly, if you plan on prospecting there.
In addition, a band of outlaws has taken up residence at the foot of a natural outlook point in the form of a withered branch of Atys, near this area. So if you are willing to take a risk for something trivial, wait for them to leave their camp and climb up to “The Needles” top. You’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view down over the neighboring region and most of the “Fleeting Garden”. This feature is not included on any official map, I’m giving you a personal recommendation here.

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Apart from a small group of primitive gibbai, hidden away in a secluded nook beneath an outcropping, many aggressive animals, like great gingos, cuttlers and javings roam freely here and prey upon the herds of bodocs, armas and shrieking raspals. The only other sizable population of frippos in the Four Lands has found refuge here. And luckily these animals did not yet become infected with goo as their cousins on Silan sadly have and are harmless, unless provoked. Then they still are the bane of any mage.
Interestingly the kitins did not manage to establish any presence in this region as of now. Were it not for a great population of kipees, who munch in the rich soil and the occasional kizoar flying by one might forget that the threat exists.
As you might notice, following the Kings Road, the ground has a continuous slight downward slope, culminating in the next region. In this region’s lower confines though, the Kamis have established an ancient presence. The so-called  “Kami Circle” is a kind of natural hall, formed by young branches of Atys, and bark-growth. Here it is said, the Kamis gather to speak, once a cycle and decide on how to further go in their mysterious business. A shrine to the Kamis and a greater Sap-source can be found in its immediate vicinity of course.

The Upper Bog Matis text divider 01.png

To the west of the “Fleeting Garden” lies the region called the “Upper Bog”. It’s a den of vile and dangerous creatures, treacherous ground and interestingly enough the only population of bolobis in Matia. How these long legged, funny creatures made their way into this dangerous area no one knows. They are quite hardy though and have proven a match for the region's aggressive cuttlers and torbaks packs. As far as I know nothing of interest exists here. If you are out for a thrilling run through the underbrush, hunted by snarling beasts that are out to have you for lunch, feel free to go there. Some kitins tend to venture over from the next, deeper region too. Kipestas seem to scout the area frequently.[9]

Heretic's Hovel Matis text divider 01.png

Adjoining the aforementioned regions to the far South of the Kingdom is another “Labyrinth” of confusing pathways, dangerous beasts and Kitin, who occasionally even spill over into the “Upper Bog”. Here gibbais, cuttlers, torbaks, gingos and kitin seem to form a living wall. Out to prevent the traveler from venturing further and reaching the Vortex to Naw Trykoth in the heart of the natural Labyrinth. But the clever and careful adventurer can surely find a way to deal with these obstacles. Trouble is though, that one should have previously secured the services of an experienced guide or scout to lead you through the many pathways of the deep woods. Or you’ll surely get lost and fall prey to some of the many predators roaming these dark paths.

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Inside this labyrinth you will find the most frequent sources of water in all of Matia, in the form of small pools, around which animals gather and further inside the so-called: “Chilling Swamp”. This area seems to be of some sort of special interest to the kitins. For great and very strong kipuckas roam this swamp. Alongside a host of smaller insects of their kind. The swamp itself is filled with frogs, murky waters and the occasional geyser blows vapor and mud up into the air, further adding to the eerie atmosphere of the place. The water will protect you from the kitins though. So it may be worth getting your clothes muddy and soggy, so you can avoid being crushed by a four homins high kipucka. Getting out of the water will be a challenge in itself though, as the beasts will patrol and wait for you to come ashore again.
Once you have mastered the, again very aptly named “Maze of Spite”,you may reach the Vortex that will send you right to the edge of Trykers most dangerous region[10]. The Lagoons of Loria. Karavan and Kami both wisely established shrines not far away from the vortex though[11], so don’t forget to pay your tithe and get pacts to be transported there, the next time you feel the fancy of traveling through this region.
You might have wondered where this region gained its peculiar name. Well, that's a longer story that I will try to cut short here.
There are persistent rumors, more legends at this time, that somewhere within or beyond this maze, the traitorous Jinovitch, half-brother to long dead King Yasson is still lurking and plotting his return to power. Surrounded by loyalists and fortified within some village, cave system, natural fortress or castle in the sky. Many outrageously tall tales have been spun about him and his quest for lost glory. Some may even be true, as the fact that it was him who poisoned his half-brother and exiled young Yrkanis, forcing his way onto the throne and starting a luckily short lived reign of terror in New-Matia and New-Trykoth. Which ended with his death at the claws of kitins, while trying to occupy the Lagoons of Loria and fighting a coalition of Tryker, Zorai and Matis-Loyalists.[12]
As these legends still persist the region was named after these rumors of the heretic king lurking somewhere in its murky shadows.

Anyway, this concludes my “Wayfarers Guide to the Verdant Heights / The Kingdom of Matia”. I hope you found reading it entertaining and informative for your next stay in this beautiful part of the New Lands.
May Jena and/or Ma'Duk bless your path's and may your feet be swift and tireless.
Woren Siloy, Homin.
Lylanea Vicciona
Bard of the Four Lands

  1. Fyros History through the tribes of the Desert and elsewhere and Fyros History through the lanes of Pyr
  2. And surely the great herds of herbivores that roam the countryside contribute to the soil’s fertility in their own way too.
  3. Digging or rather carving wells into the hard bark of the plateau is not an easy task and the fountain in Yrkanis City’s Greenhouse is a wonder of clever engineering.
    Thus the need for a reliable source of water for the Matis people is explained.
  4. Rather like a homin male, don't you think? Maybe it even gets drunk on fermented berries or mektoub milk, before gathering the courage to go out?
  5. It is not known why King Yasson even fired that arrow or why he wouldn’t just say: “Hey, this is a good, defensible spot for a city! Right at the end of the plateau and surrounded on three sides by impossible to scale cliffs down to the wild bark.” – well, sometimes a proper romantic gesture or just some artistic license is needed to spice up an otherwise rather ordinary story, right?
  6. The most baffling feature to me, are the “windows” these trees sport. They even glow with a soft, warm, inviting light in the evenings but they are purely ornamental. As inside a Matis home there are no windows! Don’t worry, it's not dark, we get nice glowing algae for lamps. But whoever came up with this design surely has never been to a Tryker submarinal flat, with their amazing view of the fish outside, in the sun drenched, clear waters.
  7. The legend surrounding this plant states that once it withers, the Matis Kingdom will fall. I remember at least one plot by dissidents in my lifetime to make this come to pass. They poisoned the water to make the Lily wither, strike superstitious fear into the hearts of the Matis people and give their claim to leadership credit. In recent years, since the death of Queen-Mother Lea and the disappearance of King Yrkanis, some have come to call the late Queen Lea the “true Lily of Matia”. A subtle criticism of King Stevano's rule.
  8. Mostly by aspiring adventurers and heroes out for a hefty bounty.
  9. If you’d ask me to describe this region in two words, I’d say: “Avoid it.” Some precious materials are rumored to hide in the ground though.
  10. For, why should it lead to somewhere nice? Like the Bounty Beaches. Huh? No, Loria it has to be, in all its nasty glory.
  11. The Karavan Shrine is right in front of it actually.
  12. I myself have recollection of a strange dream, or vision I had a long time ago. It was as if I stood side by side with young Yrkanis and his troops, among Tryker forces and Zoraï warriors, alongside many homins I knew back then. We fought and took part in the defeat of Jinovitch's allied Fyros forces. And heard of the heretic kings cruel death by kitins, from the bloodied mouth of a terrified scout. I am unsure what to make of this event.

Last version 2021-04-06•