A Look at the Sascilia-Steppes
Continuing their series on the various regions that make up Taborea, the folks at Runes of Magic have have prepared a look at the Sascilia-Steppes.
Khant, the shrine of the Capra
Khant once was a human settlement, which was abandoned by its inhabitants. After that, Pasper, the powerful chief of the Capra, enacted a ban on entering the region. For this reason, the abandoned place was shrouded in mystery.
After some time, rumors started to circulate and the people mystifyingly called Khant the “Shrine of the Capra”. The clan elders gladly picked up on that name and, together with the chief, came to a decision. Khant was appointed to be the eternal resting place for the fallen heroes and thus became one of their most sacred places.
One of the rumors existing about the "Shrine of the Capra" says that the escape of the humans from this place is connected to a treasure with immense powers. Although Pasper Silvermane was entrusted with the treasure, it should still be in Khant.
Those who believe this story suspect, that Pasper and the elders only canonized the place, to conceal the whereabouts of the treasure. But not all secrets stay in the dark and this rumor is actually speaking the truth. It is going back to the days when the tragic yoke of slavery by the daemons was discarded and the legendary hero Pasper Silvermane became the first chief of the goat-clan. He was afraid, that during all the bloodshed some Capra would strive for magical powers. Their excessive desire for this power seemed to poison them and was turning against their original nature. So he banned his followers from touching the “plagues” the humans have left behind.
Years went by and the animal-people obeyed the ancient law. But when Hafiz, another hero of the Capra, suffered heavy losses in the long-standing war against the cyclopses, he was thirsting for greater powers. He was bewitched and was leading his loyal followers into revolt. In doing so, he captured the shrine of the Capra and succeeded to seize the magical objects of the humans.
At that time, Hafiz naturally snow-white fur turned jet-black. From now on Harfiz and his followers were called Black Horns by the escaped chief Yarfas and the elders and they were regarded as a disgrace for the tribe.
The Ayren-Caravan has the best and strongest warriors amongst all the white-fur caravans. That is because unlike the other caravans, they have a specific task. They have to ensure that Hafiz "Black Horn" doesn't overrun Sascilia and enslaves the white-furs to satisfy his wild ambitions. Ayren, the caravan leader and hero of the white-fur clan, once was a good friend of Hazif “Black Horn”. While he was fighting against the cyclopses together with Hafiz, he obtained the title of “Ironhoof”. Later, during the revolt of Hafiz, he was decidedly sticking by Yarfas “Silvermane”, the chief of the white-furs. As leader of the other party, Hafiz got the title of "Black Horn". But Ayren was always entertaining some doubt about Hafiz’ change of heart. Why should Hafiz revolt? The Hafiz he once knew would never betray his people. Amongst the followers of Ayren „Ironhoof“ were two human mercenaries, Landon and Fandon, who were only called "hero twins” by the animal-people. Besides Ayren Ironhoof, they are the strongest warriors of the caravan.
Initially the two humans were introduced as mercenaries to Ayren by the Order of Dark Glory. They helped Ayren in his fight against the cyclopses. After the decisive fight between Harfiz and Ayren, they decided to follow Ayren and fight against Hafiz machinations. How they acquired the name of "hero twins" is a different story that still has to be told.
The Yazmin-Caravan of the white-fur clan has settled in Reifort Camp. Since the cyclopses have taken the city of Dogamor by force, the whitefurs have relocated to the north and are now roaming through the grasslands of the Sascilia-Steppes as caravans.
They once were able to recapture their city of Dogamor thanks to the intervention of the Order of Dark Glory. But the repelled cyclopses also obtained the help of a third party - the Zurhidon. During the following battles, the cyclopses were able to break through the Order’s defenses and were able to conquer Dogamor again.
The members of the Yazmin-Caravan are marked by the horrors of the cyclops attacks on Dogamor. The heartfelt disgrace and sorrow about the loss of their home is running deep in the hearts of the Capra. Their souls demand revenge for the shame that has been inflicted upon them. Because of that, Yazmin, the leader of the caravan, contacted the Order of Dark Glory again. They not only sent reinforcements to protect the caravan, but also established a checkpoint south of Reifort Camp. There are high hopes that this will put an end to the cyclops attacks.
The Fogur-Marshes is an area with a multitude of lakes. It is tormented by goblins that sneaked in there a few years ago. Nobody knows how the infestation of the area exactly happened. Some people claim they are survivors of the great expulsion, the Eye of Wisdom carried out in the Wailing Mountains ten years ago. The true causes for the presence of this plague are so far remaining furtive. The scholars of the Eye of Wisdom are already investigating the rumors. It is their goal to unearth the truth about these goblins.
Besides these bustling creatures, a valuable plant exists in the Fogur Marshes - the Fogur-Fern. The fern is essential for survival of the white-furs and important merchandise in trades with the resident humans.
Because of that the Rose-Caravan has positioned themselves close to the marshes and is always having skirmishes with the resident goblins, while harvesting the Fogur-Fern.
Contrary to the Rose-Caravan, whose members are taking high risks while harvesting the Fogur-Fern, the Gurla-Caravan limits itself to harvesting and transporting common foodstuff. Though the actual caravan only consists of its leader Gurla and his devoted follower Jaxis.
Originally, the camp of the Gurla-Caravan was one of the most important trading posts of the Sascilia-Steppes. It formed a large community of merchants and enjoyed exclusive trade relations with the clan of the white-furs, bringing everybody large wealth. After those trade relations were established and strengthened, a steady flow of hunters and adventurers followed. They hoped to gain advantages and more profit because of the close proximity of such an important trading post. Most of the hunters specialized themselves on the provision of the steadily rising number of merchants. Thus the increase of merchants led to the almost complete extermination of all animals close to the Gurla-Caravan camp.
Suddenly a pack of giant wolves appeared, always attacking the adventurers when they were out hunting. When the clan of the whitefurs learned about that, they sought Gurla out and told him the following legend of the Sascilian people:
“If life doesn’t disappear on its own free will, guardians will appear to save the dwindling life …”
They cautioned Gurla against the wolves, because they thought, they were the guardians the legend was speaking about. Gurla believed them and gave the order not to hunt and trade animals any longer. But the members of the caravan were greedy and left the camp to pursue their business without interference from Gurla and the wolves. Only Gurla himself and the faithful Jaxis stayed behind. Only very rarely other adventurers visit the Gurla-Caravan. They are mostly guys of considerable strength. They are seeking the challenge and want to match themselves with “Wild Mane”, the leader of the giant wolves.
Originally this was also a place, where humans had settled. The goatpeople named it Sathkur, after a Capra bandit king. He had used the former human settlement as a hide-out. Sathkur never attacked members of his own tribe and because of that he never fought against Pasper “Silvermane”.
After the death of Sathkur, nobody was appointed as his successor and all the treasures he looted during his lifetime disappeared without a trace. Without leader, the gangs of thieves of the Capra began to fight amongst themselves and Sathkur again turned into ruins. They say that the lost treasure of Sathkur is still hidden somewhere in the ruins of the city. Even today, shady villains are meeting there - still searching for Sathkur's lost treasure.
Scar of Despair
The legendary hero Pasper “Silvermane” was killed here, after holding out against the cyclopses for ten days and nights. Although he successfully beat the cyclopses back, he eventually was shattered and killed in the battle. Not long after the revolt of Hafiz “Black Horn” the hopes of the Capra to regain Damas were shattered and therefore this place was called "Scar of Despair".
Dogamor originally was the capital of the goat-clan of Capra. But they were driven away by the attacks of the cyclopses and scattered all over the Sascilia-Steppes.
Although they succeeded together with the neighboring Order of Dark Glory in expelling the cyclopses from Dogamor, the city was almost completely destroyed in the battles. When the goat-people were gathering money and resources to rebuild their hometown, the cyclopses attacked Dogamor again. This time the attack also surprised the troops of the Order of Dark Glory. The cyclopses arrived in the middle of the night together with many large war machines. The order wasn’t able to stop this attack and their troops were beaten back to their base in Dragonfang Ridge.
Constant battles almost completely destroyed Dogamor. Additionally the revolts of Hafiz “Black Horn” happened and since then the Capra are living as vagabonding merchants and stock-breeders.
The Order of Dark Glory
Although the prevailing view seems to be that the recapture of Dogamor should be abandoned, The Order of Dark Glory knows that Dogamor belongs to a series of important bases connecting Sascilia with Dragonfang Ridge. Without this protective barrier, the cyclopses would try to expand and pose a threat to the Obsidian Stronghold. For this reason, the Order of Dark Glory at that time agreed to ally with the goat-clan and to help them to recapture Dogamor.
When the Order of Dark Glory was still inebriated by the victory, the Zurhidon invaded the Sascilia-Steppes and constructed a magic teleport circle there. They used the magic circle to teleport the Cyclops and their war machines from the Cyclops fortress to Dogamor. Dogamor again fell into the hands of the Cyclops.
The Order of Dark Glory soon noticed that the Zurhidon were supporting the cyclopses. Once they found out that the Zurhidon were the supporting power behind the cyclops attack on Sascilia, the Order of Dark Glory proceeded against the Zurhidon with a vengeance and dispatched a squad of elite mercenaries to stop them and destroy the magic circle.
Ashlar is a newly built camp. The primary objective of the camp is to supply Dragonfang Ridge with resources for the warriors of the order who were cut off there by the cyclopses. Since the garrison is not very large, they have no chance to get past the cyclopses and Zurhidon of Dogamor and because of that they are trapped there for quite a long time already.
Fish-people are living in this place. It is a swamp full of vibrant colors and reed flowers.Besides the fish-people, only a few brigands are living here. Rumor has it, that they are trying to recover a magic slab that has remained here from the time of the Ancient Kingdoms.
Pasper Grave is located in Khant. It is a shrine and holy place for the Capra. They say, the souls of all heroes that have sacrificed themselves for the goat-clan are gathering here after their death. But since Hafiz has seized the place, it has completely changed. The altar is still emanating its original dignity and greatness, but the magical powers that are prevailing here, are noticeably saturating the place with corrupted power. From time to time a magic circle is appearing on the ground. It looks as if it is drawn with fresh blood and it’s enveloping the whole altar in an evil atmosphere.
Follow the link to see screenshots of the Sascilia-Steppes.