It gives a lot of information about the civilizations, biomes, history and notable places about the land known as The Sunderlies.
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Spoiler Warning! Below is a full text of the volume!
Across Moghra'yi: Being the Foremost Catalogue of Strange Civilizations beyond the Great Salt Desert by the Baccata Yewtarch, Volume I: The Sunderlies
Obviously and unfortunately, no primary sources are available from these distant lands. Much of this record draws upon the accounts given by fungi who crossed Moghra'yi on the backs of dromad merchants.
As a matter of convention, I date all events according to their chronological distance from an event of paramount historical significance, namely the publication of these volumes. Accordingly, note that the events'parenthetical dates signify their occurrence "prior [to] publication".
The Sunderlies are a labyrinthine complex of towering "sundered" bluffs that lie to the northwest of Moghra'yi, the Great Salt Desert and to the southwest of the Ibul ice sheet. Their canyon walls are dotted with innumerable cave-mouths, giving the impression of colossal, earthly honeycombs. These caves were the haunts of ancient peoples as their civilizations followed the receding waterline down into the emptied gorges. Now through those gorges course only shallow rivers. Over the last two hundred years, clans of cave-dwellers have begun to gather in greater numbers among the comb-caves and form city-states called freeholds.
Geography and HistoryEdit
The Pale Sea's waves break on the western bluffs of the Sunderlies at the Shore of Songs, named for the melodies the comb-caves whistle when the sea winds blow through. They stretch north and east, climbing skyward along the ice-capped Aeschlays. Eastward, they recess toward Whitecomb at the Bowl of Iris -- the bridge to Aegansteppe. To the far east they rise again toward the Hanging Hills and the land called Odrum. The comb-canyons dry up as they course southward into the Great Salt Desert, though the most westerly ones spend their water into the Pale Marshes.
Several millennia ago, the migrants who followed the receding waterline down into the to-be desert basin were largely wiped out by the onset of the ice age. Most of the clans perished; those that survived were driven deep into the lightless comb-caves where the last vestiges of technology warmed the sheltered earth. The Sunderlies were devoid of higher life during the coldest centuries -- giant, ice-sheathed worms coursed their way through the frozen caves and woolly rocs made their nests atop the snowy peaks, but what remained of man did not emerge for thousands of years.
A millennium after the last people were driven into the earth, at the height of the Wrathchild empire in the great southern salt desert called Moghra'yi, a race of beings known as the Ophaedians migrated north from their desert city to the Sunderlies. There they escaped the reach of the kuyeti, the monstrous man-scorpions whose empire spanned the great desert. The Ophaedians were gifted with the ability of goldworking, and during the course of their four-thousand year reign over the Sunderlies they wrought hundreds of spires and bridges of solid gold. Around 1800P they disappeared suddenly, perhaps as a result of the warming climate to which they had lost their adaptation from their years spent in the colder northlands. As the earth warmed, a primitive people emerged from their cavern recesses. They climbed the snowy combs and settled the superior caves. According to their myths, these new folk made oaths to the nameless gods who had warmed the earth for their children's return to the surface. So were born the clans of true folk.
Clans of True FolkEdit
As the myth goes, the clans of true folk are those families that can trace their lineages back to patriarchs who swore oaths and remained loyal to the Sunderlies' nameless gods. There were those who betrayed the nameless, forging pacts with strange, foreign gods in exchange for gifts of power. According to the true folk, those traitors and their cursed offspring, aroused by their greed, made war upon each other until their families were sundered and driven apart. All the while the true folk remained stalwart in their holds, readying their might to serve vengeance to the traitors. So began a long history of slavery. Over time several of the children of the treacherous became remorseful, and the relationship between master and slave matured to something akin to master and servant. To the present several of the "gifted" (or "accursed") tribes remain indentured to the clans of true folk.
The Soturs, one of the eldest and largest of the eight clans, have dwelled in the comb-caves along the Shore of Songs for a thousand years. They claim descendancy from Sotur Stonehands, who woke thirsty from his cave one morning and beat his fists against the earth until the gods summoned the Pale Sea to appease him. For hundreds of years they have warred with Clan Rowen, various mutant tribes, and the slugmounters of the southern marshlands, though recently their feud with Rowen was put to an end by the founding of Perth. Clan Sotur's sigil is a sundered mountain.
Clan Plutarch (?!?)Edit
Clan Plutarch descended into the Sunderlies from the frozen Aeschlays a millennium ago. Their patriarch was Plutarch Icewreath, who was said to be trapped in a glacier for thousands of years before the gods unfroze him so that he might spread his progeny and rule. For a thousand years the ice kings have ruled the northern Sunderlies from Highwreath Hall. Clan Plutarch's sigil is a blue crown wrought from shards of ice on a white field.
The Lecrays hail from the fertile Bowl of Iris along the northen reaches of the Sunderlies. They trace their lineage back to Lecray of Iris, called Lecray the Bountiful or Lecray the Virile. Clan Lecray maintains that they are the purest of the clans of true folk as the Bowl of Iris was the last of the fertile lands untouched by the servants of foreign gods. Unsurprisingly, this notion is disputed by the other great clans. Clan Lecray's sigil is a horn of plenty on a verdant green field.
The people of Clan Karst are thought to have migrated to the western Sunderlies from the Icepyres adjoining Fuming God Sea. Little is known of their progenitor, Karst, but that he appeared on the Shore of Songs still smoldering some four hundred years ago. Thusly, Clan Karst's sigil is the smoldering silhouette of a man.
Clan Rowen claims descendancy from Rowen Godfear, the brother of a Sotur king. The pious Rowen broke away from Clan Sotur on account of a religious dispute with his brother in 623PP. The two clans warred for four hundred years before Elan of Rowen swore fealty to Gannon of Sotur and helped found Perth in 211PP. Clan Rowen's sigil is a man with his arms outstretched, in one hand a knife and in the other a human heart.
The children of Clan Wenniswool supposedly hail from the far north, beyond even the haunts of the Plutarchs. There they lived among the snows and hunted the great woolly rocs that perched atop the mountain peaks until they migrated southward into the lowland canyons. Clan Wenniswool's sigil is a great woolly roc with its wings outstretched.
The river folk of Clan Calypso claim descendancy from Calypso the river-wife. Some claim she was in truth a river nymph, and that her beauty was such as to tempt a river god into revealing to her his name. Clan Calypso's sigil is a lock of raven hair bound by a strand of cragweed.
Boasting some of the last several centuries' fiercest warriors, Clan Danneskjold has stalked the central Sunderlies for nearly six hundred years. Their patriarch was known only as the hunter Danneskjold, the most ferocious warrior to have ever lived. As the story goes, the great clans heard the tale of a voracious warrior squatting in the comb-caves in the heart of the Sunderlies. Each clan sent their strongest man to best in single combat the beast-hunter who called himself Danneskjold. The hunter fought and slew each man in turn. As the last lay dying, he turned to the hunter and asked which of the gods had taught him to fight with such ferocity. The hunter replied, "None. My master Danneskjold taught me. I am his servant, but a tenth the man he is." Clan Danneskjold's sigil is a pair of crossed ashen mauls on a blood red field.
Formerly one of the elder clans of true folk, the children Karkayan are descendant from Karkayan called the Clay Man. He lived deep in the heart of the central Sunderlies amongst the ageless rocks, from which it was said the gods wrought him. Though the clan was counted among the true-blooded, they long held the secret of their patriarch's deific betrayal and the gift of shapeshifting bestowed upon him by the treacherous god Rorth. That secret was unveiled at the Court of Face in 24P, after which the other eight clans in their fury joined strengths, sacked the Karkayan freehold Karkanya, and wiped out the Karkayan line, though rumors persist that some of the family escaped. Clan Karkayan's sigil is a human face sculpted from stone bluff.
Perth, founded by Clan Sotur and vassal clans Karst and Rowen in 211PP.
Irisveld, founded by Clan Lecray in 161PP.
Athenreach, founded by Clan Plutarch and vassal clans Wenniswool and Calypso in 102PP.
Oth, founded by Freeman Oth and the Tyrants in 61PP.
Goldmouth, founded by the merchant guilds in 38PP.
Danehold, founded by Clan Danneskjold in 145PP
Karkanya, founded by Clan Karkayan in 190PP, abandoned after the fall of Karkayan in 24PP.