URTAK

The Country

Urtak consists of four islands, one of those making up ninety percent of the landmass, and is known for its steep rocky cliffs. It lies in the west of Manaeyra and was first discovered by the Oraniri during their countless ship expeditions after the Myodancers rose to power. They tried to subdue the Varaz, the dominant species of Urtak, what turned out to be an unwinnable endeavor soon after. While the Myodancers of Aspeca had to lick their wounds, Algoran instead managed to sign a treaty of peace and trade agreements with the Varaz. They exported rune weapons, rare ores, noble hardwoods and spices from Urtak in exchange for advanced engineering and construction techniques.

Urtak is overgrown by tropical rain forests with vast number of all different kinds of plants and the huge southern mountain ridge contains many valuable ores and unique mineral resources. There are large parts of the land that are still undiscovered due to the extremely dense vegetation and the mighty predators lurking in it. Since Urtak is separated from the mainland, mammals did never evolve here or became extinct, so the food chain is ruled by reptiles, birds and insectoids.

 

The Culture

Varaz are the biggest humanoid species on Manaeyra. Their lizard bodies are perfectly adapted for hunting and fighting, so that naturally is a big part of their culture. Toruk Zraphz is the king of the Varaz and their absolute ruler. He rose to power by killing his fully armed predecessor with bare hands after slaughtering every other claimant to the throne during the Ruzkkzash’Fryrrzz. The Ruzkkzash’Fryrrzz (“battle of the champions”) is a tournament taking place every three cycles, in which every Varaz of distinction fights to the death for the title of Toruk, that can only be held by one at a time and crowns the winner as rightful king.

In the varazian culture one must constantly prove oneself, starting right after the birth. Once they hatched out of their eggs, newborn Varaz need to fight their way back home through the dangerous jungle. The ones who arrive continue to compete against each other over the next cycle to earn a place in a caste. The better they perform during this time the higher the caste they get assigned. Only the strongest receive the honor to be a part of the warrior caste and get special fighting training.

The warrior caste is the highest ranked caste in the varazian culture and has the duty to serve the Toruk family. The second highest is the runesmith caste. Members of this caste count among the best smiths of all Manaeyra and represent the myotic power of the Varaz, as Varaz are highly resistant against Myo and have no inborn myotic abilities. They invented rune smithing to compensate their inability.

Castes below are the science caste (priests, alchemists, physicians, brewers, architects) and the servant caste (they either just do what they are told or try to make whatever they can think of to make a living). Every cycle there is a tournament where Varaz can try to prove themselves worthy of a higher caste. However, this rarely happens, as lower castes don’t get fighting training.