#003: Meiv, the Witch Queen of Halva
#004: Kesk Honey Caves
A droha is a common farm and pack animal found everywhere throughout the warmer regions of Kaendor. It is a large, four legged reptile that typically roams in herds of a few dozen animals in most of the grasslands and more open woodlands. Their large size keeps them relatively safe from all but the largest predators, and though they could easily crush a man under their feet, they are typically fairly docile animals around people and well suited as strong beasts of burden. Though they can be used for plowing fields, few common farmers can afford to maintain such large animals, so they are more commonly used by loggers to haul large tree trunks, or for carrying trade goods for traveling merchants. Few places in Kaendor have any real roads, and for places that aren't accessible by boat, drohas are really the only means to transport heavy loads. Drohas can be trained as cavalry mounts and can be devastating in battle because of their sheer size and tough hide, but their relatively slow speed compared to other mounts, and need for room to move make their usefulness in battle somewhat limited in many situations.
Sarhat is believed to be one of the oldest cities in Kaendor, that was the home of a great line of sorcerer kings and their apprentices. Sometimes it is called Satal, but scholars disagree if this was actually the city's name in another language, a city that existed in the same place either before or after Sarhat, or might actually be a completely different city altogether. Sarhat is famous for its great magical wonders and arcane knowledge, but few ancient texts mentioning it give specific details, and those that do often contradict each other. Most people believe that Sarhat was the capital of an ancient naga kingdom, but this merely seems to be an educated guess and there are many other hypotheses around. If that is the case, it would likely be located somewhere in Kemet and all most of its magical treasures in the hands of the remaining naga kingdoms. But there are common beliefs that Sarhat was actually much further north, when the reach of the naga extended over a much larger part of Kaendor, and that it is still to be discovered and full of ancient arcane treasures. Countless expeditions have set out to find the ancient city, but few have ever returned with any evidence that the ruins they found might actually have been Sarhat. "Going to Sarhat" or "Taking us to Satal" are common expressions for fool's errands.
The mysterious Witch Queen is often believed by the people of the South to be the queen of the Kuri, or the queen of all of Venlat, but in truth her control extends over only about a third of the people of that cold northern Land. She appared from beyond the frozen mountains that shield Venlat from the endless ice beyond some 300 years ago, and soon gathered an army of followers among the Kuri clans. Under her leadership, her servants began the reconstructions of the long abandoned ruins of Halva, returning the ancient city to its mythic splendor and glory, and making it the largest city in all the Northlands. The title of Witch Queen has been given to her by the Kuri clans that have resisted falling under her control, who see her as a malicious sorcerous who has bewitched the chiefs who have played their allegiance to her. Her followers revere her as the daughter of the North Wind, though many southern sages believe that she might be a white skinned shie who somehow got exiled from her people's home in the Spiritworld.
Kesks are a kind of large flying insects that can be found in many of the temperate woodlands of Kaendor. A kesk hive normally consists of between several dozens to a few hundred animals and are commonly encountered in naturally occuring cave systems, but often also in the burrows of other large burrowing animals. Kesks primarily feed on fruit, which they turn into a kind of honey that is stored in their nests. Nests located in caves sufficiently large to enter can be harvested for their honey by honey collectors who have the required skills to avoid being treated as hostile intruders by the animals. Kesk honey is the most widely used source for sugar in most regions of Kaendor, and due to the requirement for suitable caves for the kesk to build their nests in, it is a very valuable resource that is the main source of income for many villages located near a hive.
Quicksilver is a mysterious metallic liquid that can be extracted from a blood red rock that can be found in some deep volcanic caves. When heated, the rocks emit a toxic vapor that creates a layer of sulfur on nearby surfaces and droplets of quicksilver that run to the floor. Many alchemists believe that the crimson rocks were formed during the Dawn Times when fire elementals spilled the blood of primordials, which then got mixed with their own essence in the mythic battles that created the present world. Quicksilver is a deadly poison to all people and animals, and its vapor causes those who inhale them to go mad.
Faces are the interface between creatures' minds and the world around them. It is through the face that the outside world influences the self, and the self reaches other beings. By changing the face, masks can alter how the outside affects the self, and how the self influences the outside. Masks can appear in countless shapes and be made from any material, but every mask changes the interactions between the wearer's self and the world. They can both conceal a person's self and heighten the ability to influence others. A mask can also allow those that see through them to perceive the world and beings inside it in different ways that are normally hidden to them. Most druids commonly wear masks, but so do many wizards when they have dealings with spirits, or priests when performing rituals. Many such masks are enchanted and can carry a wide range of powers ranging from seeing the presence of magic or invisible creatures, to shielding one's thoughts from other minds, or taking control of the thoughts of others. Of the most powerful and heavily enchanted objects in Kaendor, a very large number are magic masks.
Magic items that are normally worn on the head or over the eyes nearly always take the form of masks in Kaendor.
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