The Strangle Thorn Peninsula has always been wild and untamed. The Dark Elfs and Orcs that call this place home know that for a fact. The winters are brutal here. People freeze inside their own homes with fires still roaring and villages here are practically buried beneath the snow during an only mild storm. In the summers it's not the heat you have to worry about, The temperature is actually quite pleasant during that time of year, but I digress, it's the Flora and Fauna that you have to watch out for. The many different species that roam the wilderness are known for their hostile nature towards the inhabitants of the Peninsula.
Take the Blood-Wolves for example. Known for their crimson-red eyes and short black fur The Blood-Wolf is much bigger and much more deadly than his Atmorian cousins. The beasts on average weigh more than 175 and can run at speeds of 40 miles per hour for around a minute before needing to stop. They run in packs of twenty-five or more and have the in-born ability to smell the blood coming of the smallest of cuts which is how they got their name sake. Mostly active at dusk, these hulking terrors have made any travelers on the roads during night, a little more in easy.
Than you have the Amethyst Wasps. They get their name form their shiny purple exoskeletons, but don't let their beauty fool you, their nasty little things. They aren't usuallly found within city's but when they are they have to be dealt with quickly. For the Amethyst Wasp has a very effective, fast acting, flesh-eating toxin thats released into your bloodstream from a sting. These wasps caused the Tragedy of Narlon (Now known as Yaga).
It was a brisk summers day and the people of the village were out and doing their daily routine. The day seemed to be just like any other until one of the villagers spotted a black cloud in the sky, but this was no cloud... it was thousands of Amethyst Wasp descending upon the village. People were panicking trying to get indoors but it was already to late, the Wasps swarmed the village killing all but one one of the residents and disappeared right after they were done. A traveling caravan from Ardesh stopped into the village to sell supply's to the locals, but all they found was the lone survivor (a young boy) amoung the putrid rotting carcasses of the residents. The boy told them of the awful purple wasps that came down from the sky and how they attacked for no reason.
News spread fast about the attack leaving many citizens in disbelief. Amethyst Wasps are usually docile until they feel threatened, and even then they usually fly off instead of a confrontation. There was no explanation of why the Wasps attacked leavening some people questioning what really happen. A few days after the tragedy a band of Atherians took control of the village, which outraged the Dark Elfs. Many Dark Elf to this day think it was the Atherians that sent the wasps to kill the villagers, but there's no evidence to say that the accusation is true.
There is one thing above all that frightens people more than a pack Blood-Wolfs or a swarm Amethyst Wasps. Things that lurk within the southern forest of the Peninsula... Things that grow. The Strangle Thorn Vines are the most deadly and terrifying plants on the face of Meridia. The plant was created right after Beltizar was cast down by Enoch. Droplets of Beltizars blood fell across Meridia and solidified. These stones corrupted or killed anything they touched.
Some of the blood fell into and pooled up within the young southern forest of the Peninsula. After the blood soaked into the ground, black vines with purple thorns as strong as steel began creeping out from below the dirt. They quickly spread throughout the southern forest of the Peninsula wrapping around trees or just slithering on the grounds. Before long the vines engulfed the entirety of southern forest, entangling it in a quagmire of thorns and vines. The residents of the Peninsula soon had their first encounter with the deadly plants. Orcs pushing into the southern forest looking for new lands returned home and told tales of horror to their brothers in Zigon of the Strangle Thorn Vines.
If someone was unlucky enough to prick them self with one of the thorns on the vine, it would release a neurotoxin into the victims system. In a matter of seconds their nerves and muscles would lock, leavening them in a state of complete petrification. Over the next twenty-four hours the vines would start growing up and around the victim until they completely encompass the victims body and wrapping itself around the victims body. The vines would then enter the body through the mouth and enter the lungs, then the vines would start to grow slowly hour by hour until the died of asphyxiation.
It was a horrible fate that many suffer until an elderly women by the name of Tamiis came to the The Orcs. Tamiis was a mana-born Atherian, and a powerful on at that. The Atherians were a once proud silver haired, purple eyed race that ruled all of The Strangle Thorn Peninsula. Through the ages though, their power, their society and even their culture dwindled because of war, infighting and uneven birth rates. The Atherian race is now mostly made up of a majority women and a few men. They live all throughout the peninsula in gatherings the Dark Elves call Covens.
The Dark Elvesm are an Ashen skinned people with black eyes. They and Atherians have never seen eye to eye and as a result the two races have went to war with each other throughout history numerous times. With the Atherians at their now weakened state, the Dark Elves label most Atherian women (Because most are Mana-Born) witches, and stage regular raids on any "Covens" they find in their territory. Tamiis was the lone survivor of one of these raids. Seeing an opportunity for her people, Tamiis spoke to the Orcs telling them that she could lead them all through the thorns to there new home and beyond. All they would have to do is pledge undying loyalty to her and promise to protect any Atherian looking for refuge.
The Chieftain of the tribe refused listen to her, he said that her words were poison and told her to leave the encampment, Tamiis simply smiled and left the camp immediately after that. The next day the Cheif awoke to sounds of crying, some of the children were missing. The chief started a search that lasted late into the the night, and ended in sadness. The children became victims of the thorns. The tribe was outraged with the Chieftain for rejecting Tamiis's offer, before the chief could defend himself Tamiis's appeared and gave her condolences to the family's and asked the chief why he aloud this to happen.
Their rage could no longer be contained, they swarmed the Chief tearing him to pieces and placing his head on a pike. Moments later they then selected a new Chieftain, one who was ready to lead them to their new home. Tamiis told the orcs their journey would begin in the morning. Tthe next day as they followed her into the forest, the vines slithered back from the ground she walked on as if it was on fire. The orcs were in awe at her power. They traveled for a week until they ended up in the center of the Strangle Thorn Forest.
It was here that they founded their new home, The Orcish capital city Hellgan. From there she made a pathway further south to the Septimus River, were coincidently her and the orcs that followed ran into the Dark Elves of Still Water. Although the two groups were hostile to eachother at first, the Viceroy of the town assured Tamiis and the Orcs that no blood would be spilt. Still Water was neutral zone between Ardesh and the Penninsula. As were most border town in Meridia. This would be the first time the Orcish people encounter Ardeshians.
They came down from further up the river, from a city called Ebonhold to trade with the Dark Elves for wood and other goods. Tamiis returned to Hellgan to create the Mystic Quarter for any Atherian seeking to live within the safety of the city's walls. Even after Tamiis passed, the Atherians and Orcs developed a symbiotic relation that lasts to this day. The Orcs serving as the protectors of the Atherians, and the Atherians servings as healers and ambassadors if need be. Atherians have been around as long as recorded history and they played roles in multiple events that have shaped Meridia into the land it is today. Of course after the Atherian Empires fall, they rarely concerned themselves with problems outside the peninsula.
The covens that dot the peninsula these days are to numerous to mention but there are two large covens always at each other's throats. Their names are Moonset Coven and the Dawnstar Coven. The Moonsets's made their home In the north in the forests near Demons Fall, even under threat of attack form the Dark Elves. While the Dawnstars made their homes in the Strangle Thorn Forest. The two covens have always had polar opposite views on who should govern the remaining Atherians. The Moonset's called for peaceful co existence with the Dark Elves.
The Dawnstars favored a more violent path. Because of the the two groups and often had little confrontations here or there but never something on a grand scale. That was until the Great Meeting. Many Atherian covens came together to hear the two prophetesses foretell the coming of a Atherian Mana-Born more powerful than any who came before. A woman they called the Witch Queen, Bane of the Dark Elves. She would rule over all Atherians and reclaim their peoples lost glory.
Even if it meant the deaths of every last Elf in the Strangle Thorn Peninsula This didn't sit well with the peaceful Moonset's but the Dawnstar's were more than overjoyed to hear the news. The two covens argued with one an other which caused the smaller covens argue as well. This led to a fracturing that would pit Atherian against Atherian. Two groups were formed after that meeting. The Dawnbreakers, formed by The Moonset's and other smaller covens and the Heralds of Twilight, formed by the Dawnstar's and other smaller covens. Atherians began randomly fighting all across the peninsula. Whole entire covens were wiped out for have the wrong allegiance, or in some cases no allegiance at all.
There were groups of Atherians that wanted nothing to do with the two groups and their war. One of these groups were the care takers of the Crystal Skulls. Powerful artifacts, bestowed upon the Atherian people by Beltizar before their fall. They allowed the user to give life to the dead and to summon spirits from the other side to aid in battle. The Heralds of Twilight demanded that the caretakers to give them the skulls. They refused. The heralds slaughtered every last one of them and took the skulls by force.
When word of what the heralds had done finally reached the Dawnbreakers, they geared up for a final confrontation. In the middle of the Peninsula the two factions met on the Plains of Belthaziir. It is here where they clashed. For hours they fought eachother with swords, axes, bow and arrow. The smell of flesh being seared by magic permeated the air. Even though the Dawnbreakers were better equipped, they were losing the battle.
The Heralds were reviving their fallen allies faster then they could put them down. The spirits themselves weren't making anything easier. Blades did nothing to them, only magic seemed to work. Accounts differ from what happened at the end of the battle, but one thing is for certain. A crystal skull was destroyed and the energy it released was enough to shatter other crystal skulls. Their combined energy was enough gouged a massive scar into the earth. Both of the sides were decimated, no one survived the blast. Most of the Crystal Skulls were destroyed, and the Atherian people were weaker then ever now.
The wasteland made by the blast is now called The Belthiziir Wastes. Now completely devoid of life beside the undead that remained after the battle was over and a Coven that has taken up residence within the waste. Renold Benheloth, the ruler of the Dark Elves saw this as his time to strike against the remaining Atherinas and started a campaign of death. His army's roamed the Peninsula annihilating any coven they came across. Wiping out every Atherian in the north, the Dark Elf army marched south to chase fleeing refugees. They were stopped however. Pushed back by the Orcs from Hellgan. The north was now firmly under Dark Elf control. Some Atherian covens stay hidden in their own parts of the Strangle Thorn Forrest, most choose to live and co-exist with the Orcs in Hellgan and other places.
Now about the cities
Demons Fall: The city of crypts. Demons Fall was built during the Mythic Era by the Atherians. It's was named Brinavaaz by the Atherians, renamed later by the Dark Elves. They built the city upon the very spot where the Egg of Beltizar landed when it fell from the sky. An Avatar appeared before the the Atherian tribe that found the egg. The being told them that if they built a temple and made sacrifices in his name, he would grant them long life and would look upon the Atherians as his chosen race, personally escorting their honored dead the paradise "Valburne". The Atherians did as the Avatar asked, and made sacrifices to the God of the Dead, Beltizar.
The Atherian tribe then spread their influence tevery other tribe in the Peninsula, uniting the people as one, and creating the Atherian Empire. As one homogenous power, the Atherians went to war with the slowly rising Dark Elves, raiding and enslaving many villages. After almost a decade of labor, the temple was complete. To celebrate its completion the Atherian Emperor, in honor of Beltizar, ordered all the slaves that worked on the temple to be sacrificed. Their body's were burnt afterward and their bones thrown into the temples Charnel. The temple also served as a grand crypt for great warriors and Empeors of the Atherian people. The Atherians power went unchallenged for a century, but their God Beltizar was the God of Change, and Change would come for the Atherians.
For one hundred years the Atherians raided various Dark Elf encampment's for people to sacrifice and enslave, the scattered Dark Elfs stood no chance against the Atherians Empire, that was until The Benheloth Autoracy a took power and united the Dark Elfs under their name. The united Dark Elfs wanted revenge for the sacrifice of hundreds of their own kind but would have to wait another century before they had a chance. The Atherian people were running into a problem. Women were out populating the men, and it was becoming a problem. So much of a problem that the army had to start conscripting women. The end of the Atherian Empires power was nigh, but it's leaders were to blind to see it.
After the Empires last war, the Benheloths army smashed theirs on the battlefield. Even though hundreds survived in the retreat, it wasn't enough to defend Brinavaaz from the overwhelming forces of the Dark Elf army. The sack of Brinavaaz is still on of the Benheloth Autocracies proudest moments. For three days the Atherians resisted, but on the forth their gates gave way and the Dark Elf army swarmed into the city. It was complete chaos within the city walls. Buildings were burning, people being slaughtered, all hope was lost.
However, many were saved by the city's defeneds as they lead people through secret passages out of the city, built specifically for this very reason. As the survivors made it out of the tunnels, many went separate way in groups of all sizes. Everything was lost to the Atherians that day, including the Egg of Beltizar, and the deal that came with it. After the Dark Elfs took the city, Beltizar removed his blessing from the Atherians and the Avatar offered the same deal to the Dark Elves. The leaders of the Elves accepted the Avatars offer and they sacrificed every man, woman and child they took during the sack. The city remains in Dark Elf Control to this day, but after the Fall of Beltizar, the Avatar disappeared and the egg lost it's power removing the blessing from the Dark Elfs as well.
The temple remained open but the sacrifices stopped. The egg remained on display and was fiercely protected by the temple monks, but a few weeks before the attack on Dragons Reach and Mountainside the egg was stolen and the monks have no idea where it went. They've hired "The Seekers" to find the egg and bring the culprit to justice either alive... or dead.
Blacklight: Capital of the Dark Elfs. The city of Blacklight was built the Mythic era by the Dark Elfs, but only after they were united under one ruler. When they were still a young race and the dark elves were divided into many tribes. The various tribes customs and traditions differed greatly from one to the next. As such, they warred with each other constantly. The Atherian Empire used this divide between the Elfs to enslave many of their people. At first, many tribes sold their captives from other tribes too the Atherians.
Before long the though the Atherians took the tribes they were doing business along with captive. The Dark Elves soon realized the threat the Atherians posed and began attacking any Atherian patrols coming through their land and soon began raiding Atherian settlements in retaliation. This wasn't enough though as the Atherians were more organized and better equipped. Taking hundreds of people each year unchallenged, for nearly a century. That changed near the close of the century because of a tribe seeking a place to hide from the Atherian slavers. The tribe was called the Night-Spears, when they took refuge inside a cave they stumbled upon an unusual flame.
It burned white, almost to bright to look upon. They would call it the Silver Flame. The fire consumed most who went near it, except for those who were Mana-Born. The most powerful of the tribes mana-born was a man named Varik Benheloth. When he and the other mana-born touched the flame it heightened their ability to use fire magic and turned the color of their flames to white as well. The flame itself burned through most objects with horrifying speed.
Flesh would be charred in moments. Steel would melt in the blink of an eye. With this power Varik, with the help of the other mana-born, took control of the Night-Spears. He would then try to united all the Dark Elves under his rule. There were some who willingly joined him, but most tribes refused. More often than not Varik would send his "Silver Knights", elite mana-born blessed with the silver flame, to annihilate tribes that were deemed to resistant to his rule. Atherian slavers were still hunting for tribes at this time as well, making life even more difficult for the Dark Elves not behind the safety of the freshly made city fort and its wooden walls.
With the constant raids from the slavers and the fear of being incinerated by the Silver Knights, every tribe that remained submitted to Varik. With the last tribes submission, the Benheloth Autocracy was formed and the elves people were one. The Atherian Empire took noticed of the Dark Elves new found unity, and focused all of its attention on trying to stop it. Extremely underestimated the Dark Elves might, and only sent a meager force to take the city. As soon as they arrived outside the city, the Atherian soldiers were met by a Calvary charge from the Silver Knights. The charge completely decimated the Atherians forces, survivors returned to Brinavaas with tales of the elves that use fire that could melt armor.
This defeat marked the decline of the Atherians and the end of the slave raids. After their victory, King Varkic decided that a castle would be built over the cave that contained the Silver Flame to "keep the masses safe". It took around fifty years to complete the Castle, but as it grew so to did the city. They would name that city Blacklight and from there, the Dark Elves influence spread. They regularly clashed with Atherians over the next fifty years either for land or resource, and would regularly be the victors of these battles. After gaining control of the most of Northwest, the Dark Elfs decided to drive the Orcish population from their newly claimed lands. Many Orcish refugee ended up in the already overcrowded city of Zigon.
In a these years they also created a two new settlements. A large farming community called Carine, and a port town called Erinsul. Carine's main purpose was to try to find a way to get through the Strangle Thorn Forest, but it never succeeded in any of attempts trying to penetrate the forest. The people of Erinsul, under orders from the king, built boats and sailed the seas to find a different route around the forest. They were a bit more successful in their endeavors. Another two wars between the Benheloth Autocracy the Atherian Empire happened, both wars left the Empire on its last legs. The Dark Elf army smashed what remained the Atherian army on the fields outside the city walls and descended upon Brinavaas.
During the sack, the Dark Elves slaughtered Atherians citizens and completely toppled their society, survivors from the attack, and from other Atherian community's spread out across the peninsula in groups of all sizes. After taking the city, Beltizar's Avatar came forth before the conquers and offered his blessing to them. The same blessing he offered the Atherians. Varik readily accepted the gods offer and had his solders execute every captive they took. One thousand lives in total.
Now after nearly a century, the Dark Elfs have almost complete control of the entire North of the Peninsula. They took Zigon from the Orcs a war that lasted for five , but failing to take Yazan from the Atherians. Some groups of Atherians made attempts to kill the Benhoeloth royal line, none of them succeeded. Because of their attempts on the royals life every group of Atherians are labeled covens by the Dark Elves. Mostly because the every group has a large amount of women due to the unusually high amount of female birth rates. Many Atherians just wished to be left at peace and would rather stay out of the affairs of the Dark Elfs.
Unfortunately, most of them would be drag into a series of events that would effect them to the present day. Five months after the end of the what the Dark Elves call "The Witch War", Elfs everywhere were up in arms, enraged by the destruction of the Bethaziir Plains. Many farming community's were destroyed in the blast, and as such the Dark Elf people demanded justice. Under the scrutiny of the masses, the current King of the Dark Elfs, Renold Benheloth, ordered the death of every Atherian in the north. This campaign of death only lasted a year and ended with their defeat at Yazan. The death order still stands however, any Atherian caught within Benheloth Territory is immediately killed.
Blacklight is split between three districts. The market district at the southern entrance of the city, the Blacklight slums near the entrance to the wasteland and the Royal District at the Northern entrance. Residents of the slum regularly riot, but the city guard usually can quell it without a problem. Only once did the Malitors need to be called in. The Malitors were formed after the Four-Kingdom War to replace the Silver Knights. Malum Ingots stolen from Ebonhold by the Dark Elfs of Still Water were transported to Blacklight and formed into armor fit for only the most elite.
With the Malum armory and the power of the Silver Light, the Malitors are truly one of Meridias most deadly Warriors. When they were called to quell the riots the Malitor marched upon the masses of the slums and cut through them without a second thought. Many were also killed by the fires the spread through the slums because of there use of fire. This has long been held within the minds of many in infamy and has earned the Maltiors the hatred of the common Dark Elf folk. The wealthy living in the Royal District ignore the suffering and plight of the common folk, holding grand banquets in the Kings name, even as people were starving outside the Royal District walls. This has lead to them often being the target of the violence during Blacklights many riots.
Hellgan: The stronghold among the thorns. The city's was built by the Orcs in the center of the Strangle Thorn Forest after the Atherian mana-born Tamiis cleared a large area for the foundation. The city sit at the center of the thee roads leading through the Strangle Thorn Forest. Anyone traveling into the Peninsula by land has to pass through Hellgan and pay the Orcs tax before being allowed to pass, or you risk being sent back. The only other way into the peninsula is taking passage by ship up to Yazan or up or around the tip to Erinsul, because there's no going around the city. The Strangle Thorn Vines have grown thick around the sides of the roads and the city's walls, making the city virtually impenetrable. Any army trying to invade on any of the three roads are funneled into a kill zone by the vines making them easy targets for the Orc archers manning the thick stone walls.
The Orcs are, and always have been wary of the other races and often turn people away seeking passage through the city if they seem untrustworthy. The only people that get in for free without question are the Atherians for whom the orcs hold in high regard. The Orcs and the Atherians have a symbiotic relationship. The Orcs will protect the Atherians with their life's because of their oath, and the Atherians keep the Strangle Thorn Vines back and heal their sick and wounded, and at as their ambassadors if need be. The inside of the city is split into three sections, The Witch Quarter, The Tribal Quarter and the Chieftains Citadel.
The Mystic Quarter is the smallest section of the city, but is were many Atherians call home. It's also were most of the Orcs tribal rituals take place in, the Atherians and Orcs allow no outsiders into this section of the city for many reasons, one of them being that Tamiis's crypt is located in this section of the city The Atherians mana-born ensure people stay out by using Floramancy to encase the entree-way in the quarter with Strangle Thorn Vines.
The Tribal Quarter is the largest section of the city and takes up the most space. As such, all three gate into the city lead strait into the Tribal Quarter. Most Orcs in the city live in this quarter and it is were all trade takes place. The western gate leads up to Carine and the Dark Elfs Capital Blacklight and eastern gate leads to Dominus and Yazan. The Chieftains Citadel is a large stone fort in the city's southeast. Surrounded by a massive stone wall, the Chief and his family, and member of his council live in here with the guards barracks being built within the walls of the Citadel itself. Any public executions take place within the walls of the Citadel and the Feast of Tamiis takes place within the Citadel as well.
Hellgan was the center of a battle between two factions of Orc. the Orc who are were allied with the Atherians and the orcs who weren't. The battle happened Two years after the Human/Elf War ended, the Ishbar Oligarchy offered the Orcs land within Ardesh for help in their war against the High Elfs and Dwarves of Eden Valley. The Atherian ambassador at the time rejected the Oligarchies offer. Wanting to stay out of another war and not wanting to swear felty to some foreign rulers in a strange land. The Cheiftain of the Orcs rejected their offer as well, wanting to stay true to their Atherians allie.
Some Orc clans weren't happy with the Chiefs rejection of the Oligarchies offer, and tension within the city would continue to thicken until the Chief died of old age some years later. A day after his death, one of the larger clans of Orc known as the Duskkiin tried to siege the Chieftains Citadel and take control of the city through sheer might. The Duskkiin struck in the middle of the night and killed the guards throughout the city. All was going to plan until a roaming Sentry found one of the guards body's. They raised the alarm and the remaining city guards rushed within the walls of the Citadel as it's gates slammed shut. The Duskiin began to scale the sides of the Citadel wall but they were stopped when Atherian mana-born came to the citadels rescue.
They burned and electrocuted any and all trying to scale the walls. The citadel guard opened their gates to bolster the Atherians forces and eventually, the two managed to push the Duskkiin out of the city. Next day, hundreds left they city and journeyed south with the exiles. Many of them were clans allied to the Duskkiin. The Orcs that journeyed south to Ardesh were openly welcome by the Oligarchy. Over time, the groups skin changed from the color of green to a a brownish color.
They would be mocking called the Sandkiin by the Hellgan Orcs. But they took it as a badge of honor, and proudly call themselves The Sandkiin Orcs of Septima. There remains a intense hate between the Orcs of Hellgan, and the Orcs of Septima and many believe its will last until the end of times.
Yazan: The last Atherian city. Yazan was once known as Narlon, but a freak attack from a large group of Amethyst Wasp wiped out the residents of Narlon and the village was abandoned. it's new residents decided moved in a few weeks later. Atherians still living in fear in the north heard of the Tragedy of Narlon and used it to their advantage. After the Atherians Empires fall, the surviving Atherians have been harassed by Benheloth Autocracy and never had a true place of refuge from his army until they move into Narlon. Over the years, the Atherians built over the abandoned village, and created a city their ancestors would be proud. However, it was only an echo of what Brinavaas was.
Many considered it to be the Atherians last true home, so they decided to name the city Yazan, in honor of the last Atherian Emperor. The city flourished because its coastal resources, and was able to support the Orcish refugees from Zigon when the Dark Elves assaulted the city of Zigon. The Atherians living inside the city had nothing to do with war between the Dawnbreakers and the Heralds of Twilight, but would feel its effects none the less. A large surge of Atherians came to the city when Renold Benheloth ordered the death of every Atherian in the North. After a year of hunting down the northern covens, most were either annihilated, in hiding or already safe behind the walls of Hellgan or Yazan. The Dark Elf army began moving west towards Yazan in an attempt to wipe out the Atherians for good.
The siege began on Renold's fifteenth year as ruler. The siege lasted for a week, but they couldn't penetrate the city's walls before reinforcement arrived from Hellgan and Dominius. As the Orcs hit the Dark elf army from the south, Atherian Mana-Born rose out from the city's gate and attacked the army's front. The battle went on for hours, but in the end Renolds army retreated back to Blacklight signaling the end of the Benheloth Atherian Purge. The Atherians and Orcs celebrated together that night but knew the Elfs defeat change nothing. Atherians in the north are still hunted and so remain in hiding.
As for the Atherians of the south, they live freely and make their homes in the city's of Dominus, Hellgan and amoung the thorns in the Strangle Thorn Forest. But they are a part of Orcish culture now, forgetting most of their customs in favor of Orcish ones. Only the citizens of Yazan live as the Atherians did before the Empires fall, even if it is only an echo of their former glory. The city became the center of trade for the Pennisula after the Ishbar Oligarchy outlawed trade with the Dark Elves because of their actions in the Four Kingdom War. Still Water is now slowly dyeing, as ships travel up the Septimus to their destination of Yazan. Only a few ships from Eden Valley stop to trade, but those ships are few and far in between.
The Strangle Thorn Peninsula is a dangerous land. I think most would agree. Anyone traveling their should tread lightly. The land is beautiful, but harsh and unforgiving. Just as unforgiving as its inhabitants. But there's more to The Strangle Thorn Peninsula than the vines that it gets its name sake from and the wars that make up its history. It just take the right about of bravery, and survival skills to see it.