QABAT Mild, aromatic variety of tobacco able to be grown in poor, sandy soils. Called qabat (‘leaf of gold’) by the early Quahneri, the green-spotted yellow leaf of this plant is air-cured over a period of six to eight weeks, producing a pleasant, sweet-tasting flavour. Often used in blends smoked with a long-stemmed pipe, some elders believe that the smoking of this particular leaf will temporarily enhance perception, delivering a greater understanding of your god. Cultivation of qabat is a profitable enterprise, however, pests can often destroy more than half a crop.
QADHUL Intimidating creatures featuring a long prehensile trunk similar to that of the modern Makkhra. Worshipped by the ancient Guahns as significant spiritual entities with divine attributes, the mythical Qadhul are regarded as manifestations of human thought and actions. Believers are convinced that a Qadhul embodies a singular purpose, personally conjured by its creator to enact a good or evil fate for or against a chosen individual. Often linked to nefarious crimes and untoward circumstances, today these creatures play the role of unpredictable harbingers in theatrical performances containing moral conundrums.
QUAHNARREN Large island continent, approximately 300 statute miles in width from the outermost western and eastern tips. Quahnarren – meaning ‘the land of those before’ – is rarely a forgiving landscape, with large areas of arid badlands and vast, inhospitable wilderness tracts, and is named after the hardy and highly skilled Quahneri peoples; descendants of the original settlers. Inhabited by them for many hundreds of years, the ancient, visibly scarred landmass has experienced significant geological transformation throughout the millennia, and features towering mountain ranges and many precipitous rock formations, tangled old-growth forests, fertile plains, substantial hills and valleys, and serpentine rivers. The native fauna and flora are uniquely adapted to their environments, and many pose a significant threat to careless, unwary travellers.
QUAHNARREN ADVENTURERS’ GUILD Esteemed fellowship of like-minded explorers – only those with an unquenched thirst for adventure are welcomed to join. Members of the Quahnarren Adventurers’ Guild present, record and share secret guild-only knowledge, swap tales both tall and true, and offer advice and assistance whenever the opportunity arises. Established in Hoq, where their magnificent guildhall holds knowledge and treasures few non-members will ever see, the QAG motto ‘Onward to Adventure’ encapsulates the guild’s enterprising nature and eagerness for discoveries that advance all peoples; great reward waits for intrepid truth seekers.
QUAHNARREN ‘STICK’ SNAKE Common reptile found throughout Quahnarren, the small ‘stick’ snake is so-called due to both its physical appearance and unusual behaviour. These curious non-venomous snakes are approximately three feet in length, and feature thin stick-like protuberances on each side of the head, closely resembling small twigs. They are regularly found motionless in a bent, rigid posture, acting as just another piece of natural debris, waiting for suitable prey to unknowingly pass by before attacking at close range. This successful hunting technique contributes to the large number of reported bites suffered by humans.
QUAHNERI Native person of Quahnarren. The peoples currently residing upon the continent are direct descendants of many societies, cultures and nations from across the sea, typically living a nomadic lifestyle before crossing a connecting land bridge during a period of decreased sea levels, and settling throughout the land. Quahneri are purposeful and determined people, highly skilled in agriculture, trades, crafts, music and performance arts, and are profoundly respectful of their ancestral heritage and traditions.
QUANNAH Irreproachable earth spirit observantly followed by the residents of Puhtah. Quannah is of the earth, a binding element connecting the land to everything its soil supports, able to perceive and chronicle every action that exists within its material and immaterial realms. Always alert and able to influence biological responses, belief in Quannah is directly associated with devout behaviours and strict principles, honouring the spirit and adhering to a modest life of restricted behaviours.
QUDEL Coastal settlement located on the north-western tip of Quahnarren. Qudel is enlivened by industry, particularly within its busy manufacturing district located by the old docks. Many shipwrights, tanners, leatherworkers, butchers and fishermen can be found throughout the city, along with rampant grime, pollution and vermin, and the transient poor. Drunkenness, theft and assault, or worse, are common. The wreck of the ill-fated Peshkka is situated on a shallow reef located a few miles off the coast to the north.
QUINTESSENCE TALISMAN Rune-marked wooden button said to invoke the power of the gods when facing enemies from beyond the material world. Usually attached to a cord and worn around the neck, this special talisman is a product made only by the mysterious Quelah, a remarkable woman living on the outskirts of Halleq in the Morning Mountains. Followers of either Rhast or Likothi will amplify any request for aid when carrying this item, receiving some assistance if your deity chooses to intervene.
QUITESSE THEATRE Renowned for its grand architecture and many gilded adornments, the imposing Quitesse Theatre is located on the eastern side of New Town Square, Liust. Popular with visitors journeying to the south-eastern town – even for those with no interest in the arts – this three-story round building majestically rises above the square with impressive style. Constructed from limestone quarried at two sites located north-east of Liust, the theatre’s upper domed section is ribbed by square blue-painted tiles, and is supported by many hidden iron reinforcements. The ground level houses the main performance space: a cavernous hall of outstanding acoustic design, featuring a second-level gallery covering three quarters of the hall’s circumference.
RAHM ISLAND Large, mostly narrow island located not far from the western coastline near the towns of Taloq, Helhearn and Sekanna. 18 miles in length and 9 miles wide at the broadest point near its northern end, Rahm Island provides the perfect natural windbreak for the Bay of Innehki, creating ideal maritime conditions for seaborne trade and industry. Although believed to be inhabited only by birds and small animals, passing vessels have recently reported the unmistakable signs of ongoing human occupation on the forested eastern side, which offers protection from the harsh ocean winds.
RED WOOTA Highly valued for its timber, this tall forest tree is found throughout the central and southern regions of Quahnarren. The species can grow up to a height of 240 feet with a trunk girth of 10 feet or more, and is both fast growing and long lived. Richly red in colour and very easy to work with, the Red Woota is widely used for various commercial construction purposes, such as buildings, furniture and shipbuilding.
RHA-KAAHOKU Golden-hued tableland platform located within the northern part of The Baked Plains, upon which is built the independent town of Tramellon. Rha-Kaahoku is a large, oblong shaped, sheer-walled, 780-foot long monument made of sedimentary rock, with a single point of access via a lengthy stepped ramp on the eastern end. This massive ‘golden rock’ rises 230 feet above the plain, and was so named by early Guahn settlers due to the way it vibrantly enhances the evening’s light generously provided by Rhast, the powerful sun god.
RHAST Formidable and intimidating male sun god. Rhast and his partner Likothi are two of the most followed deities in Quahnarren; a place where belief in all-powerful gods, mystical forces, spiritual energies, unnerving myths and superstitions is common. Rhast is a temperamental and demanding god, believed on occasion to intervene in matters deemed significant enough to justify his involvement. However, Rhast is known to not always hear or respond to the needs of humans, so many believers regularly leave offerings at his shrines to hopefully improve the likelihood of consideration and assistance.
RHUL Sun-bleached city located in the less inhospitable southern part of The Baked Plains. Never planned as a large settlement, Rhul managed to rise above the harshness of its semi-arid environment to develop into a sizeable city of mature commerce, with its citizens exhibiting remarkable resilience and ingenuity. Most of Rhul’s distinctive block-shaped stone buildings are single storied above ground, built low and wide with an underground level to counter the cruel afternoon heat. The city sits above a shallow freshwater aquifer that provides all of its required water; a continuously recharged resource originating in high ground within the Bhoolgan Ranges to the north-east.
RIDIAN, VHADLO Eccentric owner of Vhadlo’s Treasures and Oddities in Vequahn. Known by all throughout the north-eastern region as a colourful and dedicated collector of unusual items, Vhadlo is a thin man of average height given to wearing odd combinations of clothing – materials, style and colour – and enthusiastically engaging in endless fact-filled conversations with anyone not quick enough to make their escape. His expansive warehouse is one of the main attractions in Vequahn, providing him with ample opportunities to talk about his collection, discuss events of interest, and source new items from visitors keen to make a deal.
RIKKHALA Ancient form of shadow puppetry developed by the Guahns over 500 years ago. Originally projected onto rock backdrops by enormous communal fires, early performances of this ‘shadow soul’ style used life-sized shapes and clever manipulation of firelight to share stories of the past. Over time the scale of these theatrical events evolved and reduced, becoming more intimate and artistic as miniature models and other detailed props replaced human actors. Rikkhala is now a respected form of performance art, regularly used to inform younger generations of how the world and the gods came to be.
RING OF MONUMENTS, THE Semi-circular arrangement of five tall peaks located at the north-western end of the Bhoolgan Ranges. Their height above sea level ranges from 3,500 to 4,800 feet in elevation; all set within an area of approximately 7 miles. Each mountain that forms the Ring of Monuments is shaped as an upright, tapering column, mostly treeless with only low vegetation surrounding their base. Guahn elders called them ‘standing stones’ and attribute ceremonial significance to their unusual formation.
RIVER HAARG Lengthy, wide-mouthed river system flowing from the Bhoolgan Ranges in two directions: north-west to Jeghur, where it empties into the ocean at the Bay of Nahgool; and south into central Quahnarren, where it then turns westerly and disperses into numerous smaller streams, and the Lake of Liuhn, on the plains around Suhnadell and Tulkka. Sections of the river are frequently used for transport, however, approximately 25 miles in the centre of the ranges are impassable to anything other than light boats due to turbulent elevation changes. The mountain water delivered by the Haarg sustains many communities along its winding course.
ROSSUNTAHL, NAELA Escaping an unhappy life in turmoil when family violence became intolerably aggressive, Naela fled her hometown of Suveht when still a young woman to seek an honest living elsewhere in Quahnarren. Guided by common sense and a spirit not yet dulled by prior experiences, she travelled east to Balquis to become a paid performer, hoping to find a creative opportunity that would offer her hope for the future. Now established in her adopted city with a family of her own, Naela brings joy to others through poetic song and dance.
RUHDAN Owner of the general supply store Junction Trader, located on the corner of Rohaq Street and Harness Road, Balquis. Ruhdan is a stocky, agreeable man with the large, worn hands typical of someone who has engaged in repeated physical work for many years. He is a frequent and often-sighted traveller, making his way throughout the central and south-eastern regions, transporting goods to and from Balquis with the assistance of his old grey horse and two-wheeled cart.
RYLEE, MYKHAL Respected cartographer and official record keeper for the Quahnarren Adventurers’ Guild. An enthusiastic walker interested in history, wild spaces and animals, and research-based studies of the natural world, Mykhal has traversed much of the continent, keenly observing and note taking as he prepares detailed maps of Quahnarren’s different environments. His work has identified many previously unknown species of plants, insects and mammals, and clarified earlier observations by others lacking the extensive analysis required to be accepted as fact.
SAANDAHR Ferryman on The Skar assisting travellers to cross its rushing waters south of Ustahm. Together with Tudarenn, his long-term friend and partner, Saandahr operates a wooden ferry utilising a rope and pulley system, providing safe conveyance across the fast-flowing river. Once a grain farmer on land situated west of Entollen, he now earns a low but respectable wage performing a necessary service for anyone journeying to the north or south.
SACRED BONE TREE Located south of the arid badlands, in the north-eastern corner of Quahnarren, the Sacred Bone Tree is a tangible symbol of resilience and the continuation of life. Situated at the centre of a small glade surrounded by thick forest, the ancient, bone-like tree is said to have risen from the fallen remains of Guahvann, the enlightened leader of the early nomadic peoples, who met his untimely end in this location. Local holy men tend to and watch over the tree, seeking personal direction and guidance for their teachings from a master educator.
SACRED CRIMSON BROOCH Remarkable stone and metal talisman containing an animalistic or spiritual entity. This ‘inner soul’ grants arcane abilities to its owner – a personal connection to the entity’s individual traits, only activated when circumstances trigger a supernatural link to the other world. On most occasions this entity will provide a specific benefit, however, unforeseen occurrences may also arise. The Sacred Crimson Brooch is a rare and potent object, constructed as a conduit of Rhast’s volatile power and influence.
SAHAAVINAR Formidable deity of the Black Earth Wilderpeople. This troublesome spirit-god of the human mind is a highly intelligent shape-shifting entity able to control personal beliefs, memory and madness, and is malefic when provoked by false thoughts and a lack of conviction. Sexless and ageless, and aggressively disruptive when excited by the pain it inflicts, Sahaavinar will cruelly humble even the most devout follower on a whim, with lengthy mental torture and terrifying physical aberrations.
SALLIMUR, LUTHAAL Travelling puppeteer of eastern Quahnarren, performing mostly in Ustahm, Bhan, Saquinn and Balquis. Luthaal is a quiet and peculiar individual invariably dressed only in deepest black, who favours the simple entertainment of children with his self-made, gaudy and somewhat sinister-looking wooden marionettes.
SAQUINN Frightening creatures of darkness and disease do not always remain at a safe or comfortable distance from human settlements, as the people of Saquinn discovered one clouded evening. Leaving their daytime roost, a large number of Banded Najaars descended upon the town, creating mayhem in the gloom as they searched for food. Thought to have been suffering from a parasite modifying their behaviour, these bats voraciously attacked anything edible or moving, relentlessly swooping upon terrified residents over a short period of time. Numerous people subsequently fell ill from various sources of infection, with several deaths being recorded within the next few months. This ‘black night’ has since ensured that Saquinn’s streets are remarkably empty once darkness descends.
SCARRED MAN An educated and influential man, this privileged, dishonest manipulator is an abuser of those he controls. Blindly followed and rarely questioned with any conviction, this scarred individual has been linked to a gang thought responsible for a spate of serious thefts and fires in a wide area around Ustahm. Now possibly on the move toward the south, he and his accomplices are sought for questioning by many men of authority. Easily recognised due to his long, pockmarked face and a prominent scar below his left eye, this scarred man may soon find that justice arrives in many different forms.
SCORPION BAY Deep, sheltered bay on the south-eastern coastline, where the port settlement of Liust is located. Protected from severe winds by a projecting southern point, Scorpion Bay is an important part of Liust’s expansive harbour complex (together with facilities at the adjacent The Windless Bay), containing numerous docks along much of its length, and plenty of available warehouse space within close proximity. The Sunken Wreck, a tavern of many varied qualities, is situated nearby on the other side of Old Shipbuilders’ Road.
SEEANTHAR Youngest and least favoured daughter of a rich and ruthless merchant, who cruelly gifted his second born to the detestable aristocrat Haahn Luthorn. Now a beautiful woman in her 23rd year, Seeanthar is Luthorn’s captive prize, her every move silently observed by armed watchers, and her despair increasing steadily as time marches on.
SEKANNA Small, industrious coastal town located at the southern end of the lengthy Bay of Innehki. Not too long ago, a group of wanted men were tracked to the hills south of Sekanna. Eight of the town’s residents volunteered to join this ongoing manhunt, believing that they could assist to decisively end the group’s terrible crimes. When their hideout was discovered within a sheltered ravine, the miscreants attacked their pursuers with desperate ferocity: seven of the town’s men were savagely killed, and the one who survived the slaughter carried serious injuries that never fully healed. This troubling incident is spoken of regularly, reminding peaceful citizens of the dangers that brave men may confront in the righteous pursuit of justice.
SELEENA Forest Guardian assigned to protect a large area of land north-east of Caelen. A determined young woman who carries a long wooden spear, she is youthfully slender with fine facial features, and has elongated ears in a style reminiscent of the ancient Nehlinn, who were said to possess magical capabilities. Seleena is a child of the forest, gifted with deep knowledge of the natural world, far-reaching perception, and great foresight. She is able to voicelessly communicate with much of the animal kingdom, and is a friend of the playful Grimmen, who regularly accompany her during her watch.
SEPHID Softly illuminated, silent beings of various sizes and forms sighted only within darkened areas. Appearing as shrouded humanoids, these ‘spirit lights’ are thought to be souls visiting from the afterlife – temporary travellers on a journey to locate their final resting place. Invisible when within an adequate source of light, in near or total darkness they emit a soft bluish glow. Their flickering, unearthly presence can be disturbing, mesmerising or intensely transcendent, however, Sephid intend no harm. Fables suggest that those who disrespect these spirits by following them may be punished as a just penalty for disturbing their personal undertaking.
SERAF An unremarkable settlement located on the main road between the cities of Hoq and Balquis, Seraf is surrounded by farmland and forest, from where the local population derives much of their livelihood. Large numbers of livestock are to be found in the lands surrounding the town, and several types of timber are sourced from the many miles of ancient woodland. An aggressive Jarresen currently inhabits an area of thick forest just north of Seraf, from where a sell-sword reported an encounter with terrifying restless spirits – his three companions succumbed to the dark menace lurking within.
SEVEN TEMPLES Sphere of ruined temples located within deep forest north of Hikkael in the western region of Quahnarren. Abandoned decades ago due to a deadly viral outbreak, the Seven Temples were significant and beautiful structures in their time, but are now largely hidden beneath vines, knotted roots and fallen detritus. Legendary black wolf guardians still watch the site; offspring of the mystical protectors who once guarded the worshipping priests. Now permanent custodians of the crumbling ruins, they remain on this holy ground regardless of the lack of human masters. Great historical antiquities and important religious relics are believed to be stored underground – treasures that would likely provide fame and fortune for a lifetime.
SHOLTHUM Known for the rare and spectacular gemstones recently found in the nearby opal fields, Sholthum is a compact town located on the western edge of The Baked Plains. Now renewed and enhanced due to the high value of the mining activities, the settlement’s infrastructure was previously in poor condition, with few residents and an uncertain future. Several years ago a small village north-west of Sholthum was raided by masked wildmen, who killed five villagers when a torched dwelling collapsed upon them. Two young women of childbearing age were abducted during this outrage, and although a wide and lengthy search was organised, nothing was ever seen or heard of the women again.
SILENT TOWER, THE See: XAANAGH, TOWER OF.
SILVER COIN Official currency of Quahnarren, stamped on one side with the mark of prosperity. Although a strong trade and bartering system still exists within many communities, the silver coin is widely used by travellers and for commercial enterprise. The coin is slightly less than two inches in size, with a raised outer edge and central mark.
SILVER MOON Members of the Silver Moon are elite fighters: fleet of foot, prodigiously quick of mind, and deadly in hand-to-hand combat. They are master technicians of many secretive fighting techniques, gained through years of private tuition in secluded training camps located somewhere upon the Uhnst Ridge in western Quahnarren. It is believed that individuals are recruited to join the order, and that asking for membership will ensure lifelong rejection by all current members. Their special Twin Knives are items prized by all who appreciate fine craftsmanship and beautiful, effective weaponry.
SINGING BLADE OF AKKAHZUL Forged by a master metalsmith from the western town of Aeseer, this legendary sword was thought lost or destroyed for many years. In times long past this impressive weapon was wielded by the champion swordsman Akkahzul, who described it as a ‘singing blade’ due to the unique metallic hum generated by his powerful arcing blows. This imposing broadsword has two distinctive features: twin gems inset within the wooden hilt, and a noticeably wide blade. The precious gems are opals, the grip is covered with leather, and the counter-balanced pommel features etched runes. Opponents are often enchanted by the strange sound of the blade, subsequently suffering the devastating effects of their hesitation.
SKAHREN An overpopulated, rough and ready port city located beside Yellowhorn Bay on the northern coast, Skahren’s reputation as the ‘end of the world’ is correctly attributed due to its isolated setting, high crime rate and active docklands, where skullduggery and corruption is rife. An unchecked wave of theft, violence and property damage, which included the savage murder of a prominent trader, resulted in the formation of Druht’s Watch – a brotherhood of former raiders and other felons, tasked with the aggressive deliverance of immediate punishment to those committing offences. As expected by the many vocal opponents of this arrangement, the city is now overwhelmed by argument and emotion, with open hostility and opposition set to explode into outright barbarity.
SKAR, THE Lengthy river system located in eastern Quahnarren, extending from the mountainous area north-east of Khardhum to north-west of Torvaan, where it enters the sea at the broad Quahle’s Bay. The Skar is a major waterway with many users and uses, and produces fertile land along its entire course. The ancient Guahns respectfully referred to it as the ‘giving river’ endowed with a strong sense of purpose, noting its important role in supporting their new agricultural way of life. Mostly flat and fast flowing, the river’s passage has carved many deep channels, producing areas of breathtaking scenic beauty.
SKORSLING Impudent and intolerably fiendish, Skorsling are thin imp-like creatures, standing at four feet tall when fully grown. They have remarkably sensitive hearing, superbly quick reflexes, and are despised for the sharp and irritating screech emitted when hounding victims. Skorsling only attack when enjoying the safety of numbers, so are rarely seen without other pack members located within the immediate area. Their dark leathery skin, strong hearing, and keen sight in poor light gives them a particular advantage when raiding food stores at night, adding to their standard diet of small rodents, and various fruit and nuts.
SKULL ROCK See: ZHAITU RANGE
SKUUHL, HARVOHLD Determined landowner, farmer and community leader living in the region east of Ustahm. Harvohld initiates a proposal to counter the troubling decline in local conditions, seeking an expansion to farmland boundaries to provide further productive lands for struggling families. Having gained Warden Guhlnaar’s support, he arranges a meeting at his property to discuss the issue with all affected neighbours, requesting volunteers to help formulate the wording for the revised laws.
SNAKEHEAD RIVER Located in the south-west of the continent, and emptying into the sea near the town of Verst, the wide-mouthed Snakehead River is a winding watercourse featuring numerous falls and dangerous rapids. A fresh water source for nearby landowners, the river is supplied by several small streams originating north of Hikkael, along the southern edge of the Uhnst Ridge. Jade can be found at the mouth of the Snakehead, especially after heavy rain or floods.
SONG OF SUHMAI, THE Ancient song about the wandering spirit Suhmai, who once traversed Quahnarren and named many of its features. The song records the oral history of the Guahns, who spoke reverently of Suhmai as a guide and protector with a deep connection to all natural things. The song is performed as an incantation while walking, matching the rhythm of the singer’s steps; those with the ability to tread harmoniously will locate glyphs in the landscape indicating Suhmai’s path. Great knowledge and understanding is said to be communicated to those who can make a true and honest connection in their wanderings.
SOUTHERN FURIES, THE Unexpected and ferocious southerly winds found along the coast from Kutuhl to Liust, known by the Guahns as Tihassor Vur Ette. These vengeful winds terrorise local fishermen, mariners and other seafarers, causing the sea to wildly swell and surge, sometimes resulting in swift-moving rogue waves that can sink a troubled vessel in seconds.
SOUTHERN SUPPLY STORE Located not far from the southern gate, Balquis, this spacious two-storey building is of recent construction. Owned by Anthun Tahnjuk – a youthful man of upstanding character and professional courtesy – the Southern Supply Store is a worthwhile stopping point for those on the road. The store overflows with tools, equipment, homewares, foodstuffs, small weapons, footwear, textiles and clothing.
STONE BOW Bullet-shooting wooden crossbow that launches dangerous stone projectiles. Rarely deadly against humans, and unable to penetrate any substantial clothing or armour, this compact hunting weapon is suitable for catching small prey such as birds, rats and rabbits. Generally only effective in controlled situations where a target can be carefully aimed at to release an accurate shot, the stone bow is simple to make and use by those with only basic skills.
STRAMNUHL, JUHTAAN Survivor of a sea-raid by the Iydarrin, and then sold into slavery, Juhtaan was born in the small town of Verst, where he lived until the day of his capture. An experienced seaman with a keen eye for ocean-based danger, he was at the helm of his vessel when the unmistakable shape of an Iydarrin ship appeared beyond the headland. Although some of his crew panicked and many were soon put to the sword, Juhtaan remained determined to continue living, and eventually escaped his enslavement after years of endless cruelty, toil and hunger.
SUHMAI Mystical guide and protector of the Guahns, Suhmai was an ancient wanderer who travelled Quahnarren, naming mountains, rivers, flora and fauna as he walked. He had a profound connection with nature, creatures and peoples, and understood the language of the Guahns, who were fellow wanderers from over the sea. Suhmai named many natural features, including the spectacular Morning Mountains, and made his mark on the land, leaving behind footprint impressions in the rock telling the story of his passage.
SUHNADELL The bells of Suhnadell ring out twice every day, firstly welcoming the morning sunlight, and then giving thanks in the evening as the sun sinks for another day. The small town is full of well-maintained buildings, streets and gardens, as all permanent citizens swear an oath of loyalty, providing free labour for its upkeep. In return they too receive the benefits of others’ labour, and the town is then able to afford financial support for industry and health services, and to assist those facing unexpected circumstances or economic ruin.
SUN GOD RING A gold ring of everlasting energy and warmth manufactured by jewelers in Ohrran, the Kempuhl Stone at its centre provides lifelong health benefits to those who follow Rhast. Boldly stylish and beautifully designed, the Sun God Ring reflects Rhast’s potency and intensity within its sculpted surfaces, brilliant finish and skilled precision. Solid and weighty, and always a perfect fit, it possesses an identifiable aura of strength and command.
SUNKEN WRECK, THE Located on Old Shipbuilders’ Road opposite Scorpion Bay in the lower ‘old’ section of Liust, The Sunken Wreck is a popular meeting and entertainment destination for anyone involved in maritime activities and the many associated harbourside trades. Lively, and at times rather unfriendly, once the sun has set on another busy day, The Wreck has earned a reputation for simple food, plentiful liquor and inexhaustible fierce conversation.
SUNSTONE Glass-like stone of a vivid red colour, able to capture and reflect bright light in a vibrant scarlet pattern. Genuine sunstones can only be sourced from specific sites in western Quahnarren, therefore these popular gemstone are often in demand throughout the east of the continent.
SUQERN Unique borderland city where northern and southern peoples of dissimilar temperament mix to form a vibrant community of unanticipated shared values. Suqern is the home of many nonconformists and outliers; individuals desiring to shape their own identity and future without the imposed dogma and restrictions of orthodox beliefs. Often under threat from northern raiders keen to raise unrest and undermine local laws, the city’s residents are nevertheless able to maintain acceptable order and respect, so far resisting any temptation to succumb to chaos. A tall stone watchtower stands in the city’s central square; built by many local tradesmen, its four sides provide advantageous observation in all directions.
SUVEHT Coastal town located west of the Remmen Gulf in the central south of Quahnarren. Productive farmland and the nearby ocean each sustain Suveht’s sociable community, providing the good-natured people of this region with the opportunity to maintain a respectable lifestyle. One of the town’s former guards, a lifelong resident named Laemaar Faliott, was seriously injured in a knife attack that claimed two other lives. Now without sight in his left eye, Laemaar’s tragic impairment fortunately led to an interest in creating optical instruments to assist anyone with vision-related disadvantages. His hand-made, thick-lensed spectacles are now sold in many southern settlements.
TAANIHR A developing, tightly clustered settlement in the south-western region, Taanihr’s unusual architectural style is visibly dissimilar to that seen elsewhere. Here stand many narrow, multi-storied buildings adorned with colourfully bold geometric patterns and symbols, constructed with numerous interconnecting upper-level walkways that allow elevated passage for a significant distance in the heavily populated area known as The Web. Thankfully, crime is not yet a significant problem in Taanihr, as controlling movement or seeking to apprehend escaping criminals within this maze of access points is singularly impossible.
TAARK Impulsive young thief living, and regularly stealing, in Ustahm. Often aggressive and quick to turn to violence, Taark is a wildly immature yet street-smart opportunist, always seeking to leverage a profitable opportunity by employing brashness, cunning and the direct threat of physical harm. The only child of a tempestuous relationship full of violence and recrimination, his days are spent on the move, attempting to stay a step or two ahead of any rules or adult authority.
TAHMLIN Member of a dramatic company regularly performing at The Tuurkan, Balquis. Tahmlin, together with older sister Aselline, enjoys acting in either theatrical or musical productions, and additionally assists in their creation and set construction. Tahmlin’s happy companionship with her sister gives her much pleasure, although her playful taunts may suggest otherwise to those who do not understand the depth of their relationship.
TAHN Old Guahn term meaning ‘place of belonging’, this ancient concept was adopted by the early Quahneri peoples as a word describing a small settlement. Modified and corrupted once in general usage, several towns incorporate taan, taahn, tahm or tahn as a component of their chosen name in conjunction with a descriptive local feature or general idea that forms one part of a disyllabic word.
TAHNJUK, ANTHUN Owner of the Southern Supply Store, Balquis. A neatly dressed and well-groomed man of a youthful appearance, Tahnjuk is attentive to the needs of his customers, and occasionally offers discounts to those he favours. He maintains professional links with many suppliers and businesses throughout Quahnarren, and is a skilled negotiator able to secure very favourable wholesale prices.
TAHSANOOK-LAI In an age of endless warring and disorder, the great leader Tahsanook-Lai sought a better life for his followers in the ancient world. Believing in the likelihood of uninhabited lands beyond their current home, he supported land and oceanic journeys of discovery, ultimately establishing a new nation over the sea that would adhere to strict governed principles and behaviours. His broad thinking improved welfare and reduced morbidity, developed trade routes and beneficial commerce, governed lawful ownership of lands and workers, and supported diverse religious and spiritual beliefs. Tahsanook-Lai created the opportunity to join a civilised, settled future, discontinuing the divisive ways of the troubled past.
TALFAHR Corvaelen of great skill and integrity, currently employed in the Ustahm area to track and apprehend the members of a criminal gang. Highly proficient in many disciplines, Talfahr is an experienced Corvaelen, widely respected for the professionalism of his service, his good humour and companionship, and his ability to act decisively with unquestioned authority. Having battled uncharacteristically aggressive black wolves near Saquinn, defeated cruel raiders from the north, and encountered murderous spirits on the outskirts of Khardhum – amongst many other alarming incidents – Talfahr’s knowledge of the people and creatures of Quahnarren is unsurpassed, and his reputation is subsequently without parallel.
TAL-KHOTH Tal-Khoth was a respected and enigmatic elder of the peoples from The Baked Plains. A spiritual but practical man of considerable mysterious talents, Tal-Khoth predicted many future events and discovered numerous relics, sigils, bones and other signs of the past. Providing wisdom and leadership to his community, his curiosity and thirst for knowledge never waned, and during his last decade of life he turned to artistic pursuits as an outlet for sharing his discoveries and further assisting his people.
TAL-KHOTH’S AMULET Good fortune follows the wearer of this talismanic disc, carved by the respected elder from The Baked Plains. In Tal-Khoth’s later years he skillfully created this unique wooden amulet, apparently one of a small number possessing individual attributes and exceptional abilities. The design is somewhat crude in appearance, however, both the symbolic outer motifs and central character pay respect to the ancient Guahns and celebrate the continuity of life.
TALLYAHR, ROGHAN Adventurous researcher of Quahnarren’s lost history, assiduously seeking the whereabouts of significant artefacts currently shrouded by cryptic clues. A former student of, and now resident antiquities researcher at the Travalla Academy in Duquellah, Roghan possesses the valuable ability to painstakingly unearth and then thoroughly search obscure sources of early reporting and communication, rediscovering forgotten treasures of the past.
TALOQ Small, often overlooked settlement located above Bihduur’s Bay on the north-western coast. Never more than a sleepy town of little importance, Taloq recently experienced unfamiliar excitement and uproar when a considerable trove of treasures was found buried at the mouth of the nearby Zeelah River. Those desiring to profit from this discovery clashed with others demanding that the hoard be left untouched in respect of their ancestors, warning that malevolent spirits may linger nearby. Much bitterness and distrust has festered as years have passed without decision; ugly accusations continue to erupt from both sides.
THERN Compact distribution hub on the central eastern coast; the home of traders and sellers, growers and makers of many fine products. Thern was once a very small, walled settlement protected by five towers and numerous guardsmen, before expansion saw most of its walls dismantled and the stone repurposed for new buildings. The people living here are direct and dependable – therefore avoiding the troubles of many ‘outsiders’ – busily managing their affairs without any undue fuss. The Uicahba River flows from the west of Thern before emptying into the ocean at Evija Bay to the north-east; it provides an easily navigable transport route for efficiently shipping goods to and from Quahnarren’s interior.
THORNUU Thickset animals both broader and taller than even the largest big cat, and featuring a distinctive wedge-shaped head, Thornuu are nomadic reptilian-like creatures mostly found throughout open forests, grasslands and plains. Famously covered in thick skin that is impressively reinforced by armoured scales, their durable hide offers excellent natural protection, and together with their speed and aggression, they are highly dangerous opponents. Predominantly pack animals, they stealthily hunt a wide variety of prey, including mammals of many sizes, birds, fish, nonvenomous snakes and selected insects. Highly intelligent, they have excellent vision during both day and night, and possess an uncanny ability to track unsighted prey through dense and difficult environments.
THORSSON, HALNAAR Balquis physician located on Faquant Lane who is able to treat serious wounds, or can offer a medicinal elixir that will prevent any possible health issues arising from an animal bite. Halnaar’s thick, sour-tasting elixir is made from fish oils, ground animal bones and a variety of wild herbs, and he guarantees its effectiveness, despite its rather disagreeable taste.
THURGAARD A long-time member of the respected High Crescent, Thurgaard is a man of deep integrity who favours the implementation of bold and decisive actions. Disgusted by the influential power of those not working for the common good, he does not seek individual promotion or remuneration, as is required by all representing the High Crescent. Never bargaining his own integrity, Thurgaard instead endeavours to solve complex situations with facts and forthright examination, exposing corruption and immorality, and working to enact change that will deliver benefits to all responsible citizens.
TIHASSOR VUR ETTE See: SOUTHERN FURIES, THE.
TOBAHR Confident, tall and strongly built northlander with a sharp mind and a friendly disposition. A farmer, experienced fighter and adventurer, Tobahr lives in fertile lands located between Danshock and Yeddam, where he raises animals and manufactures furniture and tools on land his family has worked for over a century. A talented woodcarver, he also creates detailed wooden talismans made of a beautiful softwood found only near his home. These items are skilfully decorated with miniature patterns, and grant luck on one occasion.
TOHGAR Nocturnal omnivorous scavengers of the northern plains, Tohgar use acute eyesight to search for decomposing carcasses and disposed garbage during the night. Their dog-like torso is large but short in length and covered with course hair, and is set upon relatively thin legs, with hind legs much shorter than the forelimbs. Their long, thick neck and stubby head further exaggerate their downward sloping stance, and they possess a striped mane of long, stiff fur extending from behind their ears down to their tail. Folktales equate the Tohgar with deceptive tricksters and charlatans, with their chattering laughs, shrieks and howls suggesting great mirth, mockery and mischief.
TONACHEN, AARIL Artisan woodworker living in Liust, gifted at sourcing the correct materials for, and then skilfully crafting, beautiful wooden objects. Intelligent and resourceful, Aaril has a positive outlook and a generous spirit, and maintains long-term friendships with others of his profession.
TORVAAN Intriguing city of endless drama, rumour and speculation, located on the eastern coast below the Kist Islands. Much of Torvaan’s populace is rather emotional and argumentative, quickly descending into unrestrained disagreement to justify personal viewpoints simply based on supposition or slander. Its busy market spaces are rife with delicious produce and even tastier hearsay – be prepared for garrulous discourse if you encounter enthusiastic traders of such gossip. A labyrinthine network of crypts lies underneath the city, believed to hold the complete or partial remains of thousands of deceased residents. As these darkened passages are said to be patrolled by ghoulish, retaliatory spirits, few are brave enough to venture into this subterranean complex.
TOUQIN Peaceful, prosperous and law-abiding town in south-west Quahnarren, featuring a tree-lined main thoroughfare, several buildings of significant character, and a wide variety of attractive homes and flowering gardens. Unfortunately, forest bandits regularly waylay travellers on the five roads leading to Touqin, particularly along the stretch of Marchaan Road between the town and the Oppekha River – an area known locally as the ‘den of thieves’ – where unwanted undesirables now frequent in growing numbers. The legendary woodsman Ghilansen Dottur lives in a remote hut deep within the forest south of Touqin; local authorities often use his skills and knowledge to assist with issues of safety, law and governance.
TRAMELLON Built upon sheer-walled tablelands that rise 230-feet above the scorched floor of The Baked Plains, this ancient town, constructed mostly from mud, stone and grass, cannot be approached unannounced due to its high elevation, single access point, and the vigilant watch of its residents. The people of Tramellon desire cooperation and peace, and seek an untroubled, reclusive existence without the concerns of those living beyond their ‘settlement in the sky’. Their tableland platform is spiritually know as Rha-Kaahoku (golden rock); a voracious consumer of the sun god’s plentiful light, which provides energy to the people, and gives the spectacular monument its golden hue.
TRAVALLA ACADEMY Located in Duquellah, this eminent institution of learning and scientific enquiry has taught some of the brightest, most inquisitive minds in Quahnarren’s history. These many talented men and women include: the young Ailea Whillsmor; the highly esteemed Kharoon Maathi; the adventurous Roghan Tallyahr; and the enigmatic Himubass, who now studiously searches the sky with the assistance of the Academy’s magnificent observatory.
TRIAL OF THE ALVAISER Test of the human soul by the supernatural Alvaiser, commonly described as a ‘spirit judgement’. Seeking to redress human actions upsetting the natural balance of their woodland domain, an Alvaiser communicates solely through direct thoughts and images, prompting powerful sensations as they search their target’s soul to determine a suitable sacrifice for their needs. Those who fortunately pass judgement continue living with a new appreciation of the world, believing that their destiny has been favourably altered.
TUDARENN Portly, middle-aged ferryman on The Skar assisting travellers to cross its rushing waters south of Ustahm. Together with Saandahr, his long-term friend and partner, Tudarenn operates a wooden ferry utilising a rope and pulley system, providing safe conveyance across the fast-flowing river. Proud, resourceful and warm-hearted, he is a respectful man prepared to defend others from harm, and is capable of great strength when situations demand something more than considered negotiation.
TULKKA Known as ‘the crossroads’ of the central west of Quahnarren, Tulkka is a popular and profitable waypoint where vast quantities of goods and services can be bought, traded and sold. The town is highly diverse in its amenities and population, and the community takes great pride in its strategic importance. Unfortunately, the River Haarg ceases to be navigable when it reaches the plains north of Tulkka, so all of the town’s large shipments are delivered by road from Suhnadell, where a small yet busy dock operates. The Lake of Liuhn, situated not too far south of Tulkka, sometimes shimmers with a beautiful glow; local legend suggests that this occurrence reveals the location of a hidden portal.
TUURKAN, THE Located on Fountain Square, Balquis, The Tuurkan is widely regarded as one of the most significant architectural accomplishments in Quahnarren. This imposing, columned theatre features a grand interior furnished with numerous sculptures, paintings and other impressive works of local art. Erected over twelve years, its long construction period led to an influx of tradesmen and labourers, rapidly growing the city’s economic prosperity.
TWIN KNIVES OF THE SILVER MOON Set of special weapons, manufactured in limited numbers by unknown expert craftsmen in the employ of the mysterious Silver Moon order. The twin knives’ 13-inch curved steel blade features an unusual cutting edge that flattens to meet the tip, enhancing the effectiveness of any slashing and stabbing motions. The ribbed handle is made from the bone of a Bathouk, carved into a comfortable handgrip, improving tactile connection. Every set made is also carved with the circular symbol of the order near the end of the handle: a full moon inset with the curve of a waxing crescent moon.
UHLAGGA Benevolent and powerful water spirit created by the earth mother Likothi. A guardian of all inland waterways, Uhlagga was formed from the energy of the water itself to protect these important natural resources from human interference and the ongoing fluctuations in environmental conditions. Uhlagga also shares Likothi’s affectionate belief in the protection of life, so will sometimes appear in various forms – unexplained currents, water diversions, enormous watery shapes and figures – to prevent harm coming to those using rivers and streams as a necessary part of daily life.
UHLAGGA TALISMAN Stone statue depicting the helpful water spirit as a crashing wave. Skilfully created by a talented craftsperson living in a small community within the region surrounding Vingahl, this small ornament can only be purchased from a confident hawker who regularly operates a stall at the bustling traders market in Fountain Square, Balquis. Modestly priced, carrying this talismanic item may be of benefit if luck departs you when navigating a waterway during your long journey.
UICAHBA RIVER Meandering, slow moving river located in the central east of Quahnarren. The Uicahba (pronounced We-CAR-ba) originates in the elevated lands surrounding Balquis, from where it forms from several small streams into a narrow but easily navigable river that is eventually joined by the much shorter Cahleon (flowing south-east) west of the coastal town of Thern. Regularly used for the efficient transporting of goods in both directions, many sections of the river are also popular destinations for fishing and other leisure activities.
UKOMME Formidable deity of the Black Earth Wilderpeople, who maintains order within the air and the spiritual world. Ukomme is a female of unearthly appearance, equipped with broad golden wings of great beauty, and a long serpentine tail of many colours. She takes pleasure in the orderliness of her domain, and delivers warnings from above in the form of thunderous storms or devastating droughts. Speaking about Ukomme without due reverence is akin to inviting a tempestuous whirlwind into both home and heart.
ULNHOR, THULLIAN Born in Duphay, Thullian Ulnhor was a man of impressive strength, fairness and honesty, who established the non-permanent employment of capable people to assist anyone in need of expert skills and personal integrity. Those engaged in this necessary work – known as a Corvaelen – follow Ulnhor’s guiding principles, matching his dedication and versatility when carrying out their duties. All Corvaelens pledge an unending commitment to the Oath of Ulnhor, binding them to truth, humility and service for evermore.
UNDEAD Known as ‘lost souls’, these victims of death are unable to find or are denied direct passing into the other world. Remaining in a suspended state upon the earth in gradually decomposing bodies, Undead desperately seek answers to speed their passage. They despairingly roam the land in an unsettled and increasingly tormenting search to avoid eternal damnation and rest their weary souls, however, without the blessing of a holy man or divine spirit, most will wander without hope, eventually succumbing to their miserable affliction only after lingering in pain and sorrow as just reparation for detrimental past deeds.
UPALA Special supply and agistment stations operated in conjunction with local officials to provide equipment and mounts for Corvaelens. Named after the Guahn word for ‘home’, the extensive Upala network consists of commercial and private stables, inns and numerous boarding houses, where food, equipment and horses are readily available. Trusted stablemen manage the ongoing care of the animals, maintain adequate stock levels, and ensure that the storing of personal items is safely organised.
USTAHM Mid-sized town located north of The Skar in the Dehanthor Valley. Ustahm is a prosperous, well-kept and industrious town, famously surrounded by multiple rows of the giant Sehquoihar redwood tree. Ustahm is a vital stopping point on the busy and important trade route between the major cities of Duquellah and Moornehm, and provides supplies and entertainment to all who visit for either work or pleasure. Warden Guhlnaar’s majestic offices are located in the centre of town on Merchant Row; the notorious Koq Walk is highly popular once the sun has set; and the renowned Azifhar Bathhouse is the largest establishment of its kind in eastern Quahnarren.
UURDEIN, TEANNA Golden-haired adventurer known as the ‘fair wanderer’ by many in the south-eastern region. Tall, graceful and without ill-feeling toward others, Teanna’s pale complexion and optimistic outlook has won her innumerable admirers during her many years on the road. Skilled in ranged weapons, handicrafts, forest lore and healing, she also possesses a fine voice, and can often be heard bringing joy to others through ballads and tales of adventure whenever she chooses to stop at a small town or village.
VALCERE A small port located on the south-western coast, Valcere is best known as the source of the fantastical ‘myth of the moonless sea’ – a lurking, unimagined horror said to appear at sea on clouded nights. This well ordered settlement boasts several smart buildings erected with money from wealthy landowner Tolvuhr Cahrann; a provider of significant funding for architectural projects that meet his expectations of style and workmanship. The Howling Pinnacles of Cerrihdor are located north-west of Valcere. This gathering of unusual, obelisk-like rock columns is a popular site for visitors, thereby bringing welcomed recognition and commerce to the town.
VALERNJ Respectable town of considerable size in the central west, where experienced farmers toil in golden fields, and young children dream of one day visiting a major city. When a bleeding traveller recently staggered into Valernj with a serious knife wound and a tale of violent theft, the town’s angry residents decided that the increasing threat of criminal enterprise now needed to be stopped. The area near the eastern end of the Uhnst Ridge, along the road to Touqin, had become popular with ambushing brigands – desperate men now impacting local trade and safety. Capable townsmen were quickly assembled and a lengthy manhunt initiated; after an exhaustive four-day search nine brigands and two residents were dead, and seven men suspected of repeated crimes were returned to the town to face death by hanging.
VAMBRACES OF UNLIMITED COURAGE Vambraces that embolden their wearer to confidently attempt great feats of daring, intelligence and tactical brilliance. When worn, the owner may choose to risk bold and intrepid endeavours, or become aware of situational opportunities to avoid conflict.Infused with mystical properties, these powerful items also provide ongoing energy and inspiration, supplying renewed vitality when under duress, and assisting the overnight recovery of stamina. Beautifully made from quality leather, and featuring seven thin metal strips along their length, their durable construction offers increased protection for the wearer’s wrist and forearm, and enhances defensive abilities when engaged in combat.
VELKONNEN PLAINS, THE BATTLE OF Large conflict between the Northern Scourge, led by Buhldaag, and a potent armed response assembled by south-eastern officials and landholders. Triggered by the northerners’ frequent and destructive raids, these opposing forces met at a location north of Ustahm in the vast Velkonnen Plains. A tumultuous battle that lasted for many hours, it killed a great number of its combatants, who gave themselves to the earth and became one with the rich soil of Quahnarren. Buhldaag’s men were eventually overwhelmed by the experienced fighters repulsing their advancement, and today an uneasy presence of death and loss lingers over this land.
VEQUAHN Life on the north-eastern plains is seldom easy, with too little or too much rain, plagues of pests, and recurring threats from the north. Undeterred when attacked by a lawless group seeking to kill and burn, Vequahn’s hard-working residents thought nothing of sacrificing their own lives to repel the invaders. Although many perished in the battle that followed, the courage of these brave defenders never faltered as bodies fell; its enemies defeated by aggressive, unflinching resistance. The town remains as a welcome stopping point for weary travellers, offering friendly hospitality and plentiful local produce. Visitors seeking to see something a little different will find much of interest at Vhadlo’s Treasures and Oddities – a comprehensive collection of the weird and wonderful.
VERBOKKEN, DANLUR Corrupt head of the Verbokken family, and the duplicitous administrator for regional Commerce and Taxation in and around Balquis. A powerful, portly man with many connections, Danlur resides in a grand three-storey building set amid a well-maintained garden in the south-eastern section of the city. Danlur has an unchecked predilection for perversion in many forms – a weakness now being exploited to force the felonious official into repairing the lost reputation of others.
VERST Small, serene settlement located near the wide mouth of the Snakehead River. Verst is a neatly presented town built on rocky land surrounded by hills and valleys, where only individuals possessing the required commitment to hard work will find a measure of success. The popular Stone & Wood Tavern offers a broad variety of entertainment experiences on most evenings, and their fresh seafood and delicious black mead are also highly regarded. Recent years have seen a substantial rise in the amount of jade collected from the mouth of the Snakehead, leading to an influx of prospectors attempting to duplicate their success.
VETOOJAH North-western community of surprising wealth and impressive style, Vetoojah is a pleasant coastal town with a busy but compact harbour and many profitable industries. The people living here are phlegmatic and businesslike, taking a systematic approach to solving everyday issues. Known for its culinary delights, the town is a favourite destination for many regular visitors. A ghostly male figure, said to resemble the late Johahn Haakuhl, head of the prominent Haakuhl family that provided much of Vetoojah’s original wealth, has been sighted at his family’s tomb. Silently watchful, the profound darkness of the eerie manifestation chills all who witness its unending vigil.
VHADLO’S TREASURES AND ODDITIES Cavernous wooden warehouse located in Vequahn, owned and operated by the eccentric Vhadlo Ridian – a collector of the strange and unusual. Inside visitors will discover: stone columns and sculptures; chests, urns, baskets and boxes; furniture and other artistic objects; mechanical masterpieces; experimental apparatus; and a substantial collection of life-sized humanoid models representing the peoples of Quahnarren. Vhadlo is always interested in trading for or purchasing new items, and employs a team of specialist buyers who travel the land searching for valuable additions.
VHARSSEN, WARDEN A respected resident of Letaq, Warden Vharssen is known by all as an experienced and determined woman who has little tolerance for selfishness, deception and unlawful activities. She has served as Warden for the south-eastern region for many years, governing firmly within strict guidelines, delivering swift justice when necessary. She currently faces unwanted internal manoeuvring from overambitious individuals who desire greater leniency and the acceptance of influence from wealthy landowners.
VICTORY GATE OF VEHKORR Colossal stone memorial erected over the broad Aelisen Way in the cultured city of Duquellah. This triumphal arched gateway stands 120 feet wide and rises 130 feet above the thoroughfare, supported by two massive, multi-section columns of a ribbed construction. Ornamented with respectful inscriptions, many life-like combatants, and other artistic embellishments, the Victory Gate of Vehkorr commemorates an ancient battle between the early inhabitants. Growing tension between previously separate nations regarding access to The Skar eventually gave rise to violent, bloody confrontation – more than 400 people were slaughtered in this chaotic skirmish.
VINGAHL Sprawling settlement located west of the Morning Mountains. Built atop a wide area of elevated land, the provided views of the region surrounding Vingahl are excellent, and are therefore experienced and enjoyed by many visitors. Two years ago a dangerous man wanted by authorities staged a lengthy stand-off when a Corvaelen came across him inside a locksmith’s premises located in the town’s north. With both parties unable to quickly end this tense situation, a drawn-out siege began, which then lasted for five days before the criminal’s need for food and water resulted in his surrender. This intriguing incident gained much attention at the time, and is now referred to as ‘the lockdown affair.’
VUHGARRAN THE VULGAR Mad ruler of the small coastal village of Ixtis, located east of Danshok. Vuhgarran governs cruelly and subjugates his people with gruesome punishments, gleefully delivered to both friends and enemies. Some of those tortured find that their miserable last hours are spent nailed to trees and other tall structures, humiliatingly exposed to the painful misery of public display. These victims desperately hope for the relief of a quick death, as do many other oppressed residents of the village.
WATER TALISMAN White, water-smoothed pebble that will often indicate the most favourable direction when two or more options are available. Carried in the pocket, this irregular-shaped stone was sourced from a nearby stream said to be blessed by a generous spirit. Made smooth after many years submerged within flowing water, this small talisman is of great assistance when unseen danger lurks ahead on a pathway.
WILD DOG Aggressive packs of Wild Dogs roam much of the northern and central areas of Quahnarren, predominantly living and feeding on the plains and in lowland forests. These pack hunters pursue their prey with skill, cunning and speed, and with the advantage of significant numbers are capable of sustaining an extended chase to tire their chosen target. They are predators of both large and small animals – including deer, ox, boars, rabbits and rats – and will scavenge the kills of other rival predators, notably those left or surrendered by Fahnden, Tohgars, Cusaahn and Black Wolves.
WINDLESS BAY, THE Picturesque bay on the south-eastern coast, located at the point where the Ballur River meets the ocean. Together with the adjacent Scorpion Bay, this area forms Liust’s vibrant harbour – an important and highly profitable component of the port town’s recent economic rise. A massive 14-foot bronze statue of the legendary surveyor Kantu Kambohr stands on the eastern promontory overlooking the bay.
WIQQHUA Colossal spirits that once walked the lands of Quahnarren, the tallest Wiqqhua (pronounced WICK-wah) stood higher than even the loftiest mountains and were said to carry clouds over any towering peak. Described as long-limbed, sightless sentinels formed from a combination of rock, plant and earth, with numerous woody protuberances and vegetation growths, these silent giants lumbered across the landscape without complaint. Often travelling in pairs or small groups, these strange beings monitored Quahnarren’s health, noting anything, or anyone, making a detrimental impact upon the island.
WOHLANN Proprietor of the Northern Haven, Ustahm. This family-owned and operated store is currently experiencing a spate of minor thefts, leaving Wohlann to despair at this troublesome decline in the town’s civil behaviour. A thickset, bulky man with a prominent nose, bushy eyebrows and a double chin, he is a friendly and helpful individual, the eldest of three brothers and the father of four girls. Known as a fair and honest shopkeeper, he respectfully rewards the assistance from others with his own kind offers.
WOODLAND MOTTLED GOSHAWK Widely found across the continent, this striking bird is a denizen of woodland habitats where it swiftly ambushes from cover to surprise its prey. The most intelligent member of its species, it is a master hunter with exceptional vision, speed and predatory skill. Woodland Mottled Goshawks are characterised by a black eyebrow and cheek, with rufous colouring on the underside of their body, and feature piercing yellow eyes, long yellow-brown legs and a rounded tail. Most active during the evening twilight, this raptor attacks suddenly with powerful feet and talons, swooping from an elevated perch. Its varied diet consists mostly of rodents, birds, rabbits, small reptiles and insects.
WYRRIM A long-tailed gliding fish-hunter with excellent vision and flight control, this sizeable seabird is an island visitor found throughout Quahnarren’s coastal regions. Also frequently seen inland (mostly near substantial waterways), Wyrrim breed in large colonies, favouring uninhabited islands where they nest in high trees or steep cliffs. Their elongated head features long jaws full of forward angled, intermeshed needle-like teeth, together with an unusual knobbly beak and an arced crest; and they also possess a stiff, lengthy tail that ends in a vane shaped much like a spear tip. The Wyrrim’s slim body is coloured black and orange-yellow with a white underside, and its patterned wing membrane connects to the hind legs, providing a broad 6-foot wingspan.
XAANAGH, TOWER OF Also known as The Silent Tower, this tall landmark was originally erected as a devotional instrument raising local agriculturalists closer to their god. Uninhabited and neglected for many years due to an ownership dispute, the edifice earned an unwanted reputation due to a series of odd and horrendous events that took place within its walls. Now restored and remodelled with part funding from wealthy landowner Torviil Huchstant, the tower is a central meeting place and an important trade hub of spirited commercial activity.
XOLLHAR, KULIM Muscular, broad-shouldered craftsman who operates his self-named armoury on Silver Street, Balquis. Kulim manufactures finely crafted weapons and armour, and is known as a no-nonsense type of character who has little tolerance for anyone trying his patience. A strong man capable of enduring endless toil, Kulim is respected for his work and his contribution to local law enforcement as a regular supplier of equipment to the city guards.
XUNTAAR, CAIOR Former slave and participant in Corrikaer’s Arena, Bruhgog. Born to parents soon to be slaughtered by murderous raiders from the Northern Scourge, Caior’s troubled upbringing was set on the mean streets of Skahren – a place where the timid are exposed and only the strongest survive. Forced to fight for survival in the Pit of Redemption, Caior was celebrated as a technician with any bladed weapon, producing brutal, entertaining contests where much blood was shed by all participants. Was unfortunately killed in a freak mining incident in the Bhoolgan Ranges after earning his release.
XUTH’S BAY Broad, protected bay and natural harbour located on the south-eastern coastline, on the western outskirts of Duphay. Sheltered from the blustery ocean winds that are frequent in this part of Quahnarren, Xuth’s Bay was named after an intrepid early inhabitant, who having travelled south to this location after settlement successfully claimed this lengthy stretch of coast for himself. Unfortunately, complete records of this bold individual have now been lost in time, however, the bay still retains his name.
YAAGDAZIL MUSHROOM Potent, sleep inducing mushroom found in The Dreaming Woods and other similarly dark locations throughout Quahnarren. Golden yellow with white warts, the intoxication of the psychoactive compound found in this species produces strong sedative-hypnotic effects, likely to cause drowsiness for a duration lasting anywhere from three to eight hours. Although the toxin can cause organ failure and death in extreme cases, most poisonings only result in temporary discomfort or illness, and do not result in any long-term damage.
YAGYHEN MONKS Secretive religious sect living in the Morning Mountains. Versed in martial arts, the Yagyhen Monks are all bald men with lengthy braided rat’s tails, and are believers in a seven-eyed forest spirit called Khamenki. They build massive sculpture-like structures around their settlements made from trunks, branches and animal bones, and live in impressive communal caves featuring numerous tunnels, rooms and large areas for worship. Their spiritual leader, the Ikaarvunta, is a ‘spirit talker’ who silently communicates with those from the fathomless darkness of the otherworld. Strikingly tattooed and thought to live for an extended period, he is central to the Monks’ belief system, delivering daily wisdom and instruction to the group.
YAHUII Giant hominid said to menacingly roam the thickly forested region along the Oyukhaga River, north-west of Aeseer. Many residents living outside the city fear this frightful terror, claiming that it is a highly intelligent beast capable of impossible feats of strength and speed, and able to instantly disappear, transitioning to another time and place to avoid human detection. However, other witnesses calmly state that it is nothing more than a misshapen bear of considerable size, enraged by hunger and a black-hearted temperament.
YEDDAM Now a new town built on the site of an old, abandoned settlement, Yeddam was one of the earliest locations selected by those seeking to build again after Arkronan was ravaged by the sea. Known as a spiritual place of great cultural history, its community is traditional and hard working, without great wealth or any significant misfortune. Many pilgrims visiting the nearby Ruins of Kach-Tallah also continue on to stop in Yeddam before heading west to view The Pillar of Seven Truths; a towering seven-sided Guahn monument situated on a prominent hill nearly 12 miles west. Visited by Quahneri from all over the continent, its inscriptions promote the consolidated ‘seven truths’ of the land’s diverse peoples.
YELLOWHORN BAY Broad bay on the northern coast; location of the port city of Skahren. Yellowhorn is a natural harbour featuring deep water within a sheltered bay, and is favourably situated with plenty of flat, accessible land immediately available beyond the shoreline. Seabirds, crustaceans and city-based vermin are common here, as is the invasive weed Climbing Snakeberry, which is highly poisonous to humans, and often used by herbalists. Skahren’s expansive docklands are populated by numerous industries and many labour-intensive activities, with all of these working people desiring to rise above their fierce competition by any means possible.
YEEBOHA Large, tasty nut found throughout the island, especially on the southern slopes of the Morning Mountains, where travellers may locate one of the stands of wild Yeeboha trees scattered across this area. The nuts are commercially harvested by farmers whose lands include such trees, as they are notoriously difficult to cultivate in unfavourable soils or overly dry conditions.
YELLOWLEAF TOBACCO See: QABAT
YESNIAR Having grown up in the tough northern town of Bruhgog – a place where agitators continuously sow seeds of discontent, giving rise to aggressive civil disobedience – Yesniar’s early upbringing decided his fate as a loner, a man sceptical of collective participation and conformity, and deeply mistrustful of any form of authority. Practiced in the arts of concealment and striking from the safety of distance, he chooses to live in the shadows, self-sufficient and forever on the move at the distant edge of society.
YINKA RIVER Small river flowing toward the west of Duphay, where it empties into the harbour at Xuth’s Bay. A narrow waterway originating in the southern elevations of the Morning Mountains, The Yinka is primarily a source of clear, fresh water for nearby residents and passing travellers. Named after the common name for a local hardy perennial with purple-blue flowers (Pirrayincah), the Yinka passes through a picturesque valley before turning east to meet the sea.
ZAKKAH, FIHLLIAN Murderous coward suspected of recently accosting and killing a young family, and then riding off with their horse. Known to the authorities of the south-western region, Fihllian is a troubled man with a long history of committing nefarious acts, and has previously been involved in many violent assaults and robberies where only undeserved fortune has aided him to evade fair punishment. Now guaranteed to hang if proven guilty, his wayward life of crime is quickly reaching its end.
ZANJIBAHR SPICES Owned by the spicemonger Luciann, Zanjibahr Spices is a highly decorative spice store located on Spice Street, Balquis. Something of an architectural oddity, its windows are festooned with elaborate metalwork, and the tan-coloured walls are daubed with a thick granular mixture. Equally eccentric on the inside, it is lined with numerous wooden shelves stocked with colourful spices, rows of large earthenware storage jars stand everywhere, and numerous measuring bowls with metal weights hang on ropes and chains attached to roof beams. The fragrant scents from the extensive range of spices are a highlight of any visit.
ZHAITU RANGE Unusual series of earth and rock formations located near the village of Vantohr, north of Caelen. This impressive gathering of monolithic forms was created by geological processes taking place for many thousands of years, resulting in structures that bear similarity to other objects. The most notable of these is the massive semi-natural boulder known as Skull Rock, which was sculpturally altered by an unknown artist to enhance its recognisable skull-like forms. With its base shaped to resemble a human’s upper jaw with elongated teeth, and a set of broad stairs leading to the right eye socket, this striking rock can easily be climbed to investigate the dark, multi-level chamber within.
ZIMBRI, ANTULIAN Renowned horse trainer from the eastern coastline town of Thern. Now in his later years, Antulian continues to pass on his prodigious skills and knowledge to his three adult sons, who extend the family’s legacy of equine care and instruction. The Zimbri name is known throughout the land east of the Morning Mountains, where generations of descendants have remained since settlement by ancestors with a fondness for animals. At work from before sunrise to beyond sunset, Antulian is dedicated to his magnificent beasts.
ZYGRANN Very dark meteorite fragments featuring a shiny black crust and a lighter interior. Strongly attracted to a lodestone due to their high iron content, zygrann (Quahneri for ‘sky rock’) are small and often irregular shaped rocks weighing significantly more than a Quahnarren equivalent, marked by many round-edged, oval-shaped depressions and tiny rivulets across their surface. Considered to be a rare and precious find, they have most often been discovered within the area of The Great Crater in the west of the continent, and also in the north-east, following a direct path from the Ruins of Kach-Tallah to the large island of Kist.