What everyone knows about Pavis and Prax
Note: This information is what a typical labourer, living in the city of New Pavis at about 1615 ST (Since Time), would know about the history, geography and politics of the world about him. This information is limited by his knowledge and is coloured by his prejudices. Much of this information is incomplete, some is inaccurate, and parts are just plain wrong.
General background: The world is Glorantha, the continent Genertela and the area is Prax. Pavis is the only city of note in Prax. The technology is Bronze Age and magic is commonplace. People, place and things are often categorised by the god they are affiliated to and draw power from.
Currency: the basic unit is the silver piece, generally called a Lunar (Lunars call them 'Imperials'; die-hard Orlanthi call them 'Guilders'). One Lunar is the minimum needed for a day's food and lodging in Pavis. There are ten copper Clacks to a Lunar and twenty Lunars make a golden Wheel.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Cultures
- 4 Races
- 5 Gods and religions
- 6 Cultural Stereotypes
The River of Cradles (also known as the Zola Fel river) flows from the Troll-infested highlands of Dagori Inkath in the north, through the arid grasslands of Prax to the Rozgali Sea at Corflu. Pavis is situated in the middle of Prax on the River of Cradles. The area around Pavis, Pavis County, is ruled directly from the city. Pavis County is heavily settled and farmed, mainly by Sartarite colonists.
Pavis is the jewel of Prax. People from all lands live here. Most people are simple Orlanth-worshipping crafters and farmers, descendants of the colonists that came when the Lunars conquered the land of Sartar. The Lunars control the lands of Prax from here; their forces are garrisoned in the north of the city. The insular Sun Domers control 'their' quarter of Pavis. The Ingilli family, leaders of the River People, live near their sacred river. Praxians are forbidden to camp near Pavis as they once tried to capture the city.
Within the giant-built walls of Old Pavis, the ruins that are the Big Rubble are a home for many outlaws, treasure seekers, and worse. Some people live in the Manside area, farming and treasure seeking. The Zebra Riders have their grazing lands in the Rubble. These are often raided by the evil Trolls which live in the south of the Rubble. Thankfully, they are kept in check by the Elves of the Garden. Chaos abominations thrive in the Devil's Playground.
Down river from Pavis is Sun Dome County, populated by Yelmalion farmers. Great fields of corn surround the river. Border controls are tight. The land surrounding the southern part of the Zola Fel is known as the Grantlands. This area was annexed by Lunar forces, and a program of organised settlement by Lunar farmers is beginning. The area is protected by Lunar troops based at Fort Ronegarth. In the delta near the mouth of the river is Corflu, the only port for hundreds of kilometres along the coast.
There are several swamps along the Zola Fel. They are choked with reeds and thickets and are a favourite haunting (and hunting) ground of biting insects, outlaws and chaotic monsters. In the spaces between the swamps, the ground is fertile and fairly safe, as Praxian bandits cannot scale the cliffs either side of the river valley.
To the west of the River of Cradles is the empty land of Prax. The savannah of Prax makes for good grazing, especially around the oases, and there are often disputes between Praxians trying to gain the best foraging for their herds. There is a major Praxian temple complex at the Paps oasis. The Sable nation dominates Prax now, a reward for their collaboration with the Lunars at the Battle of Moonbroth. Further west, Prax rises into the mountains of Sartar and the Holy Country; beyond them lies the magical place of Dragon Pass. East of the river, the Wastes quickly turn into desolate, inhospitable desert, but this is where most Praxians live.
Orlanth is King of the gods, by right of his Quest to return Yelm the Sun to life from the Underworld (that Orlanth killed Yelm in the first place is a sore point with Orlanthi). But he is being challenged by the Red Goddess, patron of the Lunar Empire. The Red Goddess lived many hundreds of years ago and succeeded in her HeroQuest to be born again as the Red Goddess, and she now resides in the Middle Air as the moon, her changing face visible in the far north-west. Because she was born after the Great Compromise, her followers have accommodated all things in the world, including Chaos.
Pavis was an half-elf Hero of the Second Age. With the help of Giants, he built Old Pavis and struck deals with dwarves and elves. Eventually the Trolls, led by Gerak Kag, jumped over the walls of the old city and sacked it. This made the Big Rubble and the treasures of Pavis can still be found there. After many hundreds of years, settlers came from Sartar and founded New Pavis, or Pavis Outside The Walls, in 1550. Some 40 years later, the Lunars invaded Sartar. After the Lunars had been defeated in the Holy Country, they came to Prax. They defeated the Praxian nomads at the battle of Moonbroth and took Pavis without resistance. That was five years ago, in 1610. Some of the army of occupation has returned home, but there are many soldiers patrolling New Pavis, the Big Rubble and the rest of Prax.
- Old Pavic
- These are the people that have lived in Pavis and the Rubble for generations. While most Pavisites live in New Pavis, there is still a large number living in Manside in the Rubble. They speak mainly Pavic, though some speak Old Pavic.
- New Pavic
- These are Orlanthi people whose ancestors lived in the mountains of Sartar. Many came here years ago to escape the Lunar conquest of Sartar. All men are expected to be warriors as well as farmers or herders. They speak Pavic or Sartarite. They are a proud people, and resent the Lunars for the suppression of Orlanth. This sometimes takes the form of attacks by the Cold Wind terrorists.
- The followers of the Red Goddess and the Lunar Way, these people have a great empire in the far north west. They conquered Prax and Pavis five years ago. They have brought with them many laws and officials, but they have brought order and safety to the area. The Grantlands are being settled by Lunar farmers, under the protection of Duke Raus. Lunars speak New Pelorian.
- The Praxians are nomads that roam across all of Prax. They are separated into Tribes according to what animals they herd and eat. The Five Great Tribes are Impala, High Llama, Sable, Morokanth and Bison. The lesser tribes are many and include Unicorn, Bolo Lizard, Zebra, and Rhino. To Praxians, horses are unclean and must not be touched, even to eat. Praxians come to Pavis to trade their animals for metal goods, though they prefer to steal. The exception is the Zebra Tribe which live in the Big Rubble. All tribes speak dialects of Praxian.
- River People
- These are the fishermen and boat people. They are mainly newtlings, but there are a sizeable number of humans as well. They live in small villages scattered the whole length of the Zola Fel. Often criminals join the River People to avoid justice. They speak Boatspeech, and some speak Pavic or Tradetalk.
- Oasis People
- These introverted people have lived near the desert oases since the Godtime. No-one knows either their origin or their language. They have no warriors and many are enslaved by the Praxians. The Lunars have started to act against this practice.
- Sun Domers
- The community of Sun worshippers that came to Prax when Pavis lived. They control a large area of land and rule it with a rod of Iron. Mercenary groups are often hired out, and a small number of Sun Domers lives in New Pavis. Sun Domers speak Pavic with Firespeech for formal and religious ceremonies. Sun Domers prefer to trade using Wheels, as gold is holy to them.
- Humans are by far the most commonplace people in Prax and have spawned many cultures.
- Creatures of the night, trolls are voracious eaters and cunning hunters. Many trolls live in the south of the Big Rubble. There are different types of troll, including great trolls and the child-sized trollkin. Trollkin are often used as food.
- In the Godtime, some people revered their birds more than the gods, so they were cursed to become flightless birds. Ducks are good swimmers and are often found in fishing communities. They have linked to Orlanthi terrorist groups and have been declared outlaw by the Lunars.
- Descended from Fire, Agamori (also known as Men-and-a-Half) are very tall and strong. They form one of the minor tribes of Prax.
- These child-sized amphibian creatures are common in the Zola Fel. They carry out much trade and fishing. Newtling tail is considered a great delicacy in some circles.
- A race of intelligent beasts, these Praxians look like tapirs and weigh as much as two men. They herd men as food animals.
- A race of chaos beastmen, they spread destruction and pestilence wherever they go. The Lunars have put a bounty on broo heads.
- These are giant monkeys that have captured the Man Rune. They are dirty, disorganised and a major nuisance in the wilder parts of Prax and the Big Rubble.
- Dwellers of forests, they kill anything and anyone venturing into their forests without permission. They have little other contact with the outside world. A group of elves lives in the Garden in the south of the Big Rubble, brought there by Pavis Half-Elven.
- Also called Mostali, they are very secretive. They are great inventors (the crossbow is a dwarven invention) and masons (they built both Old and New Pavis). A group of dwarves lives in tunnels under the Big Rubble and New Pavis.
- A race of chaotic, cannibalistic humans, they often pass unnoticed among us, until they murder.
Gods and religions
Most religions (cults) have several stages of membership. Lay worshippers have little commitment to the god and receive little in the way of benefit. However, most people are Initiates; they have given part of their soul to the god, and generally give 1/10 of their time and income (often in kind) to the temple. They must worship once a week, give Power to their god on holy days and keep the cult strictures. In return, they are taught spirit magic by the priests, can sacrifice for divine magic and often receive mundane training as well. Initiates also have the ability to call for Divine Intervention. Priests are the spiritual leaders of the people. They live for the god and receive great magical powers. Some cults (especially warlike ones) also have Lords. These are people that have achieved great skill, often in arms, and devote themselves to working for their god.
Gods of the Zola Fel valley
- The god that was Pavis Half-Elven and is now the spirit of the city of Pavis. The Sons and Daughters (mostly male) of Pavis form the ruling council of the city.
- Half-dwarven friend of Pavis, Flintnail is a god of dwarves and stonemasons. His worshippers strive to restore the Big Rubble to its former glory.
- Zola Fel
- Goddess of the River of Cradles, she is worshipped by fish, newtlings and some fishermen.
- Son of Yelm the Sun, Yelmalion people are stoic, taciturn and insular. Their communities are very strict and their contact with the rest of the world is often limited to the large mercenary forces they hire out. Yelmalions specialise in the use of Sky weapons: spear, javelin and bow.
Orlanthi Gods (Lightbringers)
- King of Gods, God of Storms, Orlanth is loud, violent, and fickle. Chief god of the Satarite pantheon, he is the enemy of the Red Goddess and his worship is discouraged by the Lunars. Many instead worship Barntar, Orlanth's farmer aspect.
- Wife of Orlanth, Earth Mother and Grain Goddess, she is worshipped by most farmer women.
- God of Trade and Communication, he is worshipped by merchants and traders. Non-violent, Issaries prefers to build trust between peoples (more profits that way!). Inventor of Tradetalk.
- Lhankor Mhy
- God of Knowledge and Lawspeaker. Lhankor Mhy priests (also called Sages) seek knowledge, which they sell. Sages act as legal adjudicators, as well as being sought after as scribes, translators, and experts in various fields.
- Chalana Arroy
- Goddess of Healing, she will cure anyone of their ills -- for a price. Once she has extended her protection over someone, no-one may harm them else they will be cursed to not receive the services of a healer again. Her followers wear a white sash, do not carry weapons and may not harm any living being.
- Discoverer of Death, Humakt was the first to kill. Humakti worship death; once killed, they cannot be resurrected. They are also honourable to the extreme and Humakt often places geasa on his followers to make them better Humakti. Humakti favour the sword.
- Seven Mothers
- The Lunar missionary cult, the Seven Mothers are the seven Heroes that brought the Red Goddess to godhood, and in doing so healed themselves. The missionaries of the Seven Mothers spread the Lunar Way of acceptance to those on the borders of the empire.
- Yanafal Tarnils
- The Lunar war and death god. Worshipped by Lunar soldiers, he has been healed of Humakt's self-destructive behaviour and allows resurrection.
- The trader and traveller, she is the patron of Lunar traders, emissaries, and propagandists. The Etyries cult now controls the markets in Pavis.
- Irrippi Ontor
- The sages of Irrippi Ontor are always searching for new knowledge wherever it may be found and give weekly lectures on what they have discovered. They also control the complex Lunar bureaucracy.
- Teelo Norri
- Protector of the weak and champion of children. There is a Teelo Norri orphanage in Pavis, open to all homeless children, and a soup kitchen.
- Father of Beasts, he is the hunter and butcher that taught people to eat beasts. The majority of Praxian men worship him. He teaches the Peaceful Cut, a ritual butchery skill, but prevents his followers knowing healing magic.
- The Herd Mother, she is responsible for life and growth in the Praxian herds.
- Storm Bull
- Berserk god of Death and Rage, followers of Urox are crass, loud, violent and are pledged to destroy chaos wherever it may be found.
- Daka Fal
- The god of the dead. Followers of Daka Fal summon their ancestors for wisdom, guidance and power.
- Kyger Litor
- Goddess of Darkness and Mother of all Trolls.
- Zorak Zoran
- Troll god of Death and Destruction. Zorak Zorani often fight on after death as zombies or ghosts.
- Argan Argar
- Troll God of Commerce and Surface Darkness.
- Goddess of Elves and forests, she is very protective and few intruders return from elven woods.
- Father of the dwarven race. Dwarfs refuse to discuss him, like most other things.
- The God of Five Thousand Eyes
- Newtling god. Nothing is known of this god by humans.
- Goddess of Disease, her agents are the hated Broos.
- God of the Severed Head, Stealer of Knowledge and Souls.
- The Maw Beneath, cult of hideous burrowing and tunnelling creatures.
- The Devil, trapped by the Storm Bull under the Block in Prax.
- Primal Chaos
- The Ooze; the slime of primeval Chaos.
Pavic attitudes to Lunars
While we would rather be masters of our own fates than be ruled by the Lunars, they are not evil like the Sartarites say. Their laws may be harsh, but they work and they have brought some law to the plains of Prax. Also, their army needs supplies, for which they pay generously in silver and jobs.
Praxian attitudes to Lunars and all farmers
Lunars are horse-riding wimps that live in immobile stone tents. As such, they are beneath contempt. Their caravans are good to raid though, providing they are not too strong. The farmers settle and grow food which is good for taking.. They can also be traded with, so that we may have the metal weapons needed to show our bravery.
Lunar attitudes to Pavisites/Praxians
The Red Goddess, in her benevolence, has sent us here to this barren and goddess-forsaken land to pacify it with the true words and thoughts of the Lunar Way. The barbarians here need to be educated and civilised, that they might become good, upstanding citizens of the Lunar Empire. All Hail the Reaching Moon!