Lorehaven is a good-sized port
city of approximately 12.000 people, found in the southern-west part of the
province of Manthria. It is located on the Marayan
Gulf coast, just to the west of the Griffin’s Marl. The main inhabitants of
this place are Avennorian
humans, although there are inhabitants of
many races, including a large number of half-orcs from all over
Sarvonia. Lorehaven is also known as the “City of
Artisans”, since many live here to take advantage of the natural resources and
there are several artisan schools.
Description. Lorehaven is a beautiful city, as befits a place called the "City of Artisans", featuring four big schools for people intending to increase their proficiency in various crafts to perfection, be it the fine arts, forging, processing jewels or practicing the art of commerce.
Image description. View on the Manthrian Port Lorehaven with the prominent lighthouse tower dubbed "The Eye", vulgarly known also as the "Long Man". Picture drawn by Faugar.
Lorehaven is also a fairly
large city, being only slightly smaller than Ciosa, with about 12.000-13.000
inhabitants. Like most port cities, the population varies depending on the time
of year and there seems to be a disproportionate number of inns and hostels.
Near the outskirts of town, there are a couple of temples in honour of
Baveras, as is typical of ocean ports,
but other deities are also represented further into the city.
The roofs of most buildings are made from clay tiles, a soft reddish brown in colour. The houses themselves are made of brick and wood, so the city is full of muted, warm earth tones and colours. The streets are cobblestone in the more affluent west end, but packed earth on the east side. The wealthier homes tend to have very ornately patterned brickwork, with high arches, multiple brick colours and so on. Semi-enclosed garden areas, full of lovely flowers and exotic trees, vines and other plants are common in the richer part of town. Due to all the flowers, the typical city smells tend to be less noticeable in this area of town. Towards the east, where the harbour lies, the homes are simpler and tend to be built for structural integrity rather than beauty, though they do have their own sturdy appeal. The air is full of the tang of saltwater and fish here.
The main attractions of Lorehaven may be summarized as follows:
The Lighthouse Tower ("The Eye", "The Long Man",
A massive lighthouse tower, looming over Lorehaven like a benevolent giant, dominates the city. In ancient times it was called "The Serpentward Tower" (see History). More recently, it has been dubbed "The Shipmaster's Eye", or just "the Eye", but also known vulgarly as "The Long Man", depending which locals you ask. The houses and other buildings are scattered about below, to the east and south. "The Eye" has become an easily recognizeable landmark of Lorehaven.
Lorehaven has two harbour areas, one large main one, slightly north of the city and a smaller southerly one, which is little more than a cave in the cliff wall. This cave, however, connects to an underground tunnel which goes all the way into Lorehaven, culminating in the cellar of a large warehouse. Previously this was designed and built by smugglers, bringing illegal goods (such as certain drugs, rare poisons, etc.) into the city, but in later years it was discovered and reclaimed by the port authorities as a transport for perishable goods, particularly fragile foodstuffs, light- sensitive medicinal herbs, and the like. The tunnel was enlarged with dwarven assistance and a full team and wagon can now bring goods through it into the warehouse cellar.
The town also owns a large stable of the large South Sarvonian draught horses, which are mainly used for goods transport. They may be rented to farmers (who can't necessarily afford to keep their own) during slower trade seasons or hired out to carters needing a spare team, at the discretion of Lorehaven's Horsemaster.
Goutonch School for Ladies
Not affiliated with the university or the Artisan schools, the Goutonch School for Ladies is one of very few specialist-boarding homes for young female humans to be brought up as a "Lady". In this institution, young girls of aristocratic origins learn how to read, write, do sums, sew, entertain, play and sing simple music, etc. Charm and sophistication are also important parts of the curriculum.
Image description. On the construction site - Mitharim dwarves help to expand the Lorehold University in Lorehaven. Picture from the game Mystical Empire™, used with friendly permission, done by Arbaon.
The Amantry School is known all over Southern Sarvonia for its fine artists, which produce gorgeously dyed and colourful artworks, clothing, and jewelry made from feathers. These are mostly acquired from the huge population of Maranyathian gulls that flock along the coast and cover the Twotrack Islands. The gull is also responsible for the development of a less glamorous but more practical industry in the city which is that of the fimuso fertilizer industry, which uses the droppings of the birds to make a good quality fertiliser for the many gardens of Lorehaven.
Pearl diving and seashell harvesting are two of the larger industries associated with the jewel trade, and the Jewelers crafthall is another well-known school in Lorehaven. They are also supplied with aurium and other metals for making jewelry by the mines at Griffin's Marl. Crafters all over Manthria compete for apprentices trained at the Lorehaven school.
There is also a large Smithery School, a result of the Erpheronian conquest of Avennoria in 749 b.S., supplied by ores from the Shendar and the Griffin's Marl mountains nearby. Products range from swords to kitchen utensils. This school has attracted many dwarven visitors to Lorehaven.
These four mentioned schools - the Central University, the Amantry school, the
Jewelers Crafthall and the
Erpheronian Smithguild are responsible for a great deal of the
business of Lorehaven. They are each represented on the Lorehaven coat of arms
by a coloured scroll (see Coat of Arms,
below). This coat of arms is depicted on the doors of most of the city's
Location. The city of Lorehaven is one of Manthria's larger settlements south of the Tolonian Heath, and is located very close to the southern border of the province. It is also nearly the westernmost point of this area as well, being on the coastline to the west of the Griffin’s Marl and south of Quinsy Cove.
People. Avennorians and descendants of the Erpheronians make up the vast majority of the population here, though as with most port cities, Lorehaven does host other peoples and races. There is a small half-orcen community in Eastern Lorehaven, most of whose inhabitants are gainfully employed by the traders - in a trading port, there is always a need for strong backs and hard workers. Due to the impressive Smithery schools, there are more than a few dwarven visitors as well. And of course, would-be-artisans come from all over Southern Sarvonia to study at the schools there, while mages often visit for the library. Lorehaven is also a favoured spot for wealthy older people, retired from their businesses or needing some time away. There are two or three large hostels (called locally "Noblinns"), designed for the express use of the nobility, which boast clean rooms, featherbeds, fine foods and lovely courtyards to rest and wander in. The guests are treated like royalty and given every consideration, according to the proprietors. One of them even rents horses and wagon teams from the Horsemaster and, for an additional fee, provides his tenants with city tours. However, many of the commoners are somewhat scornful of these places (since they are not admitted) and the term "Noblinns" is not always used in a complimentary way.
The Avennorian Coat of Arms drawn by Koldar.
Coat of Arms/Sign.
Lorehaven displays the traditional Avennorian
coat of arms, six white shells on a blue shield, with three crossed
swords behind it. However, it also has a
smaller coat of arms which is specific to the city, displaying a set of four
coloured scrolls, overlapping at the corners to form a diamond shape, in the
center of a square blue background. These scrolls represent the four main
schools in Lorehaven and each is associated with a particular element. The top
two scrolls represent the Smithery school (a bright orange red) and the Amanter
school (deep sea green), while the bottom two represent the University (pale
blue), and the Jewelers Guild (a warm golden brown). Thus
Water, which overlaps
Earth which overlaps
Wind, which overlaps
Fire. (There is a standing joke that the
reason the element of Wind represents the
University is because of the preponderance of mages and philosophers there.)
Climate. The climatic conditions in and around the city tending to be, warm, bright and sunny, usually windy due to the city's location on a hill. The greenery around the city is thick and lush. On the outskirts, farmers that produce much of the city’s food generally have healthy crops, for the soil is rich and fertile due to the readily available and plentiful fimuso.
Flora. In the western city, bright gardens and flowers abound. Roses, brisulivan bushes, kellflowers, redberry shrubs, loriv bushes, jeshannas, fáberige, dalferia, Erissa's tears, lýth’béls, sunflowers, and various varieties of wine vines are all popular. Some of these plants are multi-purpose, being useful as well as beautiful.
The trees that grow in this area tend to be warm weather ones. The bombox palm (when carefully cultivated) grows here, as do several varieties of birch, some fragrans trees, red oaks, a few rare cinnabarks, peace pines and weeping willow. The last is a favourite in the larger gardens/courtyards of some nobles.
Fauna. The most notable of Lorehaven's animals are the gulls and some other sea birds such as the banded ricau and the kingell. Many amanters have imported varcosparrows for their bright plumage. Though these feathers are quite small, they do not need to be dyed before use. As in most cities, mice and rats are prevalent, which has led many people to adopt the hardy little avenor cat, or less commonly, one of the elegant Strata cats.
Domestic animals include the Southern Sarvonian draught horses used primarily for goods transportation, the Strata and baneg cattle, for milk and meat, (bred in farms outside the main city) and the dor’iyn sheep.
Resources. There are several important industries in Lorehaven which provide its major export goods. One is the Jeweler's Guild, supplied largely by the pearl divers and seashell hunters. Aurium, iron, and other ores are brought in from the Griffin's Marl nearby. Lorehaven also imports ores from the Shendar as well, either via the land routes from Bardavos and Seraia or by the sea from Varcopas.
The Amantry industry produces stunningly beautiful clothing, wall hangings and jewelry from the feathers of the gulls and other birds. These fragile items, though very costly, are much sought after by nobles and royalty around the Sarvonian continent.
The Smithery school produces many items, from swords to soup kettles, that are valued as trade items because of the high quality of "Erpheronian-style" goods. Lorehaven is also a conduit for trade goods which they get from the Shendar tribes to the south, such as dyes and metals.
Trade. Lorehaven and Ravenport are the two major western sea-to-land trade connections for the province of Manthria. Ships come from Varcopas with goods from Nybelmar and Southern Sarvonia and also from Northern Sarvonia to dock at these two ports. Lorehaven tends to handle more trade goods from the south than Ravenport, such as the Shendar dyes and ores, as well as their own particular specialties - amantry products, iron wares, jewelry, and so on. The overland distance between the two cities is about 300 strals as a bird flies, a little longer on the road, perhaps a 12-14 day trip one way with a heavy caravan of goods. From Klinsor to Lorehaven is about 450 strals, or a 16-18 day trip. To Seraia, in the south, it is not so far, perhaps 200 strals, or a week's journey. Some Shendar goods come north through Bardavos to Seraia, where they are then loaded onto the wagons bound for Lorehaven. They also arrive via sea from Varcopas.
Myth/Lore. Southern Avennorians have a saying, that something or someone is or will be large enough "to top Lorehaven’s Eye!" (This is often used humorously to describe a boy in his growth years.)
History. Founded in 802 b. S., the town was first known as "Vevan’mar" Keep (from the Styrásh word for "water bird"), for the crowds of gulls that flock around the Twotrack Islands just off the coast. However, some years after the town was founded, it was nearly eradicated by a ferocious sea dragon that built a lair in the cliff wall just south of the harbour, destroying incoming ships and causing a great deal of damage. The Lorehaven tower was used to signal to ships not to come into port if the dragon was visible, and so was named "The Serpentward Tower". Pleas for assistance were sent out across Manthria. Eventually, a mage couple (Eduaros Klinsoran and Shalian of Ximax) arrived and finally destroyed the monster. They decided to stay in Vevan'mar Keep and permanently moved in. They were both avid readers, who collected a great deal of information on many topics both magical and practical, and left their extensive library to the little town on their death many, many years ago. The town was renamed Lorehaven in their honour. Many rich nobles and book-lovers have endowed the library similarly over the years and it now functions as the property of the town's one large University, which has connections with all the smaller artisan schools in the city.
Information provided by Alysse the Likely