Orlam

Orlam
Capital: None
Population: 56% orcan, 39% dwarves, 5% others
Government: Village democracy
Imports: Luxuries, wine, worked iron, wood
Exports: Deep crystal, meat, fur, livestock, salt

Overview:
The orlamu as a people are staunch proponents of living close to the earth, being self-suffcient and not causing undue damage to the environment you live in. They disdain the very concept of cities and believe that no sentient creature should live in such crowded spaces because it leads to undeniable confict and death. For the orlamu, freedom is paramount and freedom can only be attained when being self-suffcient and living away from potential conficts that can draw you in. That does not mean that the orlamu are not capable of initiating confict or are in any way pacifst, they just prefer to be in charge of when they do or do not engage in any conficts. Orlamu prefer to live in smaller villages, where they have small farms, hunt in the forest and herd mountain goats and other animals to provide them with food and any other necessities of life. They are more advanced than others would give them credit for, making extensive use of waterwheels, advanced building techniques, water piping and irrigation. Their respect for the world around them has allowed those with psionic potential to unlock the power by connecting to the dormant crystals deep inside the earth, bringing them forth by using nothing but their psionic power. This has allowed the orlamu to become the premiere deep-crystal providers on the continent of Femon, something that Alyria has taken beneft from by controlling the Valley of Visma and thus preventing other nations from trading with the orlamu.

Major Geographic Features

Due to the large amount of deep crystal inside the earth and mountains in the Crystalshards, many plants take up the mineral while growing, creating one of the most spectacular sights on the entire continent of Tion in the crystalpine forests. Their needles carry with them so much deep crystal mineral that they shine and sparkle in the sunlight, making it appear as if the entire plateau is aflame with a deep purple light during the day and covering the area in a surreal shade of purple during the nights as the needles refect the weaker moonlight. Almost all houses are built from crystalpine in Orlam, and most firewood comes from these mighty pinewood trees that can grow to heights of over 50 yards. The crystalpines are also used as firewood, creating a purple-blue fame instead of the normal orange-yellow fames of most fres, but the ashes left are full of deep crystal powder which is used by the orlam to create tattoos, potions, paint and as a strengthening medicine when disease strikes. Overall, the Crystalshards are a massive mountainous region, with a dozen separate mountains pushing through the clouds here, the highest peak reaching well above 12000 yards (36000 ft). Pinetrees, both of the crystalpine and normal variants, cover the mountains up to approximately 7000 yards (21000 ft) where they give away to snow-covered stone and ragged bushes. At 10000 yards (30000 feet), the bushes and snow gives up to blasted stone and sparkling crystal that reaches above the clouds and struggles for the stars. It is for this effect, when sun and moon refects in the crystal veins that come to the fore at the peaks, that these mountains were given the name of Crystalshards.
Besides the majestic peaks of the Crystalshards, it is the home to almost all of the rivers that spread across the surface of Tion and in many places thunderous waterfalls cascade across broken landscapes into ice-cold lakes where fish of all sorts come to play and live out their lives. Here one can almost catch a salmon with their bare hands, but in these parts the bears come to hunt, the deer come to drink and the wolves come to feed. Few orlamu come to these cold lakes, mainly because their needs are well met at lower altitudes and in safer areas, but there are those who seek them out to commune with nature and feel at one with the wild world at large.
Inside the valleys that lead out of the Crystalshards the earth is often verdant and makes for perfect farming areas, something that has lead both the Barony of Soleil and Luxor to settle these valleys in the north, claiming them before the orlamu had spread as far. Today these villages live a peaceful life, but all who are born and raised there know the natural borders that exist between them and the orlamu, and that while the orlamu might be peaceful, they do not appreciate people repeatedly breaching their borders.

Important Sites

Orlamu Plateau – High up in the Crystalshard Mountains, the plateau is a large swath of protected area with fertile soil. Most of the rivers that irrigate Femon wind through the plateau and provide plenty of fresh water and irrigation for the area. This is the hub of the Orlam culture, where most villages can be found and with the highest concentration of people, ending in the downwards sloping Valley of Visma where the two rivers Viser and Maner join into one great river. This fertile land means that even though the altitude isn’t optimal for farming or herding animals, the nutritious soil gives the orlamu plenty of benefts. Even though the plateau is crisscrossed with rivers, there is not much natural farmland – what there is has been conquered from the large crystalpines. This means that there can be farms situated in the middle of a woodland territory, the village having been made by clearing the trees and simultaneously clearing the ground for farming.

Valley of Visma: This valley was carved out of the bedrock after thousands of years as the rivers Viser and Maner joined into the Visma River, taking with it pieces of the Crystalshards until there was a valley where once there had been mountains. Visma River is one of the most important, and largest, sources of water and irrigation for the South and most traders leaving Visma do so on one of the large riverboats that ply that river, some even enhanced by low-level psionics to allow it to take more cargo than the wood would naturally.

Orlam

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