On the Shoulders of Heroes
Capitols: Suolaar, Aalolaar
Villages: Pupolku, Majavat, Silta, Suisto
Hamlets: Atholaar, Böran, Etelaar, Finvalas, Pholaar, Saporrti, Solmu, Urzo
Population: Humans (60%), Halflings (25%), Dwarves (10%), other (5%).
Export: Ships, fish, cattle, salt, trade
Languages: Vesi (Merma), Metsä (Kesma), Vuori (Vuorilas), Dwergs.
Government: Traditionally two jarls rule Merma, with one inhabiting the north, one the south
Symbol/flag: Two crashing waves on a blue background
Merma, the coastal land, covers the entire western area of Bellög. Its coastal inhabitants live in small fisherman’s villages by the fjords and the two capitols. A larger number of people live on family farms in the inland, where they keep cattle or grow crops to trade. Merma’s location, which is relatively far from the inland mountains, makes it relatively safe. It has become a safe haven for farmers, especially those who keep livestock. Ever since their ancestors came to the shore the people of Merma have lived in a, sometimes uneasy, alliance with the sea: while its bounty is rich, its dangers are plentiful. Mermans both love and fear the ocean, viewing it as their most powerful ally and worst enemy.
Merma was founded almost a thousand years ago by pioneers from Kesma who felt more comfortable at sea. From the bigger towns a lively trade encompassing the entire shore blossomed, starting an age of prosperity for the Mermans, which has continued to this very day. Goods from the entire world are brought here and sold, from giant horses from the North, to Hobgoblin weaponry from the east.
Hospitality is seen as a most important value. In general, Mermans receive travellers with open arms and they trade generously. The people of Merma have known nothing but prosperity for most of their lives, they have a booming economy and are known for quality goods with impeccable reputations. Their prosperity has lead the people of Merma towards a somewhat chaotic disposition towards tax and law, however. When a man trades and acts fair, no other complicated laws or soldiers are necessary, or so it is believed. The people of Merma generally tend towards good and chaos.
All Merma’s inhabitants are forced to pay a small sum at the yearly gatherings, during springtime in the capitols, to honour their jarls. With these tidings the jarls fund a modest navy, to protect trade against cut throats, and regiments of personal soldiers who are in charge of keeping the peace. Every village has at least a hand of full time guards. Although the land is too outstretched to protect every part of the realm all the time, civilians may plea for support to their jarls. For the most part live in Merma is safe and prosperous.
Atho, the god of the sea, is worshipped by many folk from Merma, although many serve the Father and Mother equally well. Every summer a large festival for the sea god is held in one of the capitols which attracts athletes from all nations. A typical sacrifice to Atho requires his servants to tip some wine into the surf during high tide.
Places of interest
When Loviathar and Hiisi, the gods of evil, fled the might of the giants they first stopped here, at the feet of the mountain. The many caves and dark crevices gave Loviathar inspiration for her worst creations: the Orcs. Dark, evil beings still live in the black holes of this brooding mountain.
The Witch Abbey
The abbey was founded generations ago by a deranged priest of Mielliki, with an insatiable lust for the female sex. He solemnly believed he was the chosen prophet of his goddess, who he claimed send him lustful dreams. The priest used his families riches to pillage the surrounding countryside, slaying all sinners and taking young women to be purified. He quickly became known as Father Folter and his wealth increased swiftly. The women brought to his domain were tortured and brainwashed into submission as he forced them to serve his goddess. Unknown to Father Folter, Mielikki had nothing to do with his practises. Although he believed to have spread her words he wsa actually listing to Kiputytto, the crone, who despised the Father. She send a powerful demon to slay and replace the Father and his children took over the monastery. To this day Kiputytto is worshipped by black priestesses, who have a reputation for brewing the most poisonous of substances and a bitter, black whine.
This zigzagging waterway passes through a narrow, long gorge that is inhabited by mysterious lizard folk. These creatures are best left alone, as their behaviour toward strangers is erratic. According to legend the gorge is a remnant of the path of a colossal worm, which ate its way through the mountains before falling asleep under the Scaly Mountains.
The Torturer’s Stronghold
The ancient, stone hewn fortress was the base for the cruel armies of Loviathar and Hiisi during their war with men. Some prisoners were taken as slaves, used or eaten in the depths of the stone tombs. The souls of the dead still linger here as shadows, as do some of the cunning followers of darkness who fear the sunlight.
The Scaly Mountains
The water of the Coil seeps deep through the stone of these wooded mountain range. According to stories of the people that inhabit the wilderness it was once inhabited by Kobolds and dragons, who worshipped Tiamat, the dragon goddess. Whether this is true or not, the mountains remain an obstacle.
The Temple of Evil Elements
Two hundred years ago an evil priest founded a temple for Hiisi, the cruel god of lies. Evil flocked to the temple’s sanctum as moths to a flame. The priest found allies in wicked monsters and thieves who sought to pay tribute to evil. He quickly became a powerful man. He ordered evil Dwarves and Kobolds to build a temple, partly above and partly below ground. This temple he dedicated to the elements.
Ten years after the construction of the temple an army of good laid siege on it. A heated battle ensued, but eventually good prevailed and evil made a forced retreat. Their army vanished into the darkness of wood and ground. The priest however, was never found and until now none have dared venture deeper into the dark.
The Forest of Tears
The clouds that rise from the ocean gather against the tops of the mountains and form a grey veil above the Scaly Mountains and the World Pillar. It rains here all the time, causing the locals to call it the forest of tears.
The Lost Tower
For some reason this black, jutting tower seems to howl, even when there is no wind. It is a fossil from the war between giant and men. According to the local inhabitants, who refuse to go near the pillar, it is cursed by dark magic.