Friday, October 14, 2011

Founding of Oakhaven and the ‘Five’~

It came as a major surprise to the leaders of Krotto when the queen of the scorching drakes, Ashenclaw, led her kin to attack, turning the surface world into a burning cinder and reducing three quarters of the landscape to ash before disappearing altogether. Much speculation exists regarding their disappearance, with the two most realistic being hibernation and extinction theories.

It has been 66 years (At the start of Covenant of the Faceless Knights novel) since the assault of the dragon-kin and the people of Krotto have rebuilt some of the major cities and are in the process of restoring more. Trade has reopened as several people are building and harvesting once more and able to share their gifts or services with the other races. Elves, dwarves, halflings, humans, gnomes and until recently, even the orcs and their kin were trading with one another, reestablishing Oakhaven as a major trading city.

The city of Oakhaven became the lone center for safe trade between the many races immediately after the drakes disappeared. Humans gathered both within the walls and the areas that surrounded the city working diligently to protect the trade routes. High walls worked to keep the citizens safe from the chaos which had torn other towns apart. Following this model, four other cities were restructured or otherwise rebuilt with this architectural model in mind, one in each area of the continent: Norgeld to the northeast, Archinon to the southwest, Veldennia to the northwest and Safehold to the southeast, with Oakhaven at the epicenter. The elves worked in conjunction with the cities and spread their forces throughout the forests of the land to keep the evil forces from gaining additional strongholds.

Crime and Punishment~ 

Oakhaven was the most prominent trade capitol and was kept going with a small military enforcing the peace and honor of open trade, referred to simply as The Watch. Each of the ‘five’ has their own watch and military, differentiating them only by prefacing the city for which they are employed (ie. The Oakhaven Watch), otherwise they are regarded as one major force, with the governing body of each town having the final say when tactical decisions are necessary.

Rarely do any fights or riots break out and if they do, they are stopped with the culprits being escorted to Archinon for punishment. The cities hold criminals for weeks before sending them via guarded caravan to Archinon; this generally occurs once a month, unless the numbers grow too quickly for the city cells to contain them.

Archinon is one of the ‘five’ major cities that follow the architecture and general structure of Oakhaven. It is ruled by King Tallaruk, a fair and just man, whose family and ancestry are untarnished. The rulership of Archinon deviates slightly from the pacifistic ways of Oakhaven however. Where Oakhaven and the other cities allow for gambling and the like, Archinon goes one step further. The citizens therein have a more aggressive community that often enjoys viewing violent and often deadly fights in the arena.

The gladiatorial arena, called ‘The Pit’, is where many trained warriors and many hardened criminals can find either glory or death. All criminals from any of the major cities are sold to the owners of the houses as potential gladiators in exchange for staving off an execution or permanent exile.

The contract within the city set by the King is that any and all criminals may fight for a determined amount of time (determined by both the controlling house and the severity of the crime) and may gain their freedom if they survive. They may also choose to buy freedom or continue to earn a living fighting in the arena. Minor crimes such as minor assault, aiding a criminal or minor theft/damage to property would result in a 3-6 month sentence and major crimes such as murder, conspiracy, treason or kidnapping would net anywhere from 5 or more years of service all the way up to life sentences, depending upon the details or circumstances involved.

See you in Wothlondia! Cheers!

Please visit MY HOME PAGE to enjoy an extended reading experience, see direct links to purchase Covenant of the Faceless Knights and to see what else Ashenclaw Studios, LLC has in store in the future!

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All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios, LLC 2011 unless otherwise noted.


  1. I truly enjoy reading the background of Wothlondia, Gary. Keep it coming!

  2. Thanks, William. I am having a good time with the whole project. It is nice that in fantasy, you can literally make everything up from scratch or remake an entire civilization if it suits you.

    I wanted to start this fresh with my own world, history, key events and such as well as the characters. It has been a ton or work but also is very rewarding I am finding. I also have had some help from friends that help me along, so that helps too!

    Thanks again for stopping over and let me know if you pick up the book what you think. I am currently working on a prequel to CotFK. Take care!

  3. What a marvellous imagination. You've obviously put a lot into this. Thank you for sharing. Julia

  4. Great addition to the detail of Wothlondia Gary! I can't seem to get enough. I am also relating to this post in several ways. First is the matter of the 5 cities which reminds me of my gaming groups current 5 DM campaign where we each control the story and environment of our own island. Not to mention we had devised that any time more than 2 players would miss a session or the scheduled DM the remaining players would fight in an arena style combat to continue achieving their glory. Finally I just finished watching the first two seasons of Spartacus a week or two ago so the gladiator theme is still fresh in my head. LOL

    Keep the stories coming my friend!

  5. @Julia - Thanks so much for stopping by and taking a look. As I have said before, this is a labor of love and I am hoping I can at some point garner suitable attention from the 'right' source!

    @Chad - thanks again for stopping over. How is the 5 DM project working out? I stopped by your blog and saw a post or two about it and it sounds like you are having some fun! I watched Spartacus earlier this year and found it captivating. The stories were excellent, but I could have done without the gratuitous s-e-x, though I am sure it helped more than hurt its ratings. I didn't hate it, but felt it could have been less prominent is all. The violence was well done also in my humble opinion. And no, I had the idea for Archinon years ago! :)

    Thanks again!

  6. The 5 DM campaign just kicked off with its first actually session this past Wednesday. I will probably be doing a bit of a write up on that session tomorrow. I am trying to pace my posts so I don't have more than one per day except on the odd occasion. It was a lot of fun and as I mentioned your book inspired me to run a barbarian myself when I play and don't DM. LOL

  7. That is very cool! Is it more Orngoth that you enjoyed than Saeunn as far as inspiration, or the other way around? I kind of got the impression that you liked Orngoth.

    I am curious because I am debating whether or not to include him in my anthology of short stories. He seems to be somewhat popular.