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Land of the Venn Culture

They originally came through the world gate on viking ships. But the name they adopted was in challenge to the Sartorans, Venn, which they understood to mean The People, as in the elite. For centuries they set up as polar opposites in power to Sartor.

Their main cities are mostly underground, as they sailed north to what they thought was home, but turned out to be a new land. It was as cold as their old land, if not colder. They were first a great sea-going nation, conquering other lands to gain access to wood and soil for crops.

Their cities are elaborate with color. Heating was raised to an art form.

Sunken roads are common in the Land of the Venn, due to bad weather. Also, no doors or windows on the west. Art wise, their wall paintings and tapestries are fantastically lapidary, and their swan vases are world famous for their grace and beauty.

Due to extreme measures taken against them as a result of Venn expansion, a series of formidable wards were established keeping Venn mages from crossing their border unless permitted, and magic is absolutely forbidden the rulers and their nobles. It is confined to the Eyes of the Crown, who protect the people and witness as well as oversee justice. They present the guise of simple wandering mages, wearing only black and white (as they age, their black robes will fade to gray, which causes them to be the more venerated), oath-bound to hold no property whatsoever--they must be clothed and fed by people--but actually they are formidable mages, their magic a spinoff of blood magic, tied individually to each mage through their blood, ink, and skin in body art. The idea being, when the Arrow is dissolved, they can rise again.

Twelve Towers

The capital refers to the ancient twelve towers, which had belonged to the ruling families back in the days when the Venn lived mostly aboveground. Most of those towers are long gone, the city having gone downward, though some references have worked into the language, such as 'Sinnaborc', the great white Tower of Transgressors whose top was once where those condemned to a traitor's death were laid out to die slowly, their bones picked by carrion birds. References to that tower are embedded in the language in various ways.

The areas of government have altered, excepting only what is now called the Hall of Ancestors below the ancient Anborc Tower, with its carving of the Great Tree of Ydrasal. Once used for high judgment before the gathering of the chief nobles, called the 'frasadeng', it is now reserved for state funerals and coronations. It is a center of a great many magical protections: at one end is the famous carving of the twelve-branched Great Tree that represents the once-hanging banner which served to engender the shared vision of Signi Sofar, the founder of the ruling Sofar family--though she never reigned herself. The banner itself rotted away, untouched, but the gemmed mosiac behind it represents faithfully every stitch.


Yeath and wool are commodities the Venn trade. The main above-ground towns (except for those sheltered by the mountains) exist along the coast, all with no west doors or windows. They grow hardy barley, which they bake and brew, oats as well. They are fishers, and consume a lot of dairy products, cream being popular in their cookery. Their stoves, which warm houses beneath the flooring, and their sleeping platforms have influenced heating all over the world.

Their coins are distinctive from the six and twelve-sided Sartoran "sunbursts" that predominate in the south. They are round coins, mostly silver but some gold, all called drams, a word descended from the dirhams they brought over with the original drakken ship. The exact face has changed little, right down to the Arabic writing, whose meaning is long since lost: the Venn attribute those squiggles to Old World magic, or to dragonlore, left over from a brief period of time when dragons appeared in Sartorias-deles, settling in the highest mountain ranges, before they vanished again. (There is some speculation that the mysterious migration of the early Chwahir has to do with these dragons, and that they found this world too cold, and had to wait until the World Gate transit point that only they could perceive offered them a warmer world.)

See Also

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Page last modified on July 14, 2016, at 08:30 AM