Brekon (city)

From Avlis Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Avlis Countries: Atlas | Blandenberg Protectorate | Brekon | Deglos | Drotid | Dubunat | Ferrell | Galdos | Jechran | Khanjar Kuro | Kurathene | M'Chek | The Seven Cities | T'Nanshi | Toran Shaarda | Tyedu | Underdark | Wastelands

Avlis Cities: Andarr | Batumawberk | Brekon | Bullwark | Crosstreams | Dormiria | Elysia (city state) | Grantir (city state)| Kitanya Hill | Kuras | Le'Or T'Nanshi | Malekia | Mikona | Myleah | Qwanderal | Qwandovia | Red Gate | Sharis | Stalwart | Toostan | Verloghokbol | Visimontium (city state)

Brekon
Other Names: City of Glory
Society:
Nation/Territorial Area: Brekon
Population: 1.1 Million
Languages: Common, Orcish, Goblin, Giant-kin languages
Deities Worshipped: Valok, Maleki
General Alignment: Lawful Evil
Head of City Government: High Cleric Mukhar Zhakhir
Races:
40% Orc, 20% Goblin, 20% Giant-kin, 20% Other



The City of Brekon

The city of Brekon lies directly on the coast and it is no more than a few days journey from the city of Red Gate, which belongs to the Confederation of The Seven Cities to the southwest of the nation of Brekon. The southern gate of the city, which faces Red Gate, is constantly bustling with traffic and rarely ever closes at night. Brekon is known for its shipbuilding and a few other more illicit activities, the least of which is the cultivation of dire animals for manufacturing blood fury crystals, a potent narcotic. There are also vast natural resources within the nation's borders, most of which are in the form of ores which are crafted into weapons and armor that are exported to anyone who will buy them. The Seven Cities buy up much of the ore, for they have little of their own, and the Kurathene Empire generally buys the finished products.

History

Early Period (Pre-Orcish Destruction - P.O.D.)

The earliest inhabitants of the land now occupied by Brekon were goblinoid creatures directly descended from the first of their race created by Maleki. A small city by the name of Yurshnut was ruled jointly by an advanced goblin tribe and its related larger hobgoblin cousins. Though there were other settlements of much smaller size, Yurshnut shined as an example of perfectly tuned chaos holding a civilization together for several continuous centuries. No other goblinoid city on the surface has ever since achieved that level of success.

Historians speculate that this small city might have grown in size to rival even some of the nearby human cities in the remnants of The Kurathene Empire to the north, but subsequent events prevented this. During the peak of Yurshnut's growth, The Great War rapidly approached its climax, and put the inhabitants of Yurshnut on a collision course with fleeing orcs. The destruction of the orcish nation of Dobrekan forced the entire bulk of the race across the continent in blind retreat. At a pivotal point, it looked as if the orcs would be pushed into the sea, but in time they pulled together and streamed into the area of Yurshnut to begin the decline of that city and the rise of a new one.

The Orcish Destruction was most remembered for its extraordinary decimation of life and its effects on the entire landmass of Negaria. Less remembered are its local effects. The terrified remnants of Dobrekan's citizenry moved quickly to enslave the local goblin population in order to fortify the area so they could defend against what they thought was an impending attack from literally every other civilization on the continent united against them. Though the war drew to a close before that due to the intervention of Mikon and the creation of good-aligned dragons, the damage done to the civilization of Yurshnut was permanent.

The new city was renamed Brekon by the orcs, derived from their words for "final place" and insinuating in the vernacular of the time the idea of a coffin or tomb. It grew in size and scope until it controlled much of the land around it. Aside from the other orcish nation of Dubunat which was also in its infancy at the time, this place became a haven for the displaced orcs.

The Goblin Uprising of 517 A.O.D.

For a little more than five centuries, the city of Brekon flourished and began to trade with its surrounding neighbors, Dubunat, The Kurathene Empire, and Toran Shaarda. The society's economy revolved around slave labor and trade, and to some extent this would always be the case well into the future. During the first centuries since the founding of the city, however, the slave population was exclusively comprised of goblins and hobgoblins descended from the subjugated tribes encountered during the orcs' flight from Dobrekan.

The plight of the slave population was of no concern to the orcs, and their laws, both civil and religious codified the institution of slavery and regulated it. From the goblinoid perspective, however, the situation was not so rosy. Slow anger simmered beneath the surface of their population for centuries, and over time a leader named Tarak Abu-Ni began to emerge as a quiet motivator and director of insurrection. Tarak's methods were slow and patient, but ruthless, performing seemingly random assassinations of orc trademasters and politicians but not too many to arouse suspicion. For his work and adoration by the goblinoid citizenry, Maleki granted him immortality and the powers that go along with it, and he used them to gather even more followers to him.

One such follower was a hobgoblin cleric of Maleki named Haruk Kav. Through constant prayer, meditation, and training, Haruk lent his help to Tarak Abu-Ni and soon began a large clandestine operation to summon and contain significant numbers of demons from The Abyss in the catacombs and sewers beneath the city. As the summoning project approached a crescendo and harmonized with the chaos on the surface caused by increasingly brazen assassination, Tarak and Haruk called their followers to action and rose up against their orc masters.

The ensuing battles leveled neighborhoods and palaces within the city and raged for weeks. Letting the summoned demons loose on the surface increased that destruction tenfold, and caught the orcs completely off guard leaving them no time to attempt summoning their devils to aid in quelling the rebellion. The orcs also understood that doing so would invite The Blood War to their doorstep, which is the ancient battle between demons and devils that rages throughout the Outer Planes and has done so for untold millennia. Becoming a battlefield in that war would permanently level Brekon and perhaps all of Avlis.

Instead of going that route, the orcs did what they are known for best: they made a deal. The goblins and hobgoblins in the city were given their freedom, and their children and descendants would be born as free citizens of Brekon. However, slavery as an institution would remain and any citizen convicted of a crime would be eligible to lose its freedom if the crime was serious enough (and most of them are). Goblinoid citizens were even permitted to own slaves as long as the slaves were not of orcish blood. Taking this deal created a new normal in the city, which was now regarded as a joint settlement with orcs and goblinoids living together.

The Invader Period

Orcish political games created an insular society over the next century during a time of uneasy peace with the surrounding lands. Internal affairs occupied most of the city rulers' attention. This changed when a series of giant-kin invasions began in 657. Due to lack of control by the Brekonian military in the outlying lands to the north, large populations and settlements of hill giants, stone giants, voadkyn, veerbeeg, and ogres began to build up. In some cases they formed mid-sized settlements on orcish lands unmolested by authorities.

This all came to a head once these settlements took on ambitions for looting and pillaging the jewel of the area, the City of Brekon. The first invasions were smaller and uncoordinate, mostly perpetrated by hill giants with minimal leadership. Later, the stone giants formed alliances with their cousins of the hills and made for sturdier adversaries against the orcs. These invasions were easily repelled. The most trouble came when legions of hill giants and stone giants were led by voadkyn and ogre commanders with additional veerbeeg foot soldiers. The combined might of these giant kin breached the walls of the city multiple times before being repelled, sometimes using aid from devils summoned by the orcs.

Despite Brekon's victories, the invasions kept coming and showed no signs of relenting. The leadership decided that something had to be done. A task force set out to attack the settlements of the giant-kin directly and subdue their leaders into dialogue. Once that was achieved, the orcs reverted to their deal-making skills, which included taking strategic enemy figures as slaves, but allowing the rest of the enemy citizenry free passage in and out of Brekon as long as it is done peacefully.

Secondary groups of orc and goblinoid diplomats approached the giant-kin settlements to set up trade. There were some setbacks and betrayals along the way, but eventually the invasions trickled to a halt over the course of 75 years. Over the next century, the citizenry of Brekon became more diverse as it started to include these giant-kin as full members of society.

The results of these events produced a noticeable difference in city architecture because it now had to accommodate large-sized sentient beings. From this period forward, Brekon's cityscape began to take on its mishapen, multi-sized appearance.

Dubunat Wars

With the establishment of Dubunat as a rival orc nation to the south in the sixth century A.O.D., the two nations constantly set their sites on one another for expansion and conquest. For the next several centuries there were at least two major wars every 150 years between Dubunat and Brekon. Since the city has always acted as the capital of the larger orc nation and lies to the extreme south of the country, it was always on the front lines of any war, subjected to attack and used as a launching pad for southward operations.

The Occupation 812 - 886 A.O.D.

One of the earlier wars initiated by Dubunat was successful in sacking and occupying the city of Brekon, along with large swaths of the nation of Brekon's southern lands. Though the occupation held for a little over seven decades, the government of Dubunat was unable to quell the unrest from Brekon's giant-kin and goblinoid populations and eventually ceded the city back to the nation of Brekon in 886. Historians note that during this same year, Dubunat was suffering from an Underdark invasion by several minor Demon Lords based below western Negaria.

The Abandonment 1024 - 1182 A.O.D.

Also referred to as the "Independence Period", the city of Brekon initiated a war in the name of the whole orcish nation with the goal of capturing more land to the south from Dubunat to act as a buffer and give space between the city and its nearby emeny. However, the political factions outside of the capital in the nation of Brekon at the time did not support the war. They believed that resources for the country were better used on the northern front to guard against The Kurathene Empire whom they saw as a more dangerous opponent.

The political intrigue and discord grew to such a pitch that the capital city was ejected from the nation, and a new capital was formed farther north in the city of New Fejraka. Left to its own devices and only a small amount of surrounding land outside the city walls (and most of the standing army), the city of Brekon attacked Dubunat anyway and succeeded in conquering a small portion of lands to the south. It declared these holdings the "true nation of Brekon" and labelled the rest of the nation of Brekon as breakaway provinces.

Reunification

A century after The Abandonment, it became clear that the "breakaway provinces" of North Brekon did not have the trade influence necessary to compete with the city itself. Even with the newly budding cultural and economic center forming in New Fejraka, the location adjacent to The Seven Cities enjoyed by the city of Brekon gave it a huge advantage compared to the bulk of the rest of the country which was in large part a desert. After some tense negotiations and pledges to make efforts at keeping the peace with Dubunat, the southern breakaway provinces rejoined with the city of Brekon as the capital once more, but the northern half of the country remained loyal to New Fejraka.

In 1354 A.O.D., the city of Brekon and the southern provinces led a successful campaign to reconquer the north, unifying the country once more, bringing an end to the short-lived nation of North Brekon.

Contemporary Period

From the year 1400 onward, the fortunes of the city of Brekon followed the same course as the nation of the same name. Internal politics gave rise to many rulers of the city, who in turn were the de facto rulers of the nation, and these events closely influenced and mirrored those of the Church of Valok, the main deity worshiped by orcs in the city, as well as the Church of Maleki which traditionally represents the goblinoids and giant-kin.

Districts

The city of Brekon is broken up into several districts, some of which operate outside the walls of the city, which is relatively unusual in western Negaria, but similar to the case with Red Gate. As a general rule, space usage inside the walls is reserved for residence, worship, production of goods, government affairs, and military training. Most trade, farming, and entertainment take place outside the walls because these areas arose after the founding of the city, whose first purpose was a fortification against invasion and had no room for such things.

Garrison District

The majority of the northwestern quarter of the city is dedicated to Brekon's military. It is a fortified location with structures used for both training and housing soldiers. According to common knowledge of the area, it is also set up as a last bastion of defense in case the city is overrun.

This district favors function over form and has a meticulous network of narrow streets designed to confuse enemies but also to allow efficient travel of native units in and out of it. Rumors hold that the streets are trapped as well, but the traps are only activated in times of war.

Hill District

Located in the southwestern portion of the city which is set upon a slight rise overlooking Smelter City, the Hill District is where all middle and upper class residents make their homes. As one of the wealthier sections of the city, it is also the location of many of the higher-end taverns, brothels, and party establishments.

Smelter City

Though it is actually a district located roughly in the center of Brekon, bordering the southern edges of the Garrison and Temple districts, Smelter City is the center of production and crafting, not only for the city but the entire country. Artisans of all shapes, sizes, skill levels, and crafts practice their trades here and fuel the economy of Brekon. Goods produced here are sold to middlemen dealers who cart them out of the city to the market just outside the southern gate. From there, they are purchased by another set of merchants that load them onto caravans bound either for Red Gate, New Fejraka, or Galdos.

Depending on the race and preferences of the workers here, the look and feel of the smithies and crafting stations will vary. The majority of the crafters are orcs, who are known in western Negaria for their fine armor and weapons. There are also occasional goblin and ogre crafters, along with the rare dwarf or human. No matter the race, each piece contributes to the prestige, glory, and reputation of Brekon and the government monitors this district closely for its output.

Southeastern Slums

The majority of the city population resides in this district, including non-orcish races. The slums are broken up into neighborhoods, some which favor goblinoids, some orc, some giant-kin, and the buildings, doorways, and streets are sized accordingly. Depending on the neighborhood, there are occasionally shrines and small market stalls to serve the local population, and these vary according to the dominant culture in the surrounding blocks.

Most city residents also know that on practically any corner, especially in the rougher neighborhoods, many illicit substances and services are for sale. A good number of residents make their living, either in solitary fashion or through gangs, selling these wares. The hard life in this quarter of the city has broken countless souls, but also acted as a crucible for other adventurers and powerful figures in Brekon and beyond.

The Sulq

Immediately outside the southern gate of the city is a rolling field of ever shifting tents and temporary market stalls known as The Sulq. If Smelter City is the engine of Brekon's economy, this district is the body and soul. All crafted parts from within the walls of Brekon are brought out to The Sulq through a system of middlemen merchants who trade them down the line. Whatever is not purchased by local citizens is sent onward to more merchants who bargain to get the goods onto caravans heading in to the other major cities of Negaria.

Meanwhile, incoming caravans coming from Red Gate and other directions unload their goods and reverse the process, or switch their goods to other caravans moving onward. This to and fro motion in and out of the district gives the city its life and breath. The sounds of auctioneers running prices, caravan guards clearing the way for their groups, and lone shop owners hawking their goods constantly fills the air until nightfall.

Each night, the tents and stalls get packed up and put away only to come out again the next morning. The marketeers and caravan guards retreat back inside the walls or to one of the caravanserai located outside the walls. These are specialized inns made to receive and hold caravans in their massive courtyards. Those who do not fit in either place camp in the fields outside the walls and light fires for warmth and light.

Temple District

Most of the northeastern quarter of the city is comprised of temples and other religious buildings, which in the case of Brekon also double as government buildings since the country is a theocracy. The largest structure belongs to the Church of Valok and acts as the capitol building of the nation as well as the seat of the Church of Valok. Another slightly smaller building performs the same function for the Church of Maleki, and a third even smaller and newer structure is dedicated to The'ton, whose worship was imported into the city during the occupation period.

As with most other sections of the city, this district's buildings are made to accommodate larger sentient species, like ogres and to a certain degree, giants. Since this is one of the older sections of the city, not all of the streets are widened accordingly, but some construction projects over the centuries have seen to it that the wider streets form a plausible network for easy travel by larger beings.

Government

As a society, Brekon is a theocracy, giving all homage to Valok. Valok and his Church rule the city, controlling all military, trade, and civil law, as well as diplomacy. The Patriarch of the Church of Valok is officially the mayor of the city and the Head of State of the nation of Brekon, and by law only those of orcish blood may hold the post. The rest of the clerics in the city function to support the government and religious institutions, and are mainly concerned with getting an upper hand on their political rivals and jockeying for an ever so slightly higher position.

For the normal citizenry, rule by Valok's worldly proxy and his clerics is not a terrible state of affairs, because the principles of the Church stipulate that glory and achievement must be sought out and nurtured in those who are less fortunate (and there are no qualms about putting those less fortunate to work for the advantages of the rich and powerful afterward). This philosophy manifests through outreach by the clerics to normal members of society to provide them with jobs (serving the interests of the Church), training (on how to better serve the Church), and sustenance (so they can stay healthy enough to train and do their jobs).

Secondarily, there is a strong following of Maleki within the city of Brekon, and this is mainly a staple of the giant-kin and goblins who live there. Here, these folk are often considered second class citizens; however, they are always awarded full rights under the law, as are any outsiders. "The Law" is usually loose enough for the Church to handle any matter it needs to. The Valokians consider the Church of Maleki as responsible for ministering to the goblinoid and giant-kin citizens of the city, but in practicality this is not aligned with what the Malekites actually do for their ilk.

During the wars with Dubunat centuries ago, a small following of The'ton sprung up while the city was occupied by its southern orc neighbors, and the remnants of that following still persist. However, officially the Church of The'ton serves no government purpose. In actuality, it acts as an opposition party in the political sense, calling into question the practices of the Valokians and sowing doubt and fear among the populace when it can.

Discreetly missing from society is any form of democracy or influence from non-religious orders, such as Andrinor's Trust. In fact, the practice of arcane magic within the city is illegal on pain of death, due to the stigma associated with it for its role in the Orcish Destruction, which killed many thousands of orcs in addition to their enemies. On the other hand, newly uncovered powers from Runic Magic are beginning to surface within the city and are interpreted differently from arcane magic due to their execution and general effects, i.e. they are accessed through a writing system and usually allow the recipient to increase fighting prowess or other related buffing, and not usually associated with raw destructive power.

Religion

Within the city and nation of Brekon there is no separation of Church and State. Thus, as the government goes, so goes the religion. The political institution and religious observances are one in the same here. Refer to above section on Government for more information.

Minor religions also exist within the city, usually from immigrants or passerby. Two common deities seen in the city are Fegall and Gorethar, usually worshiped by visiting dwarves from Deglos and Galdos respectively. Though it is rare, these dwarves sometimes find ways to immigrate to the city and set up shop there to supply the trade of goods and crafts out of the city. Less often, there are travelers from the remnants of the Kurathene to the north who worship Toran and Senath. Any other deity worshiped within the city tends to be incidental and unorganized.

Most ordinary citizens pay sole homage to Valok if they are orcs, though a good number of the orcish citizens also worship The'ton. The goblinoids and giant-kin tend to worship Maleki and in some cases The'ton as well.

Organizations

The Church of Valok

Aside from descriptions referenced in the sections on Government and Religion above, the Church of Valok plays a large role in society. Though it is officially a "church" that acts as a government and outreach program, its other functions include illicit trade, acting as an organized crime syndicate to govern said illicit trade, and a law enforcement agency to keep the peace.

Much of this work is outsourced to other organizations that do the heavy lifting and daily work, such as the Dominators of Valok and the Madams of Neepbee. All of these smaller organizations report into and are managed ultimately by the Church, without whose blessing they would cease to exist. Therefore, it is usually not common to spy a cleric of Valok performing a shakedown, operating a brothel, or executing a mage, but rather one of the smaller sub-organizations doing it in the name of the law and the Church through one of their own members.

Dominators of Valok (The Dominators)

Dominators are the holy warriors of Valok officially sanctioned by the Church to act as law enforcement within the city. Practically speaking, this gives the Dominators leeway to create a law enforcement and local judicial system that they can manage and tweak as they please. Since there are only a finite number of Dominators, the organization recruits and trains town guard and inquisitor agents to do its bidding while the Dominators act as precinct leaders and officers.

Two major divisions of inquisitor agents work for The Dominators within the city. The Office of Crime and Punishment (OCP) tackles everyday crime and murder cases that pique the interest of the political establishment. Most other murders are not investigated unless the complaintant has enough political clout to push through the charges, even though murder is technically illegal within the city. The Dominators claim that they have limited resources to follow every single incident, but crackdowns are known to happen when trends get out of hand, and they can be brutal. The Office of Arcane Inquisition is the bane of any arcane spell caster within the city and for miles around it. Headed and staffed mostly by Dominators and Inquisitors and loyal to The Church of Valok, this office devotes all of its time investigating reports of arcane magic within the city and then executing those deemed responsible.

A separate division of The Dominators, known as The Templars of Valok, operate as security within the Temple District, although sometimes they are also known to guard distant temples outside the city. Though the Templars of Valok are lead by Dominator officers, most of the rank and file are not Dominators themselves, but Templars (as a separate character class, see Avlis Sourcebook ).

Madams of Neepbee

The infamous Madams of Neepbee are a network of brothel owners, most of whom are female goblins and hobgoblins, that run the big establishments throughout the city. They are in fierce competition with other brothel networks to the point of coming to blows often in the alleys and sometimes in full view of public, to the delight of passerby. To most outsiders who are not orc or goblinoid, the merchandise they hawk does not appeal, but the Madams are sometimes also known to host "exotic" species like humans, elves, and halflings once in a while.

Witin the city walls, brothels are completely legal and unprovoked harm to a brothel worker is a punishable offense. The Dominators of Valok are known to strictly enforce these rules through the town guard. The Madams of Neepbee are also closely plugged into some of the more infamous rogues' guilds in the area for the purposes of protection. The slavers of the surrounding countryside are also in debt to them and are loyal to the Madams as long-time clients and buyers.

Pit Fiend Mafia

The notorious Pit Fiend Mafia is one of the more famous rogue's guilds in the city of Brekon. They operate with special license from both The Dominators and The Church of Valok to "ply their trades" within the city so long as they give due tribute. It is thought that the Pit Fiend Mafia also works closely with much of the brothel network as a supplier of narcotic substances and novelty objects.

In addition to forming a large part of the black market economy of the city, the Pit Fiend Mafia has been accused of slave trading or facilitating the slave trade with the Crullathian Empire and the Underdark. Since the Church has formally disavowed slavery in the interest of keeping the wrath of good-aligned nations at bay, it makes perfect sense for the Pit Fiend Mafia to work in these morally bankrupt areas to keep the government blame-free. Secondarily, Brekon's trade with the Underdark is also thought to proceed through the involvement of the Pit Fiend Mafia due to its close contacts with the Rocs and Forsaken Waifs guilds operating out of Batumawberk and the surrounding area, all the way east toward Verloghokbol.

Sailors of The Mind Wind

Generically known in the city as "The Mindbenders", the Sailors of the Mind Wind is the largest organization of psions on the western coast of Negaria. Though they have several offices and training centers inside the city walls, they hold membership in no particular monastery or monastic order that may include psions. Instead, the organization acts as an intermediary between monastic and psionic orders to facilitate their communication and coordinate their actions. Since arcane magic is illegal in Brekon, this organization also takes the place of magic in the ecosystem of the politics and functioning of the city. It provides the services often sought from mages, and in particular is quite popular with sailors seeking to hire them to help divine or control the weather on voyages.

Notable Officials & Personalities

Kumar Ohala, Archdominator

A hulking orc rumored to possess some ogre blood, Kumar Ohala is the Archdominator of Brekon which makes him the leader of the Dominators of Valok and the highest-ranking law enforcement official in the nation. Though he is a fearsome warrior whose bearing is strategically crafted to make him seem less intelligent than he is, Kumar Ohala has the heart of a ruthless investigator and interrogator. For decades, he has used this cunning to hunt down orc mages and put them to the sword for practicing illegal arts within his country, and now as the leader of all holy warriors for Valok, he continues to be a staunch anti-magic official.

His political partisanship creates much tension within the ranks of the Dominators, and he does not hold onto his position easily. Several other high-ranking successors wait in the wings, with varying approaches to how they think Valok wants to deal with their mission to eliminate the ones responsible for the Orcish Destruction. Nevertheless, Kumar has managed to hold onto his office through his large influence among not only his own Dominators, but also the other organizations throughout Brekon, especially the Madams of Neepbee and the Pit Fiend Mafia.

Madam Narla, Madams of Neepbee

As a young goblin prostitute in the Southeastern Slums during her youth, Madam Narla learned how to stay alive and groom the relationships she needed to thrive. Her charisma and ingenuity eventually allowed her to rise through the ranks of several brothels, moving from the Southeastern Slums, to the more prestigious establishments in Smelter City.

Eventually she made enough money to buy her way out of the profession and sought to leave the city of Brekon all together. For several years she adventured throughout Negaria but never met with much fame or success in her travels. Disheartened with the world and not finding anyplace better than from whence she came, Narla took her wealth and bought a large brothel establishment near the Temple District where she became intimately familiar with the preferences and needs of many high government officials.

Her continued success allowed her to buy up more establishments, take over others by force, and franchise her own brand: the Madams of Neepbee, named for a kind mentor she once had that saved her life. With fame, power, and leverage over government officials came power and a close relationship with the Pit Fiend Mafia which is thought to protect her establishments from other guilds and rival madams.

Mukhar Zakir (Mukhar IV)

Mukhar IV, Patriarch of The Supreme Universal Church of the Glory Lord is arguably the most powerful orc on the face of the planet. His office makes him head of the Church of Valok, the nation of Brekon, and mayor of the city of Brekon. All bishops of the church within Brekon and over the rest of the continent report in to him as the highest religious authority, second only to the god Valok himself. As such, his word is law.

Being Patriarch of one of the largest religious organizations in the world takes up a lot of time and requires a shrewd sense of intuition and guile in order to keep it. Mukhar deftly manages a church that can at any moment fall prey to a schism between competing factions who mostly differ on the way arcane magic should be dealt with per Valok's will, and whether or not a life should be lived in the betterment of Self through acquiring riches for the greater church or for the individual. Dealing with these esoteric issues means that it is rare for Mukhar IV to intervene directly in commonplace situations, but his influence can be felt everywhere, even by those who do not worship the same deity.

For the most part, these amazing feats of stability and manipulation are achieved through sheer charisma and deep wisdom. All factions of the church outwardly acknowledge Mukhar IV's supremacy and see it as a unifying force of diplomacy that keeps everything together. Without his touch, many fear that the church would instantly collapse into a civil dispute, and a bloody one.

Vuklar Wuka of Maleki

Vuklar Wuka is feared and and admired throughout the city as the High Cleric of Maleki. His thick ogre frame makes him imposing all by itself, but his added penchant for taking pleasure in cruelty makes him more terrible. Though his church is for the most part chaotic and in constant dissarray, Vuklar has a keen sense of political intrigue and relates well to the ruling forces of the city. This does not mean he acquiesces to their will or bows to them in any way, but it means he understands how to get things done and manipulate the system to his needs.

The Church of Valok sees Vuklar as a necessary evil for keeping the goblinoid and giant-kin populations in line. Mukar IV likes to think that Vuklar serves at his pleasure and that he could use his political capital to swap out the big ogre any time he likes, but some within the orc establishment and the Church of Maleki do not agree. They see Vuklar as a separate and independent pole of power.

Landmarks

The Goblin's Niche

In the northern part of Smelter City, located close to the border with the Temple District is a popular establishment run by Madam Narla called The Goblin's Niche. While it functions as a normal bar, the primary business there is the sale and trafficking of prostitutes, mostly of the goblin and orc variety with the occasional ogre thrown into the mix. A vast number of locals and high officials alike are intimately familiar with the place, but it does not seem to be too popular with outsiders, unless they are going there for "information" on political matters within the city.

The building is a three-story structure with lavish hues of pink, purple, and orange painted on the outside. Balconies adorn the two upper floors where workers belonging to the Madams of Neepbee try to entice passerby into purchasing a room and a good time. On the ground floor is a large, almost giant-sized door, painted in similar lavish colors that leads to a bar that takes up most of the floor plan. Usually the peace on this level is kept by a couple of hill giant bouncers that silently watch and ask no questions while continuous live music plays from a stage to further cheer on the patrons.

Temple of Maleki

Across from the imposing structure of Valok's main temple sits the smaller Temple of Maleki in stark opposition to the curving domed architecture of the larger building. Though it is not as large, it is still the largest known structure dedicated to Maleki on the surface of Negaria and acts as a center of worship and sacrifice for the goblinoid and giant-kin communities of Brekon.

The interior of the temple is lit in purple hues with dark shadows and focused on a deep circular pit in the center of the room. The pit mysteriously has no visible bottom and continues downward into blackness. Rumor holds that the pit has no bottom except for a portal directly into some cesspit in The Abyss, and that it was not built by the goblins but rather rediscovered after The Goblin Uprising. After winning their freedom, the founders of the temple chose the site and began to dig which exposed the pit. Scholars loyal to Maleki believe that the pit is the actual ground zero site of the explosion that caused the Orcish Destruction at the end of The Great War. Valokian scholars are split on the idea, believing the site is located somewhere below the High Temple of Valok, while other Valokians think the Malekites are correct and that this means the Temple of Maleki is not rightfully occupying that spot. This religious dispute creates an undercurrent of discord between both the scholars and the priests of the city and the two respective deities.

High Temple of Valok

The High Temple of Valok is the largest structure in the city of Brekon and the largest temple to Valok on Avlis. Its design attempts to mimic the old temple of Kairuet located in the now defunct orc nation of Dobrekan, with a large tower in the center, surrounded by a circle of nine smaller cylindrical towers. The main tower and each of the nine towers have domes layered with gleaming gold that shines blindingly bright in the sun and are lit magically at night. Outside this circle of towers are four more smaller towers with square cross sections at the cardinal points of the compass. These are minarets used for announcing the call to prayer as well as government decrees, which are picked up by town criers and bards for circulation around the city.

The temple has a single grand entrance on the eastern side, facing what was once Dobrekan, the ancient orcish homeland. Giant-sized double doors made of solid gold are manned by teams of Templars and town guards. This leads into an outer courtyard for worshipers to congregate, as well as another door into an inner hall with a roof more than 100 ft high. The inner hall chamber is used both for worship and government affairs and is surrounded by multiple stories (both above and below ground) containing offices, crypts, smaller chapels, and classrooms.

Parade Grounds

Outside the western gate of the Garrison District is a stretch of flat ground known as the Parade Grounds. For most of the year, civilians are not welcome in the area because it is used by the military. At least one or two regiments of soldiers and their equipment are on the field at any given time as the units rotate in and out of duty and training. This not only helps with creating a constant state of military readiness for the city and the whole southern border, it also is an effective way to ensure that troops are always training for part of their active duty. Once a unit finishes a stint of training, it usually either goes back into the Garrison District or gets stationed elsewhere in the country.

On holidays holy to Valok, the Parade Grounds open up to the civilian population and temporarily become festival grounds. Carnival and acting troops occupy most of the space during these times to entertain people young and old. Because of the size of the local population, the Parade Grounds, and the popularity of events, this is thought to be one of the largest festival grounds in western Negaria during those times.

In Game Developments

There is no online version of these lands in play currently, and knowledge of this information in game is limited to characters that have reason, ability, and circumstance to know. Seek DM permission if there is any doubt.

Technical Aspects

N/A - These lands exist only in the pen and paper version of Avlis, not on any of the current servers.