Myleah is the moral center of the nation of Jechran where all tribes send their representation. Dre'Ana's mortal agent presides there as the nominal leader of all the tribes of Jechran.
Orignally, Myleah was the site of the ancient Orcish city of Fejraka. Before The Great War, much of the Empire of Dobrekan's commerce and academic knowledge eminated from this city, and to this day many ruins and relics of that ancient past remain. Old roads leading to the south and west are still functional and sometimes used by the Jechrani tribes to move quickly to different parts of their nation. Unlike Dobrekan, however, the Jechrani nation is not as centralized. Women of the tribes periodically assemble in Myleah and pay homage at the large temples erected to Yeraiah and Dre'Ana. Several other buildings in the city also serve as centers of convocation between the tribes and the seat of power for the Supreme Mother, a Jechrani woman selected from among the tribes to act as a figurehead of sorts for the nation and as an intermediary to the goddesses.
Geography and Areas of Interest
Myleah is located in a temperate forest composed of both old and newer growth. Trees that are large tend to be those that survived the chaos of The Great War, while smaller ones came later. The land tends to roll slightly from east to west immediately surrounding the city, coming to a nadir at Lake Batoma, named for the goddess Dre'Ana. The lake is home to the small nixie village of Qwaveth that has relations with the city of Qwanderal off the coast.
To the southeast of the city is a smaller lake that flows down a stream to Lake Batoma. This pool acts as a local watering hole for the wildlife and natural breeding ground for Jechiras.
West of the city, where the land is highest, are many remains of Fejraka. Caves and depressions in the landscape have often led adventurers to vast underground ruins with ancient secrets from before the Great war. There is rumored to be an entrance to the Underdark of Northern Avlis somewhere down there in one of the ruins.
Northwest of the city is a small settlement of sylphs which at alternating times has been both ally and foe to the inhabitants of Myleah, but always foe to the Eshala, a hated tribe of half-orc Jechrani rumored to be born from unholy unions between orcs, humans, and elves left behind from the aftermath of the War. These evil neighbors have continually posed a threat to Myleah and generally not been accepted into the confederation of tribes of greater Jechran.
City Districts and Layout
The City of Myleah takes up approximately a 1 km x 1 km square piece of flat land located in the forests of Jechran. It sits close to the edge of an old growth forest to the north. The center square of the city is dominated by two large temples across from one another, and a symbol of Dre'Ana decorating the floor of the square. The temple of Dre'Ana is slightly larger than the temple to Yeraiah across from it, but no less ornate. Each temple has charge of organizing certain aspects of the city. Dre'Ana's temple runs a nearby training center for warrior maidens while the temple to Yeraiah hosts a hospital and maternity ward, as well as a convocation center for Providers (see entry on Society and Rule below.)
Myleah is the only walled city in Jechran. The present-day city occupies a partially artificial plateau in the forest that overlooks a slope heading down to Lake Batoma. This position puts it at an advantage against any attacks from the lower side, but at a disadvantage against attacks from further up the hill.
Surrounding the temple area in the center of town are residential dwellings for the priests and crafters that have taken up domiciles in the city. Most women of Jechrani are nomads that roam with their tribe, or villagers that prefer smaller encampments. Thus, the population of the city is transitional with few permanent residents. It is mostly made up of incoming and outgoing tribes using the city as a nerve center of communication, negotiation, and trade.
On the western side of the city are pens where Jechiras are bred, bought, and sold. Many tribes use these animals as mounts and pack mules, and it is much easier to work with a captive-bred reptile than a wild one. These Jechiras have been bred in captivity for several generations which makes them especially docile for use as working animals. Capturing these beast for use as war mounts is mostly done out of town.
To the south of the Jechira pens are stalls where crafters ply their trades. This part of the city lies near a bend in a major road that passes by and heads both south and west. That makes it also a convenient place to trade goods, so it also functions as a market.
Society and Rule
Women are the dominant gender in Jechran and must take measures to keep their place at the top of society. Treatment of men varies among the tribes. Each has its own specific policies. Some tribes keep no men and only trade for time with men for copulation with neighboring Jechrani tribes that do keep them. Others allow men some small form of freedom but force them to roam the wilderness alone and severely limiting their abilities to congregate in groups. Tribes that keep no men will not allow male infants to live in the village. Tribes that lean more toward evil will kill the infants or sell them as slaves to traders from Drotid. Other tribes will trade them away to tribes in need or simply cast them out to be found by other wandering males.
Most tribes are ruled either by a single dominant warrior woman or by a council of elder warriors. In some cases, the priestesses of either Dre'Ana, Yeraiah, or both will lead the tribe. However, most of the time, priestesses are relegated to advisory and shamanic roles.
Tribes also usually have a dominant alignment and most members adhere to it or are cast out to join other tribes. In some cases, castoffs will band together and start a new one. Tribes can also be wiped out by war with other tribes, which happens frequently, especially between those of opposing alignments that cannot agree on local principles of living. Thus, the existence of tribes is quite fluid and changing. Only the most powerful tribes with multiple villages in their number can persist for hundreds of years.
Frequent warring also affects the lifespan of Jechrani females. When left to their own devices, elves and half-elves are known to live for hundreds if not thousands of years in the case of elves. However, due to the Jechrani lifestyle and its dangers, it is uncommon to come across elven members of Jechrani tribes that are older than 200 years or half-eleven members older than 100 years. For humans, the numbers are even more bleak. A human woman of 35 years old is considered an elder in most tribes just by right of age.
The lack of males in society and the short life expectancy produces differing familial roles. Women generally assign themselves willingly to a role of Provider or Supporter. Providers and Supporters have differing customary jobs. In general, Providers become warrior-hunters and take care of the safety of the tribe, though all women in Jechrani society train to become functional fighters. Supporters' main duty is procreation and organization of the home. These women are known to spend significant time producing offspring and setting domestic policy. In some cases, a Provider and Supporter will pair up and live in the same dwelling, but this tends to vary by tribe. Many tribes opt for a completely communal dwelling structure.
Adult males in Jechrani society are located in one of three places. They are either roaming the wilderness on their own, living off the land in constant flight from tribes that seek to capture them or worse. If they are not in flight, they are captured and held by a tribe for breeding purposes as a permanent living arrangement. These males are usually kept in a fortified dwelling with others. In cases where neither of these are true, the males are usually dead, killed by a tribe and discarded.
Rarely, adventurers do make their way to Jechran. It seems to be happening more lately. Tribes that are used to dealing with adventurers will keep a cautious eye on them. Tribes of good and neutral alignment understand most of the time that the adventurers are just passing through, and as long as they do not decide to stay, they are allowed to go (though perhaps not unmolested.) Evil tribes tend to have no such tolerance and will often kill male adventurers on sight unless the males prove to be powerful enough to make such an attempt a foolish thing.
Various underground societies and male-oriented guilds have sprung up to help other men survive. These groups tend to be sympathetic toward adventurers and outsiders, often asking them for help and offering them rewards. Like the tribes themselves, these societies tend to be fluid and wiped out often when discovered by the Jechrani warriors.
The ancient orc city of Fejraka once sprawled across the site of present day Myleah. In all directions beyond the borders of the present-day structures, Fejraka's towers and walls carved out intricate architecture from the land, and tamed the forests to keep them a safe distance away. It is thought that the ancient prison of Valok lay deep underneath the city, and that somewhere nearby was the original birthplace of the first orcs he created.
Time of The Dawning – 500 P.O.D. – 100 P.O.D.
The Golden Age of Dobrekan is the orcish term for this epoch that lasted until the beginning of the Great War. In this age, Fejraka was the center of learning and culture for the entire eastern half of Negaria. Elven travelers would attend lectures in the halls of magery run by the Gold Order and engage in collaborative magical research. Sages from all around would congregate in the great halls of Fejraka's universities to debate the nature of the multi-verse and planar travel. Even dwarven smiths from neighboring Galdos would venture into the city to peruse the wares of Fejraka's crafters and exchange skills for advancing metallurgy and weapons technology. Only the dreaded shaahesk to the south would give the people of Fejraka any headaches, with their constant incursions and skirmishes at the border. However, for much of this time, the lizard folk never made it much past that point.
As the orcs thrived and multiplied in this area, they spread out to found other cities, though none were as majestic as Fejraka.
The Golden Age of Dobrekan began its decline around the middle of The Fairy War, circa 250 P.O.D. As the battle between the fairies of O'Ma and Titania raged throughout the forests of the world, the previously peaceful groups of sylphs, nymphs, and other fairy races in the area began to take a toll on the orcish peasants ability to make a living. Property damage became a common occurrence among the farmers of outlying Fejraka and few inquiries from the government and nobles of Dobrekan were answered by the fairy folk. Until the violence spilled over into the city itself and began to claim orcish lives, the conflict was mostly ignored as a nuisance. However, one day when a Titanian brigade fought its way through the streets of Fejraka to attack a wounded group of O'Ma's adventurers hiding in a temple, that was the last straw. The government of Dobrekan based in the city began mobilizing troops to clear the land of both Titanian and O'Ma fairies. Of course, the prospect of accumulating the riches and magical items of the fairy folk was also a great motivator in turning the people against the creatures.
The Great War – 100 P.O.D. – Y.O.D.
Unfortunately, the other nations did not agree with the orcish assessment of the situation. They saw it as an attempt to capitalize on the Fairy War and grab power. As history reports, the fairies agreed to end their hostilities and turned together on the orcs, along with most of the other nations.
Exactly how the orcs were extracted from Fejraka is sketchy, but it is known that the orcs did not wait passively in their city and wait out a seige. They saw an early opportunity to enlist the help of the inhabitants of the Nine Hells (Baator) and go after the approaching armies one by one, starting with the elves who were closest at the time. The majority of Dobrekan's forces and their allied devil armies marched out of the city, leaving behind only a small defense force and the women and children. The rest is history: the orcs and their camp followers were driven clear across the continent to present day Brekon, which they founded after the war.
At this point it is important to focus on the remaining population of Fejraka. As a cosmopolitan city tolerant to visitors and other cultures, the remaining people were from all manner of races, especially elves and humans. Not long after Dobrekan's army left the city, the dwarves fielded a large force and laid siege to it. The non-orcish population panicked, and tried to leave the city where many were killed in the crossfire. The orcish women and children mostly stayed behind and were cut down. Only a small group of female orcs who would later become the Eshala was able to sneak away from the battle.
The dwarven army laid waste to the city, which was later covered over with layers of debris and dirt from the explosion on the other side of the continent that ended the Great War.
The Age of Peace – Y.O.D. – 275 O.D.
During this period, the site languished and lay abandoned for most of the period. Elsewhere, the other nations retreated inward to lick their wounds: the borders of Galdos were sealed against all travelers. No one was permitted even to traverse the country above ground. To the south, the shaahesk were fiercer than ever and no one dared venture there unless slavery was their desired endpoint. No deity claimed the people trapped in these lands. The covered remains of Fejraka were forgotten and rarely even noticed by traveling scavengers eeking out a living in the forests.
The Age of Immortals – 275 O.D. – 1825 O.D.
Sometime around 350 O.D., the land was still largely unoccupied, but its meager inhabitants had changed much. Because the group of people who fled Fejraka had nowhere to go, they were trapped in the area between Galdos and Drotid and left to fend for themselves. Most of the original inhabitants were dead within a few years, but the children and young adults they brought with them managed to survive. Over time, they formed small tribe-like groups that began to fight violently. These male-led groups essentially fought themselves into oblivion, leaving a few scattered bands of mostly women and a few men after nearly a century. The population was not doing well at sustaining itself. All of those who were left were malnourished and primitive, having forgotten their original cultures completely.
One day during that year, a lone female warrior named Myleah was hunting in the area of Fejraka's ruins when she saw an apple fall from a tree. Thinking this to be strange because it was not the month for apples, she investigated. (Hunger was also a significant motivation at the time, because she had been hunting for two days with no luck.) The beautiful half-elven woman bent down to pick up the apple and when she did, the air around her began to glow bright white. Standing in front of her surrounded by that glow was the most beautiful human woman she had ever seen. The figure emanated a calm motherly vibe full of love and affection, with an air of strength, and she introduced herself to Myleah as the goddess Yeraiah.
As Myleah fell to her knees, Yeraiah picked her up and hugged her. The deity explained to Myleah that the suffering of the people of Jechran had gone on long enough and she was going to be their protector from now on. Yeraiah wanted her help spreading the message to the women of the forests. She said if Myleah brought them back to this site, she would also appear to them to walk among them and give aid. It was thus how the city named after Myleah was founded with Yeraiah as its benefactor. That first generation of dwellers in the settlement walked with Yeraiah and knew her well. She taught them how to survive and thrive in the woods, and how to take care of themselves through childbirth and illness. Though Yeraiah never had children of her own, she loved these women as she would her daughters.
By 500 O.D., the city of Myleah was a small settlement surrounding a wooden temple of Yeraiah. After the first generation of settlers, Yeraiah left the city to go help elsewhere, saying that they had learned what they needed to survive and thrive. Though ordinary survival was now second nature to the women of Jechran and their now-subservient males, the nations around them had started to stir and began incursions into the forests, sometimes coming as far north as Myleah to raid. For the most part, the raiders were shaahesk and snake men who would take women as slaves where they would never be seen again.
This violence increased over the years, and so did the boldness of the Jechranians' enemies. In 510 O.D., there was a large shaahesk raid on Myleah. With small wooden walls, the budding town did not stand a chance, and the women put up as best a defense as they could, mustering their males to fight too. Unfortunately, it was a doomed effort from the beginning. The shaahesk looted and burned the city and took any men and women they could catch as slaves. They also razed the temple of Yeraiah and burned the surrounding woods.
Abandoned once more after the survivors fled to the forests of northern and western Jechran, Myleah was nearly forgotten. In the years after that, the ruins of the settlement would occasionally be picked through by roving bands of Jechranian women now operating as tribes. One tribe in particular began to dwell in the area more often. Their dynamic leader was a woman named Lethana Batoma. Man of the other tribes had adopted a timid approach to roving, operating in areas that seemed clear of monsters and enemies, and surviving on their foraging skills learned from Yeraiah. A few would set down to farming but that rarely lasted too long because they could not defend the land they staked. It was Lethana that began talking about taking back Jechran, starting with rebuilding Myleah.
Lethana saw Myleah as a center point of training and exchange between the tribes. She understood the need for the women of Jechran to disperse throughout the land and not congregate in one place where they could be besieged. However, she also understood the need for formalized combat training for members of the population willing to fight for their homes. Though not all the tribes agreed with one another, and some were in open conflict even then, Lethana believed the tribes should come to a neutral spot to discuss matters that concerned all of Jechran and exchange information that might benefit their survival.
Over a couple of decades, the half-elven woman re-settled Myleah and rebuilt the temple of Yeraiah, this time in stone. She also began construction of stone walls for the settlement. Concurrently, she established a school to train combat and the skills of war, in addition to self-reliance and self-defense. Her teachings went well with those of Yeraiah, who concentrated on the home front and what to do in times of peace. Eventually, some women took to following Lethana and calling themselves "Providers", as a counterbalance to the women who followed Yeraiah who became known as "Supporters".
Lethana also did much for the governance of the tribes. She sent runners to all the groups of Jechran and told them they were always welcome in Myleah if they agreed it was neutral territory. She also promised to train all women who came to town, as long as the elder of that particular tribe agreed to sit on a council where information about their surrounding lands would be shared. Nearly all tribes in Jechran agreed to this, and the elders of each tribe sanctioned Lethana as the first Supreme Mother, leader of the loosely federated tribes of Jechran. To this day, there is a Supreme Mother presiding over the tribes in Myleah.
When the shaahesk finally attached again, the implementations of Lethana became apparent. This raid, in 525 O.D. was much larger and fiercer than the first. Thinking that Myleah would be easy pickings, the reptilian creatures massed thousands of lizard folk and slaves for the assault. With partial stone walls and a disciplined fighting force under the leadership of Lethana, they held fast and the attackers could not penetrate the defenses. The budding city was however under seige. Access to the nearby lakes and streams was cut off and the wells were about to run dry. Without being able to hunt and gather, food was also becoming scarce.
Just when things seemed like they were about to end, Lethana stepped out of the front gate alone and stood before the sieging lizards. With a great shout as she threw off her cloak, Lethana revealed herself in glory as an avatar of the goddess Dre'Ana, warrior maiden and daughter of the god O'Ma. Drawing her sword and letting her aura flow over her friends to energize them and paralyze the enemies, Dre'Ana waded into the battle lines and slew every shaahesk on the field. The siege was over.
Having revealed herself to the masses, Dre'Ana believed she could not remain in person. Entering back into the city, she stood across from the temple of Yeraiah and declared that spot to be sacred to her and that all women of Jechran should come there and train. Those who took to the training well could serve her as warrior maidens and become providers in the Jechranian society. She also pledged to help the women of Jechran in their times of need, but cautioned them to remain vigilant and self-reliant. She then ascended back to her plane with a blinding flash of light.
For much of the next few hundred years, women trained in Dre'Ana's arts and protected society. The tribes of Southern Jechran helped repel the shaahesk with their new skills, and Myleah was rarely attacked afterward. In 1000 P.O.D, a mysterious magical explosion leveled most of Southern Jechran and killed several tribes en masse. The remaining land could not be traversed again without suffering from mysterious illnesses and death. Nothing taller than a blade of grass remained in the area, as far as most were concerned. This ended the shaahesk attacks on Myleah for many centuries.
The centuries long break also allowed Myleah to grow and develop as the cultural center of Jechran. A stone temple matching the temple of Yeraiah was built on the site where Dre'Ana ascended, and a pavilion called the Hall of the Supreme Mother was erected a couple centuries later next to the temple complex. This became the forum where tribal matters were discussed. For much of the rest of the Age of Immortals, Myleah experienced relative calm, aside from small regional disputes.
The Age of Darkness – 1825 O.D. – 2148 O.D.
The fall of The Kurathene Empire across the continent had little affect on isolated Jechran and its capitol, Myleah. Alongside of the mostly human, elven, and half-elven women of Jechran, the Eshala also thrived in various parts. Some Eshala tribes were friendly with local Jechranians, and at various times the Eshala of the surrounding Myleah area were alternately hostile and non-aggressive to Myleah's population. The same is true of the local fairy populations of sylphs and nixies, who are decidedly Titanian in nature. Several key events stick out during this phase of the city's history:
In 1856 O.D., the Eshala princess Aludra the Great massed her armies culled from the surrounding Eshala tribes and laid seige to Myleah. The siege was ultimately unsuccessful but laid waste to the original Hall of The Supreme Mother and severely damaged the temples of Yeraiah and Dre'Ana. This event sparked the creation of a secondary inner wall around the temple complex.
Yurliae Sylph Accords
After a series of attacks from small bands of shaahesk who made their way around The Wastelands by sea, the local Titanian sylph village of Yurliae and the city of Myleah signed a pact of mutual protection. This led to trade between the societies.
The Wizard Relantha
The great elven warrior Nethanda Lux's famous epic takes place. In her travels as a warrior maiden and defender of Myleah, she journeyed to the local underwater Titanian nixie settlement of Qwaveth where she met and fell in love with a captive O'Ma nixie named Lelo. Ashamed of his treatment and wrongful imprisonment by the Titanians, Nethanda secretly stole into the village and swam away with Lelo. The daughter of their union grew up to become the half-nixie wizard, Relantha.
Relantha's dual nature gave her an uncanny edge in learning the magical arts, and she excelled at a young age. Rumors held she specialized in seeking out rare forms of magic that may even be beyond the regular natures of the Mortal Magic Vortex. Throughout her life, Relantha became a devout follower of Yeraiah and loyal to the protection of Myleah. Slowly over the next century, she became a trusted participant in the council meetings. By 2140 O.D., she obtained permission to build herself a tower within the temple complex as a sign of her dedication to the goddesses and Jechran.
Relantha's ancestry and the conditions of her birth have periodically produced tensions between Myleah and the nearby nixie settlement of Qwaveth.
The Age of Rebirth – 2148 O.D. – 2587 O.D. (A1 Era)
This is close to the present day Myleah where the situation is mostly stable. Several key themes characterize the current history:
The wizard Relantha's dedication for the city is attracting followers and she is beginning to have symptoms of increasing power due to the adoration of the people. In 2201 O.D., Relantha became immortal from the influx of power, which continues to grow. At such a rate, her ascension could happen at some time in the future.
Trade Liberalization and Foreign Males
A great sticking point in the current situation of Myleah is the status of traveling males from other countries. With peace on the borders of Deglos, Galdos and most of T'Nanshi, trade routes have opened up between Myleah and the rest of the continent. A short route by sea and river also takes travelers to the city from the east. The influx of goods has done much to vitalize Jechran and Myleah, but the wandering male merchants and now adventurers have become a cultural problem with the natives.
The more conservative Jechranian tribeswomen are concerned that males will destroy everything thatDre'Ana and Yeraiah have taught them, and more importantly contact could corrupt the thoughts of their subservient native males. Liberal members of the nation believe that as long as the traveling males do not try to settle in the lands, they should be allowed to trade. The local city government of Myleah has decreed that foreign males may stay in an Inn while visiting the city but may not establish residence there. If they do so, they are subject to capture. If they refuse capture, they are subject to death. They have also decreed that a foreign male may not remove a Jechranian woman, forcibly or willingly, from the city. The penalty for that is capture or death.
The strange relationship with the neighboring Titanian nixie settlement is acerbated by the influx of new trade. Traditionally, the nixies of Lake Batoma helped keep people away from Myleah by boat. Since the nixies derive some of their supplies and economic gain from sinking hapless boats that pass over the lake, they have inadvertently prevented invasion of Myleah from the east even in times when the two communities were at war. However, now that the influx of trade is enriching Myleah economically, sinking ships on the lake is becoming bad for Jechranian business. The nixies of Qwaveth instead see it as a boon to their own riches by the higher numbers of ships.
The Ghosts of Fejraka
Late at night to the southwest of the city, tribeswomen camping out in the woods are hearing strange ghostly noises coming from some ruins of the old city of Fejraka. A few have even reported the presence of apparitions and run away scared. The women of Myleah are superstitious about angry orc ghosts from times past and avoid the place completely. The source of the noises is still a mystery.