Deepvale

Structure

Named for the dizzying height of its Valewalls and the depth of the valley floor, almost always in shadow, Deepvale is a dark land in which the powers of magic and the military industrial complex are fused into a disturbing and destructive machine. Deepvale is a despotic magocracy ruled by the occult Azure Wizards, and they run a brutally efficient machine, epitomized in the capital city of Azyr, the center of political and economic power located in the middle of the Vale, and the Obsalix, the foreboding citadel and school of the Azure Wizards in the north next to the Cowl, a seemingly fathomless and nearly jet-black lake. In line with its rulers, Deepvalen culture is highly stratified, with a vast majority of its population of Humans, Goblins, Orcs and Half-Orcs controlled as slave-like, Soulvein-enchanted Thralls, minds that have been stripped of the essence of their individuality and independence, to be replaced with unquestioning loyalty to the enchanters. This force forms the bulk of Deepvale's formidable army and the tens of thousands of miners and laborers who produce the wealth of ore and gems which fuels Deepvale's economy. The last fifth is construed of traders and artisans, officers of the Deepvalen army, and the magic-user classes of apprentices, drake-riding Dreaders, and the Azure Wizards themselves, rumored to be around 200 strong. The government and bureaucracy of Deepvale is completely controlled by the Azure Wizards, with the Nine Archmages, led by Archaeomancer Ofestolus the Grey and Archmage Evoker Lothlin Verna, forming the pinnacle of power while the rest of the Wizards hold every important post below them. Magic courses through the stones and the waters of Deepvale, and the Soulvein gems found in abundance in the Mine and buried deep throughout the western Valewalls give the Azure Wizards access to primal power to enhance their already potent magic.

History

Deepvale has a relatively short history as a magocracy, dating back to around 1900 AFR. Before that, the vale was one of the Kingdom of Eoland’s major mining areas, with Azyr the home of the most productive forges and refineries outside of Khad Korax. The Eolmen began utilizing the power of the raw, uncut Soulvein stones from the Mines of Deepvale around 1000 AFR, but their full potential was not unlocked until Teraias the Artificer, a native of the Deepvalen town of Iphia, discovered the method to magically cut the stones in 1750 so that they could be placed into artifacts. Along with many other magic items incorporating Soulvein stones, Teraias created the eight Mage’s Scepters, artifacts of great power that are tied to the origins of the Azure Wizards, before the Soul Weavers deemed his work too dangerous and imprisoned him until his death. The Azure Wizards, however, retained the powerful scepters and employed them to quickly rise to power as a clandestine rebellion against the Kingdom of Eoland in the 19th and 20th centuries.

It is rumored that the Azure Wizards were ultimately installed by the Devil Lords of Urda in the buildup to the Second Ruination, but the origins of the highly secretive cadre of mages are kept a mystery. It is known that they were officially founded in the 1880s by the Archmage Razo Savorin, a great transmuter who unlocked the power of the Soulvein sapphires from the Mines by using one of the Mage’s Scepters. Savorin, along with seven other Azure Wizards (some possessing the Mage’s Scepters), deposed the Eorl of Deepvale in 1915 and, not wanting to openly rule himself, installed a line of puppet monarchs who governed in name only as Savorin extended his Human life using dark and demonic transmutations. Some believe that he made a deal with Braxis Tarkerin, High Devillord of Urda, to give him power and unnaturally long life, allowing him to live until nearly 160 years old, up to the end of the Second Ruination. Whatever the stories, Deepvale sided with Urda when the Four Fiends erupted and the Second Ruination began, invading the rest of the Vales and conquering the Vale of Spires, sacking Trastrim in 1950 after the Desolation of the Rift.

Deepvale's dominion over the Spires was short lived, however, as the Voran Church made a vast power grab and conquered all the Vales in 1958. The greatly weakened Savorin was killed by his own apprentice at the behest of the Voran Septarch Theverud, and the Azure Wizards became an often unwilling tool of the Voran Empire for over two centuries, brutally maintaining order in the Vales with the Dreaders and controlling all of the Isthmi. Deepvale eventually joined their longtime enemies, the Spirans, to defeat the Voran Empire at the Battle of Titanspine in the Vale of Bones in 2166.

A brief period of uneasy peace followed, but the Azure Wizards rose once again, having rediscovered or recaptured five of the eight Mage’s Scepters, and their greed was intensified by the suspicion that the remaining three Scepters were in the Spires. It was then that the Spires and Deepvale began to form factions, with the Kingdom of Kest siding with the Spirans and the Dominion of Ondeth supporting the Azure Wizards. Tensions escalated, punctuated by skirmishes and assassinations, until full-scale war broke out 2252, starting the five-year War of the Vales that devastated much of the population and countryside, each side vying for control of the Isthmi and the tunnels underneath the towering, impassable Valewalls, the only direct lifeline connecting the Vales. Battlevale, just to the west of the Spires and once a verdant and densely populated agrarian area, was the site of the major battles of the war and thus nearly decimated in the Azure Wizards’ scorched earth policy. After Altrivden's Armistice (named after the ruler of the small city-state of Rivden in Battlevale) in 2257, a fragile peace has been maintained, with both sides sequestering power and resources in what seems like an inevitable march towards war. The Azure Wizards, under Ofestolus and Lothlin Verna, are cautious but still believe the lost Scepters to be somewhere in the Spires, or at least in the neighboring lands under Spiran control. The last five years has seen a marked increase in military exercises, the hiring of mercenaries from the shattered Voran Empire, the Teeth and Urda, and the Dreaders shadow the Western Vales more and more each day.

Territories

The territory of Deepvale comprises of six Vales: Deepvale, the Vale of Bells, the Wailing Vale, the Vale of Bones, theVale of Rage, and Mirevale, including all the Isthmi and Valewalls in between. The Azure Wizards also control the Goldgate, Cold Lake, the ferry town of Teraias, and pieces of the roads in Corevale, although they are currently considered neutral territory.

Religion

The Azure Wizards have outlawed the worship of many of the good aligned deities of Creacia. Nethys and Pharasma are the only deities that are openly worshipped by the Azure Wizards themselves, though it is rumored that there are shrines to Asmodeus, Gorum, Urgathoa, Zon-Kuthon, Norgorber, and Calistria. The people of Deepvale and the surrounding lands worship either in secret or have been so enthralled by the enchanting effects of the Soulvein-infused emeralds that they have forgotten their gods.

Agriculture & Industry

There is little agriculture in Deepvale, though there are some farmlands along Bosrath Brook and Shadow Creek. Most of the food and livestock is bought with ore or gemstones from the Mines of Deepvale, which is the main source of wealth for the Azure Wizards. The legendary forges of Azyr still produce some of the finest metal work outside the Khads of the Mountain Dwarves, and the weapons, armor and other finished items--many of them magical--are shipped as far as Akad.

The Shining Shadow

Population
121,350

Distribution
58% Human, 12% Goblin, 8% Half-Orc, 6% Natyr, 4% Gear Gnome, 4% Halfling (2% Hearth/2% Wanderlust), 3% Tiefling, 2% Mountain Dwarf, 3% varies

35% in Azyr, 25% in the Mines, 22% in other towns, 18% rural

Founding Date
Unknown
Capital
Azyr
Demonym
Deepvalen
Head of State
Ofestolus the Grey
Head of Government
Lothlin Verna
Government System
Magocracy
Power Structure
Confederation
Currency
Drakkens
Major Exports
Ore, gemstones, metal work, arms, magic items, glass, oil
Major Imports
Food, livestock, wine, ale, spices, paper, textiles
Location
Azyr
Official Languages

Articles under Deepvale


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