Central Mhirriah: Erzhabell

Erzhabell is known to be the most humid region in The Provinces of Mhirriah. At just over 100,000 square kilometers, the region is a mix of tropical rainforests, dense warm jungles, and at its very center lies a dark city that many would say is the capital of Mhirriah: Xiolba (shooll-bah). The Region was named after Empress Mhirriah's right hand, who established the Church of Mhirriah, The Mhirrian Circles, and was closest to the Empress. Erzhabell was a Arcanist from a brutal culture the empire of Ozlith warred with and eventually conquered who routinely practiced human sacrifice to appease their old gods. The culture of these people remains to this day heavily preserved by Erzhabell and the empire itself as they thoroughly appreciated the uniqueness of the cultures they encountered.

The way that they built their cities, their cleanliness, and their unique forms of dress and use of precious stones to accentuate jewelry and other garments all added to this fascination. Despite their brutality, the Erzha, as they came to be called in Mhirriah, are the most "civilized" of the cultures among the provinces, preferring large cities to the small settlements and reclusive lifestyles the other clans. This fact is due in large part to not only the historical culture of the people but also the nature of their environment.  

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Hot and rainy

  The region experiences high temperatures and usually has large amounts of rainfall throughout the year that feed the rainforests of the region. These high temperatures do lower in the winter but the winters in Erzhabell are often described as comfortable as opposed to harsh.

The trees that grow often bear fruit and the Erzha have utilized this fact. They have cleared trees outside of the city that were not fruit bearing and planted trees that were, the druids in the circle of storms, who act on behalf of the church in the region, cast spells to increase growth and food production allowing for massive orchards that feed large amounts of people.

On top of this hunters often seek out the largest game to feed the largest amount of people as the city of Xiolba has almost 24 thousand people who live there.            

The Erzha

The Erzha are usually tall and toned with darker skin ranging from light olive to dark brown in tone. The Erzha are often avoided by the other cultures as the many years of war waged to dominate the region. the wars were fought against more than the other tribes of Mhirriah.

The wilds of the forests are by far some of the most hostile in the nation. Numerous dangers lurk around every corner such as diseases, quicksand, poisonous flora, hostile predators, much more.

It is said that in the early days of Mhirriah, the Erzha we're actually engaged in a war with a specific breed of megaflora. This breed would be the Black Lotus, which used to be more plentiful but we're hunted to near extinction by the Erzha.

The Erzha, like all the clans in Mhirriah, are survivors. They learned to adapt to this environment and over time taught it to work for them. They domesticated many creatures and those who couldn't be tamed were driven from sight of the city walls. The Erzha are often seen as primitive to Estoyans despite being one of the few tribes who reside in an actual city. They wear little clothing, including armor as the summer heat has thwarted many invasions over its history. They also resort to violence much quicker than other tribes tend to, even when compared to The Highland Berzerkers.

Erzha is the only place where slavery is legal in the known nations. Slaves are routinely bought, sold, and sacrificed. This slavery is usually kept in control as the Erzha fear the other regions building an alliance to take the city. They do this by targeting undesirables and outsiders who are unpopular to the other tribes.

The Erzha are known for their warriors who dress in the flayed skin of animals and prisoners alike. The so-called Flayed Legion are the pride of Erzhabell and most are trained from a young age to kill with great efficiency.



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Erzhabell, the right hand of the empress

Erzhabell formed almost all the druidic circles in the nation and took the words of the Goddess herself and use them to establish the church that rules the nation. She routinely traveled reciting the holy text of her goddess and friend to the masses until it became the main religion and the governing body of Mhirriah. Mhirriah herself, being a silent goddess, is said to have used Erzhabell, and all matriarchs after her, like her voice. Those in Mhirriah recognize the matriarchs as the voice of their goddess and seldom pray to Mhirriah herself. It was Erzhabell, The First Matriarch, who laid down this and many other traditions that all other matriarchs and the druid's under them follow to this day. These include traveling the entirety of the nation settling various disputes between clans and even between other circles. Many consider the city of Xiolba holy and use it as a pilgrimage as the Supreme matriarch always makes the city her home. They come from all over the nation to Bear witness to miracles and ask advice in various elements of Life.      

The Flayed Legion

  The standing army of Erzhabell, the flayed legion were formed by some of the remaining few members of the Seven Centurion Legions of Ozlith. While in the beginning it only contained a few hundred soldiers it quickly grew as the traditions of the empire were lost and new ones became more prominent. As old generations died and new generations were born, the members of this legion took to skinning the animals and even human enemies they came across. They would wear these skins depending on their situation sometimes as a means of keeping warm if in a colder climate of Mhirriah, other times as an intimidation tactic to ensure that others would think twice before attacking their region. While gruesome the tactic had quite effect and the soldiers of the legion began employing crude weapons designed to deal the maximum amount of damage to the skin. They would take whittled wooden posts and then embed sharp obsidian teeth Into them. These teeth, while sharp, were incredibly jagged. Wounds would be made as the post bounces off the body causing snagging and tearing in small amounts to the skin. Most bleed out pretty quick and those who do not are either skinned alive or taken back to the city for sacrifice.
Location under
An Introduction to The Provinces of Mhirriah
Owner/Ruler
The Mhirrian Circles
Owning Organization
Druids



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Ruins

  Xiolba it's not the first attempt at building a large community for the region, in fact the entirety of the region is littered with ruins dating all the way back to the beginning of the nation. Some of these ruins were temples, others were almost like bunkers or forts designed to be military bases so that the region's strategic locations can be easily defended and always have a reserve of troops. Most of these ruins have been long abandoned or taken over by small mercenary groups, bandits, or the creatures of the wild. While some of these ruins have been ventured into, and led to the finding of great treasures, most of the time it is considered a suicidal effort. Most of the major relics of the tribe and great artifacts of the Ozolithian empire have already been recovered and now reside in the step pyramids of Xiolba. New ruin's pop up every day and the people rarely even attempt to wade in and discover what resides within them.    

The city of Xiolba

  The city is surrounded by a large stone wall that extends over 20 feet into the air with Towers lining is perimeter. The many buildings of clay and Stone within the city are dwarfed by the massive step pyramids built by the circles to venerate the main religion of the nation as well as the old gods that they brought with them in their exodus. There are massive Market squares and public baths that are fed by large aqueducts. These aqueducts gather and store the rainwater from the forest feeding into the city where it's used for irrigation, washing city streets, drinking, and bathing. The aqueduct of Rouxsgate in Estoya was very much based on this one, with minor modifications. The city is known for it splendor as many buildings are decorated in precious stones. Bones coated in gold hang from arches and doorways. People ride on the backs of beasts that prowl the earth and skies.      
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The meaning of Xiolba.

While Ozlith is well known for speaking Latin, its original language was actually very different and remains to this day. Its used primarily in its written language. The term Xiolba literally translates to Black Sun which the people of the city know quite well. Every day when the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky it remains there for almost 3 hours stuck in some strange arcane eclipse. This eclipse is due to ancient spells that Erzhabell herself cast. The particulars around the spell, as well as why it was initially cast is not known, however, many suspect it had to do with the overall workday. Initially, the region was not prone to slave labor, rather a system of indentured servitude was put in place and in order to ensure maximum productivity in building the city, Erzhabell enchanted the sun itself to remain in a black eclipse over the city for three additional hours to maximize the fruits of the servant's labor. People who are aware of the stories behind this member of the Entourage find this to be very difficult to believe. While Erzhabell was a member of a brutal culture she herself was said to be kind and full of compassion. It is most likely an illusion to pay homage to her culture. This lost culture would perform their sacrifices at just the right moment before an eclipse to ensure the Sun would move past the darkness. Many Arcanists will be quick to point out that it is, in fact, an illusion that the sun itself has not been enchanted.

Comments

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17 Dec, 2018 21:44

A very detailed article. Felt warmer just reading it! Great work :)   A couple of typos in the Ruins section, though. It's > is and a rogue apostrophe in 'ruins' in the last sentence.

17 Dec, 2018 23:06

Ohhhh thanks for that lol. I'll fix it and thanks for like and comment.

18 Dec, 2018 00:06

I like how you included a pronunciation guide for Xiolba, it definately helps readability! I like how detailed you went into this place, and how you managed to come up with a justification for how a tribe can own slaves in a world where that's generally frowned upon. I do have to note quite a few grammar issues here and there, maybe a quick proofread wouldn't hurt. Still, great job!

18 Dec, 2018 00:23

Thanks for enjoying it and leaving me a comment. I try to proofread before posting but a lot slips through. I'll take a careful look and revise.

18 Dec, 2018 07:08

I really like the magical and tropical nature of the place. I do wonder, with three hours of black sun how is the plantation still growing? the druids would need to fix the trees not make them grow more fruit, imo. Also, the naming of the place as the name of a mage is really disorienting to read for the first paragraph or so.

18 Dec, 2018 13:35

I'll consider revising the first paragraph But to answer your question the black sun is only an illusion it affects nothing else but sight

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