Sauropodia Before the Word Wars in Sauropodia | World Anvil

Sauropodia Before the Word Wars


A Brief Prehistory

Sauropoda is an ancient literomantic House; its history may go back millions of years. But for much of recorded history it, like the other Great Houses, carried on in obscurity. Misunderstood by the non-literomantic population that vastly outnumbered it, the "dinos" - and their kin: the crocs and gators, the lizzies, learned to keep their special gifts - and especially their transformative abilities - hidden. Superstition is a powerful force, and the Sauropodans, like their other gifted kin, found it unwise to challenge that force.

As the 1700s dawned, the descendents of the ruling nobles of House Sauropoda, as well as a relatively small number of their most loyal adherents, found themselves living in western Europe. They, like many other groups that felt somehow repressed, looked to the New World for an opportunity to express themselves more openly and live more fruitful lives. And so, as word of the establishment of a new British colony called North Carolina spread, the scions of House Sauropoda gathered together those they could find and set off for the new world.

Founding of Jurassica

In 1733, the Sauropodans arrived in the newly founded port settlement of New Carthage - a city that would eventually become Wilmington - on the Cape Fear river. They obtained small land grant from the royal governor George Burrington and settled just outside the new port. But in brief interactions with earlier colonists and some of the indigenous peoples that still flourished in the forests, they heard of a tribe living in the mountainous region to the west - a tribe that called themselves the Saura.

Not willing to pass up the opportunity to possibly connect with a long-separated branch of the family tree, scouts were sent to find these people with such a fascinating and enticing name. These expeditions were somewhat disappointing, though. They did discover the people they hoped to find, only to learn that "Saura" was a European mangling of their true name, the Cheraw. But no hint of literomantic ability or Sauropodan traits were evident.

In the meantime, the Sauropodans were quickly discovering that many of the prejudices that made their lives difficult were just as common on the western shores of the Atlantic as they had been in Europe. Fortunately, though, while the explorers did not find long lost kin, they did find a rich, fertile valley in the mountains to the west. And so, using the last of the noble families wealth, the scions of Sauropoda obtained yet another land grant from the royal governor - this one for lands far to the west, nestled between two high ridges of the Appalachian mountains.

Gathering all they owned once more, the Sauropodans headed west, to the foot of the peak that the native Cherokee called Attakulla and the few Europeans that had ventured that far west called Black Dome. A hundred years later, it would be given the name Mount Mitchell. The settlement established in the valley was christened Jurassica, and the Sauropodans settled into a pastoral life of farming and logging, using their ancient knowledge to ensure both practices were ecologically sound and sustainable.

Post-Revolutionary to Modern Times

For the most part, the residents of Jurassica kept to themselves, and the rest of the peoples of North Carolina left them alone. Some dinos did join in the fight for American independence; a few joined the Continental Army; others the North Carolina militia. They were among the unsuccessful minority that fought against the Indian Removal Act of 1830 - the federal action that led to the infamous "Trail of Tears". Even in colonial times, the village had unanimously agreed that no residents would own slaves, and when the Civil War broke out, only a handful of the townsfolk joined the North Carolina regiments to fight against the Union.

Over the years, the literomantic heritage of the Sauropdans slowly flourished. The farms around the town kept the village well fed, and the sustainable logging industry expanded. Paper mills and printing houses were established, and Jurassica became a significant, though not broadly known, center for the publication of literary works of all types. Sadly, though, so much effort was put into the physical manufacture of books that much of the literomantic skills required to craft the words that would appear in those books dwindled. Only a small core of true literomancers continued to practice their arts to keep them from being lost entirely.

Slowly, inexorably, literomancers around the world - and especially those with a Sauropodan history - would hear of this little haven in the midst of the mountains, and would migrate there. But just as inexorably, many of the young who grew up in the sleepy village longed to see the wide world; many would leave and never return. This trend was accelerated by the second World War in the 1940s; many who left to join the fighting never moved back home.

The Tome Resurfaces

By the time the Iron Tome resurfaced, Jurassica was a town of approximately 5000 residents. Unfortunately, while many had literomantic blood, few had any real literomantic skill. The scions of the house had established a modest University for Literary Study (a thinly veiled effort to identify and train up the most promising Literomancers), but enrollments never met goals. Thus, when the Tome made itself known, and the Nite Monarq and their Undead Horde appeared to attempt to procure it, House Sauropoda was at best a filmy shadow of what it had been ages in the past. In an effort to call upon the ancient courage and glory of their ancestors, the sauropodans - like literomancers around the world - began to call themselves "Tome Knights". Not knowing what to expect, Good King Bob and his loyal followers readied themselves for the coming onslaught.

Pre-War Landmarks

Cambria Farms

Supplying most of the fresh produce demanded by the herbivores of the community, Cambria Farms has grown to also become a significant supplier of fresh, organic vegetables to much of western and central North Carolina. It is also supplies the famed "Dwarven Sausage Works", an old family-owned business which creates a much-sought delicacy using a secret recipe purported to be thousands of years old.

The Old Cemetery

In the 1730s, the founders of Jurassica established a small cemetery outside of the town on a nearby hilltop. In 1902, oil was discovered beneath the area, which became the final resting place for most of the residents since colonial times. The nobles of House Sauropoda used their political pull to have the area declared a historical burial ground to prevent having the area turned into a sea of oil derricks, though the ruling family did purchase a bit of land at the edge of the oil field which still produces crude oil and adds industry to the town to this day.

House Ruler Mausoleums

Near the oldest part of the cemetery, a series of white marble mausoleums mark the final resting places for the members of the ruling family dating back to those who founded Jurassica in the 1730s. Though not all from the same biological family, House Sauropoda's millenia-old practice of having rulers "adopt" heirs when no immediate family member is available or appropriate means the family can trace its lineage, and its power, back thousands of years.

The House Sauropoda Compound

House Sauropoda Compound by RPGDinosasurBob (Cities: Skylines)
Some of the members of the ancient ruling family of House Sauropoda live in Jurassica. A semi-private street lined with Victorian-style homes rings a modest mansion where the town mayor, called "King Bob" by the locals, lives. Some of these homes are not permanently occupied, but are kept ready for the very rare visits from other Literomancers.

Swampwater Sourmash Distillery

The current ruler of House Sauropoda and mayor of Jurassica is not only responsible for the daily administration of the town, but also for maintaining the family business that keeps the ruling family supplied with the cash it needs. Much of this comes from the Swampwater Sourmash Distillery, which has supplied premium whiskeys to the Eastern US for over two hundred years.

Dazzlikat's Garage

Dazzlikat's Garage by RPGDinosaurBob (Cities:Skylines)
Before there was a Raptor Squad, Dazzlikat was content to own and operate a modest automotive service and repair operation near the highway that was Jurassica's main link to the outside world. Living above the shop with her companion Trashy, Dazz spent a lot of time tinkering when not working on the vehicles of the townsfolk.


Please Login in order to comment!