Chu-Caan Settlement in Valley of Man | World Anvil
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Chu-Caan has the second smallest population size of any of the cavern cities. Its population was originally some mix of Elkin and Gardeners after the rock rains before being conquered. Post-conquest, their descendants were regulated to a slave class within their old home.


Q'an Short Step

Every short step has their own zonal capital that exerts powers of self-government and jurisdiction as granted by the overall laws to which it is subordinate. Chu-Caan holds the honor of being both the capital of the Q'an Short Step and the official capital of Long Step. However, while this brings with it some prestige, there are negative consequences as well.  
Given Chu-Caan was made the capital while it was at its weakest, it never had the opportunity to really impose its will towards its own destiny.
— Political Historian


Gatte Mouth

It was not immediately obvious where the Mouth entrance was to invading armies coming from the warm side of the Step; as it was during the Seductions.   The hugely open maw that is typical for a gatte faced the open sky over the Cold Swamp and the only approaches remain the narrow hot-rock paths carved onto either side.  
Chu-Caan fell the hardest of the major cities. Take that as a lesson: the physical representation of a city's inclusiveness opened up to nothing but a blank white sky.
Elkin wanderer

Industry & Trade

Seat of Government

Unusual for capitals, Chu-Caan got its designation as an act of political compromise in the waning days of the Seductions where it lost against a final coalition of caverns. In the broken shell of Chu-Caan's mouth, there was serious disagreement among the victors for which city: Mytenii, Hajjinis or White Woman; would become the new capital. A disagreement that nearly came to physical blows.  
To avoid another war, it was decided that the ruins in which they stood would become the new capital. Three quarters of the population had been slain and the rest stripped of their property and enslaved, so there was ample room for the soldiers to call home.
Mountain Toik Historian

Terrace Farming

A method of farming whereby “steps” (terraces) are built onto the slopes of hills and mountains. When it rains, instead of rain carrying away the soil nutrients and plants down the slope, they flow into the next terrace.

Mold Medicines

A large class of mold, fungi and parasites that thrive in the grooves and provide medicinal value in treating diseases, birth control, bodily enhancements, ailments and in fashioning special casts.


Peak Snow

Collecting snow is a relatively cheap means of earning a modest income, provided it does not melt on the way to lower markets.   In addition, the snow is mixed with three parts snow and one part wood pulp to make peat ice which is a durable building material.

Mountain Ponds and Lakes

In depressions just above the mid range or in it, many ice melt lakes form from the peaks runoff which is an easy source of water for the inhabitants.

Guilds and Factions

Short Steps

Short Steps have belatedly been attributed to be the smaller alliance organisations that were subsumed into the larger Long Step at the end of the Seductions Period. At the same time, it is the unofficial name given to the smaller municipalities whose areas drape over the Step like multi-patched coverings over furniture.  
Mytenii Short Step
Within Chu-Caan, Mytenii on the Step takes charge of half of the terrace farms and their allocation on the Slopes.
Hajjinis Short Step
Within Chu-Caan, Hajjinis takes charge of the social services offered to the capital and Pisk'Ok citizens.
Protilla Short Step
Within Chu-Caan, Protilla takes charge of overseeing the output of Cinder and Plaat.
White Woman Short Step
Within Chu-Caan, White Woman takes charge of overseeing the output of Yo-I-Roq and half of the terrace farms and their allocation on the Mid Range.
Yulyult Short Step
Within Chu-Caan, Yulyult takes charge of the internal security of the capital and Pisk'Ok.


Race to the Bottom

In the Step-wide competition to colonize the swamp, Chu-Caan's luck was second only to Mytenii. Especially impressive because none of its Sinks were populated with prisoners.  
Yo-I-Roq in the Vapors was well establish before the office start of the race.
Cinder next to Cinders grew at along the same time and rate as Mytenii by the Light despite being away from large sources of water.
Plaat by the False Water is the deepest the step folk ventured into the Cold Swamp.

Age of Alliances

Chu-Caan never followed the political trends as their neighbours. For most of this time, Chu-Caan's leaders focused on establishing routes towards the swamp and rarely ventured out of their cave to engage in the political and military affairs.  

The Seductions

Before they collectively joined in the Triple Alignment; the seductions was a period of wars and series of diplomatic unifications of various organisations and major settlements of the Bad Step, over time.  
Chu-Caan was the last theater of a 300 year effort to bring folks together and end all wars
— Folklorist

Vanilla Wars

Yo-I-Roq, Cinder and Plaat hold a greater amount of independence compared to most other Sinks.   When the various wars for independence erupted along the the wet wilds, these three did not participate on behalf of either side for Sinks' independence.


Tuskin Monoliths

It is uncertain what purpose the rock shards served, if there ever was one at all. It is probable that they formed accidentally when half the Bad Step was sheared away during the Machy.

Pisk'Ok Jump

Elkin conservative values are wholly regulated internally, but free trade with foreigners is segregated to take advantage of being the closest to the Step capital.


Mud Houses

Damp earth collected from outside the Mouth sculpted into hut-like sheds atop hot-rock platforms that bake the mud pile into their hardened forms.

Hot Houses

Chu-Caan digs deep into the mountain. It reaches into rich quarries of hot-rocks by which the people shape into homes for themselves.


The majority of Chu-Caan sits on a multi-level plateauing cliff. The city's front is considered to be facing away from the rest of the Long Step.

Natural Resources

Snow: Even though it is snowy on the top thirds of these mountains, they are still rich in bio-diversity throughout. Collecting snow is a relatively cheap means of earning a modest income, provided it does not melt all the way before reaching valley markets.   Fungal Groves: Housed in the deepest, reachable depths of the cities' caverns are grown a rich assortment of mushrooms, mosses, molds, certain nuts, creeping figs, sweet worms and other species that grow well in the damp dark for purposes of local consumption.   But what makes these groves truly valuable is that in them are grown a species of fungi that is used to manufacture fungal fabrics that are water resistant, thermally insulating, rubber/leather-like, and light weight.   Black Road Access: The black road is the name given to an extensive network of carved steps and cleared pathways that connect the cities of the step to the deep, unknowable places in the deep swamp.   They start from the trails chiseled into the cold rock face as part of the Bad Step; sometimes looping into and out of the Mountain Blood veins as they descend to the Sink(s). The sinks maintain a clear cut path through the wilds before merging into the winding reed roads as part of the deep swamp where the pale ones await them.   Because of this, the greatest resource to be found are the strategic locations along the mountain passes that deliver on trade.

Alternative Name(s)
Broken Jaw
Inhabitant Demonym
Step Folk
Location under
Included Locations
Owning Organization
Related Professions
Long Step
Organization | Jun 2, 2024
Mountain Blood
Geographic Location | Jul 28, 2020

Cover image: Artwork in Canada by Adrian Michael Mulryan


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