Ruthmarna is a mountainous area that lies just north of Drache, serving as a border between the port city and Leptatarna in Northern Arangoth. It is home to the somewhat treacherous and well-traveled North-South Highway that extends from from Drache in the south, over the Darian River, and winds through the mountains to cities such as Hornath ul-Marfed and Tagrana in the north.
|Location||Center of Arangoth|
This mountainous region separates Transdariania from the fields of northern Arangoth and is inhabited primarily by dwarves who mine gold, silver and other precious materials from deep caverns within the earth.
Behind the Name
The name "Ruthmarna" is Arangothian for the "Mineland". The name is derived from the terms "ruthmi", which translates to "cavern" or "mine" in the common tongue, and "arna", "land" or "homeland". Ruthmarnans specifically refers to the ancestral race of dwarves that call Ruthmarna their home.
Most Noted Geographical Features
A narrow road crosses Ruthmarna from north to south, with many sharp windings, steep precipices and precarious bridges. This road often becomes unpassable due to avalanches or other disasters, and the only inhabitants outside the dwarvish miners are the Arangothians of various races settled in mountain villages with the job of making repairs on this vital thoroughfare. The main villages along the road, from south to north, are Thraxeti Kerrat, Diggodrele, Lurintheti Netri, Quarpodar, Tisponthoss, and Bralkadossath. In the common tongue, the villages are called Diamond Creek, Hundred-bricks, Golden Axe, Black-house, The Oven, and The Height, respectively.
Ruthmarna is also home to Prakanthoss, an ancient monastery located high in the mountains. Prakanthoss has trained both human and dwarven Templars of Menxvan for centuries. The monastery's name means "the anvil" in Arangothian, and it is said to be the place where Templars are molded from ordinary people. This is usually the first place young Initiates are sent for training, where they undergo a strenuous regime of prayer and physical exertion in the cold, thin mountain air. After the Great Shadow's takeover in 486, the Templars of Menxvan were allowed to continue using Prakanthoss.
History of the Area
The dwarves were the primeval inhabitants of Ruthmarna and governed themselves in ancient times. Once humans had settled in Arangoth, the dwarves and humans began trading foodstuffs for metal. Grand Duke Folvaholk of Leptatarna (Northern or Inner Arangoth) was responsible for building the north-south highway, and he also forced the Ruthmarna dwarves to swear fealty to him by threatening to obstruct their food supply. He established his son Kukarek as Grand Duke of Ruthmarna, and from that point onwards the heir to the Grand Duchy of Leptatarna always held the title Grand Duke of Ruthmarna. Later, when the Grand Duke of Leptatarna became recognized as King of Arangoth, the title Grand Duke of Ruthmarna was routinely held by the crown prince and heir to the throne. Ruthmarna supplied the gold, silver and copper for the Arangothian mint, and therefore it was very well-policed while the Old Kingdom still existed.
With the collapse of the Old Kingdom, the dwarves of Ruthmarna regained their ancient independence for a brief period, but they proved unable to defend themselves reliably against bandits who flourished after the old Arangothian police disappeared. For about half a century Ruthmarna fell into a state of anarchy, the old villages along the road resembling nothing so much as towns in the Wild West. Each village established a degree of vigilante justice, and bandits who were caught were generally thrown to their deaths from various precipices. The most fearsome bandit of all was Tatarn-ul-Tarrath (Tatarn-of-the-horn) who for a while had control of several of the villages, kept most of the dwarvish miners enslaved, and burned Thraxeti Kerrat to the ground after his romantic overtures were spurned by a girl native to that village (whom he abducted anyway; she was the mother of his daughter Tarla). Tatarn-ul-Tarrath was captured and thrown to his death by a vigilante group from Quarpodar, and since then his band's power has diminished somewhat, though it has continued to be a problem under Tatarn's ruthless successors, his daughter Tarla Nixkenixe and his brother Norpovath Quar. They still controlled some of the less-accessible mines and called themselves the Riders of the Horn (Sangliodaloth-ul-Tarrath) after Tatarn's horn, their most prized relic. They terrorized the countryside at will, and periodically staged merciless raids on the gutsy village of Quarpodar to avenge the death of old Tatarn-ul-Tarrath.
When the inhabitants of Ruthmarna learned of King BLKDRAGON and Queen AngelSin's arrival in Drache, they sent a delegation to recognize them as rightful sovereigns of Ruthmarna and bestowed the honorary title Grand Duke of Ruthmarna on their son, Prince Orion.
The Riders of the Horn took control of Lurintheti Netri, the Ruthmarnian capital in Hearthfire of 469. They claimed to be acting on behalf of the South, since the town supported Arlok rather than The Raven. The Northern Arangothian Army, led personally by Perlim Larkspin moved against them and eventually drove the Riders out of Ruthmarna, but not before they had killed many innocent people and started a fire that burned much of the city. Palatine Larkspin declared Ruthmarna under the authority of King Arlok.
The decline of the Riders of the Horn began with the death of Norpovath Quar in Hearthfire of 471 from a case of the Bloody Cough, an extremely contagious disease. His niece, Tarla Nixkenixe, took over control of the Riders, and decided to move their base of operations out of the increasingly well-patrolled mountains of Ruthmarna, into the war-torn and wild territory of Eastern Arangoth. There they preyed upon the countryside for almost a year, until a lull in the border conflict with the Assi gave the new Arangothian Army the resources to hunt bandits more aggressively. As a result, Tarla and the remnants of the Riders of the Horn moved north into the city of Taranor in Frost Fall of 472. After a few months of extorting Taranor, the Riders disbanded after Tarla was eaten by her own pet Golden Sand Panther.
In May of 486, Ruthmarna was taken over by a shadow dragon who simply called himself the Great Shadow. He began with a gradual takeover of the dwarven mining enclaves and finished with his hostile takeover of the capital, with the help of many of his cultists. The Sithire of Drache was taken prisoner, along with Prince Emereth and various members of the royal retinue.
When Drache declared its independence later that year, the Great Shadow consolidated his power, ruling Ruthmarna as a tyrant king with the help of a large group of cultists known as the Pact of the Umbra. Along with Isabelle Auxerre, his consort, the pair ruled the country for a short length of time before the Great Shadow inexplicably took a substantial portion of the country's wealth for himself, moved it to his home plane, and abandoned Ruthmarna altogether.
The country has only recently established a sustainable form of government in the wake of the Great Shadow's sudden theft and departure. It is now an independent duchy and served as one of the main battlegrounds in the war for Drachean independence during the Arangothian Civil War. Korian Kadoyan ascended to the title of holdings of Sithire, administered from Lurintheti-Netri, backed by the Guild-Clans of the Ruthmarnans.