Background[edit | edit source]
One of the smaller and least prosperous kingdoms in the Steadfast, Thaemor is often overshadowed by its neighbor. In fact, the other kingdoms consider it something of a joke.
That wasn't always so, however. Bordered by two rivers and a mountain, Thaemor was once an unnamed, but very much desired, piece of land, part of a three-way war between Navarene, Draolis, and Malevich. Each power wished to lay claim to the fertile triangle.
In the midst of the struggle, one man took it upon himself to claim the place he later named Thaemor. Goldguard Landon was a fearsome warrior who knew everything about how to defend a region from the onslaught of multiple kingdom but absolutely nothing about running a kingdom himself. Under Landon's rule, Thaemor's border were always well protected and cared for, even from the mightiest of foes, but the same couldn't be said for the people and places within.
After Landon's passing, his son Kaldon took hold of Thaemor and ran it (if you could call it that) much as his father had. He sired a number of children, but none of his heirs survived, and when he died, a man named Holiva the First took office within the Precipice, although no one can quite remember where Holiva came from or what skills even qualified him to rule.
Today, the way in which other kingdoms look down on Thaemor is a source of pain and embarrassment for Holiva, for he believes that his kingdom could be a land of great power and opportunity if only others could see what he sees.
Unfortunately, what he sees is very little that's either real or true. Although Thaemor is a region of deeply buried riches, clear waters, and fertile lands that haven't yet come to fruition, Holiva sees none of that. He doesn't see the intelligent, hardworking people or their potential to be great leaders, teachers, warrior, and scholars.
Instead, everything Holiva sees is viewed through the shadowy lens of his vizier, the Hand of Melch, and the hand urges him toward only one thing, the restoration of the shadow herd.
"The shadow herd," the Hand tells him, "is a group of dark, formless creatures, born of a wicked mind older than the kingdom itself. Free them, and it is they, they, who will help Thaemor become what it once was. They who will help the whole of the Steadfast - nay, the whole of the world kneel before Thaemor's feet and crown your head with glory."
Holiva believes what the Hand tells him. There's only one problem: the hand that Holiva listens to is his own. The man spends his waking hours talking with his own body part in the form of a shadow puppet. He mostly stays awake throughout the night, when glowglobes provide the most clearly defined shadow puppet and thus, even, when he believes he can hear the advice of his vizier most truly.
While Holiva pools all of his country's resources toward the single purpose of reviving the shadow herd, the people of the land work deftly and silently beneath his clouded gaze. After having successive rulers with little to no skill in leadership, the people of Thaemor have learned to become self-sufficient.
Of course, no one whispers that Holiva the First might've lost his sanity long ago - that would be treason. And no one whispers of the ancient time when the shadow herd thundered across all the lands tucked in the shade of the Black Riage - that would be superstition.
Cities[edit | edit source]
Hearsay[edit | edit source]
Sanctimonious Saviors:[edit | edit source]
A group of people calling themselves the Saviors have started preaching in the streets of Jyrek. Dressed in deep purple and standing in a circle beneath the Eyren, they tell tales of deadly creatures growing inside the structure, creatures that will soon tear apart the egg and spill across the land. They promise that those who join the Saviors will be redeemed, but they won't reveal how until you become a member of their order.
Pitcher Plants:[edit | edit source]
Dotted along the eastern bank of the River Septim, a new species of plant has taken root. These pitcher plants grow leafy traps that are big enough to catch large birds, rodents, and fish. Chi Brogs, a known member of the The Sarracenians, has been studying the new plants and believes them to be part of the plot to infiltrate Thaemor, but he can't discover any additional information on his own.
Wild Beats:[edit | edit source]
At night, residents of the village of Aagar hear what sounds like a pack of wild animals or machines running and clanking through the streets. Those who dare to venture outside see nothing abnormal, but in the morning, there are usually signs of carnage. Two townspeople have been killed so far, their bodies looking as though they were attacked by mechanical claws. The village has implemented a curfew, but the frightened residents are at a loss.
Weird[edit | edit source]
Up and Away:[edit | edit source]
Every morning, shortly after dawn, a round blue orb can be seen rising from the Wyr River comes down off the mountain. the orb doesn't seem to come out of the water, and no one has been able to capture it - or even verify that it's the same orb everyday.
The Black Head:[edit | edit source]
At the edge of the Black Riage, east of Jyrek, an object that resembles a head carved out of the ebony mountain. It's nearly as tall as a man and features odd protrusions of different glass-like materials that light up in various patterns.
Man of the Mountain:[edit | edit source]
In a crook of the Black Riage nearly 100 ft. up lives a man who has built a nest-like shelter. He never seems to come down from the mountain. Birds and other kinds of flying creatures bring him food and various objects. They especially like eyeballs and will not hesitate to attempt to take one from someone who's still using it.
References[edit | edit source]
- Cook, Monte, et al. “The Steadfast.” Numenera Discovery, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 148-149. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-45-2
- Cook, Monte, et al. “The Steadfast.” Numenera Discovery, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 150. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-45-2