Friday, July 9, 2010

The Weekly Offworlder

Quena - Land of the Igwaza Riders

During this time of year, the land of Veratar is racked by cold gales that come in from the Sea of Sirena. There's always shelter to be found in towns and cities, but you don't want to be caught in the open during the these icy storms.

Recently, I've been spending more time in Quena, a Sidrani township that sits between the city state of Phaedra to the west and Silentwood forest to the east. (See the southwest region of this map.) The town is large enough to matter, yet small enough to acknowledge my presence. Markets filled with baked goods, cooked meats and rare spices overload ones sense of smell. Blue willow trees whirl in the wind and fill the air with the sound of their rustling leaves.

Many of the men here make their living as animal trainers. They work with several different types of beasts such as flying lizards and great stags, which they tame for various adventurers seeking to travel east and north. If you're fortunate enough to catch a beast of your own in the field, the Quenans are most likely your only hope of taming it.

Citizens of Quena are gearing up for the annual Igwaza Run. Hundreds of these creatures are rounded up by trainers in an area known as the Igwaza Preserve and herded to Quena. While Igwaza are hearty creatures, they are known to die in captivity if they're not suited for domestication, so only a handful of the best candidates are kept. The rest are "run" back down into the valley preserve by young boys riding on Igwaza mounts of their own.

Quenan culture centers around harmonious existence with the beasts of the wild. For every feral creature in this region, there is another that is loyal to its caring Sidrani master.

-Safe travels!

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