Welcome to the Valley

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The Valley of Siyyon
      In the beginning, there was one. One people, who lived in harmony with the land, with the creatures in it, and with one another. This was in a time now so long ago that no one properly remembers what this people called themselves, or what it was they looked like. The only thing the legends all agree upon is that, after a millennia of coexistence, there arose among this people a great difference of opinion. This disagreement became conflict, and the conflict, war. When it was over, and the dust had settled, Taur-kin and Humans no longer recognized each other as kin. Through their own choices long ago, they came to walk different paths.

      The Valley of Siyyon is a land ruled by Taur-kin. The town of Spires Hollow belongs solely to humans. The other towns, Castillia Cove, and Fellmoor Landing, however, while primarily inhabited by humans also allows Taur inhabitants, but those who venture into the depths of the wild- either to make their trade, to forge a homestead, or otherwise- do so at their own considerable peril.

A Brief History
     Twenty years have passed, since the reign of Amaranth, and his alphas. The land of the Valley, ever a place of mystique and magic, has largely remained unchanged in the past two decades. The stage is the same, but they players have changed with the passing of the years, and the coming of the Three-Month's-War, which brought to end a peace that had always been tenuous, at best.

     At that time, tension between humans and taur-kin reached a zenith. Led by a felitaur named Icilia, a small group of Praevalere- predators then  confined to the forests of the northeastern Valley- launched a series of brutal attacks against the village of Spires Hollow. When the King of Fellmoor, the human country to which Spires Hollow belonged,  heard of this assault against his lands, he sent troops to teach the animal-people of the south  a lesson they would not quickly forget. Though the 'war' had been begun by the dissent of a few, it was the many who suffered. Forests burned. Taur-kin fell to musket-fire, and human blood spilled into the waters of the Auvona river. The fighting lasted for ninety-seven days and nights before a group of Alphas, distraught by the destruction of their lands and the murder of their people, called peace talks. A treaty was signed. Humans were again given the land of Spires Hollow as their own, as well as space enough for another town along the eastern shore. The borders of Praevalere, Esurien, and Viridis were dissolved. In return, the killing would stop. King Harrad of Fellmoor withdrew the men he had sent, and troubled peace returned to the Valley once again.

     These days, humans are not an entirely uncommon sight in the Valley. Taur-kin interact with them freely, though not always in peace. Trade flourishes, yet those humans who venture too far from the road do not always make it back. Predators travel now far beyond the borders of Praevalere, and likewise, the denizens of the other lands have begun to mix, travelling far and wide as they please. Only the old kingdom of Okeanos survived the treaty unscathed, and it still remains, ruled by a stern young sea-king who views the people of the land with aloof distrust.

     Mostly, though, life has returned to normal. Time passes, and with every ending comes a new beginning. This one is ours. What will you make of it?

Technology, Trade, and Education
     This is a world of fantasy. While humans and those who inhabit their villages generally have access to greater technology than the Taur-kin of the wilds, no place in Siyyon possesses a technological capacity beyond what one might expect from 17th-century Europe (the 1600's). Human in Spires Hollow have access to gas lighting, but this is reserved primarily for those few who can afford it. Electricity has not yet been harnessed, there is no running water, and medicine is often as much superstition as science. Rifles and blunderbusses are fairly common among humans, as well, but it is taboo for Taur-kin to take or use such an object of mass destruction.

     Most trade goods travel to this remote area via wagon, or by foot, along the human highway north of Spires Hollow and throughout the whole Valley via trade routes. Freight ships do pass along the southern coast from time to time, and may stop to unload goods in Castelia Cove or the human settlements at the mouth of the Kalea river, but in general, this is an uncommon occurrence. An abundance of less-than-friendly taurs in the water often encourage captains to opt for as swift a journey through the region as possible.

     Education in the Valley is typically handled on a community-by-community basis. Most people, both Taur-kin and humans, know how to read, even if their level of education isn't particularly high.

      All the human villages have a public primary school through which most children pass as they grow, and past that, families who are well off can sometimes afford to hire tutors or send their offspring to cities outside the Valley for their education.

     As for Taur-kin, Betas of the community handle childrearing communally, teaching children without the need for schoolhouses. In Okeanos, particularly, education is emphasized- Zhu Shao is working hard to bring back an age of scholarly enlightenment such as was known in ages past, and his people are particularly well learned.
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