Many of the smaller regions or groups in Úr’Dan wield inordinate power over the subcontinent. We’ve already seen this with Driftport, the city out of which all Úr’Daní trade flows, and the Arrowhead, which serves as a necessary stopping point for trade flowing up and down Everwash.
Well, as promised, we’re going to look at yet another region that, while geographically and demographically small, holds enormous sway in Úr’Dan.
Naebvael is a small valley set within the northeastern peaks of the Hundred Teeth. The only known entrance to this valley is through the Cloudwash river valley, as its waters spill southward into the Uplands and race down to empty in the Marsh.
Rocky and perpetually rainy, Naebvael is a hostile land to all but the hardiest of denizens. The lime-rich soil stifles most crops and bleeds into the streams feeding into Cloudwash and color its waters a milky white, giving the river its name. Roots and tubers prevail in agriculture, and hardy goats herd on the scrub and sparse grasslands of Naebvael.
The People of Naebvael
Due to its geographic constraints, the people of Naebvael — Naebí — have long been isolated from any other communities in Úr’Dan. The scattered villages and goat herders of Naebvael seldom interacted with the river and marsh traders far to their south.
That began to change with the discovery of one material within the high mountains and rocky cliffs: iron ore.
The Naebí began mining iron ore about 800 years before the events of WoEM. The Naebí prospered and learned how to forge and use iron tools, weapons, and armor. Out of this grew a strong warrior culture, which often manifested in brief, bloody skirmishes between the clans of Naebvael. These skirmishes then evolved into a form of war games, but the warrior culture of the Naebí became renowned as they sold their fighting and forging services to the highest bidders in Úr’Dan.
Their iron goods proliferated in trade for centuries until they mastered the art of forging steel.
Some steel armaments and other materials were traded outside of Naebvael, but the Naebí forgers did not want to give away their secrets so readily.
Some of the Naebí leaders decided that they would form a quorum to control the trade of their steel outside of Naebvael. The various trade and craft masters came together in the Sentúrum to decide how and when — and at what prices — Naebí steel would flow down Cloudwash to the Barger’s Marsh.
However, traders along the Cloudwash did not always agree. The Naebí will need to decide whether they will work with their neighbors, or protect their trade by force.