Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kazek Zel before the Fall (Part III a)

I realized I wrote the name of the island "wrong" in the second header, but used it more often than in part 1. Might as well go with it and change the name every time. Or it indicates the time line being used. Part 1 is the earliest, part 2 after that and Kazek Zel is directly before the Fall. Yeah, let's try that.

Kazek Del before the Fall... (source)

The Humans of Kazek Del

The first human settlers worth mentioning were the Uzket. A tribe of woodland barbarians, banished from their homelands..  Their shamans lead them to a place near the center of the island, below a cascade of lakes and they made their new home here. It's a fierce tribe, with a sinister death cult (using zombies as slaves). The Mushroom Wizard was the one opposing them the most, bringing their dead back as soon as they put them into the earth. To oppose him was futile, so they searched for new ways to bury their dead.

The Floating Forest (finally floating trees...)

One thing unique to the flora of the island was the forest floating on it's biggest lake. An anomaly mainly possible because of the bulbous roots of this special breed of trees. It became a sacred place for the shamans of the Uzket, later it became their graveyard. The corpses would be gently put between the roots and with time, the skeletons became part of the trunks, making the floating forest a very dark place indeed.

In times of need, the Uzket could rely on their shamans ability to bring back the mighty ancestors of the tribe to fight for them. They'd emerge from the lake, wet and decaying, and bring terror to the tribes enemies.

The fey and the Uzket

Fey like bear pups*. But as soon as they're grown, they get bored by them and released into the wild.  At first the Uzket wanted to hunt the bears for food, but the fey protected them. The tribe decided that the bear is a fierce predator and not to kill. So in the end the bears became holy and worshiped.

Kazek Thel and imperial colonization

The first attempts for colonization failed miserable. Someone had the idea to give the island as a present to the emporer**. Soon it became land gifted to unpopular lordlings. Some tried to build fortresses on Kazek Thel, all failed and left ruins behind. But with time a small fortified harbor emerged at it's shore and endured.

Morrowind tomb entrance (source)
Another fine idea of the emperors stuff was to assign burial rights on the island. It was generally believed that the further inland a burial mound could be build, the safer it was from grave robbers (the island being that dangerous and all that...)***. It was considered a privilege to have a tomb on the island and the rich and powerful went to great lengths to make that happen, scattering the remains of their people all over Kazek Thel. Or died trying.

Kazek Zel before the Fall

But at some point they really put some effort in colonizing the island. How the humans managed to achieve that will be part of the next post. It will have floating island, I know that much.

*Part of the forest needs to be magic. It follows the idea that you might get lost in the woods and end up somewhere completely different (like on Kazek Zel) because treacherous fey wanted you to be there. Would be one of my excuses to put any creature on the island I wanted there to be...
**Maybe some kind of bureaucratic joke, but with that it stayed part of the empire and nobody felt the need to do anything with it.
***I always wondered were all the tombs in Morrowind came from. What strange custom made them build those graves all over the island?

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