The World Of Khoras - Civilization - Nations

The Under Realm of Urmordia

"Once lost and now recaptured by the dwarves, this magical kingdom beneath the soil holds splendors that we can only dream of. I have heard tales of garden-filled halls big enough to house entire cities with room to spare, mithril bridges spanning great chasms, rivers of flame, mile tall columns of stone and caverns so huge that they have their own weather! It is only dwarven modesty that keeps such treasures unknown to us. If half of what I have heard is true, then the real wonders of Ithria lie beneath our feet."
– Sen Tamir, Carrikosian Sage and Scholar

The Under Realm of Urmordia

Urmordia - Locator Map

Proper Name The Under Realm Kingdom of Urmordia
Ruler His Most Supreme Authority, Lordly Monarch of the Underrealm, King Ine Uphar VII, the Steadfast, Slaughterer of the Sarthak
Population 3,679,375
Population Density 56 people per square kilometer
(145 people per square mile)
Demographics Dwarven 97%, Other 3%
Adjectival/Demonym Urmordish/Urmordians
Languages Dwarven 95%, Northern 5%
Capital City Independent city-state.
National Colors White and blue
Year Founded 1280
Currency Dwarven
Natural Resources and Manufactured Goods Due to their subterranean geography, both Ulkran and Urmordia have access to vast deposits of many types of metals, minerals, precious gemstones, coal deposits and different types of stone. Dwarven mining technology is used to good advantage to exploit these resources. In addition, these two nations conduct subterranean agriculture and some animal husbandry
Wealth Wealthy
Government Type Monarchy
Government Stability Stable
Allies Ulkran, Uthran, Vorrik
Enemies None
Walled Not Applicable (Subterranean)
Crime Level Low
Technology Level Middle Ages
Primary Religion Uxamar
Other Religions None.
Climate Subpolar
Total Land Area 65,774 square kilometers
(25,400 square miles)
Arable Land 5%
Terrain Subterranean/Mountainous
Urmordia - Detail Map

Description

Urmordia is a mammoth underground city-state. This huge complex is a cavern system of many levels, huge rooms and multiple connections to the surface. It is known for its many ancestral halls and council chambers. Urmordia also houses several Life Halls. Life Halls are large, beautifully sculpted caverns containing waterfalls, lakes and extensive plant and animal life.

Geography

The entire nation of Urmordia is subterranean. Their geography is natural cavern until it is shaped by dwarven ingenuity into great halls filled with huge columns of stone. There are some large caverns filled with crops or fields for grazing. The dwarves also create something called "Life Halls". These are immense natural caverns, sometimes kilometers across and light with magical light, in which whole ecosystems are allowed to thrive. Life halls often have orchards, grassy fields and small forests.

Notable Fauna and Flora

Because of their subterranean habitation, the dwarves must deal with vastly different ecosystems than their surface counterparts. Notable animals of the underworld include cave spiders, crystal ooze, dythillin, grobban, javoks and the dreaded shaker. Beneath the ground the black mushroom and light moss are the two most notable plants.

Dwarf Bullhounds

A species of heavyset, pug-nosed canine. Broad chest, short legs. Heavy rolls of fat. Used as guard dogs and war dogs.

Dwarven Cave Oxen

A large cloven hoofed herbivore. Stands about three feet tall at the shoulder, but weights close to 600 pounds Very strong for its size. Used as a beast of burden, pulling mining carts and such. The animals are too slow to serve as steeds. These sturdy beasts are docile and but rather stubborn and untrainable. They respond only to the whip. Dwarves also use cave oxen for meat and milk.

Shaker

Probably the most feared underground predator, these horrors are rare. They live deep in the ground, much deeper than Urmordia. However, some of the dwarven mining operations reach down into deep dark regions where shakers and other foul creatures dwell.

History

Mordia (which translates roughly from the Old Dwarven tongue as "Home") is the oldest of the dwarven nations and is the origin of dwarvish culture and history.

When the fires and terror of the Great War came, the mining villages of north eastern Irenni League found themselves being attacked by Thullian Imperial forces, bandits, monsters and worse. To defend themselves, the mining villages took refuge in an ancient fortress ruin built into the base of a mountain. They were lead by the town of Mord. Thousands came with food and animals and equipment to join under the banner of Mord. They set up a permanent home in the mountain in 43 CY and worked hard to rebuilt it and expand it. While there, they found many deep passages and caverns beneath the fortress.

In 46 CY, a great landquake struck the north. So powerful was this quake that it shook the mountain side loose and a great landslide buried the fortress and trapped the people within. Rather than spending months trying to dig their way out, the people chose to explore the deeper caverns. They found the caverns led to a vast world of tunnels and caves beneath the surface that stretched on forever. For months they explored and learned to survive. They began to adjust to a subterranean life. They found great wealth in the deep earth and mined it. They came upon a vast underground lake and settled there, feeding on the fish of the lake, the lichens and fungi.

In 57CY, the Mords were attacked by an army of skrell. It was their first encounter with another subterranean race. The battle was long and fierce and the skrell made off with many prisoners. In response to this, the various clans of the Mords put aside their differences and united as a single people. The leader of the Mords, a human man named Ral Grekan, crowned himself king and declared the people the Kingdom of Mord. They began to build a great castle and form an army. The threat of the skrell served to unite the people. From that time forth, the people of Mord were one nation.

In the years to come, they encountered other faces. Peaceful contact was made and they began to trade. They heard news of the surface world and heard horror stories of plague and famine, fire and war. The people, having prospered in the deep, choose to remain below and wait while the world above seemed to be destroying itself.

Years stretched in to centuries. With each generation, the people changed, becoming shorter and more stocky. Likewise, a new culture was developing among them. They came to call themselves the dwarves. Their people thrived in the dark underworld and their culture became strong. Through mining and hardwork, they became wealthy and powerful. Their well made armor and weapons helped them defeat enemies in times of conflict. Their jewels and gold were valuable in trade with others. The dwarves built a vast network of chamberd and tunnels, caves and halls. This was their home and they called it Mordia.

During the Age of Sorrow, in 722 CY, Mordia was attacked. A great army of many races came. They were led by the magic wielding sarthak. The War of Caverns began and it was long and terrible. Unable to defeat the sarthak and their minions, the dwarves were forced to abandon their home. Legends speak of this... that the dwarves lost the War Of Caverns to a vast and terrible army and were forced to flee. Dwarves are very tight-lipped about this section of their history. Tens of thousands of dwarves, led by Drugen Kren Stonehammer Symul, fled west in 736 CY. This flight became known as Drugen’s Trek and ended in 740CY. Drugen's dwarves founded Kran in the underrealm beneath the northern Thunder Peak mountains. Their new home they named Kran ("Hope" in the dwarven tongue).

In 784 CY, the dwarven nation of Kran began building on the surface and, in so doing, rejoined the world above. It established formal diplomatic relations with several other nations. Kran also changed its name to Ulkran (New Hope).

Centuries passed, but the dwarves did not forget about the lost kingdom of Mordia. In 1275 CY, the reigning king of Ulkran decided it was time to reclaim that lost realm. An army of dwarves went forth from Ulkran, along underground routes, and returned to their original underground home.They fought another war against the sarthak and reclaimed their ancestral home. This reclaimed nation was repopulated by the dwarves, surfaced and was renamed Urmordia (Home Reclaimed) in 1280 CY.

Dwarven history is recorded in written form in ancient scrolls and tomes. These documents are stored in a central "Chamber of Records" which lies near the heart of the city.

Government

In many ways, Urmordia is modeled after its predecessor, Mordia. In its present incarnation, the government is strong and stable. The dwarven leaders are of the Symul class. The Symul are the political leaders and lawmakers of the society. Urmordia has several hundred such judges who collectively form the High Council. Ruling the Symul class is the royal family of the Uphar clan. The current king is Ine Uphar, a respected Symul who has ruled for forty years.

Dwarven society is divided up into hundreds of great family clans. Clans compete for status, wealth and political positioning. Generally speaking, one dwarven clan will hold rulership of the dwarven city-state at one time. A dwarven king is expected to appoint other members of his clan to political positions.

Legal System

The Symul also serve as judges. Individually, each Symul serves as the judge for a small section of Urmordia. Symul are viewed as wise men and their word is final.

Military

Urmorida has a vast and powerful underground army of 120,000 Thollis soldiers. Urmordia soldiers wear heavy plate armor, broad axes and thick metal shields. Special divisions of the military utilize huge engines of war which look like rolling metal seige engines with grinding gears and whirling blades on the front. These terrible engines of death can mow down opponents as they roll down underground tunnels.

The Urmordian navy consists of 40 war vessels that guard the rivers and lakes of Urmorida.

Economy

The economy of Urmordia is ruled by powerful guilds. Almost all labor, crafts and services are produced by large guild houses, although some dwarves operate independently. These guild houses form a social tapestry of sorts. Miners associate with miners, bakers with bakers, etc. Great rivalries often flair up between competitor guilds.

The guild houses regulate the laws of their trade. Weights, measures, rules and common practices are codified and regulated by the guilds. With this guild system, the economy of Urmordia is strong. However, this is closed system for the most part. Urmordia does not conduct as much trade with the surface world as Ulkran does. Urmordia could very well benefit from more extensive trade with other nations.

There are a number of underground rivers, lakes and even seas in the vast underworld of Khoras. There are several subterranean rivers that wind their way through Urmordia and this massive city-state includes several underground lakes. The dwarves sail these subterranean waterways in squat, thick hulled vessels called durogars. These sturdy vessels have broad bellies, are typically three levels tall, are tiller steered and have two square sails. Dwarven durogars can be seen, heavily laden with goods and cargoes, plying the deep cold rivers of the underworld traveling from one district of Urmordia to the next.

Culture

Urmordian society is very stratified. Each dwarf belongs to a certain class or "rank". Each class performs a specific function within the society.

Magic

Although the dwarves are not a particularly magical race, there are those dwarves who do excel at wizardry. These spell casters form the trimell caste of dwarven society. These individuals hold a special place in dwarven society. They are seen as touched and are given a great deal of respect mixed with a small amount of pity at having been given such a burden as magic. Dwarven society uses magic to help them light their tunnels, warm their homes, heal their wounds, grow food and carve out an existence in the otherwise unrelenting realm of the Underdark. 

It should be noted that dwarves do not use orichalcum because of a racial intolerance for the mineral. The dust of orichalcum causes allergic like reactions in dwarves and concentrated exposure can even prove lethal. Dwarven spell casters make do without the mineral.

Festivals

The Festival of Light

The largest dwarven celebration is the Festival of Light. It celebrates the dwarven lifestyle, ingenuity conquering obstacles, dwarven engineering reshaping the underworld and, more generally, light conquering darkness. It is a time of crafts and feasting, dancing and ale drinking, marriage proposals, new constructions being unveiled and speeches.

The Districts of Urmordia

Because Urmordia is a subterranean city-state, the concepts of city, town and village are essentially meaningless. Urmordia is a vast labyrinth of chambers, tunnels, halls and shafts. It is dozens of levels deep. Urmordia is divided up into districts (some 418 districts to be precise) which form a rudimentary addressing and navigational system. Urmordia is so big, in fact, that the only way to find anything is to reference the district (and sometimes the sub-district) that it is located in.

Architectural Elements

In the lightless underworld, the dwarves take great advantage of height and their city-states are very three dimensional. Dwarven architecture often involves hanging structures of immense size. Huge stone bridges cross chasms and enormous buildings and fortresses are often built into these bridges. Some of these hanging buildings may be connected to sheer stone walls with several bridges. Some bridges are so large they have tunnels running through them and may have many internal chambers and multiple levels.

Many areas are lit by the Lights of Thordrim. These are street lights in the form of iron lanterns held aloft on tall iron poles. These lanterns burn natural gas and are fed by pipes from underneath. Special cutoff valves ensure that accidental detonation of the gas does not burn upstream and reach the larger pipes below.

Government and Public Establishments

The Foundation

The central chamber of Urmordia is an enormous natural cavern which is roughly circular with a diameter of one kilometer. At the very center of this cavern is a great column of stone, 200 meters in diameter, which reaches from the floor of the cavern to the ceiling. Dozens of skybridges connect that colossal stone column to the walls of the cavern. This great central column is known as the Foundation and it is, in many ways, the heart of Urmordia. Not only is it centrally located, but it houses all government bodies of Urmordia, the homes of the judges and politicians, countless conference halls and mammoth auditoriums. It also houses the greatest libraries and museums of the nation.

Several hundred stone buildings surround the Foundation on the floor of the cavern. This is the central district of Urmordia. Dozens of more stone buildings hang from the ceiling. Sky bridges connect everything together in a dizzying spiderweb of walkways and bridges.

The King's Market Square

The King's Market is the largest public market in Urmordia. This market's most unique characteristic is its multi-tiered design. The actual market consists of 14 open air platforms stacked on top of each other. Each platform, over 100 meters on a side, is dedicated to a different category of products.

Dungeon of Aganoth

Known throughout Urmordia and beyond as "the Breach". The Dungeon of Aganoth is the main prison of Urmordia. This huge citadel lies several thousand feet beneath the lowest level of Urmordia. It sits atop a small crumbling isle of stone in the center of a great lake of lava and fire. Over four thousand prisoners call this place home. Guards, supplies and prisoners are shuttled back and forth with a suspended trolley that moves along steel cables over the fiery lake. The dwarves keep all types of prisoners here - criminals from their own society, prisoners of war and anything else that needs to be safely contained. The dwarves of Urmordia are proud that no prisoner has ever escaped from the Breach.

Religious Centers

Temples to Uxamar are located in the central district of Urmordia.

Unique City Features

The South Gate of Urmordia

Urmordia has many entrances into the mountain, but one gate dominates them all. The South Gate. This is the main entrance into the Underrealm of Urmordia. This gargantuan construct of steel and stone stands over 12 meters high and some 20 dwarves can walk through it side by side. The South Gate is usually open, but always heavily guarded. Most contact with the outside world is conducted through this gate. Caravans come and go through this gate. Visitors are challenged by guards here. A great deal of trade and barter is conducted outside the gate and often tents are erected just outside for weary travelers or caravan drivers to get a drink or purchase something. When the dwarves march to war against the orcs, the row upon row of armored soldiers exit through this gate.

The Life Hall of Aedin

There are several dozen life halls in Urmorida, but the Life Hall of Aedin dwarves them all. This cavern is 12 kilometers long and two kilometers wide and some thousand meters tall.

The Great Lamp of Urmordia

A great lamp - a construct of metal and crystal and stone. It is fabulously beautiful and very complex in its design. It is unique. One of a kind. It was forged/manufactured upon the re-founding of Urmordia in 1280 CY. It was dedicated to the reclamation of Mordia at the time.

The lamp is suspended by a great mithril chain inlaid with silver and gold. It rotates slowly, endlessly. The room is huge and has balconies and ledges. The light of this great lamp has magical healing properties. Any wound exposed to its light will heal. It will also cure burns, ease pain and create  a general sense of well-being. It cures poison, disease and is rumored to remove curses and undo other magical inflictions and ailments.

The lamp is dedicated to Qurtra, the dwarven craft saint of healing.

Merely looking at the lamp will cure blindness. Basking in its light for a full day is said to cure insanity, ease regret, calm fears and restore faith! The light destroys illusions and invisibility. Within its light, all is made plain and visible. 

The dwarven priests have special lamps (small handheld portable hooded lanterns) which consist of a large crystal in a metal mounting with a chain and handle. These crystal lamps are suspended in the chamber and allowed to absorb the light of the Lamp for a full year. After a full year, the small crystal lamp is fully charged. Once charged, a crystal lamp acts much like a limited version of the Lamp. It heals, but to a much lesser extent. And its light will only shine for a week. (The crystal lamp shines continuously for one week and can not be turned off, although the lamp can be hooded). The curative properties of the light work best if it is the only light shining on the wound. The more "foreign" light in the environment, the less effect the lamp has. These crystal lamps do not work in broad daylight.

The Throne of Mirodin

A great stone temple and throne built atop Mount Harrokune, the tallest peak of the mountains directly over Urmordia. It is used during the crowing ceremony of a new King.

Statue of Mirodin

A tremendous 20 meter tall statue of Mirodin, the "father of the dwarves" and a legendary hero of dwarven mythology. It is carved from the living rock of the world and stands in the Hall of Mirodin, one of the largest halls in the entire nation.

This website was last updated April 1, 2017 . Copyright 1990-2017 David M. Roomes.

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