A Light in Darkness
What have I done, that thou shouldst scorn me thus?
What have I said, that thous shouldst me reject?
Have I been disobedient to thy words?
Have I betrayed thy Arcane secrecy?
Have I dishonoured thy marriage bed?
With filthy crimes, or with lascivious lusts?
— William Shakespeare, Lucrine/Mucedorus
Hazlan is in the southeastern corner of the Core, south of Barovia and Nova Vaasa. The eastern half is lazy rolling grassy hills while the west rises to meet the Balinoks becoming progressively rougher. The northern part of the land is most uninhabited save for a small village around the home of the domain’s ruler, Hazlik.
Hazlik ordered the creation of the village at his home to support his college of magic. The village, called Ramulai, is home to Hazlik’s chosen few apprentices. Ramulai was constructed to be a demonstration of the potential for practical magic. Stones were magically quarried and laid out in exacting specifications. Though new, the school is already the most prominent one of its kind on the Core and only shows signs of growing in power.
Hazlan’s two major towns, Toyali and Sly-Var, house farmers and herders as well as merchants. Toyalis is larger and conducts trade with Barovia primarily for implements required for the magic users of this domain. Sly-Var is a rambling farm village.
Hazlan lies at the Core’s extreme southeastern edge, weighted at the west by the Balinoks and stretching into rolling hills and plains toward the Vaasi Plateau in the east. The climate is much drier than most lands within the Core. Weather that would bring more regular precipitation to Hazlan usually blows from the northwest, bogging down in damp Forlorn or falling as rain and snow on Barovia’s mountains, bringing Hazlan a dusty aridness, especially during the long summer months. Only during Hazlan’s short winters is precipitation common. During the rest of the year, droughts and brush fires prevail, and every few years a tornado tears across the plains, destroying a hamlet or two.
As the Balinoks pass into Hazlan, the mountains become more easily traversable, though still rugged. Less frigid than the Barovian heights, the Balinoks gradually lose altitude to the south. They are barren, marked by rock falls and sheer cliff faces. The major peaks are Mt. Soren (5,230 feet), Mt. Veduradeth (6,890 feet), and Mt. Urkoth Sor (6,310 feet). The mountains are riddled with mazes of dusty canyons and dry caves, carved by wind, water, and eons of time. Breathtaking rock formations such as needlelike spires, natural arches, and strangely shaped towers grace the rocky foothills that roll eastward and westward from the Balinoks. Mineral springs are common throughout the mountains and their foothills. These warm pools of jade-green water are crusted with alkali salts, and the Hazlani speak of the grønsamkøne vulk, the terrible and wise fey that call the springs home.
The mountains feature few settlements of note. The only site likely to admit weary travelers is a fortified camp of the local governor’s enforcers, stationed a few miles southwest of Ramulai to guard against raids. The Iron Sanctum, a monastic retreat, rests somewhere high in the mountains, overlooking the Warlock’s Road far below. It is home to a reclusive order of scholarly monks, the Order of the Guardians, a society devoted to collecting evil artifacts and magic items to keep them from being used to cause harm. Hazlik reportedly knows of their presence, but has ordered his governors to allow the monks to continue their activities so long as they do not oppose him. Local legend holds that they guard a terrible iron flask said to contain the spirit of an unthinkably evil entity.
To the west of the Balinoks, the Skraplans foothills descend into a hilly lowland. This rocky wasteland is known as the Ben i Gigantsmark, named after the gigantic bones that are occasionally found littering the plain or embedded in exposed stone.
Along the southern border of the Gigantsmark lies a region where the soil has long since worn away, leaving an expanse of exposed bedrock. This bedrock is known as the Black Iron Shield, Negerjem Afskaerme, so called for the iron ore deposits found here as well as for the land’s harshness. To the west, the Gigantsmark slowly gives way to the forests of Kartakass, while in the north lies leu Skoven, the Broken Forest, where the lowland of Hazlan meets the highland of Forlorn. Other than the lonely settlement of Forfarmax, the region is primarily home to strange creatures, assorted outcasts, and the hideouts of vicious bandits. Students at the Red Academy occasionally send expeditions to this desolate region seeking buried ruins of ancient, pre-human cultures.
The Black Spire, a strange natural formation, rises at the Misty Border at the southern edge of the Black Iron Shield. This spire of purplish-black, glassy stone is said to be a reminder of a time when the nightmarish wasteland of Bluetspur stretched to the south of Hazlan. Hazlan’s Misty Border is often called the Road of a Thousand Secrets and is commonly held to be a mistway to the distant sands of Pharazia. Travelers who pass the Black Spire may find themselves headed for a far different destination, however. Hazlani lore claims that the Black Spire releases an unearthly, vibrating tone whenever struck by lightning. According to one version of the tale, all those who hear the tone are driven mad, but a second version claims that the luckless victims are actually transported far away to the realm of Bluetspur and its alien abominations.
On the Balinoks’ eastern side, the foothills, called den Forhenvaerendman (“the Ancient Ones”), reach farther beyond the shadows of the mountains than their western cousins. Beyond these hills, Hazlan spreads into the Ensommark, the Lonely Plain. The Ensommark is divided roughly in two by the eastward flow of the Saniset River. To the north, the Ensommark is called the Ufrugtharlan, the Barren Lands.
Lying in the Barren Lands near the Nova Vaasan border, Høj i den Safdrede Sci-Naavne, the Hill of the Hundred Paths, is a much feared site. Ringed with standing stones, the hill is covered with dozens of winding, branching flagstone paths leading to the crest of the hill, which is capped by a simple flagstone circle. The Rashemani believe this hill is home to vengeful ghosts who strike dead any who walk upon it without knowing the secret path the dead use. Surprisingly, the credulity of peasants serves them well, for in this case they are right.
South of the Saniset, the Ensommark is known as the Dun Lands (Dunlan in Vaasi). On the Ensommark, the Warlock’s Road cuts east from Immol in Barovia to the great crater occupied by the city of Toyalis, where it branches off to the Red Highway. This road leads into the Ancient Ones, providing access to the Red Wizard’s Vale at the foot of Mt. Soren, where the village of Ramulai and Hazlik’s school of wizardry lie. A third route, the Iron Road, traverses the Ensommark, stretching from Toyalis to Sly-Var. Beyond this settlement, the Iron Road degenerates to little more than a wagon trail as it continues east along the Saniset River before passing beyond the borders of Hazlan toward Arbora in Nova Vassa.
The mountains of Hazlan are the source of the Musarde River, which cuts a shallow canyon across the Black Iron Shield before passing into Kartakass. Also on the western side of the continental divide is the Kilovan River, a tributary of the Musarde that originates in the very center of the Hazlani Balinoks and flows northward in Forlorn. To the east, the Saniset River winds south from the Barovian heights before cutting east to the sea. A pair of tributaries joins this gentle river as it crosses Hazlan — the Felgmøsge (“Mistmoss”) River and the Genspejle (“Mirror”) River. The Mirror River is a minor tributary, noted for its silvery purity and tendency to take on a reflective quality at sunset. The Mirror River flows south into the Saniset River from Nova Vaasa. The Mistmoss River, however, emerges from the southern Mists, crossing only a few miles of Hazlan’s terrain before emptying into the Saniset. Much of the Mistmoss is whitewater, which flows over a bed of jagged rock and clinging, slimy weeds, and the banks of this river have many shallow and stony pools in which crawl strange and unsavory crustaceans. Near the Misty Border, the Mistmoss River broadens, and huge boulders covered in laces of strange phosphorescent mosses rise from the water, looming from the Mists like the strange lights of a distant, otherworldly city.
Hazlani architecture falls into two distinct types divided along ethnic lines. Rashemani buildings are generally simple, squat structures ofwhitewashed brick, with flat, thatched roofs and unadorned facades. The Rashemani often plant small vegetable gardens around their homes. Mulan architecture is more elaborate, often characterized as sprawling and opulent. Behind stone walls and wrought iron fences stand polished stone edifices in gray, pink, and russet. Estates are surrounded by serene gardens of poppies, lilies, and finely hued roses, accented by the murmur of fountains or the song of nightingales. Delicate latticework covers rounded windows both tiny and large. Minarets reach toward the sky, and domes inlaid with dazzling mosaics arch overhead. Particularly large and opulent buildings may sport one or more onion domes, one of Hazlan’s signature architectural touches.
The Lawgiver’s temples, known as fanes, lend a third style to Hazlan’s structures. Fanes are built to reflect a dour and imposing grandeur. Most emphasize height and are fashioned of dark gray to black stone, with slab-like facades decorated with stern, even menacing statues depicting the Iron Tyrant. Fane roofs seem evenly split between narrow, high peaks and broad domes, both of which are adorned with spiky cornices. Within, they feature a main worship hall with high, vaulted ceilings supported by large columns. The worship hall is filled with rows of uncomfortable pews made of darkly varnished wood. At the front of the hall is a raised dais where the pulpit and altar stand.
In addition to these architectural styles, Hazlan is dotted with long-abandoned windmills. No one is certain who originally built them. Neither the Rashemani nor the Mulan lay claim to their construction, nor do they match the structures left by the Vossath Nor. These beehive-shaped structures are four stories tall with exteriors of earthy red and dirty gray sails. The interiors of most of the windmills are in considerable disrepair, as the Hazlani make no efforts to fix them. Instead, this is where the Rashemani display an artistic sense entirely lacking in their other edifices. The Rashemani decorate the windmills by painting scenes and messages telling the joy and sorrow of their community.
Other ruined structures can be found scattered throughout the mountains, hills, and plains. One may see half-buried statues, massive blocks of golden stone, or crumbling entranceways to buried complexes. These ruins are the remnants of the Vossath Nor civilization, an ancient people wiped out ages ago. As told in Madeline Galbraith’s Dust of Empires, some believe that the ruins of still more ancient empires rest beneath the Vossath Nor ruins, though few remember their names. The Hazlani say that one day their culture too will fall, and on that day, every structure in Hazlan will sink beneath the soil, swallowed by the land just as the Vossath Nor and others were in ages past. This belief is the source of the Hazlani’s seldom used other name for their land — Saette Til Livs Gaa Ned, the Devouring Land.
Hazlan lacks Barovia’s floral wealth. Instead of lush green forests and fields, Hazlan features long plains of golden grains and grasses punctuated by occasional tangled patches of scrub trees. The rolling grasslands to the east are used to grow various grain crops, including wheat, barley, rye, millet, and hops. The grasses and grains of Hazlan’s fields are subject to a number of diseases such as rusts, smuts, and molds, and in the summer months, hazy clouds of spores and pollen hang over some fields. Hazlani farmers are diligent about watching out for such infections, and most will burn their fields rather than let grain infections spread. The scrub trees of the plains are largely stunted pines, while in the west one finds the larger pines of Itu Skoven, the “Broken Forest.” Much like Nova Vaasan timber, the wood harvested from the pines of the Broken Forest rots quickly, making it useless for construction. Trees grow at the extreme western edge of Hazlan, where the Hornwood Vale lies as well. The trees of the Hornwood are afflicted with a strange parasite that causes hornlike growths to sprout from trunks and branches and also renders them unfit for construction.
Of note is an indigenous root called quøvusp. The Mulan use ground quøvusp root much like snuff, although it costs twice as much. The Rashemani use for this substance is quite different, however. At night, a Rashemani will venture out in to the plains alone and build a fire. While the fire blazes, the user throws a handful of quøvusp root in to the flames. The Rashemani then sits before the fire and smokes a pipe filled with quøvusp root. As the night wears on and the quøvusp smoker stares into the fire, visions appear to him within the flames, supposedly answering whatever questions may be weighing on the quøvusp smoker’s heart. Because of this, a single pouch of quøvusp root can fetch up to 300 gp from a knowledgeable buyer.
Hazlan’s most notorious crop is the poppy flower. The milky juice from this blossom can be refined into opium, a powerful narcotic. When dried and smoked or taken internally, opium induces a state of euphoria dulling even severe pain. Opium does have some medical applications when used with care, but it far is better known for its highly addictive properties. “Opium dens” are a common sight in Mulan circles, where privileged Hazlani lounge about in glassy-eyed stupors. Of course, these decadent settings little resemble their equivalent in Rashemani or Nova Vaasan circles, where they are more likely to be wretched and dangerous flophouses.
Although Hazlan contains many of the mundane creatures one would expect to find in temperate hills, the region is noted for the unusual nature of its fauna. Nowhere else in the Core can such twisted beasts be found, unless one believes the tales told of distant Vechor. Hazlani lore claims this profusion of unnatural wildlife is the result of centuries of restless arcane experimentation by Hazlik and the wizard-lords who preceded him. An example of this is the plains predator called the krenshar. Once, these beasts were plains cats, the predatory felines found in Nova Vaasa. Some time in the past, a mad wizard used sorcery to transform them, flaying the skin from their skulls in large flaps, giving them the disturbing ability to peel the skin away from their skull. Another bizarre creature is the chuul, hideous water-dwelling beasts that lurk beneath the surface of the Saniset River, posing a severe hazard to river traffic. More legendary than real are the mythical “ghost-eaters,” called “ethereal marauders” by a few sages. These strange behemoths dwell in the Gray Realm (or whatever term one wishes to apply to the spirit world) and feed on ghosts and other restless spirits. Storytellers claim that when no ghosts are nearby, hungry ghost-eaters will step in to the world of flesh to feast on the unwary.
Hazlan’s history is largely unexamined. The Hazlani claim that Hazlan has been inhabited for millennia, but they record few facts about the civilizations that came before theirs. A few names are known — the barbaric Duruun, the fey Quelshar, the stunted Yath; yet all but the most basic information has been lost, the records of each civilization purged by the next wave of conquerors. A recurring belief, however, holds that each race was somehow less human than those that followed. On rare occasions, Rashemani workers unearth spiny, chitinous husks of the long-dead race known as the El-Koth, said to be have been the original inhabitants of Hazlan millennia before the coming of humanity.
The founding of the current Hazlani civilization dates to circa 1,100 years ago, deep in Hazlan’s history. In that time, the legendary Nameless King led the Mulan and their Rashemani slaves to Hazlan and conquered the last of the nonhuman civilizations, the Vossath Nor, to found the Nameless Dynasty. At the time, each dynasty (as well as the country itself) was named for its ruling family, but today historians commonly refer to these eras as a succession of Hazlani Dynasties. Thus, the Nameless King’s reign is today known as the First Hazlani Dynasty.
The Nameless King supposedly ruled for three centuries, although the legends do not explain his longevity. On his deathbed, he peacefully passed his rule to the Dannouth family, founding the Second Hazlani Dynasty. Eventually, control of Hazlani passed to the house of Shadasinet, then to the house of Fangtor, and finally, in the Fifth Hazlani Dynasty, to the house of Warrowdine. The last Warrowdine king, Yorne of the Weeping Eyes, died in 661 BC without an heir, having appointed no Mulan house to which a new dynasty would pass. Thus began the last phase of Hazlan’s history, the Years of Tattered Banners.
During this period, Hazlan’s Mulan families waged bitter warfare on each other, both openly and covertly. Assassinations were rife, many houses raised small armies of Rashemani conscripts, and Mulan mages battled each other on all levels of reality. The Tattered Banners flew for 53 years while each Mulan house struggled in vain to establish itself as the Sixth Hazlani Dynasty. Hazlani today claim that by the end, the decades of arcane warfare threatened to unravel the Veil of Sleep that separates the waking world from the world of nightmares.
The Years of Tattered Banners ended in 714 BC, when the Red Wizard Hazlik returned to Hazlan after years spent abroad supposedly making pilgrimage to the ancient Mulan homeland, seeing the world, and learning its secrets. Within a month, Hazlik’s arcane might cowed the quarrelling Mulan families into obedience. Hazlik took control of Hazlan for himself and outlawed all use of arcane magic to prevent another war. Historical records in surrounding realms also note 714 BC as the year when Hazlan first emerged from the Mists, identifying Hazlik’s rise to power as the seminal event marking the beginning of Hazlan’s true history.
Contemporary maps show that Hazlan was positioned quite differently when it first appeared. Nova Vaasa was its northern neighbor even then. At the time, Barovia formed its western border and Bluetspur its southern one. To the east lay the Nightmare Lands, a nebulous and poorly understood realm that once stretched down the eastern Core, but seems to have been strangely forgotten since it disappeared in the Great Upheaval. Not until that cataclysm would Hazlan border Forlorn, Kartakass, or the Mists.
The Church of the Lawgiver swept down across Hazlan’s northern border almost immediately after it appeared and established itself among the receptive Mulan within a decade. The following decades have proven relatively quiet, with the reclusive Hazlani barely interacting with their neighbors and with their crushingly oppressive culture preventing internal upheavals. The only event of true, lasting significance must be Hazlik’s reversal of the arcane ban following the Great Upheaval, the ramifications of which are discussed elsewhere in this report.
The people of Hazlan belong to two major ethnic groups: the Rashemani, Dwarves who make up 90% of the population and are subservient to the human Mulan, who make up most of the remaining 10%. A smattering of other human ethnicities can be found, including Barovians, Forfarians, Thaani, Kartakans, and Nova Vaasans, but none in any significant numbers. The attitudes of the Mulan ruling class toward other peoples makes Hazlan an unattractive place for foreigners to put down roots.
The Rashemani are a tough and sturdy folk, who tend to be short in stature, with men usually standing a little over five feet in height and women slightly shorter. No doubt their stunted growth is due at least in part to the widespread disease and malnutrition that plagues these impoverished laborers. Their skin naturally ranges from a light olive complexion to a deeper bronze, but their long days in the sunlight often give them a ruddier appearance. Little variance exists in hair or eye color: hair ranges from dark brown to deep black, while eyes are almost uniformly dark brown. Indeed, a Rashemani child born with lightly colored eyes usually causes something of a scandal. The Rashemani have thick, straight hair, which they spend little time bothering to groom. Men let their hair and beards grow wild and long, chopping them back somewhat roughly when they become a nuisance. The women treat their hair more delicately, tying it back in intricate braids.
The wealthy Mulan have an altogether less rugged appearance than the Rashemani. The Mulan are tall on average, with slim builds and fine bones, but their pampered lifestyle makes them much more prone to obesity than the Rashemani. Their features are fine and angular; they tend to have prominent cheekbones and noses that are somewhat longer and thinner than average. Their skin ranges from a very pale white to a dark sallow shade. Compared to the Rashemani, they have a somewhat unhealthy appearance, though in fact they are far less prone to illness, mainly due to their better diet. The Mulan have light hair, ranging from dirty blond to chestnut brown, but the Mulan find hair on the scalp to be offensively, unclean. Men and women alike ritually shave their heads daily. Facial hair is not considered vulgar, but it is uncommon. Those Mulan men who do grow beards or mustaches keep them meticulously neat and trim.
The appearance of the Mulan is made even more distinctive by their traditional practice of tattooing. All Mulan children receive their first tattoo at the age of twelve, as a rite of adulthood. The first tattoo is placed on the scalp, slightly above the forehead, and is a symbolic representation of the child’s name. The Mulan continue to add tattoos thereafter; by the age of sixteen, elaborate tattoos cover the typical Mulan’s scalp, neck, and shoulders. Traditionally, men are tattooed in geometric designs and depictions of legendary beasts such as dragons, while women receive designs of flowers, vines, and abstract whorls and swirls. Depictions of lightning, flames, water, and similar natural elements as well as traditional pictographic symbols may also be included in the adulthood tattoos of both sexes.
Mulan adults can thereafter have themselves tattooed as often as they wish and can afford. The finer tattoo artists in Hazlan charge considerably for their services, and even among even the Mulan, few can afford to have themselves tattooed frivolously. Most Mulan wait until after significant events in their lives to add additional tattoos: births, marriages, deaths, and educational accomplishments making suitable occasions for a commemorative tattoo.
Mulan tattoos often include pictographic representations of words or concepts. A staggering number of these symbols exist, yet the Mulan are able to recognize each one at a glance. The symbols have such a deep and abiding meaning to the Mulan, however, that they are never used for something as coarse as written communication. Drawing these symbols on anything other than human skin is a crime punishable by the loss of the artist’s hand. It is a crime for a Rashemani to draw or wear tattoos at all.
The clothing of the Rashemani is simple, woven from wool and rough cotton. Fashions distinguish little between the sexes. Both men and women prefer loose trousers with tapered legs and tunics with long, baggy sleeves. Another common Rashemani garment is the kaftan, a loosely fitting, ankle-length shirt with long sleeves. Men often wear a belt with the kaftan, while women usually do not. Rashemani clothing is not very decorative. They prefer simple earth tones, with dark reds, blues, and greens used for highlights and trim.
In contrast, Mulan clothing is very distinctive. Men and women both wear ankle-length cloth wraps around their waists, somewhat like long skirts. These zarongs are worn in lieu of trousers, which the Mulan consider peasant garb. They also eschew tunics: men go bare-chested, while women wear stiff vests left open in the front. The rigid cloth of these vests is just enough to maintain the wearer’s modesty while still leaving much of the neck, stomach, and sides exposed. Both sexes favor long, silken robes dyed in bright colors, especially reds, yellows, and purples. When the temperature falls, these silken robes are replaced with hooded, woolen cloaks.
The language of Hazlan is Vaasi, which the Hazlani speak in common with the Nova Vaasans and the Kartakans. The dialects are mutually intelligible, but the Hazlani dialect emphasizes some of the languages harder aspects. In Hazlani Vaasi, the normally sibilant “s” is instead pronounced much like the buzzing “z,” and the Hazlani tend to cut short vowel sounds that would be prolonged in the “purer” Nova Vaasan dialect. This gives Hazlani Vaasi a somewhat clipped sound.
|leave this place!||afgaa herfra opstille!|
Lifestyle and Education
The Rashemani are a poor and downtrodden folk, with nearly everything they work to produce taken to support their Mulan masters. The Governor’s Council has divided the entire countryside of Hazlan between Mulan families, and each Rashemani must pay taxes to one of these governors. Of course, the Mulan own most of the land and resources in Hazlan, so Rashemani seeking to meet these exorbitant tax demands must usually find employment with the very Mulan who collects their taxes. Rashemani effectively become serfs, working the fields and tending the livestock of their Mulan overseers. Their labors are enough to offset their tax demands and provide them with enough additional funds to survive, but such labors also subject them to the Mulan’s harsh whims. Serfs who are judged disobedient or incompetent are whipped and beaten liberally, sometimes to death. It is perfectly legal for a Mulan to kill a Rashemani in his employ if he can provide sufficient cause.
Given the large numbers of Rashemani, rebellion would seem inevitable under such oppressive circumstances, but the Mulan are able to keep order through their retainers. These retainers are Rashemani men who have proven themselves willing to enforce the harsh will and whims of the Mulan in return for generous compensation. Not surprisingly, they are a largely cruel and devious bunch, despised by their Rashemani kinfolk and distrusted by their Mulan employers.
Rashemani who have valuable skills as craftsmen may be able to escape serfdom. The Mulan have little interest in manual labor of any kind, yet they crave finely manufactured goods. A Rashemani with the talents to produce such goods, whether of cloth, leather, wood, or stone, may be able to generate enough income to live comfortably and independently. Such skills are rare among the Rashemani, however, and those who have them are reluctant to share them lest they reduce their own value. Most Rashemani artisans pass their skills on to their children, exclusively.
The major art produced in Hazlan is theatre. Traditional Hazlani theatre is called haebstzarn. Haebstzarn is an unusual from of theatre characterized by having each character played by two actors, one of whom sits on the other’s shoulders; the former supplies the voice and the latter does the walking. Haebstzarn comedies are popular throughout the Core, although most non-Hazlani troupes do not use the double-actor method employed in true haebstzarn. Further, characters in haebstzarn are generally caricatures, with wildly exaggerated features and personalities. The masks used by haebstzarn actors, called haebstza, are prized artworks and are frequently made not as decoration but as display pieces, masquerade disguises, and personal accessories.
The Hazlani also enjoy puppetry, and abhaebstza, or puppet theatre, is almost as popular as haebstzarn theatre. Many Hazlani enjoy shadow puppet shows that tell the stories of Hazlan’s folk heroes. In particular, the Rashemani hold the tales of Vosshik, Berineth Waeysdottir, and Stalker-of- Deadmen in highest regard, though a number of other Rashemani heroes exist. The Mulan prefer tales of their heroes, such as Kiva Erdru and Gemeyes the White. A variant of haebstzam uses cloth marionettes as tall as three men to portray the characters.
Rashemani tradition demands that Rashemani men seeking marriage must provide a “bride price” in either currency or goods to the father of the chosen bride. These bride prices, usually ranging from 10 to 50 sp, represent a relatively substantial amount of wealth for the average Rashemani, and the result is that few Rashemani men marry young. Rashemani grooms are often ten years older than their brides. Marriages outside the immediate community are discouraged, and parallel cousin marriages are not infrequent. Divorce is not permitted by Rashemani custom, though they face no legal consequences for leaving a spouse, as the Mulan do not recognize Rashemani marriages.
The parents arrange Mulan marriages, usually while the betrothed are still children. These arranged marriages are essentially transactions, with one family seeking to buy its way into alliance with another family. The marriage itself takes place when both of the betrothed become adults. Divorce is possible, though costly. One must have the approval of the local governor before divorce can take place, and such approval rarely comes cheaply. The cost in goodwill from other Mulan can be even greater.
Education in Hazlan is done mostly through foreign private tutors, as teaching is too common and mundane a task for most Mulan, while the Rashemani are not permitted an education. Gnomes have proven particularly popular as tutors. For more advanced education, a handful of specialist academies can be found in the major settlements. The most infamous is the Red Academy in Ramulai, where Hazlani wizards are trained.
As with everything else in Hazlan, food is split along ethnic lines. The Rashemani diet consists mostly of vegetables supplemented with just enough meat and cheeses to keep them strong. Dolma, or stuffed vegetables, is the most common dish. Most dolma are stuffed with a mash of corn and nuts, though rice and meat are popular among those who can afford them. Another popular Rashemani dish is the kebab, an assortment of cooked meats and vegetables served on a stick. Breads, cheeses, and grapes are served with nearly every meal. For drink, the staples are tea and goat’s milk, but when something stronger is called for, boza, made from fermented wheat berries, serves well.
The Mulan have more eclectic tastes, with a heavier emphasis on meat and baked goods. Frikadeller, rolled balls of chopped meat served with creamed vegetables, are a popular dish, as are spandauers, sweet pastries topped with nuts and jams. The Mulan are collectively wealthy enough, however, that nearly any dish found in the Core might find its way to their tables.
Circumstances have left both the Rashemani and the Mulan distrustful and suspicious, not only of each other but of nearly everyone they encounter. The Rashemani have come to expect the worst of people until given reason to think otherwise. They naturally assume that others seek to exploit them in some way, which leaves them guarded and distant. Their trust must be earned, and earning it is a long, difficult process. Life has left them with little reason or opportunity for merrymaking, and they see most forms of leisure and entertainment as valueless frivolity.
Circumstances have left both the Rashemani and the Mulan distrustful and suspicious, not only of each other but of nearly everyone they encounter. The Rashemani have come to expect the worst of people until given reason to think otherwise. They naturally assume that others seek to exploit them in some way, which leaves them guarded and distant. Their trust must be earned, and earning it is a long, difficult process. Life has left them with little reason or opportunity for merrymaking, and they see most forms of leisure and entertainment as valueless frivolity.
Attitudes Toward Magic
The Hazlani have maintained an odd, inconstant relationship with the arcane arts. In the distant past, the Mulan considered the arcane arts a noble calling, and their greatest satraps and kings were mages. Following the Years of Tattered Banners, Hazlik seized control of Hazlan, and for decades the practice of arcane magic was prohibited, under penalty of death, by any save the Red Wizard himself. The Mulan grudgingly supported and enforced this prohibition, imprisoning and executing anyone discovered to be an arcane practitioner. The church of the Lawgiver in Hazlan eagerly supported the ban as well, proclaiming arcane magic as a violation of the natural order and a sin against divine law (with the esteemed Lord Hazlik a divinely ordained exception).
After the cataclysm of the Great Upheaval, Hazlik suddenly reversed his position, founding the Red Academy. Hazlani were now encouraged to study the arcane, even the Rashemani. Needless to say, the Mulan were confused, but also pleased, by this sudden change in policy. Many Mulan, seeking to match the Red Wizard’s power and follow in the traditions of their culture, had been put to death for exploring the arcane in previous decades. Enforcers of the law had supported the executions because magic was purported to be dangerous and blasphemous by the Lawgiver’s priests. Now, suddenly, it was to be propagated and embraced, with no explanation for the change.
Some among the Mulan are still suspicious of this shift in attitude. While they dare not speak out against the Red Academy or its wizards, they scrupulously avoid any hint of the arcane or those who practice it. Most Mulan see arcane magic as potentially a key tool in maintaining their control over the Rashemani. The Rashemani want little to do with arcane magic, having seen too many of their kinfolk taken to the Tables for experimentation. Those who do travel to the Red Academy to study wizardry become outcasts among their peers. The dogma of the Lawgiver claims that Hazlik received a divine revelation when the Lawgiver returned following the Great Upheaval. Only the Red Wizard knows the exact nature of the revelation, but most of the Lawgiver’s faithful believe that arcane magic will somehow be crucial in preventing future catastrophes.
Hazlani attitudes toward divine magic vary. The Mulan consider the Lawgiver the only true god. Clerics of other gods are believed to be in league with demons or to be arcane spellcasters in a religious guise — a not uncommon ruse for foreign mages to adopt prior to the Upheaval, apparently. Anyone proclaiming to follow a god other than the Lawgiver finds himself the target of harassment, even imprisonment. The Rashemani have a more ecumenical attitude. Most of them follow the Lawgiver, but many also quietly offer worship to other deities. Divine spellcasters of any kind typically garner respect from the Rashemani.
Most Hazlani are deeply religious. The Mulan are almost desperate in their service to the Church of the Lawgiver, also known as the Iron Faith, hoping their continuous devotion will convince Him to maintain His favor and keep them in power. The Rashemani turn to religion as an escape from the toil and drudgery of their material lives. Even the oppressive dogma of the Lawgiver provides them with some hope, as it promises them that their endless obedience and toil will be richly rewarded in the next life. Not all Rashemani are satisfied with these promises, however, and some seek salvation elsewhere.
The Hazlani concepts of heaven and hell are based in the dogma of the Lawgiver’s church. The Iron Paradise is the destination of loyal souls who follow the Lawgiver’s tenets in life and respect their station. After death, those souls who have earned a place in the Iron Paradise are filled with the holy truth of the Lawgiver under the tutelage of his divine servitors and ennobled as vassals of the Black Lord. Those who fail to obey the Lawgiver’s commandments (as well as all unbelievers) are cast into the Hell of Slaves. In this burning land of red skies and black stone, the unfaithful are forced to toil under the whips of cruel demonic overseers, while biting, squealing packs of rats crawl everywhere.
By tradition, the Hazlani bury their dead in catacombs. These affairs range from elaborate family crypts among the Mulan to simple covered holes cut into a convenient outcropping of rock for the Rashemani.
The Iron Faith (The Lawgiver): The Iron Faith is the state religion of Hazlan and the only organized church permitted to act freely and openly. Membership in the church is not mandatory, but strongly and sometimes forcefully encouraged. The church’s teachings are vital to the Mulan’s power, and they will not permit any other institution to challenge the Lawgiver’s supremacy. In fact, church leaders in Hazlan and Nova Vaasa convene a Council of Imperial Divinity each time the Lawgiver’s clerics encounter a new religion. The goal of such councils is to determine the newly discovered god’s exact position in the divine hierarchy — over which the Lawgiver naturally reigns supreme. In practice, however, these councils invariable serve to denigrate rival faiths and reinforce the Lawgiver’s superiority. Tellingly, the goddesses Ezra and Hala are both portrayed in church canon as the Lawgiver’s concubines.
The Iron Faith is organized along strict hierarchical lines. At the top of the hierarchy is the_ Himmelsk Naeve_, or “Divine Fist,” who resides in Nova Vaasa. The Himmelsk Naeve is served by two Paves, one in Hazlan and one in Nova Vaasa, each of which wields ultimate religious authority within his respective domain. Pave Haakon Aramsen is the leader of the Hazlani Church of the Lawgiver. He is known as a formidable and uncompromising man despite his advanced age, and only the Red Wizard himself has both the authority and strength of will to challenge him. Below the Pave are the aerkebiskops, each of whom is given authority over a geographical region within a domain. There are four aerkebiskops in Hazlan. Each aerkebiskop is served by a group of biskops, who in turn have authority over numerous dommers, who perform most of the administrative duties within the church. Kontors preside over individual fanes and perform the actual worship ceremonies.
Clerics of the Lawgiver pray for their spells at noon, when the light of day leaves them most fully exposed to the Lawgiver’s scrutiny. Worship services are held every evening at the Lawgiver’s fanes, after the working day is ended. Attendance at least twice a week is mandatory for the faithful. The church observes many holy days. One of the most important is the Day of Penance, held on New Year’s Day, in which the faithful lament their failings of the previous year and resolve to do better the next. The second is the Celebration of the Reemergence, observed on the first full moon in August. This holiday marks the end of the Grand Conjunction in 740 BC and, more importantly, the end of the Lawgiver’s period of silence and withdrawal during that disaster. Official church dogma credits the Lawgiver with the end of the Great Upheaval, and the holiday is one spent in praise, thanks, and feasting. Clerics of the Lawgiver rarely multiclass. When they do, it is most often as fighters.
Dogma: The state of all things is mandated from above and is not to be questioned. The Lawgiver gives rulers their station; disobedience is a sin against divine will. The will of the Lawgiver is expressed through the laws of the land. Failing to uphold any law, no matter how minor, is sinful. Those who properly observe their station and follow the laws in this life will be rewarded in the next. Labor hard in service to your master, and you may receive temporal rewards. Those who live as rebels or lawbreakers will be damned to an eternity of torment. Consorting with those outside your station is discouraged; marriage outside your station is prohibited. Rulers are expected to keep order and enforce the laws. Anarchy is blasphemy. It is right and natural to use force to maintain order and spread the will of the Lawgiver.
The official position of the Hazlani Church is that the Lawgiver’s silence during the Grand Conjunction was a test for the faithful. The conflicting belief that the Lawgiver was harmed or incapacitated is considered heresy.
Ezra: Clerics of the Iron Faith, perhaps rightfully, view the Church of Ezra as their primary rival for spiritual control of the Core. Thus, the Church of the Lawgiver is bitterly unforgiving toward the Church of Ezra’s efforts to spread its message into the Vaasi Plateau. Ezra’s anchorites face withering oppression, and their presence in Hazlan is accordingly limited to one or two wardens, or traveling anchorites.
Normally, such a meager presence would preclude inclusion in this report, but one such anchorite may be of interest: a naively charitable woman named Tara Kolyana. Warden Kolyana claims to be a native Hazlani, though her ethnicity is difficult to discern. She bears a striking resemblance to the subject of a crumbling sketch in the Teodorus Archives — a sketch taken in 351 BC of Tatyana Federovna, she of the infamous Ravenloft wedding.
Hala: The Church of Hala has found many eager followers among the oppressed Rashemani. Hospices devoted to Hala are found in nearly every Rashemani community, and even those Rashemani who do not follow the witch goddess are grateful for the respite these places provide. Followers of Hala in Hazlan are even more secretive than in any other realm, save perhaps those in Tepest. The Mulan seek to stamp out the religion wherever they can find it, fearing the hope it offers and the feelings of community and equality it generates. The Rashemani protect the locations of the Halans as much as they can, however, and the religion has continued to thrive in secret.
Hazlan has demonstrably existed scarcely more than four decades, and Hazlik the Red Wizard has ruled it all the while. Although they speak of it only in whispers and behind closed doors, most Mulan find Hazlik unpleasant and faintly indecent, due to his unseemly, effeminate tattoos. Hazlik seems to have avoided the truly monstrous rumors that plague his neighbor Strahd von Zarovich, however. Despite his considerable arcane powers and reclusive, cruel nature, there is no whispered talk claiming that Hazlik is anything more than a feeble old man, more interested in his arcane experiments than day-to-day rule of his realm.
Hazlik has in recent years devoted most of his time and energy to his newly constructed wizard’s academy in Ramulai. For decades, Hazlik strictly forbade wizardly magic in his domain, ordering the execution of any who were found to be practicing the arcane arts. Following the Great Upheaval, however, the Red Wizard reversed his decades long policy and ordered the construction of a wizard academy and the village of Ramulai, institutionalizing magic instead of outlawing it. Hazlik himself trains those who show exceptional promise in the wizardly arts, and in recent months students replaced two members of his council of governors. Much to the chagrin of the Mulan, Hazlik has even taken on Rashemani apprentices, though his council of governors remains exclusively Mulan.
Hazlik the Red Wizard is Hazlan’s absolute and unquestioned master. A Mulan, he is feared and respected by all of his people, apologizes for nothing, and answers to no one. Twice a month, he meets with a small council of Mulan governors, or vraybk. Each vraylok oversees a separate section of Hazlan, enforcing the law and executing Hazlik’s will. In turn, the satraps, land-owning Mulan nobles, answer to the governors. All the governors are the heads of their families, though not all family heads, called rishads, are governors. The towns of Toyalis and Sly-Var and surrounding lands are each controlled by a governor, but Hazlik controls Veneficus and Ramulai directly.
The governors’ council has eight seats. Appointment to such a position is the height of political power for a Mulan, second only to Hazlik. In recent years, though, the governors have found themselves taking orders from the Red Wizard’s chief apprentice, a Rashemani woman named Eleni. Hazlik has made it known that her word carries the same weight as his. Eleni is, if anything, even more scandalous than her master. It is a testament to Hazlik’s power as a ruler that the nation did not rise up in revolt when Eleni, mere weeks after becoming Hazlik’s apprentice, scandalized the entire population by shaving and tattooing her body in the fashion of Mulan women.
The vrayloks and satraps are in turn aided by troops of enforcers. Although rarely encountered outside Hazlan’s major settlements, the enforcers are a threatening and omnipresent fact of life for Hazlan’s folk. All Hazlani, no matter what their class, obey Hazlik’s agents without question, for resistance inevitably spells a trip to the Tables.
H4. Law Enforcement
A typical Hazlani enforcer is a Rashemani thug in the direct employ of a Mulan rishad (including vrayloks and satraps). Their primary responsibilities are to protect their master, enforce their master’s commands, and keep the peace, in that order.
Hazlani pride themselves on their self-sufficiency. Nearly every basic cereal crop is grown in the eastern plains. In addition, many Mulan estates include groves and vineyards to produce olives, grapes, hazelnuts, and numerous varieties of tea. A few more exotic crops also thrive in Hazlan’s long summers, such as cotton, tobacco, and the bane of the Vaasi Plateau’s back alleys, opium poppies. Rashemani herdsmen raise a range of livestock, including goats, sheep, and cattle, all of which are used for their dairy, meat, and leather goods, as well as swine and poultry. The pollen of certain Hazlani wildflowers makes a fine quality honey, and apiaries are not uncommon in the western hills.
A few scattered copper, lead, and iron mines Dot the slopes of the Balinok foothills, but — aside from a wealthy Mulan copper mine or two — most of the mineral resources are sparse and unremarkable, allowing the Hazlani to just scrape by on their own means. Similarly, the crafted goods produced by the Hazlani are ordinary enough, neither superior nor inferior in quality despite their distinctive, swirling designs. In fact, despite efforts to upgrade their abilities as craftsmen, the Hazlani still import from Immol the finely crafted bowls and other implements needed for many magical rituals. The Hazlani are dedicated to changing this. The only people who serve as a steady source of income for traders from other domains are the citizens of Sly- Var, who have a taste for clothing and foods from Nova Vaasa, which they consider exotic.Hazlan’s most significant export in the past decade has undoubtedly been esoteric arcane knowledge. Should one of Hazlik’s apprentices at the Red Academy not be granted a position of political power upon graduation, it is not uncommon for the young wizard to seek his fortune in other lands, at least for a time. Hazlani mages often seek positions as advisors and court mages for powerful patrons in other realms.
Hazlani coins are the soulorb, moondagger, and blood penny. Each of these coins has a small sphere of colored glass at its center, clearly distinguishing it from the plainer coins of other realms. These glass pieces come in a variety of colors, including red, green, blue, and clear, depending on the whims of the minter. The gold soulorb is the only circular piece among Hazlani coins; silver moon daggers are triangular in shape, while the copper bloodpenny is square. Mulan coins are comparable in value to gold, silver, and copper pieces in other realms, respectively, but most merchants proved unwilling to accept my foreign currency. The local moneychangers typically charge a standard 10% fee.
In different hands, Hazlan’s rich natural resources might allow it to wield considerable power over its neighbors. Instead, the Hazlani use their self-sufficiency to turn their back on the world. Hazlan engages in some minor trade with its northern neighbors, but for the most part the Hazlani are generally not eager to invite “inferior” foreigners into their realm.
Barovia: Immol engages in steady trade with Hazlan. Other than this isolated case, the Hazlani prefer to think about the Barovians as little as possible. Barovians are seen as unsophisticated, ignorant peasants. The Lawgiver has consistently failed to make inroads among the faithless Barovians, so the Hazlani dub them heathens as well.
Forlorn: Hazlani shun Forlorn as an accursed no-man’s land. One settlement in Hazlan, Forfarmax, hugs the Forfar border. Forfarian expatriates settled Forfarmax, however, and culturally speaking it has virtually nothing in common with the rest of the realm.
Kartakass: Hazlan has shared a border with Kartakass only since the Great Upheaval and has never established any significant trade. The Kartakan woods are said to be exceptionally dangerous, and the Kartakans are generally viewed as frivolous and egotistical fops. To make matters worse, they have steadfastly rejected all efforts by the Church of the Lawgiver to spread the faith to their land.
Nova Vaasa: Nova Vaasa is Hazlan’s most significant trading partner. Even so, trade remains limited; Prince Othmar Bolshnik exacts extortionate sales taxes and tariffs on all goods in his lands, and his collectors and enforcers are notoriously corrupt. Hazlani boatmen occasionally sail down the Saniset River to reach the coast of the Nocturnal Sea. The Nova Vaasans have caught on to this, however, and now charge a toll on all river traffic.
Sites of Interest
Both Toyalis and Sly-Var share one feature of note: the Tables. A squat, domed stone fortress surrounded by towering minarets sits at the heart of each settlement. They resemble prisons more than they do the laboratories of a wizard-tyrant, and in some sense prisons are exactly what they are. When away from Veneficus, the Tables are Hazlik’s bases of operations. Hazlik often uses the Tables to meet with his Mulan governors or local satraps, but they have other, darker purposes. The Tables reputedly have dungeons that extend well beneath Hazlan’s surface, and these dungeons hold fodder for Hazlan’s crudest experiments. These fortress-laboratories apparently took their name from Hazlik’s actual experimentation tables in Veneficus; apparently, the Red Wizard frequently works on unwilling subjects strapped to such tables while addressing his governors. One wonders whether these displays are meant to teach the governors the fate of those who cross him, or whether they simply indicate the Red Wizard’s true interests.
Located a day’s hard ride down the rugged Warlock’s Road from Immol, Toyalis stands atop the successive ruins of many cultures from Hazlan’s dim past. Men are compelled to build on this site again and again. Some believe it has to do with the fact that the entire city is built within the bowl o f a vast crater. Rough walls of dark stone have been built on the crater’s lip; beyond these, the city slopes downward, with the Tables lying in the city’s center.
Toyalis is the center of Mulan society, housing a number of powerful families and enjoying brisk trade with Immol to the west in Barovia and Sly- Var to the east. Toyalis is home to Creshcen Hall, the most famed haebstzarn and abhaebstza theatre in Hazlan. Near the western edge of Toyalis stands the Iron Citadel-Fane, seat of the Iron Faith in Hazlan. Within its walls is a self-contained community, populated by clerics of the Lawgiver and the Pave of Hazlan. Though impressive, the great Black Citadel-Fane in Nova Vaasa is said to be far more extensive. Hazlik’s apprentice, Eleni of Toyalis, keeps a large estate in the heart of the city near the Tables, where her family and other Rashemani live in opulent comfort equal to that found in any Mulan estate.
Where to Stay in Toyalis
Toyalis features three inns worthy of note. The best is undoubtedly the Blushing Swan (good quality food, good quality rooms), that caters to Mulan and wealthy foreigners. Every room is spotlessly clean, white with silks and ivory, and the beds are feather soft. The inn has no dining hall, but meals are delivered to guests’ rooms with free pitchers of sweetened tea. More suited to rugged adventuring types is the Krenshar’s Cub (common quality food, common quality rooms), where merchants and satraps in need of able bodies frequently post employment notices. Finally, the Sorcerer’s Head is a dusty den filled with Rashemani thugs, harlots, and bandits. The Sorcerer’s Head features a variety of vices, and the opium den hidden in its basement may be Toyalis’s most poorly kept secret. A band of mercenaries calling themselves the Bone Daggers frequent this place; a beautiful but silent mercenary named Loie Hunn has led the group since the death of their previous leader, Bonespur, a man who was said to have unwisely entered into bargains with the eldritch inhabitants of Bluetspur.
Veneficus is the Red Wizard’s private estate. The estate’s southern end contains fields and grazing areas that make the estate self-sufficient. The Rashemani peasants who tend the fields and animals live in a small cluster of huts on the estate’s southern edge. The grounds at the estate’s center are covered by a vast garden filled with unusual and beautiful examples of horticulture. In addition, many of the plants here were bred, designed, or created by Hazlik himself. Flowers with deadly perfumes, vines with snapping maws, trees with razor-sharp leaves, and more are on display — an exquisite means to destroy unwanted intruders.
These lethal gardens surround the manor itself, a sprawling structure where Hazlik lives with Eleni — who divides her time almost equally between here, Toyalis, and the Red Academy in Ramulai — and a number of servants and bodyguards, not all of whom are entirely natural. The manor is a bustle of activity both day and night, with messengers mundane and supernatural constantly coming and going.
Located in eastern Hazlan where the Mirror River flows into the Saniset, Sly-Var is situated amid the Lonely Plain, and the dust and heat, conspire to keep the villagers close to the cooling spray of the rivers. Sly-Var has no fortifications, but two of the wedge-shaped town’s three sides are bordered by water.
Sly-Var is a prosperous mercantile center, with nearly all trade to and from Nova Vaasa coming through here via the Iron Road and the Saniset. As an important trading location, it naturally attracts more than its share of thieves and smugglers. Soldiers are constantly on patrol, rounding up criminals and delivering them to the Tables.
Aside from the merchants, most of the residents of Sly-Var are simple farmers and herders. They have a slightly more open and friendly attitude than the rest of the Hazlani people, thanks no doubt to their increased contact with foreign travelers. Still, while they may not immediately assume the worst about a traveler, they still retain the instinctual superior Hazlani attitudes.
Where to Stay in Sly-Var
Sly-Var’s most popular inn is the Hacking Mule (common quality rooms, good quality meals), a Rashemani establishment that boasts fine food as well as a secluded location on the edge of town, well away from the shadow of the Tables. This seeming distance from Hazlik’s authority is no more than a facade, but it is comforting all the same. The boza at the Hacking Mule is excellent. Mulan frequent almost exclusively a second inn near the marketplace, the Painted Man (good quality rooms, good quality meals). This inn is expectedly lavish but quite small; a mere eight rooms surround an open-air atrium, which guests use as a lounge during clement weather.
Ramulai is a center of power entirely disproportionate to its size. Ramulai did not even exist two decades ago, being founded at Hazlik’s direction in 740 BC, almost immediately after the Great Upheaval ended. Most accounts agree that Hazlik wielded great magics before the assembled prospective citizens of Ramulai, carving the entire hamlet from the living earth in a single day. Indeed, many of the buildings in Ramulai rise seamlessly from the vale’s living stone, and many of the streets are actually channels cut into the bedrock. Ramulai’s sole purpose is to provide a supply and support network for the Red Academy.
Ramulai sits in the Wizard’s Vale at the foot of Mt. Soren. Its homes are constructed through the practical use of arcane power upon stone magically quarried from the Balinoks. The hamlet’s streets are laid out in complex, disquieting patterns. A common rumor insists that Ramulai’s builders were instructed to adhere precisely to Hazlik’s designs under penalty of death and that the completed streets form a huge magical rune. Ramulai is surrounded by a stout stone wall that possesses a single gate of cyclopean proportions. On the whole, Ramulai is larger than its population demands and many buildings lie empty. One soon finds that a pervasive loneliness fills the town’s silent places and that the air is greasy with mystic energies.
Nowhere is the plight of the Rashemani more apparent than in Ramulai. The villagers toil endlessly to grow food and provide goods for the Academy, all the while under the constant threat of abduction by magelings in need of fresh bodies for their latest trials. While elsewhere the Rashemani have managed to maintain their pride and dignity, here they are reduced to fearfulness and obsequiousness. Those who plot against the Mulan find no allies here; the Rashemani of Ramulai are so desperate that they will turn on anyone if it will find them favor, and the Rashemani apprentices are no less cruel than their Mulan counterparts.
Eleni of Toyalis was my guide for most of my journey through Hazlan, and she escorted me about Ramulai. Those without the benefit of such a guide are advised to make their visit to Ramulai brief. It is not a destination for travelers, but a retreat for Hazlik and his apprentices to advance their art and perform their magical experiments in peace. Students stay at the Red Academy itself. Those with business in Ramulai may enter the hamlet, but are strongly encouraged to make their duties quick. The inner grounds of the Academy are closed to all save Hazlik, his students, and rare guests.
Occasionally, the Red Academy receives requests for the services of its wizards. Should Hazlik or Eleni deem the request worthy, a few of Hazlik’s apprentices are sent in exchange for specific compensation — generally items of arcane significance. One such assignment has been the protection of Lord-Speaker Mason of Har-Thelen by an everpresent rotating guard of four Red Academy apprentice wizards. These guards are all that has kept the elven noble alive several times in recent years, due to his opposition to the rampages of the dwarven despot Azrael Dak.
Where to Stay in Ramulai
Zravgev (good quality rooms, good quality food) is Ramulai’s sole inn, providing for the needs of those delivering goods to the mage village. Guests of the academy are housed in dormitories within the school. Zravgev is luxurious in theMulan style, and the food is varied and sumptuous. Unusually, the inn is not separated into Mulan and Rashemani wings, as most Hazlani inns are.
Most characters will be dwarven or human, any class is allowed. Wizards and sorcerers are still uncommon as arcane magic of any kind was outlawed here until very recently.
Realm Magic Rating
Hazlan’s magic rating is a 3 overall due to its former precedent for outlawing magic. It has the potential to become a rating 4 or 5 over time, however.