A Light in Darkness
Cultural Level 9 (Renaissance)
Mordent’s western shores overlook the Sea of Sorrows, lined with sheer cliffs often over one hundred feet in height. The land rolls away from the cliffs fading into forests and moors, some below sea level. The Arden River flows north through Mordent to Mordentshire, the domain’s only major settlement. There, the river turns abruptly and empties into the Arden Bay. The town, located high on a chalky cliff, overlooks the quiet harbor. Mordentshire boasts a population of about two thousand people. It also houses the lawful good temple of the Church of Ezra.
Two noteworthy estates are located near Mordentshire: the House on Gryphon Hill and Heather House. Locals know the House on Gryphon hill as the haunting grounds of Lord Godefroy. It is an evil place full of terrible creatures. Heather House is the Weathermay family estate. The family owns most of the land directly southwest of town.
Unlike other languages of the core,
Mordentish consists of two distinct dialects. In total, the language is very flexible, with a wide vocabulary. Generally class defines the use of the two dialects with High Mordentish spoken in the upper classes and Low Mordentish reserved for peasants and farmers.
High Mordentish is a very soft language, forsaking the harsh consonants of a language such as Lamordian for the rolling vowels, silent consonants and a structure that seems to string words together almost lyrically.
Low Mordentish has a more forceful tone than the High dialect and uses more harsh consonants. Extensive use is made of compound words — for example a “child murderer” is simply child (bearn_) plus murderer (myrthra_), giving "bearn-myrthra."
Together the language is a curious mixture of shorthand expressions and rather standoffish utterances, which are used liberally throughout everyday life, even by the most refined aristocrats, balanced against a tendency to describe things at great length, often with very descriptive and elaborate metaphors. Common people long accustomed to each other’s company can have whole conversations with nothing more than a brief exchange of rapid, almost unintelligible short phrases.
On the other hand, Mordentish folk meeting each other in a formal environments or who wish to display great respect to another can summon up concise but eloquent language to rival any orator. The effect can be quite jarring, especially if one has only known a Mordentish aquaintance in one capacity or another. To hear a refined aristocrat colleague converse in the hearty banter of the innkeeper or a hired maid address one as politely as a society matron can be disconcerting.
|sun||heathusigel, sȏl, sunne||soleil|
|inn||hȗs, inn, tȏcirhȗs||auberge|
|spirit||feorh, gâst, (evil) succa||fantȏme|
|ocean, sea||holm, mere, (seashore) brim||océan, mer|
|mist, fog||lyfthelm, mist, nip||brume, brouillard|
All the natives of Mordent are human and they share a language with neighboring Dementlieu though spoken with a slight drawl. Most laborers are fisherman or herders. Nearly everyone in Mordentshire knows the House on Gryphon hill is haunted by the restless spirit of Godefroy Mordent. These highly superstitious people believe strongly in ghosts and other creatures from beyond death (with good reason). Despite that, they believe that they are safe within their own homes and evil is visited on those that visit it.
Most residents are well mannered and friendly to strangers though they are reserved to the point of being secretive. Mordentish folk have mastered the art of verbal evasion and can chat for hours about meaningless trivia without answering a single personal question. When a storyteller is pressed into action, he will usually share an old tale about an alchemist in Mordentshire who invented an Apparatus that some say could take the soul from any being and cast it into oblivion… or into another body. Others say the Apparatus could separate the good and evil in a person into two distinct entities. Most believe these tales are fiction, or that the Apparatus they speak of is long since destroyed.
Heroes from Mordent may be of any character class but are always human.
Mayor Daniel Foxgrove of Mordentshire is the most politically powerful person. Whenever laws are passed or civic decisions are made, however, the mayor first considers the possible reactions of the spirit of Lord Godefroy.
Realm Magic Rating
Mordent has a magic rating of 3, though certain areas suppress this, while others raise it up to 5.