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NotabilitySurvivalist settlement cut off from civilization for 451 years.
LeaderCaptain Astrid
LanguagesDenvali, some Common, Vani, and Nari
CurrencyBarter or, preferably, Zeltivan nilo
ImportsRaw materials, food, people
ExportsFinished products: textiles and other goods

Denval is a settlement in northern Kalea that existed in pure isolation for centuries following the Valterrian.


Geography and Climate

Denval is a coastal settlement in the north of Kalea. Winters are harsh with snow, freezing rain, and high winds common. Summers are short, and temperatures rarely exceed 75 degrees F.

The settlement is bordered by the ocean on the north. On the other sides, it is entirely surrounded by a huge mass of rubble and debris, which was thrown up during the Valterrian, though of late there have been plans and ventures to calculate the costs and risks of making a road at least south to Sultros, from whence Denvali citizens could reach the continent entire.

The land not taken up by the town proper is only marginally arable, though there has been a greater diversification of cold-weather crops since contact was reestablished with the outside world.



Denval was destroyed during the Djed Storm of 512. It is deadly for any PCs to travel near the ruined city after this event. Please do not include it in any kind of character history unless it is prior to the Djed Storm.

This is the excert from the original forum announcement: As the settlement closest to Mt. Skyinarta, the Denvali have nowhere to go and nowhere to hide. Hemmed in by the mountains of the Unforgiving and the debris fields left by the Valterrian five hundred twelve years previous, the mere idea of their motto becomes laughable. At first, the wild djed collects, making magic unpredictable, though its practice will not cause illness as the effects of the static field did. Earthquakes and strange, erratic storms knock over many a building, killing people faster than the healers can get to them.

Three buildings that do not collapse are those with long-standing protection from the gods themselves. The Chapel's walls run with blood that seems to disappear into the ground around it, the skyglass spire of the Chapterhouse of the Order of Radiance shines with a brilliant, blue-white light and will not go out, and the Temple of Nikali, though it shows no outward signs, will feel heavy with Presence, and many will feel called into its holy darkness for sanctuary.

When things don't get better, but worse, it becomes clear that Denval is again being tried, and they will not be found wanting. Captain Astrid bears her child on the 1st of Spring, the wild djed spurring the girl-child out of her, and any ill effects will be countered by the efforts of Master Jarret, Cian Noc, and Caelum, son of the Sun.

On 10th Spring, Astrid will announce that a cache of pre-Valterrian artifacts hidden underground in the old Denvali Arsenal are likely to wipe out that corner of Kalea and she will order the evacuation of Denval. The recently christened Star of Denval becomes the flagship of a small fleet of fishing vessels and merchant ships that will head east toward Avanthal, though many wish to travel all the way to Zeltiva, where the Star was built and from whence came their last savior, Kennabelle Wright.

Adarin and his xenophobic cadre will attempt to take control of things, and when the fleet leaves on 30th Winter, politics will ensue. On 33rd Spring, the affected relics will reach critical levels of magical power, causing the Qamur living in the deep to investigate. The subsequent blast will cause a mushroom shaped cloud of dust about a mile high and the flash of light will be visible to people in Wind Reach, the Spires, and Avanthal.

Denval will be no more.

The refugees will hemorrhage from the boat-city, and small ghettos of Denvali citizens will spring up in Avanthal, Novallas, Ravok, Mura, Nyka, Sahova, Sunberth, and, finally, Zeltiva. This trip will last until 45th Summer. At this time, and for many, many years, where once stood proud Denval will hold only a smoking ruin. Those dispossessed by Ivak's freedom will scatter to the winds.

Before the Valterrian, Denval was a military outpost of the Suvan Empire, as well as a center for fur trapping.

The infrastructure of the outpost was entirely destroyed during the Valterrian, but almost half of the inhabitants managed to survive. They found, however, that the violent changes that came with the cataclysm had rendered the roads out of the settlement impassable, and that they were essentially enclosed within a wall of broken rocks and heaped-up sand. The residents thus had no way to get out and were forced to make do with what they had. Conditions were difficult and the inhabitants were only barely able to eke out a living from fishing and growing tubers and other crops suitable for a short growing season. In time, succeeding generations came to assume that all of Mizahar's inhabitants save themselves had been killed in the Valterrian. A few brave or foolhardy explorers ventured over the rocky screes in search of greener pastures and other survivors, but none ever returned, so their fates are assumed to have been dire.

It was due to a militaristic discipline and the blessings of close-mouthed gods that the Denvali population survived. A charter for the settlement was created before the death of the outpost's original Captain, outlining a new government based on the military code of the Suvan Empire, but bearing in mind their new situation. The Captaincy of Denval became a hereditary title and the population remained small enough to govern efficiently.

For the next four and a half centuries, much of the old garrison's arms and armaments were melted down into plowshares and the like. A chaplain devoted to Viratas helped the Captain establish what would become a comprehensive genealogy of the people, and marriage and birthing licenses were established through subsequent chaplains in order to prevent inbreeding in their small population. Of course, with such a small population, even the brilliant breeding program was not enough, and Viratas' blessing was required to weed out the worst byproducts of the small breeding pool.

There was no contact with anyone outside until 451 A.V., when the expedition of Zeltivan navigator Kenabelle Wright stopped at the settlement during their circumnavigation of the continent. Although the exchange was a brief one, the Denvali were ecstatic to learn that there were others still alive in the world. It took four years for word to travel from Zeltiva to Avanthal of the tiny settlement, but in 465 A.V., a curious Eagle Rider heard the story while visiting Avanthal and agreed to scout ahead for an equally curious Vantha ship captain.

By 460 A.V., small merchant vessels out of Avanthal began to make somewhat regular appearances, glad to have a relatively close new market for their goods. Eagle Riders from Wind Reach began to appear, too, their tribe remembered in some of the old tales from before the Cataclysm. Since then, a renaissance of sorts has begun in Denval, and cottage industries have arisen as the industrious Denvali have made use of their skills and time, as well as newly-available materials, to be more productive than they had previously been with the limited resources of their settlement.

Demographics and Politics

Denval is a small settlement of about 700 people. All of the permanent residents are human.

Denval's highest authority is called the Captain. The position is hereditary, passed down to the oldest child of the current Captain. The first holder of this position was in fact the Captain of the Suvan army garrison in Denval, and all since that time can trace their genealogy back to him. The rest of the governmental structure is hierarchical in nature as their Charter was based on the Suvan Empire's military code, and the only major change has been the rise of the Chaplaincy. There are always several chaplains, but a chaplain devoted to Viratas remains the authority for marriage and birth licensing within Denval, though many hope that with resident aliens settling in Denval, the need for a birthing program will eventually come to an end.

Though there has been little need for a military for centuries, Denval's military roots are still evident; weapons training is the preferred hobby and sport of most of Denval's citizens, male and female. Knowing now that they are not alone, almost the entire citizenry could be raised in Denval's defense, though the remoteness of the settlement and the fact that there is little tactical motive for anyone to attack make such an event unlikely.

The current workforce is divided roughly at 20% agriculture/fishing, 60% industry, 10% service, and 10% government/religious. However, given the settlement's small size, many of its citizens are capable of fulfilling multiple functions in an emergency.

Denval Today

Denval's contact with the outside world is still extremely limited, due to its inaccessible location. However, small Denvali boats have begun making semi-regular trips to the nearest settlements in Kalea. The Denvali prefer to interact with the Inarta and Vantha rather than the Jamoura, whose animalistic appearance and arboreal lifestile are simply too unusual. Because of Wright's expedition, Zeltivans are held in particularly high regard -- high enough that the populace is willing to "forget" the fact that the Zeltivans are descendants of Alahean stock.

Because they lived in pure isolation for four and a half centuries, the language of the Denvali is unique. It is derived from the Common of the Suvan royal period, but has undergone enough sound shifts and vocabulary changes as to be unintelligible to a speaker of modern Common. Modern Common, Nari, and Vani continue to become more popular secondary languages among Denvali. Due to the work of Wright's linguist, Bethany Edgetower, Denvali in turn has begun to attract a few speakers among the curious or scholarly in the rest of Mizahar, most of whom are ivory-tower intellectuals at the University of Zeltiva.

Visitors to Denval are rare indeed, but the few who make it there receive a warm welcome, and are generally plied with question after question about the outside world for as long as they are willing to answer.


At the time of the Valterrian, the majority of the Suvan garrison at Denval were part of a military cult to Aquiras, the god of travel and doorways, which inspired their doctrine of maneuverability and flexible response. They were prepared at any moment to travel by Watchtower, magic, or any other means with lightning speed and accuracy to make surgical strikes or cause widespread havoc to Alahean targets.

When the cataclysm broke upon them, their Watchtower toppled, all land routes became impassable, and their new coastline was so rocky that sailing would have been nigh impossible, even if they had the timber with which to craft a ship or naval officers capable of building one. All doors were closed to them, but they continued to pray to and honor the god of doorways.

Little did they know, for the gods grew quiet with the slowly diverging population of Denval, that Aquiras could not answer them. Priskil, desperate for her lover, blessed them from afar for their worship of her fallen beloved, as it helped keep him alive despite the loss of his heart to Sagallius. Without the quiet seed of hope, they never would have survived the gradually worsening situation and the slow movement toward an equilibrium with their new environment.

Despite the ongoing connection with Aquiras, as the garrison developed into a new community after the Breaking -- the only word they had for the Valterrian until they were rediscovered by Wright's expedition -- a newfound need for Viratas, the blood god, came into being. With a severely reduced population, their need for a birthing program was anticipated in order to prevent inbreeding. Chaplain Garlon was responsible for this stewardship of the bloodlines, and eventually the most prominent chaplain within the Denvali community was always primarily a follower of Viratas. This was primarily due to Viratas' intervention to purify bloodlines that became too inbred despite all best efforts, preventing the population from devolving entirely. Despite His help, or perhaps because of it, hemophilia is still common among purebred Denvali.

Over the centuries, the Denvali begged favor of many of the gods in order to survive: Laviku to bless their fishing skiffs with greater yields, Morwen for mild winters, Myri to remember the fierce warriors trapped there. But while there were occasional blessings from the gods and the occasional gnosis, the Denvali were, in general, left to their own devices, and while for the most part they remain devout, they also know that the gods help those who help themselves, and work to earn what grace they are given.

Since their rediscovery, they have learned of the existence of Sagallius, and have declared him anathema. Priskil has become a more recognizable patron of theirs both for their continued adherence to Aquiras and because their existence is proof of the triumph of hope. Their current captain, Astrid, has been blessed with gnosis and a personal relationship with the goddess. There has also arisen a greater reverence for Morwen, most likely in gratitude for their new trade partners in Avanthal.

Locations of Interest

The Captain's Hall - One of the first things built after the cataclysm became the Captain's Hall over time. The building houses the actual Hall, which can hold half the population of the city and was built as a meeting place for the infrequent Referenda by which the Captains of Denval occasionally polled adult members of the settlement on matters he or she deemed inappropriate for decree. In addition, there are offices for the Captain and certain magistrates, and currently the second floor is given over to a modest suite of rooms belonging to the reigning Captain. Newcomers to Denval are frequently directed toward the Hall before too long; Captain's have a long tradition of personally welcoming people to their settlement.

The Chapel - The Chapel is a simple, but beautiful affair. It was originally built from the wreckage of the old Suvan outpost like the rest of the city, but like the Captain's Hall, it has had serious structural and cosmetic alterations and improvements since work on the Road brought more usable stone for masonry that needed to go somewhere. It can seat approximately one hundred worshipers at the time and is not the only chapel, but certainly the largest and most important. The Captain worships there, and the celebrants in charge of it are the influential Chaplains of Viratas and Aquiras.

The Road - Not long after strangers from abroad began to make more regular appearances, talk began of building a road to the nearest city. Wind Reach seemed a waste of resources as their Inarta allies could fly more easily than travel by road would be. Avanthal was reachable by sea. Spires was full of talking monkeys. Sultros, it was decided, would be their best bet. Since 465 A.V., there has been a call out for miners and geomancers to help build a road out of Denval to reconnect her to the larger world. Messages have been sent from time to time to Sultros via Inarta messengers asking that they start a similar campaign on there end, but responses have been predominantly lukewarm. After all, Denval needs the road more than the Isurians. However, the Denvali have doggedly made progress several miles into the rubble surrounding them, and if anyone has learned the lesson of persistence, it is the Denvali.

The Docks - The Denvali harbor is littered with underwater rock formations that would tear the hulls off of larger trade ships. Kenabelle Wright's expedition very nearly ended in Denval for such reasons, though that detail was never written down in Zeltiva. The docks, such as they are, house mostly poled barges that ferry goods between the seaside warehouses and those ships that do come within range of the city. Brightly painted buoys bob above the more well known rocks in the harbor, and often they are lit with lanterns on holidays. Ships at anchor are frequently welcomed by barges carrying musicians and dancers bent on drawing people into their humble, but proud little city.

People of Interest

Garlon: Chaplain, organized Birthing Program

Albinout: b. 411 A.V., d. 466 A.V., Captain of Denval from 427 A.V.

Alaric: b. 432 A.V., d. 487 A.V., Captain of Denval from 466 A.V., son of Captain Albinout.

Albina: b. 460 A.V., d. 505 A.V., Captain of Denval from 487 A.V., daughter of Captain Alaric.

Astrid: b. 480 A.V., Captain of Denval from 505 A.V., daughter of Captain Albina and Inarta explorer Larus.

Haimon: Chaplain (Viratas)

Zahari: Chaplain (Aquiras)