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Riverfall

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Riverfall
RegionCyphrus
NotabilityHome of the Akalak
LeaderNevar Chivan
Population8,000
Races
Akalak60%
Humans35%
Other5%
LanguagesTukant
CurrencyMiza
ImportsMetals, Grains, Fruits
ExportsFish, Gemstones, Herbs, Wine



Located in the eastern part of the Cyphrus Region where the Bluevein River plummets into the Suvan Sea, Riverfall is the post-Valterrian home of the all male Akalak race. The city is built vertically into the cliffs and is the largest truly established city in the region. It welcomes any visitors that dare to cross the serpent infested grassy plains that surround the top of the city and most every visitor is awed by the scenic beauty the city offers.

Contents

City Overview

Riverfall is a natural paradise for anybody to behold. Upon entrance by land, visitors are able to peer down the three thousand foot cliff side where the Bluevein River meets its end in the Suvan Sea. The city is built into the solid rocky cliffs around the waterfall and is structured in tiers as the paths wind their way to sea level. Being largely populated by the blue-skinned Akalak race, the vibrant color combinations found here stand head and shoulders above most any other city in Mizahar. The city is ruled by the Council of Elders, a group of ten elders who have the final say in all matters pertaining to the development and operation of the city. Though Wysar and Akajia are somewhat commonly found roaming the city and may be able to influence some of the council members, the city is not ruled by the deities. Considering the majority of the population is male and the Akalak are constantly seeking to prolong their race, female visitors tend to find their stays in Riverfall more entertaining, exciting, and enjoyable if they are at all interested in such sorts of entertainment. In general, Riverfall has been known as a city that must be visited by anybody doing any travel within Mizahar and none ever forget the powerful beauty the city beholds.

The Weather

Riverfall sees very significant changes when the seasons turn and the Watchtowers flare.

Spring is known as the rainy season as the temperatures are rising and heavy precipitation is common. The Sea of Grass collects so much water that the Bluevien River usually floods at least once every spring thus causing the great waterfall to become stronger. Though the soiled water can occasionally turn the falls darker and murky, the rocks at the top of the city normally clear the water enough for it to keep its natural beauty.

Riverfall has quite blustery hot summers. Though the sun beats down and warms the cliffs, there are so many alcoves and runoffs from the river that children and other citizens enjoy cooling off in. Swimming in the sea is a common activity during the summer to escape the heat and incredibly humid air.

In the fall season the weather begins to cool down quite a bit. The winds begin to change directions to come from across the Suvan where they pick up speed and lose heat. Precipitation is not uncommon, but the most obvious sign of fall is of course the almost sudden drop in temperatures throughout the vertical city.

Winter in Riverfall is harsh. The area is extremely windy as winter airs blow in from the ocean side and deposit heavy snow drifts throughout the plains atop the city. As if having to deal with the temperatures was not enough, the snow will also cause the creatures of the plains to look for food anywhere they can find it. Cyphrus is not known as a civil land. Very few people live there. This makes Riverfall a big target for the creatures of the plains during this cold season.

History

Riverfall did not exist before the Valterrian. Instead, the Akalak inhabited the city of Valkalah and thrived there. They were able to reproduce more frequently at that time than after the Valterrian and the reasons why still remain a mystery. When the Valterrian occurred, Valkalah vanished underneath the Suvan Sea and nobody has been able to pinpoint exactly where the ruins lie or if there is anything remaining at all from the city.

In an effort to regain their strength, an Akalak by the name of Cauldric Chivan gathered what lingered of their race and focused them on regrouping and building a new home. Wanting to remain as close as they could to where Valkalah one flourished, Cauldric founded Riverfall where the Bluevein River entered the sea. The rugged cliffs were a natural fit for the resilient Akalak who typically live over four hundred years. Though building along and up the cliffs was incredibly slow work, the city did not have to be very large due to the unfortunately reduced numbers of Akalak remaining. The plains above the cliffs provided suitable enough land to farm and sustain the small population of Riverfall and the city would from that point forward be known as the home of the Akalak.

Cauldric Chivan sired three sons before his death around 300 AV. The eldest of his sons, Nevar Chivan, currently holds the eleventh seat on the Council of Elders and is 355 years old in 510 AV but has never sired a child. Baldic Chivan, 45 years younger than Nevar, runs Sattui Vineyard and Typhus, the youngest son of Cauldric at 259 years in 510 AV, oversees the Coalinga Gem Mines. Neither of the two younger sons has sired a child either and the lack of an ongoing bloodline is causing some among the Akalak to worry about the future leadership of the city.

Politics

The belief structure Cauldric Chivan, Founder of Riverfall, created was one of community. In order to keep the city from being a monarch style ruling society, Cauldric created a Council of Elders comprised of ten members to handle all the affairs of the city such as who to trade with, what businesses to create, how to wisely spend the money of the city, etc. Cauldric made up the potentially tie-breaking eleventh seat which is passed down from first born to first born and is currently held by Nevar Chivan. All other seats are voted on by the entire city. The term is for life, but the Council can remove a member. The role of a council member is one of community first. They are never allowed to think of themselves when making a decision. It is when a council member shown even the slightest hint of corruption, that the Council of Elders will remove the person and ask the city to vote on a new member.

Economy

The city is mostly self-supporting as rarely do caravans arrive across land to reach it. For trade purposes and to reduce the farming land required on the top of the city, Riverfall imports grains and metals not naturally found within the city mines. The exports include fish, precious gemstones, herbs, and wine. Nearly all trade occurs via the Suvan Sea where the port at the foot of the city bustles from spring through the middle of fall every year. Due to having such difficult winter seasons during which ships may not have access to the port, the imports increase in late summer and early fall in order to stock up on food to last until the warm rains come again in spring.

Culture

Do to the unique physical structure of Riverfall and the unusual Akalak who inhabit the city, the culture varies greatly from any other place within Mizahar.

Architecture

In general, the structures found within Riverfall are made of the stone in which the city is etched. The Cyphrus Region is not particularly abundant of trees so completely wooden structures are rare but can be found upon the highest tier of the city where the stone is many layers underground. The stone carved abodes and shops take many years to create but can survive any weather and provide excellent shelter and safety. Paths that wind through the city are intertwined among these buildings and many skirt steep ravines and drop offs that a rushed traveler should be sure of their footing when traversing. Though arguably the most beautiful city in all of Mizahar, unwary visitors being caught by the majestic scenes can find themselves in perilous situations.

Cuisine

Naturally, a variety of fish and sea-dwelling creatures are served with most meals. The added protein and abundance of the resource help the Akalak with the energy they need to carry out their busy days of training, studying, crafting, and working. Fruits and vegetables are not common with every meal, but they do show up at lunch and always at larger feasts. The little wheat that is harvested on the plains atop the city are mostly saved for the harsh winter reserves, but when Bala blesses the crops and a surplus is harvested, the entire city shares. Wine is plentiful and is usually drunk daily and the Akalak have the Bluevein River as a source of fresh water.

Because of their busy physical nature, the Akalak tend to eat several times a day while making lunch at the middle of the day the largest of all their meals. Days typically start out with a small snack and after some time a larger breakfast. There is another snack before lunch and several smaller, informal meals the rest of the evening. On rare occasions the Akalak will reserve their main feast for dinner in the evening, but usually this is only before a holiday or some other special occasion.

Holidays

  • Day of Revival – This day is celebrated on the coming of the spring rains. Usually before the 15th day of spring, The Akalak take comfort in the fact that winter is finished and the city stirs more than when winter froze everything. The rains indicate crops will grow and the race will survive another year and for this they celebrate Makutsi and pay respects for Bala in order for her to bless the growing season.
  • Mid-Summer’s Reprieve – The night following 75th day of Summer is when the Akalak pay their regards to Akajia, the Goddess of Night. Feasting on the night after what is close to the hottest day of the year, the holiday is a mixture of rejoicing and resentment, solemnity and celebration. Each Akalak owes their existence partly to Akajia but most also blame her for their darker halves. They could not be here without her but some cannot help but think of where their race would be had she not split each of them in two.
  • Settlement Day – The 1st day of Winter is when the Akalak, led by Cauldric, officially decided the building of Riverfall was complete. The exact year this was accomplished varies between sources but it still serves as a day for celebration. The Akalak enjoy this day before the harsh realities of winter truly set in and they thank Wysar for instilling patience within those men who diligently carved Riverfall out of the face of the cliffs.


The Akalak do not celebrate often as they continually dwell on the challenges facing their society. However, every time an Akalak reaches his second birthday, the entire city celebrates. They hardly react when the child is born knowing that they could peril while they are young and the birthing is seen as a survival tactic more than anything, so upon their second birthday they finally have a feast. The pregnancy takes twice as long as a human so they wait twice as long before celebrating. On average, between one and three Akalak men reach their second birthday every year.

Military

All Akalak are naturally strong and incredible warriors. From when they are young they train in unarmed and armed combat styles that are unique to the all-male race. This early and continuous development is another measure the Akalak employ to preserve their race into the future. They hunt in teams and work well together when fighting. The Cerulean are often even stronger and better skilled at combat tactics and weapon wielding than their un-marked brethren and because of their more sinister personalities they are also tasked to perform the less respectful duties such as spying and assassinating outside of Riverfall. Due to common training by every Akalak, there is no formal military structure found within Riverfall. The two outposts that some Cerulean are confined to which rest on the top of the city and away from the town serve as early warning devices as well. If there was a need, every Akalak would stop what they were doing to defend their city and protect each other as each member of the race is so crucial to their survival. The port created by the great waterfall also serves as a natural shield from the Suvan Sea as unwelcome ships would require close passage to some rocky edges in order to move closer to the city.

Places of Interest

Riverfall is created over the cliffside of the Bluevien River aside the ocean waters. The city is divided into three main areas or tiers. The first tier near the top of the waterfall belongs to the patricians (elite families and elders) of Riverfall; the second tier is the trading center of Riverfall; and the third tier is the ocean port of Riverfall (base of the waterfall). No tier is considered of higher standard than the other; each exists in harmony with the others to perform the duties for the city to survive. Houses are spread out along the cliffs between the tiers. Some locations of note include:

  • Sattiu Vineyards
  • Coalinga Gem Mines
  • Zebulon Sanctuary – Temple of Wysar
  • Raziah Abbey – Temple of Akajia

Society

Riverfall is a small community of only 8000 people. The belief structure Cauldric Chivan, Founder of Riverfall, created was one of community. In order to keep the city from being a monarch style ruling society, Cauldric created a ten-member Council of Elders to handle all the affairs of the city to include who to trade with, what businesses to create, how to wisely spend the money of the city. Cauldric made up the eleventh and tie-breaking seat which is passed down from first born to first born. All other seats are voted on by the entire city. The term is for life, but the Council can remove a member. The role of a council member is one of community first. They are never allowed to think of themselves when making a decision. It is when a council member shows even the slightest hint of corruption that the Council of Elders will remove the person and ask the city to vote on a new member.

The men of Riverfall are required to learn the ways of combat in order to protect the people of the city from the harsh environment of the Cyphrus denizens. They are also required to go on various hunting parties to slim down the Zith presence in their area. Zith tend to form 10 to 15 person hunting parties. If the city of Riverfall were to allow these hunting parties to grow, it would not belong before a strong presence of Zith could over run the city. Plus there are various types of barbarian raiders that come to the city in hopes of taking over the gem mines. This is why Riverfall has the strongest defensive structure in the lands; built into the side of the great cliffs off the Bluevein River Waterfall, a great wall structure surrounding the city. Riverfall also forms raiding parties of their own focusing on slave traders and caravans. Slave traders come to Cyphrus because of the large barbarian presence in the plains. The Cerulean Akalak usually raids these slavers and brings the slaves back to Riverfall setting them free. The hope is that the freed slaves, especially the women, will chose to stay and join the community. Approximately 1 in every 100 actually stays, but Riverfall would never hold a person against their will. The city will provide them passage, by boat or across the plains, to those who wish to leave.

It is also required of every person, both male and female, to take up a profession within the city. This is how everyone provides for one another. A person who does not pull his or her weight within Riverfall will be asked to step up or leave forever. Te people do not own any of the businesses around Riverfall. If a person has an idea for a business, they present it to the Council of Elders for approval. Riverfall will make the business and allow the person who cam up with the idea to 'run' the business. Riverfall takes all the risks. So if a business survives, Riverfall and the creator split the proceeds 60% / 40%. If the business does not succeed, Riverfall will close it down. Riverfall also pays the salaries of whoever is required to work in the business. As a note, a business must provide impact within the community or else the Council of Elders will not approve it.

Cultural Hierarchy

Within the Akalak Society, there are distinct cultural tiers. While male Akalaks reign supreme in the city of Riverfall, among those men are distinctive tiers. First and foremost are the Council of Ten lead by Nevar Chivan who is the absolute leader of Riverfal and the direct descendent of Cauldric Chivan, Riverfall’s Founder. From there, all the rest of the Akalak males are neatly divided into subgroups followed by the women they have married or possess and then the regular denizens of Riverfall and their pets.

  • Leader of Riverfall - Nevar Chivan
  • Council of Ten - Elected Leadership Board chosen from Elders
  • Elders - Wise men of the Akalak over the age of 200
  • Exalted - Adult male with a grandson
  • Esteemed - Adult Male with one son
  • Adult - Akalak over the age of 40 who has passed his Rite
  • Boy - Akalak under the age of 40
  • Wives - Women the Akalak have married.
  • Nakivak - Women the Akalak have contracted and bound to sire children for them.
  • Kuvan - Guests and Denizens of Riverfall that are non-Akalak. These can be any sex, race etc.
  • Kelvics - Considered property and pets of the Akalak, Nakivak, and Kuvan. Females are more valuable than males and female kelvics carrying Akalak children are protected in Riverfall in the same way a wife or nakivak would be.

No other person has status in Riverfall that falls above Kuvan unless they are married to an Akalak or under contract by them.


Crime

All forms of wrong doing are taken care of in the Gideon Combat Arena. Gideon Vayne created the system and the Arena. He was a close friend of Cauldric. For crimes against the city, he was the one that fought on their behalf in the arena. He never lost a fight during his life. Based on the Council of Elders the fight will either be by points or to the death. Most issues are fought by point system. A death fight usually involves murder or a cowardice act that results in a needless death. If the accused loses, he is required to pay a penalty decided upon by the Council to the accuser. If the accuser is loses, then he was wrong and must serve the accused in whatever capacity for one season.

Women live up to this standard as well and can be forced to fight. If the accuser or accused is an Akalak and the second party is a woman, there are society rules that are accepted ways of life to these people (they do not consider it cruel or wrong). First, a woman can forfeit the fight and simply serve the accuser for one season. Secondly, she can fight. If she loses there is never a money exchange. She must serve the Akalak for one full season. This service could include sexual relations even if the woman is married! Any child conceived during this service will be rendered to the father since all Akalak children are male. The exception would be if the woman is Konti. An Akalak is never allowed to take a female baby from a Konti woman even though he sired the child. This is a racial respect issue the Akalak to not take lightly. Konti women would never keep a male child from an Akalak father. If the Akalak loses to the woman, then his payment to her is in whatever she desires, not the Council of Elders. He could be forced to serve her for one full season, pay her fees, etc. The Council must first agree to the woman's demands, so that the punishment is proper to the crime committed, but she is the one who presents as many ideas to the Council as necessary to find a suitable punishment. Some women have set the punishment towards the Akalak's honor knowing that respect is held in the highest regard in Riverfall. To lose respect through deeds and combat have taken some Akalak men a lifetime to recover from.

People of Riverfall

The following contains information regarding the general population of Riverfall.

Demographics

Akalak are all male, 60% of the city population is male (4800 men) The human population makes up 35% of Riverfall - approximately 33.3% / 66.6% men to women (930 men and 1870 women), of those 1870 women – or 75% are married leaving only 467 single human women The remaining population of 5% (400 people) is 50% men to 50% women, of those 200 women - 70% of them are married leaving 60 single women of the 8000 total inhabitants there are 527 single women, 1543 married/couples, and 4387 single men, that is a single ratio of 8.3:1 men to women ... you do not come to Riverfall and expect to get 'lucky' if you're a guy ... Women - Have a Blast!

Key Figures

Nevar Chivan: 6'9" 250 lbs. Akalak male. 220 yrs old with shoulder length black hair. He has a scar along his entire right shoulder both front and back. It is a bite from one of the great wyrms of the plains. He is the only person to ever fight a great wyrm and survive. To date, no one has ever killed one of the great wyrms of the Cyphrus Plains. Rumor claims there are seven of them. Nevar is the first son of Cauldric Chivan, founder of Riverfall (now dead). Nevar has two brothers, Baldic ( 200 yrs old, 6'7" 245 lbs. runs Sattui Vineyard) and Typhus (187 yrs old, 6'11" 275 lbs, runs Coalinga Gem Mines).

More Information

Riverfall Flora

Riverfall Fauna