Difference between revisions of "Arangoth"

From #BlkDragon*Inn
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Line 194: Line 194:
All three of the following were composed by [[Feaster]] in midi format.  
All three of the following were composed by [[Feaster]] in midi format.  
* [[File:Anthem.mid| The Arangothian National Anthem]]
* [[File:Anthem.mid | The Arangothian National Anthem]]
* [[File:Coronation.mid| King Arlok's Coronation March]]
* [[File:Coronation.mid | King Arlok's Coronation March]]
* [[File:Khalar.mid| A Khalar Dance]]
* [[File:Khalar.mid | A Khalar Dance]]

Revision as of 16:53, 15 January 2013

The Kingdom of Arangoth
Country Information
Motto: Sigovath Ne Gintelmil
(Death To Our Enemies)
Capital: Drache
Language: Arangothek
Ethnic Group: A mix, but mostly Human.
Religion: Menxism
Government: Monarchy
Current Ruler: King Arlok ul-Dorn
Arlok ul-Dorn Gossath ul Arangoth
Population: 200,000+
Currency: Currency

The Kingdom of Arangoth (Arangair ul Arangoth) is a large sovereign state located in the The Midlands of the main continent, known also as Veth. The kingdom spans as far north as Song Deep, east to the Dragonspine Mountains and Elgaria, and as far west as Arania. Its southern coast includes Goat and Shell Island, ending at the Southland Penninsula and Assi tribal lands.

Arangoth has a long and colorful history. The Kingdom of Arangoth was first founded nearly five centuries before the present, but civil war half a century ago led to the collapse of the Old Kingdom and the flight of the royal family. Alysia "AngelSin" returned from exile in 465 and was proclaimed queen, but left the kingdom in 467. Prince Arlok ul-Dorn was proclaimed King in Northern Arangoth in 469, then later King of All Arangoth after the reconciliation of Arlok and the Regency Council.

The city of Drache has served as the kingdom's de facto captial since Queen Alysia's arrival to the city in 465.


Main Article: History of Arangoth

Arangothians are ethnically a mixture of the native Goxal and the invading Igmerind people who founded several sitharangel or grand duchies here a few hundred years ago. In the year 1, the Sithire or grand duke of Northern Arangoth founded the city of Tagrana, which is considered to mark the founding of the Kingdom of Arangoth. Tagran, the first king, was originally considered only the first among equals. However, about the year 130, a conflict among the lesser sithirel led to the extinction of the major families, and the King became yet more powerful by virtue of his ability to appoint provincial leaders. Around 300, when Arangoth was embroiled in a war with the Assi, the Order of the Beady Eye offered its services to the monarchy, assured Arangothian victories there and elsewhere, and became increasingly powerful on the frontiers of the Kingdom.

King Aladar took as his second wife Rosebud, the daughter of an Eastern Arangothian witch. When her true nature was revealed, it became necessary for an impostor named Tsetsa to impersonate the Queen in public. Dissatisfied with this role, Tsetsa convinced the Khalar ambassador Helehkri that Arangoth was planning to invade its northern neighbor. This led to a bloody and needless war beginning in the year 384, a war which, however, Arangoth won handily. The Khalar surrendered and turned over to Arangoth their most prized possession, the Siren Stone, which caused a number of problems in and of itself.

King Dorn sent his three sons Arlok, Oryan, and Ware out into the far provinces so that they could learn at first hand how to govern. There the princes discovered that the Order of the Beady Eye had long been abusing their powerful position on the frontier. King Dorn vowed to oust the corrupt Order from power; the Order in turn gathered its forces to resist. About the same time, Prince Arlok and his fiancee Melinxa Swanneck turned hungry wolves on a group of girls of noble birth who were conspiring to murder an innocent peasant; this was the infamous Slaughter in the Maze. As a result, both the Order of the Beady Eye and a large part of the Arangothian nobility rose up and, in an attack upon Tagrana in the year 415, murdered King Dorn as his three sons fled from the destruction of the city. For the next fifty years there was no monarchy in Arangoth.

The Raven disappeared never to return, but his stead a Council of Nobles arose. From the North, Arlok returned to Southern Arangoth. After months of tension the nation was at peace once more under King Arlok ul-Dorn and the provincial government of the Regency Council. An Aslari-Ellurian war was settled only when armies from across the sea intervened.

Geographical Features

Geographical Map of Arangoth
Map of Arangoth showing major towns and cities.

Government and Politics

Arangoth was originally a confederacy of Grand Duchies before Tagran became the first king of Arangoth. Sithirel, or Dukes, have been the traditional rulers of the various Arangothian provinces for centuries. AngelSin and BLKDRAGON did not follow this tradition, preferring to rule directly from Castle Black. After their abdication, The Raven took over as Regent, though he too soon disappeared. A Regency Council rose to take on the mantle of government in the year 469, until it was disbanded late in the year 473. King Arlok has restored the traditional forms of government and appointed a new Sithire to govern the South on his behalf.

When Queen Alysia (called AngelSin) and her consort, King BLKDRAGON, established their new capital in Drache in the year 465, they ruled it directly from Castle Black for a small number of years. They governed more and more of Arangoth, as word of Dorn's blood returning to Arangoth spread throughout the shattered kingdom and fiefs flocked to her banner. But the King and Queen never lost their humility, and familiarity with their people, best illustrated in their steadfast devotion to the King's Inn in ever-growing Drache.

They were succeeded, after leaving for mysterious reasons, by their counselor, the arch-mage known as The Raven. Though wise and powerful, the Regent was also reclusive and by all accounts spent most of his time in the towers of Castle Black. The time came when he inexplicably disappeared altogether, leaving the running of the country to its bureaucrats and local lords. It was later revealed that he was combating unseen threats to Arangoth, though he has not explained the nature of the matters that keep him occupied even to the present day.

When Drache was faced with myriad disasters in the year 469, several prominent nobles rose up to fill the vacuum. Lady Lorla Daranek called together a Council to take the reigns of the Regency in Evening Star (December) of 469. They named an empty seat for The Raven, should he choose to return and began to tackle Drache’s problems. Their chosen symbol was a fatted goose and sheaf of wheat in an unbroken circle, for plenty and concord.

Simultaneously, Arlok ul-Dorn, the Prince of Old Arangoth, awakened from an enchanted sleep of fifty years in Outer Arangoth and returned home. After a series of misunderstandings and tests, he was declared King in Northern Arangoth, the northern Diet never having been keen on The Raven, a foreigner, and preferring the King to the Council. Soon it came to light that still-missing Queen Alysia had abdicated some years ago, and the Council negotiated Arlok's becoming King of all Arangoth in 470. The Council remained in provincial control of the southern provinces.

After a powerful controversy begat a political uprising in Drache, the Council was disbanded in 473 and one of its last members, Lord Marcion Aldenbar, named Lord Chancellor. He was also directed by His Majesty to find a new Sithire, or Duke, to rule the South, in a more traditional form of Arangothian government.


The Kingdom of Arangoth is presently divided into five general regions, each governed by a Sithire or other body, with two capitals. The north has its capital at the restored city of Tagrana, where King Arlok and Queen Melinxa rule for most of the year. The rest of his time is spent in the southern capital, the city of Drache. The south has its capital in the city of Drache, which is governed by a Sithire.

From 465 until 469, all Arangoth was loosely ruled from Drache. King BLKDRAGON and Queen AngelSin made what was a small fishing hamlet into their national capital in 465. Yet the pair were only visible rulers for a year before entrusting the management of the kingdom to their Regent, The Raven. And even the Regent was rarely seen in Drache, or anywhere else in Arangoth. Castle Black became a mysterious place where only the castle staff lived. So Arangoth was essentially without a head of government for three years, and somehow its people and institutions survived relatively unscathed. A great many Arangothians are still loyal to BLKDRAGON and AngelSin, but this situation is slowly changing, now that their absence and tacit abdication of the crown are clear.

Northern Arangoth is governed from the rebuilt Royal Palace in Tagrana, where King Arlok and Queen Melinxa rule. Underneath the King and Queen, the most powerful figure is Palatine Perlim Larkspin, who is the senior-most member of the Northern Arangothian Estates. The Estates are a parliament-like body, representing mostly the noble and mercantile classes, that gathers once a year (mid-July) in Hornath ul-Marfed to vote on various issues. In 466, the Estates voted to offer the crown to AngelSin and BLKDRAGON in Drache in return for a confirmation of their traditional rights and privileges. There was no response from Drache. In 469, with the return of Prince Arlok (a lost heir to the throne who had been in an enchanted sleep for 54 years), the Estates voted to declare him king instead. Shortly afterwards, Northern Arangothian armies restored order in a large part of Ruthmarna (which had been overrun by bandits).

While Northern Arangoth, Ruthmarna, and Eastern Arangoth all acknowledged Arlok as king, the provinces of Southern Arangoth, including Drache, did not do so. In First Seed (March) of 470, the elders of the Sresar Vale, upset by the lack of Valesmen on the Regency Council, gave their allegiance to Arlok in return for an agreement that granted them similar privileges to the Northern Estates. The following month, Sir OneStab, a close friend of BLKDRAGON and AngelSin testifies before the Council that AngelSin and BLKDRAGON had never intended to return and formally abdicated a few years ago. Though The Raven was named as King in this lost document, there is some question as to the appointment’s legal validity, especially with the appearance of a candidate of royal blood. Arlok and the Council entered into negotiations on reconciliation of the divided country.

In Frostfall (October) of 470, these negotiations brought about a reunification of the kingdom with Arlok as King of all of Arangoth. Arlok signed an agreement limiting his power with the Council, mirroring those with the Elders of Sresar Vale and the Northern Estates. The Council retained provincial level control over Transdariania and Arania and jurisdiction over maritime matters, and the south is allowed to keep its distinctive law code. Drache and Hornath ul-Marfed were named as co-capitals, between which Arlok must split his time.

In First Seed of 471, Negotiations between elven Governor Topaz Silverbow and King Arlok ul-Dorn resulted in the proud Confederacy of Elvendeep becoming a crown province of Arangoth, guaranteed rights but ultimately under the authority of the Arangothian crown. This seemed to foment displeasure at Silverbow’s regime, as a second Civil War would soon follow. Observers suspected the decision might have been fear at the quick revival and deadly threat of their old foe, the orcish nation of Zul Kiras. Though Arlok has governed Elvendeep with an extremely light touch, granting it virtual autonomy, this arrangement is still far from popular in Elvendeep. Time will tell whether this arrangement will last, or provoke further civil unrest.

In Frostfall of 471, King Arlok and Queen Melinxa officially announced the birth of the new heir to the throne, Prince Emereth ul-Arlok, Grand Duke of Ruthmarna. The prince had actually been born the previous spring, but the Royal Family had employed an old Crown Policy for protection of susceptible infant heirs from magical attack. Illusionists and Royal agents had been utilized to hide the pregnancy and first several months of Emereth’s life for his safety.

In Hearthfire (September) of 472, King Arlok announced that the restoration of Tagrana, begun two years previous, was nearing completion. Tagrana became the new co-capital of Arangoth with Drache, replacing Hornath ul-Marfed when the Royal Family officially took up residence in the rebuilt Royal Palace. Other landmarks in the city include a giant Grubball arena, new home to the grubball team Tagrana Memorial, which of necessity had been based out of Hornath ul-Marfed for years. The Council funded a memorial garden there for AngelSin and BLKDRAGON.

Royal Guard

The Royal Guard is Arangoth's primary Law Enforcement entity, establishing law and order and maintaining compliance with the written Laws of Arangoth. These men and women are also tasked with enforcing the Criminal Code of Arangoth. The uniformed and non-uniformed members of this elite group are trained to the highest of standards to ensure Arangoth and it's residents remain safe.


The Magistrates of the Crown are the judges of Drache, empowered to hold trials anywhere, at any time. In Drache, it's not just a figure of speech when people say that justice carries a sword.

Government Officials

Arangoth and Drache host an extensive array of Crown Officials. The current roster's highest ranking officials includes:

Southern Arangoth's current Sithire is Marcion ul-Fenduth Tagran Aldenbar.

His Privy Council is as follows:
Lord Chancellor (Vorfon Gostnairod) - Julius ul-Arduin Malbraxa
Lord Treasurer (Vorfon Thropparponthod) - Branth ul-Alfrith Truxton
Lord Protector (Vorfon Apettire kei arna) - Marnuth ul-Porre Elgabralk
Lord Admiral (Vorfon Appetire ul silthrogel) - Simpelta ul-Sankord Marnix
Prelate of Honour (Vorfon Talorod ul Fost) - Gerard Mintrod
Scholar Preeminent (Tespin Forod) - Quill Stygian


Standing Army of Arangoth

Society and Peoples

Arangoth has several distinctive cultural features, including a language, a native religion, a musical tradition, and a calendar to mark the years and holidays.

The Arangothian Calendar closely mirrors that used in the "real world." The Arangothian year 470 = AD 2000, and indicates that 470 years have passed since the founding of the city of Tagrana (which marked the origin of the Kingdom of Arangoth). The months and days of the week have Arangothian names, and there are a number of Arangothian holidays.

The three major ritual events in a person's life are generally the Brakerrat or rite-of-passage ceremony at age thirteen; the marriage ceremony; and the funerary rites. Each of these has a customary form in Arangoth: for example, the Arangothian wedding generally takes place at home, and the participants wear green. There are also number of popular song and dance genres in Arangoth, as well as music of the royal court. For the past seventy years or so, one of the most popular genres has been the leturek.

The most common religion among native Arangothians recognizes two supreme dualistic powers, Menxvan and Menxruk. The Royal Church in Drache, with Father Kylus Dragonsbane at its head, is by contrast open to many faiths, though Father Kylus himself follows a deity known in Arangoth as Pallodain. An extreme Menxvanic sect which has recently had some impact is the Cult of the Silver Flame, strongly opposed to magic-use.


The year AD 2000 is equivalent to the Arangothian year 470. Years are dated traditionally from the founding of the city of Tagrana on the shores of Song Deep, which was the capital of the Kingdom of Arangoth until the Civil War of the year 415. The Arangothian system of numbering years was adopted by several neighboring states at a Council on Dating held on the Isles of Myst during the reign of King Ware "Sith" of Arangoth. In fact, the council had been arranged to discuss a different kind of dating altogether: namely, how to coordinate blind dates between the youths of different royal and noble families in the region. The delegates considered this a rather thorny issue and were eager for some easy way out. The Arangothian delegate suggested that they interpret the topic of "dating" as instead meaning calendar reform, and in their gratitude the other members of the conference agreed to adopt the Arangothian year. The states involved included Rondis, Aslar, and Elvendeep, all of which observe the same year as Arangoth.

In writing, one would express the date March 25, 465 (the day that AngelSin claimed the throne of Arangoth) as, "The twenty-fifth day of First Seed in the four hundred and sixty-fifth year from the founding of Tagrana." The more common shorthand form of this date would written "25. III. 465."


The Royal Church in Drache, with Father Kylus Dragonsbane at its head, is by contrast open to many faiths, though Father Kylus himself follows a deity known in Arangoth as Pallodain. However, the most common religion among native Arangothians is Menxism, which recognizes two supreme dualistic powers, Menxvan and Menxruk.


Main Article: Menxism

Followers of Menxvan believe that the best way to shift the balance in the favor of the good is to do good deeds whenever possible, and to encourage one's fellows to do good as well. Certain extreme Menxvanic sects have interpreted this philosophical tenet as a divine mandate for rabid evangelization, but such sects generally do not remain in existence for very long. The majority of Menxvanists are strongly opposed to forced religious conversions.

Menxvanic teaching holds that Menxvan and Menxruk are transendent beings, and mortal minds are not capable of comprehending direct communication with the deities. Thus, they communicate with their mortal followers through these powerful servants. Many followers of Menxruk believe that this is nonsense, but the the fact that there are often multiple individuals claiming to be Menxruk's high priest or chosen champion may indicate that Menxruk's servants are either pretending to be the All-Evil when interacting with mortals, or are pursuing their own agendas using Menxruk's name. Regardless of the source of this confusion, Menxruk seems to at least tolerate it, or may even encourage this division to weed out weak followers.

In the Menxist doctrine, both Menxvan and Menxruk are both quite tolerant of other faiths, and this extends down to the clergy and followers of both deities. The theory behind this is that anyone that does good helps Menxvan, while anyone that does evil helps Menxruk. The only followers of foreign deities that are not welcome are followers of neutral gods that seek balance in all things (as such individuals would work to bring the contest to a stalemate), and militant faiths that are hostile toward other religions. Menxruk has even gone so far as to impersonate other deities in the past to gain the devotion of certain powerful followers of evil deities from other worlds. It should be noted, however, that certain extreme sects (such as the now-defunct Cult of the Silver Flame) are militantly opposed to foreigners and foreign deities, but these people represent a small minority.


There are two major divisions of the Menxvanic priesthood: priests and priestesses, and holy men and holy women. Both receive the same religious training, and both have the same spiritual authority to perform religious ceremonies and rituals. The simple difference is that priests and priestesses are associated with one of the various temples throughout the land, while holy men and women are not. Holy men and women are wanderers, traveling throughout the kingdom, and even into other lands, to minister to people not within traveling distance of a temple. They perform an invaluable service in remote, rural areas, or in foreign lands with Menxvan-worshipping populations. Priests are allowed to marry and have children. In some sects, priests are expected to have a family, in others, staying single may be seen as a more virtuous calling, devoting oneself completely to Menxvan as it were.

Templars of Menxvan

Main Article: The Templars of Menxvan

The Templars are an order of Menxvanic Knights, dedicated to defending the Menxvanic faith, protecting Menxvan's followers, as well as guarding Menxvan's temples, shrines, and other holy sites. Traditionally, they have also been dedicated supporters of the Arangothian monarchs, and have formed an elite corps in the Arangothian armies in times of war. The symbol of the Templars is a green serpent swallowing its tail, surrounded by a sunburst, with a sword in the center. The Templars display this symbol on their armor, or wear a pendant around their neck when unarmored.

Guardians of Menxruk

Main Article: The Guardians of Menxruk

The Guardians of Menxruk are a loose conglomeration of devoted worshippers of the godhead, Menxruk, who guard against the ever-growing plague that represents the path of order and Menxvan. Rather than protect any one individual, the Guardians of Menxruk are based in small groups (or cells) and because of this are more interested in the proliferation of the faith of Menxruk. Worshipping the Body of Menxruk makes one an important but ultimately expendable extension of the ongoing effort to rebuild. Once, long ago, the Guardians of Menxruk were able to raise armies, but today they are dispersed, hiding in all corners of the realm of creation.


Main Article: Arangothek

Arangothek is the native language of the kingdom. It is an inflected language of the Goxo-Limbrian language family with some vocabulary borrowed from Igmerind in the distant past. There are some nonstandard dialects, such as those spoken in the Sresar Vale and in Outer Arangoth, but over the main expanse of the Arangothian kingdom the language is fairly consistent. Arangothek is written in its own distinctive script.

Common Names


Kenglith, Marnuth, Alathar, Alfrith, Asproth, Dorn, Bralk, Branth, Sarnem, Ware, Sanglith, Oryan, Fenduth, Huixon, Folvaholk, Kukarek, Arduin, Amurath, Forban, Herbord, Anskar, Gerd, Rafold, Aladar, Donnovath, Sivrian, Perlim, Aritz, Marxion, Rathek, Folvatir. [Recently many parents have also been naming their sons "Kylus," "Metzen," and "Bolk," the last being the closest they can come to pronouncing "BLK."]


Delvige, Silge, Dekressa, Silmdinth, Serpessa, Sarla, Tarla, Rixte, Palandra, Perlegi, Peraldinth, Pellatgi, Nimpet, Sarlakelet, Thrinda, Lermat, Leptat, Hurnmilve, Gordge, Nistgi, Gessipir, Valknandra, Nedixe, Nepse, Neskessa, Melinxa. [Recently the names "Lex," "Lixa," and "Alysia" have also become popular.]


Aborod, Anquodire, Appodarod, Aptentrod, Arlothek, Arnak, Blanire, Bobire, Branissod, Brogod, Dabalbire, Daranek, Silad, Senketh, Sallod, Rixtire, Ruthmire, Quarflis, Pinek, Parmilod, Orgod, Pallod, Netrilod, Neserpix, Nerxod, Nelxik, Nege, Flinod, Folvad, Galebrod, Mitrod.

Note: typically a person will take his or her father's name as a middle name, preceded by the prefix ul-, for example:

Kenglith ul-Alathar Mitrod
(i.e. Kenglith Mitrod, son of Alathar Mitrod.)

Serpessa ul-Fenduth Quarflis
(i.e. Serpessa Quarflis, daughter of Fenduth Quarflis.)

Note that Arangothian on its most basic level isn't written in the Latin alphabet but in a script of its own. What that means is that there's nothing even vaguely "official" about any particular spellings of Arangothian words or names. And K can generally be replaced with C or CK.

And if people are unhappy with the sound of "Arangothian," it would do no great violence to it to substitute other sounds for those that are objectionable. For example, some individuals pronounce the sound "X" either as "sh" or "zh" whenever it appears in a word or name. It would make just as much sense to write "Menshruc" or "Mengerook" as Menxruk, or "Nadeesha" or "Nedygea" for the feminine name Nedixe. You don't have to use the names on the list for your character to be an "authentic" Arangothian; there have been plenty of characters with names that don't appear on this list.

(As a very, very rough rule, male names frequently end in -TH, and female names frequently end in -ESSA if you need to make up a name quickly.)

Customs and Rituals

Main Article: Arangothian Customs and Rituals

In Arangoth, the three major ritual events in a person's life are generally the brakerrat or rite-of-passage ceremony at age thirteen; the marriage ceremony; and the funerary rites. Each of these has a customary form in Arangoth: for example, the Arangothian wedding generally takes place at home, and the participants wear green.


There are a number of popular song and dance genres in Arangoth, as well as music of the royal court. For the past seventy years or so, one of the most popular genres has been the leturek.

All three of the following were composed by Feaster in midi format.


Main Article: Grubball

Grubball is the national sport of Arangoth, with a professional league of 16 teams from around the country and from foreign lands. The Arangothian Grubball League, or AGL, consists of 16 teams from or around Arangoth, with the Isles of Myst fielding a team in place of Goat Island which went bankrupt following the 470 season. A season consists of 30 games in which each team plays each other twice, once at home and once away. Following the 30-game regular season is a postseason playoff. Originally the top two teams played a 5-game series with the winning claiming the Season Championship as well as the Arlok Cup. The winner of the AGL championship goes on to take part in the International Grubball Association, or IGA, playing teams from the surrounding countries.


Main Page: Arangothian Currency

The coins minted in Arangoth are lurinthoons (gold coins), rixtles (silver coins), and quaspins (copper coins). Drache is a port city that thrives on commerce, so there are almost as many currencies in circulation in Drache as there are foreign visitors to the city. To make transactions easier with this baffling array of coinage, the most common financial unit in Drache is the Bank Crown, which is a banking unit used for accounting and moneychanging. Most businesses and even the government in Drache sets values in Bank Crowns, which are then either collected or paid out in various currencies. In Arangoth, the half-rixtle piece, a silver coin, is equivalent to the value of a Bank Crown.

The average resident of the Wharf District has a "monetary value" of 23 bank crowns; in the Red Lantern District it's 14. That's basically the amount of money these people could get if they sold everything they owned (except very basic things like the clothes off their backs) and combined that with all their cash on hand. These people don't really have *any* savings and very little property, and would probably be destitute in a week or so without working or stealing. Therefore I'd say that the minimum cost for food and lodgings in Drache for a week is about 15 bank crowns.

Writing and Printing Methods

The vellum (sheepskin) scroll is still the most common form of private letter, and is generally wrapped around a thin wooden dowel with a knob on either end, and then tied shut with a string or ribbon. Most letters are sent in small leather pouches tied shut with something resembling a shoelace. However, rag paper is also used for letters, and since it comes in rectangular sheets, it is not rolled but rather folded and closed up into an 'envelope' sealed generally with either wax or wheat paste. There is no official postal service in Arangoth, but letter-carriers may be hired cheaply for cross-city communication. It costs rather more to send letters between cities, and there are a couple of companies specializing in this area, such as the Mankrastro Courier Service. Slates and wax tablets are common where reusable writing surfaces are needed.

The "book" in Arangoth does not open to the left and right, but rather to the top and bottom, with the spine oriented horizontally. Library desks thus resemble V-shaped chicken-feeding troughs. These are still mostly made from vellum, and are copied by hand. However, it is probably only a matter of time before such books will be produced using the acid-etching technique on rag paper. Bindings are made either of vellum or leather, with metallic clasps and gilding. Covers are also often painted with miniature paintings of fairly high artistic merit. Books remain extraordinarily expensive. Rumormills and political pamphlets are much cheaper, but must face both the low literacy rate in Drache and a social stigma against reading "trash" literature as opposed to the Arangothian classics. Some rag paper is manufactured locally, and there are a few distinctive Drache watermarks, such as a bull's head, and an anchor in a circle. The paper used for The Rumormill printing and political pamphlets is of very low quality.

Printing images using woodcuts has been known in Arangoth for some time now. However, the procedure of preparing such woodcuts is difficult and time-consuming, and has not been used for written texts. Mostly the technique has been used for producing religious icons, and still is. A few years ago, a new technique for producing printing blocks was developed by an artist in Arania named Nistgi Lakrak. She took zinc plates and coated them with several layers of wax. Into this wax she drew an image with a stylus, leaving the zinc surface exposed there. After she was finished, she placed the zinc into an acidic bath. The acid etched the exposed lines of the drawing into the zinc plate, but did not eat through the areas still covered with wax. Next, the wax was melted off from the plate, and a mirror-image mold was made of a semiporous material the composition of which is still not widely known. This mold was then sanded down (the etched lines were intially of uneven depth) and, once inked, could be used to produce copies on rag paper.

This technique of print-making quickly spread to Drache, where the Rumormill adopted it for reproducing plates covered with writing rather than graphic images. The Rumormill has also innovated by placing the print plates into an adapted wine-press, whereas Nistgi Lakrak had simply weighted down each print with stones. The Rumormill is said to have a dozen such presses in operation.

For a short while the Rumormill monopolized this new technology, but recently it appears that the technique has been learned by other craftsmen in the city. It is estimated that there are between three and five different establishments in the city running presses using the acid-etching technique to reproduce the written word. One such establishment, the Crowned Swan Press, is the first to use the technique to produce entire printed books and offer them for sale. Their offerings include Arangothian classics such as Quarkelet's Dream of the Nine Otherworlds, Vansilad's Bestiary, Sangliod's Compleat Herbalist, The Mirror of Nobility, and The Minstrel's Companion.

More Info:

History of Arangoth