Thorendor, 2F: Student Rooms 2

You walk toward the second group of students’ rooms.


Gallery 1

You see five framed paintings in this part of the hallway.


Water Gardens of Jinusion

This is an painting from an ancient era. Although you’re not certain, you think this garden could be from Penogavia, which is known for its gardens and bathhouses. In the library upstairs, you’ve read that Penogavia is ruled by several families led by matriarchs, in the tradition of Cyperia.

These matriarchs govern based on consensus at the commune-level Mother Council, and by edict within their territory. The capitals of each territory are dominated by a large fortified campus wherein the matriarch and her extended family lives. Anyone marrying into the family is required to live on the campus.

Artefact of Gonasherum

You do not know what this is, but the name seems Kaeh in origin. You wonder whether this could be a myth related to their beliefs.

If this is from the Kaeh culture, you doubt even Master Arasemis would know much about it. They are wildermen in the Far East, beyond the deserts of Temeszal. The Kaeh supposedly wield boomerang swords.


As you think more about the name of this painting, you remember there was a Kaeh chieftain named Gonasherum who battled the Arukans and their Caribani underlings when they attempted to cross the deserts into their lands. Gonasherum was victorious and named king of the Kaeh and guardian of the land. His new title was szal, which later appeared in the name of Temeszal, meaning king’s desert realm. The Kaeh eventually lost control of those lands, but a monument to Gonasherum was said to still stand somewhere in the sun-cooked dune seas of Temeszal. You guess that this painting depicts what the Kaeh would have said the monument looked like.


Peatlands of Voukitupos

This painting depicts the rugged tundra landscape of the Kingdom of Lambochardy. You’ve heard Juhl discuss her harsh homeland. There are many peaty boglands in the country but few forests, so wood is a scarce and protected commodity.

The commoners cut and dry peat for themselves and for sale, while the king and his vassals control all forests and every tree. They also control the building of windmills, ships, and anything that requires significant amounts of timber. Ships and timber are also bought in quantity from their allies in the Rugen Empire.

The most revered farmers are those that attempt to grow trees, mostly on the northern part of the island.

Aside from their reliance on the Rugens, Lambics require shipments of coal from Calbria because burning peat is not hot enough for Lambic blacksmiths. These relationships mark two significant dependencies for the Lambics, but they are otherwise very resourceful. In some areas, Master Arasemis said the Lambics use the steamy heat from mines and wells to turn mills or keep homes warm. And generally, the Lambics figure out how to make-do with homemade goods such as candles made from fish grease or peat wax.

Criminal Underworld of Borel District

Despite the dark aesthetic, you look on this painting fondly. Master Arasemis has always said that the key the overthrowing the House of Avaleau is to cause the people of the capital of Eglamour to rise up against them, starting in the slums of Borel.

The Order of the Candlestone has many contacts in Borel. And there are useful merchants there, such as Vorval’s alchemical candle shop.


You like that Borel is a maze of secret alleys and interesting people. It annoys you that Fetzer does nothing but complain when you and the other students must do a task there. He complains about the stench of the slum, the sight of its open sewers, and the pitiful condition of the poor people there. He even complains about the Candlestone safehouse there, despite it being a cozy place with everything the students need.

You think the problem is that Fetzer had a privileged upbringing, and that he doesn’t seem to take the lofty goals of Candlestone as seriously as you do.


The Self-Poisoning of Sennacher

You like this painting very much because it is unexpected. You remember the story about Sennacher, who was a descendant of the Naren-Dra tribe, but this is not how you imagined he would be.

Master Arasemis said Sennacher was a member of the eighth generation of the Order of the Candlestone, which was a time of great upheaval. The Brintilian Empire had collapsed during the seven generation and new kingdoms had been created in its wake across Pemonia. And Candlestone had struggled with an internal schism on the future of the Order. All of this presented many opportunities for Candlestone to adapt and exploit the instability of young nations and new rulers.

Candlestone machinists became more creative with new materials and devices, especially mechans. These advanced armors integrated the training of aerina, chemina, and machina, which you and your fellow pupils strive to learn today.

This painting shows Sennacher wearing a golden armor that Arasemis said had reactive plates which sprayed poisonous dust onto foes when struck, similar to shroud eggs that Candlestone members were trained to throw at adversaries. Arasemis will not teach you much about machina yet because he says none of the students are ready yet, but it intrigues you nonetheless.

Sennacher was said to be like the mechan: volatile and irritable. He was hasty to charge into battle, and generally unthinking in his ways. The story reminded you of Fetzer, although you think your fellow pupil is very intelligent despite his angry tirades and disrespect to Arasemis. Sennacher was said to have always complained of the small lenses in his protective Naren-Dra mask, an indication that he had not mastered aerina arcanae before using the mechan, Arasemis said.

And so, Sennacher removed his mask in battle to better see and defeat his foe. It was a pyrrhic victory, however, as he had exposed himself to his own reactive plates. The Candlestone artist who made this interesting painting seems to be displaying Sennacher’s final moments of that battle. Surprise and concern are being pushed aside, his eyes set on victory while ignoring his own inevitable fate.

Arasemis said this mechan, which was called pushplate armor, has not been found in Thorendor or anywhere else. But you suspect Arasemis may know how to make a replica, given his broad range of knowledge about such arcanae.

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Gallery 2

You see five framed paintings in this part of the hallway.


Bothrobim of Nydenland

This painting is very old, roughly made, and damaged by water. You remember Master Arasemis teaching that Bothrobim was a skilled Nydenlander sailor who helped Rildning lead a group of tribes against the expansion of the Brintilian Empire. During one battle, he led a fleet of fifty ships. Later, Bothrobim became a founding member of the Order of the Candlestone.

The Rahlampian Dream

You recognize this to be a painting about a Rahlampian tribal myth. Before the arrival of the Brintilian Empire, some Rahlampian chieftains dreamed of revenge against the Gallerlanders for their forced exile, the Tarborchast.

Master Arasemis said the Rahlampians became a great tribe over time, but not as large as the Gallerlanders. Though smaller in number, the Rahlampians believed they could defeat the Gallerlanders with their windrazors, extremely long, thin swords made from anchiclade. They dreamed of finding giant ores in the Anchiclade Mountains in the south of what is now the Kingdom of Calbria. Ores could be found on the southern beaches, dug out and washed by the waves.

One day, they said, an anchiclade ore would be found as big as a cloud, and it would be an omen to plan for a war against the Gallerlanders.


Fjords of Nydenbern

You have never been to Nydenbern, but you have read about the ice-choked fjords in the library upstairs. This is the southernmost territory of the Rugen Empire, comprised of a large central island and several smaller islands.

You recall from the map room that one of these smaller ones, Vorimwoit, is the most southern point of the continent of Pemonia. These lands are cold for much of the year, enjoying only the briefest of summers when the ice melts and aggressive plants and small animals and birds make the most of the season. Southern auroras are visible from Nydenbern and are explained using Messengian or Congregant beliefs, depending on which side of the island one lives on.

Master Arasemis said that Nydenbern was originally inhabited by the Nyden tribe, and their descendants still dominate the islands today. They were able to resist invasions by the Raffen tribe longer than most other peoples in the region. However, after the Raffen gained the support of the Brintilian navy, the Nyden lowlands were conquered. When the Brintilians attempted to expand their colonies eastward past Nydenbern, the skilled Nyden shipmasters attacked the Brintilians.

The colonists blamed the Raffen for their inability to control their own tribal vassals, leading to tensions that at times threatened to undo the trust and treaties between the Brintilians and Raffen. Ultimately the naval battles with the Nyden tied up Brintilian resources and undermined their colonial designs in the east, causing them to abandon the effort. This solidified the Arukan colonists’ advantage in central Pemonia.

As the tribal and colonial era faded, and new kingdoms were birthed on the continent, the Nyden were forced into a union with Rugenhav. Arasemis said this was because the Nyden fostered divisions and internecine feuds rather than focusing on their adversary, a cautionary lesson for Candlestone he says. Still, the Nyden enjoy limited autonomy due to their size, harsh climate and terrain, and their distance from the mainland.

Today the Nyden remain a politically and religiously-divided people. It is said that the Rugen rulers on the mainland did not oppose the importing of Congregantism into Nydenbern by Donovard and Ovelian missionaries, as it would help maintain divisions within the people. Arasemis said this was probably also an objective of the Ovelians, given they are also adversaries of the Rugens. The master laments that such a distant, harsh place has been the focus of so much war and intrigue, but holds it up as an example of the kind of governance Candlestone strives to replace.



This painting has no title on the frame, but given the size of the toad on the path, you guess this is a depiction of the fog forests of Ramelind. It is a country where thick jungle mists mix with the choking belches of volcanoes and sands swept aloft by violent winds of the sea.

You don’t know much about these lands but Master Arasemis said it is the source of the very best toad skin vinegar for use in alchemy.



This painting also lacks a title, and you have no idea what or where it is. It seems to be a door in the desert. You are curious what is inside, so you plan to ask Master Arasemis about it later.

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Gallery 3

You see four framed paintings in this area.


Omen for Ventures

This is a painting of a Gallerlander sky omen. The natives believed that the appearance of a full moon and stars while traveling at night meant that the time was ripe to act on whatever was on your mind.


Exceedingly Divine and Pure Sunflared Throne of the Martinus

You smile at this painting of the inner sanctum of the Cryphanic Temple, and you know why it was stolen and brought here to Thorendor Castle.

Master Arasemis has said that once Candlestone overthrows the tyrant kings of Pemonia, the Order will do the same in Almeria. The final judgement of swords will be aimed at the Martinus, the king of Messengianism himself. Interestingly, Bertwil supports this. You hope to see that day arrive, and you hope to see the Martinus fall from that gaudy throne.


Beware the Naivety of Nilus

You immediately recognize the message depicted in this painting from your very first alchemy lesson from Master Arasemis. This was an alchemist apprentice named Nilus who disregarded warnings from his teacher about mixing ingredients that were beyond his skill. He was said to have died after inhaling the sweet vapors of a concoction he didn’t fully understand.

You think this painting should be down in the alchemy laboratory, as a cautionary tale to new Candlestone students and a reminder for everyone.

Graves of Forgotten Crusaders

You know from history books in the library that during the colonial era a large cemetery was discovered in northern Gallerlandia. The markings on the headstones made clear that they were part of the Frontier Corps led by Marshal Hilsingor. Based on what Rildning wrote about a legion that was destroyed by the Goyns, the legion that Hiltsfrad and his companions were once part of, you think it was probably this cemetery that was left behind.

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Gallery 4



In this gallery, you see a collection of six untitled paintings of Ovelian rhinoceros riders. You remember reading that the practice of training large animals for battle began with the Caribani tribe that inhabited the region before the arrival of Arukan colonists. Caribani bisoneers were the first to use such animals, and bison are still trained today to perform at Ovelian festivals.

The Arukan colonists were so impressed with the Caribani bisoneers that they introduced rhinos from lands further north. The Caribani successfully trained them, and the Arukans organized the rhinoriders into heavy cavalry. However, the rhinos had worse eyesight than the bison, they remained slow to gain speed and were difficult to maneuver, and rhinos would not maintain a formation. But the rhinoriders’ ability to break apart enemy formations was enough, leading to their use as first line shock troops.

Although Ovelian cavalry is dominated by faster and more maneuverable horses today, rhinos are still used. You hope to be able to see them one day.

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Juhl's Bookshelf


Chronologica, Volume IV (Lunhod, 2256)

Although possessing a well-earned reputation for systematic brutality, the Lambics have a soft spot for poetry, particularly tales of sailing, adventuring, warfighting, winds, and ice. The southern auroras are visible from Lambochardy but they have no religious myths to explain them, so they use poetry.

     The Lambics’ particular form of poetry makes generous use of kennings as an entertaining way to mask the meanings of things. Unsurprisingly, they have also been used to convey secret messages.

     The writing of short death poems is also popular, not only among the poets but among the literate elite and warriors. These are typically written by one facing imminent death and sometimes reflect observations on life and death, the transience of life, and related themes. For example, here is one translation from a chieftain who met his doom fighting Caribani warriors:

Life fades,

Impermanent as the spring buds.

Life follows,

Permanent as the southern ice.

Juhl's Painting


Funeral Pyre of Zicmundac

You remember this from when Master Arasemis taught about the early culture of Lambochardy. In ancient times, well before the Brintilian Empire came to Pemonia, the island of Lambochardy was cured by a Caribani king named Malorvella. Under his reign, the Caribani had effectively colonized the Lambic tribe, which was plagued by infighting, poor resources, and a harsh climate. The chill of this painting makes you recall Juhl’s comment: “We Lambics can endure any cold. We carry it in our heart and blood.”

After the death of King Malorvella, his governor of Lambochardy, a Lambic named Zicmundac who was married to Malorvella’s sister, unilaterally declared himself king of the island. When Malorvella’s brother Berducio ascended the throne, he deployed his ships to overturn the insurrection and restore the island province to his rule. The Lambics resisted, with Zicmundac personally commanding from a commandeered Caribani ship.

After a naval battle in icy waters, the Caribani flotilla was defeated. When Berducio send a second group to attempt a secret landing on the far side of the island, Zicmundac went ashore to again personally lead his army against them. After a second defeat, the Carbani retreated back to the mainland, and Berducio was deposed for his failures. Zicmundac was mortally wounded in the final battle and died, his body burned on a pyre floating between Lambochardy and the island of Torios, as depicted in the painting, with archers positioned on either side to represent the battles he won.

Although the Caribani and their Ovelian successors perpetually schemed against Lambic kings since then, Master Arasemis said they have never again ruled the island. In modern times, the Ovelians’ continuous aggressions against the Lambics have pushed the latter into the arms of their strong but also self-interested neighbors, Rugenhav. Arasemis said this had contributed to the tension in the Empire Alliance, to the benefit of the Order of the Candlestone.

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Juhl's Chest



You recall this is a natural amalgam of green-gray liquid metal. It gains weight as it is slowly heated, explained by Master Arasemis as stealing an unknown substance from common air. Also known as quickverdant for its similarities to quicksilver, virn is only found in Juhl’s native Lambochardy, locked in mountain glaciers and in beached icebergs during summer.

Initially collected and sold to Rugen merchants as a curiosity, the metal has been found to resist fire, corrosion, and most acids. But putting it to practical use has been illusive given its liquid form, except when heated or in warmer northern latitudes.

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Rodel's Bookshelf


Houndkeeping in Rugenhav (Oromegast, 3024)

...And this is a key point that foreigners cannot comprehend. These dogs are status, highly trained, and held in very high regard throughout our lands. They serve their masters in war and hunting, but also serve as help for the blind, as trail guides, search dogs, and simple companionship. There are annual dog tournaments. Many are valuable but all are considered sacred property.

     The most famous breeds are the timber jackal wolfdogs of Pendigied, and all respectable classes of hound have some portion of wolf pedigree. There are two primary exceptions. First are those bred by Rugens in Toninbern, which have mixed blood of wolverines to create “wolvers”, as they are called. And second are the Nyden who prefer non-wolf dogs. Then there are those bred by the Valken islanders, who breed pure wolves only.

     Wild wolves are also respected by mainland Rugens and protected from hunting or killing, except in self-defense (some livestock losses viewed as “necessary sacrifice to the sacred”).

     In sum, the most famous of Rugen wolfdogs are as follows.

  • Timber Jackal: War, hunting, guardian. Large, strong, fast, aggressive. Usually gray.
  • Thul: War, sleds, work. Large, strong, heavy. Black and gray.
  • Redear: War, hunting. Slight, nimble, very fast. Reddish and gray-brown.
  • Wealdog: Hunting, tracking. Long-legged, fast. Brown-cream and cinnamon.
  • Wothenwolf: War, guardian. Large-pawed, aggressive. Black and white.
  • Toninbern Wolver: War, guardian. Fast, strong despite small size. Black-faced, brown.
  • Valken Wolf: Domesticated pure wolves. Loyal, aggressive. Gray.

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Rodel's Painting


An Old Valki Temple in Honvork Gorge

Although the name of the temple is not specified, probably because it was painted by a foreign traveler, you know that this painting depicts a location in the Valkenbern territory of the Rugen Empire, specifically on the island of Honvork. Valkenbern is a cluster of many large and small islands that was originally inhabited by the Valki tribe.

The rival Raffen tribe saw the Valki as savages, but their attempted invasions of the Valki islands were often disastrous. After the Raffen allied themselves with the Brintilian Empire, they used new weapons, training, and other assistance from the colonials to subjugate the Valki into the Raffen Empire. Today, the Valki descendants are called Valken, and they remain a territory of the Raffen descendants, the Rugens.

You wonder why Rodel chose to hang this painting in his room. He is a Rugen, but perhaps he has some Valken blood as well. The Valki were not treated well by the Raffen. You remember reading that they exterminated the Valki that lived on Honvork, which was sacred to them. With help from the Brintilians, the Raffen tribesmen from Baruth on the mainland established castles on Honvork and other islands as a means of control.

Over time, and after failed attempts at rebellion, the Valki accepted integration with the Raffen in exchange for guarantees to retain their culture, particularly their pagan religions and traditions. With the exception of the occupation of Honvork, the Raffen largely kept this arrangement.

Today, the Rugens prize the ferocious Valken warriors among their ranks, and particularly as generals, but many remain wary of them. You are sure Rodel must have some measure of Valken heritage, because no normal Rugen would have a Valki temple hanging on their wall.

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Rodel's Chest



You see that Rodel has a dagger stored in this chest. You have never seen him carry this, so it must be from his days as a Wosmok assassin. This is curious, as he has always seemed eager to forget his past. Then again, he had narrowly escaped death as a prisoner of the Donovards, so he should have been unarmed. So much about Rodel is a mystery.

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Vacant Room Bookshelf

You see no interesting books on this shelf.

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Vacant Room Painting


Courage for the Walk from the Unreal into the Real

You have never heard Master Arasemis or any of the other students explain this unusual painting. Maybe because everyone can only feel what it is about without expressing it.

This vacant room is where Fetzer and other students were first taken when they joined the Order of the Candlestone. They sat in this darkened room, at that table, and were awakened by a single candle. An alchemical rising candle that caused them to wake from their sleep. This was how it was for you, too.

In the candlelight was the gentle but serious face of Arasemis, shrouded in darkness. He read the unsaid thoughts on your face, judged whether you were fit for Candlestone, and accepted you as his pupil. When he arose from the chair, and you were permitted to follow, you were struck by the candlelight on this painting. You didn’t know the name on its frame then, but now you understand its meaning. Arasemis has awakened in you and the others this portal of knowledge in the mind.

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Vacant Room Chest


Rising Candles

Unsurprisingly, the chest contains a box of rising candles. You wonder how many potential students were brought here over the years. Now that you think about it, being released from this little dark room into the wonders of Thorendor Castle is similar to the opening of your mind to the ancient knowledge that Master Arasemis teaches here.

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Fetzer's Bookshelf


The Obzolpest, called by other settlements Oberzolme, is often sighted first, before Voraczol, though not always. Sometimes it rakes across the sky like a storm, its eight hideous and twisting limbs electrified among the roiling clouds. Other times, when the airs have been dry for days, its feathers are said to muffle its approach. Regardless, the coming of the Obzolpest seeds fear into the settlers, which only grows as the last candlelight go out. When the Obzolpest is sighted and confirmed, the night watch is doubled and spare candles are handed out and prayers are repeated in unison.

     As for the fiend himself, there are many descriptions of Voraczol, and so they are in conflict. Some said that he wears a black helmet made of shimmering jet. Others that he has the helmet or the face of an iron griffin. Still others say that he wears a mask of tarred feathers and spider webs. The most grisly accounts of his description are of his black tunic, upon which is sewn the bones of a partial skeleton, either of the lost child of the colonial governor, or of various small animals, or even a wolf. And that Voraczol is otherwise dressed in black clothing head to foot, and a black robe often said to be tattered, torn, or disheveled.

     Descriptions of his blade are almost universally consistent, namely, a small jagged or crooked knife, and rarely a hook. His victims are rarely heard, for he comes silent most times and departs like the wind. Bodies are found with his symbols, but most times they are not found at all. Abduction is his way, and stealth his method.

     Various plans have been drawn up to rid the colonies of this menace, but few seem sure of these efforts. More than once have knights gone into the Harkarom Mountains to look for Voraczol. Piles of raven carcasses have been found at the mouth of dank caves, and some have sworn to see spider webs in the shape of octopi, but the true lair of Voraczol remains a mystery. And perhaps he has none. Perhaps he comes as the Obzolpest and forms spontaneous in the air, then disappears as a smoke in the wake of the storm.

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Fetzer's Painting



You see a grotesque painting leaning against the wall. You think it is odd that Fetzer chose this myth for his room painting. You know Voraczol is a legend from Barres Ministry in Donovan. Actually, it is older, from the days of the Brewel Colony. Voraczol was said to live in the Harkarom Mountains of that region, terrorizing the colony during the night.

Some said Voraczol’s spirit heralded his coming, taking the form of a white feathered octopus that slid silently across the night sky like an ominous cloud. He carried only a small crooked knife, and wore the bones of a child or small animal stitched onto his black tunic, depending on the story. He appeared only at night, taking poor souls from their beds or night watchmen from the streets.

Some said he was Bronhildi tribesmen in disguise, killing and abducting to frighten the colonists into abandoning the place. Thus, the Bronhildi name given to him. But the attacks continued long after the Brintilian Empire recruited the Bronhildi as allies. Occasionally, deaths and disappearances are still attributed to Voraczol today.

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Fetzer's Chest


Fetzer's Knife

You see a decorative golden knife in Fetzer’s chest. You’ve seen him with this before, boasting that he had stolen it from a ship captain’s quarters before he joined Candlestone. But you don’t believe him.

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Fetzer's Dresser


Fetzer's Journal

You see Fetzer’s journal on his dresser. You hesitate, knowing how violently protective he is of this tattered little book. In fact, you’re surprised that he left it here unattended. The difficulty of today’s training in the forest probably prompted him to leave it here. You reason he is probably still in the woods, so you decide to have a quick look. You open it to a random page closer to the beginning.

...I’m not one day from Perilune and already the world is different. Ship life is cramped and difficult, but it’s better than the academy. Despite making a mess of his kitchen, I’ve also found one who might be called a friend. But I remind myself that these men are thieves. Smugglers. Criminals. And a means to an end: escape…

You thought you heard a footstep, but maybe it’s just your imagination. You hold your breath and carefully close the journal, taking care to put it back exactly where it was.

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You see the lute that Marlan and Juhl sometimes play in the gathering room. Marlan’s sung stories about adventurers and such are what you’re used to. Juhl’s tend to be dark and cold, like her. You think of picking it up while no one is looking, but you’ve never had a musical bone in your body.

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