The mountainous region of Labuga'al comprised the north of Adaven, and spread out all along its border. It was known for its dragon oil, zoolatry, and its rigid, spiritual caste system.
The widespread belief of the region - that each class of person was bound to and guided by specific animals - dictated much of its customs and economics.
Physical and Historical FeaturesEdit
The Labuga'al mountain range centered around a single rocky mount, which tapered into a series of smaller ridges in all directions. The climate was cold, but snowfall was present only at the highest peak and the northernmost ridges. Scrub grass dotted the surface of the mountain, and shallow caves housed wild dragons.
Due to the harsh weather, crops could only be grown in the plains at the base of the mountains. Early settlers on the mountain itself relied heavily on the local wildlife, particularly the mountain goats, as they provided both food and material for warm clothing.
The city of Labuga'al was centered on the highest peak at the southernmost point of the mountain range. Houses were built of or into the mountain stone, and stretched from the base to the middle ridges. The entrance to the cavern of the noble family could be found at the highest reachable point.
Peoples and CustomsEdit
The Ga'als of the mountain region were relatively fair skinned, and were clothed heavily in cloth and leather to stave off the cold. Long sleeved shirts, cloaks, and scarves with accents of fur were common choices of clothing.
Armor was commonly made of goat leather with minimal scaling of iron. Members of the Dragon rank were also allowed sturdy bracers or greaves crafted from dragon horn. However, even within the rank, dragon armor acted as rare status symbols, since parts could only be taken from dragons that had died of natural causes.
The lifestyle of the mountain people was built around the central religion of their territory, which worshipped the spirits of the animals around them.
- Main article: Divinity of Reach
The people of Labuga'al were divided into three ranks centered on three animals. Each type of animal differed in its level of sanctity, and the families associated with the animal shared its rank.
Families built their homes at the altitude in which their guiding animal lived. Aside from religious symbolism, this also made logistical sense, as each family was also charged with the husbandry and care of the animals of their rank.
The two largest families, of each of the three ranks respectively, were the lesser houses of Barlakh, Azryn, Dund, Urlalyn, Khelek and Khargal.
Marriage could cross between ranks and job classes, however, every member of a single family was required to share an occupation. Should a Goat-ranked wright marry a Horse-ranked sexton, one would need to discard his or her name and job, and learn the new family's trade. The higher ranked of the couple would more often yield, since rigorous testing was required for an increase in rank.
Commerce, Trade, and Public LifeEdit
The people of the mountain region lived within houses built directly into or of the mountain stone, and were always in close proximity of their rank animals. In daily life, there was a close intertwining of occupation, religion, social hierarchy, and bloodline.
Social and religious hierarchy were dictated by one's occupation, which was passed down through families. Those caring for each kind of animal were also in charge of the manufacturing of the products. For instance, families at the Goat rank also spun cloth of goat hair and tanned goat hides.
Those of the Dragon rank were the only ones permitted to tame and rear dragons, from which they milked precious oil. The noble family held a monopoly for the oil, as the technique for extracting usable oil was a jealously guarded secret.
The Great HouseEdit
- Main article: Great House of Labuga'al
The noble family lived deep within the mountain, in a vast, hollowed out cave near the highest peak. There, they kept their dragons and would periodically, with great ceremony, award rations of oil to deserving locals. The yawning space could also be used to shelter most of the Goat rank during heights of storm and cold in the winter.
In a show of their riches - as well as of their standing in the eyes of the divine - the family burned gallons of dragon oil every night to light their cavern. Dragon oil produced a bright and smokeless fire, providing a series of gently pulsing sunbursts as illumination.
A series of small canals were built into the cavern walls, which channeled the oil into strategically placed lanterns. The amount of oil was precisely measured to burn out by the end of the night. During the day, the cavern was lit by significantly less opulent torches.