The Mhul Pont

Tech Code:8
Governments: Multiple independent deepings under ruling councils, with a representative from each
Religions: The Korda
Industries and Trades: Skilled crafts (pottery, metalworking, jewellery, gem-cutting, bookmaking, weaving), highland herding
Major Terrain: Mountains
Primary Languages: Khal Mhul.
Major Settlements:


Physical Geography

The Mhul Pont is a mass of low, craggy mountains, rocky highlands, evergreen alpine forests and massive grassy plateaus, making up the difficult, elevated terrain that proved ideal for the Mhulak to isolate their deepings in. The Bosots sink into the Inner Sea in the north, and at the Mhul Pont these ancient mountains rise again out of the water and march into Battlewaite. The land is hard, with craggy grey stone peaks pitted by the wind and barren hills coated in the grey-brown dust that blows in off the battle waste. Trees are gnarled, bent double under the winds, and tortuously misshapen, and waterfalls and streams that appear in spring and disappear again in winter carve strange sculptures into the living stone of the pont, and cut deep caverns and seemingly bottomless pits into the landscape. The breshan mountains in the east, which form the border with Kel Saratose, are low and almost never see snow, but along the shoulders of the world, known as the dzarn ulek in the mhulak tongue, the mountains become towering and stout, and the mazleft stretches between the two mighty ranges, bisected by the sushan, or zchun in mhulak. The rocky zliftut, or plains of the pattern extend north from the river mthuzfad to the silty pashav, or ash river.

Thanks to its altitude the pont is cold the year round, and the winds are vicious and the khuriru batters the pont most days of the year. While snow is a rarity except in the depths of winter, the caps of the dzarn ulek seldom thaw. Squalls of heavy rain are common, but seldom last long, but violent spring and summer storms often bring forked lightening that blasts the peaks of the mountains and arcs down standing stones. The highest peak in the region - the mighty Duma-Kthaz which stands where the bosots meet the shoulders, sees well over a thousand lightening strikes a year; so many that its peak is bare of snow and black. When the weather is clear the sun can be harsh, especially on the dry mazleft where the rocky ground bakes in mid summer and there is little shelter to be found.

Along the coast the usually gentle inclines become deep, rocky drops into the sea, where stony fingers reach up out of the water to tear at the hulls of ships and point skyward out of the water. Caves are common along the coast, but many flood in high tide, and a navigator would have to know the area well to brave submerged rocks and drowning to approach one. Still, many brave or foolhardy captain try, and shipwrecks, sometimes suspended well out of the water by freak waves, are a relatively common sight along the sheer coast. Massive colonies of gulls and other sea birds live on the cliff faces, nesting on narrow ledges or determined trees sprouting tenaciously from the vertical surface.

Political Geography

The deepings of the Mhul Point have all joined together to form a ruling council, who stake a quiet claim to this stretch of land, but even without their presence everyone in the basin knows that this is Mhulak country, and that it is to be left alone. Each deeping is ruled over by a body of its eldest and wisest residents, Service on this council is purely voluntary, and many mhulak here have no taste for it, so frequently it is actually the young who form the ruling body of a deeping. Each deeping communicates regularly with its closest neighbours, and in this way each deeping stays in loose contact with its neighbours, but each deeping also tries to be completely independent, living simple lives to achieve insularity. Some of the larger settlements have satellite villages above ground, and high watchtowers guarding the edges of their territories, but these all risk the predations of wandering caliban and hunting orgryn. No mhulak who does not wish to live in a deeping is expected to adhere to the laws of a given region, and matters of justice are dealt with by a gathering of the community as a whole in the arena at the base of the deeping, where everyone has a right to have their say, and proceedings and deliberation can last for days. The ruling council must also make any of its proceedings public, lest they be voted off the council by the majority of the community, however voting new members on is the exclusive right of a sitting council, as is determining its own size.

There are five major deepings in the pont; Zunmnaz and Bthmuz occupy the centre and north-east of the mazleft respectively, while Mfalend and Dulmec are along the southern edge of zliftut. Khazmhul, the largest of the deepings, sits near the source of the short river khaz that flows into the claws of the sea divh. Throughout various mountain passes there are perhaps a total of nine more deepings, and mhulak communities also exist right along the souther border with Sorane, where occasionally they trade with the southern landsmen. However all mhulak still remember to fear the sea, and while its song still calls them they keep their settlements well back from the coast. Still, a large number of hermits in tiny stone huts populate the clifftops along the claws, where they sit all day and stare, enchanted by the foaming waters below.

Social Geography

The greatest density of Mhulak settlement to be found anywhere in Allornus, the Mhul Pont might be considered a Mhulak nation, though the individual deepings remain fairly self-sufficient, and thus still largely isolated from one another. Within the deeping everyone is seen as an equal, and though certain professions, especially scholarly ones, draw greater esteem and admiration than others, there is no sense that an individual's role in society in any way elevates him above his peers. Age, however, is a major defining factor in an individual's social standing, and there are strict rules for how an individual must treat his seniors, even if they are elder by a matter of days, or even hours. Deference to an elder is paramount, and an elder must be allowed to speak, eat and generally act in any social situation first. Everyone knows who the eldest mhulak in a community is, and he or she is considered a source of great wisdom, and looked upon to address any communal gathering, as well as occupying an important role in most religious ceremonies. The closer a mhulak is to death, the closer they are seen to joining the nameless mhulak divhi, and so while there is no priest class in mhulak society, the older mhulak of a community are expected to take on the role of priest for the latter parts of their lives, counselling their younger fellows, passing on the history and beliefs of their people and sharing the ways of the mhulak faith. And elder who fails in this duty is seen as a criminal, but is given the opportunity to redeem himself and restore his good standing should he so choose. For this reason the death of an elder is a joyous occasion for the whole of a deeping, but the death of a youth is an untold tragedy that the entire community mourns. The mhulak are largely ambivalent about births, but parents are usually pleased.

The only exception to the rule of age is the occasional child born with an extra pair of arms and the ability to see in total darkeness. These mkohlor, or artisan-priests, are the most highly regarded of the mhulak race, believed to be gifts from the divhi itself, as a reward for the faith and diligence of the deeping. The mkohlor are venerated as part-divhi even as infants, and are immediately taken from their parents to be raised by one of the eldest of the mhulak. They are trained from their first day in the craft that is most revered in the deeping, and also in the creation of the divine signs - works of craftsmanship so masterful that they are considered sacred to the mhulak people, proof of the existence and favour of their divhi manifest to them through its most favoured children.

Family bonds, except to your immediate family (that is between father or mother and child) are relatively unimportant to the mhulak. They have only one word for any other familial relationship; dfura, which roughly translates to relative. Because the deepings are so isolated nearly every resident can be referred to as dfura, so it remains seldom used, but many foreigners have misunderstood the term to mean a sibling or close relative. Because the deepings are so insular it is traditional for pairs of deepings to swap a troupe of young men with one another every generation. When the deepings were closed the mhulak learned that when they isolate themselves too much they become degenerate, and so this great exodus keeps the blood mixed and the mhulak proud and healthy.

Faith and Worship


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