Cities of Nočovȉk
Drūmersk – ‘the dry marsh’. County town of Nočovȉk. The lands of Nočovȉk and Sučovȉk are notorious for their spread-out, seemingly deserted villages and towns. This sparsity of character lends an eerie, twilight atmosphere to the land; day passes into night so subtly, the darkness almost feels afraid to spread out across the flat landscape. And flat Nočovȉk most certainly is, with its bracing easterly gales a testament to the lack of any natural windbreaks, such as mountains or valleys.
Drūmersk stands as the archetype of any Nočovȉk town. Bleak, empty plains, swathed in red reeds, surround the town, the outlying villages of flint and harthstone equally forbidding behind their screens of elm. Drūmersk itself, however, is a beautiful city, dominated by its castle. The original fortress dates from the House of Wolves; it was later seized by Adair II as part of his plan to take back control from the Nočovȉkian lords who had deserted his mother's cause.
As well as establishing a royal mint there, Adair vastly expanded the modest fortress, adding the great harthstone keep that still bears his name, along with its four imposing drawbridges. The castle was thus maintained as a grim pillar of security in the Nočovȉkian heartland until the year 450, when it passed to Mairead Rhudlyon, eldest daughter of Leonis I, as a wedding present. Mairead and her new husband, Iruin, became Lord and Lady of Drūmersk, and the castle remains in the ownership of their descendants to this day.
For somewhere so windswept and exposed to the elements, it is perhaps no surprise that there stands a temple to Ambisagrus, God of Weather, at the heart of the town. A second, smaller, temple sits alongside, dedicated to Ambisagrus's sister, Ambisagria. The Sky Goddess and Weather God are most keenly worshipped throughout Nočovȉk, a county famed for its wide, open landscapes and brisk climate.
Igbeck – ‘cold brook’. Igbeck sits on the River Kerenjedhek, at the westerly edge of the Forest of Liscoille. This woodland was once far larger than it is today, stretching into the heart of Nočovȉk, and Igbeck originally grew out of a village of forest-dwellers, with convenient trading channels by way of the unruly Kerenjedhek. As time passed, however, and the Kerenjedhek regularly broke its banks and flooded due to run-off from the Plečó Mountains, the ancient trees fell and decayed, transforming into rich marshland.
Fortunately, Igbeck too has evolved, its people turning away from timber and carpentry – instead, they grow roots and beets in the black, peaty soil, and catch eels in the water-meadows, streams and pools that rise out of the marsh. The Kerenjedhek still floods occasionally; hence, numerous walls, dykes and ditches have been built to check to check its tempestuous flow, and the town survives.
Flattbraid – ‘flat broads’. Situated a few miles inland, Flattbraid’s finest feature is best viewed by those coming in from the sea. Vast beaches of sand and shingle merge seamlessly with the lavender fields that spill down upon the shoulders of the town.
The lavender that gives Flattbraid its fame and beauty was essential in aiding Princess Maebh’s flight from captivity in 328, when she used the fields of mauve to mask her escape; a more detailed account of the Princess’ ruse can be found here.
A small temple dedicated to Llew can be found nestled amongst the sand dunes at the head of the beach. Facing East, the temple is filled with the first dazzling rays of the day – a fitting tribute to the Sun God.
Rownevik – ‘secret folk’.
Eowid – ‘strength in knowledge’.