Founded: AUC 2,728
Founders: Lord Titus Cornelius Glabrio Vorn (“Titus Invictus”) and Great Lady Vipsania Drusa Merulla Zosh
Population: 4,086 (at the beginning of AUC 2,776)
Demographics: Roughy 50% kithgi and 50% human; of the humans, approximately half are of Old Empire stock, half are of Kuwind ancestry, and a small-yet-growing portion are “two rivers” (blended heritage).”
Juramentum means “Oath” in Old Speak.
An inspired group of settlers left the capital of the Old Empire in AUC 2,727, never to return. Incredibly, the daughter of the then-emperor defied her father and left the boundaries of the Empire as co-leader of the unlikely expedition. Led by her visionary ideals and the unmatched prowess of her husband, Titus Cornelius Glabrio Vorn (known even then as Titus Invictus), they made a continent-long journey on foot, at last arriving upon the shores of Lake Saleesh’kela. Almost as soon as they had arrived, a massive hoard of Utini descended upon the travel-weary settlers; thus commenced the Battle of the Bloody Shore. Unable to be everywhere at once, even Titus Cornelius couldn’t prevent the majority of the settlers from being slaughtered by bloodlusted Utini. Indeed, the very idea of the nascent town would have died then and there if not for the arrival of some four hundred Kithgi of Clan Touchgem. All entered the fray, themselves following the visions of their revered Granny Yulia Touchgem. The battle lasted the entire night, and when dawn broke a hellish field of carnage revealed itself. Heartsick, Great Lady Vipsania was on the brink of giving up until Granny Touchgem told her simply “You chose right,” and began healing both Kithgi and Human alike. Titus Invictus rallied the survivors, and Juramentum was born in the cleansing light of that first day of The Dream.
Unlike virtually all other centers of civilization, Man and Kithgi operate as full and equal partners in Juramentum. The reasons for this are many, yet they are embedded in the very founding of this singular municipality. Elsewhere, Kithgi are treated as wetnurses, cooks, and jesters, looked upon by humans as little more than servants and mayhap beloved pets. Here, they are interwoven into every facet of the city’s emerging culture, from the vital undertaking of agriculture, to decision-making, to defense. Moreover, the Titus Cornelius declared Juramentum a “freehold” upon its founding. This unprecedented step forbade one thinking being to own another as property within the boundaries of the township. This one decision forever separated out Juramentum’s path from literally all of its neighbors, and is a source of continual consternation and even condemnation from the Powers That Be. Another massive break from tradition, hardly less important, is that Titus Cornelius also made possession of the Secret of the Word (i.e. being literate) legal. Throughout the entirety of the Old Empire, as well as the Emirates to the east, having the Secret of the Word without being in a privileged position is a capital offense. Vipsania the Bold went even further: she actively sought out those clever of mind and with enough leisure time to teach the Secret to. Thus in 2,776 the literacy rate of Juramentum stands at an utterly-unprecedented 5%. This, perhaps even more than the abolishment of slavery, marks the mere existence of this remarkable city as intolerable to the older established Powers.
Juramentum has absolutely exploded in population from its humble beginnings of 81 surviving human settlers and 121 surviving kithgi. This comes from a wide range of factors, not least of which are the natural resources which bless the location.
Flowing southward from Lake Saleesh’kela (“Bountiful Mother” in the tongue of the kithgi) the mighty Kogi river wends its way some 500 leagues to the ocean, marking the natural boundary of the city to the east.
Fishing is abundant in Lake Saleesh’kela (often shortened to simply ‘Kela’ by the humans), with a wide array of marine food sources available. The water is also quite clean, providing a nigh-inexhaustible water-source for the ever-growing population. Arpo hunting is a well-established trade in Juramentum, albeit a dangerous one. Arpos are hippo-like creatures, weighing in at a hefty 3,000+ lbs. They range all along the shores of Lake Kela in great herds, providing the citizens of Juramentum with an all-seasons source of food, blubber, and (once rendered) lamp oil. Peat abounds all along the riverbanks on the eastern border. This brown organic material can be compressed and burned as fuel. The Kithgi make extensive use of it as both fertilizer and mulch, substantially improving their yields in both large farming fields and neighborhood gardens. Game bird hunting is particularly prevalent in and around Juramentum. Large populations of geese, duck, and pheasant travel through the area. Deer and elk are also quite abundant. Thus far unique to Juramentum, the Kithgi discovery of nutmeg is, perhaps, the burgeoning city’s single largest “claim to fame”. Because of this, the cooks of Juramentum can produce some unique dishes, much coveted by visitors. Clove is also abundant as a spice, as well as other herbs the savvy kithgi process into a cornucopia of salves, unguents, and medicines.
Residents of Juramentum primarily eat cereals and legumes, usually with sides of vegetables, cheese, or arpo-meat. These dishes are sometimes covered with sauces made out of fermented fish, vinegar, honey, and/or various herbs and spices. Clove is a common garnish, and naturally dishes featuring nutmeg as a spice are a source of civic pride for the hin (and some culinary-inclined humans!). It should be noted here that, compared to the desperate semi-starvation of many in the Old Empire, the citizens of Juramentum eat well indeed. Homelessness is unknown and would be intolerable to the kithgi, thus the town comes together and builds basic shelter for any in true need.
People of Interest
Granny Touchgem, jovial matriarch of the founding clan of Kithgi, continues to be a source of wisdom and comfort despite her eye-popping age of over two-hundred winters. She is the unquestioned authority in town on herbs, medicines, and animal lore.
Lady Livia Metella Glabria Vorn is the granddaughter of the founders, and twin sister of [PC] Titus Metellus Glabrio Vorn. Her devotion to justice, coupled with an unquestionably brilliant mind, mark her as a worthy heir to her family. She is often to be found at her brother’s side, a dark-eyed leader just now coming into the fullness of an obvious beauty.
Rutilius ap Vorn is the lifelong advisor to Titus Cornelius. Although he often argues to cleave to the old ways as closely as possible, his devotion and loyalty to the House of Vorn is ironclad. The “ap” in his name indicates he is lifesworn to the House; a fact he carries with a clear, quiet pride.
Figulus Gnaeus appeared some 10 winters back, establishing his ordinary-looking hut just outside the city walls without so much as a “how do you do” to the local Lords. The Vorns did not seek to challenge his residency status, as he swiftly proved himself a Will-worker of truly staggering power. For reasons known only to him, he almost immediately took [PC] Catryn, a poor girl of only seven winters, as his apprentice, and has mentored and protected her ever since. From whence he came, and why, even Granny Touchgem cannot say (or at least hasn’t to this point).