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Anor'thalas
Anorthalas

Population

~25,000

Capital

Sah'qara

Languages

Anorahai (primary)
Thalassian

Noble Houses

House Silverbrooke

Seat

Alqamar

Allies

Caravan Court
House of Islesun

Terrain

Tropical
Coastal Cliffs
Rainforest

Anor'thalas is a volcanic island belonging the Kingdom of Quel'thalas, north-west of the Isle of Quel'danas, with a population of approximately twenty-five thousand. It is the northern-most territory of Quel'thalas, requiring a day and a night under sail to reach, and is the last port before sailing across open ocean towards the eastern coasts of Northrend.

It is home to pleasant weather, often experiencing hotter temperatures than it's more southerly neighbours, benefiting from the eternal spring Quel'thalas enjoys. Its almost tropical climate is a result of underground thermal activity though the great volcano, Endal'belore, has not erupted for many tens of thousands of years. Harsh coastal cliffs make it difficult to land water-craft anywhere that has not already been established as a port or fishing village. These natural defences are often credited as the reason the Isle has survived for so long.

The current ruling house, House Silverbrooke, came to power around five hundred years ago when Caemenas Silverbrooke married the last remaining heiress of the founding family, House Bloodfall. Since then, the Bloodfall family has fallen into obscurity and little is known about them but what still exists in tribal knowledge and memories.

History Edit

Anor'thalas was first settled pre-Sundering by a small group of sea-faring quel'dorei approximately twelve thousand years ago. They quickly established a small fishing community and founded the Isle's capital, Sah'qara, where they continued to live a mostly insular lifestyle until The Sundering forced them to reach out and forge alliances and trade routes.

During the time immediately post-Sundering, Anor'thalas focused on rebuilding their own community. It was during this time that the Bloodfall family rose to leadership and the oldest of the Isle's architecture was built. The fortress Alqamar and the holy temple of the Anori were both built an estimated ten thousand years ago, though the exact date has been lost to time.

Over the years, the Isle began to prosper under good fortunes and benevolent guidance as the Bloodfall name rose to nobility within the Quel'dorei courts and forged strong trade deals and alliances with mainland houses. It is believed that two schools of magic took route, one based upon the teachings of the Anori and the Light, and the other upon the power of ones own blood. Though the Anori and their Felo'dinori disciples still practice today, the lost sect of blood practitioners has either long since been forgotten or driven underground. It is thought that some form of conflict between the two teachings lead to the eventual extinction of these blood mages, as blood magic and it's derivatives are widely feared among the general populace and there are few still alive who even remember a time when both existed. This deep rooted fear is also what drives Anor'thalasian's to fear the dead, believing that all bodies should be burnt on funeral pyres and offered back to the earth so that the Sun can nurture them into new life before they can be risen as unholy abominations.

The insular nature of the Anor'thalasians eventually led to problems, and they soon found themselves with only one remaining Bloodfall heir. With little other choice, House Bloodfall was merged with House Silverbrooke in order to maintain the bloodline of the founding family, though the noble house itself was dissolved. Under Silverbrooke rule, the Isle began to play a more active part in Thalassian politics and saw itself rise further through the courts into the upper echelons of nobility.

More recently, the Isle and it's people have been loyal to the Kingdom of Quel'thalas, though have chosen to remain mostly independent in their functions. During The Fall, the Anorthalasians were spared the worst of the trauma and suffering that befell their kin due to their difficult geographic position and distance from the invading Scourge armies. They did, however, feel the loss of The Sunwell and it was during this time that Anaeli Silverbrooke chose to use family money to erect fel crystals similar to those still found in Silvermoon City today.

During the first few weeks of the Phoenix Wars, the Isle underwent a power-struggle that rendered them unable to engage in the defence of their homelands. The intended heiress, Avari Sharpsong, saw her husband, Orolin Sharpsong, revealed to be both on the verge of becoming ren'dorei and already a traitor to Quel'thalas. With his banishment and her subsequent divorce, she was no-longer able to inherit the power and titles of Anor'thalas upon her fathers timely death. As the only remaining heiress, and the only one eligible under the Anori's strict rules, Avie Silverbrooke took up the mantle of Matriarch and is now the current head of both the House and the Isle.

Sah'qara Edit

Sah'qara is the capital and only true port on Anor'thalas, and sits nestled between the mountainous rainforest that claims most of the land and the Great Sea. It is also the oldest settlement on the isle and is believed to stand in the same spot where the founding family landed upon the beaches for the first time. It sports a population of approximately fifteen thousand made up of mostly fishermen and trading merchants. It is the last major port before the open waters of the Great Sea are reached, making it a popular stop-off point for merchants travelling to and from Northrend and the Eastern Kingdoms.

The city is protected by a great stone seawall that rises out of the ocean to create a bay around the coastline, rendering much of it's white sandstone architecture unseen until within the fortified walls. The city is often decorated in bright colours and it is not uncommon to see chalk and paint depictions of folklore and old sailors tales upon the walls and floors. The docks can safely hold between ten and eight sizeable freight ships, though has been known to see more anchored off-shore in times of high demand. Usual traffic tends to see a smaller number of large ships as most of the Isle's business consists of fishing and agricultural trade, or transport ships docking to rest their passengers before journeying north.

Most buildings within the city are made of stone, with flat roofs and colourful flora spilling across as much available space as can be claimed. The market squares are a joining of old and new, with stall canopies made of living forest ivy to cover ancient stone tables.

The most notable features of Sah'qara, aside from the port itself, are the fortress of Alqamar and the ancient temples of the Anori. Both sit high above the city, set back into the cliff-side itself. The sea-wall protrudes from Alqamar's western wing, protecting the castle and city both from direct attack. The Anori temples lie to the east, hidden among the forest and cliff-sides where they tunnel far back into Endal'belore.

Alqamar Edit

Alqamar is the seat of the ruling family and the oldest surviving building on the isle. Though it has been added to and expanded over the millennia, the original walls still exist within the greater structure and can be seen in some places.

It is the ancestral home of the Bloodfall, and subsequently the Silverbrooke, family. First built a few hundred years post-Sundering as a town hall, Alqamar has seen many additions and revisions to its floor plan. It has remained mostly untouched for the past thousand years or so due to a protection decree that stated it must be preserved for historical importance. Though each generation has added their own flare to its great halls, it now exists in a state of preservation for the future.

The Anori Edit

The Anori are a sect of polytheistic priests that have existed upon Anor'thalas for almost as long as people have lived upon it's shores. It is a sister religion to the Thalassian priests of Belore, though it developed independently and does not follow the same structure of beliefs other than holding Belore has their patron deity. Anori priests use terminology that is similar to that found within Thalassian but may often have a subtly different meaning or inference when translated into their native Anorahai.

Their belief system revolves around multiple gods, with Belore'da as the patron Mother at the centre. From Belore'da comes all life and she is the Sun most Holy. There are multiple other gods within their doctrine such as Thalassa, wife of Belore'da and goddess of the sea. Several other stars and constellations are also associated with lesser gods that individuals may chose as their patron alongside Belore'da.

Throughout the year there are festivals and rituals honouring the Sun-god, where priests present offerings to the current Matriarch or Patriarch of the isle to be brought to sacred sites located across the isle. Though the Sun is honoured the most frequently and most extravagantly, stars that are believed to be children of the Sun-god are also celebrated with smaller gatherings - most are held in the home and are quieter family affairs.

Many Anori ceremonies involve fire; self immolation and scarification with white-hot metals and needles are considered one of the ways through which one can prove themselves worthy of the Mother Sun's blessing and protection. Chosen warriors of the Isle undergo a literal trial by fire before they are awarded their title and rank within society, each trial is personalised to the individual. Though most Anor'thalasians will partake in a trial at some point in their lives, it is not mandatory and it is believed better to wait to find your true calling than to rush through a trial not fitted to ones soul.

The first Anori is believed to have been a priest of no particular denomination who arrived with the first settlers and soon became the local healer. Over time and through necessity as the population grew, a handful more islanders were apprenticed and the first roots of the order as it is known today took hold.

How exactly the Anori came to wield the Light is unknown, but the story passed down through myth is that Belore'da herself blessed those first few healers with the ability to summon down her powers if only they were worthy enough. They were tasked with keeping alive a fledgling flame during one of the worst winters in their recorded history, and from its warmth they learned to control the powers of Belore'da of their own will. These guardians of the flame became the first Felo'dinori (Flame Keepers) and were tasked with keeping both Belore'da's teachings and the sacred First Flame alive. The flame still burns within the most sacred of their temples and is involved in many of their rituals.

Though the original Felo'dinori were a select few, the religion evolved over millennia to include anyone who followed the teachings of Belore'da. Modern day Felo'dinori believe that it is the responsibility of all to carry the word and love of Belore'da and it is the Anori priests themselves who tend to the flame - though it is considered an ancestral right to visit and pray in the presence of the flame. Many with Anor'thalasian heritage who have left the isle return on some form of pilgrimage at some point in their lives, much like mainland sin'dorei may do with The Sunwell.

As a subset of the Anori, there exists a small cohort trained in more martial arts alongside their holy duties. These armed and armored battle-priests make up the noble-guard and are tasked with keeping both the Isle and it's ruling family safe, as well as keeping the peace. When there is no-one upon the seat of the house, or the current heads cannot be at home, they are also enabled with the power to make small decisions in order to keep the Isle running.