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 Colovia: A Brief History and Travel Guide to the Cyrodiilic West, 2

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PostSubject: Colovia: A Brief History and Travel Guide to the Cyrodiilic West, 2   Colovia: A Brief History and Travel Guide to the Cyrodiilic West, 2 EmptyTue Mar 10, 2015 7:45 pm

Colovia: A Brief History and Travel Guide to the Cyrodiilic West, part 2; The Southern Highlands.

[select excerpts from chapter two of the guide book 'Colovia', by Sylvester Mydrol]

Southward from Chorrol lies the idyllic southern highlands, where it can be said that 'true' Colovian civilization was born.


Though Colovia now refers to the entirety of western branch of Cyrod, it once refered to the Southern Highlands alone, known in Kvetchi tongue as 'Colovis'. The Southern Highlands are usually considered to be the vast portion of Colovia stretching from but a few miles west of Kvatch, to the edge of the Weald. It borders the northern edge of Valenwood to the south, and to the north it is hard to tell where Torellia ends and Colovis begins, other than the warmer temperature, and the height of the hills in general. The elevation of the southern highlands forms the western 'wall' of the bowl shaped valley the Heartland lies in.

The Southern Highlands are perhaps the most geographically varied portions of Colovia. Though it is almost universally hilly, it is littered with small plains and thick copses, and perhaps most notable is the proliferation of seemingly random rock formations. Massive sandstone protrusions cover the landscape, ranging from the size of a small boulder, to the extreme case of the plateau upon which Kvatch was built.

The border with Valenwood would be hard to define here, where it not for the presence of the Strid. In some places the woods stretch for miles beyond the river, and in other places the hills extend miles south.

The region itself belongs to no single county, and is split up almost down the middle between Counties Skingrad and Anvil. During the Septim Dynasty there was also a County Kvatch, which held most of the region; But with the city's sacking in the Oblivion Crisis, it was unfit to govern a county. Kvatch has mostly recovered since, but now sits under the domain of County Anvil.

Kvatch and the Kvetchi

Kvatch is the oldest known human city in Colovia, and until its sacking was often the strongest western kingdom, a title it oft contended with Skingrad to the east. Its exact date of construction is unknown, that information lost to time, war, and interregnums. The earliest known mention of the city is in a Kvetchi tax collector's ledger from the year 1E312, in which the 'Kingdome of Kevotsch' is listed as the wealth's recipient.

What is known is that the city was built by an unknown group of westerners (referred to historically as the Colovs for convenience) early on, atop a great plateau on the edge of the highlands. Like the Torellians, the Colovs were a hill centric people. Unlike the Torellians, the Colovs were not nomads. They were Hill-Town builders; They constructed their villages, towns, and fortresses atop tall hills or plateaus. Its speculated that this was done to defend the town from potential invaders, as the Colovians were and are a rather war-centric people. Even today, many villages and forts throughout the Southern Highlands and the Weald sit atop tall hills.

The Kvetchi themselves were one of the three primary offshoot 'tribes' of the ancient Colovs: The Kvetchi, The Abecean, and The Waldics. This division is only truly apparent circa 1E600 onwards. Before this point, archaeologists often look at the Southern Colovians as simply being the general 'Colovi'. More on the last two will be explained in their relevant chapters.

The Kvetchi are often thought of as the branch closest in nature to the original Colovs, and as such inherited the majority of their ancestors hilltop traditions. Their favored divine is Akatosh, or as he is known in Kvetchi, Aketolov. Like all Colovians, they are extremely faithful, and a shrine to any god but the divines is practically unheard of within the city. That isn't to say they are intolerant of foreigners worshipping gods that were strange to them; They simply insist that if other deities are to be worshipped, it be done in the privacy of the individual's home, and not in the open.

An interesting note: The Torellians are the only Colovian entity not in some way develepmentally related to the ancient Colovs. Their construction of Chorrol and habitation of the north was entirely seperate from the south in its formative years. It is hypothesized though that the Colovs and the Torellians shared some common grounds, evidenced by both people's use of hills.

The population of Kvatch is mostly Kvetchi, though the other Colovian groups all have presences. Redguards are a notably large minority in Southern Highlands, the result of 1st and 2nd era raiding and trading with the North, actions which lead some historians to include Rihad as one of participant cities in the Colovian cycle of diversification via war. Bretons also are a major part of the population, and have had a great impact on the Southern Colovian cultures, even resulting in their own Colov subdivision: The Bretonics.

Perhaps the most famous event in Kvatch's modern history is the infamous Sacking of Kvatch, perpetrated by the forces of Dagon in the late third era. To truly understand the impact the event had on the West, you must understand one key fact: In all the millenia that Kvatch had stood, it was the very first successful siege, and an utterly devastating one. It was common opinion around the time that Kvatch was supposedly impregnable, and in some ways this belief was correct. The city sits atop a plateau that juts approximately 350 feet into the air, with practically sheer cliffs on most of its faces. The only reliable path up is the single winding and narrow entrance road, and from the city walls- which only covered the front entrance of the city, as the height of the other sides rendered it unnecessary- watchmen could see clearly for miles upon miles.

The Sack nearly broke the spirit of Colovia during the Crisis; and would have were it not for the effort of the famous 'Hero of Kvatch'.

Food and Drink

Cows, Pigs, and Sheep are all significant sources of meat to the Kvetchi. Cabbages, corn, wheat, barley, millet, rye, grapes and potatoes are among the most common crops to be found in the highland's farms, which stretch for miles across the more gentle hills.

A very common dish is Kvarnapustin, a form of fermented cabbage that carries a distinct sour flavor; sometimes used on its own, and other times as a stuffing or to accentuate meats. Sausages are usually made from pig, though there are beef sausages. Though Giras, a sheep based shaved meat dish, is a more Abecean dish, it can also be found here. If you visit, I would recommend trying Pirovi, a form of dumpling stuffed with kvarnapustin, cheese, and meat.

The Southern Highlands tend to be fairly tame in their spirits, with simple wines and northern-style beers being the most common. There is one exception, though, originating in the eastern portion of the highlands, close to the weald: Cyrodiilic Brandy, a powerful and tasteful derivative of the Breton distilled wine. It is historically associated with the Bretonic Colovs.

(Originally posted here: )
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