Turmish is a republic with the capital of Alaghôn, and is located in the north of the Vilhon Reach. The approximately 1,700,000 inhabitants are mainly humans, most of whom are Turami, but dwarves are common as well, along side minorities of halflings, elves, gnomes, half-elves and half-orcs.
Turmish is known throughout the Sea of Fallen Stars as the "heartland of the Reach" due to its peaceful nature and concentration on commerce over warfare. Its capital, Alaghôn, serves as the most popular port-of-call along the southern fringes of the Inner Sea.
Officially, Turmish is ruled by the Assembly of Stars, a group of freely elected men and women chosen from the everyday population of the region. Each serves a term of three years before another election brings a fresh group of Turmishans into political life. This keeps "professional politicians" to a bare minimum, since the decision to run for office is not a personal choice to make, but rather the decision of one's peers. (That is not to say that the decision to elect someone to public office cannot be political.)
The job of an assemblyman is not easy. Long hours and extensive travel throughout the Reach is normal. By getting a successful merchant elected to the Assembly, a competitor vastly increases his chances to expand his own wealth.
From the ranks of the Assembly, one member is elected to the position of Lord of Turmish. The lord's responsibilities include protecting the country from invasion, securing the waterways against piracy, and generally making sure that Turmish continues to thrive as a nation of merchants.
Lord Herengar is currently the ruler of Turmish, a post he has held for more than nine years. Before his popular election, he controlled a large force of mercenaries that performed odd jobs around the region for the highest bidder. He is still the official leader of the Call of Arms company, but he has little to do with their activities any more.
The individual cities of Turmish are free to govern themselves as they see fit so long as they pay their share of taxes to Alaghôn. They are also expected to follow the dictates of the Assembly, but for the most part they are given plenty of space. The Assembly concentrates on national interests and allows the cities to handle their own problems.
Turmish is probably one of the most well-defended nations in the Reach, protected on all sides by some force of geography. Mountains surround it on every side but the seashore. Any advancing army would find it difficult to get itself into a good strategic position.
Since the Turmians are known for respecting their land, they often bury valuables, partly as gifts to Chauntea and partly as "seeds" to grow future wealth. It is frowned upon to be found digging in Turmish.
The people of Turmish are tall, mahogany-skinned, and generally well-educated, especially in business and agriculture. Custom dictates that the male merchants of Turmish have square, neatly trimmed beards. This custom has given rise to the phrase "as square as a Turmishan's beard," used to indicate a fair deal throughout the Reach.
The Turmians usually wear chalk marks on their foreheads to announce their personal abilities. One indicates the wearer can read, two that the wearer can write, and three that the wearer can use magic. Because visitors often do not follow this custom, some inhabitants can assume that they are illiterate. It is quite common for one to be challenged on the street and asked to prove one's level of ability. If one cannot prove their ability to read, write or use magic, as indicated by the dots, the punishment may be death.
The warriors and mercenaries of Turmish pride themselves on their intricately crafted armor. From the most prominent noble to the least known militiaman, fighters of Turmish keep their armor in exquisite condition and frequently adorn them with embellishments. Such embellishments are usually expensive additions, such as gold inlay or gems. To the people of Turmish, the armor is a status symbol. Valuing one's armor as much as one's beard is quite common.
A visitor in Turmish is expected to have a grasp of local customs and traditions. This expectation is especially true for merchants and businessmen trying to ply their wares in the kingdom. It has been a long-standing custom for a visitor to another's home to bring an exotic dish to share. These dishes are called "greetings gifts" and are used to express gratitude for the host's hospitality. Greeting gifts can range anywhere from vintage Nimpeth wine to a skull full of snails (called a skullcap treat in Turmish). Of course, the value of the gift should reflect the stature of the guest - peasants are hardly expected to bring expensive wine.
Burying a sacrifice of one's gold and gems has also been a long-standing tradition in Turmish. By seeding the earth with your wealth, it is believed that your bounty will be returned to you "tenfold." By and large, this tradition is a personal ritual, performed at a time that is important to the individual. It might be during a wedding anniversary, a birthday, the anniversary of an owner's first day of business, or even upon the birth of a loved one. Of course, this custom has led to some treasure-seeking by unscrupulous individuals. However, the act of digging up a gift to the earth is heavily frowned upon in Turmish to say the least. Officially it is a crime punishable by one or more years of hard labor. Unofficially, the act of digging up an offering is considered thievery, and many thieves have died at the hands of angry merchants. Regional superstition holds that a stolen treasure bodes ill fortune for the coming year.
Most Turmishans set aside one day out of every nine to "chase the sun." This day is reserved for pursuing personal interests such as learning the harp, practicing spells, spending time with the family, or other pursuits. When a Turmishan says he will get to something "on the ninth day," it typically means "when he has time."
Guesthouses are the most popular of Turmish customs. These guesthouses are small cabins built alongside trails and roads to provide shelter for travelers. They are free for all to use. The only requirement of using the house is that you replenish what you use. Local militia patrols check on guesthouses regularly and use the cabins themselves when a sudden storm arises. Some guesthouses even have a roofed-over hay pen for stabling horses, but most are simply small structures capable of providing shelter for up to six travelers. Except for the ornamentation of the armor, most folk in Turmish care little for fashion. Clothes that may very well be the rave in Arrabar are just as likely to be laughed at in Alaghôn. Fashions are very slow to change in Turmish.
There are two major Turmishan festivals: the Feast of the Moon and the Reign of Misrule. During these times, businesses and most government offices close. All of Turmish celebrates.
Feast of the MoonEdit
During Highsummer, one night after Midsummer, the men and women of Turmish gather for a night of drinking, dancing, and debauched revelry. This is the Feast of the Moon, also known as the "Festival of Lovers." While many who participate in the feast are married, this is the time of year that many choose to consummate new marriages. Needless to say, the week leading up to the Feast of the Moon is rife with marriages. Some even choose to marry on this night. Lovers are required to seek each other out in places that are strange to them. Agreeing on a specific meeting place, lovers take different routes to their rendezvous. Some of the more popular rendezvous spots are the Lake of Drifting Stars, Evenstar Vale, Starfall Stream Pool, and Bare Bones Hill.
In the years since the Time of Troubles, militia patrols have had to be increased due to the prevalence of the cult of Malar, who hunts down lovers as the opportunities present themselves. Indeed, it is not uncommon for lovers to be carrying weapons for their own protection.
Reign of MisruleEdit
Ten days after Higharvestide, the Reign of Misrule begins. This festival allows Turmish natives to break the oaths of their guild or faith so long as they don't cause death or destruction. Non-natives of the Reach are never excused for their actions during the Reign. During the Reign of Misrule, it is not uncommon to see rude paladins involved in knock-down, drag-out barroom brawls, monks of various faiths talking and laughing freely with others (breaking their vow of silence), and other shocking sights.
The Reign of Misrule normally lasts only a day, but the memories it provides are everlasting. It is a crime in Turmish to discuss anyone's actions during the Reign, and the custom is so ingrown in the culture that even children understand the rules of the Reign of Misrule.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Warning: book within boxed set not specified for The Vilhon Reach
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Rand Sharpsword (2002-05-08). More of the Vilhon Reach!. Rand's Travelogue. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2007-02-15.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Warning: book within boxed set not specified for The Vilhon Reach
- ↑ Warning: book within boxed set not specified for The Vilhon Reach
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 184–185. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
Official Material Edit
- Robert Wiese (2003-04-02). The Portal Through Time (Part 1). Perilous Gateways. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2007-02-15.
Alaghôn • Aphrunn Mountains • Centaur Bridge • Daroush • Gildenglade • Ironcloak • Jathrin's Jump • Lilit Pass • Morningstar Hollows • Mountains of the Alaoreum • Nonthal • The Orbrekh • Orsraun Mountains • Ravilar's Cloak • Xorhun
Arrabar • The Chondalwood • Hlath • Iljak • Samra • Shamph
Elbulder • Fort Arran • Golden Plains • Mimph • Naga Plains • The Nagaflow • Nagawater • Ormpetarr • Serpents' Holding
The Shining Plains
Assam • Cedarsproke • Deepwing Mountains • Gulthmere Forest • Lheshayl • Ormath • Rushing Hills • Urml • Wetwoods