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Halaak is the capital city of the Skorne Empire, located on the southwestern shore of Mirketh Lake. The great houses of Halaak, counted the most powerful of the empire, outshine all peers of lesser cities. Decisions made here unleash ripples across the region, whether from great wars between leading houses, innovations in chymistry, mortitheurgy, and tactics, or shifts in culture and caste. The habits of Halaak’s great and powerful quickly see emulation abroad.[1]


The southern shore of Mirketh Lake was first settled by the skorne migrating from Malphas around 3300 BR. The name 'Halaak' first appeared in historical records in 3100 BR. Halaak exceeded Malphas in size and grandeur to become the heart of skorne civilisation. Many great houses of Malphas abandoned the ancient city to build estates within or close to Halaak around 2000 BR.[2]

In 1700 BR, Lord Tyrant Norvaak, supreme aptimus of House Bashek, shattered three sacral stones of his house, unleashing three extremely powerful kovaas upon Halaak. Norvaak died in the process, but the kovaas wreaked great havoc in the city before being subjugated.[2]

Vinter Raelthorne IV arrives at Halaak in 595 AR, where he faces one of the toughest battles of the First Unification when he crosses blades with Archdomina Makeda of House Balaash north of Halaak. Eventually overwhelmed, she surrenders and offers her service to the Conqueror.[2]

Since the Second Unification War which sees many great houses betray Vinter, the lowly but loyal has risen to replace the once-great Betrayers. Once Makeda overthrows Vinter, she made her position clear as new Supreme Archdomina of the Skorne Empire. Those whose loyalties remain with the Conqueror are weeded out or cast down to the slave caste, once again throwing the status of citizens into disarray.[1]


An imposing wall surrounds the city. Fertile farmland in the region lies to the east, and access to Mirketh Lake has allowed for a small amount of shipping including vessels journeying from Kademe up the Hezaat River. Tremendous statues guard Halaak’s gates, several of them instilled with the exalted spirits of great ancestors who gave their lives in defense of the city. Some whisper these statues serve only as decoration, their ancestors too far removed from the world to act. When Vinter Raelthorne and his army arrived in 595 AR, the guardians did not move to intercept him. Some see this as confirmation of his Reborn status, while others claim their lack of animation simply proves the statues’ non-sentience.[1]

Extremely large thoroughfares divide Halaak into districts. These broad roads provide traffic for the tremendous enslaved beasts in the capital, including titans, mammoths, and others. Construction always continues in Halaak as houses dismantle old buildings and erect new towers. This work reflects the fates of individual houses as compounds shrink or expand, and the city grows to accumulate new residents. Several small clusters of houses exist outside the eastern wall in a poorer district primarily occupied by slaves. In time, as merchants erect trade booths here, this area may become another district of the city, at which point the outer wall will expand to encircle and absorb it.[1]

Within the larger districts the streets become a tighter maze of narrow alleys and winding paths occupied by the cowled shapes of the lower castes. Smaller cramped buildings cluster near the grand estates of the ruling elite as if offering support. The exact inhabitants of these estates have changed considerably in the last two decades as the arrival of Vinter Raelthorne prompted widespread changes in status across Halaak. At the heart of Halaak a great open plaza serves as a bazaar for merchants and traders as well as a public gathering place for the uneasy meetings of rival houses as they discuss terms or demands. A tremendous statue of Morkaash dominates the plaza near its centre, and at his feet stands an elevated platform upon which master tormentors of the paingiver caste perform public torments and executions. For many centuries this stage has displayed the agony of those fallen in house wars as a warning from one great house to another. A victorious house would contract the paingivers to publicly humiliate and cow rivals, bringing favored heirs or relatives captured in war to face their doom before the watching crowds.[1]

Paingivers consider this stage sacred. Many meet here even when excruciations aren’t taking place to share information and to seek employment, and no better location exists in the capital for those seeking to recruit paingivers and negotiate terms of contract. A house of respite called the Surcease owned by the paingivers of the capital sits off the plaza facing this square, and its dark windows witness rites performed there. Lord Assassin Morghoul executed the Betrayers here, and the plaza has remained particularly active since the Second Unification. The Betrayers’ steamed and polished skulls rest on display just below the lip of the platform, each bearing a plaque describing his misdeeds.[1]


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Free Llael Rhydden
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Cryx SkellBlackwaterDreggsmouth
Skorne HalaakKademeKajimKaleedKalosKalvatKonesaanKotaanMalphasTokraasVerskone
Other BemothNyshylTernon CragUrus