A letter from the author

To my brothers and sisters throughout the Ven Mountains, I have scribed this Codex so that we may better understand our human neighbors to the West. Most of our written history has treated humanity much as it treated goblins, kobolds, bugbears and trolls. The ancient Chroniclers considered the humans to be savage disciples of lesser Gods, designed to be antagonistic toward we that sought to work the earth. Indeed those Chroniclers were correct in their view of humanity at the time. However, within the nation of Parna modern humans have ascended to a level of wealth and military prowess that rivals the nations of Orcs, Elves and Dwarves. This ascendancy has had a profound effect the Dwarven way of life in the Ven Mountains. The rise of the Guilds correlated with increased trade between the Ven Mountain Guilds and the human nation of Parna. The warrior Clan Ironspear has recently taken the unprecedented move of allowing humans into ranks, asserting that it is no longer a hereditary line of Dwarven Warriors, but a Clan of true Warriors regardless of race or birth. Even the Church of Droven has now permitted the formation of a human sect. Each spring more and more of our young craftdwarfs are leaving our mountains to seek work in the forges, quarries, mines and castles of Parna. Truly the fates of our two races have become intertwined.

I entered into this work not with the intention of discouraging or encouraging this relationship, but rather to provide a tool for dwarven merchants and craftdwarfs who may wish to conduct business with or within Parna. Furthermore, the recent Conquest of Parna by the nation of Ator makes it all the more important that our knowledge of humanity be up-to-date. As part of this undertaking I spent a season, reading all the available codexies on humanity or related to humanity. During this time I learned all four human languages spoken within Parna. Being a skilled scribe, engraver, blacksmith and warrior, I felt secure that I could find work in Parna. My plan was simple. Journey with other young fortune seeking Dwarves down from my city of Flintdagger into Parna to offer my services to humanity and to observe them. For five and half years I lived with all levels of society within Parna and assembled as complete a picture of the nation of Parna as any dwarf is likely to find. Upon returning to the Ven I was shocked to find out how little my brothers and sisters knew of Parna, and many of young dwarfs left for Parna with an incomplete picture. Today, 10 years after setting forth on this journey, I have completed my codex, and I am certain that such a tome is more valuable now then ever.

Again my reader, this tome is designed to be a tool, and if it is too long for a dwarf to read in one sitting I have divided into chapters which can be read separately or as compliment to another chapter. The first chapter deals with the geography of Parna, outlining the resources and major communities in each region. Chapters two through six deal with the different races of humanity that live in Parna. Finally Chapter seven deals with those regions that border Parna and effect life within Parna. In each chapter I tried to be concise, giving primary information only when necessary and providing direct and useful advice for the reader. My primary notes, bibliography and the journal of my travels are housed in the Unbroken Library in Ironspear and a scribed copy of the journal has been given to the clans Bronzebeard and Flintdagger as tribute. May this Codex be a tool to aide your labors.

Winnlunk Flintdagger, Chronicler of the 129th generation

All of Parna is divided into fours. There are four distinct regions of Parna, the River Parna has four arms, and there are four race of men within Parna. The river Parna defines the geography of Parna. The river Parna starts at the Falls of Goldenfraye in the Ven Mountains, and then flows West until it breaks into three smaller arms at the Town of Parna's Pike. The wide fast moving stretch of river between the Falls and Goldenfraye is referred to as the Strong Arm. The northern fork of the river if referred to as the King's Arm, the central fork is referred to as the Lost Arm and the southern fork is referred to as the Weak Arm. From Parna's Pike the King's Arm and the Weak Arm pull away from each other until by the time they flow into the Nili Sea each arm is at least 15 leagues apart.

The four regions are the Strong Reach, Complee's Reach, the Miti Reach, and the Demon Reach. The Strong Reach makes up all the land West of the Ven that is drained by the Strong arm of the River Parna. Complee's Reach is all land North of the kings arm and west of The Strong. The Miti Reach refers all the swamp lands along the Lost Reach as well as to the costal communities on the Nili Sea. The Demon's Reach refers to all lands west of the Strong, north of the Grey Spine and South of the Weak Arm.

The Four races of men are the Ivanvil, the Mitirangu, the Sabbatallee, and the recently arrived Ator. While some scholar argue that Parna is indeed four nations under one ruler, I assert that it is union of these different people behind a single throne that defines Parna. In short Parna is a cultural unit, with distinct strata yes, but a cultural unit. Just as a mountain is made up of varying strata of rock so is Parna made up of diffent cultural strata. The oldest and deepest layer of Parna's culture is the Ivanvil people. The Ivanvil are a fair skinned people who have lived in the lands now called Parna for as long as humanity is known to have existed. Roughly a thousand years ago the Mitirangu began to migrate into the Parna river valleys from the wes. The Mitirangu are a shorter tanned skinned people endemic to the shores of the Nili sea. Even a thousand years ago the Mitirangu were accomplished farmers and earthworkers. They brought wheat, rice, barely and flax to river lands that would be known as Parna. It is their agriculture and labor that give Parna its wealth. They make more than half of the humans living in Parna today, and the majority of Parnan kings have come from Mitirangu familes. The current King of Parna however was born to the south in the nation of Ator. The Ator are distant cousins of the Ivanvil, and several years ago an army from the Nation of Ator marched into Parna and took the Throne from the Mitirangu king. They are a warrior people, disciples of the God Roark, and since the conquest Ator warlords have become the feudal masters of all the land. The Sabbatallee are the least populace of the human tribes. They are a tall lean dark skinned people who live a nomadic life style centered around the exploitation of game and the maintenance of their horse herds. Their caravans exist on the fringes of the Parna towns and farms. They are known to be thieves as much as the are merchants, but like both the Mitirangu and Ivanvil their ancestors also swore loyalty to the Throne of Parna.

In the following chapters the nature of each of these regions and each of the peoples will be described.

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