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Drem-Zarraz is the nominal capital of the wedge cities, being the largest, wealthiest, and most connected to the outside world. It is located at the extreme western tip of the Zakai mountain range. The city is made up of a mix of races from the visiting seafarers and overland traders with a strong core population of dwarves (the original founders of the settlement). The dwarves still make up the single largest racial group, but they are now represent only about 40% of the total makeup of the city.

The city draws its common name from its striking natural setting. In ancient times the small mountain at the edge of the range detonated in a fantastic volcanic explosion. The upper 2/3rds of the small mountain crumbled away leaving a natural depression for the sea to rush into. The landward side of the bay is bound by sheer rock faces from 200 feet tall under the lighthouse to 400 feet tall under the citadel. The bay is shielded from ocean storms by the remnants of the seaward slope, which today manifests as two arcing ridges of stone rising 30 feet from the water.

History

Long ago the volcanic mountain at the westernmost end of the Zakai chain erupted furiously ejecting more than half of the mountain into the sea and air. The partial slopes and ridges leftover formed a natural harbor for the sea to rush into sealing off the lowest remnant of the magma chamber. The water also rushed into the lowest magma tubes and over time expanded and warped them into a complex system of sea caves. This protected harbor and natural set of hidey holes attracted many seafarers for various reasons.

However, the sahuagin clans had lived under the harbor of the half mount long before these visitors came. They had moved in a few hundred years after the eruption and expanded several of the fully submerged caves into a stronghold. The heat from the residual magma chamber and protection from storms also made the harbor floor an ideal place to begin kelp and lobster farming. They made sure to stay carefully hidden to protect these advantages and took great glee in scuttling and plundering their unsuspecting visitors when the opportunity presented itself. Then, 230 years ago, the dwarves came. They were displaced by the death of their king and desolation of Margurraz, their ancient stronghold deep in the Zakai mountains. In a sudden and unprecedented disaster more than half the underground metropolis was subsumed by the collapse of a massive cavern underneath the city. Some elders recall the seers speaking of a great slumber stirring in the heart of the mountains, but the cavern was never fully investigated during the emergency efforts following the catastrophe. The survivors from the dwarf clans could not agree on a line of succession and vowed never to be so vulnerable to a singular disaster ever again. The clans parted ways and sought new city sites.

The Drem clan believed great profits could be made by trading with the ocean goers and made their way to the coast eventually finding the half mount. They began to fortify it from landward threats immediately, having been repeatedly told about the far ranging horse tribes of the eastern plains on their journey. They focused their stone cutting to create defense while providing material for the new citadel. They carved great blocks from the new channel moat and filled walls with spall from the tunnels to sea level. As the keep began to grow on the clifftop the sahuagin took notice (and offense) and began planning an attack. Not being natural climbers delayed their plans until the dwarves connected their tunnel to one of the sea caves.

This marked the beginning of a vicious war. The sahuagin attacked the very first night the tunnel was opened. They were only rebuffed because the dwarves had wisely created a choke point with a guard house and portcullis at the head of the tunnel. Nearly the entire night shift of the tunneling crew was killed. Thus began a long battle for control of the tunnel with the dwarves trying to win back lower choke points and build defenses already planned for them. Meanwhile, the sahuagin tried to use repossessed tools to dismantle the defenses.

The Dwarves won many battles against the sahuagin, but as the weeks stretched into months, the clan’s ranks grew thin. In a speech to the elder’s council, one of the dwarven generals famously said, “If one of our warriors kills a hundred sahuagin before dying, it’s a victory for the sahuagin.” Faced with this grim reality, the council began to look for allies. The nearby human settlements pledged their allegiance to the Dwarves, but were too sparsely populated, and under equipped to be of much service. Desperate, the council sent a young dwarf named Farraz to negotiate a peace with sahuagin. After months of negotiations, Farraz and the sahuagin leadership agreed to a peace treaty. The historic treaty of Drem-Zarraz ensured that the sahuagin would protect the city from any aquatic threats, in exchange for dwarven protection from land-based threats, and the ability to trade freely from the port.

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