This preview includes excepts of art and text from Terris: Wrought of Copper, the first supplement for the Mistborn Adventure Game by Crafty Games, which is based on the best-selling novels by Brandon Sanderson.
The only real city in the Terris Dominance is Tathingdwen, its historic capital and the modern seat of Terris culture and Steel Ministry governance within the north. Founded long before the Final Empire, Tathingdwen is located in a broad valley in the southern part of the Dominance, near the Imperial Canal. From a distance, the city looks like an oasis in the midst of the tall, arid mountains, surrounded by small green farms and paddocks which feed and clothe the city’s 8,000 residents.
Despite its age, Tathingdwen is laid out in a highly logical manner, as befits the Terris culture. The city’s elegant street grid is like a wheel, with its spoke centered on the terminus of the Imperial Canal, the arterial for all trade into and out of the Dominance. Its clay and cobblestone streets are relatively clean, thanks to the rarity of ashfall and the diligence of Terris workers.
Tathingdwen is protected by a small force of soldiers drawn mostly from the Central Dominance. These guards occupy all the roads and canal passages into the city, and regular, well-armed patrols police the roads and keep watch for outsiders and rebels. When combined with the lack of concealing terrain and high mountain cliffs, the city is surprisingly defensible, and has not fallen into enemy hands since the days of the Terris Conquest.
Tathingdwen’s architecture reflects the peaceful, scholarly nature of the Terris people. The city’s buildings are designed to reflect both the breathtaking beauty of the local mountains and the lanky stature of the Terris people.
Tathingdwen’s oldest buildings are fairly humble structures of clay and stone, quarried from the cliffs and rivers nearby. When compared to more modern designs, these older buildings seem squat and dark, with thick walls and low ceilings to better insulate against heat and cold. However, considering these structures have survived the ravages of weather and the Terris Conquest equally well, they are in remarkable condition.
Newer buildings are tall and graceful, with sturdy foundations and simple ornamentation harkening back to that of Terris jewelry. Their high ceilings and doorways accommodate the elongated bodies of the eunuch population, and chambers are expansive and airy. The stained glass so popular with the nobility is eschewed for floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the canal or mountains, filling rooms with sun and moonlight at all times of the day. Scholars of architecture have noted that Kredik Shaw, the Lord Ruler’s palace in Luthadel, had much in common with these newer designs; however, its spiderlike spires are a cruel and sinister caricature of Terris architecture.
The austere existence forced on Tathingdwen’s population means the city boasts few entertainments or public spaces. Those that do exist cater mainly to the Obligators, soldiers and the occasional noble tourist who visits the city looking for a “cultural experience.” However, even the strictest laws do not prevent Terrismen from enjoying a meal or drink with friends.
The most iconic crossroads in Tathingdwen is Gofmynn Square, a broad path surrounding a roughly bell-shaped hunk of metal embedded in the ground. The city’s major roads all meet here, making the square a center of activity, though rarely host to true crowds. The only time the square fills up is for announcements by the Steel Ministry; these rarely bring good news, and are often used to put public spin on purges or raids happening elsewhere in the Dominance.
Still, the “bell” is considered a good luck charm by many locals, and Terrismen walking through often touch it as they pass. Whether there is something more to the ritual than superstition remains a mystery.
All Terrismen share community meals twice a day in these spacious, open-air dining areas scattered throughout the city’s many neighborhoods, where they discuss the day’s events and share some time together. Meals vary by season but usually revolve around a hunk of unleavened bread, bowl of soup, and fresh spring water free of ash. During the winter and spring, long tents cover the tables, which are arranged around a roaring fire pit to stave off the cold. Though it is one of the only safe places to gather, the dining halls are regularly attended by Obligators or their spies to keep watch for seditious behavior or treasonous discussions.
Would you like to know more about Tathingdwen? Head to the Crafty Games website and pick up a copy of Terris: Wrought of Copper.