Woodlands Tribes

Cheel Draawaqen

Main article: Cheel Draawaqen.

Cheel Draawaqen was a major orcish site within the Eldeen region, occupied by tribes of the woodlands tradition. Cheel Draawaqen administered a large domain marked by the extensive distribution of their emblem glyph of the coiled dragon sign, representing the patron dragon Vvaraak. This site was the seat of what has been dubbed the Kingdom of the Druids or Gatekeeper Kingdom, although this is a mistaken interpretation of the amount of power that the druids of Cheel Draawaqen had over the orcish population of the region. The tomb of Vvaraak was located in Cheel Draawaqen and its druids were most respected throughout Khorvaire, but the city's political power was probably limited to a few dozen miles from its walls.
During the Unison Period, Cheel Draawaqen itself is estimated to have had a population of 50,000 orcs, though it certainly existed in a smaller form earlier. The site was rediscovered by Professor Cyrus of the University of Wynarn in 880 YK and over the next few decades his expeditions and others uncovered more than 6,750 ancient structures, the largest of which is the great pyramid tomb of Vvaraak. Four tombs have been located within the pyramid, but none contain the bones of dragons. Like many temples or pyramids at orcish sites, the pyramid at Cheel Draawaqen increased in size by building upon the existing temple to reach its current size. A second pyramid was an administrative hub for the city and the two structures together give the city its name ("Cheel Draawaqen" in ancient Giantish means something close to "Twin Pyramids Together," though there may have been a third). The site was explored extensively in the 880s through 920s but no expeditions have been allowed near it since the secession of the Eldeen Reaches during the Last War.
The history of the late Unison Period was dominated by the rivalry between the opposed alliance networks of Cheel Draawaqen and Niaresk'afar. Earlier times tended to be dominated by a single larger city: Sirn Khaliizi in the early Unison Period and Alum'thain in the middle Unison Period. After 6,500 EC, Niaresk'afar was in position to assume the mantle of power but Cheel Draawaqen was a rival city with equivalent resources that unexpectedly challenged the supremacy of Niaresk'afar and engaged in a strategy of surrounding it with its own network of allies. From the second half of the 7th millenium EC through to the start of the 8th millenium, Cheel Draawaqen gained the upper hand although it failed to extinguish Niaresk'afar's power completely and Niaresk'afar was able to turn the tables on its great rival in a decisive battle that took place around 7,100 EC between the Incursion War and the First Daelkyr War. Half a century later Niaresk'afar was able to gain major victories over Cheel Draawaqen's most important allies and may have won outright if both cities succumbed to the spreading collapse of orcish society through the Daelkyr Wars.


This large middle-late Unison Period site was only rediscovered by human archeologists in 950 YK. Izwin'aut boasted a fairly large population and was reasonably close to Cheel Draawaqen which it was allied with, but today the structures are badly preserved. The foundations of a large pyramid, two market centers, two dozen religious menhirs, and five subterranean cisterns mark the site, but without tall structures they went undiscovered for some time, as did several outlying settlements. A Wayfinder expedition from Fairhaven followed local rumors to this site on the Eldeen frontier and rediscovered the site, recording some initial findings and sketches. The situation in the region was dangerous, however, and no expedition was able to return before the Eldeen secession in 958 YK. In the confusion of this split, a group of Ashbound guerillas claimed the site as a holy space and have made if very clear that they do not want disturbed by "outsiders." Even half a century after its rediscovery, Izwin'aut remains the largest unexplored orcish archeological site.


The first recorded meeting between emissaries of Cheel Draawaqen and Niaresk'afar occurred at Orlenggin in about 6,615 EC. This meeting is known among orcish archaeologists as the “Inthigg-Ap'za,” or "Fate-Agreement." The two powerful cities hoped to come to a detente with this meeting and such was achieved for some time. Orlenggin was originally allied with Niaresk'afar but it later betrayed that city and forged an alliance with Cheel Draawaqen. This union linked Orlenggin to Cheel Draawaqen and destroyed the credibility of the agreements set out in the Inthigg-Ap'za. The ruler of Orlenggin was given the title Ur'Saruk ("warlord”), a high title used in ancient Maya texts, as a result of the new alliance and the title became increasingly relevant as the shattered agreement led to open hostilities between Cheel Draawaqen and Niaresk'afar.
Orlenggin’s downfall was likely initiated by its alliance with Cheel Draawaqen, who could not afford to spare troops to aid it when Niaresk'afar emerged from its hiatus after the Incursion War. Perhaps because of its involvement with the failed Inthigg-Ap'za agreement, Orlenggin seems specifically targeted during the resurgence and was converted into a vassal state of Niaresk'afar and eventually destroyed a decade later. Ruins of it remain in the hill country near Otharaunt in northern Aundair.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License