Patron: Jeirhald (Mu Spore)
Capital: Lock Reizo
Primary Race: Dwarf
Primary Language: Dwarven
Suggested Traits: Alchemical Adept, Child of the North, Competitive, Focused Mind, Kitted Out, Militia, Ruin Explorer, Strong Soul, Templeborn
Regional Feat: Kin of Stone
The cities of Zharad Gruene are actually part of a vast underground network of caverns, citadels, and isolated workshops once used during the Age of Heroes. Now, much of it is walled off, carefully excavated by dwarven adventurer-scholars who seek offerings for the great mu spore Jeirhald. Their cities are administered by the daughters of Jeirhald, the Fungus Queens, who ensure that they are well-defended, supplies are distributed equitably, and the needful tasks about the city are done.
During the Age of Heroes, the vast northern mountain range known as the Wall was riddled with ateliers and workshops where the hero-mages of the time perfected their art safely away from the settled nations of the world.
Though no one is entirely sure how it happened, it is theorized that in one of these secret redoubts, some ancient summoner made contact with an intelligence beyond normal understanding. This otherworldly mind permeated the magic of the workshop, bled into the walls and the instruments and leached out into the living things beyond. Over hundreds or thousands of years, the mind slowly coalesced, reforming into some semblance of the great wisdom that had birthed it. As it restored itself, it fed off the magical energies leaking from dozens of other labs, growing greater in strength and more knowledgeable about Zenáthras.
When the Well burned and the numina of the mortals died, it had strength enough to continue growing on its own, drawing together base matter into the fungal body it now enjoys. Its questing tendrils sought out ever-greater secrets until it discovered, in the caverns around it, a beleaguered population of dwarves; some relic of the old researchers perhaps, or even just the descendants of their caretakers or the architects who cut the labs out of the living stone. It is these dwarves who named the creature Jeirhald, an ancient word that means 'guardian.'
Though not especially interested in its charges, the great fungus also does not like to see death, and so it protects them and answers their prayers with its powers. In return, the dwarves hunt down ever-more ateliers to find moldering tomes or lost sources of magic power to deliver to their guardian.
Zharad Gruene has a positive, stable relationship with the Council of Wyrms, and it is not uncommon for dragons to come seeking an audience with Jeirhald, for their recognize that its intelligence is far different from that of anything else on Zenáthras and provides a unique, valuable perspective on almost any issue.