Song of Ice and Fire
House Vara of Oroca
Bull’s Strength, Noble Mind
The Lord is the Land: Delgado Alfonso Vara
Mardoxia (Mär-DOH-shzyuh): The area of the southeastern tip of Dorne controlled by House Vara. It contains the Onzin plains and Blackstone Mountains.
Onzin Plains: They spread south and east from the Blackstone Mountains in the north. The Onzin plains are the hereditary grazing grounds of the Varan herds, vitally important to the house. Legends tell that Ser Vara rode the mighty Onzin bull into battle when driving back the terrors of the Long Night. The plains are cut down the middle by the Greengold river. Cattle and horse herds from the house graze on both banks, but when Vara has warred with House Qorgyle, they pull their herds to the western side.
Blackstone Mountains: The Red Mountains stretch from the Dornish Sea in the East to the Summer Sea in the west, forming a natural border between Dorne and the Dornish Marches to its north. Southeast of the estuary of the Torrentine and the lands of Starfall, the stone of the mountains turns black with large veins of marble. House Vara claims all of the Blackstone Mountains and the marble they contain. Their seat, Oroca, lies at the foot of the Blackstones. There are secret roads through the mountains and ancient ruins, the latter simply called the Vulture.
The Greengold: Not as mighty as it’s cousin the Torrentine to the west, the Greengold still provides for the livelihood of House Vara: it’s herds. It begins as the Guerna in the Blackstone Mountains, before it is joined by other tributaries to form the wide, but usually slow-moving Greengold on the Onzin Plains.
The Guerna: The principal tributary to the Greengold. It winds through the Blackstone Mountains.
The Marble Road: Mardoxia boasts an ancient and well-maintained road that uncoils in a proud, straight line from Oroca to Hornhaven. The ancestors of the Mardoxian people shaped the marble veins in the Blackstone mountains into roads; even though the road through the plains is made of packed dirt, it still bears the same name. In the mountains the road is not as well kept and it crooks and warps through the Blackstones; travelers unfamiliar with the territory can easily lose their way.
Cold, distant, and beautiful: Rychelle Vara
The Vulture: High up in the Blackstones is a ruin from the Age of Heroes. From the approach to the south, the remaining pieces of the edifice suggest the animal that gave it its name. During the day, it’s rough-hewn stone and the vistas from it’s crumbling battlements suggest nobility and bold tragedies lost to history. When night falls, it is foreboding and menacing. Like all old ruins, it is rumored to be haunted, but any ghosts within its walls are too old to have names remembered by men.
A man of his people: Delgado Montoya Martinez Vara
Hornhaven: The largest community in Mardoxia is a portside town at the mouth of the Greengold. Sailors and cattleherds meet here to trade, fight, drink, and fuck. It was once much larger, but the cruel ministrations of Illianna and Byrone Vara assured that Hornhaven would recover poorly from plague and drought. It is growing again as trade and wealth come in, but many buildings remain empty. The worst neighborhood in Hornhaven straddles the mouth of the Greengold like an ugly whore and people of gentle birth do not travel there without armed guards, especially at night. It is simply called the Whale, although in times past it was called the Whale’s Sanctum, when decent folk did not fear to tread there.
Oroca Hall: The seat of House Vara. It sits at the foot of the Blackstone Mountains, overlooking the Greengold as it flows down to Hornhaven and the Summer Sea. It has only been taken once, though that enemy came from within.
The blood of the Rhoynar runs strongly through his veins: Xaladin Morrero Vara
Marstorm: It used to be traditional for the youths of Mardoxia to run and ride the bulls during the first storm of summer. This insanely dangerous practice has become formalized in recent times: the Marstom festival is held in early summer and nobles compete in bullfighting from horseback and jousting, although the tourney lists are not as important here as they are in the north. There are also dances, bull rides, and bull running events where smallfolk can compete, though the dances are segregated by birth and status. It’s seen as a bad sign if there has not been a summer storm before the tournament.
Marble Poaching: Black marble used to be scattered on the Onzin plains and it is rumored that the low Marble road used to be made of marble also, but they have been picked clean. For thousands of years, It is has been unlawful to remove marble from the land without the lord’s writ, but this law has been ignored by many throughout generations.