The cities of Motunui are all vastly different from one another. Most are united only in the fact that they sit astride the great rivers that serve as highways of commerce throughout the island. Haggard’s Rook, then, is even more estranged than its counterparts.
The landlocked city was founded by the ancestors of the Shar, and is one of the earliest settlements the refugees established.
The earliest days of the Shar in Motunui were fraught with hardship. The northern reaches of Motunui, where they first landed, are not as bountiful as the southern lands, and what little they did have was constantly under threat by nomadic tribes of Tangata. Their settlements were often raided, forcing them to keep moving.
The territory surrounding Te Maunga offered an advantage to those who made it that far south. Rocky outcrops served as natural barriers, and when settled in the high ground, the Shar could simply pick off approaching Tangata raiders from afar.
In modern times, Haggard’s Rook thrives thanks to its proximity to the hefty iron mines nestled in Te Maunga. It is not uncommon to hear, from the lips of a drunken Rooker overcome with patriotic fervor, that Haggard’s Rook is the only reason anybody on Motunui has steel at all. Thanks to the Kaihoko, they aren’t far from wrong; imported steels face heavy taxation, severely reducing the ability of foreign steel smelters to compete with the Rookers.
Perhaps owing to its Shar roots and isolated nature, Haggard’s Rook shows minimal influence of Tangata culture, in its looks as much as in its people. Here is perhaps the only place on Motunui one would draw funny looks for speaking Tangata, or being decorated with moko.
The soldiers of Haggard’s Rook are trained in the use of crossbows, kite shields, and long swords, and a Rooker shield wall is a force to be reckoned with.