Friday, 21 March 2014

The continent of Argosant in the Breaking Age: Its peoples and its landmarks

  The continent of Argosant was shaped like a vague hour glass; to the north the land 'stretched out' into two 'arms', the West reaching down south in a large hook that encircled the land of Lurnuva, whilst the East wing was in a shallow Northward slope. Along the north edge of this continent ran a long wall of near impassable mountains, tall and majestic, given the name of "Emperor's Wall", translated from the old speech of the previous ages "Eladar Giel", when the north was still ruled by the single nation of Parius. To the south, across the narrow lands which were the alleged Argo border, splitting the north and south nations; the land too did stretch out in 'wings', the West being populated by a large and wide Savannah, with an enormous forest separating it from the rest of the continent. Traversing this forest was among the most dangerous of tasks. The East 'wing' was the land of Apochem, another large and spacious land largely populated by the fearsome beasts "Tarkhu", and other larger and more dangerous creatures. These were lands held to be uninhabitable and of utmost danger, separated from more civilized lands by mountains even taller and more fearsome than the Emeperor's Wall, named the Giant's Range for their incredible size, and also for rumors of Giants being wanderers along this great wall.
  A total of five nations were in existence on the continent of Argosant during the last of the Old Ages; to the north most east was the nation of Quenie, who resided upon the coasts closest to the other continent of Saldivia. They were expert seafarers and sailors, thriving upon the trade economy of the not so distant Dunal, just across the ocean. The Queniens also lived very much on fish and mostly other commodities traded in from other nations. Their military was not very strong, but considerably well trained, and their might at sea was nigh unbeatable, using small and swift ships to patrol the straits and defeat pirates where necessary. Many a time, a Ledarn, a small and fast travelling ship equipped mainly for battle, was hired by other countries to ensure the safety of their oceans and trade routes. Queniens were mainly equipped with strange layered armor that was durable, held together by nails and axles, causing them to move relatively freely yet still be rather well protected. Their swords were mainly curved, very much alike to those used by the Dorin. Their cavalry was largely limited, giving more priority to the building of ships than to the raising of horses. They also used tall spears in battle to fortify the front lines against reckless charges, but bows were few among them. Queniens were mostly alike to the Ocaren, but were closer in appearance to the Dunalion, having many varieties of colored hairs, red, blond, brown, and black. Their eyes were just as many colored as their hair.
  Along the Emperor's wall, next to Quenie, was Ocaren, the nation of the brave. Home to the headquarters of the Dorin, these lands featured rolling hills and mountains, with pockets of forest spread throughout. Rivers from the Emperor's wall networked the land, heading out into the seas. Ocaren held great might in cavalry and spears, and each individual soldier was very well armed. They were held as one of the strongest nations militarily, and in the sun were akin to the old nation Parius in the days of the Red Age, which stood the strongest against the might of the oncoming shadow. The nation took pride in a special brand of soldiers that were well trained to face the front lines, the Alciers, men that wielded hafted blade-spears, shields and short swords, dressed in especially strong armor and able to confront even the toughest of Massodrians in the wars. They were devastating both on horseback and on foot, charging down enemy defenses on the former and holding lines against the enemy on the latter. The Ocaren traded well with the Queniens, but were on short terms with the Iantarans, having warred with them once before. However, Ocaren was constantly at war with Massodria, the bloodshed only punctuated by short treaties and respites such that both sides could regain their strength. This limited the normally great might of Ocaren. The people of Ocaren were of average height, between 170 centimeters to 180, the tallest being 190. They were mostly slender, many with dark hair and eyes of various colors, although distinguishing features such as blonde hair or reddish hair were by and large.
  The East wing of the North was held by Iantara, one of the greatest military nations in the Breaking Age. Their wide lands were cultivated with wheat and potato farms, and they traded with the Queniens. Their military largely consisted of infantry, armed with large shields, short sword, and the occasional spear or halberd. They held a moderate force of archers, but their cavalry was close to nonexistent, having dedicated most of the open land to farming and training grounds. Their lands used a system of forced recruitment for a year or more, taking men of age to become soldiers for a short time, disciplining them in the ways of their army. The Iantaran military strength was in the large amount of numbers it could muster in a short time, along with the coordination of each unit, as the soldiers trained were highly united and disciplined to follow orders. However, they were vulnerable to cavalry flanks and spearhead assaults, making them easily defeated in open areas. They spoke the same language as the Ocaren, and the culture was greatly similar. They were also very much alike in physical appearances to them
  Finally, the South nations. Across the Argo border were the fearsome Massodrians, stout men with a strict warrior code that led each individual soldier to be terrors in combat. They were strong militarily, regarded as the fiercest fighters and most immovable kinds of people. They cultivated rice, grain, vegetables and other commodities in their homeland, being highly self reliant and rarely entreating with other countries, being quite isolated because of the Great Forest, the Giant's Range, and Ocaren. Each Massodrian had their own individual weapon that they trained with, thus having a great variety of soldiers to choose from. However, horses were rarely used for combat in their land, mostly for heavy loading and transport. The North forgets, but the nation of Massodria traditionally holds back the tide of Tarkhu from the East, having strongly fortified the Gap in the Giant's Range, which allowed easy access to the civilized lands. This was the main reason that Massodrians had to be fierce and wild in combat; to face the regular raids of the terrible beasts of the East, and drive them back. Thus, the Massodrians were almost constantly 'at war', facing threats from two sides. The people of Massodria were relatively 'short',  but stockier and tougher. They ranged mainly between 160 centimeters and 170 centimeters, tall people being extremely rare, and only of average height among the Ocaren.
  Lastly, the land of Pedi'imon. This wild Savannah held many different names by nations, but was called Pedi'imon by its own people. It was separated from Massodria by the Great Forest, a dangerous and enormous stretch of wild trees even wilder beasts, made passable only by the old forest road made in earlier times. What is special about Pedi'imon is that it still remembers the Oldest Language, spoken by the humans in the Time of Happiness, now long forgotten and not even having its own myth. However, it had been reduced and simplified greatly into a crude sounding language spoken by the people of Pedi'imon, who had taken to other dialects and sometimes the 'common speech' of the continent, which was that of Massodria, Ocaren and Iantara. They were dark skinned people, and militarily were not so strong. However, they were known for their mastery of the wild creatures in their land, and of the knowledge of special herbs that were more effective than any designed medicines by the Dunalion. They were large in number, spread out across the lands that they inhabited in small villages and communities, rarely making contact with one another. In times of peril, 'warlords' would rise up and unite villages into larger armies, and attempt to beat back whatever threat there was. Their height was of great variance, though they were, as aforementioned, of especially dark skin.
  In the earliest of times, Argosant was known as Oshavia.

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