Monday, 31 March 2014

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

  The Saldivian continent cannot be described with any basic shape. The most that could be said is that it had three vague 'points' similar to a triangle: one facing to the North West, one facing to the South, and one facing to the North East. Along the inland of this continent a clump of mountains were stationed, tall and majestic, only outmatched by the Giant's range in Argosant. Many rivers poured from its roots, flowing out through all of the nations and eventually, out to sea. These mountains were named "Ashagal Pierin", the 'focused' peaks, also translatable to the center peaks. These were the largest mountains in the land, and the nations were mainly divided around it.
  On the East coast of the continent, opposite the nation of Quenie, was the land of Dunal. Considered the trade center of the known world, they shipped large amounts of commodities everywhere, having a powerful trade navy (although the ships were not well equipped for war or battle of any sort), able to traverse the oceans to reach almost every nation. Directly descended from the Dunnallion in the old days of the Red Age, they possessed most the old lands they had, stretching from the Meldon River to the Caragan River, taking up most of the Eastern Coast. However, their actual control only stretched so far, and lands towards the north and south were mostly populated by villages and small towns that claimed to belong to none. Dunal was also famous for its large port city, Aldane Qala, "Bright(est) City", known for being the largest port in the known world and also for the Tower of Tiel Aldane, (in emphasis, meaning THE brighest, shiniest, normally related to those in majesty), a tall and seemingly topless building that was made of gold and iron and other precious materials, forged together to create the large and impressive structure, built in the older days of glory, (the Golden Age), when all prospered. It served as a meeting place for those of the Merchants' order, who controlled the land through a partially democratic system. The Dunalion look almost exactly the same as the Queniens, being of average height and having many colored hair and many colored eyes.
  The South was taken up by the Zanturians, the nation of Zanturia. They walled themselves off from the other lands, building an actual physical wall called by them "Zantu Yackmondan", in their strange language, Zantu's Long Arm, (referred to in their teachings as the arm that shields them from all harm, Yackmondan being a literal pronoun). It was referred to by the rest of the continent as "The Cult Blockade", having no relations with the strange Zanturians who worshipped their false god (for it was the Zantu that were long descended from the evils of Jal'Mansar, who had planted the seed of dissent in the previous War of the Powers. It could be said that the false god was in reality, Jal'Mansar, though he indirectly manipulated them), and also at times attacking the other nations at random. They were hostile and unwelcoming, guarding the Cult Blockade's gates with large numbers and preventing entry for anyone except those that explicitly vowed to server their god (on pain of death, in service for life, to never leave the lands except the Master willed it), and killing any others that approached without hesitation. Zanturia is supposedly independent, able to grow its own crop to feed its population and sustain its large armies. However, their ships that launch from their Eastern coast attempt raids on richly laden Dunalion ships, only repelled by the Quenien ships hired from time to time. The Zantu are pale and rather tall, alike to the Corallion, only shorter and much paler. Most of them possess piercings all over their body, in ritual and sacrifice to Zantu. They have only black hair and possess high cheekbones for the most part. This nation is regarded as a threat by every other land, even the Argosantic continent.
  North of Zanturia, West of Dunal, is the Nation of Corallion. Cold to most other foreigners, the northernmost part of it suffers from perpetual winter, ceasing only occasionally and for short periods of time. It is home to the world's most skilled swordsmen, using scimitars to weave their 'dance', the name of which they give to battle. They are unique among the world in terms of looks; pale and tall, ranging between 180 centimeters to 2 meters among the tallest. Because of this, they are easily recognizable in foreign lands and are sometimes shunned, leading the Corallion to become mostly introverted and secluded. However, their physical stature was not the only reason for their seeming eccentricity; they had strict codes of behavior inherited from the Alphin who migrated there in the early days of the Red Age (as such, even the original Doren, now referred to as the Dorin were founded there), becoming much like those of the mysterious and wise. In battle, they were terrifying, wearing hideous masks that struck fear into those that looked at them. Matching the Massodrians in single combat, they used their scimitars to great effect, having a great number of named techniques and sword strokes that could outsmart an average swordsman entirely. Stretching beyond this, their traditional method of tactical combat was unorthodox and unpredictable. 'Guerrilla warfare' was often used by their soldiers to great effect, knowing precisely the advantages of remaining unseen before and during the strike. As such, they were named by many as "the walking dead", (agraddin Grall in Zanturian, who feared them greatly for various reasons) and were respected in war and battle. Were they less reserved, a conquest of theirs might have been unstoppable. However, because of their nature, they hardly expand their territory, but also hardly entreat with others. They grow mostly potatoes, but also grow many Saugan, a tough crop of plant that produces sweet fruit all year round and has edible roots and leaves. The Corallion hold this plant in high regard, using it in many of their poems and their idioms and allegories of strength and providence.
  Finally, to the north are large wastelands that endure endless winter and snow. They are mostly uninhabited, being mostly unlivable, except for a small race of men that are unnamed among themselves. They live on the wild beasts that live up there and tougher species of Saugan that grow in the Northern parts. They occasionally make raids on both the Dunal and Corallion border, but very rarely, keeping mostly to themselves and and hardly even showing their presence, being skilled in the art of walking unseen in the winter lands. Among the people of Corallion, who have had the most contact with them, they are known as the Erene, the homeless/lost.
  In the earliest of times, Saldivia was known as Yarmon.

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