[Doblian and Silver Shadow]
This region is part of the Imperial heartlands; indeed, it includes the imperial capital. Doblian was long more battlefield than province but is now healing; Silver Shadow is the very heart of the empire. Both regions are warmer than you would expect as they are lower in altitude than points south and warmed by imperial magics.
Often a battlefield, it is now a patchwork of many cultures whose homeland is elsewhere, gradually recovering from ancient wounds. The largest cultural group is the Pelandans, and the Satrap, Yan Kor Yan, is a Pelandan, but much of the government is full of Carmanians.
Wheat, barley, and corn dominate in the lowlands of the southeast; cattle and pigs and sheep roam the grasslands of the uplands, while fishing and rice production predominates close to Lake Carmania. The uplands fluctuate between warm fire seasons and bitterly cold storm and darkness seasons. The lowlands tend to have mild storm and darkness seasons and warm fire summers and very rainy storm and sea seasons.
The cities are home to Pelandans, who have been the pawn of other empires repeatedly, from the Bright Empire to the EWF to the Carmanians to the modern Lunar Empire. And yet they endure, elevating the culture and intellect of those who rule them, for they are a wise and educated people, versed in philosophy, art, and craft. Ruling them helped turn the Carmanians from murder-hobos to a civilized folk. They are especially an urban people, though the farmers of the southeastern plains and along the coast of Lake Carmania are often Pelandrans as well. Pelandran farm villages ring with debates at night and on RestDay?. The Pelandans are theists, worshipping a large pantheon, though some have become Lunars, finding its philosophies intriguing. Despite being larger than the other groups by a long shot, they have rarely been able to unite effectively against outsiders. When they did, it was due to some rare talent talking everyone into the same course of action.
The cities are also home to Carmanians, Dualist warriors who invaded Peloria from the West. They are doers, not thinkers, and the period of Carmanian rule was thus a rather mixed bag. They believe that good and evil are tools to be used, rather than sides to pick in a struggle. The wise man uses a mix of both compassion and aggression, understanding and smiting, to get what he wants. Unfortunately, most Carmanians lean one way or another and do not find that balance. Even now, the Carmanians are off-balance over losing their supremacy here, though much of the Satrapy government is staffed by them. They have a caste system to some degree: warriors, wizards (magi), craftspeople, and subjects (non-Carmanians and criminals).
Doblian is home all over to Lunar Colonists, people who have been settled here from other parts of the Empire, usually veterans. They are mostly found in the countryside in farm villages or fortified communities if close to a dangerous border. They follow the Lunar Way and their communities tend to be rather militaristic, often led by their former officers.
Far less numerous than they were in the second age before the Carmanians came, some Dara Happans have lived here for over a thousand years. Most are either part of the Imperial administration or else are Sundomers today, forming farming villages which worship Yelmalio. They dislike the Carmanians intensely, especially for their religion, which they see as essentially a giant steaming pile of shit. They are also stubborn, even by the standard of Dara Happans. While the Sundomers rarely initiate to the Lunar religion, they are very loyal to the Empire because it liberated them from Carmanian rule. They are noted for their annual right of beating a bull to death after crowning him and giving the title of 'Shah' to him; this often leads to trouble with the Carmanians.
The central hills are home to the Arir, who are hunting and herding clans who try to hold to the old ways, led by the mightiest warriors and hunters. They find themselves confined and clearly chafe at it; they used to rule the lowlands but now they watch the weakling lowlanders strut around with power and wealth while they struggle to survive, working as mercenaries and herding their cattle and raiding each other in frustration. Some forty clans squabble over the lands, a grand total of 35,000, where once there were many more. They worship Arakang and ErtelEnari?, the Bear King and Bear Mother, Kenstrata the Hunter (who ruled them in the Storm Age), and Daxdarius, who liberated them from the brutal Andam Horde. Their warrior nobles are known as hegemon, and they choose a leader (in theory) of the Arir, the Wanax, who is 'first among equals'. The current Wanax is Vanaxius Battle-Scar, who controls the ancient hill-fort Hamah, which controls an important trade route; the money from this gives him some extra leverage over his turbulent people. Many of his people, however, have assimilated into the other nations of Doblian. Vanaxius has a seat on the Satrap's council but tends to be rather obstructive of getting anything done.
The forests of the south and the Ventali River Valley are home to the proud warriors known as the Anadikki. They are storm worshippers, yet their pantheon is not that of the Orlanthi, who dislike them; the dislike is mutual. Tarumath the High Storm, his son Karumath the King, and his wife Brola the Queen rule over it. They are loyal to the Empire, and the Lunar way is growing among them. They are organized into clans of 800-1200 people, which tend to form tribes of 7-13 clans. Constant war with the Elves to the northwest and the trolls and hill barbarians to the south and south east has sapped their numbers but made the survivors stronger. Their High King, known as the Karm, Ulfigmath, delights in war and is known to be a priest of Karumath in his aspect as Darkness-Slayer. He hurls lightning in battle which strikes down creatures of darkness, such as trolls. He also sits on the Satrap's council. Some seven tribes, made up of 65 clans, number around 70,000 people.
Along the southwestern border, in hill and forest, dwell the Durnvoking, survivors of the Andam Horde, a mixture of Hsunchen and humans who worship beast gods. They are known to take delight in the decline of the Arir, who have long oppressed them. Six clans (The Boars, the Bears, the Owls, the Lions, the Moose, and the Wolves), each typically made up of six to eight Krash (about 300-400 people each), fight over Lataka, where the Kuk, their leader, sits, when they manage to choose one instead of just murdering each other pointlessly. Korged Pigstrangler, leader of the Wolves, overcame the last Kuk, a Boar, to seize power. His people worship animal and forest spirits. Men ally with animals, women with plants; women grow crops and men hunt and fight. Each makes crafts relevant to what they do, though men do forgework of every kind; a small handful of men are called to ally with Fire spirits. Smiths are inviolate, never to be slain, nor their wife or young children. A handful of women learn the secrets of the Air spirits and command the weather and the lightning. There are roughly 20,000 Durnvoking total.
Satrap Yan Kor Yan of the Yanoriaoilart clan rules this region in the name of the Red Emperor, since victory in a Dart War in 1575. He is Pelandan, but despite that, he draws more of his personal staff from the Carmanians of the satrapy, because their long rule of the area gives them more people with experience and it helps to defuse trouble with the Carmanians, who remain feared by most of the peoples of this region.
He is an initiate of Daxdarius the General and is Pelandan in culture, tall and strong with short black hair and olive skin. He is also initiated into the Seven Mothers as anyone who wants to be a Satrap must be, but people think he generally just pays lip service to the Lunar Faith and is more interested in his own culture's traditions. But he never *says* that. Indeed, it's hard to tell what he really wants beyond continuing to be in charge.
A strange land where the four magics are common under the Lunar Way and all peoples mix and meet in the shadow of the Red Moon, which stands high above its birthpoint, the Great Crater, which now is a huge lake ringed with strange mountains throw up when the Red Moon's core wrenched loose from the very earth and rose into the Middle Air with the Red Goddess. The Silver Proxy, chosen by the Red Emperor, rules this land for him; of late, though, he has become erratic and evasive and often vanishes into the streets of Glamour, leaving his subordinates to follow their own whims.
The land is bathed in a constant silvery glow which rises out of the crater and flows over the land like a mist, mixed with the red light of the moon. Nature is always placid where the glow spreads. Many Daimones of the Moon live across the land, helping out the locals and serving the Lunar Way.
The local populace is a mixture of Lunarized folk, Pelandans, and Dara Happans. The Dara Happans are mostly in the East and Glamour, the Pelandans in the central to western regions. The Lunarized folk especially live in Glamour but many others live across the land, hailing from every corner of the Empire.
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