These folks are a tall race Shan race with fair skin and a broad pallet of eye colors. Hair tends to dark.
They posses the innate ability to control their mind and bodies. Culturally they never surrender in battle and are heedless of death, even the women. They are also utterly honest and eschew lying and public displays of emotion. Famous as mercenaries they are the most brutal fighters on Midrea.
Three hundred years ago the Gallitep, who are a splinter group of Vinyari nearly conquered all of the Western Lands and Firhom . The reign was so brutal that only the intervention of the Element Masters and the 10000 stopped the Gallitep from being exterminated in revenge.
Gallitep is an Adunite theocracy crossed with North Korean style Juche.Only the utter honesty of the Gallitep make such a society work. Currently the Gallitep live mostly on Vinyari charity, occasional privateering and mercenary work and mostly are very poor. The only thing the inhabitants of this archipelago can mange to is meddle and eke out a living on nearly bare rock.
Sorcerers Islands –
This is a feudal state where all of the nobles are of a class with innate Charisma based magic. Each gifted will have a demesne in proportion to his power and charisma. The division is administered by the Eptarch, an immortal Sorcerer of immense power. All other non nobles on the islands are slaves and considered property.
Brin Republic –
This is a small island, nearish to Vinyar. It is weak in resources but populated by the best traders in Midrea. Brin folk can be found anywhere trying to make money, agitating for Republican systems of government or both. They are generally canny traders and prone to greed. The Brin navy is also the best in Midrea, only the the Oca Ecane come close.
East Lands –
The East lands is a broad swath of kingdoms touching up against The Delan Empire(in the Far east) The Southlands (in the South) and the 20 Kingdoms (in the West) . It is dominated by a war between the Lawbringer Theocracy and the older kingdoms under the Way and the Shan Pantheon.
The kingdoms Under Law are
Taga Border of the South
Jonoy-- Border of the South
Bulshul—Border of Delas
Dosko – which has dropped out of contact with the world of late
Irianar Border of the West
Raelyn Border of the West
Genome – Farthest West
20 Kingdoms –
Normally the 20 (or sometimes more) Kingdoms are unified by the Stewards throne, a magic device that links the Steward to all of the lands. However 30 years ago the Queen Steward Taswynd Twice Bled passed on and no one has stepped up to the burden. The kingdoms have degenerated into squabbling feudal states, each vying to be the largest and strongest and to have control over the resources and the serfs of the others. It is a great place to be a mercenary.
These kingdoms are governed by a feudal system. 3 of them, Regana, Gallandra and Danar have an ample population of freeman. The others are less free. Angosta is the exception it is governed by Clans
Lost Kingdom of Amachia. This area was depopulated by the Vinyari and remains cursed and unoccupied for the most part. Recently a few bold settlers have begun to trickle in and they have reported its strange Gods The Ancient Defenders may be awakening
Elaven Wood. This is the most magical area on Midrea and the main concentration of fae outside of Ardia.
Neblen Range. This is the rather smaller than the Alps or the Iron Mountains but is a noticeable chunk of territory. It is also inhabited by a lot of Mountain Dwarves
Until three years ago Delas was the most powerful state in Midrea. Its legion led by the Emperor Carisko the 3rd were feared as the next scourge of Midrea.
Over a trade dispute the legions attempted to cross the Passak (the passage on the east side of the Stehl Mountains) controlled by the Master Magister, thought to be the most powerful individual in Midrea
The Master Magister retaliated to the intrusion by invoking 5, 2 mile wide rains of colorless fire. The event shattered ten legions (some one hundred thousand men) and severely damged Delans.
This event called the 5 Fold Scourging forced a rare Repudiation of the Emperor (who is now thought to be some kind of undead)
Delas now has a new Emperor, Saven the 1st who is struggling to keep control of its territories.
Delas is could be described as Imperial Rome crossed with Victorian Britain. It has a hint of Roman order and British racism and stuffiness. It has Chariot races but no gladiators, Tunics but no Togas.Both wine and beer and no Egypt or Greece to play off of.
Delas is governed by an Emperor who sits upon the Iron Throne. His power is near absolute but it can be checked by the Senate. His will is enforced by his legions (down 40% now) his wolf and dog packs of special operations soldiers and his Magi
Delan Occupied Territory-
These are the lands struggling against Delas and its cultural genocide. Barely holding on the the 5fold scourging has given them a break these countries have begun to reassert themselves. These kingdoms are run by family aristocracies and are hereditary monarchies for the most part
Beast Tribes. This is a wild land inhabited by animal worshipping tribes. While they do have steel and the ability to make it they also have a very primitive social order.
The Wymins Alliance—
This is a very loose alliance of the three matriarchies , linked only by the fact that women have political power and not men
Mazi Matriarchy – This is very rough area controlled by fierce tribes of allegedly man hating women who are famed as archers and warriors.
Queens Domain—a gentle feudal society, and Dianic Wiccan dictatorship perilously balancing tolerance and kindness with the fact that men are excluded from many parts of life. Currently there is a slow and subtle mens uprising going on here, an attempt for the men to gain power for themselves.
Hyrkan – this land is only nominally a member of the alliance, simply because it is partially occupied by Delas and because of the great respect afforded the Belgana singers (all of who are women) Currently a group called Taraza (The Wheel) has been fighting a guerilla war against the Delans with some success but the costs on the Hykran side have been escalating
This is the largest range on Midrea, comparable to Earths Alps or Rocky Mountains. It contains many cultures and is often fought and contested over for its vast metal deposits.
Steel Cities – In the steel cities discipline is key. It is home of the great crystal and a Psi-Ocracy governed by a council of Psions. It is a fairly benevolent dictatorship that attempts to make the best of use of scant resources (other than very abundant iron) but is has no respect for freedom or religion. It has four main cities Primus, Secundus, Teritus, and Quartus.
Steel Tribes—These are the cast offs and refugees from the Steel Cities. They typically hate psions and blame them for the hard scrabble existence they face.
Ataliyer Remnants – It is though by some that these people may have been the shapers. Who ever they were, the Ataliyar are few in number but posses enormous magical reserves, enough to keep the Steel Cities easily at bay.
The Shone – these enigmatic people are the best sword makers on Midrea and are famed for prophecy and sword making. They brook few visitors though and unwanted persons have a way of vanishing
Hunzun City States-The Hunzun are famed for scholarship and other than the Loremasters fortress in Firhom, the Hunzun have the largest collection of knowledge in Midrea. The main cities include Tarsk, Braul, Kora and Vek. It has a slightly Greek flavor with a hint of Gor
Vala – This is a garden in the wastes, a gigantic chunk of paradise rent into the mountains. It is hard to find but those who visited have been stunned by its great beauty and nearly consumed by its complex house based politics
The northlanders are rather like an advanced Viking style state mixed with 18th century expansionism and age of sail piracy. They are great traders, hearty fighters and a bit fond of clichés
Neden – Softer than the other Northlanders the Neden are warrior/ diplomats with a seeming cultural addiction to food.
Barava – The Barava are extremely fond of stereotypical barbarian behavior and showing off. This is tempered by good common sense and a love of opera. They are close to and have a lot of contact with the Vinyari.
Danak – Rough and tough the Danak are raiders first and traders second. Their berserks are much feared as are their pirates.
Noras – The Noras travel everywhere and are great traders and explorers who supplement the meager resources of their home with an occasional raid. They have two colonies Nicilan – a rocky and volcanic island with many ruins and Renaga – a large island with a fertile belt
There is a lot of uninhabited land down south and a lot of monsters, ruins and ancient treasures. The main inhabited areas have a reputation for decadence and drug use not entirely undeserved
Arkar – This vital kingdom is governed by a bureaucracy of Mages and unlike the rest of the southern kingdoms is growing in power and influence. Its is limited mainly by the paralysis by analysis engendered by its government system and the hostile desert climate.
K'desh—Both a drug and a place. Its is a fabling place of lotus dreams and ancient decay. The cannibalistic Chun control a lot of the ever encroaching jungle.
G'skrel islands—a little like Indonesia
Hajasa—The most northern of the Down South areas. It is a huge track of land with incredible diversity. Think India through a Robert Howard filter than Westernized
The inland Sea –
The inland sea is an artificial sea created eons ago by shaper magic and now self-sustaining. It is mostly inhabited by the Eskane who live on the islands that dot the sea. There are also 9 cities with a mix of Midrean peoples each built precariously on the silt – some Venice like others on struts. Each competes ferociously, trades ferociously and is ever at odds with the others
This is the area north of Delas that curves like a crescent into the heart of the continent. It is like a great steppe inhabited by four peoples
The Vi -The Vi are the most settled and are a little like very boisterous music obsessed Anglo Saxon horsemen. They are settled but only marginally. They believe in Live Well Die Well
The Toulani – these are the feared horsemen of Midrea. The People of Many Manes
And Thundering Hooves are tall men riding swift horses. In the past they would raid deep into the continent in search of women and gold. Now they are quieter and no one knows why.
Vohi Dwell – These folks are sheep and cattle herding pastoralists and tend to the dour and fatalistic
The High Plainsfolk —The areas is the highest commonly inhabited point on the continent being almost two miles up. It is thought this might be an artificially created local but this flat land is inhabited by the runner tribes have a complex and athletic culture where bravery and success are everything. In battle they seldom ride horses instead preferring to fight in foot with clawed gloves and a host of other exotic weapons.
Firhom – Firhom is where it all started,. It is the first place inhabited by Terran humans and has been occupied for nearly 1400 years in its current form. It is a very conservative place, hidebound by tradition and the protocols of Lords but it is sacred to many and still a great power, if only in moral influence
Aradia – This is the place where man and fae live in uneasy peace. It is rather like every part of Britain and Ireland with a neopagan/renfaire filter.
Ashanan—This is a constitutional Wiccan theocracy
Frepor – This is the city of Freedom, a city and its villages dedicated to runway serfs and slaves and the proposition that all are worthy of equal rights. Its precarious position is maintained by its furious defenders, and its usefulness and tolerance almost anything except slavery. It also has a unique alliance with Vinyar, Ashanan and the Brin Republic called the Charter Alliance
. A pecular custom in Frepor is that no one will where jewelry except for rings. In fact offering jewelry when you know better is a blood insult, a way of saying you should be a slave. Wealth is displayed in clothing and dyes and recently Frepor fashions have began to catch on in the Brin Republic and elsewhere
Bora. This little city/state is the nexus of the whole slavers guild. Its the farthest South and East of the center cities and is situated on a major trade rout. Its people have a reputation as rich, greedy and ruthless bastards.
Ibara. Best armorers and weapon smiths on Midrea. They are strictly neutral and will sell to anyone with the money.
This chain of islands is the heart of technology on Midrea. It is ruled by large Families, each corresponding to a patron Dragon (Red House, White House and so on) that mostly fight one another Do to ubiquitous use of Dragon Dust weapons (a gunpowder like substance) the nations pack an enormous defensive punch but do not do as well on offense do to the limitations of their supply chains.
Seven Big islands with a penchant for technology and plenty of Dragondust. Very Steampunk in flavor
Ro-Jin inspired by Steampunk Musha and Vision of Escaflowne. Its a bit isloationist and Bamboo-Punk in flavor
Pora -- Poliosh in flavor because winged Hussars are cool and Hussar Mechs are cooler
Saex -- Vaguely Germanic
Angla -- Steampunk Britain, nuff said
Cygen -- Russian flavored
Amer -- Steampunkish America circa 1850 or so complete with tribal natives
Gavon -- Musketeers and Mechs
This are is basically off limits to anyone with a hint of sanity as the Unhallowed War was lost here. Its a points of light setting overrun with monsters and undead. The one large city/ state Methkier is controlled by a mutually hostile triumvirate of twin vampires (the Blood Count and Countess), a Lich (The Nameless Vizier) and a Necromancer (The Eternal King) and is a lawless hellhole.
Some of the smaller pocket kingdoms are essentially Denomolater dictatorships under the a groups styling themselves the True Gods, Pestilence, Death, Murder, Undeath, and Suffering. The foul beings are opposed by an underground of Paladins and Clerics of many faiths but it will be a long slog to return this blasted land to anything decent.
The Eskane are the gypsies of Midrea and as such can be found anywhere. They are like a make of Tinkers and Gypsies with all the fictional add ons
There are three tribes --- Oca Eskane, the sea going ship riders and ,masters of the islands, The Radda Eskane (wagon Folk) and the Rir Eskane (barge folk).
Languages in Midrea fall into two families
One is derived from English, mixed with root words from many different tongues. The second is the Shan language family, which may be related to Terran Basque.
The languages are
A: High Anglish – this is similar to modern English and was the common language of the first humans to arrive. It is still spoken as a trade language and as an only language in Frirhom. It is also spoken in the Queens Domain
B: Vinyari – this is spoken by the Vinyar and the Gallitep
C: Aradian: A mixture of English and Gaelic dialects spoken in Aradia and Ashanan
D: Eskane: This is a mix of Shan and High Anglish with a few Rom root words and is spoken by the three tribes of the Eskane. Eskane has three mutually intelligible dialects, one for each of the Eskane tribes.
E: Northlandier: This is a mix of English, Finnish and various Scandinavian dialects mixed with some Shan. It is spoken in Neden, Danak, Norras and Barava. Each nation has some drift but the dialects are understandable
F: Vi: Vi is a coarse language that’s sounds faintly like old English and is spoken only in the extents of the Vi
G: Vohi: A quiet Shan language spoken by its namesake peoples
H: Stelek: This is the language of the Steel Cities and is a constructed version of English mixed with German and Shan
I: Gallandrian: This is the only one of the 20 kingdoms languages that is not based on Shan and Anglish. Its roots are French and Shan instead with some English mixed in
J: City Speech: All 9 of the cities by the inland sea use this language which is Shan touched with Italian, and a hint of Spanish, Portuguese and English
K: Hyrkan. This language is not based on Shan or English roots and resembles aborigine dialects mixed with Shan more than anything else
L: Hajasa and Kedesh: Niether Hajasa mor Kedesh have a unified language. There are at least 100 known dialects of Hajasnai and probably that many of Kedeshi .The dialects seem to mix Shan, English, Arabic, Farsi, Punjabi, Tagalog and a several other languages into a stew
M: Delan. Delan is a mix of English, German and Shan and is related to the Steel Cities language
N: Bulshul: Bulshul is related to Russian, and Shan
O: Irinar: This is similar to Bulshul and spoken in Irainar
P: Techoon: Techoon is related to Sebo Croatian and Shan. It is spoken in Banja Techoon and Vaki Korishni
Q: Raleyn and Regana speak a language that mixes French and Anglish with a hint of Aradian
R: Other lands
In general each of the other country in Midrea speaks its own language. Most of these are related to a mixture Shan dialects with some Anglish loan words. Old High Anglish is spoken everywhere and it is possible to find a speaker in all but the most remote places
A nice tribute to the art of David Trampier - I’ve mentioned my longstanding adoration for the art of David A. Trampier (‘DAT’) in this blog a few times. One early post features the iconic ‘Emirikol th...
4 days ago