|Flora and Fauna|
Daendroc has been a hotbed of activity over the past several millennia, dating from the Seraph to the Allorn Empire. That great empire ruled Daendroc for centuries until the Cataclysm and its aftermath saw the Varran and newly surging Ailor rise up and break away into their own nations, states, and cities. Eventually, the land found a balance between Altalar, Ailor, Orc, and Avanthar/Cielothar interests, but conflict has exploded over the area in the past several years to devastating effect. Daendroc is well known for its jungles, but it also possesses plains, swamps, and mountains across its surface with various plants and animals existing in this diverse landscape. The region is also known as a den of crime, which is not an unfair assessment, but the strengthening of Regalia’s grip on the region has steadily snuffed out the most prominent offenders. Daendroc is likely to remain a diverse land for the next century, but notably Nelfin are beginning to leave more frequently as the Ailor push in.
Daendroc has a lengthy history involving many Races and many separate periods of history. The earliest inhabitants were the Seraph, though their ruins in Daendroc are minimal and scattered across the region. The next to inhabit the area were the ancestors of the Varran people, the mysterious Javarindar. However, they were not there long before the Altalar arrived. The relations between the ancient Varran and the Altalar were abysmal, not helped by how Talea Sunvidal, the first empress and demi-god of the Altalar people, raised the Verdant Wall between Daendroc and Ithania. This did not solve the problems between the two Races, and in her later years, “The Flight of Reason” annihilated the Javarindar Empire. This war also scattered the Varran to the winds as they fled, were slaughtered, or were enslaved, forming the backbone of work for the coming centuries of Altalar supremacy. With Ithania and Daendroc having fallen to its power, the Allorn Empire began aggressive expansion into both areas. Altalar settlements covered the continent, mostly on the coastline but gradually proceeding inland as the millennia of the Consolidation took place. During this time, the Mazo, a diminutive, grey-skinned, black-haired humanoid bat-people, were found underground in the Alexandros Mountain Chain. They mostly avoided contact, and the Altalar respected their domain. Soon afterward, on the Ollean Peninsula in far northwestern Daendroc, the Altalar also encountered the Ochil. They were unnaturally pink and purple in skin tone, and highly humanoid, but possessed unique eyes and excessively slim, delicate limbs. They, too, were left alone, though unlike the crude Mazo, were quickly taken with Altalar society and entered it.
As the centuries wore on, though, Daendroc became more dangerous. Infighting between the various principalities became frequent, slave revolts grew in frequency as the Daendroque Ailor formed their identity, and the Varran gradually became aware of just how much they had lost compared to their noble past. Additionally, all Mazo were enslaved during the Grandening, and horrifically worked to death within a century. Their impact on the other slaves of the Altalar was profound though, and myths of giant bloodthirsty bat-men have remained until today. The Ochil were also enslaved and proved to be extremely adept in the art of love and useful since they could not reproduce with any other than their kind. Ultimately, the Altalar dominion over Daendroc came to an end with the Cataclysm and the Wildering. The Ailor revolted, and the Varran did as well, committing Ssfremma or “Great Freedom,” resulting in chaos across the continent. The Ochil died off at this point, already very few and often murdered by other slaves given their often favored position within Altalar households. Altalar principalities in the east fractured and collapsed one by one. In the west, the principalities first suffered calamity thanks to the machinations of the Kathar but were later further devastated when the Orcs arrived. The region later known as the Northern Elven Kingdoms survived, but was shaken by minor geographical shifts and grew distant from their southern brethren, living in mountain top cities above the jungles and open plains that dominated the land. They saw themselves as a true successor to the Allorn Empire, having escaped the devastation suffered by other regions at the hands of the Orcs, Kathar, and infighting among the principalities. For the next half-a-century, Daendroc was steeped in warfare. The Orcs fought themselves, the emerging Avanthar from the Ularen Plains, and the Altalar. The Ailor fought Altalar forces in the east, and the Altalar fought everyone desperate to hold on to what they had. This attempt was ultimately impossible and Altalar power in Daendroc was severely weakened in the end, with the Northern Elven Kingdoms turning toward recovery while other Altalar left for Hyarroc or Teled Methen.
Over the next century, there was minimal action in Daendroc. The Altalar of the Northern Elven Kingdoms attempted to seize old territory (mainly Solacia), only to find themselves rebuffed. Attempts to infiltrate north into Ithania were met with the equality of Ailor and Altalar, a situation they often despised. It is also during this time that distant northern territories of Daendroc were settled by exiled Ailor of the Ithanian culture. Rejected for their patriarchal impulses, the nations of Visois and later Andois rose from exile. There was a similar rise of nationhood in the east as over half a dozen Daendroque states rose while the Varran settled their great city-states. However, this lull was ultimately interrupted by the Regalian Empire as the second century began. Missionaries, embassies, and trade deals were the prelude to what was a massive Regalian invasion. With the fall of Ithania, most Ailor Daendroc states immediately surrendered, and minimal force was used upon them. Those who fought suffered humiliation at the hands of a more powerful and technologically advanced force. Ultimately, functioning from seats in Daenshore and Lusits, Regalian officials commanded the deforestation of the jungle coastline and promoted an increase in industry to feed the Regalian war machine. For half a century, this worked, but when the Regalian Pessimism hit, it hit Daendroc hard. Tens of thousands were immediately out of employment, turning to crime, and many of the eastern nations became discontent jewels in Regalia’s crown of vassals. Revolts and further issues were avoided by the Chrysant War and the rapid militarization that followed, which provided jobs and new work to these disquieted populaces. Unfortunately, the Ranger’s Crisis of 295 AC brought tension in the region to the highest levels ever. The poor Cielothar were deeply hurt, much to the anger and sadness of their self-appointed guardians, the Avanthar.
However, it was not revolt or conflict with the Avanthar that hit Daendroc first in the continent's now-infamous descent through hell over the past half a decade. Instead, it was the Elven War of 302 AC, a war that saw the Regalian Empire crush Nelfin forces within a month, with minor mop-up fighting taking nothing more than a few extra weeks. The new region of L’Elvellen was established, and the area was placed under military control. Then came the Humanum Legislation in 303 AC, freeing thousands of Nelfin slaves by making them equal to Ailor. Daendroque and Jendaskea landowners and their militias headed north to voice this displeasure at this new law by massacring Ithanians. Next, Andrieu Anahera rose up from the Daendroque states and attempted the Anahera Occupation of the Archipelago and the capital city of the Regalian Empire. In the months following his defeat, chaos reigned in the Daendroque states with a brief lull of cooperation prompted by the Bone Horror Crisis. Following this event, and with a level of control re-established, the Regalian Empire began to look for ways to punish this rebellious culture; this came in the form of the Long Elven War. Emperor Cedromar I ordered a retreat of the army protecting these nations, which allowed the then-raging horde of Avanthar at their doorstep to charge in, devastating the countryside. He then destroyed the Avanthar leadership, resulting in a large-scale civil war in the Ularen Plains.
But Daendroc was not done. After the large-scale war directed against the Altalar in Teled Methen during this conflict, the Long Elven War entered a new stage: the Dread Empire's emergence. For the first time in three centuries, the Kathar returned in force to Daendroc, landing on the western coastline and assaulting the Orcs and limited Altalar holdouts, while also devastating the Altalar states in southern Daen. They threatened to spill over into wider Daendroc, but the arrival of Altalar troops and Regalian forces helped to hold the line. Finally, near the end of 307 AC, the Dread Empire’s army began to retreat, and they ultimately returned en masse back to their homelands. These actions have damaged the various ecosystems across Daendroc, from the plains being set ablaze, to the jungles to the east and north being destroyed by cannon fire and logging while multiple river systems have become polluted with corpses and mining runoff. But the region is resilient and is already showing signs of recovery, especially in the north from those half-decade old conflicts. However, the population has been hit harder, and it will take time for it to rise to the heights it once was.
Daendroc is located northwest of the Regalian Archipelago, west of wider Corontium, south of Ithania, and north of Teled Methen. Its western coastline has the Western Calms while the eastern seaboard borders the Daendroc Sea. Daendroc is very geographically varying. In its far north, it is an arider and sparsely forested region within Andois and Visois. Then, there is the Verdant Wall, an enormous, ancient barrier of thick vegetation unnaturally high, and existing across the entire border Daendroc once had with the Javarindar Empire, and now largely the border held with Ithania. The Wall is almost impassable, though over the centuries, small sections of it have been broken through, and traveling along the coastline allows an easy route around them. Still, many choose to fully travel by water around the Wall, given its fearsome reputation of being filled with foreign diseases and monstrous creatures. South of the Wall is the belt of land holding the Haelstram Peninsula and Alexandros Mountain Chain (all renamed in recent years from Altalar names). The Peninsula holds jungled terrain, open marshland, and several major cities, many along the coastline. Continuing east, the Peninsula ends where the Alexandros Mountain Chain begins. These rock formations vary with three areas of significant height centered around Mount Marin, Mount Tella, Hook Peak, and over a dozen minor peaks across the region. Within this chain, valleys and open areas exist, holding Altalar villages and cities, the most notable of these being Lenna Bas, which is now the regional capital for all of L’Elvellen. There are also dense areas of jungle, solely navigable by single well-traveled routes puncturing the darkness. The Mountain Chain then gradually tapers off the closer it gets to the Daendroc Sea, resulting in a more open flat land with some light brush. The final mountain exists within a dozen miles of the small but notable Lusits Gulf, located next to the powerhouse trading state and the Ithanian Hivre of San-Lume.
Proceeding south along the eastern coastline, the Daendroque states' land is jungled terrain, which has been peeled back over the years. However, lesser-known but just as treacherous are large stretches of wetlands and swamps resulting from the free and miles-long rivers that come out of the Alexandros Mountain Chain and head south into wider Daendroc. One of these regions is the Ularen Plains, which extend up from southern Daen into this region through the Ularen Corridor, the shortest stretch of the Plains that exists between the state of Basqulierra and the Talaï Sea, and is dominated by an Avanthar presence. Because of the rivers mentioned above, the Plains are known to possess brush and trees. However, the vast majority of the region remains covered in plains. The western coastline of Daendroc has jungles like the eastern coastline but is also dominated by an Orc presence and their powerful Pōlorcs. Additionally, there are several offshore islands that most count as being part of Daendroc, which are far more humid than the lands around them, likely thanks to winds blown down from tropical Fendarfelle. The three most notable form the nation of Talea Scansä, isolationist, and wholly dedicated to the first Allorn Empress. Finally, there is the southwestern corner of Daendroc. Here, several of the cities that make up Talant Ilha Faial exist next to Orcish neighbors, while the nation of Ol Lavei Tyrai sits entirely inland next to the inland saltwater sea of the Talaï Sea. Tyrai is covered in swamps and marshes and is notable for much of its coastline against the Sea being an extreme version of this terrain. Known as the Swamps of the Forgotten, thousands have died here over the millennia, sucked down by quicksand and mud, before drowning in the water. However, these dark estuaries also perfectly preserve the bodies, and some are known to return to the surface due to shifting tides and water or can be recovered though the task is quite dangerous. As for the weather of Daendroc, it is heavily varied, mainly due to the different geographies present across the area. Rain is rare in the far north, and the core of the Ularen Plains found on the continent, but the phenomena does occur in the Alexandros Mountain Chain and roll in from the Daendroc Sea into the jungles of the east. Additionally, light rains can occur on the western coast as well.
Daendroc, as one can imagine, is highly diverse in its flora thanks to the variety of climates located across the continent. However, they are often the same as those found in Teled Methen due to their long history of Altalar colonization. Lorwick Thistle grows along the eastern coastlines in the various cities but also in the wild, while the Poppy is grown in great plantations and forms a significant part of Daendroc’s exports to foreign continents, though most commonly in its refined form as Opium. Another export produced from local plant life is Tabacca, a substance made popular thanks to former Emperor Cedromar. Away from these regions in the jungles, the continent is often associated with great Allú'tornë and Areü’lleí-oná trees standing at varying heights. In the waters around Daendroc--and indeed Daen as a whole--grows Corpse Weed, clogging waters with its thick vegetation growth. Another notable feature of Daendroc’s flora is that it is being peeled away by Regalian-led logging expeditions in the jungles in both the east and north. While many doubt these operations will wreck the ecosystem, their continued existence, coupled with the many wars fought here, has had Yanar and their allies concerned.
Daendroc has a broad array of fauna across its many ecosystems, some domesticated while others are not. The jungles hold Jungle Veneerions, a plant-eating bat surrounded by superstition, as well as Elven Longears, Great Jungle Cats, and several other carnivorous felines. The cities contain Common Gulls and Sea Pidaleers wheeling overhead while Daendroc Weasels and Green Lizards skitter at the edges of society. The plains hold many animals like those in other regions, but also the Wooly White Bison and Bathogg, should they have escaped from their pens and Orcish keepers. Finally, in the seas and streams, live a variety of aquatic lifeforms, from the magnificent Air Pocket Whale of the Western Calms to the diminutive but innumerable Barnacle Trout in the Daendroc Sea.
Politics and Demographics
Daendroc is highly politically diverse, though the imperial might of the Regalian Empire has been particularly strong the past several years. The Altalar principalities in the southwest are independent and aligned with their brother and sister states in Teled Methen and Hyarroc more than any other power in Daendroc. While once they were aligned with those provinces in the north, the collapse of the Northern Elven Kingdoms from the Elven War of 302 AC into the territories of L’Elvellen and the Minaal Protectorate have largely severed the close ties held to these states. Talea Scansä, meanwhile, has always been isolationist and extremely pro-Altalar purity, loathing the collapse of the last distant bastion of Altalar control in Daen (save for themselves). The Protectorate, too, is now inhabited by embittered Altalar who frequently revolt against the Regalian domination of their current state (though these rebellions have yet to produce any useful results for anyone). As for the central regions, the Avanths are primarily in recovery mode after the scouring of their leadership by the Imperial Dragon in 306 AC. On the eastern coastline, though, there is a stark mix of anti- and pro-Regalian territories. The majority of the Varran city-states sit in independence from the Regalian Empire, even outright aggression against its vessels in the area. At the same time, Ailor-dominated regions (most cowed by Imperial power, also in 306 AC) remain loyal to the Regalians and try to ensure imperial providence remains in the area. They are aided by their Orc allies from the eastern coastline, who’s bastions against majority Elven territory now only expand with the chaos of warfare from the past decade. Overall, the Regalian Empire has majority control of the continent, and their grip is firm, albeit only due to several factors that could easily be reversed.
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Lenna Bas was once the capital to the Kingdom of Thellassia, a leader in the Northern Elven Kingdoms. However, when it fell to the Regalians in the Elven War of 302 AC, it became the regional capital of the Regalian government, which now rules over L’Evellen. The city is almost unrecognizable to Altalar, as artwork has been done away with, modified expertly into Imperial-styled structures and public works. Great banners representing the Regalian Empire and House Kade decorate the streets, and a large number of new Anglian Ailor families have moved into the city, with many Altalar having since been driven out by force or choice. They are supported by Ithanian nobles and bureaucrats who swept into the whole region to rule its various administrative centers (including Lenna Bas). Every year on the 29th of June, a spectacular parade is held in honor of the city's capitulation with the Regalian military proudly in attendance and participating. The city is directly ruled by Section Captains, each controlling an area of the city, who all report to the regional chair general who, at this time, is also L’Elvellen’s governor.
Windgarden is the last major Cielothar settlement in the entire world. It was initially nothing more than a small, simple town at the edge of the Ularen Corridor and Caslin, but in the aftermath of the Ranger Crisis, its population exploded as it lay on one of the larger Trails of the Fallen Star, the routes which took the Cielothar south. Horrified by what they saw, the Cielothar took it upon themselves to actively protect and promote Cielothar culture with the aid of the local Avanthar. It has remained a significant junction point between these two Races, the local Yanar and foreign traders, and supporting trade ties between Teled Methen and Daendroc. The large village is centered around a colossal Windmill but has eight major windmills around it as well. There are many animals on display, from domesticated farm animals to more feral creatures, the Cielothar are in the process of taming, such as Nimbinoldors. There are also vibrant market days held biweekly, where caravans of goods come out, and barter trade is conducted, except between outsider traders as many of them use Regals and other hard currencies.
- Some suspect that Daendroc was once far different than today, more arid and accommodating to Warran Varran. These same people claim that the Elven artifact known as Valei was then used to push this terrain back at the end of the Varran-Elven War.
- The Ularen Plains is a territory technically made up of several separate sections, such as the Selldr’velle Steppes and the Juvvondor Plains. However, these Avanthar distinctions of terrain are ignored by outsiders, who use the term the Altalar gave to the region centuries ago.