|Flora and Fauna|
Farah’deen is an ancient landmass home to the Qadir Race for centuries, even for over a century after the Cataclysm. That ended with the rise of the Songaskia in the wake of a devastating event that shattered the Qadir’s dominance. In the years following this, they formed their own political body and came to dominate much of inhabited Farah’deen either in physical territory or in politics. Recently, there have been many battles fought in Farah’deen’s shifting sands resulting in large-scale destruction of these inhabited spaces. Farah’deen’s sands, however, remain as vast as ever and unaffected by all of these conflicts.
Farah’deen is an ancient land, but curiously, no Seraph ruins are known to exist on the continent. Some imagine what ruins do exist were worn away to dust by the desert storms millennia ago, or the ruins are now buried under the ever-shifting dunes. The first Race known to inhabit Farah’deen were the Qadir, whose early years are unknown even to the Allorn Empire. Contact was only made later when the Qadir had expanded themselves out to the coastline from their continent’s rugged interior. Most of the general public of Aloria think Farah’deen hasn’t changed in centuries, or the Cataclysm made the region into a desert, but both of these statements are inaccurate. In the past, Farah’deen was arid, but it was nowhere near as harsh as it is today, with expanses of dry but arable plains, several notable rivers alongside the deserts which would eventually largely consume the continent. Oases in these deserts were also more common. Overall, life was hard but not the daily life or death struggle Unionist Ailor often use to help find some sort of bond with the ancient Qadir Race today. In this ancient past, the Sariyd Empire rose to encompass coastal, inland and offshore holdings in Farah’deen and nearby southern Essalonia. Many assume the Sariyd controlled all of Farah’deen, but in fact, they were simply the largest state in a myriad of smaller city-state and nations which the Empire respected. Some were their allies, and over time, they absorbed states peacefully; rarely did the Sariyd Empire attack anyone. This state of affairs lasted for centuries on Farah’deen, far removed from the activities of the Allorn Empire even though Qadir did travel to Daen.
Some of these Qadir were guests of Altalar leaders interested in the mechanical marvels the far-off Race could produce, but the majority were slaves. The Allorn Empire targeted and swept away whole villages, making sure the settlements were unaffiliated with any local powers and even when they were, they made sure it was a weak one. In the years before the Cataclysm, the Sariyd Empire stepped up their defense of these minor nations, but it did not matter as, within a decade or so, the Cataclysm and the Wildering broke the Allorn Empire. Farah’deen itself did not change overall, though its systems of coastal travel were greatly disrupted and several small landforms were consumed by the sea. As a result, the Qadir looked inward and increased their inland trade routes which also pushed them into contact with an old enemy: the Desert Dragons. These lifeforms, of varying appearance and shape according to the different species, were the last Dragons left in Aloria though it is unlikely the Qadir were fully aware of this fact. In their ancient past, they had contended with the Dragons, but as they had grown and developed, they had learned how to avoid or trap the beasts. But the Black Desert Dragons were no longer content to sit at the sidelines and suffer a Race who aggravated them. They began to harass the Qadir, who bore this for quite some time, but finally, one of the Sariyd Empire’s leaders had had enough. He commissioned a great Dragon-killing machine and shared the design with other city leaders, which began the course of the Red Hunt which would eventually lead the Qadir to ruin.
Hundreds of Dragons fell to the Dragonkillers, the weapon designed during this time, and by around 100 AC, most of the remaining Desert Dragons fled into the deep interior of the continent to Kouriyasui, their most sacred place. The Qadir pursued them, but this joy soon turned to ashes, or rather sand, in their mouths as the Great Storm began. It erupted and spread across the whole of Farah’deen in a matter of days, consuming cities, towns, and killing millions of Qadir. Whole valleys were ripped from the earth, animals perished, and when it was all over, Farah’deen was a harsher landscape than it had been before. Much of the arable land had been consumed by the sands, which now made up new and unexplored deserts. The Sariyd Empire was also dead, its capital wiped out of existence with even its ruins being lost. In the months following the event, those Qadir that survived came crawling out and were barely on their feet when they were off of them again, forced to kneel before a new regional power, the Songaskia and what few Desert Dragons survived. The Songaskia were similar to the Qadir but were born of Dragons, taught in their ways of manipulating the elements and their appearance. They surged across Sariyd’s former territory, capturing cities and band of Qadir roaming the desert over the coming decades. The Songaskians proved to be a different beast than the Sariyd Empire as they immediately sought to enslave their captors and spoke of the glory of the Sun, how its blinding might had made them and the world around them in an image benefitting the Songaskian people.
Over the following century and a half, the Songaskians would form the Songaskian Masaya, a vast body that claimed thousands of miles of Farah’deen for itself. The nation would also come to halt their slavery of the Qadir, instead turning toward co-operation and more subversive methods of maintaining control over the Qadir in their territory. The Songaskian religion, Shambala, was also extensively spread but it saw an irritating metamorphosis when it reached the north of the continent. Of the three states found there, Hadravia was strangely of an Ailor-majority, but they took to the style of worship with devotion. The Masaya, upon learning of this, was furious, but as it looked out to the world beyond their shores they came to realize, the many other Races which existed in the world, as well as the prevalence of the Ailor and the Regalian Empire. Over time, the Masaya incited the Ailor region of Hadravia’s neighbors, Saruhanna and Malifant, to war with them while also engaging with the Qadir-run nation of Califaera with its own colony and eventually, an internal insurgency movement. Additionally, the Songaskians found their expansion up the Almina Peninsula thwarted by the Qadir city of Mooriye as well as the Territory of Al-Alus, mainly populated by Qadir. The Masaya waged wars and battles against these states but did not break them, resulting in their nation turning inward to strengthen themselves and their armies. Farah’deen was silent for a number of years, only the occasional battle occurring in the Peninsula or in the north as the Masaya watched Regalia watching them, playing a cold war game where neither side had an advantage. This ultimately changed in 302 AC.
The First Songaskian War saw large-scale battle by Songaskian Masaya troops against Regalian forces both on and off of Farah’deen. In the aftermath, the Masaya saw great political upheaval in its capital city as the Massya died and his rightful successor survived a coup by his uncle by fleeing to Regalia. Farah’deen’s nations then rebuilt from the damage they had suffered in the war and ultimately, continued to recover in the aftermath of the Bone Horror Crisis which struck their continent. The next major conflict was the Second Songaskian War in 305 AC, which saw Regalia take the fight to the Songaskians in fronts of land and sea. While the result was ultimately mixed, the young Massya returned to take up the efforts in leading the all-out insurrection against his uncle, which resulted in the Songaskian Civil War. The War ended with the uncle leaving for the eastern coastline of the continent and those few who supported him following suit. The Songaskian Masaya now rebuilds once again and has remained silent on the world stage, though with the appearance of the Regalian Dragon Emperor and other draconic happenings in the foreign nation, Songaskians once again leave Farah'deen to explore these events and overall, have grown much friendlier with the Regalian Empire. Other nearby nations have similarly remained quiet as they too rebuild and recover from the conflicts of the last few years. However, it is important to mention all of these bodies only take up one strip of land along Farah’deen’s northwestern coastline, with thousands of miles of deserts and mountains stretching onward for as far as the eye can see with no civilization known to exist in these regions. In that respect, Farah’deen is still a mysterious and perilous continent.
Farah’deen is found to the far southeast of the Regalian Archipelago, southeast of Essalonia and directly east of Oldt Era. It has the Yellow Sea to the north, the Ceardian Sea to the northwest and the Southern Unknown to the west and southwest. The continent displays a wide array of warm climates, from scorching and cracked earth flats to dynamic majestic yellow dunes of sand. Some of these dunes are also colored various shades of red, most believing it to be the remains of Ferr-Iron deposits or other minerals but some believing they are sites where Dragon blood was spewed. The weather in Farah’deen is also varying degrees of warm, from warm to scorching with rainfall only occurring along the coastlines and in northern Farah’deen. The most common form of weather are the sandstorms which blow up and bear down on anything in their paths before dissipating, some lasting mere minutes while the longest next to the Great Storm was a front called the Lesser Storm, which lasted two days. However, much of the continent has also not been explored, and when describing its geography, all references will refer to a stretch of land along the continent’s north, northwestern and western sides as can be seen on any Regalian map. In the south of this region and at the doorstep of the thick Almina Peninsula sits the atrociously named Desert of Ouelessaboulefassabagougou. The desert represents the end of the Masaya’s formal territory, as the cracked earth flats of Mooriye are only owned in name since the city that rules them has yet to fall. The remainder of the Peninsula is a combination of ridges, small mountain ranges, and minor deserts. North of this sits the Desert of Banforakoro which sits between Dayirawia Bay and the Banfo Mountain Range, a colossal range of dark brown rocks that stretches into Farah’deen’s interior. Above this is the Desert of Khgargoro, a region considered the most “pleasant” of the deserts given that its numerous oases provide water to travelers and the local settlements.
Next, jutting out into the water, is the bulged Baouele-Mbene Peninsula which holds the Desert of Khatil-assatola. The eastern ranges of this desert hold the capital city of the Songaskian Masaya, Korbamakora while the western coastline also possesses the most Pearl Cities out of the other regions of Farah’deen. These cities are known for their great white circular walls, hence the term “Pearl City” and were former fortresses of the Sariyd Empire before being conquered by the Songaskians The Peninsula is also the most arable, with a series of sparse, dry grass plains peppering the coastal areas. Many have since been converted into cropland for Opium and other local essentials. The Desert of Bouinaptoii rests above while, to the northeast, the final expanse of desert exists, the Desert of Idalbile. The highly defended and heavily restricted city of Kouriyasui rests near the border of these last two deserts and can only be entered by Songaskians unless the Massya or his councilors have given special permission. As a result, the Regalian Empire has no idea of what is inside of the city, the young Massya denying them entry politely on at least one public occasion. The Desert of Idalbile’s northern front borders the Juguou Sea, essentially one large saltwater lake. In fact, the Sea is borderline lethal if it is ingested by Human Races, likely due to a number of noxious chemical vents at the bottom of the water. Northern Farah’deen is also home to the three Minor Nations of Hadravia, Saruhanna and Malifant, the latter two directly bordering the Sea. Malifant is home to a particular rock formation known as the Mali Mesas, a series of complexly formed and beautiful mesas in a deep red color. The only other land feature notable on Farah’deen is the Juhuou Lakes, a series of four smaller similarly toxic saltwater lakes at the eastern edge of the Desert of Idalbile. As for the edges of the continent at large, Farah’deen’s coastline comes in only two varies desert or rocky. Some of the rocky regions have cliffs, making them particularly hard to reach. Much of Farah’deen’s western coastline is also dominated by forts and Pearl Cities, with specific and well-traveled routes leading to each in order to help trade and maintain security on the harsh continent.
Farah’deen flora is, unsurprisingly, extremely lacking in diversity. Despite the massive size of the continent, the Great Storm proved unable to shake only a scant few plants which then went on to be spread across the continent by trade and natural processes. The most well known is likely the Dragonflower, a flower commonly known to Regalians for uses in a variety of spicy Daendroque meals. The flower spread to the distant region of Daen before the Cataclysm, where it has survived ever since. In Farah’deen, it remains a part of the local culinary customs. Another plant known to have spread beyond the borders of Farah’deen is Nightshade, which originated on the continent as a tool of politics among the Songaskian upper class. The Roughvine is also a plant capable of surviving on Farah'deen, well known to Qadir and Songaskian society for its ability to rapidly spread across a surface. They are most populous in and around the Pearl Cities of the western coastline where workers constantly need to remove them in order to prevent their spread into the city as well as their staining presence on the pristine white walls.
Farah’deen, despite the devastation of the Great Storm, has a variety of wildlife either hardy enough to resist the event or survived by mysterious means. Some of the most well known are the Givrais Thunder Bird and Saruhanna Sand Ant respectively due to the recent exposure given to northern Farah’deen, where both species live. One is a multi-colored bird seemingly attracted to lightning strikes while the other is a large and silver colored species of ant native to southern Saruhanna. Another native creature is the Bakhshuna Jamal, a humped and skinny quadruped animal of burden known for a long neck, ability to walk on the sand with the ability to retain water for days, if not weeks. On the smaller side is the creepy Ekhton Rafiqua, an arachnid creature which populates the dark areas of many a city and Hadritya. On the larger side, however, there are animals such as the Farah’deen Dune Worm, a great tunneling worm which erupts out of the desert sands; and the Gargantuan Stoneback Phant, a massive lumbering beast of the desert who can drain an entire oasis dry to sate their bodies’ vast needs.
Politics and Demographics
Farah’deen is dominated by one power: the Songaskian Masaya. They claim an enormous amount of territory and technically the whole of Farah’deen, but their settlements are mainly found in the northwest of the continent. They are opposed in this by Mooriye, who remains unconquered even after almost 200 years of attempts; Al-Alus, which is a Qadir territory allied with Regalia; and then Hadravia, a nation of mostly Ailor who has ties back to the Regalian Empire through racial bonds. On the Masaya’s side are the two nations of Saruhanna and Malifant, neighbors to each other but very different. These two sides have warred against each other at various times, but in recent years did so explosively to the detriment of all. The Masaya itself is also undergoing a change as its leader has proven himself a moderate, willing to entertain Regalian nobles and other figures from his time in exile, but still not calling out for anything so drastic as an alliance. Separate from all of these formal states sit almost 100 Hadrityas, Qadir fortresses which became the new home of their Race after the Great Storm and attack by the Songaskians. The Hadrityas often portray themselves as neutral though, with time, most have come to side with Regalia against the Songaskians, unable to forgive the Race for their Masaya or the Great Storm perpetrated by their ancestors. Those in territories aligned with Regalia embrace their allies, but in other locations more loyal to the Masaya, the Hadrityas are more subtle and diplomatic in their allegiance. Currently, the continent is quiet, all sides rebuilding themselves, and only time will tell if war will break out again.
City of Mooriye
- Click here for more information on the City of Mooriye
- Click here for more information on Korbamakora
Watif Esballah Castle
Watif Esballah Castle is a fortress which became much better known to the wider world following the First Songaskian War and the Hadravian War. The Castle was a linchpin in the Malifant supply lines running throughout the region and thus soon came under Regalian attack. The fortress was seized and then held through an attempt to reclaim it by the enemy. At the end of the war, the Castle was returned to the hands of the Malifant people, but it has scarcely been occupied since that time, a sand-worn monument to the war, still bearing scars of the conflict. The Castle was built out of an old Hadritya Songaskians loyal to the Songaskian Masaya who “convinced” the Qadir to leave. As a result, the structure is a union of Qadir and Songaskian architecture design principles; Qadir cogs and gear designs are suppressed - but still discoverable - and hidden away in the corners of the fortress. The Castle also has an underground well and a small Sun Temple, which once made use of Qadir technology to help redirect and focus light into the chamber during the daytime. The Regalian defenders tore it all out and made the Temple a chapel instead, the Unionist symbols still remaining as dust collects on them all.
The Mali Messas are a series of unique formations found in northern Farah’deen to the east of the Juguou Sea. How they were created is anyone’s guess, but many of the local towns of Malifant are built within their shadow or on top of their flat surfaces. The landforms offer a variety of formations, and much of the rock found in them is red. The locals view the formations as being blessed by the Sun, baked by its rays in the same way as pale Ailor skin. The majority of the formations are large flat surfaces jutting up out of the landscape with high cliffs leading up to dry, sparse brush tops. Others are more narrow, eroded by time into a single thick pillar with a hill of sand surrounding the base. A rare few have natural arches, caused by irregular erosion which opens up the middle or has worn down a single formation into two columns joined only at the top. They are littered with altars to the Sun, some of which are small and simple and others which are decorated with Gold and Amberite. Some have also taken to painting alcoves and the tops of the Messas with white paint, in a reflection of the tattoos most Songaskian religious figures wear on their bodies. This artwork is often simple, but highly symbolic with abstract aspects meant to convey a variety of ideas.
The Shadow Canyon is a dark, cold chasm in Hadravia feared throughout Aloria. This cut in the earth was discovered in 186 AC and the first expeditions into its caves and depths began almost immediately the same year. Barely half of the first expedition team returned, and they did so with terrifying tales of blind but ferocious underground monsters, all horrible in appearance and in intense competition with each other. For a time, some thought they were just Dakkar cut off from the world, but as time went on another theory developed: hallucinogenic gas. A Dwarf who accompanied one of the later exploration teams reported none of the same horrors as the rest and instead only detected an odd smell. He was suddenly bowled over by his fleeing companions and knocked unconscious. He heard no bestial noises or crashing rocks, just Human screams and running feet. Regardless of the truth, the Canyon became infamous to the sun-loving locals who turned it into a place of ultimate trial as the sun only touches the floor of the narrow, vertical Canyon for a minute or two each day. The formation is a mile long with a sloped floor that leads in and out of the location. At its deepest point (several dozen meters down at the middle) exists a honeycomb of cave entrances, outside of which is written in all three major regional languages “Enter to test your devotion to the Sun, illuminate the darkness found within in honor of Its name.” No one has yet to return successfully from even one of the expeditions launched, either the whole group vanishing or only stragglers emerging with the same manic tales of beasts. A Dwarf has yet to be used again in any of these missions either.
- Ancient Qadir myth speaks of sand demons; beings dressed in ragged bands of cloth who vanish with the shifting dunes and whom control the sands seemingly on a whim. Some believe these are Dragons in humanoid form while others believe them to be part of a Race located deep in Farah'deen.
- The uncle of the current Massya is actually in a very unique and possibly dangerous position. From his isolated, far eastern province, he is far closer to the Sihai Empire who were his former allies than he was when he was back in the core of the Songaskian Masaya.
- The slave-warrior-based School of Melaak finds its home in Farah'deen, and has only spread to areas of southern Essalonia, into the areas held by Masaya-loyal Songaskians.