The Ithanian Hivres are former Altalar principalities that largely fell into Ailor hands after the regional Altalar freed their Ailor slaves rather than see their own lives cut short, and all they had built dismantled in the chaotic final decades of the Allorn Empire. Today, each Hivre is equal in the Ithanian mind to a kingdom, but in practice, the outside world sees the regions as provinces beneath the Ithanian Sovereignty (which is not an undue assessment). They vary in size as well as terrain, but all are loyal to the Regalian Empire and united in obedience, faith, and eccentricity.
Hivre Pays du Nord
Hivre Pays du Nord is perhaps the most isolated Hivre, both politically and geographically. The region is a mix of open, windswept taiga and plains with a cold wind blowing in the northeast, while warm air comes in from the northwest, supporting the growth of large, wild forests. The territory was always ignored by the Altalar and was once much larger, connected to a region now sunken under the sea which likely held the last battle of the Fifth Void Invasion. The region’s northern coastline today only holds a series of rugged cliffs, and rubble in the water, a sign of the destructive forces of the Cataclysm. The Hivre is lightly populated and is home to sparse Velheim groups who chose to settle the area. This has been awkward for most other Hivres, as the regional Ithanians and Altalar are fairly neutral if not positive when it comes to the Velheim as a result of living close to them for so long. Pays du Nord is also known for its fauna, possessing a broad spectrum of the animals that exist across Ithania thriving within its borders.
Hivre Agennes-sur-Livres is best known to the outside world for its cosmopolitan nature and heavy scholarly focus. The region’s terrain is enormously varied, with dense mountains in the south, forests in the east, and dense riverlands across much of the rest of the continent. These are a result of La Livres: a long and winding source of freshwater from the southern mountains to the northern coastline that has several tributaries such as La Penne, La Encre, and La Signet. As a result, there are a number of swamps and marshes across the center and southeast of the Hivre populated sparsely or by coastal urban regions. In ancient times, the city of Agenn’tren was the domain of scholarly Altalar, who collected vast knowledge from expeditions and journeys up into the northern areas of Aloria over the centuries of the Allorn Empire. When the Cataclysm came and the Ailor rose to greater prominence, Agenn’tren was renamed Agennes and the Hivre that based itself out of the city became similarly focused on the knowledge of the past. However, it can also be said that the region trains some of the greatest propagandists who ever lived rather than scholars, as the Altalar tradition remains strong in the region. The history of the Asha, Velheim and other Nelfin Races are often rejected in favor of recording cultural history and of supporting the claims of Ailor, if not Ithanian Ailor, supremacy. Despite this, the great libraries and record halls of centers like Ithannsia Osibralla and Academie du Éducation dans l'Histoire du Monde still hold records from the older Altalar tradition of hoarding all knowledge, no matter its origin point.
Hivre Graix-Boisse is a region of low population and much like Hivre Pays du Nord, is a political outlier in the Ithanian Sovereignty due to those that live there. The Hivre’s history is brief, as half of it once sat underwater and rose up with the Cataclysm with the existing principality expanding out to cover the region over a period of decades. In its early years it was a target of Velheim raiding, but when Highland Ailor moved to the region from Gallovia, they helped reinforce the local defenses. Since then, Dunbrae and Ithanians have lived together in relative harmony. The region has a dense forest covering its eastern reaches, and thanks to the same mountains that sit to the south of Hivre Agennes-sur-Livres, multiple rivers down from these formations provide freshwater for the vast grain fields found in the western half of the Hivre.
Hivre Castellajoux is one of the largest Ithanian Hivres, and holds a diverse array of terrain alongside staunch Ithanian values. Formerly a host of lesser principalities, the centralization of Ailor control in the region brought them all together to make up this core Hivre of Ithanian territory. The region is defined by its geography, “Les Laques des Jeux” or “The Game Lakes”, which are a series of freshwater lakes that cover the region’s eastern corner, which eventually feed out and empty into the Mer d’Prospérité. The territory around these lakes are covered in estates of the Ithanian wealthy, which possess vineyards for miles around and support lavish social events and celebrations of sport. These often express themselves in the “Expression d’eau”, or displays of water athletics which occur almost in the background between men as women gather and socialize. The other notable feature of Hive Castellajoux are its castles, or rather fortresses, many dating back to the era of the Allorn Empire and once served to ensure their conquest of the native Asha. Millennia later, and most of these castles were expanded into cities, and now sit as part of their defensive fortifications, though a few were converted into luxurious dwellings. These dwellings are still occupied by Altalar though a number also sit in Ailor control. The rest of the Hivre is sparse woodlands, some swamps, and rocky terrain ill-suited to cultivation, with the eastern vineyards employing well over half the slave and lower-class populations.
Hivre Bressuivre is a region playing catch up to its neighbors, and is a fading star in Ithanian society, never an ideal scenario. The territory was always known for its natural beauty and gorgeous, semi-tropical coastlines. The Altalar built grand inland cities and beautiful estates along the coastline, but when the Ailor were uplifted, many of these cities remained, becoming centers of industry to exploit those natural resources, while the coastline was more heavily developed into the first resort cities. For decades, these cities thrived as the surrounding terrain provided for the local needs while also ensuring the continued prosperity of all. Various types of stones and gemstones came from the mountains, as well as with exotic, unique, and vast amounts of frogs, Snails, and other aquatic creatures for consumption from the marshes, while the forests help supply wood and other hunted animals. As a result of all of this material wealth uniting in the coastal cities, the region was often labelled the “party capital” of Aloria by youth culture in Daen, Corontium, and even some areas of The North Belt. But then the Regalian Pessimism came, as did an economic shock when the ecological destruction of the Bressuivre wilderness became too much. Almost overnight, the resort cities were forced to pull back from their extremes and invest more heavily in broader, easier to acquire experiences and luxuries. This gave other regions an opening, and while today the resort cities still thrive, they are now much more affordable to the general populace of Ithania as the wealthy find other places to vacation. The territory’s inland terrain of mountains, forests, and swamps has also slowly recovered, and so while a faded star, the Hivre is not a disaster story.
Considered the most extravagant and luxurious Hivre of all, Hivre Monèrde developed to fill the gap caused by the stumbling of Hivre Bressuivre by attracting the young and making the Monèrde people their new best friend. Before this time, the large island was only lightly populated, lacking in development save several coastal mining ventures on the region’s northern coastline, extracting Lapis Lazuli, Pattara, Pyrignis and other valuables, most of which the Ithanian Ailor and Altalar had little use for. However, clients elsewhere had uses for them, and so over time, Monèrde’s wealth grew enormous. Seeing their own semi-tropical to downright tropical coastline available, a cabal of young merchants took a chance and it has certainly paid off. The Hivre is now one of the most frequently traveled areas of Ithania, with visitors from as far away as Teled Methen and Essalonia journeying to experience its parties and activities. The Ithanian experience is fully captured here, but so is the Ithanian expensive taste, and so far, only the upper class and lucky few members of the middle class are able to experience the region’s delights. All sorts of cuisine are prepared for consumption, all sorts of clothing is available to be worn once and then practically thrown away, and the settings of these parties alongside hours of relaxing by broad white-sand beaches are stunning. But, the Hivre has a dark side, exemplified by the reports of Alais Vampires lurking among the population alongside debauched cults, though to some, this simply all adds to the allure. Still, in recent years, the reports of Dread-loyal Kathar hiding in the local populations have rung alarms, but in the wake of the Dread War, many Ithanians have gone back to ignoring the possible problems with their party paradise.
Hivre Carnigoux de Foix
Hivre Carnigoux de Foix is easily and correctly considered by many to be the most populous and important Hivre in Ithania, long rivaling the importance given to Hivre Shevaix across the Sea of Prosperity. The region is a comfortable mix of mountains, sweeping plains and small forests, fed by several minor rivers, all sitting against the Sea to their northeast and the Carnesse Channel in its southwest. It was here that the Altalar governance of the region began, and while eventually many others would spread across the region, what became Hivre Carnigoux de Foix was still the seat of the oldest cities, and the most expansive plantations. Later, when the Ailor took political control, this state of affairs did not change, instead only strengthening as the princess of Bijoux-vert-plusse-rême was elected as the first Sovereign. Today, the Hivre continues to serve the political heartland of Ithania, its vast cities only matched by the vast expanses of plantations producing a full range of goods for consumption. The region is also famed nowadays for possessing the brief capital of the Regalian Empire, Joyau-vert du Nord, within its borders. This has seen religious-based tourism markedly increase over the past several years, and Hivre Carnigoux de Foix remains a bastion of The Priscelle Sect.
Hivre San-Luim would likely be considered a Ol Lavei if Ithania had remained dominated by the Altalar, but as it has not, the scope and scale of the Hivre has evolved beyond its original purpose. In the beginning, the region San-Luim now dominates was deemed inhospitable for Altalar construction, but as the Lesarra emerged, and the Empire expanded throughout the Consolidation, they returned to the problem. The region’s mountains, misty and vaulted high into the air, were tamed, and their surrounding lands were made into plantation spaces and hunting grounds for the elite. These mountain cities expanded from their original small structures over the centuries, evolving from simple scholarly retreats and into scholarly palaces, linked together by vast stone walkways. When the Ailor ascended, these great cities further evolved and descended down the peaks, while the lands around them remained intact. Today, Hivre San-Luim is said to “sit on light” as every full moon, the lunar light practically sets the mountainous cloud cover and mists to glow, thus making it seem like the region’s cities are set in the clouds. Many have called it a sister region to Ol Lavei Fyror, despite geographic and population differences.
Hivre Shevaix, called the workhorse of Ithania, has the most economic importance to the entire Sovereignty. It was once rather insignificant, as the Sea of Prosperity it now sits on was much smaller, and much more like a lake. Details of this are sketchy, but with the Cataclysm, suddenly the sea expanded and the capital found itself trapped on an island. In these early years, thousands starved and died, particularly in La Portée du Paradis or as it is known today, Havenreach. But gradually as the Ithanians pulled themselves out of their suffering, Havenreach took advantage of its central positioning. Its lands might have been consumed by the sea, but now, its people would dominate said sea. Citizens of the Hivre were thus some of the first Ithanians explorers and merchants, for when they reached the Pui-Luiz Channel, they freely pushed beyond to seek information about the wider world. Today, Hivre Shevaix dominates Ithanian trade, monopolizing transportation in the Sea and its fishermen are also experts of the various seasonal fish that swim in and out of the region.
Hivre Donaire is a very strange place, once quite larger than it is today, but is ruled by the odd quirk of its generosity. Where this custom began is unclear, but the story goes that when the Ailor ruling families ascended in the region, they granted their former Altalar overlords many gifts of thanks. In truth, many of these “gifts” were simply Altalar property being returned, or rather affirmed, to their owners in a symbolic gesture. The concept has persisted until this day. Donaire’s generosity saw its leaders give away major land grants to found what are now called Hivres Ser-la-Mér, Ser-la-Montagne, Fume, and Ratvois, but most would again point out these regions hold the same borders as former Altalar principalities, and many of those who were given them were former rulers of these lands (who later died or whose families died off, leaving Ailor in control). Regardless, this charitable spirit has manifested itself elsewhere, and Donaire is perhaps the least wealthy of all the Hivres due to its lavish gifts to others, and focus on aiding the poor. This even extends to the so-called lesser Races, the slaves, on the Day of Gifts once a year where slave owners grant one simple boon of those they own. Donaire is thus considered somewhat of a laughing stock by the other Hivres, but as they haven’t had a major slave rebellion in over a century, nor an uprising by the general peasant populace, it’s arguable that their active charity has worked.
Hivre Ser-la-Mér is one of the least populated Ithanian Hivres alongside its geographic sister to the south, Hivre Ser-la-Montagne. Both regions were Altalar principalities for centuries, and in the case of Ser-la-Mér, was heavily populated by Fin’ullen. Following the rise of Donaire, the region’s remaining Altalar nobility were “gifted” their land back but Ithanian Ailor soon took control. Still, Ser-la-Mér has maintained its dominant Fin’ullen presence, and today the region is primarily a site for their society to thrive in what most describe as a pseudo-Talant. It is also a location of heavy militarism, having long trained the Ithanian Royal Guard and the common soldiers. The region is well known for its fountain architecture, combining Ithanian finery and sensibilities with Fin’ullen focuses into ornate, flowing water designs.
Hivre Ser-la-Montagne is dominated by the dense Caveaux Mountains which see the majority of cities built into their slopes and crevices. Why this is the case is a bit of a mystery, but it is commonly claimed that the region was the site of a rare encounter Altalar devotees had with the Avatar of Sca’Elle, who was processing through the mountains in search of mineral wealth. As a result, Ser-la-Montagne became a major center of mining, where many precious metals were unearthed from the great mountains which soon gained another feature. When the Velheim began to raid Ithania, the valuables and wealth of Ser-la-Montagne were a magnet for their ships, even if raiding up the rivers into the mountains was difficult. To dissuade them, not only were deals struck with what was then Talant Meras-Lla’arn (and later, Hivre Ser-la-Mér) to help defend the local coastline but the now-empty former mines of previous material were converted into secure vaults of wealth. When the Cataclysm came and went, while a number of mines collapsed and a few vaults were sealed, the vast majority have since been uncovered and reopened, with the region now functioning as an epicenter of Ithanian banking, as well as the mining of the base materials that go into making the Regal.
Hivre Orient has been considered the gateway into Ithania since around 30 AC when the first travelers from the Iltar Kingdom of the Regalian Empire reached Ithania. Orient is derived from an Altalar word for “east” and over time, much like how Velheim Culture defined all groups and ideas from the south as “Southern,” Ithanians called anything east of Ithania as oriental. However, this term took on new meaning in recent years with the arrival of Sihai into wider Aloria. Hivre Orient has become a focal point for their presence in Aloria, several coastal cities having Sihai enclaves expanding out from the traditional city limits, while inland a few villages are similarly dominated by the population. This migration began with Sihai merchants traveling the routes their Ithanian partners forged, and soon, settling outposts of their people in those ports which took their goods and services. A natural transmission followed. Today, Hivre Orient has the largest population of Sihai outside of Zhong within it, nearing 20,000. The Hivre is very diverse overall, with an array of other Races residing in the region’s coastal cities, serving to maintain their role as the gateway to Ithania.
Hivre Fume was originally much lusher than it is today, with significant plantation-style agriculture producing a bevy of materials for use in dye creation. However, when the Cataclysm came, the terrain was heavily altered when a sudden rise in volcanic activity burst from the earth, and damaged many of the local plantation lands. As the Cataclysm settled and these new formations calmed, they became a source of naturally heated spring water, alongside new materials for extraction, primarily in the form of volcanic ash. Hivre Fume is lightly populated today, even in terms of slaves, as despite the cooling of its volcanic activity, the fields rest in the middle of the territory and keep the populace at the fringes.
Hivre Ratvois is best known for its rather odd local customs and choice of pets by its nobility. Influenced by Allar alchemists who reside in the area, sheltered in the humid local forests that the Allar feel reflect their homeland, the region’s greatest pet is considered the Rat. The name of the Hivre comes from this fact, originally beginning as a joke by surrounding Hivre residents that all they could see in the region was Rats, but one the locals embraced aggressively. However, the forests of Ratvois, thick and muggy with a semi-tropical climate thought to be a result of subterranean volcanic activity from the same formations as erupted to the surface in neighboring Hivre Fume, are also infested with Rats. There are many horror tales of rat-kings lurking in great throbbing pits of the rodent hidden in the forest where any who fall in are doomed to the most disturbing death, but these are largely overplayed stories from other Ithanian Hivres. The Rat infestation is very real, but this has also resulted in the region’s predatory bird population to grow in response, leaving Ratvois a strange series of specialities, from alchemy to providing predatory hunting birds to others on the continent.
Hivre Dusois, also known as the Hardened Hivre, is a territory of strange origins. It is commonly claimed that some great accident occured in the region during the final years of the Consolidation which resulted in the more hostile geography, but whatever the case, the result was the region being vacant of settlements for centuries. It was only late into The Grandening when settlers returned to the area to begin examining the site and moving the debris. This geography in question is a black glossy stone, widely seen as some form of obsidian, which originally appeared to rest in a spherical space in the center of the region. However, this sphere then scattered, sending hundreds of shards some as narrow as a table and tall as a dog, others thicker than an Eronidas and taller as well, careening into the surrounding arid terrain. The material has, over the years, been extracted from the terrain and used to make an array of elegant furniture but also many plinths and tables to hold the bust of Ithanian ancestors given the prestige of the mysterious stone. The locals of the terrain have grown as hard as the stone they mine and ship elsewhere, with mining of their arid rocky terrain also taking place to provide sandstone and other pale types of stone for construction. This hardness is often best displayed by the region’s nobles, as harsh as Tolonne about protecting their territory.
Hivre Poulere is the least urban of all the Hivres, possessing only one city, but the reasons for this are obvious once one reaches the Hivre. For much of its history, Hivre Poulere was an Altalar principality built on one resource: Maize. However, when the Sea of Prosperity expanded, most of these fields were lost, and the local economic focus was forced to adjust to the second most populous resource: chickens. Indeed, farming chickens had always been a curious side venture that the principality and now Hivre had long supported with their Maize, but now, they fully focused on the poultry. Eventually, the Hivre even derived its name from this major economic focus, and nearby Hivre de Maisse supplied Hivre Poulere with all the corn-feed they could ever need. It was at this time that a retiring commandant from the Ithanian army, Commandant Davide, turned to his life’s passion, cuisine, and soon became wildly successful in the Ithanian culinary world. From his efforts, Hivre Poulere also became a cuisine capital of Ithania, though its continued rural nature has seen many of the goods created shown off in nearby Hivre Carnigoux de Foix. The region’s high fashion is also rather odd, even for Ithanians, with women and men wearing outfits filled with white feathers, imagery of eggs, and similar rather agricultural animal symbolism.
Hivre de Luzière
Hivre de Luzière is one of the more peaceful and calm parts of the Ithanian Sovereignty, more fully embracing beliefs of peace and personal liberty than any other Hivre. Unlike most of its surrounding fellows, de Luzière did not lose its arable land to the Cataclysm, in fact, it lost much of its less arable terrain to the Sea of Prosperity and the Pui-Luiz Channel which separates it from the western Hivres. The region as a whole is named for the Vallée de Luzière, a picturequese, quaint mountain valley which is the largest in the world, nestled in a series of low-lying mountains. Aged villages of simple brick and stone sit across the valley, while old estates peer out over arching expanses of the terrain while cattle and crops are grown alongside light brush and forests that provide some cover from the common rainfall that falls into the area. Hivre de Luzière population has dominant majorities of Cielothar and Yanar, and also the least amount of slave labor of all Hivres, alongside the least number of Teledden or Fin’ullen Altalar of any Hivre, for obvious reasons. All of this peace has caused some issues over the years, however. Some Hivres asked why the region was allowed to be independent given their casual and seeming lack of interest in the outside world, to which the Hivre responded by hosting a month-long musical and arts festival all about the benefits of each and every Hivre, including themselves, as within the quiet, restful mountain valley, the nobility and upper class, and even much of the middle class, has embraced the arts. The region is nowadays seen as a region for artistic retreat, and many a genius of music, painting, statuary and so on have spoken of the benefits this region brings.
Hivre Mastadais holds the rather infamous reputation in Ithania for containing the majority of the Paysec Desert, a once vast desert which served as the likely homeland for the Asha and ancient Dewamenet Empire. However, when the Asha lost their war with the Allorn Empire, the Altalar were ruthless. Huge portions of Living Metal architecture was ripped from the earth root and stem, and destroyed through the use of baffling magical abilities. Hivre Mastadais was erected as a place to stand guard, like a marcher land of the Regalian Archipelago, to guard the desert’s heartland. But over the centuries, even after the Cataclysm and The Great Journey, the prestige of Mastadais decayed. Its use as a vanguard to prevent the return of the Asha became less relevant and then, when the Asha instead found a new homeland on the Ashal Isles, almost totally irrelevant. The Hivre bled population, and at current, it largely inhabited only by Qadir, who have come to the region due to its humid climate like their homeland while also likely seeking out Living Metal technology, with the Ailor and Altalar keeping to the fringes to the desert in decaying towns. The region has seen significant investment in recent years. While Asha archeology in the area was long-running since about 100 AC, and the region’s populace successfully destroyed many of these efforts, a major find in 303 AC caused shockwaves across Ithania. Long buried, but still functional Living Metal engineering within a ruin of unknown origin, represented some of the oldest ruins found to date of the Asha people. While parts of it were sectioned off and carried to safety, and much was recorded by the Asha who had found it, the Hivres as once acted swiftly. A mercenary army, led by a contingent from the Ithanian army, marched into the arid land, and blew up the ruins in their entirety. This resulted in heavy raids on Ithania by Corsair Fleets, but Hivre Mastadais did not care. Their relevance had been restored, and militant Ithanians now return to the area to repopulate the territory.
Hivre Haute Pui-Terre
Hivre Haute Pui-Terre is a region of hilly terrain that has long held ties to outside areas thanks to extensive trade and political relations. Originally a series of rather flat, lowland principalities, the rise of the Ailor soon followed a physical rise of the terrain during the Cataclysm. But this adjustment was positively puny, as instead of lowlands, they were now highlands, rolling fields of lush grass and occasionally given a blanket of mist as the sun rose. It was Hivre Haute Pui-Terre, however, who first pushed south through the nearby Verdant Wall, establishing the Eastern Route through its dense expanse, which many chroniclers stated was reduced by the Cataclysm. It was to Haute Pui-Terre’s benefit then, that they were among the first from Ithania to re-establish contact with the Northern Elven Kingdoms beyond, and began trade. Later, after sailors from Hivre Shevaix had reached both The Azoras, and then down into eastern Daen, Hivre Haute Pui-Terre followed suit. But, their search was not strictly for commercial reasons, but instead for matrimony. A major plague in their territory around 30 AC had left well over half the nobility devoid of brides or grooms, and rather than marry with neighboring Hivre nobility, whom at this time the Pui-Terreans did not trust, they instead sought outsiders to boost their long-term diversity. They found Tolonne to their liking, and some minor Altalar nobles, but it was the Bragacao nobility which really captivated them. Intermarrige between the two powers has continued ever since, and the Kingdom of Lusits has always been a friend to Hivre Haute-Pui-Terre, who is otherwise a standard Ithanian Hivre.
Hivre de Maisse
Hivre de Maisse is considered yet another gateway into Ithania, but unlike Hivre Orient, it is the land gate into Ithania and a role they have only taken seriously in recent years. Originally a trio of Altalar principalities, the Cataclysm so shook the region’s leadership through the shifting of the nearby Verdant Wall and the opening of the Richesse Gulf as their new coastline, that they rapidly arranged unity between their Ailor successors, and encouraged a great vigilance about the world beyond their lands. These worries were considered somewhat valid by around 60 AC, as connections with the assortment of Ithanian-cultured regions which had been formed beyond the Wall began to show the Hivre of the dangers to their Culture’s place in the world. These regions, while Ithanian in broad strokes, each had their own unique “quirks” that broke the recently established Principles of Divine Divinity. While dismayed by this, the Northern Elven Kingdoms also provided reason to care about the lands beyond their southern border, and it was de Maisse which forged the Western Route through the Verdant Wall. However, with the recent return of the Allorn Empire, the lack of defense along their border with Daendroc has caused significant fear of an easy invasion. After all, if Talea raised the Wall, she surely must be able to lower it just as easily, which would make Hivre de Maisse the first in the Allorn’s line of sight. As for other aspects of the Hivre, it is a relatively rich riverland, growing huge amounts of Maize with the region’s Altalar nobles, some of whom are survivors from before the Cataclysm, speaking of the land as a “second homeland” for the Ochil, and the growth of this crop connecting the land back to a people often claimed to be older than the Ailor themselves. Regardless of this truth, no Ochil live today, and the notion remains a cultural continuation more than a physical one.