Ithania is well-regarded by the rest of Aloria as a breeding ground of wealth and culture. Located west of Regalia, Ithania is the home of the pacifistic, culture-oriented Ithanian Ailor who promote polyandry and matrilineal society. It is also incredibly tolerant, being one of the few human societies that welcome Nelfin citizens with open arms. In fact, Ithania is partially ruled by the Altalar as remnants of the old Allorn Empire’s system of governance. Modern Ithania came about from a peaceful transfer of power from the old Altalar administration to the new Ailor administration, by means of diplomacy and pacifism. Ithania, now subjugated under Regalia, is a huge source of wealth for the Empire, bringing forth wine and fancy silks of various quantities and forms for the rest of the world to enjoy - at a price, of course.
Nearly six thousand years ago, Ithania was occupied by the Third Civilization. This civilization lasted a few thousand years before it fell and in its place rose both the Dewamenet Empire and the Asha Race. How long they ruled in Ithania is unknown, but much like the Allorn Empire to their south, they rapidly expanded, reaching north into lands now lost and down south into Daendroc. It was there that they first clashed with the Allorn and also settled the offshore Ashal Islands, soon to be their last bastion as The Flight of Reason consumed both parties. In the end, unfortunately, the Asha lost and while millions died, millions more were enslaved and their society devastated. Ithania was scoured of all Living Metal architecture, and the Altalar used their new vast workforce to aid them in constructing massive urban centers which formed a major base in exploration north during the Consolidation. But their geographic distance from the heartland of the Empire was great, and by the time of the Blossoming, many regions leaned away from the wider Empire and sought to avoid the takeover by mages and Archmages which was crippling the south. This succeeded, and to secure their power, the Altalar in charge of the northern principalities of the Allorn freed their Ailor slaves. By the time of the Cataclysm, the Altalar held vast urban and agricultural holdings with thousands of Asha and Allar slaves operating them, while the Ailor had been freed. The region also was the site of the end of the Fifth Void Invasion, as records indicate the last Allorn Empress faced down the Void with her army in the far reaches of northern Ithania.
In the aftermath of the Cataclysm, the Asha sought violence to free themselves and either fled south in The Great Journey or found themselves kept in line by the Altalar-inclined Ailor who were now taking greater power for themselves. Overall, the unification of the Altalar and Ailor was a great success and many of the Altalar stayed, keeping their material wealth within the Ithanian economy as well as many of their skills and knowledge. They developed pacifist ways, though they did still punish slaves, and kept a strong army. This resulted in them being a target for Velheim raiding (something that continues to this day) and the Regalian Empire. Vladaas Kade arrived in 150 AC and the Ithanians proudly welcomed his takeover. From this point on, Ithania continued to grow under the protection of the Regalian Empire and become one of the most sophisticated lands in Aloria. Soon after the nation integrated into the Empire, the Ithanian Gem Boom engulfed Regalia in an economic miracle as several huge repositories of gems were discovered by Ithanian migrants in the Regalian Archipelago.
The wealth from these ventures solidified the Ithanian Sovereignty’s loyalty to the Regalian Crown and furthered developed Ithanian-cultured regions in the Archipelago. This same event later contributed to the Regalian Pessimism. Its effects on Regalia also adversely affected Ithania, though they recovered much quicker and found difficulties attached to the dragging nations that made up the rest of the Regalian Empire. Following the Chrysant War, many Allar in Ithania were joined by friends and family, and an overall economic boom began which has endured to this day. However, Ithania has been involved in a series of engagements that have not gone well for them in recent years. Following the declaration of the Humanume Legislation under Alexander I, a large army of Daendroque landholders and their militias marched north and attacked Ithania, slaughtering thousands. Then, the Asha stepped up their raids on Ithania upon the discovery of new ruins in the Ithanian desert (that the local nobility later blew up) that revealed some key information about the Asha’s past. Additionally, the Bone Horror Crisis wreaked havoc on their countryside, and the majority of the percentage of the population who died were rural peasants or slaves. The Kathar and their Dread Empire attempted to assail Ithania and were only fended off when Sihndar arrived to combat the menace and aid the local Regalian deployments. Finally, Ithania faced the dissolution of their political system at the hands of Imperial-inspired Regalian nobles, led by the man now called King Florent I. However, the matriarchal system of Ithania has proven too strong, and ultimately, his daughter will one day become Sovereign. Ithania itself continues to weather these storms, and it now looks to a future with its political prospects only growing as it extends its influence on all those around it.
Ithania is a highly diverse region, just like nearby Daendroc. It is located west of the Regalian Archipelago and north of Daendroc. It borders the Feerlais Ocean in the west. In the north, this region is cold and open, with its only protection being local fishing villages, the odd city, some sparse pine forests and a few massive boulders peeking up from the cold earth. It was here that the last Altalar Empress faced the Archdemon, though most believe that the site itself fell into the warm waters around this region as a result of earthquakes caused by the Cataclysm. Below this is the Ithanian heartland, an open expanse of plains, rolling hills, river lakes, and valleys between high peaks that go from coast to coast. The heartland also has sparse forests, but at the southern edge of the heartland are larger and older woods. The dominant feature at the center of the Ithanian heartland, however, is “La Mer d’Prospérité” or “The Sea of Prosperity,” a huge saltwater sea at the center of Ithania fed by the Pui-Luiz Channel out to the waters east of the continent.
Next, one reaches the large Ithanian desert, called the Paysec Desert. Sitting just south of the Sea of Prosperity and above the Verdant Wall that serves as the official border of Ithanian territory, this desert is an ancient place holding many ruins, though these are frequently destroyed. The northeast of Ithania is different from these other areas, and features dense woodlands before reaching Ithania’s traditional coastline. The continent’s coastline is made up of simple, sandy beaches, but has a more tropical appearance along the western coastline and near the Solacian Isles. Up north, it is also different, with the occasional sheer cliff and downright jagged rocky shore replace the sand. Finally, there is Île d'Ouesttre, located to Ithania’s southwest. The island is controlled by a single Hivre, and has a generally more humid climate, with much broader beaches, and is generally closer to being tropical than the mainland. Ithania’s overall weather is a mix of rain in the spring and summer with a snowfall that covers the northern half of the continent as the winter comes. Autumn is a rather dry and windy time for the region, resulting in huge piles of swirling autumn-colored leaves forever resisting order by sweeping in the major cities. Many of these stunning urban centers maintain their original Altalar designs and architecture, merely with Ithanian touches and new renovations applied over the years, thus helping in giving the region’s well-traveled sites an aged, cosmopolitan feel.
Ithania has been influenced by southern Daen flora for centuries due to the Allorn Empire’s extensive presence in the region. One of the only confirmed local plants is the Fly Orchid, a plant possibly changed by the Cataclysm into being carnivorous, though only against insects, which makes it a very popular species. Other plants in the region, largely transplanted, include combustible and dangerous Fireweed which likely emerged from somewhere in Daendroc, the Water Lily which has been spread across much of temperate and tropical Aloria, and finally, Dúllci Cane. This cash crop is not as actively farmed as it is in Daendroc and other southern regions, but it is a necessary aspect of the local economy due to the many pastries and fine cuisine eaten by the upper class in which the ingredient is used. Another cash crop of great significance is Ullaline, the Teledden Altalar-born salt substitute, which is grown extensively in Ithania’s western Hivres.
Ithania is home to a diverse number of animals, many of them domesticated due to centuries of civilization dominating the continent. In the various cities and settlements across the landscape, a vast variety of domesticated dog and cat breeds like the Ithanian Sucre Cien and Ithanian Laceurci live alongside other local domesticated animals, like the Royal Canard, the Painted Lancierron and the Ithanian Lait-Blanc. Out in the wild, there are a multitude of animal species. Through the many waters of the continent swims the reptilian Longtail Croque and the Red Fairfin Fish. In the Paysec Desert, the hostile Triton Scorpide roams and combats travelers when or if it finds any. In the forests of the continent lives the rare Longtail Gryphon, a species often exaggerated to be larger and more fierce than they actually are. In the air, the Dragged Crow messenger bird survived the Cataclysm and is now commonly used as a means of communication across the continent. Lastly, in the waters outside of the continent, the Air Pocket Whale uses its large air sacs to help it quickly reach the surface to breathe.
While many might confuse Regalian interests with those of the Ithanian Sovereignty, in reality there are several key differences. While the Sovereignty is still loyal to the Empire and is dominated by the Unionist faith, Ithania continues to stand apart as its rulers work to maintain their unique society. Their hatred for the Asha has funded many actions against them over the years, while their love of the Altalar has led to unease since the rebirth of the Allorn Empire. Still, Ithanian wealth and principles push the Regalian Empire onward, and their many Hivres make up a diverse tapestry across the continent.
La Portée du Paradis
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The Verdant Wall
Serving as the southern border of Ithania and running over and around the Verdant River between the east-coast Solsonne Gulf and the west-coast Richesse Gulf, the Verdant Wall is an imposing mess of contradictions. While the Altalar claim it to be a creation of Talea, erected to keep the Asha out of the Allorn Empire, the Asha and their allies will point out how the Asha ruled half of Daendroc for much of the conflict between the Allorn and the Dewamenet Empires, and insisted it is instead their devastated Great Wall. In fact, there is much evidence to suggest that the Verdant Wall was once an instillation of the Asha, a final line of defense to fortify their traditional homeland of Ithania which extended farther than is currently present thanks to the Cataclysm causing large sections to crumble into the ocean. Regardless of the truth, the Verdant Wall was raised by someone prior to 2500 BC, and has stood ever since. The dense, several miles-deep formation reaches around a mile high into the air, and it forms around unnaturally tall and deep-rooted trees which grand ferns, mosses, vines, other trees, flowers and much more drap, wrap and knit themselves around. The structure also has buried within it many ruins and fragments of ancient Asha technology, long rusted and damaged, but also supposedly some earthworks virtually crushed under the weight of tremendously sized roots and other vegetation. The Wall is also muggy and humid, and has unknown diseases that plague those who spend too long in its dark shadows and few sunlight areas. While once impassable, the Cataclysm, and Ithanian enterprises has allowed for travel along its fringes, around the Wall via use of the two gulfs but also through a single well maintained route that cuts through the middle of the Wall. This route is more dangerous, however, despite its directness.
The Paysec Desert has been considered a wasteland for centuries, but more recently scholars have not been so harsh to judge the region. The Desert is very large, being one of the only known to exist outside of Farah’deen, with no rivers or oases except at its arid borders. It is known to be the place where the ancient Dewamenet Empire’s capital likely once stood, at the banks of a vibrant river which the records claim Talea made dry with a single spell. While neither the capital itself nor this dry riverbed have ever been discovered, several other ruins have been found over the years, largely stripped of their Living Metal mechanisms and merely buildings of stone and marble coated in sand. Most have been immediately destroyed by Ithanian nobility, but the Asha have learned to move fast with recovering their history. A few of the smaller ruins have seen whole sections spirited to the coastline and shipped elsewhere for the Asha people to explore and enjoy them in their states on the Ashal Islands. The most notable of these ruins emerged in 304 AC but these too were blown up by the end of the year. The Paysec Desert is also home to a duo of Hadrityas, raised in the southern and northern reaches of the region respectively. These two fortresses have stood since roughly 500 BC, and serve as a valuable point of contact for local travelers. The Qadir here are also suspected to be responsible of making their own, quiet, separate discoveries of Asha archeology yet simply harvesting the technology for their own gain.
Les Laques des Jeux
Les Laques des Jeux, or “The Game Lakes,” make up a significant part of the Ithanian heartland, found entirely within the territory of Hivre Castellajoux. The freshwater these lakes provide us used in local agriculture and food production, irrigating the vast fields of grains and grapevines that criss-cross the regions around their lakeshores. These lakes are also rich with wildlife and serve as valuable fishing grounds for locals and those who monger their catches in the cities of the area. As for more indirect uses, the region has been filled with trade since the time of the Allorn Empire, and many ships from across Aloria enter the lakes to visit the major cities that are situated on them. Three of the Lakes, and the three smallest, are Les Laque du Bordelle, Rhoneux, and Challon and sit spread out in the north, northeast and east respectively. They are named after three Altalar princesses who lived in Ithania with an attached myth about their relationship to their mother, Lunelle (the moon). These three smaller lakes are best known for hosting swimming and diving competitions. The last two lakes are the largest and sit facing south, being named Laques Madileine-Hibella and Corentin. While the first lake is more obviously named after the first Sovereign of Ithania, the second’s name has largely been obscured through time. Local myths claims it is named for a spouse of a past princess of Castellajoux, but the reality is that the lake is named for an Ailor who died before the Cataclysm, and was supposedly the brother of the steward for the local Altalar principality’s leading family. The rumor is that the Ailor man was actually the lover of the Altalar prince who his brother served, resulting in the name. These two lakes are common places for more complex water activities such as yachting in addition to the other styles of sports. They also feature some destination cities that take advantage of local tourism. All five bodies of water are connected by rivers, and themselves spawn rivers, some of which arc through hundreds of miles of Ithania before ending, though many instead dump into the Sea of Prosperity nearby.
Joyau-vert du Nord
Joyau-vert du Nord holds the distinction among Ithanian cities as being the only other capital of the Regalian Empire, though this was only for a few months during the chaos of the First Songaskian War. Alexander Kade, I left the City of Regalia to travel to Ithania, whereupon he bought the city and, from it, helped organize his marriage to the queen of Lusits, Juliana de Lobo (Kade after the marriage) the Mad. He ultimately reclaimed the Empire’s proper capital city but Joyau remained fully part of the Empire, Alexander I appointed a noble to run it who has done so unfalteringly for the past several years. The city, while not on The Game Lakes, is instead found at the mouth of a river delta near the most southern lake (though to the north of Hivre Carnigoux de Foix hence the name). The city is very decentralized, with a central strip of land at the middle of the delta serving as the heart of the settlement with large bridges connecting it to the other sections of the city. Some of these bridges can even lift apart to allow small cargo ships through. The highest point of the city is the local Unionist temple, a grand structure of vivid green roofs with golden domes and pristine white walls set at the edge of a steep drop down to the river line. Many of the upper-class structures in the city follow this same style but even those that do not still attempt to have some shade of green in their roof tiling. This temple, Heress Jimena du Nord, is also where the lavish, if not brief, wedding ceremony between Alexander and Juliana took place, which has resulted in pilgrimages there from the faithful of the Empire. The city is also held in high political prestige by local Ithanians because of these direct connections to the Regalian Empire.
- Ithania’s citizens drink more wine in a decade than the total volume of clean freshwater in The Game Lakes.
- The Ithanian love for the moon means that, in most cities across the continent, grand lunar observatories exist to artistically frame the night sky to onlookers below.
- Ithanian ships the majority of its wood in from other locations due to their limited forests, many of which are protected by the nobility as spaces for them to hunt and test themselves against dangerous animals.