|Races||Altalar, Avanthar, Cielothar, Eronidas, others|
|Cultures||Altalar Cultures, others|
|Flora and Fauna|
Hyarroc, in the northwest of Daen, is a land of geographical contrasts. Simultaneously, it contains both the heartland of the Ularen Plains, the proud home of the Avanthar people and the space of their greatest Avanth state, and the mountains of the coast and northwest, where important Altalar nations like Talant Ilha Faial can be found. But perhaps most importantly of all, Hyarroc is also home to the most powerful coalition of Eronidas city-states founded after their landing on Daen several centuries ago, the Staat Kezzeret Artamon. Truly, there is little that binds the geographic construct together bar its once-status as an administrative division of the Allorn Empire, whose shadow still looms large. Indeed, the reconstituted Allorn Empire has swept through Hyarroc also, ruling almost all of it, and what once was in this ancient land appears to be happening once again.
Hyarroc was settled in the lifetime of the Empress Talea, although during her rule it was called Hëelya due to the older dialect in place which lacked many harsher sounds. Anthropological historians have puzzled out that this marks the first emergence of the Fin’ullen Altalar, who populated the coastlands to its west. This would certainly make sense, as Talant Ilha Faial in the region is the largest and most prestigious of the Allorn Empire’s many Fin’ullen states, and has reasonable claim to being the oldest. It shares much in the way of history with Teled Methen, first swelling with population, then suffering overpopulation as that population was unable to be quelled, with some departing for settler colonies. The only difference is that those looking to escape Hyarroc’s packed cities either went inland to the Plains regions and joined with the members of the Cult of Suel who would later become Avanthar, or were exiled west to Rokhara and fell to worshipping the Void, later becoming Kathar. Much like Teled Methen, it suffered the Cataclysm and ensuing Wildering, with the effects being parallel. That said, where Hyarroc differs is in its experience with the Eronidas Invasion. While Teled Methen was mostly spared due to its sheer geographic distance, Hyarroc was not.
Indeed, from the Narseth states on the modern border with the Eronidas all the way to Tanaar Hyä-Ereya, the infrastructure of Hyarroc and the populations living there were systematically destroyed by the unstoppable Eronidas Invasion which cut its way inland. It is still dealing with the aftermath of the Eronidas Invasion and the effects of an Eronidas population on the environment, namely deforestation, architectural works, and industrialization. The endless bush war fought between the stubborn Avanthar and proud Eronidas does not help either, and even in the present day as the Allorn Empire comes into unification it does not seem like the north of Hyarroc will ever see total, quiet peace, although there is always room for the possibility.
Hyarroc is the northwestern component of the supercontinent of Daen, but still south of Ithania and the land’s Ailor states. To its interior, there is the Ularen Plains, the foremost living place of Avanthar and Cielothar, as well as Yanar. The Ularen Plains are an open steppe, which thins out in terms of grass to its north- becoming the Selldr’velle and Juvvondor Steppes, geographic distinctions used frequently by the Avanthar, but ignored by the Altalar and Eronidas, who prefer just to call the whole thing the Ularen Plains and be done with it. There is a reason for this beyond pure ignorance or chauvinism, because the Avanthar populations and their particular density impacts the number of grazing animals, which impacts the amount of grass eaten, which tilts the balance of the delicate local ecosystem. What separates the more lush Ularen Plains from the thinner, colder Selldr’velle Steppe is sometimes just a matter of how much rainfall there’s been that year, or whether an Avanthar tribe moved its herds through the local valleys at an inopportune time. That said, perhaps the most interesting feature of the Ularen region is the jungles which punctuate it. When the Wildering came and destroyed much of the Allorn Empire, it left the countryside for the most part alone, but played heavy effects in the cities. Thus, at critical points on the Plains where Allorn infrastructure and major urban hubs used to be, there are small circular areas of choked-out jungle, where the trees are so thick a man sometimes cannot pass between them turned sideways. The majority of reclamation efforts for old Allorn relics and ruins actually occur here, because in Teled Methen and Varren the urban residents have already rebuilt over the Allorn layers of their cities, making digging a pain, if not an impossibility. Diggers seeking transit to these sites never have an easy time of it, however, as the Avanthar know exactly how to prey on their vulnerable caravans- if not on the way there, then on the way back, to seize the relics they’ve excavated and return them to their former resting place, because no good comes from meddling with long-dead ancient secrets. Although the Avanthar avoid actually entering these jungle-ruins, there is a general preference to pitch their camps close to their perimeter, so that foraging parties can be sent to pick pleasing jungle-fruits from the outer layer of the canopy and so that wood, if needed (a scarce resource on the open steppe), is easily attainable.
The Fin’ullen states are separated from the Avanthar lands by hilly features that range from ignorable and rolling to jagged and mountainous. The outer edges of Talant Ilha Faial contain the most extreme geographic features, something that the Altalar there likely have to thank for their continued safety, as they represent a barrier that is impossible to trespass without significant military pre-planning and effort, something that makes Avanthar raids just not worth it. As their coasts are approached, the climate warms to a comfortable Mediterranean temperature, the grass browns, and the beaches become soft, sandy, and warm. In contrast to the more inhospitable Teled Varren, Hyarroc plays host to a number of tourist destinations, most of them within Fin’ullen lands. The vast majority of Altalar cities sit on the coast, some of them ancient metropoli spared the Cataclysm and even the Wildering, while as one goes further inland cities give way first to farms and plantations, then to mountain, and then finally to the steppe. Much like Teledden lands, marble spires punctuate the sky at even points, but the focus of the view isn’t supposed to be these towers but rather the sea. There is a collective tendency of the local Fin’ullen to emphasize the sea in their windows, and if not the sea the night sky-- uniquely beautiful in Hyarroc. For whatever particular reason, the waters off Hyarroc’s coast have a way of seeming especially charming or picturesque, no matter the time of day or context, something reflected in the uncountable number of paintings of the region’s coast.
As one goes north, the land becomes more rocky, up to the border where the Eronidas dwell and then into the lands of the Eronidas themselves. The Eronidas city-states are built on land which is colder and more temperate than the warm and pleasant Fin’ullen Talants, but the rugged people who dwell there have never been noted to especially care, especially because they have never had to deal with jungle (and all the ecological difficulties that ensue, including poor wood, hard-to-clear wildlife, and disease), and have stoutly wooded forests to chop for their fireplaces instead. What is most impressive about the Eronidas territories is not the landscape, however, but the architectural feats of those who dwell there. Massive aqueducts and water-engineering projects sprawl up from the ground, mastering the wilderness with their titanic sprawl, and tiered cities rise above and dominate not in the spindly way of Altalar cities, but with a true imposing presence that cannot be missed. The Eronidas have mastered their portion of Hyarroc with truly impressive feats of building. Meanwhile, in the southeast of Hyarroc is Tanaar Hyä-Ereya, the so-called Altalar Steppe State- a land with barely any population left after its ravaging during Cataclysm, where Avanthar roam freely and the entire citizenry is congregated inside a single pilgrimage city.
Much of Hyarroc’s Flora is the same as in Teled Methen due to untold centuries of trade, travel, and ecological unity between the two continents. Ruby Flowers prosper in fields, jungles, and gardens across the region, while Bloodroot grows prosperous in the same locations, used in tattooing and artwork by many. In the Ularen Plains, Black Grass and Farran Cane add variety and color to the endless rolling fields, as well as useful substances for use by the Avanthar, Yanar, and Cielothar. In the waters of the Daen coastline rest huge clumps of Corpse Weed, a most irritating substance to the Fin’ullen, who dominate the western coastlines. Thickly growing, it fills fishing nets with ease and, once attached to a hull, will rapidly spread itself.
Much in the same way as Flora, the Fauna of Hyarroc has long been intertwined with that of Teled Methen. However, a few beasts do exist solely in Hyarroc. In the dense jungles of the interior, the Black Pathor stalks the night. Sleeker and less aggressive than its cousin, the Great Jungle Cat, the animal is still considered worthy prey by many a hunter and is considerably less rare than its relative as well. Along the coastline, moving slowly and leaving behind a lethal trail is the Grashobaig. With unknown origins, the creature has been a hazard to smaller coastal cities but has dramatically declined in numbers in the past decade.
The Allorn Empire’s rule in Hyarroc is about as strong as its rule in Teled Methen. Although due to geographical space there has been room for more dissidents, Talant Sulleÿ-Fanhaal is also the original landing point of the returned Talea and her armies, so while there is room to deny her providence, few of the locals see any reason to deny her power. As the reconstituted polity of the Nelfin people, in this case the Altalar, Avanthar, and Cielothar, the Allorn Empire has legitimacy as a hegemon, and barring extreme circumstance does not look like it is going anywhere any time soon.
Allorn Aligned States
- Tanaar Hyä-Ereya: Tanaar Hyä-Ereya was sparsely populated, even before the collapse of the Allorn Empire and the Wildering. It suffered immense losses at the hands of the Eronidas Invasion, and never fully recovered. Its plains are home to the Faces of the Gods, massive stone carvings of the Pantheon deities’ faces, sunken halfway into the grasslands, where they stick out of the bellowing hills and are covered in flowers. These God Faces are frequently places of pilgrimage for Estel worshippers, as many have claimed that the statues spoke to them in the voices of their Avatars. Hyä-Ereya has only one city, named Hyä-Monh, which is built in the shadow of Ulley’s statue head. As such, it is also frequently called the Sunless City, or Ulley’s Spectre.
- Talant Ilha Faial: Talant Ilha Faial is hailed as the greatest of the Fin’ullen states, also commonly named “The Wall of Morrlond” and “The Seaward Spear”. Talant Ilha Faial is home to seven massive naval armory cities, named Llevoa, Algassäi, Chellanna, Essaal, Manth, Orraal and Ylganaësse. These immense citadels’ navies together make up the so-called Turquoise Fleet, the largest single maritime force besides the Regalian Empire’s Imperial Navy. The Turquoise Fleet however rarely leaves port, because while they have immense military power, the rulers of Talant Ilha Faial are notoriously cowardly. They cite hard to prove stories about how they are keeping their fleets in reserve for the Revenge of Morrlond, a strange tale about Morrlond’s deep-sea creatures coming to Talant Ilha Faial to destroy the seven cities, as an excuse to stay put and do nothing. There is a lot of unrest in Talant Ilha Faial from the Fin’ullen military castes, who are dissatisfied with their rulers’ unwillingness to involve themselves in the Kathar-Altalar conflict which still rages in Hyarroc.
- Talant Sulleÿ-Fanhaal: Often derided as Talant Ilha Faial’s much poorer cousin, Talant Sulleÿ-Fanhaal is a more northerly Altalar state, caught between it and the Eronidas. The truth is more complicated than that. As a state that always had close relations with the Suvial, Talant Sulleÿ-Fanhaal has done well when the relationships between the Altalar subraces have been good, and fared worse when they have turned sour. Throughout post-Allorn history as the Altalar of the mainland were never able to build suitable rapport with the Suvial, it suffered economic downturn trying to push its way through exorbitant Suvial tariffs, as its entire trade was geared westward, and in this era where the new Allorn Empire is outright at war with the Suvial, its markets are in freefall, and it is under economic colonization from Ilha Faial.
- Narseth Mossalef & Ëronn: The two border states with the Eronidas, these are less countries than simply upjumped military garrisons. The civilian populations have mostly been evacuated, because the modern Altalar defense strategy against the Eronidas is one of defense-in-depth, where the borderlands are ceded in a fighting retreat and then a counterattack with larger armies mobilized from other parts of the Empire takes back that which was lost, a tactical reality adapted due to the commitment of Ilha Faial forces facing west, originally against the Kathar, now against the Kathar and Suvial simultaneously.
- Avanth Rokhaal: Encompassing the unusually chilly region of the Selldr’velle Steppes, a large portion of the northern Ularen Plains, and now possessing the largest territory, Avanth Rokhaal is poised to lead the Avanthar Race into the future. Their people have long been friendly to Ailor, as much as Avanthar can be, with multiple Qússrakón Ailor absorbed into their society over the past century with additional “respect” offered in a high number of foreign unions between Avanthar and outsider Ailor. With the auxiliary horse power of the Qússrakón, the Avanthar of Avanth Rokhaal have often also been a major force in military matters associated with the eastern lands of Daen. It was they who were primarily engaged in the Ranger Crisis, and they were also the group who contributed the most to the rampaging force of Avanthar who swept through the Ailor states of the region. Since the end of the civil war, their leadership has been remarkably stable and united, with several women also holding key positions of power as the Avanth here makes strides to repair regional relations with foreigners as well as absorb the last numbers of Qússrakón into their Bands. They are made up of the Apäthee, Nëgepien, Wythëtma, and Tëyäs Tribes.
- Avanth Antu: Avanth Antu was formerly one of the more powerful Avanths in the Ularen Plains, with a prestigious role as the main actors in the previous deal that had existed between the Avanthar and the Northern Elven Kingdoms of the Alexandros Mountain Chain. However, after fighting briefly with their allies in the Elven War of 302 AC, the Avanthar retreated, fearing reprisal. As a result, a large swath of territory they had over the northern reaches of the Plains were taken, and in the civil war that came later, Avanth Rokhaal absorbed a further third of the Avanth’s territory. Now, Avanth Antu largely hugs the sea, and does battle with the regional Polons as it fights to maintain its greatly weakened existence. They are the least accepting of the current Avanthar belief that the Regalian Empire is the strongest world state, and their population is also the angriest with the new order of the Plains. Some suspect they may be aiding in the frequent uprisings in the nearby Minaal Protectorate, but this is just speculation based on their current attitude. They are made up of the Salta, Syäna and Cri’iväl Tribes.
The Eronidas, split between the city-states composed of Polon and wandering bands composed of Baros, control a reasonably large region in the northwest of Hyarroc, as well as pockets permeating into the Allorn Empire’s borders, mostly on the Ularen Plains, where they war against the Avanthar. While they do not have a formal hierarchy, there is an elected King of their ruling body, called the Staat Kezzeret Artamon, who dictates acceptable foreign policy. Warring among themselves used to proliferate more often, but with the passing of the years, it has seen a marked decrease and cooling of internal relations as the Eronidas turn outwards.
Out of the seven armory cities of Talant Ilha Faial, Ylganaësse is often considered the jewel in the crown. Positioned at the tip of a peninsula, the city is also one of the most natural in Aloria. It has several harbors, ranging in scale, and meant for different sailors, from simple fisherfolk in the simple but always busy Hab-lavin Harbor to the decadent, slaver-focused harbor of Gollagelle’s Wharf. The citadel city’s design around these harbors is also rather unique, as it sits on a cliff, but rather than force long walks up high vertical steps as well as expose people to attack, the designers of the city sought to instead carve down into the rock. This has resulted in at least a solid third of the city existing within the sheltered protection of the great white rock cliffs that surround Ylganaësse with an underground “Great Ramp” allowing for a slow incline up to the “rear” of the city, which then allows people access either out onto the land routes down the peninsula or to turn around and proceed into the large, aboveground city. Another prominent feature of the region is “Estel Enlightening,” a giant statue carved into a white cliff face that looks out at all harbors and much of the city's eastern side. Presenting the goddess in a very traditional Fin’ullen way, with the eight Altalar Pantheon members bordering her (four on each side), it is over a thousand years old. While water has worn away the lower third of the statue, it remains as one of the most intact examples of Consolidation architecture. The Kathar damaged the statue in their war with the Altalar, but Magic has helped repair the damage.
Hyä-Monh, also known as the Sunless City or Ulley’s Spectre, is a more recent city, at least where the Altalar are concerned. It was built at the very end of the Consolidation and is thought by some to be a final bastion of that holy, better time when the Avatars of the Gods walked among the Altalar. The monolithic carvings around the city are also from a similar time and are assumed to have been an imperial project of the era, to fully honor the Avatars and then seat a city amongst their beauty. However, the truth of this is unknown. Hyä-Monh is a classic example of Tanaar architectural style, and one mostly kept intact over the centuries, with plenty of fine golden decor and pristine white stone covering its surface. Its Archmage’s Tower is of a considerable height but doesn’t clear the top of the nearby looming, and unavoidable head of Ulley. In fact, the city is often covered in shadow during the midday to evening, meaning that the only time the city’s splendor truly shines is in the morning when the rising sun casts its sunlight unimpeded onto the architecture. Hyä-Monh is also known for possessing an impressive series of both ancient and modern walls, heavily defending the city from all attackers and thus allowing it to survive as long as it has despite its limited manpower.
Pol Cōraan is one of the more notable Eronidas Polons, not because it has taken up a leading position within either of the two large regions that they rule, but precisely because it exists outside of them. Originally a castle built in the middle of an incredibly indefensible, unsuppliable position as a boast towards the peoples the Eronidas were invading, it is now a formidable redoubt and a symbol of their pride in victory. The Polon sits atop a large hill far from any lakes or rivers, which is surrounded by stretches of plains as far as the eye can see. It has come a long way from its original status as a hilltop fort, now existing as a fully developed eight-layer city which has annexed the hill itself underneath its weight. Most suggest that it is sustainable because while delving, the Eronidas have hit upon groundwater, and use it to keep the city comfortably supplied without worries of ever facing drought or lack of agricultural supplies. Occupying a key location in the north of Avanth Rokhaal, it has faced down uncountable Avanthar raids and lived to tell the tale- in recent years, the relations between the Polon and the surrounding locals have even cooled down, to where there is no fighting anymore, and the city’s soldiers sell their services as guardsmen helping the friendliest tribes protect themselves.
- Hyarroc is geographically immense. It takes three weeks just to ride from Hyä-Monh to the major cities of Ilha Faial, and that is without being interrupted on the way. This makes Allorn unity an incredible feat of sentiment.
- There is a Teledden tradition called Lëiatantha, of visiting every single Fin’ullen beach up and down the coast of Hyarroc and lounging on it. It is incredibly time-consuming, taking up to two years, but is said to be one of the most enjoyable land-tours in Aloria.