The Azoras

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The Azoras
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Geography
Full Name The Azoras
Pronunciation Ah-zore-ahs
Demonym Azoran/Solan
Area 200,000 mi²
Population 750,000
Races Ailor, Altalar, Asha
Cultures Daendroque, Tolonne, Bragacao, and Ithanian Ailor, Fin’ullen, Lesarra, and Teledden Altalar
Flora and Fauna

The Azoras, also known as the “Sun Isles,” are a collection of warm islands near Daen but are considered part of Corontium. The Azoras first belonged to the Allorn Empire before the Cataclysm, but the slave revolts following that Aloria-changing event made Ailor the dominant Race in the region. In the majority of areas, however, an Altalar presence survived. In the modern-day, the islands are divided into a bevy of regional states, and a variety of Cultures and Races in each. The region is also renowned for its calm and clear waters, making it an ideal vacation destination for those of the Regalian elite. The Azoras have been calm for decades, and this is likely to continue onward into the future.

History

The Azoras have a history closely tied with that of the Allorn Empire. The islands were charted by the ancient Asha, and when they found themselves defeated by the Altalar, this knowledge passed on to them. During the Consolidation, the islands were each settled in a different manner. On the harsh, arid rocks of the Rallis Archipelago emerged a massive slave processing facility. It made use of its sheer cliff drops into the sea as natural barriers and its rugged terrain as a land of intimidation, added to by the construction of great prison citadels. On the Solacian Isles, a flat and open landmass, the Altalar nobility sought a place to relax. Distant relatives of Talea built grand palatial villas, turning the land into a pleasure-filled paradise. To be invited there became a mark of favor within the Empire as only the greatest held land there. Finally, on what is now the Arvost Archipelago, rich mineral deposits made the Altalar turn to the only logical role for this final region: mining. State-run operations overseen by slavers and mages saw tons of raw gemstones, metals, and other materials pulled from the earth in an ever-increasingly dangerous work environment. Some claim that Arvost once had mountains but the sheer scale of Altalar mining in the area flattened them into nothing. It is important to note that at this time, much of Arvost was connected to the mainland as a peninsula. Ultimately, The Azoras almost became a perfect three-sided reflection of the Allorn Empire; slavery and hard labor for the lesser Races while villas and positions at the top awaited the Altalar.

As the Allorn Empire reached its twilight, however, The Azoras also grew duller. Solacia became “boring,” and as Void worship picked up on the mainland many turned to that Religion and the cults it spawned for their sadistic fun, in contrast to the relaxing villas of Solacia. Arvost meanwhile, had steadily been scaling back its mining operations to such a degree that by 100 BC, a mere few hundred Altalar oversaw a slave population of thousands, mainly kept there as a legacy, though some were also moved out to the broader Empire. The exception to this was Rallis, as slavery was booming at the end of the Allorn Empire, with the Altalar upper class going through slaves like small children with sweets. But the Cataclysm truly put an end to all of it. In Rallis, the population of Altalar fought against their revolting slaves in a violent conflict until an outside force helped to pacify the situation, and force equality. This force then became the island’s prince, though the south broke off, and insisted on independent co-operation. On Solacia, what Altalar lived there quickly departed, leaving the remaining populations to fight it out. In the end, the Asha were either kicked out by force or left to find their brethren on the mainland, depending on who is telling the story. On Arvost, the most damage occurred. The Cataclysm physically shook the region, filling in the mines and shifting the terrain, while also firmly ripping the land into the ocean. The Altalar who survived were unable to escape, and what few survived united with the slaves and helped them to survive over the coming years. In 50 AC, contact was restored with the outside world when Ithanians found Solacia and - in the following months - uncovered the other islands. When news of this reached Altalar princes in northern Daendroc, in what was then the Northern Elven Kingdoms, they immediately launched an attack on Arvost, seeking to reclaim Imperial lands, but were thwarted by Killarallis and Ithania coming to the aid of the smaller nation.

In the years since then, The Azoras have been shockingly quiet. Arvost became a republic in the wake of their war with the outside, rejecting the ideals of monarchy and nobility. Their island, however, is crowded, overpopulated and stripped of most of its resources. The region mainly supports itself through military service to Regalia, with whom they are allied, and by lending their artistic talents to a variety of people across the world. Solacia, meanwhile, is entirely under Regalian control. Following the Regalian conquest of Ithania, Solacia submitted peacefully to the ships sent to communicate with them. The governor put in charge did something very odd before he passed away of old age: he convinced the Empire to give Solacia to the Unionist leadership. The region is now overseen by religious leadership, somewhat comparable to Basta, yet the local population in their Warmland Culture ways rarely conform to the ideas of perfect Unionist citizens of the Empire. This does not matter to most, however, due to the sheer beauty and calm existence visitors can find on the island which makes it a popular destination for nobility and military officials. In stark contrast to this are the dual Rallis states, nations ruled by Ailor princes upkeeping a self-imposed isolation. They trade nominally with the Empire, and even then, only through House Kade operations as they have a deep respect for the new Imperial family. The nation is also shrouded in mystery, with few outsiders allowed to visit (though some scholars, traders, and Emperors Cedromar I and Alexander I have visited the region in recent years). The islands will likely remain peaceful, as they have for the past 300 years, and they are only occasionally struck by tropical storms or the odd pirate attack.

Geography

The Azoras are located southwest of the Regalian Archipelago as part of Corontium and northeast of Ithania. The Isles are located within the West Allorn Sea, though the Corontium Sea is also close, bordering it to the south and occasionally blowing temperate storms into the region. The Azoras number over a dozen main islands with at least twenty minor islands scattered about the area. The islands are varied in geography but have a few uniting factors. For one, their waters are calm and leisurely with a gentle wind often blowing. This means that larger ships have difficulty getting going, though the environment is perfect for smaller pleasure craft. The islands also all possess humid climates, but each displays a different sort of humid terrain. In the south sits the Rallis Archipelago, a collective of islands whose terrain is largely rugged and most comparable to nearby Etosil. Multiple low-lying mountains cover its surface, and the earthen terrain is sandy, rugged with hills, and poor for growing most crops. Open rivers are extremely rare - underground rivers flowing through the region’s various mountain caverns are far more common. Many of these rivers end at the cliffs that make up the coastline, plunging down into the water far below. The areas that are not cliffs are still often rocky, meaning exploration off of premade and ancient paths is not advisable. The region’s inhabitants live in ancient Altalar fortresses, with cities and ancient causeways between these fortifications linking them to each other.

Then there are the Solacian Isles. The region is downright tropical in humidity, comparable to Hadar for its clear waters, lagoons, and palm trees. The region is also very flat, made up of rolling hills and flat terrain. Much of that terrain is occupied, though not by jungles or brush like the continent it is compared to. Instead, multiple vineyards, plantations and farming operations are carried out across the region. Villas, some once part of the old Altalar estates and others newly built, look out over the surrounding property. Some areas, mainly strips of territory between estates and along the coast between towns, retain their wild tropical look but these regions are slowly being peeled back to expose more of Solacia’s beauty. As for freshwater in the region, there are few rivers on the islands that make up Solacia, but advanced irrigation provided by Regalia helps divert the liquid to where it is needed and when. The Solacian coastline is covered in broad, white sand beaches as well as dotted by the occasional lagoon or hidden inlet, the latter often used by the region’s criminal elements. As for the Arvosti Isles, found in the north of The Azoras, it is not arid or tropical like its sister regions but is instead a normal humid climate. The island is a combination of rugged terrain in the east while the rest of the region is fairly open and flat, dotted by small groves of boreal, temperate-climate trees among open plains of wild grasses. The locals cluster themselves around any port and village, leaving much of the interior empty of civilization aside from the ruins of the Altalar. Although the mines of Arvost are still being operated, slowly but surely they are starting to run dry of valuable resources. Several dozen streams run out from the hilly terrain in the east while the coastlines vary from rocky to sandy to mudflats. Finally, there are the “flower isles” of Bunisle and Taria, highly tropical, flower-rich islands standing alone in the ocean sparsely populated, with at most, one large craggy hill that serves as a high point and freshwater limited to some local ponds and rainfall.

Notable Flora

The Azoras have many of the same plants found on Daen due to the region’s long history with the Allorn Empire. Dense foliage covers only a few areas, with many more being low lying brushland and tempered tropical surroundings. However, the region is notable for two particular pieces of plant life, the first being the Black Orchid. This rare and beautiful flower is of extreme importance to Killarallis culture as a symbol of their being, their gods, and their values as the flower can be used to create some of the best dark dyes in the world. For this reason, it is jealously guarded which has also earned the Killarallisian people the nickname of “Orchid-philes” by the rest of Aloria. The other plant native, or at least suspected to be, to Solacia is the Sunspear Banasque, an exotic tree that produces bright yellow oblong fruits. Also called “bananas”, they have been spread not only to nearby Daen, but also into other areas of Coronitum for consumption in a variety of forms, adored for their unique shape, color, and tropical nature.

Notable Fauna

The Azoras are not known for their diversity in fauna as most of the animals were killed off during the chaos that followed the Cataclysm. The islands do not have any large animals, especially in the way of predators, and instead possess a variety of small mammals, reptiles, and birds. The most populous animal within this region is likely the Green Lizard, commonly found along the shoreline across every island in the region and beyond. They are closely followed by the variety of cat and dog breeds which have been imported to the island, mainly by visitors, which have integrated into the lifestyle of the locals as pets or feral animals living in the major settlements. In the waters, a variety of animal life thrives such as the intelligent Salt Sea Spinphin and the mindlessly drifting Eelboor Man of War. In the air, a variety of seabirds exist but a local animal, the Solacian Sunbird, thrives both in the domestic setting and in the wild where their population remains healthy (though they have been hunted almost to extinction in Arvost).

Politics

Regalian Empire

The Azoras were long in the Regalian orbit before being officially incorporated over a span of twenty years, from 125 to 145 AC. Since that time, The Azoras have been loyal states of the Regalian Empire, producing much in the way of exotic goods traded to the nobility and merchants of the Regalian Archipelago and Ithania. The region is often patrolled by vessels of the Regalian Navy, used to dissuade pirates and ensure the rich regional trade keeps strong.

Regalian Aligned States

  • Arvost Republic, formerly one of the most significant mining operations of the Allorn Empire. The Cataclysm broke the region off of the mainland and made it an island. Although free from their old masters, Arvost has since declined into poverty, its mineral wealth draining away. The region is best known for its liberal ideals around equality that have allowed significant minorities to flourish and produce undiscriminated Half Races throughout the region. Arvost is also known for its theatres and actors, alongside its generally stable nature despite Daendroque dominated.
  • Taria, often called the “Blossom” of The Azoras, the nation is a flower-drenched dot in the ocean inhabited by a minor, but independent, Tolonne colony. Taria makes world-renowned perfumes from the fragrant flowers that grow in the region, while the nation itself is heavily influenced by Ithania, being highly matriarchal and run by a Vidame.
  • Solacian Governorate, a tropical paradise that serves as the birthplace of the Tolonne Culture. A former pleasure and vacation spot, the Cataclysm saw the surviving Altalar flee to the mainland, and the local Asha also departed as the Ailor outnumbered them. Since then, Solacia has flourished, adoring travel to learn about the art of music and culinary expression across Aloria. The land is also unique as despite having a liberal lower class and a ruthless upper class, it is owned by the Unionist faith, run by a Celate-Governor.
  • Killarallis, was formerly the misery capital of Aloria. The home of vast slave processing citadels that held, broke, and then shipped slaves back to the mainland, the Cataclysm killed thousands and forced a change to the affairs of state. Today, Killarallis is best known as an enigmatic, cold and serious place, and the home of the Black Orchid which helps produce the purple dye used to create the fabric worn by the Imperial Court and Family.
  • Sirallis, a major region of scholarly focus outside of Daen. Formerly the main docking facilities of the slaving fleets of the Allorn Empire, Sirallis is now an independent, yet dual, united state with Killarallis to its north. Where that region is covered in cliffs, with few landing spots, Sirallis is much more accessible, and still holds half a dozen ancient ports which now operate as trade hubs for local goods. The region is mainly of scholarly interest as artifacts and objects from a dozen Races, some extinct, lay in the deep pits where ancient slavers stripped their captives of all they had for the journey north.
  • Bunisle, often called the Cavya Isle, and the home to the eponymous Sola Cavya. A small, cute rodent extensively domesticated by the Ailor of the region, whole herds of the animal run rampant through a region similarly lush as Taria, located on the other side of The Azoras. But while the flora of Taria is used for perfumes, the plants of Bunisle are used in dyes, as the region is heavily tied to the primary trade of the Rallis Archipelago. Their colors tend to be on the warmer scale, but they are best known for producing a rich burgundy shade adored by groups like the Burdigalans.

Notable Locations

City of Arvost

  • Click here for more information on the City of Arvost

El Puerto Azul

  • Click here for more information on El Puerto Azul

Emperor’s Causeway

The Emperor’s Causeway is a unique location that bridges Killarallis and Sirallis. Due to its ties to the Regalian Emperor, it remains the cornerstone of the Rallis-Regalian relationship. In 154 AC, Emperor Henri III came to Killarallis on a visit, the nation already having met Regalia and possessing a minor Unionist presence. While walking on the Causeway, he was informed by one of the officials as to its history. It was once a slave road between two major Altalar facilities, where slaves arrived in the south, and were transported north to be processed, and later, transported west. The Emperor immediately fell to his knees and began a stream of prayer, and his son soon followed suit. Henri then ordered everyone to leave them be, he and his son would walk the rest of the distance on their own as a form of pilgrimage and respect for the dead slaves of the past. They did so, and it became a tradition of the subsequent generations for the Crown Prince of the Regalian Empire to take the Emperor’s Walk along the length of the causeway alone and in contemplation in order to connect to the souls of the dead slaves and understand their suffering. The last Emperor to do the walk was Allestrain I, though Kade Emperors Alexander I and Cedromar I both walked it after being crowned. Emperor Cedromar, in fact, jogged it back and forth in record time before discovering he was actually only supposed to walk it one way. He had assumed it was a competition, hence his speed. The Causeway itself is a long and winding cliff-road of High Allorn design which often stands close to the spray from crashing waves of the ocean. It is constantly being washed over by these waves and the strong winds that form them, which has worn down large sections of the Altalar design to smoothness. It also bridges the Rallis Strait between Killarallis and Sirallis, along two other, far more modern constructs, yet sits so high that many modern ships can pass beneath these and its two sisters without issue.

Trivia

  • Altalar ruins on Solacia are not immediately obvious most of the time, as few are found in the region's remaining sparse jungle patches. Instead, they have largely been reincorporated back into current estates and villas, making the basements of these locations surprisingly old and beautiful with wall art from the peak of Altalar civilization.
  • Solacian wine is the only real competition faced by Ithanian wine on the Daen market.
  • The region’s inhabitants particularly emphasize the sun, to the degree that many ill-informed visitors believe there is some sort of Songaskian influence on the region. This is not the case, as the first Songaskian recorded on the island appeared late in their history, in 269 AC.

Accreditation
Writers HydraLana
Processors KrakenLord01, Woodwork
Last Editor HydraLana on 09/27/2021.

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