|Flora and Fauna|
Ithania is well-regarded by the rest of Aloria as a hotbed of wealth and culture. Located to the west of Regalia, Ithania is the home of the pacifistic, culture-oriented Ithanians, who promote matrilineal society and polyandry. 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 Elven Empire’s system of governance. Modern Ithania came about from a peaceful transference 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, bringing forth wine and silk 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 gave way to more regional powers. From this rose the Varran civilization, which lived in the southern deserts of Ithania until around three thousand years before the Cataclysm. At this point, the Elven Empire had formed to the south and began marching on the Varran people. Heavily noted as primitive and savage in Nelfin texts, the Altalar easily crushed the Varrans, destroyed nearly all remnants of their culture, enslaved them en masse, and deported them to slave camps in Daendroc. Here, they and their descendents worked under poor conditions for the next several thousand years.
Ithania continued to remain strictly under Elven control until the Empire’s demise during the events of the Cataclysm. Through that long stretch of Ithanian history, the Nelfin moved the Varrans out, and meanwhile imported Ailor slaves into the area. Ithania soon became a very rich part of the Empire, mostly in due part to its geographic features including its coasts, wide rivers, and fertile land. This allowed for luxuries such as wine and silk to be produced en masse. Such an excess of wealth led to the local Elven rulers to increase the rights of their Ailor slaves; approximately forty years before the Cataclysm, the Ithanian Ailor became the first people to be permanently liberated from slavery, and achieve equal status to the Elves. This allowed for a premature development of Ithanian language and culture, as opposed to the militantly-controlled Daendroque and Lusitian slaves.
Following the Cataclysm, the Nelfin aristocracy were “overthrown” in a peaceful exchange of power known as “Le Mars de l’Orchidée,” where the Ailor majority democratically and diplomatically forced the Nelfin princes to abdicate in favor of Human rule. Many Nelfin managed to retain unofficial government positions or important advisory roles to the new ruling classes, while elsewhere in the world Ailor societies turned violently against them. This led to a mutual cultural exchange between the people, as opposed to the polarization experienced between the Nelfin high culture and the Daendroque culture witnessed to the south. Whereas in Daendroc, the slaves rejected the Nelfin’s inclination towards scholarly pursuit and became more barbaric and war-like, the Ithanians became the cultural successors of Nelfin culture, focusing on self-development, pacifism, and self-indulgence.
The Birth of a Nation
The period of history following the Cataclysm was one of many births; from culture, to races and nations. Because of Ithania’s general pacifism during the time of the Elven Empire, its culture began to shift towards an inherent inclination away from war and battle, and more towards the progression of the mind and culture. This left the continent vulnerable to foreign raiders from Nordskag and Regalia, who were almost entirely men. These brutish outsiders were soon vilified by the Ithanians, which further polarized their inclination towards anything classy, frail, and with poise, resulting in the matriarchal system of governance and administration. Around 150 AC, Ithania was officially “conquered” by Regalia under the leadership of Vladimir Kade. No battles were fought as Ithania had no formal military; in fact, their surrender was near-immediate upon the first landing of the Regalian armies, though the actual violent intent of these armies is often disputed. Many historical reports indicate that the Regalians were welcomed with open arms to protect the state against southern encroachment from Lusits, Nordskag raiders, and Varran pirates.
From this point on, under the protection of the Regalian Empire, Ithania continued to grow and become one of the most sophisticated lands in Aloria. This continued until the Regalian Pessimism, where the effect on Regalia adversely affected Ithania; where in Regalia, militant nationalism took the forefront, pacifism became the central focus in Ithania. What little military Ithania had left was removed, inviting forth the concept of Jacobinism; the belief in small government, social progress, and religious freedom. This period has since passed over, but many concepts, including pacifism and high culture, remain ingrained in Ithanian culture. Though Ithania is today one of the largest contributors to Regalia’s vast pool of wealth, it is not one without economic hardship. Subsequent to the Regalian Pessimism, Ithania encountered a severe economic depression: this was followed by an event known as the Ithanian Gem Boom. Several huge repositories of sapphires, rubies, and emeralds were discovered in the Pays Sud region of the Regalian Archipelago. Regalia, seeing this as an opportunity to solidify its grasp over Ithania, openly encouraged the emigration of Ithanians from their homeland to this new area rife with economic opportunity, thereby solidifying the Ithanian Realm’s loyalty to the Regalian Crown.
Today, Ithania rests as one of the largest contributors to Regalia’s wealth. Recently, there has been a large amount of social unrest, mostly due to the inherent clash between Regalia’s aggressive military policies and Ithania’s preference of pacifism. Additionally, many border revolts occur along the border between Ithania and Daendroc, where many Lusitians rise up and try to seize Ithanian wealth, of which they are covetous of. Finally, Ithania is subjected to frequent Varran piracy from Ssil, who also envy the acquired wealth of the continent.
Ithania has a fairly diverse amount of biomes, each with their numerous people, plants, animals, and more. Ithania itself is located to the west of Regalia, to the south of Fendarfelle and Nordskag, and borders Daendroc to the south. This border is classified by the vast difference between the jungles of northern Daendroc, and the desert of southern Ithania. Central Ithania is mostly taiga and steppes, while northern Ithania is capable of reaching freezing temperatures, and is often kissed by snowfall. Facing the north, Ithania creates a giant “Y” with the way its land and oceans fall; the Three Skags lie on the right, on the snowfall-covered side, while Fendarfelle is located to the left, where it is separated from Ithania by a massive plain.
Ithania is dotted by numerous rivers that act as trade centers. Beyond these, there is little to note of Ithania’s landscape other than the fact that it is covered in cities. Ithania is a vastly urban continent, and while many cities are centered around the sprawling rivers of it, there are several located in seemingly random locations as well. The latter stand as a testament to mass agriculture during the time of the Elven Empire. Seeing as Ithanian culture is mostly pacifistic, the cities are completely open; there are no walls, and very few castles, forts, or strongholds to speak of on the continent. These cities are pinnacles of Ithanian culture; they grow tall, wide, and are decorated only with the most elaborate materials one can find in Aloria, all in a display of material and cultural wealth.
Though many vagabond caravans and trading companies make their way through the unpopulated areas of the continent independent of any nation or creed, the entirety of Ithania is governed by the Ithanian Realm, a large political entity ruled by the Ithanian Sovereign: a queen of queens who answers to the Regalian Empire.
Ithania has a wide variety of flora that range across its equally diverse continent. This being said, the demographics of the flora is so polarized that there are some plants present in Ithania that do not grow anywhere else in the world. One particular plant is Fireweed, which has always caused significant issues for the urban population. Fireweed is an incendiary plant that spontaneously combusts. In fact, one rare incident of a Fireweed accident caused an entire country town to burn down.
Similar to the flora of Ithania, the fauna is spread out and diverse in contrast to many other continents. While some dangerous creatures may roam the deserts, the Ithanian plains are filled with many domestic animals. Still yet, many Ithanian breeders take pride in their selectively birthed show-pets; from the Long Fluff to the Sucre Cien, the variety of domestic animals kept in Ithania are a testament to their owner’s culture.
Politics and Demographics
The entire landmass known as Ithania politically falls under the Ithanian Realm, which is a governmental structure subservient to the Regalian Empire. This Realm is governed by the Ithanian Sovereign, who is the “Queen of all Ithanian Queens.” This Queen is elected by the many Ithanian Principalities, which are all ruled by queens. The Ithanian Sovereign thus rules directly over her own principality, known as an Hivre, as well as indirectly over the entire Realm. The current sovereign is Grand Souverain Elenore d'Aubignarois La Beauté, who hails from Hivre Haute Puisse. There are nine Hivres in total, each with their own style of individual governance. Some are hereditary, while others engage in local elections. Below is a list of all the Ithanian Hivres:
- Hivre Haute Puisse
- Hivre du Sud
- Hivre Saint-lume
- Hivre Bains des Bas
- Hivre Bressuivre
- Hivre Castellajoux
- Hivre Saint Shevaix
- Hivre Carnigoux de Foix
- Hivre Agennes-sur-Livres
La Portée du Paradis
Known as “Havenreach” by most Common speakers, La Portée du Paradis is the wealthiest port in all of Ithania; an economic goldmine in every sense of the word. Hundreds of ships enter and exit its harbor every day, bringing in traders who leave with Ithania’s fine goods. One could go so far as to name it the second trade capital of Aloria—after the Regalian Holy City, of course.
La Rivière du Prospérité
La Rivière du Prospérité is the primary river that stems through the mainland continent of Ithania. All trade either comes through this river towards the Great Middle Sea and proceeds to Regalia, or alternatively through the eastern coast of the continent. It is upon this river that cities such as Havenreach rest, basking in the luxurious trade that fills its coffers.
La Cour de Ciècle
La Cour de Ciècle is a vast desert which spans over Ithania’s southern border. This desert is nigh-inhospitable and is host to a quite literal expanse of nothingness. Despite this, deep under the sands lie many ancient Varran temples; sometimes discovered, these ruins are swifty stamped out by Ithanians wary of any trace of Varran culture.
This city is unofficially the capital of the Ithanian Realm, where the seat of the Sovereign of Ithania is positioned, along with its various foreign embassies. It is located to the south-east coast of Ithania. Known as Lapalaise for short, the city is generally considered the most beautiful city in the known world, with architectural marvels situated on cliffs and river deltas that mouth into massive waterfalls, towering over the jungles below. The buildings themselves are often lined with golden decorative details and pure bronze roofs to make the city shine and visible even from afar.
- Many recent excavations in the Ithanian deserts imply that the Varran civilization may have been more than just a Nelfin-conquered people in times passed…
- Ithania was once ruled by the Mad Queen of Dordonnais, a woman so obsessed with beauty and longevity that she turned to Vampirism to prolong her life. Because of her horrific acts while ruling, many Ithanians in particular fear Vampirism and stray from it as best as they can.