|Flora and Fauna|
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 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 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 gave way to more regional powers. From this rose the Javarindar or, as they are known today, the Varran. They lived across Ithania in a variety of different climates, and some even lived down further south into Daen. Eventually, the Allorn Empire in southern Daen desired to expand and so came into conflict with this Race. The war lasted for decades, but Altalar records have long proclaimed the defensive nature of the war and that they had been the ones assailed by the savage, brutal Javarindar. While this narrative is generally considered a construct, the war's defensive nature is certain. The ancient Varran’s advanced technology did give them an advantage in various conflicts against their enemies. The war ultimately ended when the Altalar Empress Talea defeated the ruling caste of their society at a single major battle over their capital city, whose name and location has been long lost to time. In the aftermath of this event, the Varran Empire collapsed and hundreds of thousands found themselves enslaved and exported out of their homeland to other regions. As time went on, the Allorn Empire continued to dominate the region and spread dozens of their cities over its surface, erasing any trace they could find of the Varran’s ancient past. By the time of the Cataclysm, they held vast agricultural holdings with thousands of Ailor and Varran slaves operating them. The region also was the site of the end of the Fifth Void Invasion;records indicate the Empress faced down the Void with her army in the far reaches of northern Ithania.
In the aftermath of the Cataclysm and as slaves across southern Daen began to revolt, the Ailor slaves in Ithania took a different approach. Greatly affected by Altalar cultural ideals (not their dark realities as could be found everywhere by the time their Empire collapsed), peaceful marches demanding their freedom filled the cities. The Varran on the other hand mostly sought violence and either fled or found themselves kept in line by the Altalar-inclined Ailor. Seeking to avoid gruesome deaths at the hands of mobs, the Altalar stepped back from power allowing what soon became the Ithanian Ailor to step into the spotlight. Le Mars de l’Orchidée was a great success and many of the Altalar also stayed, keeping their material wealth within the Ithanian economy as well as many of their skills and knowledge. However, their peace-loving ways perhaps became an excess. While they did still punish slaves and harshly put down rebellions by a now primarily disenfranchised lower caste of Ithanian society, they kept no army. Instead, they relied on knights, skilled Altalar, and local temporary militias to do this work for them alongside more skilled Altalar. This resulted in them being a target for Velheim raiding (something which has continued to this day) and also the Regalian Empire. Upon the arrival of Vladimir Kade and his ultimatum in 150 AC, the Ithanians acquiesced to his demands in an arrangement that was secretly arranged beforehand through several Ithanian nobles seeking power within the Regalian Empire. 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. Several huge repositories of gems were discovered in the Regalian Archipelago.
Regalia, seeing this as an opportunity to strengthen 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 Sovereignty’s loyalty to the Regalian Crown and further developing Ithanian-cultured regions of the Archipelago. This same event later contributed to the Regalian Pessimism. Its effects on Regalia also adversely affected Ithania. While in Regalia militant nationalism took the forefront, pacifism became the central focus in Ithania. What little military Ithania had left was removed, inviting the concept of Jacobinism; the belief in small government, social progress, and religious freedom. This period has since passed and the ideology is now heavily persecuted. More recently, Ithania has been involved in a series of engagements that have not gone well for them. Following the declaration of the 11th Creed under Alexander I, a large army of Daendroque landholders and their militias marched north and attacked Ithania, slaughtering thousands in a city notable for being the living quarters of a Kade cadet branch. Then, the Varran 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 Varran’s past. To add to this, the Bone Horror Crisis wreaked havoc on their countryside, though the majority of the percentage of the population who died were rural peasants or slaves. Then, the Kathar and their Dread Empire attempted to assail Ithania and were only fended off when Drowdar arrived to combat the menace and aid the local Regalian deployments. Ithania even now faces political upheaval as the traditions of matriarchy battle with Regalian nobles who recently arrived and their concepts of patriarchy. The conflict still rages and is unlikely to cease, leaving Ithania beautiful, picturesque but ultimately deeply divided.
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 Western Calms in the west, the Daen Sea in its southeast and the Great Middle Sea to the east. Beginning in the north, this region is cold and open, with its only protection being local fishing villages, the odd city 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. It is also here where the Yarran Varran live (but not in great amounts). Still, they are a fierce presence and slavers have to be careful if they seek to capture one for their holds. Below this is the Ithanian heartland, an open expanse of plains, rolling hills and river valleys that go from coast to coast. They are punctured only by Les Grandes Laques, five freshwater bodies of varying sizes. A variety of rivers spread out from these lakes and nourish the rest of the continent. The heartland also has sparse forests, but at the southern edge of the heartland are larger and older woods. Then one reaches the large Ithanian desert, known to the Ithanians and Regalia as the Paysec Desert. Many free Warran Varran refuse to call it that name and use its ancient designation, Zzkrazzorros or “Homeland.” This desert goes right up to and slightly overlaps the Ithanian border with Daendroc, where the desert is replaced with the Alexandros Mountain Chain.
The northeast is different and features sparse woodlands before Ithania’s traditional coastline begins. This coastline is often simple, sandy beaches though it does have a more tropical feel along the western coastline as well as near the Solacian Isles. Up north, it is also different, and the occasional sheer cliff and downright jagged rocky shore replace the sand. Ithania’s 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. Ithania as a whole is largely overseen by the Ithanian Sovereignty, a political union of several Hivres (equal to Regalian Lordships or provinces of a nation) underneath a female leader known as the Grand Sovereign. Ithania is also a very urban environment, dotted by multiple ancient cities from the time of the Allorn Empire. Many maintain their original designs and architecture, merely with Ithanian touches and new renovations applied over the years, thus helping in giving the region an aged cosmopolitan feel. This feeling, however, ignores the thousands of slaves and poor workers working day after day in fields, mines, and other industries around said cities, but they have always been long ignored.
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.
Ithania is home to a diverse number of animals, many of them domesticated. In the various cities and settlements across the landscape, a large variety of domesticated dog and cat breeds live alongside local domesticated animals, like the Royal Canard, the Painted Lancierron and the Ithanian Lait-Blanc. Then, out in the wild, there are a variety 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 unique 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 and specifically the Western Calms, the Air Pocket Whale uses its large air sacs to help it quickly reach the surface to breathe.
Politics and Demographics
Ithania is dominated by the Ithanian Sovereignty, which controls the majority of the continent. It is a government subservient to the Regalian Empire since becoming part of that larger nation in 150 AC. Even since, Ithania has exerted a large influence on the Regalian Empire in many areas, particularly on the Regalian Emperors who steadily developed into an Ithanian family. The Sovereignty is a collection of eight Hivres, equal to Regalian lordships or a nation’s provinces. Each is largely autonomous internally, but there are issues of national interest that the female leaders of these regions agree to confront in a united response. Each Hivre’s court also has Regalian observers to ensure that the locals are following Regalian directives as well as to help direct Regalian forces in the region. Ithania is currently embroiled in a political and cultural battle as matriarchy battles patriarchy; brought in by Regalian nobles intent on forcing their viewpoint onto this nation while Regalia is militarily weak to stop them. As a result, the Hivres are in various states of disorder and a number of Ithanians have recently left due to their pacifist nature, seeking to avoid the conflict or preserve the integrity of their culture.
Below is a list of the different Ithanian Hivres:
- Hivre Haute Puisse
- Hivre Dusois
- Hivre San-lume
- Hivre Bressuivre
- Hivre Shevaix
- Hivre Agennes-sur-Livres
- Hivre Castellajoux
- Hivre Carnigoux de Foix
La Portée du Paradis
- Click here for more information on La Portée du Paradis
Les Grandes Laques
Les Grandes Laques are the core of the Ithanian heartland, providing a huge amount of fresh water to the population for whatever use they might have of it. Most of the time this uses is in agriculture and food production, helping to irrigate the fields of great Ithanian cities or to be used as fishing grounds. 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. The first is La Laque de Jeux or “The Lake of Games” due to the wide number of athletic contests that were held upon its shores by the Altalar that the Ithanians later took to heart themselves. It now features yearly boat races, swimming contests, and other similar water activities. Then there is La Laque du Prospérité, or “The Lake of Prosperity” - it is the largest of all of the lakes and is bordered by several dozen major cities. The largest of these is La Portée du Paradis on the l'Île du Paradis that rests almost dead center of the large lake. At the eastern tail-end of this huge source of water are three much smaller lakes, Les Laque du Bordelle, Rhoneux, and Challon. They are named after three Altalar princesses who lived in Ithania with an attached myth about their relationship to their mother, Lunelle (the moon). 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.
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. The Desert is known to be the place where the ancient Varran’s capital was likely located, alongside a vibrant river which the records claim Talea made dry with a single spell. While neither capital itself nor this dry riverbed have ever been discovered, several other ruins have been over the years. Most have been immediately destroyed by Ithanian nobility in the Hivres of Dusois and San-Lume, whose eastern and western reaches of territory enters the desert. A few, however, have been spirited to the coastline and shipped elsewhere for the Varran people to explore and enjoy them in their city-states. The most notable of these emerged in 304 AC but these too were blown up by the end of the year. However, this was not before Regalian scholars confirmed to the Empire that the Varran had once been highly technologically advanced. On the matter of technology, a recent presence to the desert carries on this tradition. A single Qadir Hadritya sits at the eastern end of the desert, built in the Qadir style, with Qadir inhabitants eagerly seeking pieces of Varran technology to supply their quest for knowledge.
Joyau-vert du Nord
Joyau-vert du Nord holds the unique 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 Les Grandes Laques, is instead found at the mouth of a river delta near La Laque de Jeux. 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 cathedral, 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 following this same style but even those that do not still attempt to have some shade of green in their roof tiling. This cathedral, St. 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 Les Grandes Laques.
- 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.