Izbefe, Kingdom of the sea
Spoiler: Flag (by gengy)
Spoiler: Region 6, IzbefeSpoiler: TerrainThe lands of Izbefe encompass a wide range of geography. In the west, a desert is surrounded by mountains, further east, the land becomes more flat and more fertile as it follows the river Chilla towards the sea. In general the region tends to be lightly forested and full of tall grass whether it is wheat farmed by the locals or the hunting grounds of other locals; from weasels all the way up to the occasional bear.
The region is mostly devoid of civilization save for along the north side of the river Chilla where there are numerous villages. They are, for the most part, clusters of single story buildings made of clay or stone bricks and with thatched roofs. Similar villages can be found along the south side as well but only closer to the coast where the river winds up into the middle of Izbefe lands. Only a few of these villages can even be called cities.
The city of Karak is the largest on the river Chilla. It stretches across both sides of the river and is positioned on the coast. It is the most fortified and it has the best soldiers for it's job is to regulate who enters and leaves the river. This is the only city that the Avakonian empire even bothered inhabiting and as a result it has a few temples and other buildings featuring architecture and art similar to that of the Avakonian empire.
The city of Cona is found much further up river, near the bottom of mount Cona, the largest mountain in Izbefe. It is a key trade city as it is the source for most metal found throughout the region. It is also quite far inland making it harder to approach for seafaring enemies. It is the second largest city and was founded after the Avakonian occupation when the villages who had hidden in the mountains returned to the river.
The capital city of Rolas is located near a few kilometers up river from Karak. It is the third largest city but has the best land for farms and the best ship builders in Izbefe and, some would say, the world.
Taob is also a significant village in that it's chief sits on the upper council. It is a fairly large town but not quite a city. All the same it's soldiers are strong, it's shipwrights skilled and it's fisherman successful. Taob is located at the point where the south side of the river leaves Izbefe territory.
Spoiler: PeopleAn old saying goes, "In times of need, take to the sea." If war befalls a man of Izbefe he will be better suited to combat on a ship than on land. If a village is starving they should send out ships to gather fish, the easiest food for a man of Izbefe to gather. Sailing is in the blood of these people in the same way that blinking and breathing are in the blood of others. Every family owns a boat of some kind, whether it is a small canoe unable to take a couple of fisherman beyond the river Chilla or a royal sailing vessel with three rows of oarsmen per side and a crew of up to two hundred men.
During a battle these larger ships become fortresses on the sea. Soldier's interlocking shields protect the oarsmen from attack and hide the movements of archers on the deck. Domestic pigeons carry messages from one boat to another to relay commands. The dozens of trained oarsmen are able to get the ship moving at a considerable pace, certainly enough to outrun most other ships if flight is necessary but more importantly to keep up with fleeing enemies. A variety of combat strategies can be employed, from ramming ships to sink them to killing all aboard with arrows but the majority of combat involves some sort of boarding of the opponents ships where, following a protective volley, the soldiers on the boarding side take up their swords and leap into the enemy boats slashing and stabbing their way to victory or defeat.
In all truthfulness the warriors of Izbefe are nothing spectacular without their boats and seafaring tactics. It was this that lead to their eventual conquering by the Avakonian Empire when it was still a growing power. Both sides put up a good fight but as the Avakonian Empire established more and more foot holds elsewhere on the continent the battle for Izbefe shifted from sea to land where the discipline, equipment and numbers of Imperial soldiers proved vastly superior to the courage and hit and run tactics of the Izbefe people. Izbefe quickly learned that their land formations were inadequate to say the least. After defeat after defeat the council of village leaders, lead by the royal family, surrendered to try and minimize the death count.
As with many nations conquered in war the people of Izbefe were rounded up and captured as slaves. Those who could, fled to the deserts and the mountains but most could not and entire villages were deported to Avakonian metropoles to live out their days. It was in this way that a great sailing nation was kicked down a rung to a once great sailing nation. A couple of generations passed before Avakon fell and the remaining generals of the empire ended their occupation. The people of Izbefe began to return to their lands. While some villages had been spared and kept up their old ways of sailing many had grown used to the land and would need to rebuild their ships, homes and skills.
Unlike some of the surrounding regions Izbefe was not heavily occupied, after most of the slaves had been moved only a small outpost city was maintained to keep the people who were left in check. The land did not have anything exceptional in the way of natural resources or strategic location so it was not developed nearly as much as other parts of the Avakonian empire were, for example in Amham.
Some good did come of this displacement, however. One village who fled to the desert did not stay there but left Izbefe altogether, heading north into the mysterious desert. When they returned they wore tatoos, carried flasks of magical powder and came preaching a new religion of elements and magic. Some villages also spent time in the mountains and returned with a better knowledge of masonry, mining and smithing.
In the year 103 the population is still stunted, though far less so, the people grow used to the sea once more, this time with the aid of elemental magic of sea and air to guide them, fire and earth to arm them and spirit to keep them looking to the horizon for new life, new adventure and new rewards. Their king is Balder Gammet, King upon the Sea, and each village of the river Chilla now swears allegiance to him. He has sworn that the people of Izbefe will once again be feared by sailors and soldiers alike and that the country will become richer than it ever was.
Spoiler: GovernmentThe inhabited region of Izbefe is a series of villages on the river Chilla. Each elects a leader in whatever way they see fit, sometimes by a vote, other times by competition of some sort. Each of these leaders are called chief and join the advisers of the king which is divided into two councils. The Lower Council is made up of all of the Chiefs and the Upper Council is made up of the Chiefs of Karak,
Cano, Rolas and Taob as well as the Magi of Initia. Both councils advise the King on decisions and spend half of their time in Rolas as well as half in their home town. The King has for generations been of the Gammet family from Rolas.
Spoiler: ResourceShips needs wood.
The shipwrights of Izbefe are renowned throughout the world but you cannot build a ship with dirt and Izbefe's forests are to sparse to produce an exportable quantity without supplements from other areas.
Spoiler: ReligionInitia is the official religion of the state but with only a small amount of magic dust it is not very widespread among the commoners. There is only a single Magi in the entire region and he sits on the King's upper council. The majority of people practice Jalyeong-Bo and make sacrifices of sea birds or fish to recieve good luck in their sailing.
State Religion: Initia
Ralos and Cona: Initia
Karak and Taob: Initia
The Villages: Initia
Spoiler: Region 5, Binpultry
Spoiler: TerrainSouth of the river Chilla, the land is not much different from north of it. In the far west there are some generally barren mountains and an uninhabited stretch of desert. Throughout the region grasslands are dry and scrubby but become more fertile as they grow to the north or south, towards one of the great rivers. Aside from the rivers there is not much water save for in the wells of the walled villages found throughout the region.
Spoiler: PeopleThe people of Binpultry, though close, are not human. They have hands and feet like a human, and walk erect like one, they average six feet of height at full adulthood and their dark skin is a comparable shade to the neighbouring sailors of Izbefe. Their hair is thick and curly and they wear rough robes to shelter them from the weather but this is where the human characteristics end. Upon observation their eyes are completely orange save for a small pupil in their center. Their skin is wrinkly and a bit thicker than that of a human. Their ears are quite large and finely tuned to frequencies out of range of a regular personís hearing. Finally, perhaps the most distinguishing feature; in the center of their faces, in place of a nose, they have a two foot long trunk, capable of carrying and manipulating objects and creating loud trumpeting noises.
These elephant people are nomadic for most of their long lives. Only once they reach old age do they permanently join one of the small monastic communities that dot the landscape. With that being said, it is still common for caravans to stop by for long periods of time, even up to multiple years. It is these communities that govern the region. Even in old age the people of Binpultry are quite strong and spend their days growing grain for trade, studying religion and history and educating any who care to learn. By this teaching each community often gathers a small following of youngsters who serve as messengers and help out with maintenance of the community.
Those who wander the plains are warriors. They hunt animals and bandits and spend much of their time training and preparing for war. The elephant folk must be competent warriors because they do not reproduce frequently. A mother will carry a single child for over a year before it is born and will completely devote the next seven to raising it. As a result of this and the recent wars the population of Binpultry is critically low and more and more children are sent to the elderís communities for safety.
Spoiler: ReligionJalyeong Bo for all three.
The elders of Binpultry spend much of their time studying and appeasing the spirits. Though some individual cases do stand out, the appeasing part is generally looked on as a chore by the elders and the study is a bore for the youngsters. There are three main spiritual centers, the communities of Blackstone, Peaktop and Whitesand. Blackstone is in roughly the middle of the region and is the largest village, some would call it the capital. It also has some mines and forges and is the only producer of metal weapons and armour in the region. Whitesand is near a white sandy beach on the coast and is the primary trade location of the region because of its easy access to the sea. Peaktop is the greatest library of the region and sits atop a mountain in the east, it is incredibly difficult to reach but those who do often find a profound sense of faith and knowledge.
Spoiler: ResourceGreat Millet:
The elders of Binpultry bring in a large amount of grain each year and it is used to make a variety of foods from bread to beer.
Spoiler: TechsBani Bowls:
Normal effect (drugs and medicine): In the case of losing two or more units via combat casualties, reduces combat losses by one unit.
Secondary effect (drugs and medicine): In the case of losing two or more units via any means from a battle, reduces unit losses by one unit.
[Requires: Wood, Cloth, Alchohol]
Normal effect: +1 to Buyouts
Secondary effect (logistics): one less distance loss
[Requires: Ships, Precious metals, Preservatives, Food]
Normal effect (Cavalry): +1 to battle rolls
Refined Pician Weaponry:
Normal effect (Weapons): +1 to battle rolls
Enables Exploration by land with a pack animals tech and by sea with a ships tech
[Requires: A Pack animal or Ships tech]