Arnea has been known for years immemorial as the Land of Beasts, and with good reasons. The only humans who live in Arnea are the Nbyanan cow-people, who, history has shown, are the descendants of escaped slaves. Nomadic Halflings roam the Halfling Deserts, training dinosaurs and seeking water, but that is almost the extent of the familiar humanoid races.
Instead, Arnea is home to the Felbraug, the Lionaur, the Abilen, and many, many more. Peopled from coast to coast with races strange and wild, it is a common perception of the Bidestran people that Arnea is a world away from their own. However, this is a false assumption; Arnea's kingdoms have stood longer than those of the Bidestrans, and indeed, their greatest accomplishments speak in hushed, historical tones of the Fallen Sorceror Kings, whose tyrannical regime held the continent, and almost the world, in its grasp.
Ancient and proud, Savahlyne is the flagship nation of Arnea. A civilisation of cities, spread from a desert's wastes to the coastline, Savahlyne has one of the longest histories in Cobrin'Seil, dating back to before the First Age.
This history does not come without its scars - indeed, Savahlyne's mighty pyramids and glorious cities, bathed in jewels from foreign lands all came at the end of a blade. The most famous remaining relic of the Sorceror Kings, Savahlyne is The Ever Vigilant, a society that views itself as guarding the Arnean continent from Bidestra itself.
Savahlyne's society is one that is based around the central concept of honour; an individual is marked as being with or without honour on some intrinsic level when one enters the city. Acts committed within the city impact one's honour directly, and the ruling council can declare a person without Honour. Associating with one without Honour diminishes one's own, so nobody wishes to consort with those individuals who are declared as Honourless - and there are areas that are deemed off-limits to Honourless individuals.
The main population of Savahlyne are the Lionaurs, mystic people with an innate connection to the positive energy plane and a distrust of arcane magic. They safeguard their society as best they can against those more chaotic and dangerous races, and are not shy about ejecting an individual from their homes with a mark of justice to remind them of their misbehaviour.
The other major relic of the Sorceror Kings, Nbyana is the name for the savannah-dwelling tribes of the Arnean continent. Nbyana translates literally to 'Place of the Cow People'.
The plains of Nbyana inhabit are wide, broad savannahs, interspersed with scrubland. It is circled on all sides by other nations - Savahlyne to the north and west, the Horandi Desert to the east, and the Jungles of Jarrath to the south. It is land-locked and lacks for a major river system, putting the nation largely at the mercy of the rains for food and water… however, for some reason, that is never a problem.
The Nbyanan tribes are dark-skinned individuals, spread across the land, and the psionic art is extremely common amongst their numbers - their legacy as the slaves of the Sorceror Kings. Countless generations have passed, and the faint psionic spark that resided in the few courageous individuals that rose up from their bonds of slavery has grown into a national prediliction.
This psionic ability is an image shared by the nation of Nbyana itself; that is, somehow, the country, from border to border, is some kind of enormously complicated, devastatingly powerful and, above all else, ponderously slow psychic organism. Psionics in Nbyana are easier to manifest, and Arcane magic is stiflingly hard to successfully complete. The mindset and mentality of Nbyana is neutral; it seems willing to draw the cycles of life together as they should be.
A sparkling jewel in a sea of sand, Horandi stands tall and proud as a city that thrives in spite of itself. Across the Arnean continent from Savahlyne's ports, Horandi stands, despite its relatively desolate surroundings, fed by a interplanar portal to the Elemental Plane of Water. It often baffles people how a city surrounded by sand can have fresh seafood so regularly.
Horandi's population is primarily human. Initially of Nbyanan stock, the Horandi have overcome their natural inclination against Arcane magic and now, are most often psionically inert. While the majority of the population are human, however, the magic of the sands and the country's somewhat unstable planar overlay means that more than a few folk in the lands of Horandi are born with an elemental, celestial, or even feindish tinge to their bloodline.
Horandi's isolation has made it something of a haven for powerful individuals. The University of Horandi is regarded as the best magical college in the world, with a ruling council of spellcrafters that engage in research in numerous fields.
Recent years have been kind to Horandi. Some two hundred years ago, its Sultan and Emir vanished, the Vizier almost plunged the country into chaos, and elemental beasts ran the streets of the city, claiming lives and property as they did; however, they were thwarted by the efforts of a group of Bidestran heroes, who claimed no reward, but were given honourary nobility in the Horandi nation anyway.
South of the lands of Nbyana, Jarrath rounds out the - largely unexplored - lands south of Arnea. A wild, untamed land, the only Bidestran race represented here is that of the halflings of Jarrath - and they are as different from Bidestra's halflings, or even the ocean goers of the Hulks as night is from day.
Jarrath is a thick, teeming tropical jungle, whose borders are recognized by the neighbouring nations mainly through diplomatic relations that have no direct contact. Instead, the Halflings of Jarrath serve as emissaries and intermediaries for the many tribes and peoples of the Jarrath jungle, bringing conflicting and confusing reports of nations at war, or not at war, and sometimes, even, extinct for generations.
Jarrath is a mystery to the land of Bidestra, and that often means a potential goldmine of untapped resources - which often convert simply to an equation of wealth. However, Jarrath does not yield its secrets easily. What people have fled from the jungles, or been carried out by patient halfling hunters have spoken of towering spires, of ziggurats cut from single blocks of stone, and of dreadful, dreadful entities, of things best left uncovered and untouched, for their wakefulness speaks of the doom of all life.
Copyright: Original content in this article is copyright © Talen Lee 2006-2008. -