Sunday, September 23, 2018

Gazetteer: Culture Regions of Prace

The subcontinent of Prace is the "known world" of Monvesia.  Over the centuries, several peoples have carved out their "own" territory here.  Often, these territories overlap; and in several cases, once-great territories have been severely diminished.  Originally, only the dwarves, elves, and rakasta (and, possibly, firbolgs) were native to Prace.  Gnomes developed from dwarves; while humans, goliaths, lizardfolk, and vanara migrated into the land of the Great River and beyond.  Today, Prace is a culturally dense subcontinent.

Human Regions: Monvesia

The humans of Monvesia can be roughly divided into six cultural groups, each with its own common langauge.

Cuorria (yellow) [aka. Herzland] is home to Dray, the capital of the Divine Drajan Empire.  To the west is the independent nation of Montaigne, while the Granitsa nation are in the east. The common language of the region is called Cuorrian.

Galtain (green) [aka. Galtannia, Galtland] was the only only region not previously claimed by one of the native races of Prace. It remains less developed than the other regions as the humans here try to mimic and blend the pre-human pridefolk and elfish cultures. The common language is called Galtish.

The Honderreich (red) [aka. Ondria] is where all the worldbuilding and adventure of this setting began. Though once a "hundred" petty kingdoms, it is now dominated by the Kliemland in the north, Vasterreich in the west, central Gierland, and the Zyrndy Federation in the south (which is the only remaining Imperial nation in the Honderreich).  The common language is called Honderreicher.

Notopoli (dark blue) [aka. Notopia] is located in the south, in the lowlands of the Monvesien Valley.  City-states no larger than Dray dot the riverbanks.  By controlling the Monvesian delta, Notopoli maintains its relevane as a trade hub.  The common language is called Notopolitan.

Veldistan (light blue) [aka. Baltia, Baltland] is located in the southwest of Prace.  It was the earliest region settled by humans, who had come to the Monvesien Valley from the Sea of Sand. Vestiges of Desolation-era culture can still be found here--and many saints important to modern religion were born to these archaic traditions. The common language is called Veldi.

Voztok (purple) [aka. Zaria, Tzarland] is the only human region not part of the Monvesien Valley; instead, it is located to the west of the Dvergheim and Granitsa mountains. Once a single empire that dominated the east (rumored to be led by a lich); Volka in the south has recently gained independence through peaceful means. The common language is called Voztonky.

Non-Human Regions

Historic Non-Human Territories

Current Non-Human Regions

The non-human regions are greatly diminished in comparison to their original extent.  Be\efore the arrival of goliaths and humans in Prace, the subcontinent was divided between three races:  the elves, dwarves, and pridefolk.  When the goliaths came, they pushed the elves inland from the Frenetic Sea; and when the humans arrives, the settled into the Monvesien valley, pushing the races into the fringes.

Dvergheim (orange) is home to dwares and gnomes. Once covering the majority of the Honderrech and Voztok, dwarven territory has been reduced to the mountain range that separates the two human regions.  Gnomes may continue to be found in both human regions, as well as in Galtain, in addition to Dvergheim.

The Pridelands (brown) are home to the rakasta, or "pridefolk."  The race's original territory once included the southern border of Galtain, the western border of Cuorria, and a majority of Veldistan.  Briefly, the pridefolk expanded into western Dvergheim (the region that would later become the Honderreich); this expansion would help to incite the Orc Wars that killed off the Lyncasta and greatly reduced the Sylvasta population.

Sunnimaa (red) is home to the elves, who lost territory to both humans and goliaths.  They once controlled the mainland area of Inheritance as well as a majority of Cuorria and Notopoli.  However, while control of these areas has been lost, elves retain a presence in the entirety of their ancient homeland; they have even spread into Imperial Honderreich and Granitsan Voztok.

Inheritance (green) is the new home of the goliaths.  Like humans, this race is not native to Prace; they migrated from Desolation across the Frenetic Sea, landing on the uninhabited southeastern islands, and later expanding to the mainland.  Elves and goliaths have proven to be able to live side-by-side in harmony--though some militant tribes of goliaths have begun to challenge this notion.

Other Non-Humans

Gnomes, halflings, lizardfolk,and vanara all have a presence in Prace, but none have any real territory in or around the Monvesien Valley. 
  • As noted above, gnomes can be found wandering/travelling Dvergheim, Galtain, the Honderreich, and Voztok. (Their ranges are not marked on the maps above.)
  • Halflings are a new addition to the cultural landscape, emerging in independent pockets in Cuorria, the Honderreich, and the Pridelands (marked in grey); they are closely related to, and often considered the same race as, rakasta.
  • Lizardfolk likely migrated to Prace at the same time as humans, though they are native to Celippanu in Henjal; two known communities are known to exist--one to the north of the Honderreich and one outside of Veldistan (both marked in drab green).  While the Honderreicher community seeks integration among human society, the Veldi community prefers isolation.
  • Vanara are also native to Henjal, having "taken over" as the dominant people of that subcontinent; while in search of a legendary valley of Chanvhara, they have come to western Prace (marked in pink).

Quiet Giants of the Northwest

The rakasta of the Pridelands tell stories of borderfolk that live north of the Border Sea.  Humans have come to accept that this word refers to the Galts.  While this may be the case today, the word predates the migration of humans to Galtain.  The earlier borderfolk were sometimes also called quietfolk because they rarely interacted with neighboring races; their "quietness" is contrasted with the roaringfolk (or cycremasca), a term used for humans as a whole.

Gnomes wandering old Dvergheim told early human settlers similar stories about "giants" in the land of the west--gentle creatures they once traded with regularly.  No humans were able to corroborate those legends, though.  The further the Galts spread, the less likely these "giants" of the northwest existed.  However, gnome bands continue to tell stories about the giants they trade with in Galtain.
I have come to accept that firbolgs exist in Prace, living in secret alongside the humans of Galtain.  I like the idea of them trading regularly with gnomes, all the while avoiding humans--even after centuries of coexistence.

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