3.09 standard years
Vol'ska, Che'su, Chirarac
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- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Cities
- 4 Landmarks
- 5 Political Outlook
- 6 Religion
- 7 Military
From recovered texts it is believed an advanced civilization known as the “Cor” once dominated Andrion. At its zenith, some 30,000 years BBY, this civilization achieved many wonders of science, technology, medicine, engineering and astronomical navigation.
Visitors to the world are immediately struck by the landscape-dominating temples that seemingly impossibly jut through the lower cloud layers to rise defiantly into the heavens. Identically constructed, each temple is pyramidal in shape capped with four equally proportioned obelisks that extend fully into the planet’s lower atmosphere.
Collectively known as the Ruins of Morban Sla’akah, after the ancient historian/author thought to have written the events depicted in relief on the temples’ exteriors, they exist on every continent covering the planet’s surface.
Rising some ten kilometers into the sky at the equator, these temples are believed to have served as ancient navigational beacons for space traffic entering Andrion’s atmosphere. Known as the Clovani Morvotai, or “Heaven’s Map”, this network of immense structures covers the surface of the planet at regular intervals.
Predominantly found on the three major continents, several of these markers rise out of the world’s oceans from natural sub-surface mounts such as eroded island chains or submerged volcanoes. Ornately adorned with relief carvings, the temples depict major events in the history of the Cor as they coincided with the further mapping of the planet, construction of the markers, and advancement of the race.
From excavations of the markers, themselves some of the only remaining Cor architecture, evidence has been gathered that supports a popular theory that the civilization was destroyed by an extraterrestrial foe. Today the temples stand in various states of decay, but remain vibrant reminders of those that once walked the heavens of Andrion.
From the ruins of the Cor civilization, the primitive Minaquoi rose to assume dominance on Andrion. Briefly subjugated in the year 3500 BBY by a forgotten Warlord, these Humanoid sentients have inherited the temples though it is unclear whether they utilize them in any formal capacity. Some anthropologists believe the Minaquoi revere the structures as gul’du or “gateways” to the resting place of the Cor. Others suspect the world’s current inhabitants simply ignore them as taboo sites due to the oppressive religious dominance of Movat.
Stretching pole-to-pole, the massive continent of Gorvan is geographically classified as a super-continent. Its most prominent feature is the ice-capped Mt. Trigony in the southern hemisphere. Reaching some seven kilometers into the mist-clouded skies, Mt. Trigony is the highest naturally-occurring point on Andrion. Amazingly, it is dwarfed by the aforementioned gigantic temple ruins.
Gorvan is also home to the one million Minaquoi inhabiting the planet surface. Its rich forests and terraced farmlands provide a relatively rural and simple existence for the population. Agricultural harvests are supplemented with year-round fishing off the ample shores of Gorvan, bringing in a wealth of sea fare that is often salted and laid away for the sometimes brutal winters experienced there.
To the west of Gorvan across the Welling Sea lies the flat and rectangular continent of Da’nur. Historians believe Da’nur to be an “artificial” continent constructed as a sort of floating dock by the Cor for the eon-spanning construction of the ancient temple markers. Scans of the continent and the ocean below have revealed a complex network of tethers securing Da’nur to the ocean floor. Though they appear of natural origin, closer inspection has shown the very unnatural symmetry and composition of their construction. Indeed, evidence has shown much of the composite material used to create the tethers as extra-planetary in origin.
Further evidence supporting this claim is the relative proximity of three massive markers to the continent rising from the ocean, yet none are found on the landmass simultaneously suggesting its purpose and lack of ability of supporting one of the enormous structures itself. Why the faux continent was not later dismantled following the temples’ completion is unknown.
Found furthest from the mother-continent of Gorvan, Yulm lies on the other side of the world in relative isolation. Rich in natural resources and commodities not readily available on the main inhabited landmass of Gorvan, this continent is often the destination for brave sea-farers of the Minaquoi emboldened by dreams of trade enterprises.
Lushly forested with vamen trees, the roughly star-shaped continent is verdant and replete with arboreal life. Twilight in the massive forests brings choruses of the calming chirp of the vist, a small winged nocturnal rodent, reputed to sooth body and soul alike. Relatively free of predators, the forest will often serve as shelter and place of forage for sea-traders waiting out the sometimes climatic storms rolling across the Welling Sea.
Located on the giant Gorvan, Vol’ska lies along the equator on the Tormerian peninsula. It is suspected to be the oldest city on Andrion originally founded by the Cor some 31,000 years BBY. Shops and markets line its nexus of roads leading to the commonwealth buildings that see the day-to-day administration of Minaquoi affairs.
Che’su is a trade city located on the remote continent of Yulm. Exotic goods such as spices, minerals, and tea, or “veket” are bartered and exported to the mainland of Gorvan. Oceanic trade routes closely follow the coasts crossing the Welling Sea to make land once again on the western edge of Gorvan. From there they make their way to several harbors where goods are off-loaded and carted across the continent.
Originally founded by religious heretics fleeing persecution, “Che’su” is sometimes translated as The City of Screams. Twelve centuries before arrival of the Brotherhood in the Antei system, anthropological data points to a great cleansing, or “mastu”, in which political and religious dissidents were rounded up and put to death in brutally primitive fashion over the course of three days and nights. Though it is commonly avoided, traders entering the city to this day can still hear the screams of the perished from the time of the massacre.
Long ago a supply depot on the artificial construct Da’nur, Chirarac is now only seldom inhabited by more nomadic Minaquoi and even then only in times of harsh winters. It is a stone city featuring beautifully crafted single-story structures and dwellings.
Promonotory of Ga'lah
Adherents of the Movat faith believe the Promontory of Ga’lah is where the “Machtur”, or “Sky God”, will return from the heavens and offer deliverance. A massive rocky outcropping located in the Sueshar mountain range on Gorvan, the Promontory hangs forth in space as if supported by mighty invisible hands. From a distance it appears as a massive ramp or platform extending up towards the sky in supplication. Minaquoi hold season-changing festivals there when the weather and treacherous terrain permit.
Ruins of Morban Sla'akah
Found all over the planet’s surface, these massive ruins are believed to have served as navigational markers for the long-vanished Cor civilization. Ten kilometers in height, these structures are some of the largest recorded man-made objects in the Antei system. Completed over the course of some 800 years, the monoliths were used by Cor atmospheric craft for navigation over the planet’s surface. Evidence suggests that there may have been other uses for these beacons in Cor culture in the form of religious worship. One theory suggests that the Cor deities “could not see” their culture’s piety for the interference of Andrion’s atmosphere. This popular notion was brought about with the advent of atmospheric flight late in what is known in the historical record as the “Second Age”.
Also found on the globe-dominating continent of Gorvan, the Fose Swamps extend throughout the south-eastern portion of the landmass. Encompassing some 16,000 square kilometers, the swamps remain largely unexplored and are universally feared by the Minaquoi culture as the home to the “Fe’aspa”, or “Newly Dead”.
The Minaquoi do not practice the tradition of interment; rather they choose to anoint their deceased in oils designed to break down the body and then wrap it in a coarse linen shroud. The deceased is then transported to the swamp’s edge and floated into the murky water on rafts of fibrous wood that eventually absorb enough water to sink the body after a time.
The tallest peak on Andrion, Mt. Trigony sits astride the Pek’tar mountain range in southern Gorvan. Capped with ice above the tree line, the peak is some 7,000 meters above sea level.
The Welling Sea
Largest and most tempestuous of the planet’s seas, the Welling Sea stretches from Yulm to Gorvan and serves as the only medium of travel between the two continents. So named for its furious winter storms, most crossings occur in the summer in order to lay up provisions for the bitter winters that often plague Gorvan.
Little data exists on known sea life in the deeper reaches of the sea, but there is some evidence of man-made modifications to the sea floor for unknown purposes. Near the coasts of the primary and more scattered landmasses, ample fishing is found in the shoals and estuaries throughout.
Orbital scans have also indicated the ruins of at least thirteen temple markers below the surface of the sea that have sustained various levels of damage or erosion over the millennia. Sub-surface exploration of these ruins is not planned at this time.
Under the rule of demagogic “vates”, roughly translated as “seers”, the planet is divided among provincial satrapies known as “har’chas”. The three major vates govern the planet in a triumvirate format with the primary vate, called a Quon, holding final authority by virtue of his control of Gorvan, the largest and most bountiful landmass. The secondary vates each possess one continent.
This division of power is somewhat odd as all Minaquoi live on the super-continent Gorvan. The vates have no practical means of occupying, exploiting, or administrating their titular holdings over the other continents. Though some trading and commerce does occur, they largely remain untapped resources. Control of these lands is passed down through bloodline only to males over generations until no suitable heirs are available. In this instance, the Quon selects a new vate of his choosing, often from his own aides de camp.
Movat is a young religion that has swept over the Minaquoi in only the last generation. Founded by the prophet Tep some thirty-five standard years ago, it is claimed that he was visited by a “Machtur”. The Machtur visited with Tep for a short time and indirectly revealed a great deal of the power of those beyond Andrion. The Machtur could purportedly fly at will, conjure storms, and wielded a scepter encrusted with gems so radiant it was blinding to look upon.
Society of the Black Tree
The Black Tree is a pagan society of nature-worshippers who view the beliefs of the Movat faith a heresy against Mother Andrion. Existing in tiny, secretive sects, the society hides within the Minaquoi populace biding their time in order to one day show non-believers the true path to salvation.
Followers of Scorm
One of the most ancient and obscure religions alluded to in the anthropological catalogue, the Followers of Scorm were said to be metamorphosed giants altered ritualistically through the penance of their faith. Only the most pious were granted this rite of power through which the person was imbued with enhanced strength, preternatural speed, and immense physical stature among other benefits. The record of this faith ends some 2,200 standard years BBY and their fate is unknown. It is rumored that further evidence of the Followers may be found near the Promontory of Ga’lah, but to date no expedition has been sent.
The Minaquoi military, known as the Shul’tai, is a primitive force comprised of roughly 10% of the overall population. In a kind of reserve status, soldiers train at home and can be called to action via a “ho’quah”, or “rally”. Under these conditions, the force reports to their provincial leaders and can assemble en masse at the capitol, or remain in smaller units in order to deal with local trouble, provide Humanitarian aid, etc.
Possessing virtually no technology, the Shul’tai is armed with sword and spear-style weaponry. Simple armor is fashioned from the hides and skeletons of beasts of prey and is adorned with “fu’tah” or “pride” in the form of colorful flowers, paint, or other decorative markings.