This portion of the Central Lands has been occupied by various kingdoms and empires throughout history and even in the Forgotten Times, but none have stayed for very long, as the nomadic denizens eventually sabotage and destroy their bases of power. The realm of several tauric sentient races, this region is thought to be the favorite visitation of Tetiri’i on Arat’. The golden seas of grass that blanket the plains and low hills of this region ripple enticingly in the summer breezes. This golden cloth is studded with the green gems of scattered copses and stands of trees. The portion south of Anara-Het is claimed by Lox-Beyada and the area north of Anara-Het and south of the Jade Tangle is claimed by Ha-Sin’nana, though it is coveted by Yan-Tek and the Urturi. Ha-Sin’nana troops have had to make major movements into the region in order to keep it cleared of invading forces. Many of the small towns in the area have begun to fortify and outposts have popped up near all of the north and western borders.
Formal Name: The Golden Plains Protected Province of Qdrna Ha-Sin’nana
Ruling Body: A group of 5 high-ranking and powerful Ha-Sin’nana military governors control the Golden Plains, each keeping the peace and safety in their allotted “district”.
Common Races: Humans, Half-Giants, Centaur, Decataur, Tisyah, and many half-elves, elves, halflings, dwarves, goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, and half-orcs. There are several tauric races with very small populations in the area, also.
Capital: Technically, the capital of the province is Mec’ar, but it is far away and so the local government falls to district power-centers. Golden Plains District 1 is centered on two cities: Canakrum on the Anara-Het and Las’un’ on the upper Anara-Dis. District 2 is centered on Saida’al, a fortress built on the ruins of an ancient castle in the midst of the Golden Plains along a tributary of the Anara-Het. District 3 has power centered in P’lenas’, a massive stone keep near the border of Greenfolk that is host to a tent city and festival grounds. District 4 is ruled from 2 underground facilities carved out of monolithic stone hills, one near the Anara-Het and the other 2 days ride north of that, called An-ras’ and An-Koreg, respectively. District 5 is controlled from a tower called Torp’et and numerous outposts along the Bear Cliffs, most notable of which is the fortress Kriyur, that spans the falls of the Anara-Het as it cascades from the highlands of the Black Crag Mountains to the Golden Plains below.
Major Cities: None per se, but Canakrum, Las’un’, Saida’al, P’lenas’, An-Ras’, An-Koreg, Torp’et, and Kriyur are the largest military settlements.
Population Centers: Most of the territory is dotted with tiny towns along the rivers and tributaries of the region, in the Ha-Sin’nana tradition. Ruins of ancient towns and cities also dot the landscape, some of which have been rebuilt or used as material for new settlements.
Territory: From the Bear Cliffs of the Black Crag Mountains in the west to the Upper River Districts of Ha-Sin’nana in the east and from the Jade Tangle in the north to the Anara-Het in the south. South of that, the plains continue, but they are controlled by the Loxho all the way to the Black Bog and the Open Grey.
Provinces: The Province is divided into 5 “districts”, each controlled by a military governor. The districts are approximately equal in size, like north-south slices of the region on a map. The districts are not named, but currently referred to by number only, with the lower numbers closer to Mec’ar and the higher numbers further.
Terrain: The region here is nearly flat, consisting of wide-open plains with long low rolling hills spotted with little stands, copses and acres of trees, mostly along the waterways. To the north, the hills become a bit prevalent along the borders of the Jade Tangle. In the west, rock upthrusts and monoliths dot the countryside.
Environment: Slightly arid grasslands. Rainfall is regular enough to support the lifeforms of the area, but it it heaviest in the winter and spotty in the warmer months. Regular night-time fog along the rivers in the spring, fall, and winter also help to provide moisture. The summer is warm and humid.
Growth Style: Military expansion is the order of the current controlling faction of the region. The smaller tribes prefer a nomadic and slowly growing populace.
Economic Base: Dependent entirely on Ha-Sin’nana for the most refined materials, but professional farmers and artisans of all walks of life have been settling the area and villages are typically able to subsist and even trade with each other to provide a strong trade circuit or fairgrounds trading in the area.
Coinage: Mostly from Ha-Sin’nana, but various local tribal trading chits and coins from Urturi, Yan-Tek, and Lox-Beyada are not uncommon.
Languages: Common, High Hadansi, High Mec’ari, Elven, Halfling, Giantese, Goblin, Orc, Dwarf, Tisyah.
Alignments: LG, LN, LE, NG and some NE, CG, CN
Worship: The humans of the region follow the same type of worship as the folk in Ha-Sin’nana, but typically tend to separate the gods into their own temples in their communities. The other races tend to worship as their own people do, for the most part. The local tribes of the Golden Plains typically worship elements and patron ancestor-god(s).
Allies: The Golden Plains are technically only allied with their protecting patron nation, Ha-Sin’nana. As there are no incursions against the Greenfolk, they tolerate the presence of humans to the south, for now.
Enemies: The folk of Ha-Sin’nana currently support war against Yan-Tek and Urturi. They are also in conflict with Lox-Beyada for the territory on the south side of the Anara-Het.
As far as the ruling bodies of Ha-Sin’nana are concerned, the Golden Plains is a region made for colonization and for the production of raw elements not available in the homeland. This territory was acquired by military might, but also with a carefully generated alliance with the strongest tribal power in the region. The centaurs now serve in the Golden Plains cavalry as harriers and archers in exchange for the tools, goods, arms, and armor that they need to do so. They are also receiving a portion of the taxes from the region. This makes the region solidly aligned with Has-Sin’nana and ready to push back the jackals to the north and west.
Life and Society
Between the hard labor of keeping alive in the frontier territory and the necessity of occasionally defending against Yan-Tek or Urturi incursions, most of the folk of the Golden Plains are tough and sturdy people. Hunters and farmers provide for their communities, but artisans and professionals of various kinds make these villages their homes, also, and often produce items much demanded in the markets of Mec’ar and beyond. A hard day’s work deserves an quiet night of rest, perhaps after an evening of entertainment. Friendship is valued among this folk, though the law is most important and must be followed to provide for the greater good.
Clothing: The grasslands of this region necessitate a bit of a variation on the normal dress of the Ha-Sin’nana folk. Though they are still typically minimal or flowing in the clothing that they wear on top and many still wear skirts or kilts of some kind, they are also in need of covering their legs in this region. Knee-high boots, pants, long skirts, and leggings over shoes or short boots are very common here. The style, material and cut of clothing is still meant to be practical and to combat the summer heat of the plains. Even so, though it is not readily available in many areas, embellishment of textiles and clothes is much sought after. Most clothing is made of hemp, cotton, leather, reed cloth and linen, as in Ha-Sin’nana, but there is also a high occurence of items made of or embellished with woven grass and fur. Floppy hats and caps are more common in this region than the turbans of the Mec’ari.
Adornment: Jewelry is also popular among the folk of the Golden Plains, though not as much is worn. Typical choices include perhaps as much as a handful of the following items: earrings, coronets, head-chains, nose rings, rings, bracelets, necklaces, chokers, decorative gorgets, belly chains, decorative belts, anklets, armlets, toe rings, etc. Locally made items are usually crafted from leather, copper, gold, bronze, or brass and embellished with polished stones, gems, ivory, horn, and glass beads. Imported jewelry is also quite common and comes from all around the world. Make-up is common among women and rich men, tattoos are common among men (especially users of magic and soldiers), ritual scar coloration is rampant among the fighters and warriors, and all slaves are required to wear a brand.
Flora and Fauna: Plants common to the Golden Plain include prince’s blade grass, sawgrass, thorntree, olive, cork, hemp, cotton, tobacco, indigo, kol, dates, sesame, roses, wheat, barley, maize, carrots, yams, onions, reeds, celery, cilantro, parsley, chick peas, lentils, and a multitude of small fruit, nut, and berry bushes. Most notable is the presence of a wide variety of trees, most prevalent of which is ebonwood and ash, which leads to much woodwork in black and white wood. Animals common to the area are antelope, gazelle, striped runehorn, golden runehorn, ticks, fleas, hedgehog, hyena, otter, porcupine, giant black squirrel, rabbit, riparine rabbit, bison, donkeys, dogs, ptarmigan, grouse, pheasant, various small waterfowl, fish of various kinds, snakes, lizards, frogs, toads, lions, cats, rats, mice, hawk, owl, buzzard, nairo (a very large flightless bird with eggs that have a pink yolk), ten-wing (a strange bird-like creature with multiple tiny wings that dwells in the tops of the trees), dragonflies, bats, bees, wasps, chimpanzee, pygmy marmoset, mole, elephant, shrew, and drill-snakes.
Food: Common fare includes food made from prince’s tea, olives, olive oil, dates, sesame, wheat, barley, beer, maize, pirau (thickened cornmeal pudding), various breads, carrots, yams, onion, celery, cilantro, parsley, chick peas, hummus, lentils, pottage, moonberry, melon, peanut, rice, beans, coconut, sorghum, millet, poultry, antelope, deer, bison, runehorn, rabbit, porcupine, hedgehog, squirrel, snake, potato, cabbage, and a wide variety of spices. Similar food habits exist here among the humans and half-giants that would be found in Ha-Sin’nana. but locals typically eat some kind of melange or past wrapped in a grain roll or ball (or bread), accompanied by some kind of tea or juice and something sweet. A local delicacy is a stiff sweet omelet made from nairo eggs and chick pea flour, containing a blend of riparine rabbit meat, tuber bits, crushed peanut, and diced date.
Education: Children are not very common in the Golden Plains at this point in time, with many of them being sent elsewhere to live with family until things can calm down on the frontier. Even so, many families are loathe to separate from their children and many more have no family elsewhere. Children in this region are typically taught by priests until they reach an age where they are almost ready to apprentice. At this time, they are taught to defend themselves and their community. At the age of apprenticeship, many of them choose to join the watch or the military and those who do not apprentice to artisans and the like. All children take breaks from education for chores and to help with planting, harvesting, etc. Most written material generated in this region is written on reed-paper or reed-cloth scrolls with occasional peper books found containing information from other regions. Basic mathematics, science and engineering are typically taught, but the emphasis is usually on weather telling, agronomy, and animal lore. Storytelling augments the dry material.
Trades: Armorer, weaponsmith, bowyer, fletcher, builder, jeweler, metalsmith, rock collector (miner), glassmaker, farmer, rancher, weaver, dyer, tanner, leatherer, herdsman, tattooist, slaver (uncommon), slave (uncommon), baker, cook, brewer, fisherman, net maker, apiary, scribe, priest, warrior, watchman, engineer, trader, healer, basket-maker, chanter, chariot-maker, wheelwright, hunter, tracker, forager, storyteller, singer, dog trainer, actor, elephant-keeper, driver, lodger, guardian, merchant, oil maker, animal trainer, artists, tracker, animal keeper, archer, sniper, tea-maker, gardener, guide, paper maker, potter, boatwright, raft maker, trapper, furrier, weaver, apothecary, herbalist, miller, basket weaver.
Exports: Ebony, ash, leather, saddles, boots, runehorn, cotton, linen, reed cloth, cut and polished horn, Prince’s Tea, cork, rope, tobacco, indigo, kol, dates, roses, maize, millet, reeds, papyrus, quills (feather, porcupine, thorntree, fish bone), fur, nairo, ten-wing, bats, pygmy marmosets, elephants, drill-snakes, sugar, moonberry, melon, peanut, rice, spices, scrolls, herbal remedies, baskets, dye powders, iron clay, iron-clay bricks, leather masks, greatclubs, scimitar, khopesh, and reed javelins.
Entertainment: The quiet and hard-working folk of this region have their own type of entertainment. It revolves around fast-movement, bright color, and verbal rejoicing. Racing is a favorite, and is almost always accompanied by much whooping and hollering and cheering. Songs and stories are common. Dancing, jumping and tumbling all have a lot of appeal to these folk, as well. They often gather to paint buildings and make massive sand and iron-clay paintings. Their favorite sport, called rally-rune, is one in which song, dance, racing, and painting are all combined into the making of large communal art. Typically, these are documented by a town artist at festivals and displayed in the town hall until there is no more room, after which the least inspiring are typically moved to a vault or to become bricks on a new town structure.
Health: Most of these folk bathe at least once a week, keeping their bodies clean being important. Plumbing and running water is at a premium though, as the established waterflow systems of Ha-Sin’nana have not been established here. Wells, water magic, and buckets bring water into homes and buildings and waste troughs bring it out into small septic ponds and fertilizer pits. When a person becomes ill, apothecaries and herbalists provide medications, rare-bit remedies, plasters, casts, lancing, bandaging, and stitching. Mud-bathing, incense and aromatherpay are also common. For better healing, most of these folk depend on local or itinerant priests.
Architecture: Most of the buildings in this area are made from either wood, stone, adobe, iron clay wattle-and-daub, or iron-clay brick. Ebonwood and ash are the most common woods used and most of the mud or clay options are typically colored with indigo, bigberry, or other dyes. Buildings typically are one story or two-story with a tall interior and lofts or balconies. Many buildings are actually dug in under the larger trees or into hills and supported with iron clay or wood stays. Most roofs are made of thatch or iron clay wattle and daub and typically have defensive slits in them for guardians working in attic spaces. All windows and doors can be barred and shuttered, a process referred to as “battoning the town”, when enemy forces are inbound. Military and religious edifices are typically made of the toughest wood or stone available. Towns are becoming increasingly defended by palisades, open gaps between woods and settlements, and even walls and moats. Only the smallest of villages have not been able to do at least one of these large-scale defenses.
Transportation: Tribal locals mostly run or raft. Newcomers use canoes, boats, rafts, chariots. carts, donkeys, dogs, horses, runehorns, and elephants to move about. Fleet feet are also a major help in the area. Though a few major roads have been paved in the Ha-Sin’nana method, most are still packed dirt or, at best, cobbled or gravelled. Air travel is almost unheard of, but military gates are beginning to make the need minimal.
Arms and Armor: Arms in the Golden Plains are typically made from wood, copper, bronze, iron, gold, brass, leather, hide, bone, rope and iron-clay. Common tools of war include khopesh, khopesh-like greatsword, fork, scythe composite shortbow, shortbow, hand-axe, hook, dagger, scimitar, mace, spear (often with a socketed or interchangeable head), light lance, sling, broad dagger, bill-hook, shortsword, punch dagger, javelin, mace, sickle, arrows with iron-clay tip, chain, whip, blowgun, sharpened throwing disc, sharpened throwing crescent, armor spikes, caltrop, melee spike, throwing spike, throwing irons, club, reede javelin, greatclub and staff. Armor typically used by the mlitary includes a disc-shaped breast and back plate supported by hide or leather straps, bracers and greaves, lamellar armored skirts, flared helms and round spiked shields. Other commoon items include leather scale armor, gorgets, skullcaps, bucklers, leather masks, and metal rings attached to armor to reinforce it. Barding is most common in this region, protecting cavalry horses and centaur warriors, alike.
Government: Technically, all of the Golden Plains north of Anara-Hat is a military dictatorship ruled by the military laws of conquest established by the Mec’ giants in ancient Ha-Sin’nana and, for the most part, this is correct and accurate. The general exception is that, when the military is not actually present, the chain of command vanishes and the locals organize their own leadership. The only token given to the military structure in the villages and non-military towns to the military is that most of the leaders of these small communities are former military, though this ends up simply being a matter of necessity over any desire to be ruled by the military. Former military leaders are better leaders for villages that want to survive invading goblin and orc hordes. The technical heirarchy is: Military District Governor, Aide de Camp, Sector Watch Commander, Area Watch Lieutenant, Town Watch Captain, Quarter Watch Sergeant. In many cases, the town or quarter watch leader is replaced by an elected mayor, which is overlooked by the military if the individual is an honorably discharged or retired former member of the Ha-Sin’nana military. They do so because service in the military is considered a lifetime commitment and such persons can be brought into the hierarchy at any moment, if the military deems it necessary. Among the Tisyah, Decataur and Centaur not part of the Ha-Sin’nana provincial structure, the typical governing body consists of the eldest warrior, the eldest priest, and the current chief, who form a council to discuss matters. The final word in these situations rests with the current chief.
Land and Water: Neither the local tribes nor the folk of Ha-Sin’nana believe that land can be owned by a person, that it all belongs to the gods, so there are no deeds of ownership in the Golden Plains. Among the towns and villages, there are “scrips of entitlement” which allow for practical ownership of property by an individual and his heirs until said property is abandoned or there is no family to claim it, at which point, it reverts to the control of the government.
Religion: Among the humans and half-giants of this region, worship typically follows the patterns of the homeland, with the state religion being primary. The practice of devoting a single temple to the entire pantheon is less prevalent , here, as the local habit of erecting shrines to single deities prevails. The most common shrines are still made to Ha-Sin’nana gods, though there are many erected to the gods of the tisyah, elven gods, and the ascended warriors of the centaur tribes.
Spheres: Sun, Plant, Animal, Weather, Law, Good, Travel, Protection
Symbology: One-Over-Four (tauric creatures, philosophy, rulership, and more recently the symbol of a drive for a unified government over the three tauric tribes and the humans that support them), Grass (plains, food, adobe, rope), River (water, life, healing, travel), Hoof (travel, speed, strength), Stripes (runehorn, trees, grass, reeds, ebony and ash, day and night, diversity and change), Sun (light, energy, growth, fire), and Thirteen Moons (eternity, space, gods, seasons, magic) are all symbols important to the people of the Golden Plains.
Major Geographical Features
The Anara-Het on the southern border of the province is a wide river that carries fertile silt in it and teems with life. The upper Anara-Dis is a narrow but deep and cutting river on the northeast cirner of the Golden Plains, splashing soon after into the Ha-Sin’nana watershed. An ancient castle with a forgotten name is home to the capital of District 2, Saida’al. Two monolithic stone hills in the south of District 4 are host to military strongholds, one near the Anara-Het and the other 2 days ride north of that, called An-ras’ and An-Koreg, respectively. The Bear Cliffs rise above the western edge of the Golden Plains, much like the Eastern Wall rises over Uburru. The falls of the Anara-Het as it cascades from the highlands of the Black Crag Mountains to the Golden Plains below is a beautiful site, topped by a massive stone fortress. The vast and rising expanse of the Jade Tangle to the north is a most impressive site from the top of Tolmai, a high rocky hill near the edge of Greenfolk. The view of Greenfolk and of the Golden Plains from this location is just as fabulous. A permanent observatory as been placed here, guarded by a cadre of battle sorcerors and maintained by 3 master scryers from Ha-Sin’nana.
In the most ancient of times, lost to history, a series of great city-states controlled the territory known as the Golden Plains. The last vestiges of these kingdoms are the nomadic tribes of the Loxho, Tisyah, and Centaur. During the Forgotten Time, the elves bred with Centaurs and produced the first of the Decataur. In the modern age, the four tribes have had varying degrees of control on the area and even the faerie folk to the north claimed it at one time. About 40 years before the present, the forces of Ha-Sin’nana followed their colonists into the region and contended for its control. It was quite a struggle, at first, but an epic battle against Centaur archers turned the tide. As a result of the battle, the Centaur declared allegiance to the military of Ha-Sin’nana. Although the Decataur and Tisyah continue to refuse such an alliance, they do not seem to be trying harder than occasionally skirmishing against those who try to settle territory they use.
Plots and Rumors
It is well-known that the Urturi (especially the Fire Bear Tribe) is trying to take over the Golden Plains, it is less well-known that they are breeding human-looking half-orcs to act as spies in the Golden Plains and as far away as Mec’ar. The goblinoid hordes of Yan-Tek are constantly pushing the edge of their empire southward, though it tend not to advance far before being shoved back into the trees. The faerie princess of Greenfolk seeks to reestablish her spirit palace in the north of District 4. There is a secret society that seeks to unite the three tauric tribes and the bipedal folk not keen on being subjugated to Ha-Sin’nana under a central government, following an extension of the philosophy of One-Over-Four. They sabotage the military in regards to subjugating the locals, but are notoriously not opposed to the military defending their territory against outside enemies. A cadre of face-stealers, doppelgangers, and half-doppelgangers have set hired themselves out for political and military applications and the highest bidder (somehow) seems to be the emperor of Yan-Tek. The Ha-Sin’nana military has been tracking their pattern of infiltrating and weakening communities right before they are attacked and taken over by the goblin hordes, usually accompanied in their first sortie by Devil Scout squads.