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Geographic Overview • Mesoterran Sea bordered by three continents ○ Nodria to the north Temperate to subarctic climate Extensive forests White people ○ Oridria to the east Subtropical arid climate Deserts and scrubland Olive-skinned people with arched noses ○ Sudria to the south Tropical climate Savannas and rainforests Dark-skinned people with tightly coiled hair • Island of Mesandria in the middle of the sea ○ Mediterranean climate ○ Chaparral and cedar/cypress/olive woodlands ○ Olive-skinned people with straight noses Nodric Civilizations • Gaelbion ○ Redheaded population ○ Hierarchical social structure Monarchical leadership □ Both men and women can lead Druidic aristocracy leads spiritual affairs ○ Animistic religion Nature worship Water deities especially important • Midwald ○ Blond population ○ Egalitarian social structure Jarls elected democratically ○ Personal honor very important Must be avenged if offended □ Weregild law system (monetary compensation as an alternative to eye-for-an-eye) ○ Animistic religion Natural phenomena often anthropomorphized in stories Thunder is most important deity • Makedonja ○ Blond population Distant relationship to Midwaldmen? ○ One kingdom ○ Elective monarchy Citizenship and right to vote linked with military service ○ Some cultural influences from the Elladoi civilization on Mesandria Elladoi philosophers have educated some Makedonjan leaders But Elladoi view Makedonja as copycat barbarians Oridric Civilizations • Shemites ○ Desert nomads Herd camels, sheep, and goats Goat-hair tents ○ Commercial economy Cities are largely trade outposts ○ Oligarchic social structure Council of tribal elders elect the sheikhs (leaders) ○ Monotheistic religion Supreme Being Elaha associated with the moon Also a belief in evil spirits made of smokeless fire ○ Polygamy ○ Raiding and harassing caravans is very important to the culture ○ Personal honor highly valued Eye-for-an-eye justice system • Arzanistan ○ Extensive empire in the east Desert, mountains, and steppes are dominant terrains Multi-ethnic □ Mercenaries feature prominently in army ○ Qanat system for accessing groundwater Wells and tunnels Provide irrigation for farms ○ Religion has two major deities Good and evil gods Reverence of fire □ Fire believed to have purifying effect Shah is most important spiritual leader ○ Cavalry play a prominent role in the military Mounted archers □ Can shoot at pursuers while retreating Cataphracts □ Heavily armored knight-like elite cavalrymen War elephants □ Imported from the savannas of Hindya to the distant southeast □ Smaller than elephants used by Sudric civilizations ○ Immortals Elite warriors skilled at evading enemies and agile combat □ Think Persian ninjas Armed with scimitars • Phunites ○ Live on western coastline ○ Related to Shemites But religion is more polytheistic ○ Skilled shipbuilders and sailors Have colonized many distant lands □ Most prominent of these found on northwest Sudrian coast ○ Commercial economy ○ Alphabetic written script ○ Most important deity is Balaha Demands child sacrifice in times of need
Sudric Civilizations • Kametu ○ Centered on a river flowing through the eastern savanna Floodplain agriculture very important to local economy □ Also herding domesticated buffaloes ○ Oldest civilization in the world ○ Mudbrick and limestone architecture Pyramidal Tombs Temples Obelisks ○ Provincially divided into Lower, Middle, and Upper Kametu Lower Kametu is the marshy river delta Middle and Upper Kametu meet at Elephant Cataract (a stretch of rapids with an elephant-shaped island in the middle) Upper Kametu bordered by rainforest to the south ○ Average skin color darkens as one travels southward/upriver in Kametu Lower Kametians have caramel brown skin Middle Kametians are chocolate brown Upper Kametians have the darkest skin (almost literally black) ○ Hieroglyphic written script ○ Animal deities play a prominent role in the polytheistic religion Buffaloes are the most revered of all But also wild animals (crocodiles, felines, pachyderms, etc.) ○ Supreme Creator deity associated with the Sun Considered an ancestor to the monarchs ○ Ancestor veneration Ancestors believed to affect personal or familial fortunes ○ Monarchic government Both men and women can rule □ Absolute primogeniture Rulers believed to have divine ancestry and powers □ Summoning the rains □ Belief that with great power comes great responsibility; benevolence demanded of monarchs Buried in grand stone tombs □ Mummification ○ Belief in magic Witchcraft and sorcery are widely feared □ "Voodoo" beliefs (e.g. destroying effigies can harm real people) Used in medicine □ Men are healers and women diviners who can diagnose sicknesses ○ Zebra chariots Mounted with archers or lancers ○ War elephants Larger than those used by Arzanistanis • Nubantu ○ Herd buffaloes and farm on Sudria's northwestern coastline Numidian/South African Bantu flavor
Mesandric Civilizations • Ellados ○ Warring city-states ○ Mountainous region in eastern Mesandria ○ Marble architecture ○ Slavery and maritime commerce very important to the economy ○ Demigods are major heroes in mythology Kings sometimes claim descent from them ○ Gods believed to have capricious personalities Don't like hubris ○ Phalanx formations for spearmen Hoplites wear lots of armor ○ One city-state famous for its philosophical and scientific advances Learned much of its science from Sudric and Oridric civilizations ○ Extremely patriarchal culture Women are considered almost chattel Homoerotic male-bonding encouraged among men □ Pederasty • Valerian Empire ○ Technologically advanced empire Extremely militaristic and expansionistic Emperor has dictatorial power ○ Belief in their own racial and cultural superiority Valerians > other Mesandrians > Oridrians > Sudrians > Nodrians in their racial hierarchy □ Refer to Nodrians and Sudrians as "piss-hairs" and "shit-skins" respectively Few moral qualms about genocide or destroying enemy settlements ○ Slavery critical to economy Slaves have no rights whatsoever Physical abuse widespread Slaves usually come from "barbarian" races ○ Gladiator games Most popular entertainment
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northwestern coastline Numidian/South African Bantu flavor Most have caramel brown skin Live in dome-shaped thatched houses Ancestor veneration dominates religion Also a belief in witchcraft ○ Zebra cavalry ○ Warlike culture Raiding buffaloes and horses very important • Mandegu ○ Located in western Sudria Centered around a river, similar to Kametu ○ West African flavor ○ Mudbrick architecture Universities Temples ○ Dark brown skin ○ Renown for exporting LOTS of gold Commercial economy ○ Ancestor veneration ○ Sun associated with Creator as in KametU ○ Snake deity believed to bless kingdom with wealth when regularly fed young women ○ Colorful cotton clothing ○ Zebra cavalry dominates military Also war elephants ○ Traditional rivals for Kametians Vying for control of northern Sudria • Shabya ○ Northeastern Sudrian coast ○ Ethiopian flavor ○ Stone architecture Rock-cut tombs Obelisks/stelae Fortresses ○ Commercial and agricultural economy Terraced farms on mountain slopes Sailing Buffalo-herding tribes in interior ○ Moon rather than Sun is associated with Supreme Being Shemitish influences? ○ Colonies in southwestern Oridria • Sudro-Phunitic Empire ○ Northwest Sudria ○ Carthaginian flavor ○ Originally a series of Phunite colonies Unified into an empire Has extended its influence into western Mesandria ○ Mercenary army War elephants Nubantu zebra-riders ○ ○ ○ ○
Most popular entertainment ○ Monotheistic religion Believe in an omnipotent, omniscient god named Dios Believe they have been divinely ordained to spread their religion □ Heresy and blasphemy are capital crimes ○ In the past, a Senate of patricians once kept the Emperor's powers in check Advisory council In fact Emperor was often their tool □ He had to conquer land for the patricians to exploit Their influence has weakened over time as the Emperors have grown stronger ○ Heavily armored infantry in legions ○ Advanced siege weapons Catapults Ballistae
The Mesoterran Basin Page 2
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