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Arsas Chroenas
10-20-2018, 01:33 AM
Post: #1
Arsas Chroenas
Arsas Chroenas [The Black Empire]

The empire is named after the black sooth that in ancient times permeated the harsh scrublands and sparse grasslands of the central Black basin, the sooth came from the widespread fires that renewed the land after each dry season and left the land ready to be nourished by the torrential storms of the wet season.

The lands of the Empire

The Arsas expanse, the black basin or the opium basin as its also known as a harsh land of stark contrasts. The central basin is home to the Esgeran Sea, a hypersaline endorheic where all the basin rivers discharge, the seashore shimmers brightly with the light reflected by countless salt crystal crusting the shore in all directions and has no animal life whatsoever within its waters. The only life that benefits from the sea are swarms of flies that can drink its poisonous waters and the flocks of birds that feed on the swarms.
Surrounding the Esgeran Sea are hot sands of the Esgeran desert whose dunes are only broken by the various rivers that feed the hypersaline sea, the rivers are living oasis’s snaking their way through the sands and have over the centuries encroached into the sands with creeping irrigation canals and a mat of green farmland. These ribbons of green and life were first built by the long forgotten Ouzko nations that once thrived in the basin, they are still tended by the Ouzko but in service of the Luora.
The sands give way to a vast arid savanna home to the Bao and Dali tribes now turned into farmers, the savanna has been stabilised with windbreaks and irrigation to create numerous oasis’s that feed a large part of the empire. The Basodarchas Savanna is the only place in Gotha where opium is grown, The opium poppy is jealously guarded, and it is a capital crime to take it out of the basin.

North of Basodarchas are the Nechersan mountains which divide the empires arid and unforgiving south and the empires torturous freezing and storm-laden north. The Nechersan mountains are where most of the empires mineral resources are derived, rich in silver and copper. The hardy vegetation is an important source of fibre, large agave plantations are a vital source of rope and fabric.
Luoragan are the lands north of Nechersan, home to vast expanses of hardy and twisted conifer forests. A forest that is dense, dark and crawling with predators in the warmer months and Icy white with howling winds during the winter months. From these lands, the Luora build a military culture that in ages past demolished the Bao, Dali and Ouzko nations and unified the lands under the might of their hordes.

The core lands of the empire are framed and enclosed by frozen wastes of the polar ocean and Lankharan-Shenfur mountain ranges, these ranges are impenetrable due to their height and lack of mountain passes. The only mountain passes are the Easter and Western gates, these mountain passes are narrow and have been transformed into literal gates that regulate entry into and out of the Arsas expanse.
The Western gate open to the foreign nations of the Yan basin from where great wealth flows into the empire in exchange for a copious amount of opium. The Eastern gate leads to the Ishkosya and Aridey lands, lands recently conquered as subjects of the empire and a zone of contention with Anat Tahan, these lands have opened the eastern gate to the Sinean seas and Anaria.

Economy:

Most of the empire is harsh and near inhospitable, the lands of the empire despite poor in production are vast and collectively enrich the dominant Luora culture. Even so, the empire derives a significant part of its wealth from its complete monopoly in opium production and refining, opium that has traditionally been exported for recreational use but is now becoming even more valuable as modern Anarian chemistry has derived morphine from opium. Wolgos refugees and cousin subspecies of the Luora have been welcomed into the empire and have ushered industrialisation of opium refining into morphine, the realm aims to be the sole producer of the much more valuable morphine.

The Black Empire despite its harsh landscape and enigmatic peoples it is synonymous with luxury to both the east and west, from the west silk, dyes and tea flow east through the empire and from the east wine, incense, sugar and industrial marvels flow west. The realm spends considerable effort in maintaining the great opium road that runs from the banks of the river routes of the Yan basin to the coast of Ishkosya. The road is protected by the Easter and Western gated against foreign marauders while internally Pax Luora assures that the road is safe and comfortable to transverse, it is the longest stone-paved road in the world with numerous caravan stop stops that provide shelter, food and water.
Dependence on the great opium road and Luoran hospitality with traders traversing the empire does not make the realm generally open to outsiders, the luora actively prevent travellers from verging of the Great road and port cities as they fear the spread of opium growing to other parts of the world.

The great opium road has felt the mounting pressure of Anarian merchant ships which are opening sea routes to western Davai. The empire in response is flexing its seldom-used diplomatic muscle to influence its long-lost Wolgos cousin and their Fisk partners to harass shipping and more importantly to increase its industrialisation rate and build a great railway along the great opium road. Ongoing Challenges are possible war with Anat Tahan, Anarian interference with its cover operations and opportunistic merchants.



The Luora:

A human subspecies closely related to the Wolgos, in fact, the Wolgos and Luora can be considered different races of the same subspecies, are often supposed to be the more ancient counterpart and cannot interbreed with humans at all, unlike the Wolgos who are seldom successful in crossbreeding endeavours. A the Luoran display a more sexual dimorphism with males being on average seven feet tall while females are barely reaching six feet on average, they are pale with an almost sickly complexion with more grey-violet hues than pink. Unlike their Wolgos cousins, they are not albino and have exclusively black hair and honey to emerald coloured eyes.

As a more predatorial subspecies than regular humans, they are more resilient, stronger and their more developed sense of smell and hearing has evolved to track prey better. Their size has made them natural and formidable longbowmen who can use bows of size and tension outside human ability, they are rumoured to be able to pierce a warrior’s armour with ease. Traditionally luora infantry made use of hammers and maces as they could wield heavier ones with more extended range compared to humans, the larger and less agile Luora were at a disadvantage with swords against humans. With the advent of gunpowder, the only advantage that the Luora possess is that a single Luora can Wield modern automatic weapons which are too heavy for a human to wield and require two humans and a mounting frame to use.
Shire horses from Anaria have been imported from {{insert nation name}} and are now breeding them as cavalry stock, the Tharnan horse popular with caravans tends to be insufficient to carry a Luoran laden with equipment.

Despite their physical advantages they require much more nourishment than humans, have a much smaller gene pool and have a longer gestation period at 14 months. Luora and Wolgos mixed offspring tend to look Luora but with the size of a Wolgos.

Culture:

The southern cities have grown around monolithic air wells of varying size, either built of stone or carved directly into rock monoliths, wells that quenches the water needs of the city inhabitants who roam vetiver, patchouli and laurel infused cobbled streets that snake their way through elegant light stone buildings with intricate archways draped in bold yet often fine and elaborate black textiles. Leisure is a feature of Luora cities who often have communal bathhouses where Luora may spend long evenings soaking in dark infusion pools of aromatic woods, leaves and clays. And many public promenades sheltered from the sun under arched vaulted roofs where they may spend their day smoking or drinking tea from the west of Davai while reading or playing games.

Within the respite of their cities and warm climate of the south, the Luora shed their elaborate yet utilitarian clothing for comfort and often wear no more than long black, but light shawls draped around their bodies, light wool for commoners or ornate silk for those of status. Many Luora who either want to boast their masculine physical form or alluring and intoxicating femininity opt for semi-translucent fabrics or black body staining with traditional patterns, body staining has great religious importance as the stain is often cut with the ashes of immolated human sacrifices.

The focus on luxury and comfort in Luora cities was adopted and assimilated from long forgotten and obliterated Ouszko nations that once existed around the Esgeran sea, traditions that are now supported by a large servile Dali and Bao population and have made possible the existence of impressive Luora cities. The vanity and comfort adopted from peoples the Luora conquered have not waned the ways of the Luora horde and warrior, all male Luora are part of the horde no matter what their profession is, all Luora worship strength, blood sport, romanticise war and heroism.

Arsas Chroenas - The Black Empire -- "Wide and far, to the ice, to the sands, to the salt, to the heavens"
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10-20-2018, 02:54 AM
Post: #2
RE: Arsas Chroenas
[Image: Black-empire.png]

Arsas Chroenas - The Black Empire -- "Wide and far, to the ice, to the sands, to the salt, to the heavens"
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10-20-2018, 10:30 AM
Post: #3
RE: Arsas Chroenas
This is a fantastic proposal. The Luora seem a fascinating bunch - and just as unnerving as the Wolgos, in their own special way! The isolationist set up is particularly interesting, and works really well with another Wolgos-like subspecies, especially when the control over the opium trade is thrown in - I'm sure we can have some really interesting interactions because of that.

Just a side note, but looking at the map, I believe much of the eastern coast of Davai, land that is also included in the Black Empire, belongs to Hayrand.

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10-20-2018, 12:16 PM
Post: #4
RE: Arsas Chroenas
The Luora will have to be skilled in the organisational aspects of water management, if they want to maintain a reliable agriculture in the "snake oasis" areas of the desert surrounding that very dead sea. Because if one family upstream would irrigate too much, families further downstream will suffer. This would lead to conflicts, less agricultural produce, famines, etc. But it might have led to a stable organisation of water management. It would partially explain the bath house culture as well. They might be excellent predators, but with an appetite exceeding that of the "regular" human subspecies, they would be out of food pretty quickly as well. Any grazing species would be hunted into extinction within decades. And then?

Just some input. But the proposal triggers good vibes...

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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10-20-2018, 01:14 PM
Post: #5
RE: Arsas Chroenas
This is good, feel free to modify the Davai page I did. You should take a look at it, your Luora cavalry could have more options besides shire horses if they want strong sturdy mounts!

For me the sooner you enact you changes on the wiki the better! And I requested a short time back that Yan be taken out of the concept vault and now it officially exists in game again, possibly subject to modification. I hope this mark the dawn of truly global roleplay in Gotha. The stage is set for drama on both sides of Kamara, in the Shangti and in West Davai Smile
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10-20-2018, 04:52 PM
Post: #6
RE: Arsas Chroenas
As for Hayrand, it belonged to a player long gone and was never fleshed out so I'm absorbing it as a patchwork of vassal/client states, I will retain a lot of its flavour for that region.

Yes, Pep, the Ousko who originally ruled over the desert and its rivers had developed desert farming techniques similar to those of Iraq and the Sahel, since the rivers are narrower than the Nile the fertile boundary is far tighter and most likely mean that there is no flood farming. Farming in this region would be similar to how the Tigris and Euphrates were farmed, and there might even be some marshes near the saline sea.

Yes they do consume much more food but they have made a transition to farmed livestock such as pigs, goats, and fowl in conjunction with grains and vegetables too. hunting remains but as a sport but even im sure some animals did go extinct.

Wow yes the Paracer would be great mounts! although a quick and swifter mount like a horse would still be desirable. I think a dwarf version of a paracer would be used rather than full-size ones.

Arsas Chroenas - The Black Empire -- "Wide and far, to the ice, to the sands, to the salt, to the heavens"
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10-20-2018, 06:28 PM
Post: #7
RE: Arsas Chroenas
Thor99 Wrote:As for Hayrand, it belonged to a player long gone and was never fleshed out so I'm absorbing it as a patchwork of vassal/client states, I will retain a lot of its flavour for that region.

Ian (Discopickles) adopted Hayrand and it is currently an Amberian client state. So you will have to discuss this with Ian before any changes are made as he has put a lot of nice development into the page; the nation is currently one of the most developed nations in Davai.

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10-20-2018, 06:47 PM
Post: #8
RE: Arsas Chroenas
(10-20-2018 06:28 PM)August Dux Wrote:  
Thor99 Wrote:As for Hayrand, it belonged to a player long gone and was never fleshed out so I'm absorbing it as a patchwork of vassal/client states, I will retain a lot of its flavour for that region.

Ian (Discopickles) adopted Hayrand and it is currently an Amberian client state. So you will have to discuss this with Ian before any changes are made as he has put a lot of nice development into the page; the nation is currently one of the most developed nations in Davai.

He has been gone for ages, gone since 2013.

Arsas Chroenas - The Black Empire -- "Wide and far, to the ice, to the sands, to the salt, to the heavens"
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10-20-2018, 07:06 PM (This post was last modified: 10-20-2018 07:07 PM by TeamBattleaxe.)
Post: #9
RE: Arsas Chroenas
Ask Ian if he wants back in first? He was fairly active in 2017 when I joined. If he's done then go ahead and we'll have to figure out what to do with Amberia as well. Yet another shell!

EDIT: Unless we Ithrien it....
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10-20-2018, 07:14 PM
Post: #10
RE: Arsas Chroenas
TeamBattleaxe Wrote:Ask Ian if he wants back in first? He was fairly active in 2017 when I joined.

Yeah. Ian hasn't been consistently active, but he pops in every now and again, with periods of more focused development (like in 2017) - and he is always happy to talk through ideas on facebook. He's helped me out with Gotha projects a number of times recently. We need to include him in this.

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