Alohand
The kingdom of Alohand was once the home of the Principality of El Paiona, but just over a century ago a dissident group of Zalhoonite refugees driven from Mulhirad into the land usurped the prince's rule, and the rich and exotic amalgam of cultures that resulted became Alohand. Now controlled by a series of devout and wealthy Sultans, the land has grown progressive, even peaceful despite its close proximity to the Wound. But the people here are vigilant. They know that to the north lie unbelievers, blasphemers, and agents of the invaders, who slip into their tranquil homes to test their faith. And almost to a man they are ready to face that test at a moment's notice.

The Land


Alohand is a temperate, flat isthmus of land between the southern reaches of the Grim Towers, and the north of the Dorondos. The rolling prairies and rich plains are well watered, with abundant rivers and lakes, and prove ideal for herd animals - especially the horses that the land is famous for. Where the land becomes hilly in the north it is also covered by sporadic but dense forest, which provides a natural buffer between Alohand and the Wound. The Barghest Woods, home to the strange goblinoids from which it borrows its name, has a nasty reputation, and no doubt it is true that its dense canopies are full to bursting with refugees from the Wound, bandits, barghest raiders, and worse.

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Climate

The climate is cool in the north, becoming more temperate and ,mild towards the interior and southern regions. The terrain is such that the coastal plains are rich and accordingly, comprise the backbone for agriculture, especially in the south. The coast has cold winters, but sticky, humid summers, but with fresher variants. Temperate (with some humid and fresher variants too) lands further inland and in the north allow different species of oaks, moss carpets, junipers, cedars and many other plants, to form extensive and very rich forests. In the low foothills to the south conditions differ slightly, with greater altitude come cooler climes and less rain, turning them very dry and extremely warm during the summer, especially on the lowlands and on the valleys that face Venedoza.

Wildlife

Three types of vegetation can be distinguished in Alohand: the green forests of eucalyptus, pine, and chestnut in the north; the open dry grasslands, interrupted by stands of cork and other types of evergreen oak, in the central areas; and the dry, almost steppelike grasslands and evergreen brush in the south. The fauna of Alohand is a mixture of those once found in the lands of the wound, driven out when their home became a blasted ruin, and those more common to the southern lands. Wild goat, pig, deer, and leucrotta can be found in the Alohandi countryside. There are still wolves in the remote parts of the forests, and lynx can be found in the east, as well as kreshar. The fox, rabbit and hare are ubiquitous. Bird life is rich because the long eastern peninsula lies on the winter migration route of the continent, especially in the wetlands in the north-east, and gloomwings lurk in the deeper parts of the northern forests. Fish are plentiful in the coastal waters, especially sardines, giant Bretan tuna, sea bass and gilded sea bream. Various crabs and shellfish are common on the rocky western coasts.

The People


Bringing together the best of both Mulhiradi and Paionan architecture, the dusky stone cities and towns of Alohand are lovely indeed. Shamtar, and more count themselves the major centres of Alohandi culture, though only Shamtar the capitol, somewhere and somewhere are truly worthy of being called cities. Riads are inward-focused, which allowed for family privacy and protection from the weather in Alohand. This inward focus was expressed in the central location of most of the interior gardens and courtyards and the lack of large windows on the exterior clay or mud brick walls. Entrance to these houses is a major transitional experience and encourages reflection because all of the rooms open into the central atrium space. In the central garden of traditional riads there are often fruit trees trees and possibly a fountain. The walls of the riads are adorned with tadelakt plaster and zellige tiles, usually with Mulhiradi calligraphy, with quotes from Zalhoon. Beautifully ornate palaces, made with generations of manpower, with manicured gardens, are the pride of every settlement, and the common folk always consider the palace garden a public space, and gather there to pray, read, or just quietly reflect.

Peoples and Culture

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The Barghest

One of the rarest of the surviving civilized races of Manus, no one knows much about the origins of the barghest. It seems almost certain that their presence in northern Alohand predates humans, and the invasion, though no one can tell by how much. Equally, no one can tell if their shape changing ability is something new to these strange peoples, or if it has been learned or acquired, either by quirk of the magical energies of the Wound, or in an effort to survive the invasion. Mysterious, secretive, and fiercely private, many think of barghest as raiders and killers, but their attacks are infrequent, and on occasion legends tell of great heroes and prophets actually recieving aid from the enigmatic wood dwellers in return for some service or favour.

Customs

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Language

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Politics

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Economy

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Government: Constitutional monarchy under Sultan Algrave Mahmutt.
Predominant Religions: Alohandi way of Zalhoon.
Major Exports: Agriculture (Cassava, millet), horse breeding, spice and fruit cultivation, gold mining and craft, cordwork, silk weaving.
Usual Climate: Temperate, warm and mild all year round, but with a long wet season in spring.
Predominant Terrains: Broad prairie, and frequent marshland to the north.
Predominant Language: Mulhandi.

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