The Countries of Eysan
Teraltis is the biggest country by area, and growing larger by the day. How is this possible, you ask? After the fall of Haakon, when borders were being drawn, the Teraltians convinced the Aadoburi to mark the divide at the edge of the desert. Unfortunately for my people, the Eastern Desert (Lobhi) has been devouring the fertile farmlands of Aadobur ever since.
The Teraltians are ruled by Emperor Falkoun the Great, supported by a council of noble advisors. The latter has been gaining power over the past century, and perform much of the smaller tasks required of ruling an empire.
Religion can mean many things to a Teraltian. Typically, a family will choose a patron god to worship from the pantheon. Since the royal family's god is D'alor, many citizens worship him as well. I would dare guess this is the reason so many see the sky as the future, and why the floating cities are so popular.
Separated from the rest of Teraltis by the Itu Mountains, the nomads who roam the desert have never fully integrated their culture with those of the west and north. Nomads are known as the inventors of the first airship, and pilots are highly respected.
Much as Teraltians are known for their arrogance and prying into the lives of all on Eysan, Shunnirans have a reputation for being relaxed, creative, and friendly. I must say that on the whole, I've found this to be true. Of course every individual is different, but the variety of unique and wonderful people I've met there has always astounded me.
Shunnira is ruled by an elected council who rules as an oligarchy for a period of a decade before new elections must take place. Official census-takers are sent out at that time to count citizens and collect votes.
My favorite part of Shunnira is the Beskra Canyonlands. This sparse landscape is home to the Grand Library of Ontaakh, which houses the largest collection of knowledge in all of Eysan. It is home to the Order of Scholars (and has been my home for several years as I've trained to become a historian of that Order).
Some northerners have the mistaken belief that Djimbuk is a separate country, or stranger to me, a myth! While Djimbuk is separated from the continent by a wide channel, it is nonetheless an integral part of Shunnira's industry and home to its most famous university. While most cities lie along the coast, a few have been constructed deep in the rainforest. I've only seen one, but it was a marvel of engineering. The buildings wrap around living trees, with elevators and bridges connecting the structures. Glider technology has been perfected here; fliers routinely maneuver through the canopy.
The country of my birth is steeped in tradition. You can see it in the architecture, which attempts to preserve Haakon designs where it can, and replicate them where it cannot. It is the country that follows the old religious traditions most closely. And the culture of the Aadoburi is one of strict responsibilities to family and country.
Aadobur is split into several hierarchical classes, with the bureaucrats at the top and homeless and other outcasts at the bottom. There are few ways to gain standing, but many ways one can lose it. My situation is unusual, in that I was taken in from the streets by an upper noble family. While my official class never changed, I was given opportunities similar to those of my adopted class.
While there is technically peace between Aadobur and Teraltis, it is a poorly hidden fact that soldiers patrol the border on both sides and have small skirmishes on occasion. Despite this, Aadobur is a launching point for many would-be treasure hunters. Men and women sneak across the border into Lobhi (Eastern Desert) to search the Haak ruins for relics. Many Aadoburi nobles collect any and all things Haak. Because of the danger and rareness of these items, forgeries are common.
The island country of Homanoah is largely shrouded in mystery. Trade with outsiders is limited, and carefully controlled by the Homanoahn government. Only a select few citizens of the continent countries have been allowed to keep residence over the years. They are typically Scholars and other people deemed useful to Homanoahn society. What little knowledge we have about the island is from their accounts.
The government of Homanoah is a theocracy, led by a high priestess. She is known to disappear into the depths of her mountain temple for days at a time to confer with the Homaoahn deity about matters of state.
The god of the Homanoahns is Ko'mo, a mystical salamander the size of a mountain. He's said to live in the largest of the country's volcanoes. In Homanoahn legend, there were once many gods (and this includes the gods of Haakon that we know), but Ko'mo - in a display of power and mighty hunger - ate them. Difficult to even imagine, I know. How would a land creature, no matter how godly, possibly hope to fight Grandmother Rau-cilla who embodies chaos itself?