Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:27 AM
Guild Location: the Floating Islands of Terapulau
Ruler: Tukesa Vikassi
Unique Characteristics: Excellent sailors, swimmers, and fishermen, great wood-carvers, warm, friendly
Color Scheme: Blue and Green
Everyone in Historica has heard stories of the Floating Islands of Terapulau, but few have ever seen them. The islands sail around the great seas of the world, moving to the patterns of fish and weather. Occasionally, one of the islands will loom off the shore of Historica, prompting a flurry of trade, only to then drift away over the horizon.
The Terapulau islands were originally part of the continent of Historica, on the central eastern coast. Legend has it that the inhabitants build huge cities and monuments of stone, and in doing so, insatiably quarried stone from the hills, leaving large swaths of rubble behind them. In doing so, they awoke the great Snake of the Mountains, who lies under the hills and slumbers protected in his den of solid rock. When the Snake saw the devastation people had wrought, and how they had pillaged his stone, he became very angry. He wrecked their cities and monuments with his massive tail, and then started to eat all the people. The people cried out for protection to the Seahawk god. Seahawk told them he could only protect them by tearing their lands off of Historica, and leaving them to float the oceans forever. And, they must avoid the use of stone in building, so as not to offend the Snake again. They agreed, and with his huge talons, Seahawk ripped the lands free from Historica and cast them into the sea, giving each island one of his feathers so they would float. Thus the Terapulau Islands were created. The land around the Goolag Archipelago on Historica, where the islands were torn off, still has a ragged, torn look.
Some of the Major Islands with land-sails rigged, and showing one of the chained floating islands above
The Terapulau consist of nine large islands and several smaller ones. The islands are mostly jungle and tropical savannah, with sandy beaches, mangrove swamps, and low hills. There are no mountains or serious metal ore deposits. What stone there is tends to be a low quality sandstone, not terribly useful for building. The larger islands are estimated to extend several hundred feet below sea level, as they tend to run aground when drifting into shallower waters around Historica. They float due to large quantities of unobtanium in their soils; the same substance that makes certain mountains and islands float in the air.
Here is a map of some of the larger islands. Note that the relative position of the islands to each other on the map is meaningless, as they float around all the time. The brown dotted lines linking one island to another are huge chains that permanently link some islands together.
The Kelasituan are a mixed bunch. There is a large human population, as well as two large races of elves, the Jardesi, who live in the jungles, and the Walesi, who are seafaring elves. Additionally, there are various peoples descended from ocean
creatures, such as the Buayan, who are crocodilian in form, and the Manreysi, who resemble humanoid manta rays.
Each island (or set of small islands) is governed separately, by a lord called the Tuantuan. The entire guild is ruled by a leader called the Ratuan, elected by and from the Tuantuans every eight years at the Long Night Festival (winter solstice). Since most of the islands float independently, and each tuantuan can sail their island away, the Ratuan only has limited power over the Tuantuans, and mostly is concerned with settling disputes and managing foreign relations.
Guildmembers on an island elect their tuantuan every four years, but it is not uncommon for a tuantuan to be reelected for decades. Tuantuans are selected from a special class of citizens, called the Tuanrang. Bright, organized children are selected to be part of the Tuanrang, and receive special training. As adults they take on most of the administrative roles.
The current Ratuan is Tukesa Vikassi, shown above flanked by two of her elite guard. She was elected twelve years ago, and has done much to improve relations with the outside world. She is said to be a skillful negotiator, and generally fair, although not one to cross. She comes from a prominent line of shamans, although she herself has shown no magical or prophetic ability.
Fishing is the mainstay of the Terapulau economy. The islands are in a continual pursuit of the best fishing grounds in the seas, and are sailed in yearly cycle around the oceans. Since the islands are mostly kept in tropical waters, plants grow lushly, although agriculture is mostly limited to fruits and vegetables, with minimal livestock (fowl mostly), although the larger islands grow much rice. Exports consist mostly of dried fish, spices, tea, and fine pottery. There is also a burgeoning trade in the hides of the besargigi, an enormous crocodilian creature found on many of the islands. Imports consist mostly of metal and stone goods, as there is little rock and ore on the islands. Trade with Historica is a bit difficult, as the islands are constantly on the move and thus there cannot be fixed trade routes. However the general pattern of the islands' travel is well known (south in the winter, and north in summer), and a flurry of trade does take place whenever the islands near other land masses. Most trade with the islands is conducted by Kelasituan traders, as only they really know where the islands will be at any particular time.
The Kelasituan worship a god they call the Navigator, who is said to steer the world and all things in it through the challenging waters of life. Their worship rituals are primarily focused on getting the Navigator's help with steering their islands to the best fishing grounds. Each constellation in their sky is named, as are most of the major stars, and there is a myth associated with each one. Similarly there is a creation myth associated with most of the major species of fish. Good catches are ensured by many festivals involving ritual dancing in which the dancers move together imitating schools of fish.
The perennial problem with islands is of course, population growth. Namely, given fixed land area and food resources, how do you prevent population growth in good times from getting out of hand and causing famine? The inhabitants of
Terapulau resorted to more intensive agriculture and better fishing techniques, but eventually began to face overpopulation and famine. The rulers of the islands shifted to a military strategy, focusing on conquering other lands and peoples. When they were successful, they could seize resources to feed their people, as well as demand continuing tribute. When they failed, well, the resulting casualties served to alleviate population pressure.
Thus the kings of Terapulau ruled the waves for a millenium, striking terror into all land-dwellers of the world. In the spring, all Historica prayed for winds out of the north, to prevent the islands from sailing north and launching their yearly raids. Finally, in the eighth year of the Red Dolphin, Historica banded together with several other lands, and launched a huge counter-attack against the islands. After an enormous battle, the islanders' fleet was destroyed and the mighty power of Terapulau broken forever.
Dwarven smiths from Mitgardia labored all summer, chaining the islands together, and mooring them off the south coast of Gorr. The entire population was enslaved, and subsisted as slave fishermen and sailors for twenty years. In the fifth year
of the Slimy Urchin, a huge typhoon broke several of the massive mooring chains. Seizing their opportunity, the islanders rose up in rebellion, cut the remaining chains, and drifted free into raging storm. The Historican fleet set out to chase them, but abandoned the pursuit after losing a third of their ships in the tempest.
The people of Terapulau then renounced their old militaristic royalty, and formed the Guild of the Kelasituan to rule the islands. Returning to fishing and sailing, they focused on the old ways, living in harmony with the sea and the wind. Gradually, trade relations resumed with Historica and other lands, increasing the wealth of the islanders.
Several hundred years ago, in the fourth year of the Warbling Tree Frog, Sultan Warg'altaz launched an invasion force from the Siccus Badlands of Historica, hoping to intercept the Terapulau islands as they drifted northwards in the spring. After several weeks of searching, they found a group of the islands about a thousand miles southwest of Historica. After several hard-fought battles, the invaders conquered six large islands. However, the Kelasituan inhabitants, nearly all of whom are experienced sailors and have boats, sailed away as defeat became inevitable. The invaders were left with an empty land. While proceeding to ransack the islands and enjoy the fruits of their victory, they failed to notice that before they had fled, the Kelasitaun had set the islands' sails on a course for the Polar Current. The islands were swept up in the current, and floated northwards to the Frozen Beyond. The invaders, having no knowledge of how to sail the islands, or even where they were, were lost, tired, hungry, and cold. They abandoned the islands in a panic in a snowstorm, sailing south. The Kelasituan warriors, waiting just over the horizon in their boats, fell on the fleeing invaders and routed them. Only a few survived to reach Historica. Needless to say, Terapulau has not been subject to a serious invasion attempt since.
I meant to add two more vignettes to this, one showing a typical Kelasituan fishing proa, and another showing typical architecture (wooden, southeast asian / polynesian style). The proa is almost done. But well, I ran out of time. Will hopefully add them sometime next week.
Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:28 AM
Posted 22 September 2012 - 11:59 AM
Ageven Deraim, Lord of Auner, Representative of Qarkyr, Graduated Doctor of Petraea University, Vice Admiral of Kaliphlin Fleet
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, and your house."
Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:11 PM
Current Mafia: watching from the sidelines
Past Mafia: Aperture Academy - Harriet Slutter - Mafia - Silver City - CMF - After Dark - Ragnarok Now Redux - CMF2
Spend wisely, build more and enjoy what you have!
Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:33 PM
Here is my website: http://brickbuilt.org
My flickr: link
John 14:6, Jesus answered, "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Posted 22 September 2012 - 01:58 PM
And really, unobtainium, you had to got there?
Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:07 PM
MoonLord Kha-Lord of Ras-El-Ahken-Kaliphlin
Posted 22 September 2012 - 05:02 PM
Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:30 PM
Best of luck in the contest
We work for Peace and Prosperity through Commerce.
Posted 26 September 2012 - 10:50 PM
Also nice combo using the hippie and jack sparrow hair. I'm not that sure about the blue skirt though!
There's a time for tearing down and a time for building. - Ecclesiastes
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