An Onaia Gazetteer and Maps

The Iron Realm and Humans

The Iron Realm

Indigenous Name: Various
Capital: Various state capitals (see below).
Geography: Forests, plains, mountains, and one small desert.
Trade: Worked metals, ores, grains, spices, herbs.
Peoples: Humans. A hairless breed of middling height that may be a distant, inferior cousin to yutans. A violent people prone to wars and conflict.
Government: Various depending on the dominion (see below).
Language: Three primary languages: Shen, Easad, and Mumtiba.
Religion: Various (see below).
The Sight: Various (see below).
Impressions: “A varied land supporting a diverse people. My first impression of the Iron Realm upon reading of its history of wars and conflicts is a wave of gratitude to the urris for enforcing The Pact and keeping such barbarous people from overwhelming the whole of Onaia. Upon spending years among them, I have not changed this opinion. However, as surely as the humans love war and seeking dominance over each other, they also love their art, architecture, music, poetry, and wildly spiced foods. They are an immature but passionate people, both dangerous and beautiful.”

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The Daeshen Dominion

Capital: Tagu-Lan
Geography: A western coast along the Zha Ocean with farmland, plains, and forests that run eastward to the Rantu-Ting Mountains on the Atheton border.
Trade: Wheat, corn, barley, rye, metals, spices, rare gems.
Peoples: Predominantly Heevin (brown skin, flat noses, dark hair, brown eyes) with some Tollith (brown skin, wide noses, dark hair, brown eyes).
Government: Hereditary monarchy currently ruled by Zhan Kon Tin-Tsu.
Language: Shen — a language shared with the neighboring Tanshen Dominion.
Religion: Kam-Djen. The people worship the god they call Ni-Kam Djen (The True God). They follow the teachings of nine prophets and believe that a savior will arise to usher in the end of the world. They also believe the world has ended many times and a savior has always arisen. The northern Daeshen Dominion follows the Ketolin sect that believes priests must intercede in prayer.
The Sight: Banned as a sacrilegious affront to their god Ni-Kam-Djen.
Impressions: “My time in the Daeshen Palace lasted little more than a year, but I took from those hearty people a lifelong love of fried foods, dry red wines, and the human game of koris. I also departed with an unending bewilderment that two nations, two peoples, might hold such a deep rooted and long lived animosity toward one another over the most minor of theological differences.”

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The Tanshen Dominion

Capital: Tsee-Kaanlin
Geography: Possessed of a western cost along the Zha Ocean and a southern coast along the Tanfan Sea with farmland, plains, and forests in between.
Trade: Wheat, corn, barley, rye, metals, spices, and rare gems.
Peoples: Predominantly Tollith (brown skin, wide noses, dark hair, brown eyes) with some Heevin (brown skin, flat noses, dark hair, brown eyes).
Government: Hereditary monarchy currently ruled by Zhan Taujin Letan-Nin.
Language: Shen — a language shared with the neighboring Daeshen Dominion.
Religion: Kam-Djen. The people worship the god they call Ni-Kam Djen (The True God). They follow the teachings of nine prophets and believe that a savior will arise to usher in the end of the world. They also believe the world has ended many times and a savior has always arisen. The southern Tanshen Dominion follows the Zatolin sect that believes that all worshipers may pray to The True God.
The Sight: Banned as a sacrilegious affront to their god Ni-Kam-Djen.
Impressions: “Like their northern brethren, with whom they most frequently and bloodily quarrel, the Tanshen welcome foreignness with a reserved enthusiasm, treating me both as potential ally and possible foe, all while attempting to feed me so frequently that I began to suspect they might be fattening me for some long lost sacrificial rite to appease their strident god.”

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The Punderra Dominion

Capital: Kanhalla
Geography: Forests, plains, and wetlands.
Trade: Rice, spices, silks, cotton, and fruits.
Peoples: A mix of human peoples. Lindosh (dark skin, narrow noses, and brown eyes), Wandis (dark skin, wide noses, brown eyes), Tollith (brown skin, wide noses, dark hair, brown eyes), Heevin (brown skin, flat noses, dark hair, and brown eyes), Naotis (light skin, narrow noses, and various hair and eye colors), Gaotos (light skin, wide noses, wide eyes, dark hair, brown eyes).
Government: Senate of secular leaders, both male and female, elected by the land-owning families.
Language: Mumtiba — a language shared with the neighboring Juparti Dominion.
Religion: Open to all faiths but dominated by Kethism — a syncretic religion that arose as a reaction to the religious wars of the past. The Keth follow the teachings of a man named Keth, who legend says lived at the Origin Time. Worshipers believe in taking what they call the heart of all faiths. They believe all the gods are real, all the gods can help or harm, and prayers can be made to any and all gods, or to none. While there are leaders, male and female, who are elected to local Keth councils, there are no priests as it is largely a householder faith.
The Sight: Keth councils exist mostly to control the use of The Sight. Only those who join the local Sight Councils can openly practice The Sight, making it rare but not uncommon.
Impressions: “Curiously, the dominion with the most variety of faiths and ethnicities is beset by the least religious and ethnic strife. Possibly this is due to Punderra, and the city of Kanhalla in particular, being the seat of the first human settlement in that age scholars of all realms refer to as the Origin Time. During my stay in this dominion, I participated in ceremonies from all the available faiths, partaking in their rites and rituals, studying their scriptures, and even joining them in prayer. It did not shake my yutan faith, but it did give me an appreciation for what the Keth call The Truth Behind the Many Truths.”

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The Juparti Dominion

Capital: Tajana
Geography: Forests, plains, wetlands, a southern coastline along the Tanfan Sea.
Trade: Rice, spices, silks, cotton, fruits, and items manipulated through The Sight.
Peoples: A mix of human peoples. Lindosh (dark skin, narrow noses, and brown eyes), Wandis (dark skin, wide noses, brown eyes), Tollith (brown skin, wide noses, dark hair, brown eyes), Heevin (brown skin, flat noses, dark hair, and brown eyes), Naotis (light skin, narrow noses, and various hair and eye colors), Gaotos (light skin, wide noses, wide eyes, dark hair, brown eyes).
Government: A council of priests, merchants, warriors, laborers, nobles, and seers/academics. Council members are elected by their peers. There are twelve council members, two from each group — one male and one female apiece.
Language: Mumtiba — a language shared with the neighboring Punderra Dominion.
Religion: Pashism. Pashists worship many gods. There are fifty-four gods and fifty-four goddesses in the primary pantheon. They have rituals that are for the home as well as for the temple. Religion is something Pashists practice on a daily basis all day long. There are prayers for rising, eating, working, resting, playing, cooking, at sunset, before sleep, and so on. There are male and female priests of equal standing in a wide network of temples.
The Sight: There is a strong secular tradition of cultivating The Sight in Juparti. It is home to the Academy of Sight, the only institution established for the training and study of The Sight in the whole of the Iron Realm, and second in Onaia (the first being the yutan Sight Pod of the Sky Realm).
Impressions: “My first day in a Juparti market, I found myself overwhelmed by the swirl of colors and smells and sounds, as though a battle were being fought, not between armed opponents, but between factions of bakers and butchers and farmers and spicers and herbalists and weavers and street poets, and the very customers themselves, jostling to pay or haggling over the price of some item, shouting, laughing, singing, being so very much alive. The contrast to the staid yutan shops of my youth shook me, making me at once nostalgic for the calm of yutan ways, and at the same time, filling me with a vibrancy that I now miss whenever I frequent a market of any kind elsewhere, for none can compare with the bubbling bazaars of Juparti.”

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The Atheton Dominion

Capital: Tagiciora
Geography: Farmland and forests bordered with the Rantu-Ting Mountains on its eastern border, a northern coastline along the Daefan Sea, and a large forest along its eastern border.
Trade: Rare metals, worked metals, grains, wines, dried fruits, and wool.
Peoples: Predominantly Tollith (brown skin, wide noses, dark hair, brown eyes), Heevin (brown skin, flat noses, dark hair, and brown eyes), and Naotis (light skin, narrow noses, and various hair and eye colors).
Government: A theocratic monarchy. A council of priests select a ruler to serve for life. While not officially so, this often proves to be a hereditary position with a single family dominating the throne for generations. The current ruler is Teyett Tujara Anravez.
Language: Easad — a language shared with the neighboring Nevaeo Dominion.
Religion: Tot Gioth — a faith that worships the goddess Nag Mot Gioth (Mother Creator) and Nag Pat Gioth (Father Destroyer), the spousal gods said to rule the universe in a cycle of birth and death. While initially a splinter sect of Kam-Djen, the faith has evolved into an entirely new religion, one that accepts female priests.
The Sight: Allowed but not cultivated outside the halls of the ruling palace where it is used to further the aims of the throne. All those who practice The Sight outside of the palace must register with the throne’s administrators.
Impressions: “My travels through Atheton, journeying in the company of a roaming carnival, a collection of actors and attractions who wander the entire realm, left me with the impression of a cold dominion. Not for the intemperate nature of the land, although the weather did often dip below freezing that autumn, but rather from the tone and tenor of the people, who tended to express themselves in private with the same reserve they evidenced in the public company of an ambassador from a far-off realm.”

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The Nevaeo Dominion

Capital: Janata
Geography: A region of farmland, numerous lakes, and dense forests with the Goha Tayso Mountains on its eastern border.
Trade: Grains, wines, cotton, rare nuts, worked metals, and metal ores.
Peoples: Predominantly Lindosh (dark skin, narrow noses, and brown eyes) and Wandis (dark skin, wide noses, brown eyes).
Government: A clerical theocracy where the priesthood elects eight priests to sit on the Table of Elders for a period of twenty years. These elders then choose one among them every five years to sit at the head of the Table of Elders.
Language: Easad — a language shared with the neighboring Atheton Dominion.
Religion: Tot Gioth — a faith that worships the Goddess Nag Mot Gioth (Mother Creator) and Nag Pat Gioth (Father Destroyer), the spousal gods said to rule the universe in a cycle of birth and death. While initially a splinter sect of Kam-Djen, the faith has evolved into an entirely new religion, one that accepts female priests.
The Sight: The Sight is tolerated but not cultivated within the clerical hierarchy. It is allowed for healing and aiding in farming outside the clerical halls, but strictly forbidden for any other purpose.
Impressions: “Oddly, as a sister nation to the neighboring Atheton Dominion with whom they share a common language, if not a common ethnic stock, the Nevaeo people possess a warmer, more friendly disposition. When traveling between two consulate outposts, I often stayed not in inns along the road, but in the homes of individual families I had previously met along the route. These nights eating at short tables and talking late into the night before small hearths were some of the best moments of my time in the Iron Realm and are among the memories I cherish most from my ambassadorial days.”

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The Kytain Dominion

Capital: None
Geography: A western desert at the edge of the Tayso Mountains gives way to wide plains that run to the eastern shores of the Nang Ocean and the northern shores of the Daefan Sea. The southern border with Juparti displays the ruins of a great wall built by Zhan Phan-Raa prior to the beginning of the First Great Dominion to contain the Kytain tribes.
Trade: None. The Kytain peoples do not trade.
Peoples: A roughly even mix of Naotis (light skin, narrow noses, and various hair and eye colors) and Gaotos (light skin, wide noses, wide eyes, dark hair, brown eyes).
Government: Tribal male chieftains and councils of men with separate women’s circles. The men’s councils deal with external issues such as war between tribes, and the women’s circles deal with internal issues such as delivering justice to those who break the tribe’s codes of behavior. The various tribal councils and circles meet in a great congress of all tribes once every five years.
Language: Kytain.
Religion: The Kytain people worship a limited pantheon of nature gods and spirits based on the elements and the natural world with a strong tradition of ancestor veneration.
The Sight: Widespread but generally confined to tribal seers.
Impressions: “Among all the peoples of the Iron Realm, and indeed all the peoples of Onaia, I believe I share the deepest kinship with the Kytain tribes of the land they call The Sky Plains. They are a people who look to the past as a means of living the present and preparing for the future. They are more warlike than my ancient yutan ancestors, but engender a similar spirit of freedom and the desire to live in harmony with nature.”

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The Free City of Tanjii

Capital: Tanjii (an independent city)
Geography: A coastal city on the shores of the Zha Ocean nestled in the valley between two mountains.
Trade: A port city through which trade from various realms flows from the dominions of the Iron Realm.
Peoples: A roughly even mix of Tollith (brown skin, wide noses, dark hair, brown eyes) with some Heevin (brown skin, flat noses, dark hair, brown eyes).
Government: Ruled by a Circle of Elders — nine people selected by lottery every ten years from the most powerful noble houses and merchant families.
Language: Shen.
Religion: Both Zatolin and Ketolin sects of the Kam-Djen faith maintain an uneasy balance of power among the city’s faithful.
The Sight: Banned as a sacrilegious affront to their god Ni-Kam-Djen.
Impressions: “The humans are a most mercantile people, surpassed only by the rakthor, and the people of the free city of Tanjii are the most trade and profit conscious of all those I encountered in my many years in the Iron Realm. This is no doubt a result of relying nearly exclusively on the import and export of goods through their well-situated docks. By offering docking fees rather than onerous tariffs, and boasting direct access to The Old Border Road, along which goods can travel to four of the seven dominions of the realm, the city has become a hub of commerce renown throughout Onaia. In the months I spent there visiting a fellow rakthor ambassador, I saw how delicately the city elders had learned to balance the Kam-Djen sects of Zatolin and Ketolin, the factions of nobles and merchants, the districts demarcating wealth and poverty, and the interests of the city dwellers and the farmers of the valley. It showed a skill of governing akin to an acrobat spinning shells on sticks atop a moving wagon — a sight I saw once in a palace wedding celebration in Juparti.”

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The Other Realms

The Sun Realm

Indigenous Name: Ranikttak
Capital: Taknaht
Geography: A land of central desert surrounded by coastal plains, thick forests, and occasional jungles.
Trade: Metals, rare spices and herbs, and mechanical devices.
Peoples: The rakthors — a reptile-like people of three breeds, one significantly shorter than the others. An unsentimental people interested in commerce and philosophical pursuits.
Government: A series of elected committees for six cantons, each sending representatives to the Central Governing Committee of the entire realm every eight years. There are also other elected offices at local levels of governance, with candidates required to pass a series of exams before standing for office.
Language: There is a single rakthorian language with very little digression of dialect.
Religion: None. The rakthors hold no belief in gods or unseen powers.
The Sight: Nonexistent or nearly so. Few rakthors have ever displayed any ability to cultivate or utilize The Sight.
Impressions: “The realm of Ranikttak, as the rakthors call it, is a largely barren land mass with vast, inhospitable deserts in the interior, a fitting place for a people who many yutan would refer to as inhospitable and barren of common personal understanding. However, as the continent of the Sun Realm is encircled by often lush forests and verdant grazing land, so, too, do the rakthors possess similar inner, rather than outer, companionable natures. However, like those coastal vegetative wilds, this inner rakthorian conviviality must be cultivated in order to produce a setting suitable for conversational colonization. Rakthors are creatures of rationality rather than feeling, but as such, they can learn to reason their way, through observation, to an approximate understanding of the way the other peoples of Onaia experience life and express themselves. I have witnessed this myself.”

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The Sky Realm

Indigenous Name: Kratish Tavan
Capital: None. Gerhanach is the largest city.
Geography: Mountains and a few valleys. Cold and glacial with a short summer.
Trade: The Yutans trade in small metal and hand-worked items, but they do not travel and do not often mix with the peoples of other realms.
Peoples: Yutan. A tall, pale people. Possible distant, superior cousins to the humans. Peaceful and culturally sophisticated.
Government: Pods of ten to one hundred yutans collectively decide local issues and select representatives to regional pods, who then select members to the Great Pod.
Language: There are three yutan languages, all variations of the same ancient tongue.
Religion: Yutans worship the universe as the manifestation of a divine force that does not act in the world. The Aasho sect views this divine being as having three aspects: Onn the creative force, Tam the life sustaining force, and Kiv the force of destruction that turns the circle of existence back to Onn and creation.
The Sight: The gift of The Sight is common among the yutan people and cultivated by many for productive and healing purposes.
Impressions: “I departed my home realm for the first time at the turn of my nineteenth year, working as a deckhand on a human merchant vessel bound for the shores the Wood Realm. As there are few yutan trade ships, I found it easier to find working passage with humans, a people who I found an affinity for in their natural inclination to migrate, to see what lay beyond the next mountain, or across the sea. Possibly this explains why, after my eventual tutelage in the ambassadorial pods, I requested a posting in the Iron Realm, a land of people similar enough to my own that we might be related by some distant ancestor, but different in ways that, to this very day, challenge my notion of what it means to be a member of a civilized society.”

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The Stone Realm

Indigenous Name: Rarag Shak
Capital: None.
Geography: Mountains, high plateaus, and a region known as the Stone Desert.
Trade: Little to no trade. Raw ore for various metals.
Peoples: The roaggs — a large, bear-like people said to have been created by Dark Seers in the Iron Realm to serve as warriors for a Punderrese rhegan. Freed by the urris and given the Stone Realm as a homeland. They are a largely peaceful people seemingly uninterested in the trappings of civilization.
Government: The roaggs live in a network of small tribes whose leaders occasionally hold special joint meetings to deal with issues affecting the entire realm.
Language: There is one roagg language, but there are numerous dialects that often leave speakers from one region unable to understand those from another.
Religion: The roaggs believe that all things possess a spirit that is transformed into another state of being upon death or destruction. Thus, a flower might become a rock, which might become a stag, which might become a roagg.
The Sight: Infrequent, but not uncommon. While not incapable of using The Sight, few roaggs seem interested in doing so, largely due to the stigma it carries from their creation as a people in servitude.
Impressions: “I participated once in a roagg hunt, throwing my spear to fell a stag, singing the traditional hunting song as I helped my hosts dress the carcass, sharing in the meat roasted over a spit above an open fire, weeping at the ancient poems of their people’s betrayal at the hands of the sheetoo (the humans), and laughing at the young cubs sneaking to the fire late at night to spy on the strange outlander keeping their parents awake into the darkest hours of the night. I think of that evening whenever I see a deer in the distance, a memory calling to me across time and seas and languages.”

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The Wood Realm

Indigenous Name: Orne Klaad
Capital: Winthaal
Geography: Dense forests, wet jungles, and wide savannahs.
Trade: Rare lumbers, spices, herbs, fruits, silks, worked metal, and jewelry.
Peoples: The wyrins — a diminutive people with thick fur and animal-like faces. An industrious people who live in harmony with their natural surroundings, although prone to frequent wars over what would seem to be plentiful resources.
Government: No central governing body. Various forms of government, from collective tribes to hereditary local monarchies, all dominating various regions and frequently in martial conflict with one another.
Language: The wyrins have numerous languages that are all related, each with various dialects that are largely regional.
Religion: The wyrins worship the spirits of their ancestors in request for guidance and protection from powerful, dangerous spirits and beings.
The Sight: There are seers in every wyrin community. The skill is not uncommon and often used for violence in group combat.
Impressions: “While physically the smallest of the peoples of Onaia, the wyrins are a people of large feelings and great passions. To argue with a wyrin is to set oneself to scaling an impossibly high cliff with the hope of falling as one’s only comfort. As passionate as they are about their opinions, which often seem to be the cause of their intra-tribal conflicts, they are the most exceptional and generous hosts. So much so that my presence once constituted the rationale for an impromptu truce between two villages battling over water rights to a woodland stream. So concerned were the wyrins with providing for their guest that they suspended their fighting until I passed on to the next cluster of villages.”

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The Ice Realm

Indigenous Name: None
Capital: None
Geography: Mountains and wide plains of ice and deep snow.
Trade: None
Peoples: Uninhabited.
Government: None
Language: None
Religion: None
The Sight: None
Impressions: “I am one of the few yutans, and the only one living, who can claim to have stepped upon the snow packed grounds of the Ice Realm. I cannot, however, claim to have journeyed there through intent. A trading vessel I purchased passage aboard suffered damage in a storm and ran aground on the ice and rock coastline of that realm. We stayed there a week, and while the crew made repairs, I took the opportunity to document the geography and wildlife, such as it was, to preserve a record of the least hospitable of all continents. I learned later, to my mild embarrassment, that several contingents of rakthor and human explorers had already fully documented the realm, one expedition even going so far as to trek across its interior. I found myself exceptionally jealous at that news.”

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The Forbidden Realm

Indigenous Name: Unknown
Capital: Unknown
Geography: Unknown
Trade: None
Peoples: Unknown. Possibly the urris, although little to nothing is known about them.
Government: Unknown
Language: Unknown
Religion: Unknown
The Sight: Unknown
Impressions: “It is a significant sadness to me that the realm I desire to visit the most is the one that is denied me, as it has been denied to all others before me, by a pact with a people who have remained largely unseen since they appeared to apparently assist the yutans and other peoples in colonizing their respective realms at the Origin Time so many thousands of years ago. I dream of what it would be like to speak with an urris. My dreams, of course, vary in the depiction of those elusive beings, as all recorded sightings of them differ throughout recorded history. Occasionally, they look as fellow yutans, sometimes as malformed humans, often they are simply cloaked in shadows and misshapen colors. I am most curious to know their true appearance.”

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Maps of The World

A Map of The Iron Realm

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