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The Imperial Province of Bisaya

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Required Readings: The Flayed One, Garong's Heart (Maggot is my hero, at least in the making of this setting)

On the edge of the known world there's an island that even the Stone people are having trouble subjugating.  It's an island of the deepest jungles and most terrifying animals, with violent and sometimes cannibalistic natives and a reputation that would make some of the strongest men in the world quake in their boots.  The island itself is alive, in a way, a malign entity that is wakening to fight the imposition of order upon its virgin soils.

The settlers are the scum of the earth, murderers and blackguards, revolutionaries and cut throats, sent here to etch a life out of the way of the righteous folk.  Governed by the Free Stone Trading Company, the few official settlements are little more than walled slums, with the governors and their men living in mansions with little regard for their workers.  The farms are large plantations, with the control of the land held in the hands of the Company.

Anyone capable of wielding a sword has struck it out into the heart of the jungle in the hopes of making himself enough money to buy his way off of this hellhole.  In the jungles themselves many die at the hands of nature, their fellows, or the tribesmen, but it doesn't stop any of them from trying.  In their minds it is anything to escape the 'Free' slavery offered to them by the Company on it's farms, unfortunately in the end many end up there anyways.

The Eternal Stone Empire - These are the technologically advanced conquerors. A late iron age civilization, they are an expansionist people that exist almost solely to exploit others. Their religion, if it can even be called that, stresses the power of the strong over the weak, and teaches that the gods created the world solely for the exploitation of their chosen race, the Stone.

Having conquered huge tracts of land on the mainland, the Empire turned it's eyes south, to the seas. Loading up convicts and explorers on small, barely sea worthy ships they sent them off to explore the seas and spread the grasp of the mighty Empire over all lands. Soon they had maps listing almost every island within a year's travel from the mainland, and they sold off trading rights for individual islands to the highest bidders.

With the newest Emperor, Niran the Eternal, a great many people were shipped off to the most desolate and uninhabitable of the islands as 'colonists' and 'civilizers.' In reality he was merely shipping off the undesirables, the political dissidents, the homeless, the thieves, and the murderers. One of the islands that were chosen for this prestigious task was Bisaya.

Bisaya sets itself apart from most by it's utter inhospitality, with the coastlines either impassable or infested with massive hammerheads, easily 20 feet in length, that would tear almost any ship trying to leave or approach the island to pieces in a matter of minutes. The island itself is almost entirely jungle, the thickest imaginable, and seems to grow back overnight. Of course you can buy your way off the island with a mere 400 Min, about 250 pounds of gold.

The Punan Hy are a very beautiful race to look upon. They are cheerful, talkative, sociable, extremely fond of fun and jokes and lively stories, even if they're a bit given to exaggeration you can always be sure that the story is at least founded on fact. In their clothing they tend towards gaudy colors with lots of reds and greens, and both men and women wear jewelry. While they live in villages they are also given to wanderlust, and will every 2nd or 3rd year, pack up their village and move it to a new site.

They are also one of the most bloodthirsty of the tribes, given to quarreling at some of the most minor insults. They have little respect for their elders, leading to a very chaotic social system. In battle they are treacherous foes, relying as much on their ferocity as their cunning. Many of them are given to seeking out more and more battles as a way to prove their worth, and strung across many a door is a chain of severed thumbs, of both the native and foreigner quality.

The Kayu - The most civilized of the tribes, by Stone standards, is the Kayu peoples. A settled people living in the Rehgah valleys between the two Great Mounts, they are master craftsman of bronze and gold. The hills of their homes are lined with copper and tin mines, and a great many Kayu youth travel to the coasts to pan for gold in the alluvial shallows at the mouths of the rivers.

They're subsistence farmers, with each family owning a plot of land big enough to feed their family, but small enough to defend from other tribes. Their villages are small and populated by one or two families living together in a cluster of huts that seem to lack any rhyme or reason in their layout. They will eat almost any meat, and it is considered a great thing for someone to ask you to eat a pound of their flesh when they die.

Povi - The barbarous Povi, raiders and demon worshipers the lot of them. This is the opinion of any and all Bisayans you ask about them. They worship a god of cycles, of creation and destruction and reincarnation. They call their god Ghuhath'Khee, or the "Flayed One" in the Stone tongue.

They are a reclusive tribe, living deep in the southern part of the island, and attacking anyone who enters their sacred lands. The few people who have survived a Povi attack and lived to tell the tale have described them as fierce warrior that attack entirely naked, with tattoos and scars over every part of their body. They shave their heads and the rest of their body and attack with poisoned spears and slings loaded with a sticky black goo that burns the skin.

(Additional Note: They are the only tribe that still tells tales of the last awakening of Garong, though all their tales attribute his powers to the Flayed One)

Mou - The last of the four main tribes are the Mou. A nomadic peoples, they survive solely as hunter-gatherers, and practice what they call molong, which means that one must never take more than you can carry in the common tongue. They are one a constant circuit of the island, and measure time by their cycles, a circuit that come out to roughly 5 years. They are also great healers, possessing an almost mythical understanding of the healing properties of the islands plants.

Settlements: There are 3 main Stone settlements, not counting the numerous farming 'communities,' on the island; from north to south they are Mienmyr, Cholun, and Rhy. All three of them are on the eastern side of the island, along the tract of land called the Emperor's Coast. Lining the coast there are the various drained peat bogs that are used as farmland by the settlers. The coast is the only place where any military presence is felt on the island, they refuse to travel in the jungles because of the constant danger of the savages.

Mienmyr: The first of the settlements to be founded, it's located on a about 10 miles wide and some 45 long that has been largely cleared of jungle, and where needed, drained. There are extensive dike systems in place to keep the ocean from coming up on the reclaimed bog land, and if there is a failure in a dike it is repaired quickly and the flooding is local and minor. The city itself sits on a large hill, and flooding is all but unheard of.
Size: 3.5

Cholun: Started as a military outpost, has grown into a traveler's town. Very little farming is done to feed citizens, instead they rely on the trade with the passing merchants. Beds, Bars, Brothels, and Banks.
Size: 1.5

Rhy: This city is used as a starting point for a great many expeditions into the interior of Bisaya. The traders come here for the gold fished out of the River Bahram, for the silks, and the spices from the interior. Adventurers, both retired and active, make up a good chunk of this city's population. Also, this city has the largest presence of native folk, besides maybe in the brothels of Cholun.


Jungle Lynx - A medium sized cat (roughly 3 feet in length, with a tail and additional 1.5 feet) of a deep crimson color with horizontal stripes of a light tan color. Hunts in groups of roughly 3-7. Tactics: 1 or 2 will attack and when prey engages those the rest of the group will attack from rear and sides from ambush.

Grey Ape - A large carnivorous ape, easily 9 feet tall when it's hunched over and 5 wide feet at the shoulders. Low light vision, voiseless, and incredibly strong. A la Conan 'Hour of the Dragon'

Vilayet Constrictor - A massive constrictor, the average adult is 2 feet thick and 24 feet long. The Povi view these as the Flayed One incarnate.

Sarawak - A small creature, roughly the size of a chicken, of vaguely reptilian nature. 4 legs and has a drug in it's bite that is highly addictive to most mammals. Drug induces visions.

Tonle Sap - Islander name for the abnormally large and aggressive hammerhead sharks that inhabit the waters around the island. They attack almost every ship that comes in and can sink/destroy a small rowboat.

As Garong comes into his powers there will be more and more monsterous species, mutations and aberrations a plenty. All to kill off the pesky civilized folks and/or the adventurers.

Vilayet is the name of the inland sea in the Conan books... Tonle Sap seems familiar to me, but I can't put my finger on it.


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