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Author Topic: The Imperial Province of Bisaya  (Read 8405 times)

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Offline Pariah

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The Imperial Province of Bisaya
« on: August 17, 2006, 06:26:56 PM »
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.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 12:09:18 AM by Pariah »
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Pariah

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The Peoples
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2006, 06:30:07 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 12:08:38 AM by Pariah »
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Pariah

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Settlements
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2006, 06:32:02 PM »
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.
Size:3
« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 12:08:14 AM by Pariah »
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Pariah

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Critters (In Work)
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2006, 06:33:26 PM »

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.
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline CaptainPenguin

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Re: The Imperial Province of Bisaya
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2006, 08:49:40 PM »
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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Offline Pariah

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Re: The Imperial Province of Bisaya
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2006, 08:56:40 PM »
Tonle Sap is a lake/river in Cambodia.  I didn't know that until you said it sounded familar.  And I was reading Hour of the Dragon when I was writing some of that, so I might've jotted down that name thinking I thought of it but didn't...

Any other large bodies of water you want to point out CP?
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline CaptainPenguin

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Re: The Imperial Province of Bisaya
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2006, 11:24:42 PM »
Sorry  :oops:
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Offline Pariah

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Re: The Imperial Province of Bisaya
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2006, 01:52:36 PM »
No, I'm joking CP.  I don't mind if you find holes in my names.  In fact I like it when people here point out flaws in my thinking.  Saves me from having to fix something in front of my players.
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Pariah

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Re: The Imperial Province of Bisaya
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2010, 12:23:34 AM »
My dearest, I hope this letter finds you in good heal as I sit here writing this letter our ship rapidly approaches the single port on this gods forsaken island.  The city, Nafia, is a welcome sight after nearly two weeks on this rickety pile of wood, though I can't say that it's too pretty a sight.  Truth be told, the only way I can really tell that this is anything more than a small town is the wall, which according to the crew that have made this trip before, is supposed to be 5 men tall, all to guard against the jungle.  I don't believe the tales of monstrosities lurking in the darkness of the jungle, fairy tales told to keep the slaves from trying to escape, that is all.  But hopefully my love, the next time I write you, I will have found a treasure cache hidden in that jungle, left behind by whatever people it was that inhabited this land originally.
-Unknown, letter dated YOL 549, addressed to Alexandra Zita, Agata Street, Old Quarter, Glicheir
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 10:16:00 PM by Pariah »
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Pariah

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Re: The Imperial Province of Bisaya
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2011, 10:39:04 PM »
So I definitely worked on this all day today, being bored at work is tragic...  Things I decided:
1) Bisaya as an island is too small
2) The aptly named Stone Empire is no longer violent and cruel, but a paragon of civilization on the shattered continent that was ruled in days of yore by the Samahan Empire, before it's bloodlust and hatred caused the empire to dissolve into civil war and collapse
3) The collapse left behind most of the Samahan's vile creations, which they stepped up production of as the war went on, further refining their depravities on eachother
4) I have a lot of cities, states, rivers, bays, mountain ranges, mountains, towns, people, etc to name...

Stone Emipre
The mighty Stone Empire stretches from the Bight of (unnamed) in the north down to the port of Gilcheir in the south, built on the mountainous peninsulas of the eastern half of the continent it is a paragon of order and justice in the world; though this isn't that hard seeing as all they have to compete with are the cannibals of the western jungles and the warring island-states of the (unnamed) Sea.  The empire itself was forged nearly 200 years ago under the rule of (unnamed), the first Emperor.

The Empire, while not active in persecuting the practice of magic, takes a distinctly disapproving view of it; primarily because the Holy Faith views the practice of magic as the province of those that traffic with less than wholesome forces.

Points of Interest

The High Road - Traveling from the port of Gilcheir in the south to the fortress at Mount (unnamed) in the north, this engineering feat stretches over 2500 km through lowlands and mountains, over ravines and under hills; this road unites the empire.

The Wall - Located at western edge of the empire, this 120km wall separates the Empire and the (unnamed) coast, home of bloodthirsty savages and barbarian raiders.

The Fortress at Mount (unnamed) - the seat of the ruling family and political center of the Empire; despite being located in the far northern reaches of the continent.

=====================

To do: scan map and put it up tomorrow, make list of hundreds of names to use for this monstrosity.  I would love lists of names for people, places, and stuff :wink:
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline hylandpad

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Re: The Imperial Province of Bisaya
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2011, 09:45:35 AM »
did a quick fly through on my phone. Will definently send back critique when I get home and can read more deeply.  :up:
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Offline hylandpad

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Re: The Imperial Province of Bisaya
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2011, 03:32:44 PM »
so, the setting has shifted from Bisaya to the Imperial homeland? I was wondering why all of your lore was crossed out.
if there is a compliment I have to make, it's your naming conventions. I liked an empire called the stone empire. It's short and powerful, and unique.
I would make critiques, but most of your material is undergoing renovations :-)
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Offline Pariah

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Re: The Imperial Province of Bisaya
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2011, 11:30:45 PM »
Yeah, this one is always undergoing renovations...

Toponyms
Place names in the Stone language are based largely off of adding prefixes and suffixes to some distinguishing feature of a given place.  The supplied words are only the root; regional variances sometimes will render the root near indecipherable.  Example: -brid; in the southern provinces, the predominate dialects pronounce the voiced alveolar plosive and the voiced bilabial plosive voicelessly (changing "b" into "p" and "d" into "t", leading to such placenames as Ettaprit and Marapreet; needless to say many people find the southerners nearly incomprehensible.
Vowels in parenthesis may be placed between consonants to aide in pronunciation, though they will always be pronounced as short vowels.

Suffixes
-(a)brid = hill
-(i)mak = field
-(u)vlas = forest
-(e)hayn = land
-(o)kra = cliff
-(i)genu = river mouth (or river bend depending on the dialect)
-(i)bna = river
-(i)bon = base/botton

Prefixes
dir(o)- = fortress
dar(u)- = fortified town/city
gil(a)- = village (or more accurately any unfortified settlement, to include such places as the port of Gilcheir, a large city by any standards)
ar(u)-  = height
dw(i)- = holy
now(i)- = new
jak(u)- = summit
dibr(i)- = body of fresh water (lake, pond, puddle, they'd probably call a fresh-water ocean Dibrinibon "Water without bottom")
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline hylandpad

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Re: The Imperial Province of Bisaya
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2011, 11:49:56 PM »
OOOOOH pretty linguistic morphologies. I have a language in the works for my setting too. I do love conlangs.
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Offline Pariah

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Re: The Imperial Province of Bisaya
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2011, 02:18:22 AM »
so, the setting has shifted from Bisaya to the Imperial homeland?

The setting hasn't shifted, the Imperial homeland has; though that's semantics more than anything...

Onward and upward!

Architecture and a bit of history


In the centuries leading up to the formation of the Stone empire, internecine warfare between the local warlords was the law of the land, interspersed with the occasional raid by pirates or attacks by Samahan monstrosities accidentally released by fool-hardy adventurers.  The manoral complexes mirror these facts, built on the tops of hills and in other, easily defensible locations with well fortified structures and high walls.  Below them the terraced farms stretch out, oftentimes with walls of their own between levels so as to provide even more points for defenders to make a stand, or at the very least, funneling the attacks through easy to attack locations.

The defensive advantages of this can not be overstated; with high ground, numerous places to stage a defense, and a well stocked store room it would take many months of continuous siege to defeat even a petty lord.  The Stone empire used many less than honorable tactics in conquering the holdings of the numerous recalcitrant warlords, including collapsing two different manors into the sea.

The colony of Bisaya

Located on the western coast of the [as of yet unnamed] Bay, the colony provides many luxuries and trade goods to the Empire.  Sugar, spices, Darkwood, Ghamiq; all of these come out of the colony.  Additionally, Bisaya provides a suitable starting point for many expeditions into the western jungle to pry the secrets of the Samahan from.
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station