Jalan: Mysteries of the Haunted World
The Bloodlands are a vast series of craters that scar the world from some unimaginable event in prehistory. This cratered land is remarkably fertile and rich in mineral wealth, and supports the thriving, diverse cultures of the Bloodlanders. The Bloodlands’ bounty is widespread, but requires a great deal of labor, so many dense, self-contained communities form, developing strong traditions of hard work and bountiful feasts. As most labor is divided between working the tough but rewarding soil or toiling in the rich but deadly mines, strong class divisions have developed between the two, with mine work often put upon the poor, debtors, or criminals, while those who spend the day in the sun county themselves as a literal upper class. Despite the plenty, the availability of iron and other metals has made war easy, and the ease of finding ample provisions in weaker communities leads to a plague of warlords and bandits, often forcing remaining communities to swear fealty to a warrior class to provide protection. The vast, rocky terrain and the scattered pockets of civilization have made riding animals popular; the Bloodlanders surpass all others in matters of cavalry and their steeds are as famous as their steel. While the soil, when worked, proves very fertile, it is stiff and dry on its own, so there is little in the way of natural vegetation, especially trees. Bloodlanders must trade with other nations for timber and many herbs and plants which cannot be easily domesticated.
With so much open land, exercise from toil, and full larders, Bloodlanders fill much of their idle time with sport. Mounted races, martial sports such as wrestling, climbing, and other boisterous activities are often followed by a cold swim in the local lake or river. Festivals and celebrations are common, and community and social order are held in great esteem, especially in those communities under the sway of a warlord. Despite their great military potential, Bloodlanders seem to have little ambition to rule outside of the Bloodlands themselves, partly due to a tradition that the Bloodlands are sacred and blessed, and no other place is a worthy dwelling, and partly due to the dearth of resources in other regions; few would trade gold and grain for trees and fish. However, there are still many who venture forth to mingle in other lands to trade, escape the threat of conquest, escape the mines, or because of the rumor that the Bloodlands’ bounty is finite and soon to run out, leaving them a wasteland of the hungry and well-armed.
Bloodlanders tend to have dark skin, depending on sun exposure, curly brown or black hair, often with a reddish tint or strands of silvery gray, and brown, black, or green eyes, often with golden rings around the irises.
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