Laronea

Overview:

Laronea is a massive, elongated continent that spans from Eyros’s equator to its arctic. It measures approximately 4,988,000 square miles, and nearly 64 million people live within its borders. Laronea is divided into three general regions: the North, the Midlands, and the Reach. Each of these regions boasts spectacular natural resources, including metals, precious gemstones, various types of lumber and exotic hardwoods, fruits, and rare stones. However, as Laronea’s majority population generally consists of pastoral, semi-nomadic tribesmen, many of these resources remain untapped.

Average Values (temperatures and population):

  • Coastal: 72 degrees
  • Highlands: 48 degrees
  • Population density among habitable areas: ~15 per square mile.

Climate and Population Breakdown:

The North:

Laronea’s 1,151,000 square mile north is largely uninhabited, though some tribes still live along its cool hilly coastal grasslands. Unlike other parts of Laronea, where the altitude shift into the highlands and then further into its mountainous spine is gradual, this region features exceptionally steep inclines and subsequently sharp and sudden increases in altitude over relatively small distances.

  • Mountains (38%)
  • Grassland (25%)
  • Boreal/Alpine forest (20%)
  • Chaparral (15%)
  • Temperate deciduous forest (2%)
  • Temperature ~20 degrees below average +/- 10 degrees.
  • Average altitudes:
  • Coastal: 140 feet ASL
  • Highlands: 4500 feet ASL
  • Highest peak: 24435 feet ASL
  • Population: 6.4 million

The Midlands:

Laronea’s midlands measure an approximate 1,973,400 square miles. It is widely populated, with many families, tribes and alliances living in the region’s forests and grasslands. The Midlands contain the largest city in Laronea and the continent’s de facto capitol, Lar Laron.

  • Savannahs and grasslands (40%)
  • Temperate forests (22%)
  • Boreal/Alpine forests (14%)
  • Mountains (12%)
  • Chaparral (8%)
  • Shrublands (4%)
  • Temperature average +/- 10 degrees.
  • Average altitudes:
  • Coastal: 800 feet ASL
  • Highlands: 13000 feet ASL
  • Highest peak: 30343 feet ASL
  • Population: 32 million

The Reach:

The most southerly region of Laronea is approximately 1,864,000 square miles. It is slightly less densely populated than the midlands due to the nearby presence of Low Maluthian slavers, but many tribes and alliances prefer to risk the threat in order to enjoy the region’s agreeable climate, fertile lands and mild winters.

  • Tropical deciduous forest (52%)
  • Temperate deciduous forest (25%)
  • Tropical shrublands (20%)
  • Boreal/alpine forest (2%)
  • Mountains (1%)
  • Temperature ~15 degrees above average +/- 5 degrees.
  • Average altitudes:
  • Coastal: 400 feet ASL
  • Highlands: 16000 feet ASL
  • Mountain max peak: 20662 feet ASL
  • Population: 25.6 million

Politics:

- Laronea is less a civilized continent than it is an inordinately large conglomerate of like-minded peoples with shared interests. The continent has no central governing authority, and instead operates as a vast collection of semi-nomadic pastoralists. Given that the pastoral lifestyle does not appeal to all, some Laroni—typically youths who have been exposed to the wonderful goods and services offered by the Strati, who have a colonial port on Laronea’s western midland shore—migrate towards population centers. Over the millennia, this frowned-upon habit has resulted in the rise of a handful of metropolitan areas, mostly in the midlands. Although these places serve as commerce centers, the town and city officials who oversee the operations do not operate as part of a larger whole. In effect, Laronea’s port and trade cities are city-states, though the extent of each city does not extend far into the surrounding countryside, where the majority of the Laroni live.

Beliefs:

- The Laroni almost universally believe that all humans possess fundamental rights. Whether it is an old Laroni working with his sheep, or a young Laroni ranger in the employ of a city-state, they all believe that humans were born to be free. Despite their lack of national identity (i.e., most Laroni think of themselves first as a member of the family, then of the tribe, then of an alliance, and finally as part of a nation), Laroni universally consider the thought of servitude abhorrent. Unlike most ostensibly free societies, the Laroni consider anything less than absolute freedom an obstruction of their naturally-given rights. It is for precisely this reason that the Laroni Rangers are feared: they willingly abdicate their most prized possession—the Laroni concept of freedom—in order to defend the people from outsiders.

Lifestyle:

- As has been mentioned, the Laroni are a generally pastoralist people. As such, they are most often associated with their flocks—which in almost every case tend to be sheep. In fact, sheep are among the most important trade commodities within Laroni tribes: just as the Laroni believe they are fundamentally free, they also have a nearly-equal belief that they are the stewards and caretakers of the animals that inhabit their lands. Sheep are ubiquitous in Laronea and are thus highly-prized. The creatures are used as currency, and they double as the source of a global term used to describe the Laroni: the People of the Sheep. Laroni tend to wear the title proudly (when they are aware of it), but there are others—typically Low Maluthians—who twist the phrase and refer to them simply as “Sheep People” in an effort to degrade and dehumanize their prey.

International Relations:

- As the Laroni have no central governing authority, they have no definite stance on outsiders. In the midlands, Laroni tend to be more welcoming of foreigners—generations of youths emigrating to cities have inured the midland Laroni to foreign influence. In the north and in the reach, however, foreigners are treated with suspicion, if not outright hostility.

- Laroni city-states along the continent’s eastern shores tend to see mostly High Maluthian traders. That said, such instances are far rarer than in the West: High Maluthians rarely chance encounters with their Southern brethren if it can be avoided, whereas traders from the Strati Guild Confederation are more than willing to flood Laronea with “experts.”

Military:

- Laronea has no military, as it is not a civilized nation in the eyes of the world. That said, it does have a proud tradition of rangers who forsake their individual rights in order to protect the common good. These men and women, in nearly all cases, work as part of independent groups. Some, however, offer their services to city-states. No matter the employer, however, Laroni rangers are devastatingly effective. It is said that their arrows can find the gap in any armor, and that a well-trained ranger can track any foe in the wild, across any terrain.

- It is rare for a Laroni to become a ranger. Though there are no official numbers, it is estimated that there are fewer than 10,000 Laroni rangers at any given time. Their exclusivity, coupled with their constant struggle against Low Maluthian slavers, serves to keep their overall strength low.

- The Laroni rangers tend to recruit mainly from the reach, though there are some who fill their ranks from the midlands and the north. They typically adopt orphaned boys and girls to fill their ranks. That said, there are handfuls of hopefuls each year who strike out into the Laroni wilds with the hope that they might be found and accepted as ranger candidates. Of those who are found, very few are finally accepted as rangers: those who fail—if they survive their tests— return to their communities with stern instructions to never speak of what they’ve seen or heard.

Laronea

Echoes of Igadeir Longinius