The Land of Dread is one of the countries of planet Nakti. Located in the far north-eastern region of the planet, it is a desolate, scarcely populated, inhospitable place. It's not a country in an organized, political sense, more a loose collection of city-states, its borders only loosely guarded (if at all). The borders weren't so much decided by military action as by where "a sensible person would start walking backwards" (Traveling records IV, M'rafiq Asalani). Most inhabitants trek around as nomads, as cities are far and few inbetween.
Land of Dread
|Capital||Undecided, multiple contestants.|
|Language||Exorbitant amounts of dialect of the same, unnamed language|
|Currency||No official currency, goods being traded for goods themselves|
|Form of Government||Loose collection of city-states|
The Land of Dread (aka The Wastes, the or simply the Dread has not yet been given a proper, official name, for the simple reason there has been nobody influential enough to decide on one) It is thusly named after the emotion it most oftenly inspires in both the autochthonous and allochtonous population. The customs of the people have been observed by outsiders as morbid and unsettling, and being stuck in its many unforgiving wastes can be unnerving at least. Moreover, the locals feel no remorse in using this sense of fear to their advantage, to facilitate trading, in educating children, and rarely as psychological warfare.
The land of dread is the largest country of Nakti, comprised of a multitude of barren wastelands, mountainous areas, forests and tundras. The southern Dread is still quite hot, with temperatures dropping substantially as one goes further north.
The Six Tribes
Six tribes currently inhabit the Dread, each composed of a specific main species. Some overlapping does occur, with nomads settling down here and there, or settlers taking up the nomadic life again
Ba'ulatu Esemseru: A Komodo dragon-like species, inhabiting settlements in the more mountainous regions. The Esemseru are known for the copper and bronze weapons they produce, their capital Is'Urna being a hotspot for the more talented metalworkers of the Dread. With the mining for ores came the need for mining villages and secure trade routes, making the Esemseru the least nomadic of all tribes; even their trading is only done within their villages, reliant on the Basu and Banbirru for distribution. The few nomadic Esemseru are wealthy diplomats, to attract more customers and nomads to visit.
Ba'ulatu Masqutu: A boa-like species, living in settlements in the more green-ish regions of the Wastes. The species is unique in their wide diversity of bodily size, from scrawny to immensely corpulent. This The Masqutu's main field of expertise is alchemy, brewing potions and synthesizing substances, figuring out a use for each one. This has made them both famous and infamous throughout the Wastes, as medicine and poison are in great demand. Though most Masqutu live near and in their capital Tingar, some prefer the nomadic life, discovering new and special herbs in their travels, selling their services as healers.
Ba'ulatu Nikiltu: A reptilian species, the Nikiltu are the most nomadic settlers of the Dread (as paradoxical as that sounds), wandering around being a rite of passage for young Nikiltans. the Nikiltu saw other tribes trade knowledge for goods, and they pretty much ran with that; looking for any kind of knowledge and copying it, they have the most refined and extensive writing system, and jovial amount of regional dialects in both the written and spoken word, making them a very inaccessible society. There is some amazing potential in the Nikiltu's information-hoarding, were it not for the large amounts of useless information obscuring the actually important stuff, as well as the rather ironic treatment of Nikiltan explorers: oftentimes disliked wherever they go, they're intentionally fed misinformation to screw with their efforts. Their findings are collected and organized in their capital, Kimjanu. Their immensely nosy nature hasn't made them many friends, though for who can look past their annoyances, trading with the Nikiltu can be very rewarding.
Sab-Seri Basu: Gecko-like nomads, the Basu are the go-to merchants in the Dread. They travel around, gathering and selling goods all around the wastes, hiding their hospitable, gentle nature behind their vicious, ruthless haggling. The Basu are the most diverse tribe of them all, as many Nikiltu and Masqutu younglings travel along with them to learn the ways of the nomad, and they don't always return home afterwards.
Sab-Seri Hashhaltu: The nomads of the nomads, this tribe travels around individually, only being together with their own kind as hatchlings, until they are taught the ways of the Hashhaltu. One Hashhaltu meeting another is believed to bring grave misfortune for one of them; whether this has anything to do with childbirth, is mere speculation. Because of this, many settlers of the Dread have never seen a Hashhaltu in person, only knowing of their existence through hear-say, which makes their appearance and habits mere guesswork. The mere sighting of one can be the talk of a village for weeks; folklore describes them as thorny creatures, spirits of arcane wisdom, even the original builders of the Thought Pillars. The Hashhaltu tribe is, quite logically, the hardest to become a part of.
Sab-Seri Banbirru: The only furred inhabitants of the Dread, the Banbirru are coyote-like hunter-gatherers, quite reserved and focused on their own traditions.Mostly found in the most northern regions of the Dread, being the most adapted to the cold weather
Folklore suggest the current nomadic lifestyle has always been around, the first few tribes being nomads. It's unclear what drove them out of their previous, presumably far safer habitat; legends speak of eight tribes, who believed surviving the wasteland would be the true test of their power, might and resilience. The last tribe standing would have rightfully proven their superiority. No evidence of their existence remains, though the three current tribes do claim descendancy. The threat of war seems to have been a more likely cause.
At some point, some tribes settled down for a more agraric lifestyle, deep within the wastelands, surviving with their honed knowledge of their surroundings, bending the local wildlife to their whims. Others stayed nomadic, unwilling to face the difficulties of farming in these extreme circumstances.
Years and generations passed, and though the settlements grew in size, they grew more isolated too, ill-equipped to step outside of their safe zones. Survival was no longer problematic, but being stranded in a seemingly endless wasteland did not exactly promote growth of ideas or technology. Similarly, the nomads picked up plenty of knowledge during their travels, but could not enjoy many of the towns' luxuries. Though skirmishes did take place, townsfolk and nomads ultimately managed to agree to an exchange of knowlege for luxury products.
This balance has been perfected throughout the centuries, as towns turned to city-states, improving their techniques and products. Their nomadic counterparts travelled around, ensuring the cities were in touch with each other, if only loosely.
The nomadic nature of the Land of Dread makes its culture diverse and keeps it in constant change, but similarities do occur, some traditions being widely performed all around. Specific cultural traditions can be found on the tribes's individual pages.
The most widely accepted belief in Dread, is truth. Knowledge. Factual expressions. Their religiously strong belief in this seems to have practical roots, as a large amount of know-how is needed just to explore the land, and even more is necessary to enjoy one's stay.
The fauna and flora are quite diverse, despite the general barren, unwelcoming athmosphere. Inbetween deserts and mountains, there are optimal locations for species of plant life to diversify; edible and harmful vegetation differ massively in a relatively close space. The treacherous diversity in wildlife makes settling down a viable option, though one risks starvation if one does not fully employ the available wildlife