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Sir Schmidt

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» by Schmidt » 24th Jun 2018, 11:33 am


The Guanzong region, outlined in white. The capital of Wu'cheng is noted in green

General Information
    Guanzong is a region of the Kalimasj Isles, nestled in the south of the Naityan clanlands. It is a picturesque land, filled with rolling green hills and beautiful valleys, with forestry dotting the topography. Although the region is not extremely wealthy, Guanzong has fertile fields and skilled artisans who have made the peaceful capital of Wu'cheng their home, and from these things they earn their gold in trade through the Strait of the Jaguar. It is considered to be a somewhat odd place; roughly half the region's population migrate from place to place, while the other half make a home for themselves in Wu'cheng, where an odd religion is practiced and the people govern themselves, the Naityan unconcerned with them so long as they pay their tithes.

    Population Small: A small region in terms of square miles, Guanzong is also small in terms of its population. Slightly short of several thousand, it has in the past been a barren land from which people emigrated regularly in the hopes of finding better opportunities elsewhere. A string of new social and economic policies over the last several years have turned this trend around, and the region is undergoing a small population boom.

    Religion: Guanzong region is considered by many to be a backward-thinking region in terms of religion. Several generations ago, for reasons that remain unclear, certain members of the senior families began to preach about a Heavenly Court, sitting on high above the clouds. Within this court they believe there is an Emperor with no name, who watches everything happening beneath him and gives boons to those who serve the court well. This Heavenly Emperor, along with his Ministers, is responsible for all things on the earth according to their belief system, and they are worshipped through a series of daily prayers and rituals, usually involving the burning of incense. As this belief does not fall into the worship of either the Elder Lords or Goroth, it is derived and mocked outside of the region itself. Their religious beliefs are tolerated by the Naityan presumably because they are insignificant and far away from the capital, and pose no threat.

    Trade: Situated at the Strait of the Jaguar, Guanzong benefits from trade that comes through the strait heading to the City of Seas. A lot of this trade bypasses the region, however, preferring the more direct route of continuing by sea to Oruan rather than travelling down the river inlet that leads to Wu'cheng and travelling through the dangerous jungles of Kalimasj on foot. It is still a generally prosperous place; like many locales, however, there is an obvious divide between those who benefit from this trade and the poorer people, who do not. Typical exports from Wu'cheng include silk, resilient wood and vegetables, whilst imports include meat and spices. Though the region once used the services of the Rugnos Trading Company for their buying, selling and transportation needs, a new contract has been agreed with the Terminus Trading Company to handle these services.

    Defences: Guanzong's only real defence is nature itself; like much of the Kalimasj Isles it is a place of vicious fauna and dangerous flora, relatively safe to locals who know what to look out for but deadly to foreign invaders who haven't done their research. The town of Wu'cheng provides a haven for those seeking refuge.

    The Guanzong region comes under the direct mandate of the Naityan and, through them, the Neztharune Pridelords. Given its remote location and small size, it is generally left to manage itself by the Naityan, and as such the only stable location in the region - Wu'cheng - is governed by its own appointed individual. They pay regular homage to the jaguars, showing their fealty through tithes.

Places/People of Importance
      Wu'cheng - the 'capital', if it can be called that, of the region. Wu'cheng is the only stable position in a region of migrating clans and is home to roughly half of the region's population. Situated towards the south of the region on the edge of an inlet that leads to the Strait of the Jaguar, Wu'cheng has at its centre the estate of the governor, adjoining the chambers of the council. Around this is the port, the markets and the houses of those who stay in the capital. Rumour has it the governor is gathering supplies to build a wall around the town, but this has not yet been confirmed and no construction has begun.
      Gurenhal - Gurenhal is a black jaguar, chosen by the Naityan to keep an eye on the Guanzong region. Though they care little for the people, the Naityan do care about their tithes, and it is Gurenhal's job to ensure nothing happens in the region that would affect the residents ability to pay. To fulfil this role, Gurenhal sits in the council of Wu'cheng as an adviser, often unseen and speaking only when absolutely necessary; when he is not in council he is either in the town or travelling across the region. He serves as a reminder for the locals that they have freedom so long as the Naityan permit.


Other Information (i.e. history)
  • Guanzong has a lacklustre past, playing little role in the history of either the Kalimasj Isles or the world at large. There are many - a majority of the world, most likely - who do not even know the small southern region has a name. Since the earliest valari walked the lands of Kalimasj, however, Guanzong has been populated and fertile, providing nourishment for those willing to either hunt or till the fields. Its culture has always been oriental in style from the earliest days, although who inspired this architecture and design remains one of the many unsolved mysteries of the world.
  • By the time the Rashari Tigerlords came to power a century ago, the region of Guanzong had become part of the Naityan clanlands, absorbed by the jaguars in their rise to power as one of Kalimasj' three royal clans. The change in power brought about a dramatic change for Guanzong's people; instead of living quietly in peace, they now had to work to pay tithes to their jaguar overlords who, content as they were to leave Guanzong to its own devices, still expected the people's fealty, as they too pledged loyalty to the Rashari. Nevertheless, after a period of adjustment, Guanzong's inhabitants continued with their lives, and in time the settlement of Wu'cheng was established, little more than a few houses in close proximity to one another.
  • Governance of the new establishment fell to the most charismatic of the clans in that region; the Sidao, a clan of peafowl who had roamed Guanzong for several generations. Under the leadership of the clan's patriarch, Wu'cheng would grow in time to be a prosperous town in its own right. A strange religion also came to Guanzong, however. Legend tells that this religion came from the mouth of a foreign traveller and took hold in the minds of the Sidao clan, who spread it to those beneath them. Others say it was a spark of madness that festered and came to be accepted. Whatever the reason, belief in the Heavenly Court spread through Guanzong and with it, the Sidao dynasty's downfall as they were slowly replaced by others, their influence waning and their wealth devoured.
  • Guanzong continues to prosper to this day, with Wu'cheng serving as a provincial capital. Still they pay tribute to the jaguars, and they continue to benefit from trade that comes through the strait as it heads for Oruan. A saying in Guanzong often passed to those who dock in their port is that "the sea appears calmer, but the grass is greener, no?" It is a cruel way of convincing people to risk the dangerous walk to Oruan, spending nights in Wu'cheng preparing - and spending coin - rather than continuing on to the City of Seas and expending their wealth there. It is a beautiful land, with stunning oriental architecture, song and clothing, and surrounded by some of the Isles most dangerous flora and fauna; a double-edged sword if ever there was one.
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