The world of 'Daina' - Genereic Discussing / Q&A

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    I figured it would be useful to start writing a general thread for providing informations regarding the 'Daina-universe'.

    'Daina' is the name of the continent several of my newer storys take place. Namely TDC, Bronze Bonds and The Shadow Warden (and probably a few more to follow).
    If you intend to write short novels, it's quite useful to have a common geography/locations/races avaible, permitting you to write away without re-explaining everything again and again.

    You're free to ask any questions regarding the background of said 'world' in this thread. I'll as well link relevant storys / novels here (intending to write a full description of Daiana, disguised as a short novel about a 'dragons day in history class').
    For now, I'll simply write down a couple of useful notes.

    Beginning with the basics: Daina is a large continent, of roughly circular shape. Usually all novels take place in-land and you will barely find any ocean mentioned. Exception is the mentioning of the 'Large Sea' seperating Daina from Serpia (origin continent of dragons, location 'Darakeyn' was built in, world a few of my older novels take place).
    The North of Daina is made up by a long line of mountains, accompanied by vast hills, mixed with a few lakes and woods. The East consists of a mix based around grassland, plains, rivers and light forests. Towards the South, the forests become more and more dense, finally forming a large jungle and rainforest. The western regions tend to be slightly more dry, consisting of plains and mountains. Important node: The middle of Daina consists of a large region similar to a desert. Some parts of it are actual sand deserts, some others just very dry plains. Commonly referred to as 'the deserts'.

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    A main element of Daina, however, are the factions and races residing within.
    I'll start North and move clockwise:

    • The Tek
      The vast mountains of the North have always been a rich source of valuable metals and ores. Among it's first years of existance, the human Empire quickly discovered the value of iron ores and started to send countless workers, serfs and slaves into the mountains, erecting large mining colonys. It wasn't for long before the distance to the actual towns and military positions caused the first riots of overworked miners. After years of rebellion, a particulary large group of workers united under a flag with the insignia of their three leaders, forming the name 'TEK'. After a set of devasting victorys against the intruding Empire armys, the indepence became official when the Empire's king signed a peace treaty with the nation of 'Tek'.
      Across the centurys, the Tek used the abundance of metals and evolved into a nation of incredibly advanced technology (based on the standards of Dania), developing the first 'industry' with steam machines driven by coal. Whilst there is no thing close to 'electricity' invented yet, metal gears and steampipes can be found throughout the mountain colonys, which are often build underground, dug into the mountains.
      The Tek are governed by a central council of three members (obviously formed after their original founders), whose purpouse is the coordination of all mining operations, national regards and diplomatic relations. Often mistaken as 'king' by other nations, one of the three council members is considered the 'leader' of the nation though. Each year, this 'leader position' rotates to another member, after a full rotation (three years), the whole council is replaced by new representatives. The politic of the Tek is strongly based around communistic ideals, ensuring all workers are treated well and equal.
      As already mentioned, the Teks are well versed in anything consisting of iron. Their weapons and armors are way beyond those of any other races and even surpass the Draken mastersmiths in perfection. Additionally, the Tek have developed a large knowledge in regards to construction, architecture, metallurgy and even alchemy. Though considered extremely dangerous, there are a few experimental mining colonys testing 'explosive mining' and whilst the casualty rates are high, the mining efficiency is even higher.
      Amongst other nations, the Tek are often smiled at. They are the smallest country, in population number and do not have a real standing army on their own. However, their lethal defense sites, both constructed and natural ones, provide their 'country' the necessary defensive strength to measure with the other five nations.
      Obviously, the Tek are sort of a 'steampunk' nation. Heck, if you read Bronze Bonds you already encountered the 'Full-Metal-Prince' who's replaced his lost arm with a mechanical replica.
    • The Empire
      The Empire is a quite large nation and ancestor to the countless kingdoms the human race had formed earlier. Over time and over wars, at some point, one King managed to conquer enough of the North-East hills to claim himself to be the 'King of Daina' and within a few generations pretty much all other humans kings submitted, forming the vast 'Empire'. As implied, it's sort of 'the human nation' and is accordingly made up of 99,9% human. Even more, the Empire is quite militaristic and as well tends to be racistic, quickly marking all other races as "beasts" and claiming it's their fate-given mission to conquer all 'wild lands'. An important trait of the Empire is it's quite complex and fatally-intrigue'd political system. Kings tend to have a life exspectancy of about five days (overstatement) and even the minor lords tend to kill, imprison, deface and blackmail each other in attempts to raise to royality.
      Another important fact: Given everyone wants to be a high lord, slavery is a common thing amongst the Empire. Whether it's quality slaves for 'adult purpouses', working slaves or simple militia, freedom is a buyable good. And usually it's cheap... for those owning the slaves.
      One can say I've taken the Roman Empire as a model for this nation.
    • The Eternal
      Who created Dania? Noone knows? Ok, let's simply claim an ultimate being to have created everything, including ourselves, giving us the holy mission to spread our belief across the whole world. By any means.
      That's a quick summary of the Eternal's way of thinking. Lead by their fiercy belief into the allmighty power of the 'eternal one', it's followers (hence Eternal's) are often travelling the vast regions of Dania, trying to proselytise whomever they may encounter, regardless of wheather you want to pick their religion or not. Interestingly, as fanatic as they are, the Eternals are much more reasonable in regards to everything 'unhuman': In their eyes, it doesn't matter what your body is, the only thing that counts is your firm belief into the Eternal one.
      Located in the EastSouthEast of Dania, directly adjacent to the Empire, it's not suprising a large portion of the Eternals are actually human (and given the human race is by far the largest, in number...). You can as well find traces and quantitys of any race here, though.
      There are three distintictive traits to the Eternals, though:
      First of all, they have the least rules of all nations, causing quite an disorganized 'organization' throughout their towns. There are no rules regarding anything, except for your religion, which must be a firm belief in the eternal one. Slavery, public intercourse, orgys of any sort... it doesn't matter, as long as it's all to benefit the Eternal one. It's not hard to find mischievious merchants all across their realm, each of them trying to sell 'the ultimately blessed goods' for horrid prices. And since there aren't any rules regarding blackmail, ridicolous prices and credits...
      Secondly, the strong belief in a higher being, combined with the spiritual attitude, has granted arcane abilities to quite a few Eternals. Priests and spellcasters aren't an uncommon sight. What makes this combination tricky, however, is the lack of any morale rules: Anything is permitted, if it serves the eternal one. Black magic, blood magic, demonology and necromancy are no taboos in this nation and for this reason exspecially arcane students of said directions tend to frequent the Eternal nation alot, making it the prime pool for dark arcane arts.
      Thirdly, the Eternals do not have a government. Much rather, there is a ridicolous amount of smaller and larger churches, sects and believes. Often there is a powerful spellcaster, claiming himself to be a prophet of the eternal one, guided by holy knowledge. Whilst there are barely militaristic confrontations between those different fractions... the Eternal nation as whole is barely capable of organizing itself into anything common and thus is rarely seen to field armys of real size.
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    • The Wolven
      Spread throughout the large forests and jungles of the South, lays the Wolven territory.
      Their origin unknown (?) the Wolven race is often compared/mistaken to werewolves: Humanoid furred beasts, with distinctive wolf treats (claws, paws, fangs) and known for their primal instincts and simple way of thinking.
      However, one must watch not to consider the Wolven a 'race' instead of a 'nation': Opposed to the implication of the nation's name, it isn'T made up entirely of Wolven (though, admittedly, 80-90% of it's population are). There are a few human settlements and even a small town on the northern borders of the jungle (in the lighter woods) and it's not uncommon to see single humans living in Wolven villages.
      The nation itself isn't ruled by a cental government, but instead is guided by a large 'council'. Every village has it's own leaders and shamans. And every village of a sufficient size can dispatch one representative to the 'race council', which will agree on how to deal with national issues and threats.
      Wolven generally don't care for the business of other nations and are fine with simply living their hard, yet rewarding life in the thick jungles. It's rare for them to leave the forests in larger numbers. In the opposite direction however, the Wolven do not leave their home under any pressure either, a fact several nations had to accept on several militaristic confrontations. You really don't want to mess with a metric ton of Wolven hunters raining arrows from the jungle canopy...
      It should be mentioned: Wolven are overall consisdered the 'least developed' nation across all six. The villages much more resemble antique tribes and even iron goods are a precious, foreign treasure. Given the rich valuesof tropic goods and fruits, however, the few northern Wolven settlements are frequently visited by traders, gladly dropping a few iron tools and weapons in trade for valuable herbs and fruits.
    • The Draken
      After the events of TDC-3 (and I will not spoiler anything here) and across the time of centurys, the old glory of the Draken empire slowly resurrected itself from the past. Upholding the ancient unity and symbiosis between humans and dragons, the Draken are the least 'describeable' race. Across countless generations, both races bloods mixed in uncountable numbers and by today (aka the time most storys take place) you can find anything walking around in New-Darakeyn (large capital of the Draken nation, built on top of a large volcano, formed after the ancient 'golden Darakeyn' of Serpia): Some inhabitants are giant, scaled, winged, feral beasts, some others are simply humans. Commonly, you can see humanoid figures with scales and slightly altered figures, commonly portrayed as the 'standard Draken'. But additionally there are much more different 'combinations', f.e. humans with just a few dragonic traits or upright-walking bipedal dragons of 3-4 metres height.
      Opposed to whatever evolution may had intended, the mixed races come along quite well and have formed a solid nation with simple, yet organized rules: Everyone is free. And everyone is free to do as his strength permits him to do. Freedom is the highest good to any Draken and as such it's not suprising to understand their dispise to anthingy even remotely related to slavery.
      The Draken nation is 'ruled' by the high lord. Often considered to be the equivalent of a king, the ruler of New-Darakeyn is, however, elected by the broad masses every year. Though it's common for the same ruler to be constantly re-elected till his natural demise (until he messes up or decided against accepting his position). Given their high oppinion of freedome, however, even the high lord is in no position to 'order' his 'subordinates' around. All Draken are equal in position and they only obey each other to form up a strong united culture. As such, the Draken can be considered extremely nationalistic and proud and their battle cry 'For the Draken! / For our proud race!" is by no means an overstatement.
      Given the dragons are since long mythical beings, sorcery and arcane abilitys are extremely common amongst the Draken, to a degree where it has turned 'normal' to have at least one spellcaster in each house/family.
      The Draken culture is all developed around the wealth and progress of the nation as whole, always lead by the example of dragons, the untameable fierce beasts, and humans, the small, yet agile and skilled, working in unision. Many people pick a profession and will perform it for the rest of their live, reaching a degree of craftmanship unknown to other nations. Often settlements prosper without any occupant ever exchanging a single 'coin' or other measurable payment. Everyone works for everyone, for the sake of everyone.
      Given this devotement, the Draken have, whilst low in number, the best trained military of all nations. Their fighters are soldiers trained since their young age and all of them are actually volunteers. Additionally 'swordmages', fighters trained in direct battle and arcane arts, make up an unique branch of regiments in the Draken army. Lead by their wish for eternal peace, freedom and coexistence, supported by a folk which always stands united, the Draken are a large force to be reckoned with, usually considered the 'opposing side' of the Empire.
      The Draken nation is located in the WestSouthWest, spread amongst plains, light forests and hills, with their capitol located on one of the sacre mountains of their region.
    • The Elementals/Elementarists
      Living scattered throughout the NorthWest mountains, hills and forests, live the 'Elementals'.
      It's origin unnknown, at some point in history a group of human sorceres stumbled across a number of 'energy fountains': Locations with densely concentrated arcane power.
      Quickly errecting towers, academys and later on whole towns, the arcane groups grew more and more, effectively forming a new nation, solely based around sorcery. Since arcane arts are often considered to be based around the basic arcane elements, the whole nation was quickly called 'The Elementarists'.
      However, with an ridicilously powerful arcane energy at their hands, the 'Elementarist', along the line of generations, mastered more then just simple elementary magic, progressing further and further into the secrets of magic. At some point there was a dark incident, a magical outburst destroying the largest town of the nation. Afterwards, the Elementarists formed up to a more coordinated organization, erecting countless rules and formulas, afraid of such a thing ever happening again. Guided by these 'Prime Orders', the arcane groups started studying the arts again. Over time, the leaders of countless circles decided to forbid 'dark magic', exspecially anything related to posession, demonology and blood magic.
      However, everything else was still permitted and it wasn't for long before the first adepts tapped into the vast field of transformation. Over time, the ' Elementarists' turned into the 'Elementals', surpassing the simplicity of human bodys and turning into beings of a nature only themselves could possibly undestand. Nowadays, the Elementals are a mixed nation of quite a few races. There are still many humans, but as well quite a few dragons, exspecially those who seek for arcane knowledge, and countless members of the 'Elemental race', mystical beings who have shaped their bodys according to their own likings.
      These 'Elementals' are hard to discrive. Many still have their humanoid origin, 'improved' by appendages, aspects, traits or simply colors. Some others have turned into entirely different races and a few have even managed to turn themselves into ascendant beings of pure energy.
      As a nation, the Elementals are 'small', both in territory and number. However, their arcane abilitys are by far unmatched and given them powers beyond compariosn. Many consider the academic attitude of most Elementals a grace, because if the nation as whole would ever intend to lead a war... noone could predict what could actually happen.
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    Additionally, there are a few 'minor' nations and fractions:

    • The Nomads
      Living throughout the middle deserts and steppes, the Nomads are a loose grouping of countless towns, oases and caravans. They do not have a real government, though there were a few rare occasions where one charismatic leader united multiple groups into a considerable army. Next to these special incidents, however, the nomads are extremely pacifistic, trying their best to stay neutral in any regard. Their main profession is trading and as such their caravans are always well-accepted in any of the six large nations, bringing goods and wealth. Or ruin, if you don't know how to haggle properly.
      As well, the Nomas are know for their extraordinary capability in regards to horses, camels and cavalry overall. Sometimes one can find hired cavalry units of Nomad origin in armys of other nations. However, they always serve their own tribes and the golden coins, not any sort of flag. Or at least that's what they always claim after switching the sides in exchange for a heavy bag of good money.
    • The Bandits
      Less of a 'minor faction' and more of a nuisance, of course the outlaws have to be mentioned here. Often made up by escaped slaves, greedy humans or agressive Wolven, bandit groups can be found all amongst Dania, more commonly along the borderlands of the six great nations. As well they often raid the Nomad caravans to gain quick wealth/death.
      At some point in history, a few bandit groups, however, realised there was an easier way to gain wealth without risking ones own life: Taking tolls. Often enough caravan escords didn't believe the promise of an unobstructed travel and kept fighting, though. After generations, the bandits etablished an unwritten 'Codex', a generic guidelines even the outlaws obeyed.
      The main points of this codex consist of rules regarding promises, how to keep them and how to properly take tolls. As such, if you ever encounter a bandit, pay them a toll and usually they will stick to their promise and leave you alone for three days... but don't dare to encounter them again after 72 hours or they will have no scruple to squeeze more money out of you.
    • The Warden
      Often considered a mere myth, the Warden are... now... actually noone knows what they are.
      Some claim they are just bandits, who gave themselves a fancy name. Some claim they are a guild of highly skilled asssassins and mercenarys.
      It's actually hard to tell whether somebody belongs to the Warden, unless he tells you, that is (and actually even then you couldn't be sure he isn't lying).
      Sometimes you will hear of the sudden demise of someone important. Rarely you can hear of a orator who appeared in a town, praising the Wardens work and claiming them to be ones who keep the world balanced. And, still unconfirmed, there is a rumor of a whole Warden army, which once united with the Draken forces to halt an extremely large advance of Empire forces.
      There are rumors claiming there is someone (or rather something?) coordinating all Warden activitys from the shadows. A figure, unknown by name and appearance. It is unknown whether this rumor is true and whether a single person could possible organize the doing of countless scattered people all across Dania...

    And may you will even read of other smaller groups... in future...

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    Of course, with six grand powers, clashes are unavoidable. Actually, there are some quite clearly drawn lines in this regard:

    • Empire vs Draken
      Empire and Draken are, without doubt, the two most powerful military forces in Dania.
      However, whilst the Draken proclaim peace and symbiosis to be the key to success, the Empire insist on controlled unity being the only way to true peace. Add in the fact Draken hate slavery whilst the Empire is in fact built on it, as well as the Empire's generic hatret towards non-humans (f.e. draconic 'beasts') and you get two potential arch-rivals with large armys in a constant state of (cold) war.
      Whilst there were a few small time periods with actual peace, Empire and Draken troops will usually always attack each other, causing smaller skirmishes all across Dania, exspecially focussed around the middle deserts (since it effectively seperates both countrys), to the benefit of Nomad traders, who gladly support and supply both armys, often even watching the battles from the side, joining whoever emerges victorious.
      Overall, both forces are usually considered equal. The Empire has the power of number, while the Draken have extremely well-trained troops and the ability to call down devasting magic. Usually, wherever there is a conflict, you can assume one or both of these partys implied, at the very least in indirect, supportive matters.
    • Nature vs Industry, the fight of those who never leave their homes
      The Wolven have always considered dragons to be 'immortal mythical guardians' and as such it wasn't suprising to see Wolven units aiding the Draken in their first wars against the Empire.
      On the other side, the Empire quickly found it's large troop counts lacking the proper armament and started to make vast militaristic deals with their neighbouring nation, the Teks, trading in weapons for food and manpower.
      At some point, both supporters, Wolven and Tek, realised they truly despised each other. The Wolven, a race of Nature, couldn't come to accept the fact a nation was robbing all valuable metal from the very soil itself, constructing 'metal demons' and polluting the mountains with smoke. And vice versa, the Teks couldn't like this 'barbarian tribal beasts' either.
      However, except for those two factions, quite everyone smiles amusedly at this 'war', given neither Wolven, nor Tek, did, so far, ever leave their respective territorys to lead a direct assault against their rival. It's unknown whether said strike will ever come, since both groups seem confident with simply leading small skirmishes and occasional raids, as well as aiding their respective allies.
    • The Eternal Elemental twist
      Eternals do not obey any rule but the one order to follow their god and do not see any evil in practicing dark and 'forbidden arts'. Elementals see the 'forbidden taboo' of dark arts as the only static variable in life. Accordingly, both nations despise each other quite straight. However, whilst you will never see an Eternal priest in the Elemental's towns and never find an Elemental mage in a Eternal church, there is no official declaration of war between those nations. Both tend to keep themselves out of the real wars ongoin around them and prefer staying neutral, simply staring at each other from safe distance.
    • The Two Sides
      On two occasions, large scale 'World Wars' emerged and raged across Dania. In both wars, the same fractions formed up and fought:
      The 'Army of Freedom', lead by the Draken, supported by countless Wolven tribes and a large number of Elementals, opposed
      the 'Army of the United rule', lead by the Empire, accompanied by engineering regiments of the Tek and a few battalions of Eternal soliders.
      Both wars ended in their own unique ways:
      The first one ended when, during a large skirmish in the capital of the Elementals, said capital simply imploded into a large crater, causing massive casualtys to both sides, forcing a sudden and half-hearted peace treaty. The second one ended in the night before the final assault of Draken forces on a large Empire city. Strategists had predicted the battle to be the most important and most bloody one in Danias history, but in the night before the storm, several military leaders on both sides were asssassinated, presumedly by Warden agents. Robbed of their command structure, the Draken withdrew and the quite confused Empire did not object to that unformal declaration of peace either.
      Both peace period didn't last very long though and whilst there is no giant army marching across the landscape right now, there are still ongoing seperate wars...

    That definitely turned out longer then exspected... well... At least you're sort of informed now :3