Wednesday, 9 February 2011

A description of Cananshall


"An outline of Cananshall

Canashall is a large open plain, home to the Plain-Elves (also known as the Dim Lwis - 'Grassy Nomads').  This was once mostly a forested area, except in the far south, where the earliest Dim Lwis lived.  These early Dim Lwis where small in number and really just a collection of tribes that lived on the edge of the forests of Gaer.  This ancestral land is what is now in depute with the later arriving Humans of Domtajoya, a regretfully permanent state of raids and counter-raids having developed. 

During the time of the Dwarvish Empire the area of modern Cananshall was deforested for the pits and furnaces in the north.  The encroachment east of this deforestation was only held in check by the marshy swamp forests of Darngaer, where Dwarvish military tactics did not work due to the lack of solid ground.  

When the Dwarves had deforested the mineral poor area it was abandoned, and the ecology of the plains to the south took hold, including large herbivores such as horses and bison. Following in their wake came the Dim Lwis and slowly the area of Cananshall as it is know today was born.

An old map of Cananshall, from imperial times, but before Humans.
The Dim Lwis do not have permanent dwelling places, but they do have a series of meeting points for certain people or certain times of year.   In old maps one never finds these marked, and I suspect they are not in fact that ancient.  It may be a phenomenon of the last thousand years or so that larger regular gatherings of the Dim Lwis took place.  They speak a dialect of Calobelvan. The people of this area are famous for their stamina, being able to cover terrific distances with a endless skipping lope that a sprinter might be able to out run for the first hour, but would overtake any other race come nightfall. They live for the main part in tall many-poled tents and travel on foot with horses and bison and dogs pulling their belongings on wheeless carts consisting of two long poles with a sling of hide between them.

I chose to highlight Hwngadiaer as the capital because it is perhaps at times the biggest, but they would not regard it as a capital city as human lands might.  

Rivers of Cananshall

Laldarin - (Opposite of Oak River / Relaxed Oak River) - In all probability this was called Darin (Oak River) in pre-imperial times and renamed subsequently in recognition of the deforestry, and the fact that beyond it to the west there was no oak left. Now some oak has regrown, and the Dim Lwis, as well as the tribes of Darngaer, tend to be pretty relaxed!

Lwnivanin - (Silver Song River / Silver Is Who River) - Most likely this is Silver Song River, being fast yet steady and with clear mountain water and a silvery stony bottom.  Avan is a rhythmic wailing walking song, while Van is to speak. However the name could simply be Silver River, with weird ancient elvish grammar.

Meanathin - (Beautiful Snow River) - this river swells when fed by the spring-melt of the mountain snow.  It is also so fast it flows white for the first three-quarters of its length.  It is exceptionally beautiful.

Some of the meeting places of Cananshall

(Notes on the dialect - these annoyingly elegant people will not stick to one form of words when bending it to braking point might make it trip off the tongue even more beautifully.  So my apologies, but I could not translate all of the names, and I very much doubt an elder of a Dim Lwis clan could either.) 

Faerncer - (Wolf Wood) - A meeting place for certain northern tribes. Some coppice is practiced here for tent poles.

Gandeal - (Lone Hill Windy) - A isolated hill in an otherwise gently undulating landscape. A meeting point for some festivities and prayers

Neqabesh - (Eating-Teeth Cat?) - This pointy peeked island of mountains has somehow never been taken by warvish might from the Elvish people (at least they say so).  It is considered a holy places for death and war.  The older people go here to die, often climbing the mountains looking for the mountain cats that live there in order to ensure that the sacred cats get to finish their lives.

Lasuli - (All Cloud?) - A dark place of frequent cloud - no travelers have been here and lived.  Although, having said that, there is also a rumor that this a a trading place with the Dwarvish black market!

Nisi - (?) - Not much is know about this place at present - When I turned up it was simply a big flattened area covered in horse droppings. Maybe it was the wrong time of year...?

Hwngadiaer and the tents - the main tent is a vast home of meeting.
Hwngadiaer - (Summer Garden) - The summer meeting point of the Dim Lwis. This is where almost all of the tribes gather for mid summer revelries, with tribes turning up from late winter and others leaving in mid autumn.   The grazing here is exceptionally lush, due to many hundreds of generations of concentrated manuring and grazing. Here is a happy place where one can witness the best of the plains people - singing, storytelling, magic and animal care.

Aesgstea - (Knowledge? / Raging?) - Home of the tribal councils that come together when the Dim Lwis need to act as one. This happens only every few years or so.  There is no prescribed time.

Harean - (?) - This is the only permanent dwelling of the Dim Lwis, though the inhabitants themselves always change. It is a trading spot to meet with the other Elvish people to the east and north.

Mordeantha - (Spirit / Ancient Birch Air?) - A mysterious meeting point, possibly connected to a semi-cult based around a long departed Mage who lived near by.

Madwasha - (Bones Blood Water) - A peaceful place devoted to child-rearing. Once the site of a bloody battle with the southern Humans.

Hathesa - (Warm ?) - A winter gathering spot for some tribes.

Muliseadath - (The Nomad's ?) - A trade center for goods going to and from the south. Only very brave Domtajoyan traders would risk the Disputed Land to reach it, but the high profits make it worth it...  I got a very high quality rug for my boat from here, and some fine rum. The river is still navigable this far in land."

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