planets:liang:ashgrove

Ashgrove

A province of the Empire of Tai Pan on the planet Liang (Tai Pan).

Ashgrove is a land of soaring plateaus and winding valleys and ravines lush with vegetation from the rich black soil. Marked as an autonomous region in the Empire, Ashgrove is a traditional home of the Yazata who leave their marks on the wilderness with the trails of the nomadic Altar that curl in the valleys between the tabletop temples, homesteads and villages of the Ahura. Smaller trails ascend the jagged rocky and obsidian walls of the plateaus to the Ahura settlements, making the Altars calls to the Ahura somewhat perilous even before encountering the flying women.

  • Delgaknuc / Thornhill
  • Duggvuggur / Dewwall
  • Sruthrek / Steepdrift
  • Slettgur / Smoothcliffe
  • Espirin Station

Named after the sharp obsidian rocks that form much of the walls of this plateau, Delgaknuc glitters dangerous from its commanding perch above the fertile valleys. It is one of the largest Ahura fortress towns in the region and provides something of a capital with the large number of powerful women who reside there. Many of the pictures taken of ahura cities come from Delgaknuc as it is also one of the more open cities to outsiders with landing pads available.

The city was once one of the primary defensive outposts against incursions into the region but has transformed itself into a hub of altar travel, trade, and with the building of a mag rail line, perhaps also tourism. The ancient goat paths the Altar travel up to the rim are lined with obsidian daggers on one side and a sharp drop on the other making it also one of the most difficult climbs in the region, this makes the place very popular for ahura and adventure mountain hikers as long as they bring an altar guide. The older altar often tell stories on the trail of the various tricks the women would play on the men during the climb in the old times.

Notably, the city is also heavily defended by light anti-aircraft systems of all varieties. The Ahura blame this on the humans for selling helicopters to the Altar.

Named after the twinkling of the crystal-laden rocks of its sides at dawn, Duggvuggur is a small but culturally important site in Yazatan culture with its ancient temple to Auseklis on its summit. A small group of ahura monks maintain vigil over the Duggvuggur, exercising religious ceremony, travelling to perform rituals, rites, and other religious service. The temple maintains its own martial art, Duggsaiga which is maintained by the residents as a warrior-monk tradition and taught to so inclined ahura pilgrims who stay.

The Altar have never had much luck scaling Duggvugger, the wind polished stones make climbing difficult, and much of the old trails feature a near vertical climb with little but pitons and spikes for aid. The local Ahura are also said to be particularly vicious in their rejection to the point that many Altar also call the Duggsaigans cenobites. Yazatan legends tell of few great warriors able to seduce a warrior-monk of the duggsaiga and convince her to leave the mountain with him to adventure as an invaluable companion.

A large agricultural plateau dominated by homestead farms based around a mountaintop reservoir, a series of canals dug into the plateau rock provides water to much of the plateau for agrarian purposes. Where once citizen farmers tended their plots most have now been replaced by machines and automation and retired Ahura recline to mind the farms and tend to their affairs. Historically the place was a breadbasket to many surrounding towns and Altar bands, who would stop to trade for preserved and other long-life foods such as pemmican, jams, portable soups, and other intensely prepared food. In modern times it's known for its wine and whiskey.

The Altar have learned from long suffering experience that the canals cut into the plateau serve as both irrigation and defense, with the residents being able to open sluice gates around the edges to wash away any climbers. Traditionally if an Ahura accepts an Altars courting here they bring a towel.

A mining settlement known for its fine marble that was put on barges towards Ainaga (now Sanshin Kawa), Slettgur's sides are part wall, part quarry with smooth vertical walls of veined marble. Due to its proximity to the elven border it was a common raid target during times of strife, and a rally point for Altar raiders to incur into elven lands in reverse. The Ahura here are hardy, resilient and tough, historically the settlement has been abandoned and resettled several times as truly determined attackers well supplied from the rivers were able to scale the walls. Although many a would-be elf conqueror has found themselves disappointed once reaching the top, indeed Slettgur has blunted the incursion of several conquerors over the millennia of its erection.

Altar know the place well, many bands routinely travelling the area to trade in Sanshin Kawa. Due to the nature of the walls some Ahura do tend to slip down into cave homes closer to the valley floor once used as onsite housing for miners in order to make things a little easier for their Altar suitors to come and try to trade or woo them. Although in modern times the mag rail line that snakes its way through tunnels and the valley walls gives outsiders a far easier glimpse into Yazatan civilization.

The first stop on the mag line train through Ashgrove, the line was built by yazatan labor and snakes and digs its way between and sometimes into the plateaus. Esperin is used as a supply depot for construction materials, and a trading post for Yazatan caravans. Occasionally Taianese tourists will venture up the line to peek into the wildlands of the Yazata. Yazata of all kinds work on the line, many wearing human style overalls and hardhats on duty and off to indicate their high-paying jobs.

It has several taverns with rooms and a very frontier feeling that's safely exotic to many Taianese visitors. Whenever the train arrives carriages from nearby taverns are often already gathered to try and tempt visitors to their establishments.

The land of the Ashgroves have been a thorn to map makers for thousands of years, filled impassable nearly vertical terrain, plateaus that barely deviate in height, and valleys that twist between them provide such an obstacle that even modern geomapping has been frustrated by this extreme terrain. Detailed mapping is further frustrated by many older maps of the region being based on linear navigation (not topographical), deliberate inaccuracy on the part of the yazata, and the fact that most of the known cities and towns in the area have one name for the Altar and one name for the Ahura, both of whom sprawl such maps with names that often break censorship guidelines.

The Yazata have lived among and upon the Ashgrove for as long as any memory of living or recorded alike. According to the Yazata, the Ashgroves were created when the Ahura took up agriculture from the elves while the Altar jeered and mocked. It's said the plateaus are the lands the Ahura settled upon, and the valleys and ravines were carved by the feet of the Altar on their constant nomadic wanderings between them. The historical evidence that Ahura never forget a grudge aside, the Ashgroves appear to have been created from a large volcanic floe millions of years ago in the planets formation that was slowly broken down into its current mesas and valleys by water erosion.

The area is a natural home for the Yazata, providing excellent thermal air properties for the Ahura, food for the Altar, and an easily defensible location for both. Elves have attempted to invade numerous times through the millennia, but it seems the Taianese have made the greatest progress with the construction in progress of a magnetic rail line through the region.

OOC Notes

Jimmy's Notes: I'm pondering if the rock is honeycomb shaped.

  • planets/liang/ashgrove.txt
  • Last modified: 2021/11/17 11:17
  • by jimmy