Detailed descriptions of cities & regions, according to Lesre.
The atrei living in this region speak either Nacateca or Pasan. The Whites living in this region are descended from French settlers.
Bun-Vosuget -- federation of six autonomous counties, French, Catholic, great wines, fine wools.
Calpia -- small islands to the north, wrestled away from the U.K.
Pasiana -- the verdant northeast peninsula, farming powerhouse, home of Pasan people and French.
Zeinran -- east-central urban, industrial state, orchards, wheat; its capital the ancient city of Varsca.
This region is temperate in climate, comprised of forested mountains, ridges and coastal plains.
Also see the Pasan people for some information about the unique Pasan culture of pre-columbian times.
Here one finds some of the most bountiful, verdant land in Bergonia, and some of the nation's bloodiest history.
TheMousri Mountains in Southwest Pasiana are the tallest in the country. Slender, fast-rushing rivers drain the Mosri ranges through quickening canyons stuffed with laurel, firs and rhododendron, as well as expanses of alpine meadow.
One finds limestone out-croppings and many caves, springs and ponds in the uplands of the Kirivishuro Hills. Dairy farming dominates the low hills in northern Pasiana. In terms of total agricultural output Pasiana ranks second among all the states. The steep-sloped Kalituno hills are densely forested with both temperate and subtropical species, the former tending on southward facing slopes, the former on northward. The black soil of the coastal plains and low hills yields a cornucopia of corn, wheat, soy, apples and other temperate climate fruits, and vegetables. The ample rainfall pours all year around. The mild climate is so agriculturally accommodating that virtually any crop can be raised somewhere in Pasiana.
The people of Pasiana are divided into the native Pasans and the descendants of French settlers. Some Pasans live in other states. The correct French & English term to label residents of Pasiana is Pasianan, a label that includes both Pasan and French. 73% of the population speak Pasan and 23% speak French.
The Pasans are themselves divided into two groups, the minority Doth Pasans who live in the southwest third of the state, the hills and highlands. They hold rigidly to the old traditions and folkways, and the majority Seth Pasans, spread over the remainder of the state, who have been more accepting of European ways, and who are mostly Catholic. Doth and Seth once spoke very different dialects, but in modern times the dialects have fused. The French themselves are also split into two groups, the Catholics and the Protestants who descended from the Huguenot settlers.
Civil Wars:These four groups have always simmered with mutual antagonism, and sadly on many occasions over the last three centuries their rivalries have turned bloody. It has not been just French against Pasan; in fact the French Catholics and the French Protestants have warred against one another with at least as much ferocity as either have against the Pasans. Because the Catholic Pasans will aid the Catholic French, the highland Doths have strategically made common cause with the coastal Huguenots. It was once said of all these disparate people, "They have found commonality in the habits of bloodfeuding." During the civil wars of the 1830s the entire peninsula exploded in an apoplexy of bloody sectarian violence. Militias raided villages and towns, killing indiscriminately. The great fear did not abate for years, notwithstanding earnest attempts by successive national governments to sooth relations, and it took another seventy years for all the groups to learn to live peacefully with one another. There still remains among all the people of Pasiana a peculiar touchiness about ethnic and religious differences. They bend over backwards to avoid any speech or act that might aggravate the tensions they still assume to exist.
In 1972, a sizeable portion of Pasiana was formally detached and organized into the Mosra Wilderness Zone. This zone was organized to include the highest of the Mosra Mountains, including Mt. Kalt, the highest peak in all Bergonia at 17,517 feet in altitude. Kalt is unusual because its peak is so sharp, like a pinnacle, with extremely steep slopes just below the summit. It is very difficult to climb and stands as one of the world's greatest mountaineering challenges. Kalt has several companions; six other mountains have peaks over 14,000 feet high. One of these, Camoro (14,517 ft high), is an active volcano, perhaps the tallest volcano on Earth. These intimidating peaks are, at least in legend, home to the Firebird, the great mythical bird of ancient myth. The legends ascribe to the Firebird a wingspan of more than forty feet. It is blue-gray in color, like a heron, and otherwise resembles in form and shape an eagle. As the name suggests, it exhales fire. It is a terror, for every once in a while it flies from the mountains over the land in search of food. It may swoop down upon villages and seize up animals or men. In the Lacori Myth, which stands at the center of ancient Bergonian religion, Lacori goes forth to tame the Firebird at the insistence of the beautiful maid, Kithi, who by now has tired of his affections and hopes that the Firebird will kill and eat him. When he appears riding on the back of the Firebird, she is forced by her own oath to marry him. The Firebird ends up becoming his ally and helper. The Firebird is also associated with Pevu, one of the Nine Gods worshipped in eastern Bergonia before the ascendancy of the Shufrantei faith. Pevu is the one among the nine associated with mountains, sovereignty and judgment.
Cordeau, a French explorerwho became intimately familiar with Pasiana in the mid 1500s, wrote, "I challenge any man to show me land more comely. The sun shines upon the land with heaven's own grace, and rain falls amply enough that the forests and fields shine green throughout the year. The soil is the deepest black, richer than any in France, and flowers bloom wild every month of the year." His opinion has over the years found confirmation from thousands of other travelers. Native Bergonians also concede that Pasiana glows with a special beauty all its own. To Bergonian sensibilities the Pasianan history of bloodshed takes on a special aspect of pathos-- how could a place of such natural charm turn into such a battleground? After all, the traditional Bergonian view assumes that beauty, either in nature or in art, first soothes the emotions and then uplifts the soul. Pasianans tell how in the beginning God assembled the fathers of all the tribes to divvy up the lands of the earth. One by one they stepped forward and took a country, until the entire world was divided. When God was turning to leave he saw one last man left, the Pasan, hanging shyly back. "Why didn't you step forward when I called?" God asked. "Because I was afraid, in awe of you," the Pasan answered. "Well, there's no place left to give to you, so you will have to share my estate with me." And that's how the Pasans got the most beautiful land in the world. If you travel to Costa Rica you might hear a similar story.
St. Laurent is the port at the very northeast tip of the Pasianan peninsula. From the ocean two wide estuaries extend inland, with the town situated on one. The old harbor district and quaint city center contain many buildings from centuries past, for this French port city was founded in 1558. French families living there can trace their lineages back over four hundred years. Many of the French speaking people are Huguenots, and all the people for almost a hundred miles are Christian. St. Laurent is a place of great charm, and many tourists from all throughout Bergonia come there. There is a busy modern port located on the other estuary, from which Pasiana's ample produce-- fruit, wine, and vegetables-- is shipped to Europe.
Ile de Dilice is one of the nation's most popular vacation destinations, with a number of beach resorts clustered together on a coastal island near the town of St. Juoin sur Atlantic. Ile de Dilice is part of the French-speaking district called Dignitie where excellent wine is made. Ile de Delice enjoys wide white beaches and strong surf, and includes twenty-eight separate resorts, all of which offer sumptuous facilities with European-style amenities. There are six casinos, a fine horse track, and a jai alai field. The national tennis championships are held here every May. The community sponsors insanely extravagant displays of fireworks on holidays. These resorts strive to maintain world class standards for service and amenities, and they consistently win the highest ratings from reviewers. Once, before the Revolution, only the wealthy were welcome here. The Bergonian revolutionaries had no interest in eliminating the luxury; instead they opened the resorts up to the masses, although no one has any illusions about whether as many cashiers and bus drivers visit Ile de Delice as do doctors and managers. It is not the impulse of Bergonian socialists to entirely eliminate bourgeoisie luxury and affectation, but rather to make them universally available. So the cashier or the bus driver may say to his wife, "I want to visit Ile de Dilice at least once in my life."
This thoroughly modern name translates literally as "the Northern Federation."In colonial times the French called it Comleta (for its capital city), and in the 1800s it was briefly called Bunran (North-land). This lesre is located in north-central Bergonia, along the northern coast. "BV" consists of six zhubos, each with its own very distinct ethnic make-up. 19% of the population speaks French, 7% speaks Pasan, and 73% speaks one or another dialect of Minidun.
1. Comleta-- the zhubo and the City
First among the zhubos is Comleta-Becun, located along the northern coast and named after the great misty city of the same name, its capital. Comleta in medieval times existed only as chain of interdependent villages of fishermen and craftsmen that lined the coast of the fine enclosed harbor, but after Columbus, the French were attracted by the harbor and founded a city there, which very soon became, along with Sonai, the dual center of French military power. Thousands of French missionaries made their start into the interior from here. The Catholic Church established the see for an archbishop in Comleta. It was a Jesuit stronghold. One of the four French Colonies had its capital here. Thus Comleta grew into a center for French culture and trade.
Naturally, when the British kicked the French out of Bergonia after the Seven Years War and took over their assets, Comleta lost much of its importance, while Glen in the east emerged as the primary port. But later, in the mid-1800's Comleta became an important base for the developing Bergonian Navy, and it gained world-wide fame from the huge whaling industry that sprang up there, and then a huge shipbuilding industry. Over half of all Bergonian whaling ships had Comleta as their homeport.
Comleta is still the site of an archbishopric, although for more than 150 years there have been five other Catholic archbishops in Bergonia. Of all the major cities in Bergonia, Comleta has the largest Catholic population, even though Minidun-speakers outnumber French-speakers. Catholicism is by far the dominant religion in the zhubo. There are seven catholic universities and colleges in Comleta Becun, including the esteemed and very large Universitie de Xavier, and St. Jerome College, a principle center of Catholic theology.
2. Zilsia ("zil-see' ah")
The city of Comleta lies at the mouth of a wide shallow river, the Mon. While the lower part of the Mon basin in included in the Comleta Zhubo, the upper region is included in the zhubo called Zilsia, so named for the prevailing Minidun ethnic group or "tribe," who have lived there for centuries. The Zilsi people are excessively proud in all their traditions, like so many other atrei "tribes" or nations. The main city is a small one called Hitra, known for its beautiful glassware.
In the time of the plagues in the late 1500's a contingent of Zilsi refugees left their homeland and wandered across Bergonia. They settled in what is now Lampanira where they now have their own Zhubo. Needless to say these two regions, though separated by hundreds of miles, and both small in population, entertain warm brotherly relations.
The Minidun people who inhabit the Comleta-Becun, Zilsi and Sholilo each speak a slightly different variation of the Dura dialect of Minidun. Dura is the same dialect that is spoken in Rasecin and Zeinran.
3. Prusia ("pru-see' ah")
The third Zhubo is a mountainous area called Prusia, home of another tribe of Minidun called the Prus. This territory is on three sides surrounded by jagged mountain ranges. The fourth side is open for streams and small rivers that drain Prusi and flow toward the Mon River. The mountains have insulated the Prus over the centuries. Thus the Prus, much like the Foi to the south, have developed the mountaineer’s tradition of independence. No outside force has ever succeeded in wholly dominating the Prus, although there have been times where the Prus have agreed to submit to protectorates. The French in colonial times established a protectorate over the Prus. They are notoriously and happily insular, and have done more to preserve their traditional ways than any other Minidun speaking group, retaining their own dialect of Minidun, which is almost unintelligible to other Minidun speakers. This further isolates them.
The Prus engage in cattle and sheep herding. They produce pungent cheeses, sturdy yogurt and wonderful woolen sweaters and coats. Much Bergonian clothing indulges in brightly colorful dyes and patterns, but Prus patterns are subdued and elegant, favoring gray, brown, amber and dark reds. The Prus are renown for their dour quiet mannersims, often punctuated with violent outbursts and dramatic displays. They play their distinct form of folk music on a stringed instrument very similar in sound to a mandolin. To this music they yodel and cry, and dance a jumping, leaping step. Many other Bergonians regard them as the ultimate hicks.
East of Comleta-Becun is the Zhubo called Simpetanti, which was settled by French settlers in the 1600s. The white, Catholic, French speaking descendants of these colonists dominate this county today. This region is a little France. It is one of the most productive wine regions in the country, and overwhelmingly rural, save for the capital of Eleanor with a population of 248,000, one of the oldest French cities in Bergonia, with a fine collection of colonial era buildings, including a number of Franciscan and Benedictine monasteries. The streets in the old town are still of cobblestone and the residents shop in French style street markets. This region produces wine, wheat, apples, pears, cherries, and corn. This is limestone country, so there is bluegrass, and thus many horse farms. Eleanor is home to one of the nation's most famous racetracks .
5. Sholilo "sho-li'-loh")
In southeast BV is the mountainous zhubo called Sholilo. This is thelargest coal producing district in the nation. The area is thoroughly rural. The Minidun inhabitants live cramped in valleys and hollows near the mines, and railroad lines carry the coal out to the rest of the country. This zhubo has been compared to West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, although the mountains lie in straight tall ranges very unlike the low gnarled coal-producing hills of Appalachia, and abut the towering Mousri mountains. Timbering and coal mining badly scarred this country in the 1800s and early 1900s. The people living here mostly speak the Dura dialect of Minidun, but they speak it with an odd drawling accent very similar to the Prus, and also use a lot of words occurring in the Prus dialect as well as in Pasan.
In ancient times many Bergonians believed that demons and spirits haunted this land, and that many of the mythological tales of the gods on earth occurred here. In a sense it was regarded as both a holy land, because the ancient Gods walked there, and a cursed land, because a very powerful residual spirit had concentrated there—a "vortex of evil," that was the stuff of legend, and throughout most of the Pre-Columbian period this remained a forested region. Even in Tanic times many people were afraid of this land.
Finally, there is the small strip of land west of the Comleta Zhubo called Vetnada. It has a population of only 130,000, the big majority of which are Pasan. This little enclave of Pasans is all that is left of a large population of Pasan that dominated north central Bergonia 1500 years ago. But since that time the Miniduns and other races, including the Europeans, slowly pushed the Pasans out, except for those who remained in Vetnada.
No other part of what is now the Bergonian nation remained so long under British rule than the Calpian Islands. They did not become a part of Bergonia until 1937.
Calpia is the name given to a collection of very small islands located north of Bergonia. It is the smallest lesre, both in population and in size. Two larger islands and two smaller islands are clustered together about two hundred miles due north of Bun-Vosuget. 61% speaks Minidun, 35% speaks English and 2% speaks French.
They were unknown to the ancient Bergonians. In the 1600s the French took these islands, but the English grabbed them as a result of the Seven Years War in 1763 along with the rest of France's colonial territories. During the 1800s Calpia's two good harbors provided the many whaling ships of the times with provisions and repairs. Since so many Bergonians participated in the whaling industry at the time, many Bergonians came to Calpia for work, though it remained a British colony. The Calpia and Comleta whalers competed with each other, sometimes viciously and violently, more often with drinking contests, name-calling, and fisticuffs.
The Bergonians were determined to get both these islands and Bermuda. They were halfway successful. During World War One the British dealt with Bergonia in order to keep her from entering the war on the side of the Germans, who were making extravagant promises to lure her in, primarily promises of British island possessions. The British agreed in 1916 to a twenty-year condominium of Calpia with the Bergonians, after which the islands would be transferred to Bergonia. In exchange Bergonia renounced all claims to Bermuda, and both nations agreed to a treaty of peace. The loss of Bermuda was not greatly unsettling to Bergonians, since Britain had chosen to prohibit Bergonian migration there. When the revolutionaries came to power in the 1930s, Britain threatened to renege on the deal, which helped spark the War of the Atlantic in 1937 that culminated with Bergonian marines seizing the Calpian islands. The treaty negotiated with Britain and the U.S. in 1938 ratified the transfer of sovereignty, which Bergonians regarded as a great victory, since Britain abandoned forever all its vast unsettled historical claims for reparations against Bergonia. Calpia was administered as a military territory until after the War of the Atlantic and World War Two. Then, in 1947, Calpia was formally incorporated into Bergonia as a lesre.
The western island, Avalon, was once predominantlyFrench. The fine port city of Jaimeville, founded by the French in the 1600s is located on Avalon's far western end. This is an island of dairy farms and fishing villages. Jaimeville is the capital, a heart-breakingly beautiful little port city of stone houses, red tile roofs and brick streets, divided into a small French neighborhood, an English neighborhood, a Minidun neighborhood, and a "tourist neighborhood." The tourists come here in droves, and boats take them by the thousands to see the whales and porpoises.
The largest city onthe eastern island, Borive, is Rantan, situated on a fine circular bay, formed by two narrow peninsulas extending like arms eastward from the main island, and thus a fine port. Rantan in the 1800s was the center of Calpia's whaling industry. After Bergonia acquired these islands in 1937 the Bergonian Navy has become a huge presence. The Bay of Rantan is now the location of a large naval harbor, part of the huge Soricar naval and military base, which also includes an important airstrip, training ground and listening post. The base stretches along the north side of the island, while descendants from Minidun and French settlers raise dairy cattle on the south side. Rantan, of course, serves the base in all its various needs. As a way to strengthen Calpia's economy and culture, the military located its major technical college here, along with the nation's Naval Academy, so Rantan has become a very diverse city, tending to reflect the demographics of the military, which in turn reflect the demographics of the whole nation. Because the military continues to use French as its primary operational language, French is the dominant language in Rantan, though Minidun and English are widely understood. This military city is not suited for tourists, who will find almost half the island and a third of the city itself off limits.
The Calpian Islands are home to 116,000 people, most of whom work either in the military, the tourism industry, the native fishing industry, or with dairy cattle.
Zeinran "Zeinran" rhymes (kind of) with "rain man," if spoken by a Jamaican.
The name means simply "along the Zein", referring to the grand green river that drains into the Sargaso Sea at Glen. Zeinran includes the upper half of the Zein river basin, save for the extreme headwaters, which are in Sefaieri.
The population here is mainline Minidun, with a sprinkling of French. The city of Faucilles and several small towns in lower Zeinran were founded by French settlers. 7.7% of the population speak French, 87% speaks Minidun of the Dura dialect.
Chambolet-- Center of the Miradi Religion
Along the Zein River, on the upper, western end of Zeinran, is the city of Chambolet. This city is holy to the Miradi religion. This is where the prophet Krathnami lived and preached. After his mission across the land, Krathnami settled near a village called Chambolet. He met with his disciples at a small monastery calledSer-Alei, the Place of the Willows. After he died and his religions grew, Ser-Alei expanded into a huge university of prayer, devotion and learning. It has served as the center of the Miradi faith even unto the present day. Ser-Alei attracts thousands of pilgrims every year, and of course every four years comes the grand ritual festival of Iritlema, where thousands of Miradi priests and priestesses convene to chant prayers. The University within Ser-Alei has remained open throughout all the centuries except for forty-three difficult years during the plague years. During the Tanic era a protracted war involving almost all the nations of Bergonia raged on for decades until finally the priests of Chambolet brokered a peace in 1254. Appropriately, the people of the time called it the "Peace of the Priests" and thereafter the nations of Bergonia used Ser-Alei as sort of a United Nations where their ambassadors could meet and discuss issues of common concern.
Several Miradi denominations have their headquarters at Ser-Alei. By 1200 the disciples of the new religion had built virtually an entire city of temples, libraries, university facilities, hostels for pilgrims, gardens and plazas. The great university complex was largely built with volunteer labor and donations from the many pilgrims. Most of the buildings are of a singular style. They are long straight buildings of red brick with many arching doorways, gates, and windows. Throughout the centuries, if a building was judged to be too dilapidated to repair, it was torn down and rebuilt exactly as it was before. In the 1950s a massive renovation project was initiated. Some of the buildings have been completely rebuilt with the original materials, while others have been structurally reinforced. However, virtually all the buildings are still being used to some extent. To the east of this massive area is a new campus that includes hostels and cafeterias for pilgrims, additional temples and schools. The entire complex is under the administration of a foundation whose board contains representatives of all the denominations of the Miradi religion. The entire Ser-Alei includes five square miles, almost as much territory as the remainder of the city of Chambolet. As a place of pilgrimage, it is one of Bergonia's greatest tourist attractions.
While no Christian colonizers were ever so aggressive as to shut this place down, the French tried to exclude Miradi worship in the city of Varsca. In a greater affront, the Catholic Church built a magnificent cathedral in Chambolet in the 1720s, less than 500 feet from the edge of Ser-Alei. With good grace the Miradi have accepted the Cathedral as a neighbor, and the Chambolet Cathedral stands to this day.
The capital of Zeinran is Varsca, a city of great antiquity. Settlers from the First Ceiolaian Empire founded Varsca around 400 BC. At its center is an impressive array of ruins from that era. Also in the center city is the very well preserved fort and palace from the medieval era, both built around 880 A.D. More recently, in 1910, a great stone tower was built, about 400 feet tall, in a sweeping curved form, with several buttresses. The municipal government built this tower to commemorate the centennial of the birth of John Rarsa.
Varsca has always been traditionally regarded asCeiolai's "little sister," and the two cities even up to the present day are similar in appearance and architecture. Varscans have always looked to Ceiolai as the leader, and Ceiolaians have always respected Varsca as a dependable ally in all things. To the west and southwest of old Varsca is a new city, founded in the late 1800s, a manufacturing center where now steel, alloys and motor vehicles are produced. In fact West Varsca is the auto capital of Bergonia. The Zein River is navigable downstream from Varsca, so Varsca has become a big river port, and whatever Zeinran produces floats down the river on barges to the great port city of Glen for overseas export. Varsca is also a significant rail terminus, to which rail lines from throughout the Ifuno, particularly Sefaieri, run, bringing loads of coal, ore, grain, beef and finished goods.
Click here to see maps of Varsca.
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