The Ifuno-- the High Central Plateau
This high plateau occupies the center of Bergonia, varying in altitude between 2,500 to 5,000 feet, the majority consisting of a vast rolling table stretching 260 miles from east to west across the state of Sefaieri at 4,000-4,500 ft. altitude.
To the southwest the plateau descends through an irregular series of shelves and finger ridges into the broad Lampanira basin, with a wide valley floor averaging 9,000-1,200 feet altitude.
The southern edge of the plateau is defined by a series of rim formations stretching from east to west. The most prominent of these is the Sfanatromo Mts., 6,500-8,500 feet high, which descend through a series of foothills to the broad flat plain of southern Bergonia. To the west the rim formations are much steeper and dramatic, especially around the Letlari Lake Country. Here and there along this southern edge, southward flowing rivers have carved deep narrow canyons into the table or through the rim, exposing massive faces of colorful rock strata. The largest of these, the Serofi River, flows through a canyon 2,400 feet deep to the Letlari Lakes.
To the east the Ifuno is broken up with valleys and basins that drain into the Zein and Bergoli Rivers, and ends with the Spichelamo Mts.
Weather: The summers are hot, with thunderstorms popping up from the east or south, sometimes dry and sometimes humid. In the winter wet and cold westerlies blow over the land. Most but not all years see snow. Rainfall is usually heavier in winter than in summer, and usually heavier in the west and lighter in the east. Several of the basins, most notoriously the North Lampanira Basin, the Bushenrelu Basin, and the Lower Cuanta River valley, are ringed by uplands or ranges, and thus deprived of rainfall from the west in winter or from the south and east in summer.
Vegetation: This area naturally supports a mix of dense forests, open forests, brush and open savanna. Oak, beech, poplar and pine predominate in the forests. In the isolated basins and valleys the weather is abruptly drier, and one often finds expanses of grassland and shrub. Bushenrelu is the largest and also the most striking example of this.
Since 500 B.C. peasants have grown wheat and beans in the plains, while shepherds and their flocks of sheep and goats have roamed the grassy hills. The Ifuno, dotted with stone forts, monasteries and temples, became the heartland of classical Pre-Columbian culture. Not many European colonists moved from the coastal regions onto the high Ifuno, and so here native culture has persisted more strongly than anywhere else.
The Western Coastal Hills and Valleys
Toward the west and southwest the Ifuno tilts downward toward several basins, which are separated from the west coast one finds a series of hills and valleys, most prominently the complex of uplands called the Ciarepepina Hills.
Nearly all the rivers in this region, including the Cuanita, drain into the Clacupo bays through narrow valleys These hills all get ample rainfall the year round, in some places exceeding 60 inches a year. The soil is black and rich, but over the years has been prone to erosion because of the slopes and a history of bad management practices.
Parallel volcanic ranges, of very recent origin in geologic time, 5 active volcanoes and numerous hot springs and geysers. These ranges run north-south, generally 6,000-10,000 feet high, but with peaks considerably higher. The eastern face of these ridge benefit from moist winds blow off the Atlantic in the summer, generated by the Azores High Pressure System. The winter is not altogether bereft of rain, there is enough to sustain year round dense foliage on a band of elevation ranging from 4,000 to 8,000 feet. The westward face of these ranges are depend on the weather that blows across the ifuno plateau from the west, and this means wetter weather in the winter, but in any event the westward faces are much drier, with lots of grass, scrub and pine, permitting sheep herding and some dairy cattle.
The Palu Mountains
These mountains in Bergonia's extreme southwest have some peaks reaching 9,000 feet. These mountains are rain catchers, scooping up moisture from the west in winter and from the east when the Trade Winds blow in summer. They get as much as 70 inches of rainfall a year. Thick subtropical jungle covers the mountains. People also call them the Butterfly Mountains.
The Sargaso Islands
This chain of islands along Bergonia's east coast generally enjoy dry air all year round, with occasional thunderstorms from May to November. In the summer months the Trade Winds blow hard over the southern-most of these islands. These islands are relatively flat, with only Bruntaigo and Erithin having any sort of mountains. Erithin indeed is the product of volcanic processes For the most part these islands are dry, covered with grass, shrub, succulents & other xerophilious vegetation.
and related coastal plains
High granite ranges twist and turn across northern Bergonia, from northwest to the northeast, concentrated in three distinct ranges that are divided by coastal basins:
(a) The Northwestern Mountains are sometimes called the Coninipati Mountains, although they extend into three other states as well. One of the ranges, the Sutretamo, is high and narrow, forming the border between Cuecha and Coninipati, with peaks upwards of 15,000 ft altitude. The sharpness of this range allows few opportunities for roads, so it has acted as a veritable wall between the two regions.
(b) The Pruseia are of a series of broad ranges and thickly forested uplands. The main range is 7,500-9,500 ft high. The Pruseia straddle the boundary between the states of Omaika & Bun-Vosuget. A short jagged chain of mountains called the Zaflein, with a couple of rocky peaks upwards of 12,000, connect the Pruseia to the Ifuno Plateau.
(c) The Mousri Mts. are Bergonia's highest peaks. Mt. Kalt (17,517 ft high) towers above all the rest. Enough snow falls in the northward facing sides of the Coninipati and Mousri mountains to allow the formation of small glaciers.
Weather: In winter moist westerlies blow across Bergonia's northern half, originating from North America. Temperatures in the lowlands average 50 degrees. Chilly rains sweep over the region all winter long, and snow falls in the mountains and hills. This is the only region of Bergonia that annually receives snow. The other three seasons are sweet and warm, with refreshing thunderstorms. The northwest is the wettest region of the country, and also tends to be decidedly drier in summer than in winter, so this is good wine country.
Vegetation: The valleys and lowlands between the high ranges grow verdantly with oak and pines. This is good wine country. Farmers harvest all manner of fruit and vegetables in the lowlands, especially in the northeastern peninsular region called Pasiana. A travel who climbs any of the mountains from the valleys will pass through successive biological realms, from warm to cold. First one passes from the lowland forest mix of deciduous and pines tress, through thick moist forests of pines, laurels, moss and ferns, then Alpine meadow, where for centuries shepherds have grazed sheep and goats, and finally up to high-altitude taiga.
The land in the southern fourth of Bergonia is flat, and the weather is hopelessly hot. The winters burn dry and dusty. In the summers the trade winds blow westward, bringing thunderstorms. Then in autumn storms and hurricanes come. One hurricane in 866 AD had such strength and fury that its floods destroyed Pueoi, a whole nation, causing a drastic end to a prolonged war that involved virtually every state in medieval Bergonia.
The southeast plain sees few storms and gets only 10-15 inches of rainfall a year, while the western side gets as much as 30 inches.
The flat land is covered with grass, brush and scrub, with paica trees (like cottonwoods) crowding around stream and rivers. Sugar cane, cotton, corn and citrus fruit grow here.
In the late 1700's and 1800's English settlers raised cattle here for export back home. Bergonians however do not eat much beef, and during the ecological revolution of the last twenty-five years cattle raising has been curtailed, because it wastes so much land.
The Serofi River emerges from its canyon course, and passes through a series of crystalline lakes. The last fingers of the forested upland reach to form a basin around the lakes. From here the Serofi then rolls wide and deep southward across the plain to the ocean. Surrounding one of these lakes is Lifitoni, one of Bergonia's two capitals and Bergonia's second largest cities.
Pasiana and the Amota-- the Eastern Coastal Region
Pasiana, forming the prominent northeastern region of Bergonia, is isolated from the rest of the country by the Mousri Mountains. It consists of coastal plains and gently rolling hills, and gets consistent rainfall year round. The climate is very much like the Azores, rather mild all year.
The Amota: The Spichelamos stand like a wall to separate the Amota, a region of coastal plains and rolling hills, from the rest of Bergonia. The sea coast here is irregular, and a series of peninsulas and islands form two inland seas where shellfish, tuna and other yummy creatures abound. In the summer the whole area gets the full balmy benefit of the Trade Winds, with powerful breezes and many thunderstorms. As these winds strike the eastern side of the Spichelamos they release considerable amounts of precipitation. The Spichelamos catch clouds, mist and rain year round, feeding rivers that flow eastward across the Amota to the coast. In winter dry clear air parches the lowlands, and the average temperature is above 60 degrees..
Amota was the cradle of Bergonian civilization. Here the first farmers harvested crops of corn, beans and squash, and around 1500 BC their surpluses allowed the first cities to grow. Here grew the Kuan civilization, where despotic emperors organized masses of slaves to build fortifications, canals, monuments, and pleasure gardens, and where literati devised sophisticated systems of writing and wrote heroic epics and great poetry. In later times the Amota cities became great centers of culture for the whole island. Then, after Columbus' coming, Portuguese conquistadors penetrated Amota, and most of this region fell under Spanish rule.
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