The Plains of the Faen
("Palleion Faen") or
Municipen di Fa (Vieja Faenica for ‘Realm of Speech’) is one of the most
interesting landscapes Nybelmar’s Northern Bay has
to offer. A blend of industrial ingenuity set against breath-taking scenery,
only the domineering fangs of the Doilth mountain peaks
dwarf its rolling, luscious hills. A region
renowned for the incredible diversity it presents in both flora and fauna, both
foreign and domestic species of plant and animal culminate here into a
cornucopia of colour and fragrance - the quaint, unique smell of every
individual flower picked up upon on every refreshing breeze, as regular as
Gondolwain clockwork. While the extent to which the Faen have managed to tame
and shape this landscape to suit their own purpose is an achievement in itself,
with road building and irrigation matched only by the Tarshiinites, it is the
picturesque amalgamations of striking natural wonders and the beautifully
archaic designs of the bold Faen castles that have showered this remarkable
portion of Caelereth’s surface in fame.
Description. While the landscape is devoid of the aggressive rocky formations that characterise the Germon Doilth, the range itself being faintly recognisable in the distance from the top of most Faen castles, it seems that whatever celestial force craft the belligerent shapes into the stone further a field may have practiced in the Faen lands first. The Faen realm is an amalgam of various hills, some taller and steeper than others, that seeming interweave amongst each other as flawlessly as a Tiquaitan symphony. But while an element of uncanny precision in the smooth, rolling landscape, the fresh grass and quaint flora reveal an innate rustic charm within the Municipen’s inalienable calm.
It is commonly said ‘could one bottle a Faen breeze, he need never work again’. As the systematic gusts that idly dance through the hilly landscape meld with the cornucopia of fragrant flora that decorate the mounds in aimless patches, the scents that emanate throughout the region are unparalleled anyway else. Many Faen, in fact, claim that they can find their way through their homeland simply by smell alone, as whether it is the delicate crispness of the moonlight orchid or the exotic warmth of the firelemon fruit, each area has a tantalising aroma all its own.
When asked to describe the region’s geography the most common reply is ‘quiet’. While this is easy to see, be it in the seemingly deliberately slow movement of clouds throughout the pastel blue skies or in the lazy, indirect routes taken by the handful of streams that crown the largest hills, it is usually an adjective extended to the smallest of detail. Even the trees of the Municipen seem to grow in a much more relaxed, or rather indolent, fashion. Examples such as the kuara puzzle, a tree that entangles itself in its own branches, show the sheer cryptic rhyme in everything that happens within these lands.
But even with this supposed ‘natural rhyme’ in the Faen’s idyllic realm, even the magnificent contours do not lay undisturbed. In a much more deliberate effort to connect that scattered dominions of the Kezar lords the industrial amenities drawn onto this hilly canvas produce a beautiful aura of juxtaposition. Far from scarring the picturesque landscapes, the stone-paved roads proudly divide the hills, winding as though a thick-grey liquids had been poured down the steep surfaces. And while the carriage-worn roads connecting the realm hug onto the landscape incessantly, the ceaseless effects are continued with regard to the Municipen’s agriculture.
Though little is done in the realm of agrarian work, the few select farms nestled subtly within the maze-like hills are works of genius- sadly though, not the genius of the Faen. A combined effort of Tarshiinite engineers and Aesteran water magi allowed the sparse water found in the region to be directed, harnessed and controlled in an almost poetic fashion. As the Municipen lacks sufficient rain to nourish enough fields for their vast population the somewhat populous streams have been tapped into to produce artificial channels that pour down, irrigating the farmland. It is, in fact, the precipitous scenery of the Municipen that allowed such feats to be possible; the Tarshiinite-craft ditches utilising the gradient of the hills to ensure the water’s flow.
As somewhat of a middle ground between the purely mechanical aspects of the landscape and the facets endowed by Mrae Oir himself, the epic castles of the Faen seem so old that the archaic constructs appear to have ingrained themselves wholeheartedly into the scenery. Blending in somewhat with the primeval boulders scattered throughout the Municipen, the dominating castles, some small mountains within themselves, have an air of ancientness all their own. Modelled after ‘Ey Castellum En Todia’ (‘The Castle of All’) where the Faen pantheon is supposed to reside, these multi-chambered, multi-levelled constructs act as functional microcosms for those who reside within.
Map description. The location of the Plains of the Faen (the Paellaeion Faen) in northwestern Nybelmar. Map drawn by Koldar Mondrakken.
Location. The Faen Plains an area located on the Northern limit of Nybelmar, situated in equal measure between the Northern Bay and the Kaerethi peninsula. It borders the treacherous Germon Doilth mountain range and the coastal settlements constructed by the Aesteran settlers of the Krean exodus, also sharing a northern border with the Drifting Woods, the home of the Ter’ei’vikh.
People. The Municipen
di Fa constitutes the home realm of the Faen men. While the Faen can be seen all
over the continent of Nybelmar on trading expeditions
for various purposes for the various Kezar lords that dictate their routes, the
largest single population of them is found in (surprisingly!) their own nation.
Though the Faen constitute the majority of the population, due to the
politically munificent nature of the Faen foreigners are a relatively common
sight and very easy to recognise (mainly due to their lack of tattoos). While a
number of these are Tarshiinite engineers or Aesteran water magi who maintain
the agricultural infrastructure, easily the most populous ethnic group besides
the Faen within the Municipen is the Tsohamin mercenaries who constitute at
least three quarters of the armed forces under Faen control. While they are
generally assigned mainly on long-distance caravan expeditions, their superior
combat proficiency makes them sought after for a variety of domestic reasons
within the Municipen. The Tsohamin are also known to prefer to the political
climate of the Faen realm, where they are not persecuted as they are in the
Scepteres of Tarshiin.
Coat of Arms/Sign. While the six Kezarian Houses have their own distinct insignia, the official Coat of Arms of the Municipen di Fa is the crest of the 'Old Nation'. The design itself is quite complex with somewhat subtle symbolic meanings, the crest usually being set agaisnt a shimmering gold background, the colour of the Faen patron God Fa. The internal design consists of a silver trumpet, a symbol of prosperity, and a bluebirch branch, an indicator of peaceful relations. Older versions of the design included a bronze lemon in the centre, a motif for celebration, or even the nation's motto 'Pa Grati, Pa Vera, Pa Veante' or 'For Freedom, For Truth, For Good'.
Climate. There is an omnipresent wind that scours the contours of the plains at every hour of the day with varying intensities throughout the seasons; though the bone-chilling gales that have leant many a Faen a story to tell are increasingly rarer sights the area is never devoid from the regular gust or two. It seems, however, that while lesser surroundings may be disturbed by such volatile currents of air it is often said that the scenery of the Municipen rejoice in the wind and dance in its presence to show their affection.
The Municipen is quite temperate when you consider its proximity to the much more tropical Drifting Woods, with varying levels of heat and sunshine throughout the season. The driest months in the Municipen are the coldest, with winter temperatures circulating around a perik or so. While the summers are much warmer, fluctuating often randomly between two and three and a half periks, these are usually accompanied scattered bursts of rain. On particularly humid afternoons, though, these refreshing showers are welcomed by the desiccated Faen.
You can expect that nights in the Municipen, particularly during the winter, will douse the landscape in a light coating of mist. While this presents no nuisance to the Faen, many foreigners would rather travel by day for fear of going off course and becoming subject of one of the many tales used to make children afraid of the dark.
Storms are rare in the Municipen, particularly in the north, but when they do occur they are famed for their severity. With uncompromisingly fierce levels of hail and screeching winds, so great are the tempests in the Municipen that they are the stuff of legend. Furthermore, it is said that all Faen structures are built from stone for fear that weaker constructs would be swept away in the thunderstorms that rarely ever happen.
Flora. The Municipen is home to an inconceivably fragrant array of plants. While it is the handful of notably pungent aromas, such as the spice of the firelemon fruit or the unusual sweetness honey rose, the wide range of softer fragrances that emanate from the various flowers and leaves create a proverbial blanket of sensation that often has a refreshing quality to it. It is no overstatement that the Municipen is almost overpowered by the innumerably differing species of flower that find home in its earth. So strong is presence of these petal-crowned plants in the Municipen that there is always at least a few species blooming throughout every month of the year, with many varieties developing typically unusual growth cycles- such as the frost tulip, known for blossoming in winter.
Much of the undulating landscape is open space with nothing more than a carpet of luscious grass to cover it. However, there are the occasional patches of quaint shrubbery or unusually shaped trees. It seems for what the Municipen lacks in floral quantity it makes up for in quality, as the sheer aesthetic pleasure you can gain from perusing the various charming pieces of flora in the Municipen is amazing. Whether investigating how the hollowtrunk tree became empty on the middle, or trying to work out where the branches start and end on the self-entangling kuara puzzle, there is no limit to the amusement one can take in the rare specimens scattered throughout the Municipen.
Resources. While the Faen are able to sample the vast bounty of Nybelmar due to their nigh-on all encompassing trade web, the Municipen itself is not barren of value. Towards the realm's northeastern extent, where the Germon Doilth range ends, there are a vast number of quarries from which the Faen have managed to harvest chalk, clay and, most notably, granite. While the usages of latter two can be seen throughout the Municipen, from Faen pottery to the gargantuan granite castles, quarried chalk is used in a much cleverer way. An invention accredited to Tarshiinite Master Alchemist Arashii Yarin, Faen chalk can be made into 'Soil Softeners' that improve arability of fields (supposedly balancing out any aceedic qualities of the earth).
Furthermore, a form of underground fungus, noticable by the fact that it
attracts the growth pinkcap mushrooms on the surfaces of where it is buried, has
a whole manner of usages. Known as the 'doughtruphull' in the Municipen, the
fungus can be dried and grated into a powder that has the qualities of a potent
yeast. As a result, many Faen flour mills mix small quantities of Doughtruphull
powder into their finished products, created flower than in fact raises by
Due to the vast number of aromatic plants in the Municipen (see Flora), the Faen are also known for their various distinct perfumes. While nowhere near as popular as the Krean or Anpagan varieties of perfume in the Southern Realms of the continent, Faen fragrances were greatly sought after by the Tiquaitan and are still in high demand to their Aesteran and Tarshiinite neighbours. The Holy Order of the Poetpriests, besides their various other crafts and duties, are also known to produce various scented oils, used in a surprisingly effective series of aromatherapy that is capable of alleviating the symptoms a whole manner of common ailments. However, as the potency of the therapy seems to only work on the Faen themselves, the great value of the oils is perhaps humorously insulted by the Tarshiinites, who used it to scent their baths.
In addition to this, coastal settlements of the Municipen are capable of collecting various kinds of fish and seafood, though never to the scale of the Tarshiinites or the Gondolwenmith. This is supposedly the root of the widely known expression 'Faen fish', used to indicate something of lesser quality. Such is the flavourlessness of the Municipen's seafood that it is rare to even find any of the Faen eating it, much preferring what they can gain from their expansive trade relations.