|Nan Hai Nian|
|Realm||Nan Hai Nian|
|Resources||Leviathans, Rice, Cocoa Beans|
Nan Hai Nian has a varied and extreme landscape. Situated in a temperate zone, the lowlands around the coast are relatively pleasant, and many of the settlements in this area lie in these more comfortable zones, but ever present on the western horizon are the Yong Shan, the Forever Mountains. The Yong Shan forever casts its shadow wherever the sun might direct it to, snowy peaks visible from anywhere within the region. The Mountains are the home to the awe inspiring Leviathans and the capital city but little else, cold and massive as they are.
On the northeastern coast many inhabitants make a living upon the waters of Shou Nanren, the Thin Man, a narrow inlet from the greater sea which is rich in diverse life and offers a sheltered harbor for boats and ships. The Xiānzhī de liǎng'àn, Strait of the Prophet, is a disputed territorial claim of Nan Hai Nian, contested with by the northern neighboring region over who lays claim to the ancient religious holy site and strategic inlet for allowing access to the sea from the Shou Nanren.
The population centers of Nan Hai Nian tend to lie along the coasts in small villages and in the interior among the ricelands. The capital of the region however, Wu Cheng lies on the side of the Yong Shan mountains, high above the rest of the region. Rice shipments and other tribute, intended for the yearly return of the Leviathans but sent in such amounts as to keep the nobles happy and their promise of protection keeps the locals sending tribute. Almost a third of the population lives in Wu Cheng, benefiting from the rich cultural, religious, and economic prosperity of the city and the prestige it grants. Within Nan Hai Nian there are no other settlements to truly compare as cities and the rest of the population lives in the fishing or farming villages throughout the lowland countryside.
Caercian settlers were shocked when they arrived on the coasts to find a race of humans similar in many ways to the Salterri and the Caercians themselves. Though lighter of skin, more golden than tan, the people in the region seem strongly reminiscent of those in the far east within the Imperium. The native populace speak a language most closely resembling ancient Salterri and communication was slowly established by religious scholars who had chosen to join the expedition. Though Caercian settlers have remained largely separate from the native populace, knowing full well their goal is only to establish contact and a forward base for the Imperium Proper, there has been some limited interaction with the natives.
They appear to be shorter on average than those of the central continent, and as previously mentioned lighter of skin, their eyes and hair are dark and straight, similar to the Caercian's own but quite different from the curlier hair of Pavonian and Sterkelv men and much different than the tight curled hair of higher born Salterri and Triumviral populations.
The common folk males tend to grow straight, short, simple beards and mustaches or no facial hair at all, nothing in comparison to the bushy or braided styles of the Sterkelv, prefering elegance over size. The common women tend to keep their hair back or cut short, and the thin frames of both sexes makes distinguishing a commoner of one sex or the other very difficult. The leaders of the population tend to have different trends, the men grow long, straight beards that don't connect to thin, waxed mustaches. The noble women wear their hair long, seemingly never having it cut, and put it up in elaborate buns and braids to keep it from becoming overly cumbersome.
The primary resources of Nan Hai Nian are the Leviathans of the mountains, and the vast Rice fields and crops of the lowlands. The Leviathans of Nan Hai Nian are an important, if largely mysterious and avoided resource. The Leviathans are large, gray-blue whale-like creatures that reside high within the mountain ranges and once every two years descend to reap harvest of rice and other foodstuffs offered as tribute from the lowlands. Originally the Leviathans descended all the way to the ancient rice fields, even before the rice was cultivated by human hands, and consumed the plants directly, wrecking the land with their hunger.
When the first humans came to cultivate the land they were said to have many been killed by the hunger and size of the Leviathans, but needing of the land the people persevered, only to be struck again two years later. It is said that a great leader, Wu Yong, of whom the ruling nobles of Wu Cheng are descended, gathered before the next Leviathan harvest a great tribute from the lands and set it upon the mountains that the beasts might not descend. When the Leviathans came not for the fields the people returned to place upon the mountain where the tribute had been lain and saw it had been eaten.
Stories vary about whether Wu Yong went on to tame a Leviathan and ride it into battle and into wars for a great Empire but the stories all agree he founded the city of Wu Cheng and that his method is still what is used today to keep the Leviathans at bay. The people of Nan Hai Nian are lacking silk but the nobles demand it, noting it was the ancient ways of nobles to dress in silk. Currently this request is not being met by any trade partner.
The majority of the population follows the tenets of the ancient Salterri religion though much has been lost as contact with outside powers has diminished over the years and Wu Cheng has become increasingly isolationist. Colonists were however shocked to find a minority of adherents to the Hailings of the Silver Sea being apparently an ancient small tradition within these lands.