Luxa is a major continent of the Realm of Horizon. Almost four times the size of Thessea (which admittedly, despite its influence and role in the Realm's history, is pretty small) and located to its South-East. Because the distance between Luxa and Thessea isn't very large, they could have at some point been part of the same landmass. As it stands, Luxa is the second biggest known continent of the Realm after Faraam.
Luxa is home to many more nations and states that Thessea has ever produced. In its North, full of rolling plains, hillside valleys and rumbling, rocky rivers, is home to many princedoms of Man, collectively known as the Kraj.
Along Luxa's snaky Lindcoast to the West, separated from the inner Luxa by the indomitating Wormteeth mountains, are scattered the hidden sanctuaries of the Allavvi elves, together with remnants of old human colonies of Borealis, that the Kingdom has foolishly abandoned by decree of the mad king Abendstern.
To the far South of Luxa, the continent scatters into a labyrinthine mess of archipelagos, atolls and peninsulae - called by the seamen as Demon's Water. In its suffocating tropics there is no law but the one of strength and cunning - and pirates, scoundrels and rejects of all realms and nations try to make an abode out of it, battling disease, the heat, blood-thirsty rakshasa, each other and the most dire enemy of them all.
For deep within the Luxa's mountaneous interior, within deep valleys and plateus, dwells a force that, if left unchecked, threatens the very existence of the Realm's civilisation. The Nav have inhabited this planet far longer than any of the post-Planetfall newcomers and now, united by an immortal emperor, they have only one long-term goal - to reclaim what was rightfully theirs and purge the intruding star-children from the planet's face.
Princedoms of KrajEdit
When Everard and Thormond Boreale cut into the festering flesh of old Aluren and destroyed it, many of the dying kingdom's elite suddenly realised that no place existed for them on Thessea anymore - the newly founded Borealis would, in the best case scenario, extort and humiliate them, while the harsh men of the Far Reach would remember keenly all the abuse they suffered from Aluren in its final years. But one option remained open to them - to use their substantial wealth and charter ships, sailing far away from their homeland in search of better fortunes.
Many months later, after a grueling journey that not all the exiles who left Aluren lived to see the end of, the ships anchored near the shores of a new, green land - what has been known to elves as Luxa. These lands were perfect to forge a new life on - bountiful, vast and protected by its many rivers and cliffs from the rest of the continent. However, they were also inhabited.
Overjoyed to find other humans in this unfamiliar land, Alureans were even more surprised when they realised that the "savage" natives shared in their faith - unsurprisingly, since they were the progenies of the first wave of migration after the Planetfall. They shared many traits with the Steppenvolk of the Great Steppe - like worship of Deirdre as the chief goddess, love and skill of horseriding and storytelling, yet have adopted little of the steppe grisly mysticism that made steppenvolk so alien to other humans. For once in the humankind's history, two different peoples have mutually and (almost) peacefulyl assimilated with each other.
Freedom and Strength Edit
The alloy of high Alurean and nomadic Dil culture is peculiar and deceptively strong. The quality of life of an average Krajman is probably higher than the one of a Borean peasant or Faraamese villager - as it has never known mass serfdom (although debt and judicial slavery is abundant). While princes rule their cities and surrounding lands, the custom of the land binds them to hold "viche" (public gathering) for most important decisions concerning the country, like enacting new laws or declaring war. Any country man or woman 16 years of age can attend a viche and voice their opinions, lobby for desired outcomes and eventually, vote. The power of a viche's decision is strong and if a prince ignores it, he does it at his peril. Hundreds of princes have lost their power (and often lives) when the people decided to "correct" their ignorance of democratic process. It helps that many Kraj princedoms have compulsory military service in their prince's warbands, usually ranging from 5 to 10 years, and most commoners know one side of a sword from another.
The Kraj is ruled by strength, law and honour - in that order. Trials by combat are exceptionally common even for commercial disputes. However, they are regulated by custom and laws; almost all such trials are only held till first blood is spilled and those who "accidentally" try to overdo it would be lucky to live long enough to face their prince's trial. Krajmen also value self-sufficiency and fairness above most other virtues. In smaller princedoms it is not uncommon to see the prince himself come to a common man's house and try to persuade him of merit of one law or another that stands to disadvantage him - as long as a man is treated fairly and given a chance to speak his mind, he would likely be willing to submit to the prince's law.
While all these traits of Kraj societies make them a comfortable place to live, as long as you can hold your own and are not afraid of a constant threat of a Nav invasion, they have several unfortunate side effects. Krajmen tend to hold grudges until they consider that sufficient repayment has been made (tip of the day - it very seldom happens) and are very tribalistic; they are very loyal to their families, often - to their prince and church, almost never - to whatever pompous git that is trying to assert more authority than he can chew. Most attempts to federalise and unite the odd two dozens of princedoms otherwise than by strength of arms have utterly failed and when a victorious prince does claim another's land as his own, his happiness is often shortlived, as most men and women would rather take to the forests and sabotage the invader than face the humiliation of being conquered.
Outriders of BannerbrookEdit
Sometimes it comes to pass that despite all the persuasion, mechanisms of influence and pressure, a person defies his prince's peacetime orders or judgment. The Krajmen respect for individual's judgment is strong enough to allow them one final option before facing jail and execution - to take a horse, a bow and 10 days worth of bread, and leave the princedom, never to return. Most take it.
While some of the defiant exiles are little more than scoundrels and criminals who chose exile over punishment for a crime they consciously commited, others, with strong sense of justice, who consider themselves falsely accused or wronged, travel to the Southernmost regions of Kraj - the Bannerbrook. It is a vast rocky flatland, pierced by many rapids-filled rivers and occasional patches of grassland and forest. It lies at the border of the Kraj, leading into the Luxa interior, where Nav dwell.
There, on many rapids of Bannerbrook, the first exiles built their sietch fortresses, which now serve as the first line of defense and base of operations against the tides of Nav, who endeavour to conquer and destroy the men of Kraj and all other invader star-children at least once every few years. The Outriders of Bannerbrook use their horsemanship and supreme skill with bow and rifle to blunt these invasions before they reach the princedoms. A rifle-wielding Outrider, smoking a pipe and singing a jolly song, is the most popular cultural export of Kraj. Even more respectable is the fact that the Krajmen do not import their guns from Albion, yet often come up with creative solutions that shame even the best gunsmiths of Wayfall. An example of such ingenuity is the ominous Czerv-gun - a massive, long-range rifle, which needs a two man team to fire, yet is capable of both rapid fire and of actually piercing the thick skin of a Nav lindworm.
Notable princedoms of KrajEdit
- Askold - Northernmost princedom, active trading partner of Borealis, Sina and Albion;
- Ltava - a former Allavvi outpost, gifted to the Krajmen as a token of friendship
- Kamenets - famous for its use of "mobile fortress" formation in war;
- Khoriv - its temple of Deirdre is rumoured to hold on of the three surviving copies of "Account of Time Immemorial and the First Dark " (see also Nestorian Accounts );
- Levgorod - founded by Zhar Leiber, one of the very few orcish thanes of Aluren and the descendant of the famous orc house of Leiber, it is the biggest civilised orcish city outside of Faraam and is home to the renown and feared Lion Hussars;
- Volodymyr - unstable due to recurring presence of zealous Deirdrite pagans, who reject all other gods. Some of these pagans, when re-educated and pacified, make quite good soldiers (while also earning the warbands of Volodymyr a notoriety as a band of pillaging lunatics);
- Trokay - known for its wines, which are enjoyed as far as landgraves courts in the Far Reach, and gunsmithies (responsible, among other things, for the Czerv-gun);
- Estanar - the closest princedom to the no-man's-land of Bannerbrook and thus the most fortified and grim of them all, although also famous for the beauty (and battle fury) of their women, who have often had to hold the tides of Nav at bay due to the shortages of men.