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Alluum (/ɑːluːm/)  is a powerhouse nation that spans the entirety of a continent and various islands off its coast. It is 7.7 million square kilometers in total, akin in size to Australia on Earth. It is the largest continent on the planet and is commonly referred to as the golden land, due to large veins of gold ore in the Sidways.

“Golden land” also refers to Alluum’s potential and the opportunities available to those who call it home. Even foreigners move to Alluum to seek great opportunities here, not the least of which is joining the prestigious dragon rider force by training at Evercrest Academy. With natural population growth and high immigration rates, Alluum is the largest country by population at 315.7 million people.

The country is situated in the stable Southern Hemisphere beside Egivelyn. Its closest northern neighbor is Copun separated from Alluum by the Scarlet Sea. Anbri sits to the northeast of Rhoncus, Alluum’s largest island. The average temperature range is -25 F (-32 C) to -6 F (-14 C) in the winter and 42 F (5 C) to 60 F (16 C) in the summer. Northern Alluum receives the most rainfall and is generally warmer.

Geography and Climate

The Southern Hemisphere of Alkshiest is the more stable half of the planet in terms of climate. Dominated as it is by only two large land masses, Egivelyn and Alluum, the temperatures and weather of these continents is regulated by the predictable flow of ocean currents. These are only occasionally disrupted by the migration of large schools of sea dragons, leaving the weather cold and relatively unchanging for much of the year. Tundralike plains cover the continent of Alluum, dotted with specialized biomes that developed due to unique geological features. Alluum and Egivelyn both are home to unique tundra swamps and bogs that many drow and elf tribes call home.

Alluum is dominated by forest and swampland for the most part. The two mega cities—the residential, shiny Xidwin (pronounced zid-win) and the smaller, more industrial Altshof (pronounced ahlts-hoff)—are situated in large plains on either side of the Sidways, the mountain range that cuts the country in geological half. This mountain range is older and more weathered than the newer, more jagged Evercrest Mountains. Traveling over the mountain range can take anywhere from two days to two weeks depending on the mode of travel—which is typically by drawn-wagon or by hydroelectric car. The mountain range creates a rain shadow effect, with heavy precipitation on the northern slope and barren, dry vegetation to the south.

The Evercrest Mountains line the southwestern border a hundred miles from Xidwin. This mountain range is home to Floyd Peak and its dragon rider training school, Evercrest Academy. Though the peak is not the highest in Alluum, it still reaches an elevation of 10 thousand feet. Students have been known to experience altitude sickness at this height. Small villages dot the mountainside, and a hollowed out volcano is home to a mostly dwarvish city.

North of the far eastern edge of the Evercrest mountain range, sandwiched between it and the Sidways, is Vakh’antarr, a large deciduous forest. This forest covers the southeastern coast. It is the only place in the world where mu’lmouk trees, trees that become large enough for dragons to roost in. Their bark is dark red, their sap bioluminescent, and they are worshipped by the Native drow tribes as containing their ancestors.

On the other side of the Bemol Plains, a cold and arid steppe, is the Mmiri marshland lining the southwestern coast, which is notoriously frigid.  At the northern border of the Sidways and to the east of Altshof lies the Apiti swamp. This large wetland is home to the indigenous drow tribes of Alluum, as well as all manner of interesting flora and fauna. Lake Obere, named for a lake god, sits at the Western border of this swamp and is dotted with small forests on its other borders. This lake and the Apiti are both fed by the larger Lake Agwo the the west. Agwo is named for the drow tribe that calls the eastern shore its home.

The Scarlet River, fed by Lake Obere, creates the Red Delta and empties into the Scarlet Strait. The Scarlet Strait separates Alluum from Copun. Both delta and strait get their names from the acha uhie uhie algae that blooms here during the summer months that turns the water red. In the winter months, the water is clear enough to see to the bottom, which is covered in red plant life, along with red arthropods, fish and snails.

North of Altshof, covering the Northwestern coast, is the Airim Glade, the largest single forest on Alluum. It is deciduous, home to many strange red sandstone rock formations that draw rock climbers from around the world. Heavy foliage grows on nearly every surface despite the difficult shapes. Some drow tribes call this area home along with several dragon species. This area is of scientific interest—full of societal ruins and fossils of extinct animals.

To the west of the Sidways lies the Gulf of Alluum. It is home to the island of Menak. Alluum’s landmass is also supplemented by the jagged Dragon’s Teeth archipelago to the south. The islands of the Teeth are frozen most of the year, though hardy cold resistant vegetation dominates here. The large, barren island of Rhoncus sits off the northeast coast. Separated from the mainland by the Last Pass strait, Rhoncus originally belonged to Anbri but was taken at the conclusion of the Anbrian Crisis. It has some settlements but nothing of note. It is a steppe environment. The Pass is named for the treacherous waters. The sea floor of the is covered in the jagged peaks of underwater mountains, which are exposed at low tide.

Most natural areas are maintained and protected by the wardens and very few are approved for resource gathering.

Native Population and Andzkin

The most notable population on Alluum is that of the dragons. Alluum is home to the largest variety of species and as such, has adapted its culture to engage with dragons in ways the rest of the world has not. Along with the sensitive and territorial reptiles that stalk the mainland and islands of Alluum, the large dragon presence has encouraged Alluum to keep its pollution to a minimum and compact their cities into small spaces. Alluum has focused its humanoid population to the two megacities of Altshof and Xidwin, and consequently has built towering skyscrapers in each. Wild and tame dragons alike are able to nest in the cities and are welcome there. It's not out of place to see a dragon flying alongside the hovercraft of the cities when you come to Alluum.

There is a smattering of villages beyond these two cities, but these are generally very careful and integrated with the surrounding environment. The whole country is in-tune with nature and with the dragons. However, in the midst of the necromancer rebellion a century ago, many villages in the countryside were abandoned in a mass population exodus to the cities. To date, most have not been repopulated. There are less than 50 recorded settled villages, and around 500 villages have been listed as totally destroyed. There are a few villages across Alluum that are still inhabited and they are generally stuck in the Modern Era with cars and coal furnaces to heat their homes. Elves in particular enjoy living in villages, although any species can be found in a village on any given day.

Dragons

Many dragon species call Alluum home or else spend a great deal of time around the continent. This is due to a largely pristine environment and a favorable culture. Many dragons roost in the towering cities, which the architecture is built to accommodate. Evercrest Academy and thus the surrounding mountains are known for the presence of whispers, teleios, archangels, landvaettirs, asparas, eodai, jafari, and skavos. Liches and zaire are also native to Alluum.

Government and History

Alluum is a traditional monarchy, currently headed by King Jesse XVII and Queen Asabel II. They maintain a small standing force of royal soldiers. However, much of the real force of the country’s might is the Evercrest Academy dragon riders, whose military might rivals the standing army. Their position as enforcers and icons of power give the dragon riders and especially the class heads of Evercrest great political influence, on par with the royals themselves in some cases.

The royal family to date does not include any dragon riders, but they work closely with them in order to ensure the wellbeing of Alluum and serve their self-appointed role as protectors and defenders across all of Alksheist. While they work for diplomatic solutions first, it is no secret that the power of Evercrest’s most dangerous andzkin pairs is on a level with the military of other countries. The mere act of sending a dragon rider to another country to enact a mission is a show of the kind of force Alluum wields.

Alluum is thus a politically and militarily aggressive country, the only one with a standing dragon force due to having both the means and the dragon population. Evercrest is therefore the only place on Alksheist that trains dragon riders. Those not born in Alluum have been known to immigrate in order to find their own andzkin and learn to work with them. The prestige and class bestowed by the title of dragon rider is also in the minds of hopefuls. Once accepted into a class and paired with a dragon, the dragon riders have a long, successful future ahead of them as the top citizens of Alluum. They have prestige and are extremely skilled in the specialties of their class.

Local government is handled on the level of cities. Most areas of humanoid colonization are isolated from one another by miles of tundra or large mountain ranges and inter regional cooperation is usually unwarranted; there is thus a political gap between different regions, with each village or city having its own political and legal culture. There exists a gulf between the royal government and the one that handles day-to-day affairs as well, though most cities follow the edicts of the highest level without much fuss. City level officials are popularly elected individuals who hold office for terms of variable length, depending on the population and needs of the area.

Several indigenous tribes call the Apiti swampland home, eschewing most modern conveniences for the traditional forms of livelihood and government their tribes to which their tribes lay claim. Most trade is internal or between tribes. Outside contact with larger Alluumnian government or population is uncommon. Altshof receives the most communication and trade of that which occurs.

Relations with Other Countries

It is widely accepted that Alluum is the birthplace of the modern humanoid form. As a result of this and high immigration rates, Alluum has a large variety of races and cultures within its borders. The permissive and divisive political climate has lead to outright war between districts and regions occasionally. Nobility no longer holds the political importance it once had; however their impact on the modern era exacerbated cultural and political differences between regions in the modern era.

Its political and military aggression is most evident in its relationship with other countries. Alluum is widely acknowledged as the originator of nuclear warfare and, although weapons of mass destruction have since been outlawed, the still hold the most raw power in terms of draft pool, technology, advancements in magical combat, and of course dragon riders. Alluum has been the aggressor in many conflicts over geographic resources.

Their history has left them on cool terms with most nations. The friendliest of Alluum’s allies are Tatu, Copun, Egivelyn, and Oudnavi. Copun has had little reason to war with Alluum while Tatu has maintained its social and cultural importance throughout its history. Relations with Anbri are decidedly less cordial, but their proximity has led to many successful partnerships despite social and political disagreements. Seville was once an Alluumnian ally but its current state has weakened most economic and social ties to the country.

Lexelle’s relations with Alluum are more heated, with a violent past full of warfare and bad blood. The native mermaids of Lexelle are seen as capricious and conniving, and their habit of kidnapping Alluumnian men (and other genders, though far less often) is not met with amusement. Trade deals bringing in candies and foreign fruits are likely the reason Alluum maintains ties to this country. Dragon riders are generally the only ones making contact with Lexellian officials.

As with many nations, Alluum censures Zann for its actions. Seville was once an ally of Alluum’s but it’s current state renders their partnership moot. Kaimo, under assault as it is, is seen as a No Man’s Land with which treaties are impossible without causing relations to Zann become even less friendly. Alluum officially has a non-interference policy towards Kaimo; the Evercrest dragon riders still render aid and volunteer teams of Alluumnian citizens are not a rare sight there.

Culture

Alluum is principally laissez-faire toward social constructs. Households are generally nuclear, with two parents and children, though more spouses are not uncommon. Biologically producing children is seen as the lesser option to adopting children, and the divide between the rich and the poor is clearly seen here. The rich, and thus cultural producers, take the view that the poor should not be having children. However, there are no laws to curtail birth rates.

There is a code of laws signed by the monarchs that supposedly regulates social behaviors, but they are far less enforced than those that regulate industry and international commerce. Dragon trafficking, humanoid trafficking, arms dealing, and rape are seen as the most prosecutable offenses, in order of severity. Murder is a dubious topic as there are circumstances where the taking of a life is legal. These include honorable duels and the activities of the eraser class in Evercrest.

Xidwin is a hub of cultural production, the site of high fashion and modern art. Alluum produces much of the world’s movies and video series.

Language and Culture

Alluumnian is an intensely tonal language that is more sung than spoken. As pitch changes, the same sound can become a variety of different words or morphemes.  Tone is distinguished by pitch relative to that of other spoken words. This is known as a register, and it can vary subtly depending on context. Alluumnian has 16 base pitches, and several hundred combined tonemes that make up the majority of words. Combined with a lack of diversity in available sounds, complex grammatical structure and nuanced tonal cues, the Alluumnian language is considered the second most difficult to learn. This is unfortunate for the many nations and people that do business with Alluum.

As a result of its tonal nature, Alluumnian music is mostly “spoken” word poetry or crafted nonsense, created to sound pretty but functionally meaningless. In some cases, a word can be sung with the wrong tonality if the context is clear, but most Alluumnians would find it strange and jarring.

Religion in Alluum

Alluum has no official religion, though the monarchy supports the Church of Alluum. Polytheistic religions from before the creation of the Church still hold large swathes of the population. There are a few spirit-based cults that have survived long enough to be consider major religions, as well. The country has no prohibition on religious practices and the culture is tolerant to all. Traditional temples are built underground, extending toward the center of the planet rather than up to the sky. Simple shrines can be constructed in a home for daily worship.

Education

Private schools are often divided along lines of magical humanoids and non-magical humanoids on the idea that each requires specialized education. Public schools cater to all humanoids but only provide basic education opportunities. There are secondary schools and universities for advancing education, including the legendary Evercrest Academy. These schools tend to be tuition based, however.

While school attendance is legally mandated, there is no enforcement of this as with many Alluumnian laws.  

Flag

The Allumnian flag bears the royal coat of arms, a clear image of a dragon upon shield, sitting in a gold and red background. Gold represents ambitious intentions and red represents military strength. The coat of arms bears a dragon, representing the importance of dragons to the country and their place as the strength of the royal family. The Shield the dragon rests against is the honor of the nation. The laurel encircling the shield is the desire for peace and respect for the environment, while the swords breaking the line represent a willingness to use force to ensure peace and honor.

Economy

Main Industries: Electronics, services, luxury goods, seafood
Main Exports: Eco-friendly technology, cultural products (holovids, music, etc.)
Main Imports: Precious metals, raw materials
Alluumnian food industry relies on ecologically sound fishing in both the surrounding seas and the large lakes within their territory. Farming is usually personal, confined to a village or a hydroponics bay within a building–traditional farming is seen as too dangerous to the environment. Alluum’s technology and culture make it the principal exporter of cultural products in hologram movies, music, and literature. There is a rather large film industry based in Xidwin that attracts actors from all over the planet.

Technology

Alluum culture doesn’t encourage hard work as a virtue, and laziness is not necessarily seen as a sin. Although industry can be a good thing, it is the economy of one’s actions that truly matter here. Two birds with one stone is the general consensus. Hard work without significant reward is seen as a fool’s errand, to put it politely.

As such industry relies more on the rare types that focus on specialty and create breakthroughs. Technology can continue on the same level for hundreds of years before the breakthrough of a dedicated team or scientist rockets it up. The combination of a large amount of free time and the long lifetimes of many residents, however, have produced an environment where specialists can gather the skills necessary to create those breakthroughs without relying on a scientific infrastructure. Alluum has some of the most advanced technology on the planet, but it is not Earth standard, per se.

In Altsof and Xidwin, architectural technology has advanced to allow towering skyscrapers of several hundred feet to reach towards the skies. These vertical cities also use hovercraft transportation in order to move about. Everything is powered by wind turbines at the top of tall buildings and solar panel glass windows. Each building generates its own power.

Alluum is also the birthplace of 3D hologram technology, which has lead to innovations such as holographic videos and movies (holovids). Computer technology is grid based; there are no satellites. While buildings have their own wireless connections and there are city-wide systems analogous to the Internet, these systems are closed and do not communicate with each other. Phones are similarly limited to cities. The interfaces are clean and user-friendly despite their shortcomings and are useful for short-range communication and information storage.

Beyond the main hubs, the villages of Alluum sport the same eco-friendly energy gathering strategies but few of the other technological advancements. Holovision is infrequently seen and bought as insertable discs in installments. If a series is finished, it can usually fit on one disc, but is not usually produced as a volume until it is finished. Technology is generally spurned by the many drow and elf tribes across Alluum who prefer a more traditional life. They utilize traditional architecture, generally building into the earth in hills or caves. Dwarven holdout cities have around the same level of technology as the major cities.