May 2011 Challenge Entry - Saythen Empire
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This world as a whole is in the Bronze Age, although many less advanced areas are still using late Stone Age tools, and there might be one or two gifted areas experimenting with iron technology. The societies discussed here are roughly the equivalent of the Akkadian and Sumerian empires in 27-2300 BCE. Many areas between the cities are still wilderness, and the country boundaries represent the approximate areas actually controlled, rather than the modern-day method of claiming any and all land available, even if useless or hazardous. (Note that this doesn't mean the rulers don't have titles implying rulership of various far-flung lands. This is a habit rulers of these lands share with Earthly leaders.)
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Saythen Empire:The city of Sayth sits at the confluence of two major rivers, where the Falohani joins the Yawan. It lies roughly 100 miles inland from the coast, which spares it from the worst of the ravages from the aptly-named Sea of Storms. The city of Phaen has long been under the sway of Sayth, and a recent invasion has added the cities of Iardi and Kinar and the lands around the river Letusi to their Empire. This has put them into conflict with Iarti's former rival Turma, which has taken the opportunity to expand their territory at Iarti's expense.
The Serescrub Hills are sparsely populated due to the difficulty in farming the steep hills and slopes, and the ever-present danger of brushfire. Many dangerous and fell beasts roam the Hills as well, making even travel through them a hazardous proposal at best. And above and beyond the Hills, at the very edge of this map, lies a large arid expanse of mountainous terrain, meaning that even if one were inclined to brave the Hills, there would be very little reason to attempt the journey in the first place.