North of Silg and Mul Debbon there is the Garic Sea. A tumultuous waterway, full of great winds, leviathans, and all manner of dangerous and wild magic. And in that sea, nestled on the northern most regions where man and beast and elves dare go, is a great and varied number of islands. They are called Tandavar, from the old tongue, meaning lands of birth. For in these lands, the legends of men claim their natal home, and all wild magic is also believed to have been borne from the belly of this region on the charts of the Alteris.
In times long past men came to the lands south, and peopled the regions of Alteris with many kingdoms. But there are, in the islands of Tandavar, people who have called it their home since time immemorial. They hold no kinship with those of the Kingdoms of Alteris. It is for this reason they are often called barbarians. This is not to say they are without civilized manner. Neither is it to distinguish them as lesser, though many would make this claim. The naming of these clans as barbarians derives from the ancient use of the word, meaning simply people of a community or tribe not belonging to one of the Great Kingdoms of Alteris.
Tandavar has hundreds of islands of varying size, and the exact number of of islands is a matter of debate. Some even claim that the lands appear and vanish from time to time, leaving many sailors and would be explorers wary of the region. These reports are unsubstantiated, however. There have also been islands discovered farther to the east, near the northern coasts of Udai, that are referred to as part of the Tandavaran Archipelago. And on nearly all the islands found throughout the archipelago, a community of the barbarian clans can be found.
Each of these clans have some similarities. They are all sea faring people, with great understanding of their waterways and the dangers therein. They hold traditions and beliefs in gods not found elsewhere in Alteris. And they do not like outsiders interfering with their business. Few people have had interactions with the natives of Tandavar without conflict. Generally, the barbarian clans of Tandavar are viewed as a warlike people, driven by conquest even among themselves, their warbands often sailing against neighboring clans for their wealth and resources.
There have been several recorded instances of these clans sailing outside their archipelago, and making landfall in Alteris to wage war. Once, a clan lead by one calling himself Godking Angren actually made a serious effort in conquering Mul Debbon. Nearly half the nation was ransacked before the final battle left the armies of both the Debbonese and the Godking completely laid waste, with Angren and the Debbonese ruler amongst the dead. Since this invasion, the navies of Alteris have kept tighter control of their northern borders.
In times of antiquity, the ancient kingdoms of what is now the Udai Empire also had colonies in the land Tandavar. Over the centuries of war and intrigue that lead up to the eventual unification of Udai under a single flag, those colonies fell to disrepair, either being abandoned, or conquered by the native barbarian tribes, leaving only ruins of the fledging villages now scoured beneath vines and time. In the last fifty years, however, Udai has once again sent colonials to take up residence on those islands. The current capital of the Udai colonies in Tandavar is Onsen, a smaller island farther east on the archipelagos reaches.
There are also many ruins of civilizations long forgotten in Tandavar. There simply are no records of who they were, or where they went; all that remains are the stone and rubble of their ancient homes. Archeological societies have spent decades researching these ruins, and have determined they date back before the end of the Dragon Wars, but little more than that can be determined. Many believe these societies were humanity in their infancy, during the time when they lived among their dragon gods in peace. Many of the ruins are considered highly dangerous, as ancient magic still protects these keeps from would be thieves.
No nation of Alteris has any claim on Tandavar as a territory, however. Even the colonies of Udai, while financed and supported by their motherland, are considered independent. There has been no official decree among the nations preventing these lands from being annexed; their collective decision to not lay claim to them, however, is influenced by the Request of Alkanet, a treaty pinned after the death of the dark magician Hybris at the beginning of the current calendar. As the land Tandavar was the natal land of Alkanet, each nation lets the archipelago remain a land unfettered by their flags. It has thus become a land of opportunity for many people who seek a place to begin anew.
This does not exclude Tandavar from the foibles of the mainland, however. Criminal syndicates, pirate fleets, and many other unsavory sorts use the autonomy of Tandavar to shield themselves from the governments of Alteris. The need for order in Tandavar was one of the main reasons for the foundation of the Warrior’s Union. This union is a collection of trained combatants, of many nations, who form a military corps with the purpose of keeping Tandavar free and safe. Founded in the year 175 M.E. on the island of Tandavar by Wei Shinzo, a master warrior in his own right, the Warrior’s Union has maintained peace through countless conflicts in the past centuries. But the story of the Warrior’s Union is a tale for another time.
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