Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Baix Pallars

Far to the southeast of the main Terrasan lands is the little country of Baix Pallars.  Nestled in the hilly land between the southerly cool lodgepole and cedar dominated Follà Forest, the Nijat River, the Azar Shahr mountains, and the Sahir savannah, Baix Pallars is an island of Terrasan colonial culture amidst pristine wilderness and encroaching Qazmiri interests.  Like Calça, the so-called "lost province", Baix Pallars has been abandoned by a Terrasan administration unable to cope with colonial holdings so far away from the center of gravity of an increasingly ponderous realm.  However, rather than being so remote as to be virtually unthreatened by any outside power, as Calça is, Baix Pallars is smack-dab in the path of expanding al-Qazmiri interests, and has it's back to a wilderness wall with al-Qazmir breathing right in its face as it is.  While jann are still rare in this area, culturally Qazmiri humans are common, and many of the names of local features are more commonly given in Qazmiri than in their Terrasan forms, and the bustling river town of Qaserun is nearby--and nearly as populous as all of the scattered villages and hamlets of Baix Pallars in their entirety.

Many of the Terrasans of Baix Pallars don't really care; Terrasa has abandoned them--mostly for the best--they add, and they're far enough away from any major Qazmiri administrative center that their is little expectation of a heavy hand if they decide to annex the hilly region.  But others find the very notion of a Qazmiri yoke intolerable, and these have increasingly been stirred up by radical and desperate elements.  Some of them have taken to preemptive guerilla strikes, ignoring the advice of others who suggest that their actions are more likely to cause the Qazmiri to pacify the region rather than prevent it.  Others are increasingly fleeing deeper into the mountains or the forest, as small groups of families or friends.

And others are turning to dark powers.  Entire hamlets and villages have turned to the worship of Hastur, Nergal, Iog-Sotôt or others, and frightening and disturbing occult activity has turned Baix Pallars into a hotbed of seething intrigue, sacrifices or worse.  Savvy travelers have started avoiding the area entirely, and lone travelers frequently go in but fail to come out.  This has hastened the flight of the decent and respectable members of the area into the picturesque mountains or forests, which hastens the fall of Baix Pallars itself into complete degeneracy.

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