Before the Atelon from the arc formed by the foothills of the and Mountains to the coast and north to the valley. Like any climax forest, the forest floor was dark and generally devoid of vegetation. The canopy was formed by mature plants, with a straight branch-less trunk reaching to a height of 30 meters. At maturity, a tree’s trunk could be up to 1 meter in diameter at the base, tapering slightly to its canopy. The canopy was made up of fronds extending from the crown of a tree in all directions for a distance of several meters. The fronds were greenish black and the trunk was a reddish brown in color. The death or destruction of a tree would open up the forest floor and permit the growth of low broadleaf shrubs. These would stunt and then shrink back as trees gradually reclaimed the light space., a primeval temperate forest covered the lands of western
The forest was cleared by the L'npei following the ; and then reclaimed by the , settlement by settlement as their power expanded during . Following the , the Keshdumah state of Great Road aggressively cleared and settled the forest lands on its eastern frontier, shrinking the forest which is now known as the Banakur to its current size.; occupied by the
Geography of the Banakur
The Banakur Forest is a wild and rugged area. Thevalley, which runs through the forest is narrow and rimmed with bluffs.
In the western part of the forest occupied by, the land falls sharply from the into a valley before leveling out into the . The land drops steeply again into the valley and then climbs up the east bank of the Vari into sharply broken lands that gradually transition to rolling hills near the forest’s eastern edge.
This landscape continues through the area occupied by Dunsta River. Within Magira, the valley narrows and the bluffs become more steep. The land opens up at the confluence of the and rivers and then resumes its steep, narrow character.almost as far north as the
Near the Dunsta, in the Gens Tamroti lands, the character of the landscape changes dramatically. The valley opens up and, once past the bluffs bordering it drop down to a few dozen meters above the valley floor. To the west, the hill country recedes and is gently and easily traversed throughout. To the east, the land continues to be hilly and broken, but the relief is less extreme.
The forest itself engulfs the lands to its center. In some places, the forest is less than 225 km wide, in others, more than 500 km. In all cases, the forest floor is open but dark, gloomy and foreboding. In the east, the forest engulfs the hills of the Great Road and . To the west and south lie the Gornarod highlands controlled by and Gradec Working. North of the forest are the Rapani lands of Selka.of
The Great Road Councilate part of the Banakur is a gently rolling area, which becomes more rugged as it approaches the valley. Most of the less desirable land west of Abarsha and is still forested with small and isolated settlements. Farmsteads are planted near to the settlements and are fortified to withstand L'npei raiders as well as roving bands of .
The northwestern fringe of the Banakur climbs to the highland ridge which forms theof . Jerhez has fortified this border to intercept bands of that occasionally wander here in search of an easy meal.
Rivers of the Banakur
The Banakur Genslands are dominated by the , which flows from south to north through the middle of the lowlands they occupy. Many tributaries of the Vari begin in the to the west. Many others flow from the east, out of the well watered plains of the Great Road and Councilates.
The headwaters of thelie west of the , far beyond the southern edge of Banakur Forest.
From north to south, the main tributaries of thewithin the Banakur Forest are:
- The that flows for almost 400 km from deep within the lands through the eastern Banakur Forest and into the Vari, approximately 120 km north of the .
- The Gens Tamroti. flows 250 km east from forest edge to join the Vari 130 km inside the lands of
- The Dunsta River flows 250 km east through the forest, joining the Vari 60 km south of the Orsha.
- The flows 50 km west through the forest into the Vari at a point 130 km inside the .
- The begins in the eastern Banakur, flowing 290 km to reach the Vari just 60 km south of the southern mouth of the Simy Kas.
- The flows 180 km east until it reaches the Vari 60 km south of the Dobavar.
- The flows west 106 km, joining the Vari in , 210 km south of the mouth of the .
- The begins deep in the southern Banakur, flowing east for over 580 km, joining the Vari at the southern edge of the , 237 km south of the Lestar.
Peoples of the Banakur
They are the sole surviving L’npei Tamroti, and settled along the river and allowed the forest to grow back in the hill country to the west.of the . When L’npei arrived at the , the forest had been cleared as far as the . The Gens of
Later, as Tamroti also abandoned their pastures on their northern border with and allowed the forest to grow back. This further increased their isolation from destruction.began to engulf , the Gens living along the abandoned their pastures on the eastern bank of the river and the forest returned there as well. Eventually the
At the present, the Banakur Forest entirely surrounds the Banakur Gens.that are inhabited by the
Tamroti is the northernmost of the three Banakur Forest Gens, encompassing 58,000 km² in the upper part of the wide valley of the . Tamroti is geographically part of the open lowlands occupied by the Rapani but is separated from them by the barrier of the Banakur.
Tamroti’s administrative center, is located on the , just a few kilometers north of the Dunsta River. It has less than 6,000 inhabitants, and is little more than a permanent campground, surrounding a few poor structures of wood and mudbrick. Overall, Tamroti has about 292,000 inhabitants.
Ssmall villages are scattered along the herding routes, providing bare necessities and simple entertainments for the nomadic bands.
The Gornarod of the
The Gradec Working maintains a trading post, named , on the Dunsta, inside the Banakur at the edge of the Gens Tamroti lands. There is a permanent camp near the Fort, with a population of fewer than 1,000 occupants. Merchants from Gradec travel down the Dunsta from the to Fort Tamroti to trade Gornarod metal objects for leather and wooden goods and forest products. From Fort Tamroti, independent traders and peddlers make their way to and from there, up the to the administrative centers of the other two Gens; and .
Gradec also has 34 along the Dunsta River. These stations are roughly 20 km apart and extend through the Banakur Forest to . They are similar in design to the stations along the except that each has a protected dock for the watercraft used by merchants on the .
also borders the Banakur Forest, which reaches to Jerhez’s eastern edge. Jerhez maintains posts along the forest’s edge to intercept raiders.
The Selka Fifth Rhyde patrols deep into the Banakur Forest. They raid settlements, protect the Banakur Gens from raiders and serve as a picket line to provide early warning of substantial military incursions.
The Frontier States of the
Great Road Councilate borders the Banakur Forest and is among the most recently settled. Great Road is one of the larger states, with an area of 480,000 km². The great majority of the land is rolling hill country, but about one-fifth is river valley, primarily in the west. The lands along the Banakur frontier are smallholdings, engaged in subsistence farming.
Great Road is rectangular in shape, bounded on the north by the , on the west by the , on the south by the and the on the east. Its eastern half is in the and the west is in the .
Great Road has a population of 4,786,000, of which 310,000 live in the major cities. Another 150,000 live in smaller cities and large towns.