The Lands Beyond

 

 

Ruler: No specific ruler, several assorted warlords own territory

Residents: Mostly Zebra and Gryphons, with some ponies, approximate overall population is 4.3 Million creatures, not counting monsters.

Location: Starting from Mild West's western border, and stretches west and north to the oceans, while continuing south until the Broken Laylands.

 

General Information:

The Lands Beyond are a massive patch of land far to the west, consisting mostly of cloud-forests, cool deserts at the western bases of those mountains, and hot savannahs surrounding. There's also a small area to the north that's mostly winterly wastelands. Life in the Lands Beyond is mostly tribal or village based, and generally the sapient population consists of zebras and gryphons, with a few small but concentrated groups of ponies. The Lands Beyond is a very dangerous and rough place to live, but is ruled by no one aside from the various warlords that own territories, so it's a great place if someone wanted to live the free life for a while. It's somewhat isolated, so Equestria is barely known at all there. In fact, they celebrate their free and isolated existence, and it is customary to refer to the area as the Lands Within when inside them, instead of the Lands Beyond, which is only used outside of it.

 

Of note is that there are very few valuable resources in the Lands Beyond. Only small pockets of gems and precious metals exist, even in the mountain ranges, and the land there isn't particularly fertile, save for one area that is particularly hard to access.

 

Specific Areas:

The Golden Plain: A massive savannah stretching from the Mild West's border to the first mountain range to the west, and ceasing before the Cursed Salt Plains. Population there is sparse, and spread far apart, mostly left to the zebra, though there are one or two towns containing ponies. In general, they live in peace with one another, though the two local warlords, Sarabi and Flicker, do cause their fair share of trouble. Despite their constant bickering, it's well known that the two are actually good friends, and any real conflict in this area is most often caused by outsiders from the Mild West, or roving bands from the Northern Wastes.

 

The Inland Sea: A massive lake, so far one can't see across it. This area is often used as a neutral meeting ground, to solve disputes peacefully between warlords. There is an artificial island, made by packed dirt and stone, with a summit hall used only when there is a threat to the security and peace of the Lands Beyond. In this Area, mostly ponies live, as it's the most comfortable, safe, and fertile lands. Their settling there hasn't gone unchallenged by the other races, but because of the fact that open aggression is not allowed in the Inland Sea, they've been mostly safe from raids, save for one by the mad Warlord Botwani five years in the past. There are no actual warlords that reside in this area, befitting its neutral nature, though it is the only place in the Lands Beyond with anything resembling an official standing army. Surrounded by mountain ranges, all with myriad dangers, the Inland Sea is very hard to get in or out of, resulting in the population's large amount of ignorance of the outside world.

 

The Northern Wastes: Exactly as it sounds, this area covers the northern mountain range, and continues to the ocean, stopping in the east to give way to the equally inhospitable salt flats. The Northern Wastes are roamed by nomadic tribes of gryphons, which adhere to a Norse-like culture. Fierce warriors, they find honor in fighting itself, and their raids against other tribes, or into the Verdant Peaks and Golden Plains are mostly for this misplaced honor, not material gain. There are three warlords, all constantly in conflict with one another: Sverrir Ox (Wild Axe), Loki, and Silver Wing. The latter is a pegasus, but has gained great respect amongst gryphons for his ferocity in a fight, and cool-headed leadership outside of it.

 

Snow Sands: The area reaching from the western mountain range to the west coast is a cool desert, and is considered the most inhospitable place to live by most of the Lands Beyond. However, despite the fact that little rain touches it, and how bitterly cold it gets at night, there are oases, and around them, towns and even cities, quite possibly the largest settlements in the Lands Beyond. The Snow Sands are also the most diverse area because of said cities, with Zebra, Gryphons, and Ponies living together in highly mixed populations. Their warlords, Kamaria, Nuru, and Stone Terrace, are all female, and aside from Stone Terrace, all zebra. They're known for their harsh, strict rule, which are necessary to keep order in an environment where the slightest misstep could cause an oasis to go barren, dooming an entire town or city to dissolution. Their efforts in keeping the law also makes the Snow Sands mostly safe from bandits and raiders. Their relationships with each other are peaceful on the surface, yet terse and passive-aggressive, and a political game brews between them that allows only the brightest and most skilled of citizens to find true success.

 

The Verdant Peaks: The cloud forests that cover both the eastern and western mountain ranges, plus the southernmost peaks of the northern range, are referred to as the Verdant Peaks. Thanks to their high elevation, there are very few predators in these jungles, and thus the gryphon and zebra living there have nothing to fear... Aside from each other, that is. Both populations are very xenophobic in a land already known for its xenophobia, and outsides to the Verdant Peaks are often in great danger, facing trials ranging from pranks both benign and cruel, to outright being attacked. However, the tribes know each other, and true aggression is most often only used against outsiders in the case of them not understanding that they aren't wanted there, both populations preferring to warn/scare off intruders. There are three warlords in the area: Tufara, a zebra who owns the western range, Baldurburr, a gryphon who rules the Northern Range, and Astridr, a gryphon who presides over the eastern range. Balderburr in particular has a hard time of it, as he is constantly beset by raiders from the north, and the other two warlords in the Verdant Peaks.

 

Culture:

Culture in the Lands Beyond is greatly varied, but all races have some things in common: They promote only the toughest, smartest, or most crafty. They mistrust outsiders from other nations, believing they might be spying in order to take over, though the notion is absurd to any other nation, as the Lands Beyond simply have nothing of value to make an invasion even remotely worth it. The large amount of conflict and intrigue present in the Lands Beyond make living there somewhat stressful, and even as outsiders are distrusted, they're considered soft and weak by the denizens of this land.