Lands of Kaius
The Lands of Kaius have no official borders, aside from the ones set from their southern neighbors. The Kaian region occupies the northernmost reaches of Kalesten. At the northern tip of Kalesten is the Kaius Mountains, where the namesake dragon makes his home. The Kaius Mountains follow along the northern shore, the furthest reaches of which enter the arctic circle.
At the foot of the mountains, the land opens up into vast steppes, though the east and west coasts, as well as the mountains themselves, are densely forested. A number of rivers and streams run down from the mountain source and into the Green Sea several hundred miles south, most notably the Tonnum, Quathery, and Velemray Rivers which run together into a much wider river, the Lyteus, which empties into the Green Sea itself. The only true city of the Kaians, Oni’kel, is located in between the Quathery and Velemray Rivers, some fifty miles before they join into the Lyteus.
To the east of the Lyteus, there is a wide band of largely unclaimed land referred to as the Neutral Zone, left untouched by the southern nations because of the threat of Kaius raiders, and by the Kaians because it ranges a little further than their normal nomadic wanderings. The Neutral Zone acts as a buffer between the nations to the south and the Kaius people. To the west of the river, sandwiched between the Lyteus and the coast, is the nation of Samonight, which has its roots in Kaian and Kalestan cultures.
Four main regions make up the Lands of Kaius for the people; the west coast, the steppes, the riverlands, and the mountains. The mountains are considered the heart of the nation, as that is where Kaius resides. Few people, aside from the dragon priests who attend to Kaius’ whims, live in these mountains. However, when Kaius awakens from his hibernation every seven years, chieftains from each tribe trek across the land to pay tribute to their dragon-god.
The riverlands lay to the south of the mountains where the rivers sourced there flow into. It is the most fertile land of the region and is where Kaians do their large-scale agriculture. Residences here are permanent homes, arranged in small villages, most of which are populated by a single clan. Oni’kel is the commerce hub of the nation. Goods from across the lands of Kaius are shipped down the Lyteus to the Green Sea where they are sold to Samonight, Kalestine, and Kosony.
The steppes are open land of rolling hills. It is said that the reason this region is deforested is because of Kaius’ brother Shurra, who razed the land. The grass took over and herd animals moved in. Kaians in this region are nomadic and subsist on a hunter-gather lifestyle.
While there is an eastern coast to the Lands of Kaius, the rivers lie closer to the east, thus making it a part of the riverlands. The west coast is still heavily forested, but most of the people here live near the shoreline and subsist on small-scale farming and large-scale fishing, along with some hunting for game.