A vast, largely untamed landscape on the Western side of the Vangaard Basin. Home to Vangaard's Anthrofolk, trying to find their place in the world, whether that be to assimilate, or push back.
Population: 1.2 Million, with a wide variety of anthro-humanoids that make up about 70% of the population. The remainder are various humanoids that have come to settle of their own volition, or as part of a plantation.
Government: A Tribal Council, where each "Pack", being a group of one specific anthro-species, elect an Alpha, or a chief in order to come to decisions as a group. This council is known as The Summit
Culture: A wide variety of anthro-tribes that, while once at war, are now all allied in a pact to ensure the survival of their collective peoples. While likely one of the oldest groups on the continent, years of fighting amongst themselves, and being cut off from Vangaards other cultures, has left them a bit behind on the developmental scale. Similar to Native American tribes, a historied people are faced with the decision to adapt, or get swept away by more technologically advanced powers.
Commerce: Lumber, Leather/Hides, Agriculture, Land.
Defence: Very little in terms of traditional defence, however, much of the land in The Packlands is wildly unfamiliar to outsiders, and the majority of people are skilled in a survivalist nature. Guerrilla warfare is the name of the game here, and in times past, tribes have defeated overwhelming forces due to better knowledge of the lands.
Prime Deity: Shalkali, Arborati.
Important Organisations: The Summit, Liquid Gold Oil Co, Druid Circles, Calloway Travel and Freight.
Language: Common and Anthro, a sort of pidgin language, that combines dialects and verbiage from many of the original tribal languages.
Hallmarks: Strong sense of community, lower levels of technology, preference of barter over currency based trade.
Fashion: In The Packlands, it's less about displaying wealth or status, and more about making sure that everything is put to good use. In the day, many will wear outfits of light cloth as their fur and tough hides do plenty to keep them warm, especially in the desert heat. At night, depending on who you encounter, you might find that some will wear cloaks and ponchos, fashioned from their fur and hides from their ancestors, a sacred tradition that many outsiders look upon with utter bafflement.
Interesting Things About The Packlands:
Some of The Packlands is still undiscovered. As the native peoples never really felt that they had to take more than they needed, much of the land has been untouched by any sort of attempt at settlement. This means that there's a keen interest from outsiders to explore the lands and uncover some of its mysteries, and potentially lucrative resources.
Ancestral pride is something that the tribes of the Packlands hold dear. Additionally, the fact that their own hides are massively versatile, valuable, and practical is not at all lost on them. Much to the disbelief, and often shock of outsiders who are not familiar with the custom, when the elder folk in a community die, they are embalmed, and their hides are prepared into pieces to be added to their successors cloaks. These are treasured possessions amongst the anthro-folk, are considered heirlooms amongst their families, and it is a great honour to be assimilated into someone's cloak.
As technology is limited in The Packlands, some of their greatest assets in the ever developing world, is their land itself. Land is sold to corporations, and other nations, so that they may expand into the west, in order to get a foothold on this side of the continent for a number of reasons, or to open up paths for trade.
Geography: The land here is largely untamed, and is massively varied. Think the southern quarter of the US, where there are blistering deserts, unforgiving swamps, clammy bayous, dense jungle, rolling plains, tall mountains, winding canyons, and everything in between.
The Packlands are a nation comprised of 12 allied tribes, all of whom are led by an Alpha, or a Chief, who all meet on a monthly basis, under the full moon, in order to plan and make decisions on how to govern. Each of this tribes were initially associated with a specific species of Anthro-humanoid, and also due to their close ties to, respect of, and co-operation with the lands that they inhabit, a specific druid circle. All of the communities and townships that exist within The Packlands have grown as part of the initial founding of druid circles in each of their respective regions. All of the druid circles are represented in the Packlands, save for the Circle of the Underdark, at least on an official level. The Circles and druids themselves are guarded closely by people who devote their lives to the protection of the druids, and the sanctity of the circles.
The nation as a whole is in a constant battle with their identity, torn between their cultural heritage and holding on to it, or to move more quickly with the times, so that they are not left behind. Traditionally, Packlanders are one with the land they inhabit, and do their best to only take what they need, when they need it, and to ensure that everything is used for purpose. This is to ensure that the bounties the world has provided are not squandered, misused, or bled dry. On the other hand, in order to move forward, and keep up with the other countries, they would need to step away from this and engage in behaviour that they would consider exploitation of the land. As a Packlander would like to approach their needs, they would hunt only when they were out of food, ensuring that all of the meat and hides were used, log trees as and when they need firewood, tools or shelter, etc. As time moves forward, they are seeing that to become in any way competitive and stop their lands from being taken by force, they will likely be pushed to take a lot more than they need.
While the lands they call home are liable to be taken by force, they also recognise the value of the land itself, and it's advantages in commercial instances. While they don't want their land stolen, and exploited, they are aware that the economic value of selling portions of it to outsiders is hugely beneficial, and that they can control what lands is no longer theirs, who gets to settle there, and to some extent, what gets done with the land when it's bought. In some cases, new settlements from outsiders are faced with attacks, but on the whole, simple verbal chastising is the standard experience. Tensions around these new settlements, trading posts and travel hubs can run quite high, but more often than not, peaceful solutions are found.
In relation to commerce, Packlanders typically don't respect the value of currency. They would much rather barter with physical goods, than to exchange seemingly random denominations of pieces of metals that could be far better used for other purposes. While this isn't universal, the concept of money isn't usually at the forefront of a Packlanders worries, provided that you aren't in government.
Cities and Towns:
Na'niłkaadí: Capitol City, built around the Circle of the Shepherd, built in the central cavern within a massive winding canyon, with connection to a river that leads to the Vangaard basin. Typically, home to Aarokocra.
Nidahałtingóó: The Circle of the Desert is located in an area of shifting sands that are prone to move in harsh weather. The structures here are built in a way that allows them to move with the sands, in relative safety. Typically, home to Kobolds.
Ooljéé: Located on a large plateau, which has a sinkhole, that allows moonlight to shine directly on the Circle of the Moon when it's at its highest point. Typically, home to Owlin.
Tábąąh: Located on an inlet in the bay of Vangaard, next to the Circle of the Coast. Typically, home to Tortles.
Naʼiidzeeł: Located on the precipice of a fissure, that seems to be a located where the veil between realms is thin, containing the Circle of Dreams. Typically, home to Kenku.
Ko Ne-ol: Situated in surrounded a crater which is the site of a crash-landed meteor, said to have landed during The War of The Divines, which generates massive heat at it's core. The Circle of Wildfire is constructed around the meteor. Typically, home to Leonin.
Chííl: Located in the far north of The Packlands, on the tip of the landmass, built around the Circle of the Arctic, in a snowy tundra. Typically, home to Tabaxi.
Dził: Located amongst the nation's highest peaks, interconnected villages that surround the Circle of the Mountain like the spokes of a wheel. Typically, home to Satyr.
Sǫ: A small community that lies in a wide open plain, with very little cover in order to best observe the stars, aptly, allowing for the natural development of the Circle of the Stars in this region. Typically, home to Loxodon.
Halgai: Dotted amongst prairies, hills and magnificent fields lush with botanical growth, the Circle of the Grassland is nestled amongst sprawling masses of wild flowers. Typically, home to Centaur.
Ábishjaa: Home to the Circle of Spores, healers, alchemists and shamans are known to pilgrimage here in order to better understand the properties of the near complete encyclopedia of mushrooms that grow naturally in the area. Typically, home to Firbolgs.
Tsintah: Located deep in the eastern jungles of the Packlands, embedded amongst clearings and treehouses, constructed to protect the Circle of the Forest from the countless beasts that inhabit it. Typically, home to Harengon.
Hashtłʼish: A mostly uninhabitable region, hermits and those seeking a little more privacy and solitude tend to congregate in the scattered structures that emanate from the area near the Circle of the Swamp. Typically, home to Giff.
Making a Character from here:
Preserve the Culture, or move with the times? Are you a traditionalist who feels like machines and commodotisation of the world are the undoings of society? Or do you feel like technology and it's benefits far outweigh the effects it may have on the world? In the same vain, are you open to dialogue on both sides, or do you have feelings of agression toward someone who feels differently to you?
Native? Are you one of the Anthro-humanoid races native to The Packlands? Or are you a settler who's come in to assist with a new trading hub? If you're native, do you live amongst your traditional community, or have you migrated, or been born into, a community that differs from your species? If an outlander, do you sympathise with the locals, or do you believe that they should just adapt to the outside world.
Isolation, or community? Are you someone who typically prefers to keep to themselves, maybe not totally alone, but in smaller packs, where everyone has their role and sticks to it? Or do you like the feeling in living in large groups that rely on others as part of a cohesive township?
Naming Culture: Typically, the native folks of The Packlands, either choose, or are given a name once they reach adulthood. This name will reflect an achievement they have made in their lifetime so far, a purpose that they choose to dedicate themselves to, or is reflective of their personality. Additionally, adult names are relatively fluid, and can change, should someone achieve something greater in their life following their naming, or their personality, or vocation change as they grow old. Up until this point, they will be addressed by a youth title accompanied by something indicative of their appearance. Names are not divided by gender, or sex.
Youth Names - Spotted Cub, Mottled Chick, Dark Fledgling, Tall Calf, Grey Foal, Shorthorn Kid, Stout Owlet, Longfoot Kit.
Adult Names - Walks Among Flowers, Swims Through Harsh Water, Quiet as a Panther, Peacekeeper, Fierce Protector, Griffon's Downfall, Sleuth, Healer, Bruiser, Jewel-Shaper.