- The Black Desert
- The Chain Mail of Kythos
- Coinage of Ulaphia
- Ilthlus Mountain Range
- The Jehir
- The Kaylyos Plateau
- The Order
- The Ulaphian High Command
- Ulaphian Hippogriffs
- The Ulaphian Wall
- The White Desert
- The Wynn River
The Kingdom of Ulaphia
Ulaphia lies to the south and west of Midrythia. Its borders are very well-defined and defended, and the Ulaphians have patrols (many of which made up of Tzezans) on their borders at all times to punctuate this fact. They do not tolerate entry into their scorched lands without a very good excuse, though they rarely wait long enough to hear one before efficiently dispatching or enslaving any trespassers.
At one time, around the beginning of the elvish clan times (FC 1) the Ulaphians organized great armies to drive the elves into extinction. After brutal wars lasting for many years and the establishment of the first elvish clans, the Ulaphians were defeated and pushed back into their own desert lands, where they have remained in seclusion for millennia.
Ulaphia is ruled by a body of individuals known as the Ulaphian High Command. They are made up of members of Ulaphia’s elite ruling caste, and the number of members of the High Command, as well as selection criteria and their process for that selection are all closely guarded secrets.
What is known is that over the past few centuries, a powerful organization of Blood Mages known as The Order has gradually gained influence in the High Command, and it is now believed that they now have enough members to control decision making of Ulaphia’s ruling body, though what their ultimate goal may be is still a mystery.
The land of Ulaphia is all desert. Temperatures in this desolate place commonly reach 115 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit in the hot season, and occasionally dip to as low as 95 to 100 degrees in the winter. The Ulaphians themselves, created by the Ipur Veraalon for this particular environment, are unhindered by the extreme heat in this place, and prefer it to any other climate.
The kingdom’s borders are well-defined, as the mighty Wynn River and its tributaries cut the north and east extremes of Ulaphia, and the Ilthlus Mountain Range marks the western limit (a rough map can be found here).
Most of Ulaphia is made up of the barren, white sand of the White Desert. However, the northeastern quarter of Ulaphia is dominated by the Black Desert. A great volcanic eruption in ancient times took place (where the city of Kyldrys is located in present-day Ulaphia) and coated the lands north of it in black, volcanic rock and ash.
There is a mountain range on the eastern border of Ulaphia known as “The Ulaphian Wall”. This mountain range is also volcanic, though erosion has worn away the softer, outer layers of these mountains, leaving only the jagged, black “wall” of rock. The Ulaphian Wall follows the Wynn River almost the entire eastern portion of the kingdom’s border. There are openings in this natural structure, though all of them are noted and well-guarded.
Ulaphia’s cities are all built above the scorching desert wastes upon high, treacherous cliffs. The cities are all but inaccessible by traveling on foot; they must be flown to in order to reach them. Ulaphians are loath to build on flat ground; the closest they have come is the city of Khaj-Mari, which is located atop a high, steep-sloped hill in the Black Desert.
Supplies for these high-altitude dwellings are nearly all flown in, though some of Ulaphia’s larger cities have elaborate lift systems and some even have narrow roads with drawbridges by which carts and wagons can carry goods.
Various strange creatures live deep within the Ulaphian deserts, however, most notably would certainly be the Ulaphian Bre’ell’a Worm. This is the most poisonous organism known to the continent of Wyndfyre, and its venom is much sought after by assassins, for its effects are legendary in intensity, and swift.
The Ulaphians are also known to ride upon the backs of a peculiar variety of hippogriff that they have spent many thousands of years domesticating. The Ulaphian Hippogriff is slightly larger than its wild cousin, dark brown to reddish brown in color, and can carry more than 350 pounds without having to slow its pace.
One of the most amazing things about Ulaphia as a nation is its ability to feed all of its inhabitants, and still have enough surplus to export some of its food resources to other areas for a tidy profit.
Most of this abundant food comes from agriculture in the valley between the Ilthlus Mountains and the Kaylyos Plateau, where high altitude, frequent rainfall and spring melt runoff from the mountains combine for nearly perfect growing conditions for a variety of crops. These range from various grains (wheat, barley, and rice to name a few) to other vegetables and fruits that thrive under these conditions.
The Ulaphians also keep great flocks of animals as well, with sheep, goats, cattle, llamas, and camels herded in large numbers in the aforementioned valley. These are utilized for meat, skins for leather, and their fleece for spinning and weaving a variety of durable fabrics.
A good portion of the labor involved in these enterprises is performed by slaves, however, much of it is performed by the Ulaphians themselves, who have developed a fair aptitude for agriculture over millennia of refining their techniques for it.