Bwollowland

Bwollowland (Bwell-low-land)

The lands between the Sea of Sand and Scintar are known as Bwollowland. Bwollowland has been a land of poets and artists for ages. Even under the now-fallen Cantonite Empire (located in what is now the Sea of Sand), Bwollowese artists were much sought after. A relatively calm land of rolling hills, waterfalls, and fertile valleys, Bwollowland may be as close to a paradise as one may wish. The Bwollowese know it as well, being almost the polar opposite of the Krullards. The former view the latter as absolute boors and yokels, while the latter view the former as absolute dandies and fairy-men. Of course, each group wears the insults of the other as a badge of honour, making any exchange between a Bwollowese and Krullard an absolute pain. Bwollowese artists now frequently find patrons among the upper-crust of Scintar, though many also find their way to lands further a field. A number of bards originate from Bwollowland, wandering the country for inspiration and an audience. The forests of Bwollowland are also home to the largest elf population in Khalathor outside of the Forests of Alderlain. The elves have inhabited the forests for centuries, living a peaceful and somewhat integrated existence with the Bwollowese. The two cultures mix artistic influences, and a number of half-elves have resulted from the loving unions of elf and human lovers. A number of distinctly elven settlements exist in the forests, but the elves play little role in the politics of Bwollowland (which even the humans often prefer to stay out of).

Bwollowland is a nominal vassal of Scintar. For the most part the Bwollowese have been fine with this arrangement: power politics and international affairs seem like pedestrian pursuits to an artistic people (even the lowliest Bwollowese farmer paints or makes music as a hobby taken as seriously as a veritable second profession). However, over the last two centuries the arrangement has become increasingly uncomfortable. The Cantonite Empire wisely left the Bwollowlands largely alone, allowing its artists to pour forth in great numbers. Scintar has slowly crept up the taxation rate, forcing large numbers of Bwollowese to work longer hours to make ends’ meet, reducing their capacity for artistic endeavours. It is hard to conceive of a better way to annoy a people who care for little more than artistic pursuits. While the official structure of Bwollowland politics involves an aristocracy, the powers of the land have long been the artistic guilds (those of painting, poetry, sculpture, music, and dance). Bwollowese officials are admired for taking care of official matters so that nobody else has to. A master artist carries for more prestige – and political force – than the highest duke. The guilds have become increasingly hostile towards Scintar’s influence on Bwollowland’s politics and finances, which have resulted in more rigorous bureaucratic mandates and higher tax rates. While the thought of outright rebellion seems a long way off, it was nearly unthinkable ten years ago, but today one may hear it mused about at unveilings and dinner parties. Precisely what the future holds for Bwollowland’s relationship to Scintar is almost as much of a mystery as what Yardolan’s future is given its newfound break from relations with Scintar.

Bwollowland

Khalathor Gimler