An excerpt from Tiny Feet Around the World by Perimi Meadowflower, famous Mattimeo explorer
The Pradamir SavannahEdit
We have now been six weeks within the great savannah, the Pradamir. I have been told that the word Pradamir has as it's core the High Elvish word Patalathamir, which means Great Canvas. Indeed the Pradamir is a great canvas, and is not anything that I expected.
The Pradamir Savannah is a land area located between 10° and 30° South longitude and 25° and 45° east latitude on the continent of Paradigm. It is the only area in the continent that has no official sovereign and boasts the most diverse collection of intelligent species. It is made up of a collective of grassland ecosystems, most of which are characterized by trees being sufficiently spaced so that the canopy does not close. The entire region is a grassy woodland with a significant woody component. The Pradamir is bordered by the Maktatui Jungle to the North, the Al-Kabir desert to the West, the Fanai Ocean to the East, and the Liafez Ocean to the South.
The Pradamir Savannah boasts two entirely different temperature zones within it’s borders. The Upper Pradamir, the region North of the Kandador Mountains, is a temperate zone classified as a cola semi-arid land mass. The summers are hot and dry, with relatively low humidity and temperatures reaching into the 80s. The winters are cold and wet, with an annual average snowfall of two inches in the coldest months. Spring and autumn see an annual rainfall of about 28 inches annually. In the winter temperatures can swing drastically between day and night, dropping as much as thirty degrees as the sun goes down.
The Lower Pradamir, the area south of the Kandador, sees the climate transform into a hot semi-arid zone. The summers see average temperatures of 95 degrees and on rare occasions the temperature can soar to 100 to 103 degrees. Winters are very mild with temperatures rarely dipping below 50 degrees. The Lower Pradamir has a very well defined wet season in autumn, averaging 13 inches of rainfall annually. The southern and eastern coastal regions of the Lower Pradamir is susceptible to monsoons in the rainy season and transforms the relatively vegetation sparse areas into vivid green grasslands where all manner of plant life and crops can prosper.
Flora & FaunaEdit
A number of exotic plants species flourish in the Pradamir and are not found anywhere else in the continent. The most prominent and sought after of such flora is the Kynah scrub (Centrafic lachaucus). The roots are edible and have a flavor reminiscent of carrots with the mealy texture of a baking potato. The bright purple berries of the Kynah are used in pies, jams, and preserves. The leaves of the plant, when crushed between the teeth and the juices sucked, produce a strong euphoria. The Kynah is a very valuable commodity in other nations and is exported by both the Pradamiin and the Saliquendi.
Among the woody plant species are serious environmental weeds such as Prickly Acacia ('Acacia nilotica'), Rubbervine (Cryptostegia grandiflora), Mesquite (Prosopis spp.), Lantana (Lantana camara and L. montevidensis) and Prickly Pear (Opuntia spp.) A range of herbaceous species are also found in these woodlands including Rhodet grass and other Chloris species, Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris), Giant rat's tail grass (Sporobolus pyramidalis) parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus) and stylos (Stylosanthes spp.) and other legumes. Other plant species include: white sage, spotted cactus, cotton seed, and rosemary. Herbs both medicinal and culinary grow wild in abundance including: garlic, asparagus, crab cabbage, lavender, horsewhips, thyme, and tarragon.
The Upper Pradamir boasts nearly 40 million animal and insect species including the catfishgator, lemurbat, koalasheep, badgerfrog, chickenfrog, and elephantrat. Larger mammal species include the wolftiger, mooselion, giant eelhound, platypusbear, and owlbear.
The Lower Pradamir is famous for it’s huge herds of migrating species, including the foxgazelle, rhinoelephant, buffaloyak, bullantelope, and kimodorhino. Predator species include the zebratiger, tigerdillo, and shirshu.
The rivers that bisect the Pradamir are abundant with aquatic species which include the taunting fish ( you have to see it to believe it), golden koi, spirit fish, red pentapus, and Pradamir eel. Avian species include the turkeyduck, turtleduck, screaming dodo, catowl, red beared hawk, and pigeondove.
Unlike the other Nations of Paradigm, the Pradamir doesn't have a single centralized government. Every city within a fifty mile range-anywhere from two to fifteen cities-are called a Township. Every ten years through a process of democratic election two people, always one male and one female, are elected to the position of Lord Mayor, a partnership to govern the Township. The Lord Mayors of every Township sit on the Lords Collective. The Lords Collective meet annually to discuss current events, exchange news and ideas, debate, and vote on laws, foreign policies, and procedures which are applied throughout the Pradamir. Only the Savannah Kings, owing to their nomadic lifestyles, politely decline the invitation to be represented by Lord Mayors but they still respect and obey the decisions of the Collective.
We are lucky to have a gentle-hearted Savannah King named Raka to serve as our guide around the region and show us all these fabulous creatures.
Along the western shoreline we traveled through the Rinacassa Mountains. This area isn't really mountains as I know them but rather large clusters of grassy hills tightly packed together. While traveling here we found a Mattimeo village called Tencamp, and enjoyed ourselves as guests of the bounders for four days.
Five days north of Tencamp we found the Dwarf city of Ag-Golath. Our stay here was very brief, as the resident dwarfs are surly and not entirely accommodating of visitors. On the eastern side of the mountains the trees to become copious and thick, and Raka told me that the old, ancient forest here, called the Calnarnan, is a place of superstition and fear for the Savannah Kings because things older than the earth are believed to live in it. Our guide refused to go in, promising to meet us on the other side of our eight day journey through the silent woods. The fears of the Savannah Kings are absolutely justified, for inside of the forest we found the city of Shelded Glade, where the Courtly Elves dwell.
Spooky, mysterious, and ancient are the elves living in the heart of the forest. They were gracious and kind if not openly friendly, for the Courtly Elves are not lovers of strangers. They gave us meals and entertainments during our two day stay in their stunningly beautiful city of white stone and sculpted marble but in everything it was evident they did not intend for us to stay long. The elves are kingly and noble, spanning a height of over six feet in the men and no less than six feet in the women. Their complexions are pale, and their hair and eyes are very dark. Some of them are fair and blonde, and we understand these to be the nobles and rulers among them. We were fortunate enough to be allowed to convey our thanks for the hospitality to the ruling Queen Lothlindel as we made our leave, and I have never in my life seen eyes so ancient and wise. True to his promise, Raka was waiting for us on the edge of the woods.
The rest of the Pradamir is largely empty, save for scattered communities of urban Men, Mattimeo, and a few Pizkie towns here and there. Men, indeed, seem to make up the bulk of the intelligent life in the Pradamir. Savannah King caravans are numerous and frequent, and we did much trade with the friendly Kings. We were warned to stay away from the far east of the Pradamir, as that area is wholly given over to an empire of Jagrafan, the ferocious humanoid wolves that hate Men as much as Men hate them.
As of this writing we are sitting on the periphery of the jungle, awaiting a Braman guide that has promised to help us get through the region and travel southeast. Raka has said his good-byes and returned to his caravan. I eagerly await our new guide, a wise shaman given the name of Lulu; for the Maktatui beckons!