Continental Excursions; Ybaria

The region known as Ybaria is the western end of the continent of Partum. Sitting southwest of Fanolania, and separated from the rest of the continent by the towering Bebryxian Range of alpine mountains, Ybaria was for many years the forgotten remnant of the previous imperium. After the Third Imperium fell into ruin this region broke into four independent kingdoms each with their own agenda and issues. These four states were then faced with invaders from across the sea that made their mark in Ybaria as well, meaning that this region is now home to five separate powers that all distrust one another to the point of there being near constant warfare among them.

The largest state in Ybaria is the sprawling Caliphate of Andalus. Covering virtually all of Ybaria’s southern coast the Caliphate of Andalus has proven exceptionally difficult for the native powers to dislodge. Originally from far across the Forzarrean Sea in the lands southeast of Kugahloo the Andalusians were and still are considered to be a part of the Torkan Caliphates. To the natives of western Partum, they were like invaders from outer space, completely alien in virtually every aspect. Almost immediately there was warfare between the Andalusians and the native Ybarians, and for nearly seven hundred years that fight has continued with few significant interruptions. While wealthy, technologically advanced, and relatively open-minded towards strangers in their midst, the Andalusians haven’t been able to secure their borders nor completely crush any of their rivals.

The largest native realm in Ybaria is the Kingdom of Castillia. Ruled by Queen Natalia, a distant relative to the royal family of Fanolania by marriage, Castillia has as its name suggests invested heavily in fortified castles and cities to prevent any invaders from getting more of a foothold in their territory than has already been lost. There are a few elves here, and they represent the last of the elven peoples in Ybaria. One of the reasons that the Castillians are so hostile towards the Andalusians is that the invading armies of the Caliphate are blamed for wiping out entire tribes of elves, allowing only a handful to make their escape as the enemy advanced. Castillia has used this as a way of gaining favor with Fanolania, and the elven kings of Fanolania have given much in terms of manpower and resources to help shore up the defenses of Castillia.

In the far west is the Kingdom of Navarone. Almost exclusively human, Navarone is well known for being a nautical powerhouse. Boasting the finest fishing fleets in all of western Partum, and possessing the boldest explorers in the entire continent, Navarone is for the most part unconcerned with the issues others in Ybaria contend with. They have readily beaten any naval invasions that the Caliphate of Andalusia sends their way, and the rugged mountains and wild terrain of Navarone makes land invasion particularly tricky.

In the north central portion of Ybaria is the Kingdom of Aragonum. Due to rich agricultural resources and generous mineral deposits the Aragonians are considerably better off than most of their neighbors. Where they lack strength is in their defensive abilities. While the average Aragonian is more than willing to take up arms to fight an invader there is not a grand tradition of military prowess among these folks. What tends to happen is that an army will cross into their territory meeting little resistance, and then almost overnight the peasants begin to rise up and attack from all sides in highly effective guerilla fighting. These partisans are particularly feared by the Andalusians for the ferocity of their unpredictable assaults.

The last major power in Ybaria is the Kingdom of Galicia. Nestled among the Bebryxian Range this realm is hostile to almost everyone that threatens their overland trade route domination between Ybaria and the rest of Partum. It is rumored that below these mountains there are a number of dwarven clans that have some measure of control over what happens in the surface world above. Galicia has proven itself incredibly powerful, though, and while it hasn’t been able to extend its power beyond its borders it has managed to defeat every army sent against it.

The prevailing wisdom is that one of these nations will have to eventually dominate their rivals and by sheer force their foes. It seems unlikely that this will happen without tremendous outside assistance. Whether or not there would be another way to ensure peace has yet to be seen because nobody has tried anything other than war.