Huria (/hɘri:a/ (Huri: /hte:re:/))
Huria is a region of central Galisea bounding the territory between Ughan steppe (also known in modern parlance as the Terruk steppe), and the Aeillan region. An arid desert, there is little land suitable for agriculture and widespread settlement, though it has a more robust natural ecosystem than many other deserts in Galisea and Felora. As a relatively open region, Huria has frequently been invaded by powerful foreign forces, and is currently under the thumb of the Golden Terruk State. However, the indigenous population has managed to survive and preserve its culture in the face of these numerous invasions. Huria is extremely sparsely populated, particularly since the migration of the Aarumites out of the land, and in the current day it is estimated that only roughly fifty thousand people still call the region home. The sentient population of the region is almost exclusively nomadic, with roving bands of goatherds and swineherds moving their animals along relatively well watered stretches between the more "civilized" regions of Aeilla, Inhdara, and Nabiu. A handful of small villages do also exist around oases, but these go largely uninhabited for most of the year with only a few permanent residents servicing wandering groups. Huria has largely been seen either as open real estate, or as a dangerous wildland by several outside powers. This has resulted in several attempts to conquer the region, and, in the case of the Aeillan Empire, a serious attempt at settling the region more permanently. However, all attempts to tame Huria have since failed utterly, returning to their own homes and leaving the re-encroaching desert in the hands of the native peoples. There have been historical conflicts between the two indigenous groups of Huria, the Aarumites and the Huri, however since the arrival of Terruk-Mal and the emigration of the Aarumites, things have become significantly more peaceful.
Huria is a relatively contained region, with its southern border being marked by the Great Wall, its southeast by the Indric Mountains, its west by the Nabari Plateau, and a relatively wide open northern and eastern border region that fades into the Ughan grassland. The exact borders of the region, with the exception of its southern border, are extremely difficult to define, largely thanks in large part to the lack of an organized state controlling the region until fairly recently. As a result Huri nomads range well into the territory of the organized states quite often. Huria is generally relatively flat, particularly in the central area of the region. Small, gently rolling hills break up an otherwise nearly completely flat desertified region, as well as providing cover from the fierce winds that can get picked up in the region. Towards its borders as Huria approaches more mountainous terrain regions, hills become steeper and the terrain more rocky. Generally these hills provide protection from the winds, and as a result many of the trails used by the Huri run along the rises in the terrain. The vast flatlands by comparison are largely empty, with few inhabiting the flatlands any longer than necessary. Huria is a largely desolate land. The open desert in particularly being almost completely barren. This is due in large part to the very limited rainfall in the region. Where water is more widely available, the soil is fertile enough for some vegetation to take root. This is generally insufficient for large scale agriculture, however, enough wild grasses and plants exist to sustain wandering herds of animals and therefore the creatures that survive on hunting the herbivorous creatures as well. In some areas, particularly, around oases, life can become quite vibrant in comparison to the open desert.
The land of Huria consists almost entirely of a hot, almost completely arid desert. There is however a difference in the types of ecosystems present in various areas of Huria. In the hiller terrain at the borders of the region, natural springs and oases are more common resulting in denser vegetation, especially desert scrub. In comparison to the empty flatlands. In some areas, particularly towards the south the desert transitions almost completely into a properly semi-arid scrubland. There are however, almost no densely vegetated lands.
Huria possesses a two stage ecosystemic cycle consisting of a long hot dry summer, and a slightly wetter, much colder winter, which is almost exclusively much shorter in duration than the summer. In the summers temperatures are quite hot, often reaching as high as 33 degrees in the daytime, though the nights are much cooler. Most plant life hoes into hibernation during the summer, and most animals take on a nocturnal circadian rhythm in order to survive. Winters are much colder, with daytime highs rarely surpassing 3 degrees, however, rains are significantly more common during this time often coming down in violent storms. Between the summer and winter there is a brief transitionary period rarely lasting more than one or two weeks.
Fauna & Flora
The presence of flora is quite limited in Huria, limited largely to a handful of grasses, scrub bushes, and cacti. Any plants that do survive in Huria are necessarily capable of extracting and retaining water with far greater efficiency than those hailing from wetter regions. Such wild plant life is largely utilized as food for wildlife. Some grasses however, are used by the local residents to create clothing, tools, or serving more exotic functions. Most notable of these is the Star of Huria, which is used heavily in religious ceremonies by the Huri, the Indric peoples, and even a select group of Aeillans practicing the ancient ways, and the Desert Rose, an exceptionally rare flowering plant favored in several rituals notably in the permanent dying of a young Huri's hair (generally to mark them as noteworthy members of their clan). Wildlife is also quite sparse in the region, with most animals being small reptiles, with a few larger examples of such beasts also existing in Huria. Insects too thrive, even in the more hostile terrain, with giant scorpions being a particularly well known terror. Animals husbanded by people include several a few types of goat, a few types of pig, and some breeds of horse. Among these are the Demi-Boar, and the Akhhal Terruk, which are highly prized by their owners. More monstrous creatures are relatively rare though rumors of course exist. Of those that are more credible, include reports of bronze and brass dragons as well as legends of medusae who have escaped extirpation at the hands of Aeillans living as hermits in the wastes.
The region of Huria is a resource poor region, with almost no usable land, and comparatively few other major natural resources. There are a few metals, such as copper, and iron which can be found in limited amounts. For the most part however, the only material which can be found in great abundance, other than of course, sand, is a strange black goo that is highly flammable. Though some have concocted a few uses for this material, it is largely more a nuisance than it is a proper resource. This relative dearth of resources however, has kept Huria from becoming completely crushed by foreign invasion however, as few are willing to mount the resources necessary to colonize the region.
Huria has existed as a populated region for thousands of years, with records of the region going back to the ancient texts of the dwarves. In those ancient days, the ancient predecessors of the Aarumites, were much freer to roam a much larger region, including the grasslands in the north and in the south with Huria itself serving as a transitory region. Huria was in ancient days a major trade lane between the giants, the dwarves, and in later days, the expanding Yulan-Tai as they began to occupy the lands to the south and west of Huria. After the collapse of the Yulan-Tai, many humans from Aeilla began to migrate into the region, establishing themselves as the first of the Huri peoples. Throughout the Forging Era and after, the region of Huria steadily shrank in the face of incursions from the Cyrenic, Ilosi, Indric, Tyroi, peoples and later from the Ughan, and eventually the Aeillan Empire. The Aeillans would themselves attempt to colonize the lands several times, with each attempt not lasting more than one or two generations, leaving military garrisons and heavily fortified roadways being the only major developments in the region, and only barely keeping the peace. In this time the peoples who had fled into the region became increasingly insular, developing their own language, religion, and customs. The Huri peoples and the Aarumites came increasingly at odds with one another as their available lands shrank, with several bloody conflicts erupting between Aarumite and Huri clans, completely especially after the construction of the Great Wall. In the past few centuries, Huri eventually resettled into a new status quo. With the bloodshed between Huri and Aarumites eventually quieting down as the numbers of the two peoples began to dwindle. As the old order once again burned down in the time following the Feloran Invasions, Huria once again became a major route for trade between the Gorach people and those to the South. In the past century however, Huria has once again fallen under enemy occupation this time by the Terruk. Though the Terruk hand in the region has been relatively light, clashes between them and the Aarumites eventually saw most of the Aarumite peoples leaving the region for the Nabari Plateau, leaving the lands in the hands of the Huri.