As dawn lit up the sky, I reached the end of my trip across the Whimsy strait. I approached ship's bow to look at the coming land, visible in the distance. I was excited, I didn't know what to expect. South of the Crescent , North of Balysia, a long patch of land stretches and separates the seas. This region, known as the Goosemouth Peninsula, was my destination. Home of the mythical Crescent Fly Federation, it is a place where Birds outnumber Humans by ten to one ! I couldn't wait to visit the towns, meet the peoples, and yes, trade knowledge with them.The following article consist in excerpts from Fyki Spirits's expedition book, Southern journeys II. It describes major kylindrographical and political aspects of the Goosemouth Peninsula, where Fyki spent the years 5,548 to 5,551 AR.
Central mountain range
Even before reaching the port, one aspect of the Peninsula appeared very clear to me : just like what I could see in my first expedition in Opart, the land is scarred by a large mountain range. How beautiful of a symetry that is ! The mountains, stretching from East to West, most likely organize many aspects of the life on the Peninsula. For one, it most certainly prevents the locals from living far from the coast or even from inhabiting the center of the Peninsula.
One of the peaks in particular, the easternmost and thus closes to me and my ship, raises my interest. The mountain, called Oddem Peak, reaches so high in the sky that its top is covered by pure white glaciers. Strange clouds seem to perpetually cover the top of the mountains, almost like a white, foamy beard.
Almost one season has now passed since I landed in the port of Hygelmore. Over the past days, I have had the chance to travel across most of the peninsula, and observe the mountains from as many angles as possible. From these observations, I got particularly interested in a few peaks. The more I watch the Oddem Peak, the less I understand how it came into being, or even how it remains stable. It is so high! Especially compared to its surroundings! It really feels like such a steep slope should not be stable at all. The mist surrounding the top of the mountain also bothers me. How I'd love to understand how the mountain formed ! How I'd love to see the source of that mist ! Apparently, one monastery lays mid height of the mountain. The monks who live in this Oddem Temple are said to be the most secretive of the Peninsula. They rarely venture in the nearby towns, and rarely send more than a dozen representatives to any major political events. They are said to know all there is to know about the mountains ! Sadly, because they live so recluded, their temple is not open to visit....
Two other interesting mountains of the region are the Mons Fjuma, and the Sparende Peak. Mons Fjuma, the mountain just west of Oddem, is oddly similar to the large peak, as if it was a younger, smaller version of the larger mountain. It peaks at a slightly smaller height, its slopes are slightly less steep. And, more importantly, it isn't surrounded by the same thick mist as Oddem. No, instead, the mountain fumes. The fuming chimneys can be seen from afar. They regularly release clouds of a thick white mist, similar to what is found at Oddem. Some nights, especially in the warm season, the fumes are so hot that they shine in the distance. People say that the fumerole chimneys go really deep down, down to strange and dangerous undergound areas. What I say, is that the same fumeroles probably exist at the top of Oddem, and they are the reason why it is always surrounded with mist. Then again, because I can't climb the mountain on my own, I can't know any of that for sure.
The Sparende Peak is much more toward the land. It is a particularly large, not very steep apart from its peaks, mountainous formation. Mostly inhabited, it seems to be a source of water for large populations: many are the rivers flowing down the slopes of the Sparende Peak. Because of its well-cut shape, the peak is currently used as a border point between the zones of influence of several city-states : Dunchep, Porthkale, Crescaster, and Kusibandara south of the Federation. Similarly to Oddem, a major monastery of the federation lays in the mountain: the Sparen temple.
Climates and ecology
The peninsula is split into two very distinct climatic zones. Indeed, as most surface winds do in the Cylinder, the air tends to flow toward the north, and carries clouds and rain with it. The clouds, however, are mostly stopped by the central mountain range. As a result, the southern peninsula is famously warm and wet, and doesn't change a lot over the year. The forest on that side is generally called the Mistun, the Wet Jungle. The Mistun, however, is not exactly that widespread. Untouched ecosystems sadly do not produce as much food as farmlands, and the wet climate of the South allows for an excellent crop production. As a result, the South of the Pensinsula is generally more populated than the North. The North of the Peninsula is characterized by a generally dryer, and more temperamental, climate. According to the locals, the winds can sometimes very suddenly change near the coasts, and trigger very sudden and violent thunderstorms. As a result, the population is less diffuse in the north: you can find regular hostel-towns along the coast, following the major road axes. Beyond these roads, the population in the countryside is much lower. The vegetation in the north is notably different from what can be found in the south. Indeed, while the trees and forests of the south are adapted to a wet climate, and proliferate to form a dense canopy, the vegetation of the North is much thicker, and closer to the ground, like a dense bush cover. This undergrowth is particularly solidly anchored on the ground, and can resist to dense and contrary winds as much as it can absorb what little water may be found in the ground. One species of trees in particular is worth mentioning : Half Titans. Growing North of the Peninsula, these majestuous plants are reverred as gods, and I can only understand why. They inspire awe and profound respect to anyone laying their eyes on them. Growing as tall and wide as a hill, they tower above their surroundings. They only produce leaves on their Southern side, as it is the only side receiving light. Their trunk is as large as a castle, branches a dungeon keep.Representation of a Half Titan tree, by Fyki Spirits
Polics of the Peninsula : A bird federation
Even before I reached Hygelmore and the Peninsula, I knew of the famous Crescent Fly Federation, the largest political entity of the region. Then again, who doesn't? It is one of the few large nations of our time, one of the most well-structured, at that. Not to mention, it is almost entirely populated by birds ! Before being allowed to proceed in my expedition, I had to fill in some paperwork and get some authorizations to roam in the federal country.While it forced me to stay more than a dozen days in an undersized hostel in Hygelmore, it was worth it. I spent the rest of the season being welcomed in every city and several temples by official representatives, who gladly showed me the region.
The Six Cities of FiveRepresentation of a Federal Perrot, by Fyki Spirits
The Crescent Fly Federation has many somewhat official names: Oddem Federation, Goosemouth Federation... One that particularly bugs me was the Six Cities of Five. Indeed, the federation is composed of five semi-independant city-states. The city-states all elect representatives and pass their own laws, as much as they play with others. Yet, here is where it gets odd. There are five major city-states: Hygelmore, Wurmbeek, Dunchep, Porthkale and Crescaster. However, there is a sixth independant region: Sixtaby, literally the sixth city. Unlike the other citiy-states, Sixtaby's administration is limited within the city's walls, beyond which the region is administered by Hygelmore. Yet, it has its own constitution and laws, and it elects its own representatives. Another independant territory is Bathum, the political capital of the City. Constructed around a particularly old and impressive Half Titan tree, this is where elected members of all regions gather, and where the federal government is located. Apparently, the city was founded in 5420 AR, as the cities were on a secession war against the now destroyed Trisean empire. In the end, we have a nation called the Six Cities of Five, and it is actually composed of seven independant cities. If that does not scream Perrot's administrative logic, I don't know what does.
The Eight Temples
Things get even more complicated if you take into account the nation's clergy. The federation, being almost exclusively inhabited by birds, is following a highly derived form of the Shadow Church, one of the most widespread Perrot religions. It is a highly polytheistic religion, that involves strong, almost tangible connections with the spiritual world and local divinities. According to my findings, that local clergy is called Panskuganism. While the religion is relatively tolerant with the locals' practices and beliefs, it is well-centered around particularly powerful monasteries. Called the Eight temples (sic), these monasteries are in charge of a large part of the nation's education, academia, and spiritual defenses. The eight temples have the following names: Oddem temple, Bathum temple, Peekas temple, Duntan, Min temple, Forthlin temple, Sparende temple, and the Sultic temple. In the end, the Eight temples and the Six Cities of Five form the major power structures of the Federation. I'll spare you the intricate organization of the institutions of these power structures, though they are very much worth knowing about, and could teach us a lesson back in Merinos .
Goosemouth PeninsulaThis map represent the Goosemouth peninsula, also known as Federic or Oddem peninsula, and its surroundings.
Federal peninsula, Oddem Peninsula
Regional demographicsPerrot population : 3,200,000
- 1,000,000 in Federal cities
- 1,550,000 in the rest of the Federation territory
- 650,000 in the rest of the peninsula
- < 50,000 in Federal cities
- 200,000 in the rest of the Federation territory
- >750,000 in in the rest of the region