The Northern land of The Divinity
The fertile grasslands and its surrounding forest region makes up the land known as Garuda.
The land known as Garuda consists mainly of large grasslands and various forested areas. The northern edge of the region is topped with a snowy mountain range that opens out into the Divide. Garuda's western border is marked by the Enkai Mountain range. The living mountain god forbids almost all passage over his craggy body, forming a hard border with the country on the other side, Grimnest. A half circle of dense tropical rainforest covers the western part of Garuda from Enkai until it breaks into The Isle. Perhaps most unique boundary of Garuda lies to the east. Here, the grasslands give way to marsh as they head east into the Hawklore border. The most interesting element of this is that the marshland isn't as treacherous as one might believe, and is actually quite easy to traverse. The eastern land that Hawklore occupies is abundant with natural resources, though curiously Garuda has been reluctant to expand there. Many researchers believe that the God King Hawken most likely had much to do with this decision.
The land that would eventually be called Garuda was first settled by a group of people called The Karu. In early times, the Karu were a culture of nature-focused architects. Created by the divine entity, Garuda the Phoenix, the Karu lived in harmony with the land named from their creator. Over time, they've used their nature-guided concept of architecture to weave a vast society throughout the dense tropical rainforest of western Garuda. Despite having mastered the practice of jungle architecture, the bulk of the Karu population is settled in the the central hub of Garuda's grasslands. The more temperate and even climate here allows the Karu to build enormous and elaborate temples to their deities, which they call The Divinity. These monuments to their gods were not simply to offer praise to them, but also serve as an inviting home for their often enigmatic gods.
Shrines to the Undying
Dotted across the grasslands of Garuda are a number of huge and elegant buildings. Each of these are different, but every one is a shrine to one of The Divinity. The impressive size of these structures has to be seen to believed, and the colossal edifices stand as testaments to the sheer building capabilities of the Karu. These temples serve as large and ornate reflections of the people's love for their deities. Each major member of The Divinity has their own city, with a separate following that grew around these massive monuments. Although often separated by large swaths of land, The Karu in general worship each of The Divinity in some form or another.
While Garuda is the name of the entire region, in a sense it is more of a united kingdom of distinct territories. Foremost among these is the central area, which is the predominant seat of power in the region. At the beginning of the Divine Era, there was no unified base of power in Garuda. The Karu were spread across the plains and deep into the forest in a way that isolated them. Only their numerous deities were a focal point of shared emphasis among their people. The most powerful deities of the region eventually decided to combine forces. This group would come to be known as The Divinity, though eventually all of the major Garuda deities would fall under this title. The Divinity designated a number of humans as ones of exceptional ability. These chosen humans would later go on to become the major house of power of Garuda, with the eventual leading family being the Zencora family. The kings of Garuda would be descended from that great family.
A Midnight Vista in Garuda by Sabina Lewis/Swordsfall Studios
The Divinity are deities born from Garuda the Phoenix that play an active role in the lives of Garudians. Though historians generally agree on the total number of deities in Garuda, it is commonly believed that there are some among them that have escaped the history books. Garuda has the single largest land area of any nation on Tikor, and its hidden valleys and deep forests make it even more likely to hold hidden deities for reasons beyond size alone. While these fringe deities are largely on their own, The Divinity members have a following that has a mix of official and unofficial elements. Each member of The Divinity has a special guard tasked by Celestial Shields of the Eternal Flame to defend them. The Shields themselves are reflective of their deities and often have unusual abilities granted through study and connection with their patron. The protection of the deity’s city and people is their goal in life.
The central plains of Garuda rise into a series of foothills that become the Adras Mountains. It is these foothills and the surrounding mountain range that The See'er call home. The See'er are the second culture that calls Garuda home. The See'er themselves have no ties to Garuda, as their divine creator is the mysterious Ro'og, who is outside The Divinity. Nested in a remote area of the world, the See'er sit isolated and almost completely self-sufficient, even down to the rugs in their homes. This doesn't stop travelers from making the journey to their lands, as the remote people have said to be able to see the future. Once a year they hold a ceremony for their Ro'og, and rumors abound of a secret society that can give glimpses into the future.
The geography of Garuda varies dramatically depending on which portion you find yourself in. Central Garuda is primarily grasslands and gorgeous savannahs. To the west lies the dense tropical rainforest. In the north, you have foothills that give way to the largest mountain range in Garuda, the Adras. The eastern border becomes marsh and swamps before it meets the border to Hawklore. Finally, to the south you have the most coveted and restricted area, the beaches of Southern Garuda where the chosen families live.
The need to construct structures will always fuel the need for timber, and Garuda has an abundance of this resource. However, while Garuda is a major supplier of timber, it heavily regulates where trees may be cut. The balance between the mortals and nature spirits has always been a tenuous one. The Divinity often ends up intervening in most cases, causing the need for a stricter enforcement of timber laws. The infamous Creeping Green Incident of 1960 D.A, in which a logging camp of over 200 workers were killed by vengeful forest vines, cemented the current level of regulation.
The discovery of plants and trees that produce a waterproof sap placed the forests of Garuda in a position of greater importance. The leeching of the sap is a process that is not harmful to the trees or the wildlife around it, making it widely regarded to be one of the safer ways to utilize the forest. The rubber is used in tires for transport vehicles, waterproofing homes, etc.
Both the western forest and the central plains are famous for the sheer variety of plants and herbs that grow there. Skilled herbalists can take many of the herbs and turn them into a variety of salves, tonics, tinctures and other medicines. Some herbs are also turned into spices used to enhance and/or preserve food. The amount of knowledge and training needed to properly apply these herbs to humans has led to the creation of a select few schools of medicine that are highly respected for the skills they teach.
The flat central plains of Garuda make it a prime location to raise cattle and other livestock. The Karu, while being prolific architects, are also adept at animal husbandry. Due to the useful of certain animal products in art and architecture, and the need for a sustainable food source in the stress of early life in Garuda, the Karu have made it a point to master cattle-rearing practices as well.
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One Name, Many Gods
While the name of the land itself may be Garuda, that doesn't mean that the Phoenix was the only Divine Entity to grace this land with life. As best as can be told so far, at some time during the Divine Wars, other Divine Entities came to a growing world. Ro'og is one of those gods that came after Ishvana's Sacrifice.
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- The Divine Order of the Phoenix
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The Divine Order of the Phoenix
Organization | Oct 22, 2019
The devout organization of worshipers that govern the affairs of Garuda and its Divine.