The Chronicles of a Dead Empire
Flora and Fauna
In the limited space that the Mathojan Peninsula provides, there is a wide diversity of wildlife and natural vegetation, as well the domesticated and cultivated.
The Low Hills are a range of low and rocky hills in the northwest quadrant of the Mathojan Peninsula. Trees are sparse here, and the landscape is dotted with ruins of an earlier age. Shepherds from various villages graze their flocks of Low Hills goats and Mathojan sheep in the hills, but they do not wander too far off. Local superstitions hold that the Low Hills are haunted by the ghosts of Mathoja’s unwritten past.
The fauna of the Low Hills consists of herds of small horses called “Equins”. These are considered a pest by the shepherds because of their ability to eat up available grassland. The shepherds are usually armed with Mathojan long bows to hunt these horses. The horse are edible and find their way onto many rural tables. Rock Deer and the Low Hills Hare are also a common sight.
Native predators consist of the Rock Puma, a variety of foxes and the Low Hills Wolf. The largest and most feared predator is the fabled Mathojan Bear, which is larger than the real-world Grizzly and much more fierce. These bears are rare and attacks are even more rare, but very memorable.
Smaller animals include several species of ground squirrel, field mice, snakes and the Arrow Viper. The Arrow Viper is the only poisonous snake in the area. Individually, the snake is not
poisonous enough to kill a person, but it has a habit of being found in large groups at the mouth of caves and deep ruins where they attack en mass, delivering enough poison to easy kill a large human.
Flora of the Low Hills consists of the small Mathojan Cedar tree and poisonous Green Berry brier patches. The hills are covered in seasonal grasses that shepherds use to feed their flocks.
The southern Hard Hills are very similar to the Low Hills, except that they are more severe and greener. They sport a great diversity of life that the Grumald, the predominant people of the area cultivate as much as possible. The Grumald have domesticated some of Hard Hills Goats and regularly herd them in the numerous valleys of the southern and eastern portions of the Hard Hills.
The predators keep low while the Grumald are around, but they do flourish in the Hard Hills. The most common is the giant Hill Lynx and the Hard Hills Wolf. The Mathojan Bear is known to roam these hills, but contact with Grumald is very rare.
The Sidhe Hills are very similar to the Hard Hills in height, except that they are tree covered. The Sidhe Hills have pretty much the same flora and fauna as Ninda Wood, with the exception of the very rare blue Lady’s Glove flower, which has powerful healing abilities. It is the main ingredient for healing potions, and Mathojan sages pay top coin and trade goods for the flower and leaves.
Cradle Wood was a part of Ninda Wood many hundreds of years past, so it shares many of the same floras and fauna of its parent forest.
The Zhar Forest is a managed forest east of the Wuldfeld.
Ninda Wood is the largest of the Mathojan Forests. It is located in the eastern part of the Mathojan Peninsula and is the home of the Ninda Sidhe. The tree here grow large and tall, and the Sidhe live in harmony with all growing things in the wood. The Sidhe are hunters and gatherers and find Ninda Wood veritable ecosystem that they can live in harmony with.
The largest predators in Ninda Woods are the much feared Mathojan Wolf, the Hill Lynx, and the Mathojan Bear’s smaller cousin, the Ninda Bear. The Sidhe do not hunt these animals for they are considered incarnations of spirits and are used to represent a Sidhe clans totem. Refer to Sidhe Culture for more information. The largest predator of the Sidhe are the Mathojan Wolves, who have no compunction about attacking the Sidhe, who avoid as much confrontation as they can with these fearsome creatures.
The winged predatory are also many. Ninda Wood is known for its abundance of owls, especially the Great Black Owl, which has been known to carry off small Sidhe children.
Ninda Wood has a diversity of small animals that are unique to the area since the Sidhe are careful of what they allow themselves to hunt. A variety of squirrels roam the trees, including the spine tailed squirrel, the spines of which contain an agent that causes blisters and irritation. The Sidhe catch the squirrels and harvest the spines to make chemicals that are used on the Mathojan Wolves and other predators when they come too close. Hares, ground squirrels and pheasants live in the woods.
Rock Deer and Great Tusk Boars are the main animals to be hunted. Hunting the boar is a right of manhood with the Sidhe, which is a very dangerous task. The Ninda Goat is another favorite prey of both the predators and the Sidhe.
The Cradle is the most fertile area on the Mathojan Peninsula, next to the Wuldfeld. The area is dotted with individual farms and small villages who make a good living off of the land.
There are no big predators in The Cradle other than small packs of the Hard Hills Wolf. The more dangerous large predators have long driven away from the cradle area. The Wuldfeld Badger is common as is the Twilight fox. Large birds have flourished here, and the Mathojan Eagle is the grandest. It hunts the small animals of the Cradle, and larger specimens have made off with small goat, making it disliked by the local farmers, who futilely try to drive these birds away from their farms.
The Cradle is home to abundance of small animals; hares, mice, ground squirrels and other creatures.
The Mathojan Plain
The Mathojan Plain is the largest plain on the Mathojan Peninsula. It starts high in the north, dipping down southward, finally rolling in to The Cradle area. Small herds of Equin roam the northern part of the Mathojan Plain. They are hunted by the Rock Puma and Low Hills Wolf. Mathojan Steers are common throughout the mid and southern plains, and some are caught and sold in the larger towns such as Dolja.
The Mathojan Bear is known to come down from the Low Hills to hunt steers and raid farms from time to time.
Wuldfeld is the most fertile area on the Mathojan Peninsula. It is located in the southwestern portion and is home to the Wuld. In times past, the Wuld were fairly aggressive about eliminating natural threats to them, so the Mathojan Bear and the Rock Puma are almost extinct here. Smaller predators live in the Wuldfeld now, and live relatively unmolested by the Wuld.
Native predators consist of the giant Hill Lynx and a larger variety of the Low Hills Wolf, known as the Hard Hills Wolf. The Twilight Fox is a common site in the Wuldfeld, as well as the Wuldfeld Badger. The Red Winged Hawk is also a common sight in the skies, but a little bit rarer is the Mathojan Eagle.
The Rock Deer and the Hard Hills Goat are also common fauna, as well as several species of hare, ground squirrel, field mice, pheasants and snakes. The Wuldfeld is home to numerous series of colorful song birds. One of the most interesting animals is the Wuldfeld Lemur that the Wuld love and hate at the same time. They make great pets, but in the wild they are pests, using their above par intelligence to break into houses and steal food.
The Wuld also raise domesticated animals such as Mathojan Steers, Wuldfeld Goats, chickens and ducks.
The Barithian Islands are the site of some of the first settlements in around the Mathojan Peninsula.
The Great Western Ocean
The Great Western Ocean is the backdrop to much about Mathoja.