Societal ties: Balhe

Current population: 1

Main language(s): Gevey

Area: 1,149,000km²

Natural and political borders

Cantage has an extensive coastline that extends some 14.5° of latitude along the east coast of the continent, and includes two large groups of islands - Zguebdhuu Nevaron in the north and the Yaabluush Civesen in the south. The Land extends inland to the easternmost ramparts of the eastern ranges of Zoiznuu Kavadhizhuu, Zoiznuu Frenisonizhuu and Zoiznajarhuu Frenisonizhuu.

Cantage has a number of agreed border points on the coast and on key rivers, with the border running between these points along local watersheds. South coast: east of longitude 173.3°W; north coast: south of latitude 24.4°N; north inland: all rivers emptying into the Jawuu Faeyen, except for the rivers Froutiguu and Ankrhanuu north of latitude 21.4°N; south inland: the river Frenuu and all its tributaries north of latitude 11.2°N.


In 777 Balhe pioneers from Trinkolhe crossed the eastern mountains to explore the Frhoshmuu Egosizhuu; Tobase Plantation was established in that valley in gt785. Further north, pioneers from Gevile also moved eastwards through the Pisyuu Gevilon (in gt790) to establish new settlements in the Farhuu river valleys. Over the course of the next 30 orbits much of the Cuskusuufluu Cantan was explored. The first settlements that now form part of the Faeyen Plantation were established in gt826, and steadily grew over the next 50 orbits to become the largest and most populous plantation in the Balhe Lands.

The Land has always been plagued by typhoons, making soil management and cultivation difficult at best. The pioneers, by establishing settlements inland and working their way slowly towards the coast, managed to spread the risk of failure - most of the cultivated land along the coast was built up slowly, and almost all of it is terraced and cleverly drained to prevent soil erosion following a storm. During the gt840s and 850s much work was done on establishing new settlements in the islands off the coast. All of today's extant settlements had been established by gt900.

Istran traders first made contact with the Balhe settlers in gt842: from this first contact grew trade between the Balhe and Istran Societies, extending in time to include the Ambostak to the north and the Telik to the south. For the most part, this trade involved only the Faeyen Plantation and some of the coastal settlements - with news of the ongoing Taete wars west of the mountains, settlers away from the coast were not keen to encourage strangers in their midst.

This attitude changed somewhat after the Land of Cantage was formed in gt894 and the wealth creation possibilities of increased trading became apparent to most people. The Land was established with a federalist structure from its inception - with each settlement and city retaining a large degree of independent action; for instance some cities retained their own currency. Trade burgeoned under this new regime, principally with the northern Lands of the Istran and Ambostak Societies. Ambostak explorers had reached the Froutiguu river valleys in the early gt940s, and by the gt950s land-based trade routes were opening up between all three Societies, replacing the much riskier sea-based commerce.

The recent history of the Land has been one of slowly expanding cultivations in the settlements and greatly expanding industries in the cities. However, the lure of city life has not had a large impact on the demographics of the Land - more than 60% of the population live outside the five cities, and no single city dominates the others in terms of wealth or population numbers.

Politics and economy

For many outsiders, the most amazing thing about Cantane is that it has managed to remain as a single Land for so long. The inter-settlement politics can be surprisingly robust, and several times over the past two centuries the arguing has threatened to split the region into several smaller, independent Lands. The one thing that keeps the Land together is the basic trading law, shared between all settlements and cities, and the fact that no single city dominates the Land. For instance, Cantane has no single administrative centre; instead, each city takes it in turn to host the (small) administration for seven orbits on a rotational basis.

Local politics can be a raucous affair. Nominally, every settlement and city has a representative democratic structure, but many issues - particularly local issues - are debated communally, leaving the governing structure to rubber-stamp and implement the results of the discussions, and collect the taxes to pay for them.

Trade with other Lands is important to the Cantane economy, but trade within the Land is far more lucrative. Despite its reputation as a centre of innovative light industry, agriculture remains the main economic activity in the Land, backed up with a range of service industries. Geographically based trading guilds dominate the agricultural and industrial spheres, and some of the demarcation disputes can be very high spirited.

Even so, it is quite common for individuals to have more than one job, and there is a strong entrepreneurial spirit alive within the Land. The retail and service sectors are dominated by small family and sole trader businesses, while transport and security services are the preserve of various competing trading guilds - companies in all but name.

Culture and other issues of interest

The competitive element of Cantane life is also very apparent in the culture, art and sport of the Land. Cantane is one of the few Lands on the continent that supports professional sports, and the Game of Gvekuu - a rough ball game in which both sexes participate - is the national passion. Visual and oral arts are widespread and popular, though outsiders may consider the results to be a little rustic. Fine arts and the performing arts fare better in the cities. The coastal cities in particular can be thought of as highly cosmopolitan.

Religion is less important to many people, and remains largely family based with an emphasis on Folk Spirits. Cantane natives have never encouraged a passion for the Creator, and individuals whose spiritual needs tend towards that direction often move west to Lands that have a more developed system of temples for such worship.

Science and education are important strands in Cantane society, and Pidome hosts a university faculty whose research and teaching is respected across the continent. For instance, in 1042 geologists working near the settlement of Urtalke, in the Cuskakounuu Cantan, discovered the remains of an ancient settlement - possibly more than 4,000 orbits old. Discoveries have included ceramics of a type never seen before, some of which were marked with an unknown script.

Key natural features

Cantage encompasses a number of substantial river systems entirely within its borders, including the Mimuu, Gursuu,Talkuu and Viksituu rivers which drain the central and eastern areas of the Cuskakounuu Cantan. The northern sides of the high plains are drained by the Simakeruu river, as is the Zoiznuu Frenisonizhuu and the southern edges of Cuskasuufluu Cantan - though the main drainage system for the low plains (and the Zoiznuu Kavadhizhuu) is the Farhuu river system.


The Cuskakounuu Cantan offer some fascinating scenery - not only are they home to the unique eastern uplands habitat, but scientists believe these plains are some of the oldest geological formations on the continent

The other major habitats in Cantane are the eastern plains habitat along the coast and extending several hundred kilometres into the interior (including much of Nausuu Simakeron and Nausuu Farhon), beyond which stretches the much drier eastern interior habitat. The settlements along the southern coast of the Land fall within the southern subtropical habitat.

Plantations and settlements

The earliest cultivations in Cantane were established in the Froshmuu Egosizhuu, which now comprise the Tobase Plantation - unlike later settlements, the people who settled here chose to live in a single city rather than in a number of settlements. The next cultivations were in the Farhuu valley, much further north, and followed a very different pattern with a number of separate settlements being established by the pioneers from Gevile.

By far the largest plantation in the Land grew relatively slowly around the Jawuu Faeyen, initially as separate settlements which then grew into each other. Today the Faeyen Plantation extends some 220km east-to-west and 160km north-to-south, supporting the three cities of Emadiyase, Pidome and Elfane in addition to three other settlements. A second large plantation - Ekhante - lies 320km upriver of Pidome in the Simakeruu valley.

The coastlands are heavily populated, with 30 settlements located within 50km of the sea. Most of these settlements are separate cultivations - only on the islands, and around Jawuu Gurson, have some of the cultivations merged. The interior beyond the Simakeruu and Farhuu valleys are much more sparsely inhabited: three settlements can be found in the central high plains, and three more on the northern borders of the plains.

Key towns and cities

Rural population: 0 (0.0% of total)

This page was last updated on Tecunuuntuu-34, 527: Jafcuu-97 Gevile