Danyubao

Danyubao is a mountainous land in Razurea ruled by Lady Liralian. At first its people were simple hunter-gatherers, but their culture flourished over the centuries, and they eventually became part of Liralian’s Tuyaz-Oan Empire. Liralian later relinquished her authority over Danyubao, but she continues to advise its leaders.

Geography

Danyubao is a small kingdom that lies east of the Iyaun river, overlooking the wastes of Xeberath. Many of its settlements are built along the the Kanoya river, which flows through a broad valley between the Sasoyan and Tahakon mountains. The people of the northern highlands mine copper, cut timber and herd sheep. The people of the lowlands cultivate barley and beans.

The capital city of Danyubao is Ranazayu, which stands high among the Sasoyan mountains. Within its walls is the Gateway of Larrenath, which leads to Barezeth. In the valley below Ranazayu is Danyubao’s largest city, Azobuya, which has a famous library and medical college. Although Ranazayu is the ceremonial capital, Azobuya is the kingdom’s center of administration.

To the north of Azobuya is Danyubao’s second-largest city, Ronya, which is famous for its wood-carvings. To the east of Azobuya, Enabayo guards a pass through the Tahakon mountains. Kuyarokuan and Nathuchoan merchants travel this way, leading mules laden with corn, cotton, azuhans and goods from across the sea.

South-west of Danyubao is Hayauba, the last great city of the Iyaun. Hayauba’s wealth comes from trading copper, the gold mined in Hatsiaka, and luxuries such as cotton, cocoa and pearls which are carried by barge up from the south. It is famous for its bronze-work, and was a powerful city-state in ancient times. The Danyubaons regard Hayauba as a corrupt, dangerous place, and only go there to purchase necessities.

The People of Danyubao

Danyubaon landowner, circa 1200 E.A. (by Louisa Watson and CA3)
Danyubaon landowner, circa 1200 E.A. (by Louisa Watson and CA3)

The Danyubaons are known as a peaceful people. They try to lead simple lives, for they feel that luxury corrupts the spirit. Even the royal palace at Ranazayu is sparsely furnished, with painted wooden stools, clay pottery and sheep-skin rugs. The people wear amulets of copper, horn and carved wood, and their garments are traditionally made of leather or wool. Even the wealthy drink beer rather than wine, and enjoy meals of stew, mutton and barley bread.

The role of the Danyubaon king is more ceremonial than political; most decisions are made by the Council of the Wise, then presented to Lady Liralian by the Archmage. Although Danyubao became part of the Tuyaz-Oan empire, its people regarded the emperors in Yhara-Uza with distrust, considering them arrogant and power-hungry.

For much of their history the Danyubaons had no standing army, depending on Liralian’s magic, the strength of their walls and the skill of their mages to protect them from invaders. After the founding of Tuyaz-Oa, they were required to contribute wizards, doctors, scouts and a 500-strong cohort of ax-wielding infantry to the imperial army. However, the Danyubaons believe that violence should only be used in self-defense, and they always resented the wars into which they were dragged.

Danyubao’s greatest resource is its knowledge. There is a library at Azobuya containing texts on history, medicine and philosophy donated by the Ankaykari of Barezeth. Liralian’s servant Erulorian established a medical college in Azobuya in the 11th century, but even before then, Danyubaon doctors were much sought-after in the cities of the north-east. Those who wish to study wizardry join the Elayadian Order, which is based in Ranazayu.

Religion

The Danyubaons have always revered nature. Their ancient ancestors worshiped the earth goddess Yeyana and the sky god Thenban, alongside countless local nature spirits. They left monuments of carved stone in sacred groves, beside springs and on mountain paths. Geese were considered sacred, and holy men would attempt to divine the future from their flight.

Yeyana was believed to be the bringer of life. She created crops, animals and humans, but could also sweep away villages if she was angry. Her main shrine was at Sorusao near the grove of Lakayo, where a holy pine tree has grown for over two thousand years. Thenban was the god of storms and mountains, worshiped by both farmers and miners. His main shrine was at Ronya. Once a year a festival was held at Azobuya, where the goddess of the lowlands and the god of the mountains shared a temple.

The Danyubaons were gradually converted to Uaoshasm by Bakoquan missionaries during the 10th century, after they became part of the Tuyaz-Oan empire. The first High Priestess was Eyanda, who lies buried in Azobuya and is worshiped as a saint.

Uanosha is identified with Yeyana, and her husband Yebakoso with Thenban. In their shared temple at Azobuya, they continue to be depicted with geese. The river Kanoya is considered sacred to their daughter Ayosan. In 1124 E.A, the Tuyaz-Oan Emperor built a beautiful new temple to her near Kekuzau, where the Kanoya meets the Iyaun.

Despite the efforts of the High Priestesses during imperial times, the Danyubaons never entirely relinquished their old beliefs, and local nature deities continue to be worshiped even now. Miners pray to both Thenban Yebakoso and his daughter Walekesha for protection, while Uanosha and her daughter Ekuansha are worshiped together at the sacred grove of Lakayo, which remains one of the main pilgrimage-sites in Danyubao.

Danyubao and its Neighbours

Danyubao does not trade much with the surrounding lands. Although it has fine forests, the Danyubaons do not cut down more wood than they need. They take little part in the fur trade, for they consider it unethical to kill wild animals for profit. Their only export of value is copper.

Aside from this, most of Danyubao’s wealth comes for foreign visitors, who arrive to study at the medical college, train with the Elayadian Order of Mages or copy the texts of the Great Library. Doctors and mages from Danyubao often travel abroad, returning with the riches given to them in the royal courts of other lands. Some have gone as far as east as Yon Adra.

danyubao-and-surrounding-lands

Danyubao’s greatest ally is Kuyaroku, which lies to the east and has the Gateway of Zeraon within its borders. It also sends envoys to the island-kingdom of Habaskea, the chiefdom of Hatisiaka and the western land of Maeon.

Danyubao’s main enemies are the Katakki and Denoashi tribes, who raid its farmlands. Although it was threatened by the Caruak empire in the 8th century, the two lands are now at peace; Danyubaon travelers often hire Caruak guards when they journey south.

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