The Aurora Plains are known for holding an air of peace, though these plains have seen many wars and battles. Plants of all kinds grow up from the fertile soil, especially grasses that turn the plains a brilliant gold in autumn when the oak leaves are turning scarlet and yellow. Many flowers will bloom across the plain in spring, and winter has been known to leave frozen dew on the ground. The weather is very mild, and yields wonderful crops. Many believe that Jeyriall blesses this land.
Picture description. View on the golden meadows of the Aurora Plains in autumn. Image drawn by Quellion.
Description. The Aurora Fields are made up of three fields, each with distinct characteristics.
The Asloriath Field
The most southern field is called Asloriath, and consists mainly of small groves, though both farmers and nomads occupy the area.
The Ageron Field
The northern field is called Ageron, and is almost completely made up of small farms where a good percentage of Santharia’s food is shipped from to other provinces and towns. There are a few nomadic Centoraurians that roam about the plains, but for the most part, it is mainly filled with farmland stretching for as far as the eye can see.
The Lawapedion Field
The eastern field is called Lawapedion, and is the main settlement of the Centoraurians, though perhaps “settlement” wouldn’t be precise. It is home to the nomadic tribe who have made most of the field into a large pasture for their horses. This is not to say that no farmers or growers live here, for there are a few to help feed the population.
No one is quite sure how the names came about. Some believe they were developed from Styrásh, while others calim it was from an ancient Centoraurian language that has since died. Still others postulate that the fields were named in honor of long-past kings, forgotten by history.
The Aurora Fields are one of the most lush in all
Sarvonia. Its scene is picturesque: long grasses are waving in the
wind from the west where the Dark Sea
lies, and gives the air the scent of the
ocean. The waves of grasses often show in a verdurous, springtime green that
makes the world seem fresh and new, or else a
sun-kissed yellow that makes the vast
fields seem like a collection of golden talks dancing in the sea-soft
wind. The fields are almost clear of all
trees, though a few may sprout up from the rich soil, reaching up to touch a
great expanse of sky. Lawapedion is most often home for such elegant pastures,
where you may find a horse roaming
elegantly through the field.
But the Aurora Fields are not only full of lazy grasses, but also of crops in the Algeron field. Farmers have taken advantage of the fertile soil and used it to make wheat and corn spring up toward the wide skies that look over the Aurora Plains. It is truly a farmer’s paradise, what with the gentle winds that will not ripe the seeds from their stalks or pull the fruit from their vines. The weather is almost always fair, and it is not often that snow will fall, though at times during the winter, Grothar may send a light frost upon the ground to make each blade of grass seem to shimmer.
But grasses are not all that make up the rural atmosphere of the Aurora Plains. The field of Asloriath is prone to small ‘forests,” or groves, usually only a stral or so in diameter. These small areas of shade provide a comfortable place to rest when the warm sun yields an afternoon nap. Sometimes trees will grow by ones, too, though, and often swings will be made from their strong branches. These trees, usually oak, also provide a wonderful place for children to play, as long as they keep their balance.
The Aurora Plains are known to host a plethora of beautiful flowers. At times the grass may grow so thick that these flowers might be hard to see, but places where the grass yields for the buds and blooms, one can see the colors that the plains may hold. Flowers can often be made into wreaths or tiaras by children, or collected to make the inside of one’s home as beautiful as the world outside.
Pleasant country roads wind throughout the Aurora Plains: paths on which are easy to travel or stroll upon, or even skip if it suits one’s fancy. Paths are not often made of stone, save in the more urban areas where there is a large population, but are typically made of golden dust and sand. These roads move like threads in a spider’s web across the plains, leading to most any settlement one might wish to visit. Settlements in the Aurora Plains are many. Both Centoraurians and Helcrani occupy the area and build their settlements in and around this lush area.
Centoraurians are known for their large estates and their plethora of stables and horses in Lawapedion. Estates are often created with large open pastures for horses to run in, and many admire the beauty of a horse running through an Auroran pasture. The buildings of the Centoraurians are usually two-stories and tend to be very grand in appearance. Those of the Centoraurian tribe, because of their love of horses, can often be seen riding them with skill and speed, and the sight of a master horseman upon his horse can add grace to the Aurora Plains.
The Helcrani of Algeron also have houses with a rather grand appearance, also having two stories and usually being filled with numerous rooms. Those houses belonging to nobility may use a great deal of stone and marble, adding to the overall beauty of the house. However, due to battles of the past, these houses are surrounded by walls that hide their appearance from view. Magnificent columns, flourishing gardens, elegant statues and fountains used to decorate the helcrani houses echo the tribe’s sense of beauty.
Many who have seen the Aurora Plains believe that the place is indeed touched by Jeyriall, the Goddess who gives life to all. Some believe that Jeyriall resides among the plains, giving life to the plants and the flowers and the animals that call these plains home. None know if this is true. But many of those who work the earth with their hands and make a living by growing things believe that this is truly a land that Jeyriall has blessed.
Location. The Aurora Plains is very popular, both for travel and for settlement, and this is based on the places that surround it. The major port town of Milkengrad lies just northeast of the Plains, which brings many travelers from the south through its borders on their way there. Thyslan also lies just to the west of the Aurora Plains, and Salsaír, southeast. There is also the town of Cemphiria north of the Plains, across the river Vandrina. Commuting between these major towns brings many into the plains, where most are captured by its rural beauty.
|Picture description. The location of the Aurora Fields, south of MIlkengrad and north of Salsair and the Aerelian Lakes in the Santharian province of Vardýnn. Maps by Artimidor.|
The Aurora Plains are also surrounded by many natural places, such as the Dark Sea just to the west. It is this sea that helps the Aurora Plains maintain very mild weather, and brings rain to water the plants that grow here. The River Vandrina lies just north, and has supplies and means for irrigating crops in the drier regions of the Aurora Plains. To the east lie the Heath of Jernaís and the volcano Hèckra, whose head always seems to remain in a lofty ring of clouds. To the south lie the Aerelian Lakes, which provide another means of irrigation. To the southeast, the Fores spout up from the earth.
People. Many people of all races and tribes pass through the plains, usually on the way to somewhere else. Elves will sometimes pass through on their way to the Bolder, or perhaps from the north on their way to the Ximax Academy. The ride through the Aurora Plains is usually a peaceful one. However, there are two tribes that have permanent settlements in the Aurora Plains: the Centoraurians and the Helcrani.
The Centoraurians, who tend to live mainly in the Lawapedion field, are known for breeding and riding very grand horses, and are undeniably the best riders in all of Santharia. They have a deep connection with the horses they ride and have a great need for freedom, and are willing to suffer and die for it, though they will heed authority if they respect the person in charge. They are masters of mounted warfare, adept cavalrymen, and unmatched in the way of the horse.
The Helcrani, who tend to take up their residence in the Algeron Field, are really a mish-mash of many different tribes and even races. They are made up of Centoraurians, Thrumgolz, and even have genes of the Goltherrhim, an elven tribe that nearly died off after they left their forests. The Helcrani have a create appreciation for sports and beauty, and brings this aesthetic appreciation into everything they do, including in their architecture and crafts.
Those who make the most of the land, however, are the farmers of both tribes.
Those who work with the earth, who make a
living out of making things grow, have the greatest appreciation for all the
Aurora Plains have to offer. They see the fertile soil that nourishes the seeds,
the gentle rain that gives them water and
the caressing sun that guides them toward
the sky. They appreciate the winds that do
not shake the stems too hard, and in the earth
they see Jeyriall’s blessings on the
Coat of Arms/Sign. The Aurora Plains is home to two tribes, and thus cannot be marked by only one coat of arms. Each settlement within the Aurora Plains would need to be marked based on its tribe. The Centoraurians use the image of a rider on a winged horse for their coat of arms, said to be Diraton of Caelum who gave his life to protect his tribe. The Helcrani use a burning sword, said to be Curogane's. The burning sword is said to represent the struggle of the first ruler in uniting all of those who are now the Helcrani.
Climate. The Aurorian Plains have three different water sources on three different sides: the Dark Sea to the west, the River Vandrina to the north, and the Aerellian Lakes to the south. The water all around the plains hves created a very mild climate for the area, yielding cool winters and warm summers. This has thus made for wonderful growing in the area, though the area is prone to some humidity in some places.
Spring will quickly melt the chill of winter away with a full sun and almost cloudless skies, though clouds have been known to wander in from the sea during the morning before being burnt away by the midday sun. Flowers will begin to bloom in this season, making it one of the more colorful seasons. Summers are very cool, and brief rainstorms are not uncommon. They typically help to cool the region off when things are getting a bit too hot, but such storms are not usually harmful to any crops or buildings.
Autumn is one of the most colorful seasons. The chill of this time turns the green leaves gold and crimson and they fall from gray branches into a windswept decent of color. The chill will often nips children’s cheeks red and most of the fruits and vegetables will be harvested up. During the winter, most things will decrease their growing. Snow does not often fall, or hasn’t fallen since the Vardýnnian Atonement, though frozen dew will sometimes make the ground look as though it had turned a glassy white.
Flora. The fertile soil of the Aurora Plains lends itself to flourishing growth. The moderate climate with gentle rains and warm weather help produce all kinds of flowers, trees, and grasses all over the fields. The most common is probably the wean grass, also called milk grass, which in itself helps the land, providing a healthy feed for domestic and wild animals, but also in helping to fertilize the soil. Alth’ho grass also grows here in long slender blades. Both grasses often mingle together, bending under the carefree breezes and turning gold when autumn kisses the plains.
Yahrle grows commonly throughout the Aurora Plains, and is, in many places, grown and harvested for it’s healing abilities.
Fáberige also grows here, creeping along the ground and hiding heart-shaped fruit among the long grasses. Many have taken up these plant and put it in their gardens, mainly for the charming fruit produced in the summer. It along with lýth’béls grows commonly all over the plain as a garden plant, and the fruit is often harvested and eaten. The lýth’béls are commonly of a reddish purple hue in this region.
Red and white oak grow in the plains, too, often seen in singularly growing up from a hill or in the center of the plain. Though the oaks produce acorns which they drop in autumn, it is rare to find more than one oak in any one area. Often times they will grow far apart. In the autumn, the red oaks are easy to spot, as their leaves turn a brilliant red.
The northern plain, Ageron, is outlined on the north by the river Vandrina, and thus the plain has a lot of water plants growing right off its banks. The yealm reed grows commonly in and on the shore, as well as waterstars, which often do indeed look like white stars in a dark sky when night falls on the river. The berries of these little plants are often made into an expensive paste.
Because Ageron is the primary plain for crop growing, many fruits, vegetables, and grains are grown here. Wheat is perhaps the most popular of these crop plants. From the harvested grain, bread and pastries can be made. More wheat is produced in the Aurora Plains than anywhere else in Santharia, though the wheat produced on the Heath of Jernais rivals the production in Ageron. Dalferia and the small pease this plant produces are also a common harvest crop, alone with peasecods. Due to the number of livestock, fragrans trees grow commonly around farmlands.
Asloriath, known for being a grove area, has quite a few trees growing upon it. Maple is one of the most common, and this tree produces sweet syrup that many families have taken to harvesting. Baych trees grow commonly here, too, often growing in little clusters that spout up from the rich soil, and in their shadow grows the delicate allia, whose berries, though poisonous, can be used for dying. Meldarapple trees also grow here with some abundance, often in orchards where their fruit may be collected and sold. Their rich wood, which has a pinkish hue to it, is often used to make furniture.
Depsite the groves that can often hinder a farmer from creating good farmland, there are a few farmers who have managed to make a decent living from growing wheat. Even in the lightly wooded plain of Asloriath, rolling waves of golden wheat can be seen in the autumn.
Lawapedion is commonly thought of as the horseland, and thuse few or no crops are grown here. Often wild dalferia plants will spring up from the ripe soil and their peas will be collected and eaten. In spring, the bright colors of their lovely flowers can be spotted through the swaying wean grass upon which the horses feed. Wild meldarapple trees produce fruit that many Centoraurians feed to their mares and stallions as treats.
Because this southern plain is lined by the river Vandrina on the north side, yealm reeds can be found along the northern banks, along with waterstars that float merrily along in the current. For the most part, the plain of Lawapedion is just fast reaches of pastures, sometimes spotted with small clusters of flowers.
Fauna. The Aurora Plains ars one of the most fertile areas in all of Santharia, and thus a huge number of animals live here, feeding off the land and the gifts of Jeyriall. Some animals are region-specific, but others exist in all plains, such as the aelirels, a white bird believed to represent the innocence of children. They are one of the more uplifting animals to see here. Many other birds, such as small finches and quails, also enjoy the open air and fertile floor. The bat can often be seen or heard during the night.
One of the most common reptiles here is the green grass snake, which is, in some places, to be goodluck. The rolling hedgehog also lives here, though most don’t get to see the head of one of these little martens for very long, as they are quick to curl up when the least bit of danger approaches. Rodents find this area something of a paradise. Large populations of field mice dwell here, gorging on the edible grasses. Tareps also find this place to their likings, and the homes of these rabbits can be commonly found (often by accident) all over the fields. The high population of rodents have attracted several foxes here, in particular the red foxes, or arshir.
The mimsy is a common here, often slinking around during the night to steal little morsels from farmers. They also happily feed on the populations of insects. Indeed, quite a few insects, both harmful and benign, live here, in particular the malise, which provide honey to the population, certainly making the Aurora Fields one of the sweeter places to live. The bright little seeán beetle also makes its home here, and many children have taken to catching these little bugs in the summer.
The Aurora Plains are home to the Centoraurian tribe, and thus a huge population of horses live here, wild and otherwise. Some of the most skilled horse breeders in all of Caelereth make these fields their home, and thus some of the most beautiful horses reside in the fertile plains. Horses are not the only domestic animal living here, though. Sheep, whose wool is often used to make warm clothing, can often be found grazing in all parts of the fields. Dogs both protect farms and their horse-riding masters. Cattle provide milk and meat to the population. The flocks of taenish can often be found clucking about any settlement.
Ageron is the main settlement of the Helcrani farmers, and thus many of the animals inhabiting the area are livestock, including cows and sheep that graze upon the fertile grasses. No farm is complete without a flock of taenishes, though, and even pigs are sometimes kept in barns or stocks. More livestock animals live in theis plain than all the others combined. The barn cat can also be found here. Almost every farmer has at least three barn cats that take up residence within their barns and fields, helping to maintain the field mouse population.
Wild animals also dwell here, though, such as the common ferret, especially those of the bandit variety, though an occasional white ferret can be seen slinking among the fields. Most farmers will kill a ferret on sight, given that these little weasels will happily gobble up all sort of fruits grown by those living here. Throwing hedgehogs, both tame and wild, also live around these parts, helping farmers to maintain the population of biting insects. Many farmers have taken to using these animals to eat biting flies that harass their cows.
Some beautiful deer inhabit this plain where they are no often frightened off by the sound of galloping horse hooves. The starback live happily in this field and the neighboring Asloriath field. Known for the white, star-like markings on their back, this deer grazes happily near its cousin, the prieta, a common deer of this plain due to its peaceful atmosphere and open plains. Despite their beauty, most farmers are somewhat biased against deers, as they will often eat their crops.
The garthook, a large and fairly aggressive bird, also lives in this field, as well as the Lawapedion field of the Centoraurians. Despite it acts aggressive and territorial, most farmers don’t mind their presence, as they tend to give a lot of meat when hunted.
Asloriath is known for it’s grooves, where many animals can hide, especially small flies and insects. This gathers a good population of common ferrets, who feed off these little bugs, as well as some of the smaller rodents in the area, such as the tarep and the field mouse. They are also seen near the same area as the starback deer, who lives happily in the protective groves of this field.
The cuuloo bird is also seen, rather easily, around these parts. Their bright plumage often gives them away, both to hunters and to predatory animals. Many farmers in this area, however, have taken to raising the cuuloo’s as a sort of livestock, using their bright feathers for decoration. The many prey-animals in this area, as well as the undergrowth in which a predator can easily hide, have attracted a few packs of mithral wolves to the area.
Lawapedion is the main settlement of the Centoraurians, and thus the horse population is incredibly high. Both wild and tame horses roam among the long blades of grass. It is unknown how many groups of wild horses still roam over these plains, if any. Most believe that the horses are, in one way or another, submissive to the Centoraurians. The fork-horn deer, also called the steppe deer, exists happily in this area, where it has plenty of open space and provides enough meat to the population of men here for them to thrive.
The prieta deer, because it likes open spaces, also dwells happily here, sometimes in close proximity to the fork-horn deer. They tend to be a good sources of food to the population here, just as the garthook. Despite the nasty tempers these birds tend to have, they are often regarded as the most fun game to hunt.
Resources. The Aurora Plains are among the most fertile lands in the whole of Caelereth. The soil is moist and rich with minerals that make plants grow strong and healthy, as well as rather fast. The air is soft and moist, often coming from the west, from the ocean. The sun is almost perennially shining above, yielding only to the gentle rain clouds that supply the lush fields and valleys and groves with water to help them grow. The richness of this place yields a plethora of agricultural resources.
Many crops grow here among the kind sun and fertile soil. Wheat is probably the largest export for the Aurora Plains. Thousands of pygges of wheat are produced every year from hundreds of wheat fields all across the plains. Fruits and vegetables are also produced here by the bushel, including lyth’béls and fáberige. The markets in and around these plains are some of the most colorful, with all the brought victuals shining in the market stands. People will come from dashes around just to taste some of these delectable products.
But there are also a lot of livestock here. The farmers who grow wheat and fáberige also sometimes keep many barnyard animals, including goats, sheep, cows, pigs, and taenishes all of which lend themselves to a good amount of meat and animal products. They say that there is no milk sweeter than that of an Aurorian Cow, and no pork thicker. Hundreds upon hundreds of eggs go to market everyday, and fresh milk is easy to get. The meat is delicious, with plenty of seasons to add into the roasting of it.
Mythology. Many of the farmers and townsfolk of the area believe that the land was actually created by Jeyriall, Goddess of Harvest. The following was told by Jimren Amderson, a local priest at the Temple of Avá located in the eastern part of the Aurora Plains:
”In the beginning of Caelereth, when the world was being made, Jeyriall wished for one piece of land where creatures of all kinds could flourish The Wayward Baveras had her seas and oceans, and Horned Arvins had his hunt. Rainy Grothar had his clouds Burning Foiros, his sun, and Thundering Urtengor had his echoing mountains, but what for the Lady of the Cup? She wished for a stretch of land where she could make things grow, where neither storm nor waves could tear her precious creatures from the womb. On the sunny Southern Sarvonian plain, where the River Vandrina sketched the Northern Border and lakes and mountains, the southern, she created a place where things could grow and prosper. Jeyriall made the soil rich and sweet for the flowers and trees and grains to spring up toward the sky, and where animals could safely graze upon the plants that grew here."
It is believed by some that Jeyriall,
broken-hearted that her precious grains should be cut in the harvest time and
her lovely plants, stolen from their vines, weeps and has all but left the land
to the handling of greedy humans who take more
than they need. However, others argue that
Jeyriall, though saddened, is sympathetic and understands that man must kill
other things to feed himself and his neighbors.
Lore. Well-known stories of this region are the one about the Phantom Eyes Forest and about the Wean Grass Names.
The Phantom Eyes Forest
This small and eerie forest is located in the central Aurora Plains. It took its name from two bright red eyes that sometimes are seen by travelers. There is a rumor that these eyes belong to a beautiful, but invisible woman, whose vague outlines appears when she passes through mist, fog or rain. It is rumored that she lets no armed man inside the forest. However, it is told as well that the phantom is not hostile; it is rather friendly especially with children. There are various stories of children entering the forest and being guided by her in a small clearing where some graves lie and are told a story they can barely remember afterwards - a story of broken mirrors, death and betrayal. It is also rumored that these children do well with their lives and are distinguished when they grow up. As time passed by the phantom appeared more and more rarely. However, the forest retained its reputation for centuries. During the reign of the Helcrani Anactar Tephron (7th century b.S.) the Phantom Eyes Knight Order was established which guards the grove and prevents trespassers from entering.
The Wean Grass's Names
One of Wean Grass's alternate names probably comes from its delicate appearance and bleached blond colour which resembles a baby's hair; however, there are always people willing to provide stories and rationales for perfectly logical nomenclature. The following story is provided by an unknown Auroran minstrel.
"They say that when people first came to this area it was dry earth - no trees, no grass, no flowers - just dry earth. So they prayed to Jeyriall, Goddess of the Harvest, to send them plants. When vegetation did not immediately spring up out of the ground, they grew impatient, and turned to Grothar, asking for his rain to come down. To propitiate him and hasten the rain, they sacrificed a child, a baby boy, letting his blood drip over the barren ground as a symbol of the fertility they craved. As the child's heart stopped, the skies went black and thunder and lightning split the air all around them, yet there was no rain. The dead child's lips moved and a voice issued forth: 'I am Jeyriall of the Harvest. You have grieved both me and Grothar Rain-Lord. Since we do not desire death, even yours, we shall grant you your plants and foodstuffs. But for your impatience, your lack of trust, and your impiety, and that you shall remember, the grass we give you to cover this ground shall be made of this babe's hair, and you shall always recognize that your life here depends upon his death...' And the rain came down, and the grass grew, and the Aurorans believed and henceforth worshipped Jeyriall and Grothar above all others."