THE STRATANIAN TRIBE
The Stratanian Tribe once formed the ancient Kingdom of Stratania. The tribe of the Stratanians is of origin nomadic. They were initially called the Shendar. Moving from oasis to oasis they lived in the whole desert region of the gigantic southern peninsula of the Sarvonian continent. It must have been about two or three millennia b.S. when some Shendar people started to settle down in small, permanent communities which finally developed to the Stratanian Kingdom. The nomads on the other hand held their own name: the "Shendar" or "Shendarions". Since its founding in 758 b.S. Stratania had always been identified with its large desert, the Rahaz-Dath located at the very south of the southern Sarvonian continent. The region where the Kingdom of Stratania was located currently represents the Santharian province of Truban.
The Stratanian Coat of Arms drawn by Koldar Mondrakken.
Coat of Arms. When
the several city-states united at the beginning of the Age of Blood, they chose a
arms which clearly represented their kingdom.
History. The tribe of the Stratanians is of origin nomadic. They were initially called the Shendar. Moving from oasis to oasis they lived in the whole desert region of the gigantic southern peninsula of the Sarvonian continent. It must have been about two or three millennia b.S. when some Shendar people started to settle down in small, permanent communities. The first example of such a settlement is reported from the nowadays huge town of Thalambath, lying on the west coast of the peninsula. Thalambath probably may have existed even millennia before other noteable communities came into existence. At this time the tribe was also split in two halves: settlers and nomads. The settlers finally called themselves "Stratanians" after they had mingled with the refugees from Voldar following Drafas Tristin on his long journey south, escaping the Dragonstorm (1650 b.S.). Strata means "south" in the elvish tongue, and the tribe named itself and the kingdom to be founded after the most important city of the region, the town and haven Drafas had founded on the most southern cape of Sarvonia.
Map of the ancient kingdoms of Santharia (482 b.S.). Click on any kingdom to read more details at other kingdom entries. Picture drawn by Artimidor.
The nomads on the other hand held their own name:
the "Shendar" or "Shendarions" as they were later called by the main
Santharian population. Both names mean
"people of the sand", but the tribe itself prefers the first
"Shendar" is also the accurate pronouncing of the tribe's name in the
tongue. The language
of the Shendar by the way consists of a large number
of guttural sounds, which may seem rather weird
when listening with the ears of
foreigners, but they of course practice common
Tharian speech as well, because the tribe plays an important part in Stratanian economy and trade.
Though the Shendar communites were rather always changing and moving, it is a
fact that throughout the ages certain regions developed
within the desert where some Shendars doiminated over
others, gaining more and more wealth and power. Currenlty there exist
approximately between six and nine of such territories (it is still very
difficult to accumulate appropriate information on the desert lands). Each
of the regions are
led by so-called "'ah Waeyrón",
who in general can be compared to
Santharian earls. Above the
'ah Waeyrón a single lord
rules over the desert lands, called the "'hrul Zhaeón", commonly referred to by
the Stratanians as the
"Desert Lord". The Desert Lord acts completely
independendly from the Stratanian king, but they respect each other as they also
depend on each other.
Trade in Stratania. With the founding of communities trade came into being, at first only with the communties together, later on as well with towns from outside the tribe. When Strata was founded by refugees from Voldar in the Year of Darkness (1650 b.S.), trade was given an extra boost by this fastgrowing and expanding city. It was already at this time that the traditional Shendar tribe got its powerful position. In exchange for goods and money the Shendar led the caravans through the desert, and the traders solely depended on them for successful arrival on the other side.
Therefore a balance of power between the Shendar and the Stratanians arose, and both still depend on each other. The balance is fragile, as is proven by several occasions in history. It happened that the cities didn't like the policies of the Shendar or the other way round, but skirmishes usually resulted in blockades on the trade routes and stagnating resources for both sides. But in general the kingdom (be it Stratanian or Santharian) and the Shendar always have come together again in a mutual understanding, for both sides have realized that the survival of their civilisations depends on their co-operation.
Main Stratanian Cities. There existed only very few huge cities in the Kingdom of Stratania. Mostly you will find smaller villages or simple settlements throughout the lands as is typical for desert land.
Nevertheless the four largest towns of Stratania were/are of major importance for the whole continent and shouldn't be forgotten to be mentioned here:
Of old the wealthiest city because of its intercontinental trade with Shan'Thai and also the continent of Nybelmar, but slowly gave in power to Thalambath, resulting finally in the demise of the city. Currently Strata is rebuilding some of its old glory.
In ancient times Bardavos (the former Thaehavos) was located at the border of the Stratanian and the Avennorian Kingdom. It is a free, independent city of artists and other intellectual persons with a notable democratic government system, one of the few communities in Santharia where democracy was introduced. Bardavos nowadays is the capital of the Santharian province of Brendolan.
Another important town in ancient Stratania is Uderza, located near the large oasis of Nirmenith to the northwest. Though Uderza is of origin Shendar and still controlled by the desert people, the Stratanians (and the Santharians of today) have a large presence there because of several facts. One is the strategical place where the town it is located, near a large oasis full of water supply. Second there is the production of two rare goods, namely a rare weed called "Vhin" used to produce tobacco as well as pottery made of a special kind indigo clay. The clay is extremly stable and has an extraordinary fine structure - it is named "Aerth". Uderza is also said to be one of the few places where one can establish contact with the Desert Lord through his mediators, as the Lord usually remains hidden from the public. Only a few of his representatives reside in Uderza to keep an eye on the trade, maintain contact with the kingdom.
Information provided by Gean Firefeet