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ARKAN (Kingdom of, a.k.a. Ar)
Location: New Alphatian Sea, then above the Yannivey Islands. AS
Area: 100 sq. mi. (259 sq. km.), plus the 33,920 sq. mi. (87,853 sq. km.) of the Yanniveys.
Population: 50,000 (25,000 in Skyreach), plus 5,000 of the Yanniveys. [Population figures are tentative, pending census. Ed.]
Language: Alphatian (Arkan dialect), Elvish (Shiye-Lawr dialect).
Coinage: Alphatian Standard: crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp).
Taxes: 15% income tax on everyone of servant status or higher, and an import/export tax of 2% on magical items and components, and 1% on all other goods (Naycese kingdoms, Karameikos and Thyatis excluded). 10% of tax revenue goes to the Naycese treasury, and an additional 10% is spent on military forces in the name of the confederation.
Government Type: Monarchy, member of Nayce.
Industries: Military, air magics, ocean harvesting.
Important Figures: Qissling (King), Qirklin (Prince).
Flora and Fauna: With their aerial nature, the islands of Floating Arkan see an abundance of flying creatures. Dragons, djinn, efreet, air elementals, griffons, hippogriffs, pegasi, and pegataurs are but a few of the more spectacular flying creatures. Other, land-bound creatures include bears, big cats, boars, sheep, and horses. Down on the Yannivey Islands, one can see additional creatures such as wolves. The surrounding waters see the usual bevy of fishes and aquatic predators. With the islands having to fend for themselves more in regards to food, the once lavish gardens, parks, and unused lands have found themselves under the plough. It should also be noted that as with any Alphatian domain, the land may be filled with any sort of summoned, created, or captured monsters.
Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, previous almanacs.
Description by Allstrick.
Originally we had not planned on visiting Arkan. However, it is a wondrous place, and I just had to show Thalia. To speed up our travels, we utilised magic to teleport in. In this we had some minor trouble. With its new location we did not materialise exactly where I had expected. Luckily, I had taken precautions and we were no worse for wear. Of course it did shake Thalia up a bit. I shall go ahead and say that I am glad we ventured to Arkan.
How can I begin such a description without mentioning Palart Arkan's aerial nature first? For those not aware, the kingdom is comprised of numerous landmasses enchanted with magics, affording them lift. Essentially, the kingdom is a grouping of floating islands. Thalia was full of questions about how and why Arkan was so lofty. I could tell her only what I knew. Still, I think the place did much to overwhelm her about Alphatia's pre-war magical might.
Upper Arkan is now a much different place. Aside from the different location, the isles themselves have changed. Gone are many of the old parks and such. In their place are crop fields, nestled in any free portions of land available. Seems that the old land below had been the key source of food for those living on the floating isles. With the mainland gone and subsequently replaced by the Yannivey Islands, an intermediate source of food is needed.
Below Floating Arkan are the Yannivey Islands. Becoming part of Arkan has changed the islands. Several of the old known villages are gone, their inhabitants scattered and displaced. Several tracts of land have been cleared for cultivation. In general, the Arkans are intent upon moulding the islands to fit their needs. They have begun establishing farms among the islands to provide food... and I suspect... to allow the former parks and gardens to be relieved of their burdens of food cultivation.
During our week-long stay, we operated out of Skyreach. The capital has lost very little of its pre-war charm and elegance. The main difference that I can see is the food. Prices for food are rather high and variety is limited. Even I, so familiar with Alphatian magical potential, am impressed by the deed no matter how many times I see it. As such, I can appreciate Thalia's amazement at the kingdom.
The skyship fleet is easily seen operating in and around the islands. This is quite a surprise as portions of the fleet are said to be serving abroad. However, I recognised that several of the skyships are, or were, privately owned vessels. Strangely enough a proportion of these skyships are not militarily oriented. Some are used to aid in fishing and transport between the floating islands and the Yanniveys below. Skyship construction is a priority at the facilities in Skyreach, so I expect this traffic will but increase.
The people of Arkan are predominantly Alphatian. A large number of elves live there as well, establishing themselves as a powerful minority. Due to the isles' pre-war standing, one will see a far greater ratio of spellcasters living there than in any other kingdoms. Of course this ratio would be much greater had there not been a sizeable return of non-spellcasters from the war and the bulk of the skyship fleet surviving the sinking.
The Upper Arkans are still quite the charmers. Enough notables remembered me to make our stay very comfortable. I can think of not a single night that we were not invited to a party or some other social event. Though I had feared for Thalia's safety in other kingdoms, the Arkans seemed quite open to her. Her spellcasting ability, ethnic background, and personal charm outweighing the stigma of her dependence upon the Thyatian language.
At one such party, we met with Prince Qirklin. True to form, his great uncle King Qissling was absent, but such are the ways of the devoted mage. Egad how Qirklin had grown! The last time I had seen him, he was but an awkward boy running about the palace giving the servants a devil of a time. Though now a grown man, he was like a boy again as he had me recount tales of my exploits. Of course I could have done without some of the analysis on his part.
We also met with several pegataurs. Thalia had never seen one, and thought them little more than winged centaurs. I had to explain to her their origins as a magical crossbreed of pegasi and Shiye elves. Previously, pegataurs were given a second-class status, despite their elf-like abilities. However, I did notice them gaining ground socially. There is a definitely stronger pegataur presence within the military. Perhaps the influx of Shiye elves has helped their standing.
One person that I had hoped to see was Haldemar of Haaken. We had previously crossed paths, and were acquaintances of sorts. Mainly, I wanted to hear of his travels to this Hollow World and the status of Alphatia. Unfortunately, Haldemar was absent from his family's estate and had not been seen around here in some time. Most spoke of his still being away, serving the empress.
Prior to the war, Upper Arkan was part of Arkan, a kingdom on the Alphatian mainland. When the mainland sank, the islands remained in their lofty altitudes. With the mainland gone, the kingdom was moved to its present location above the Yannivey Islands. You see, before the war Upper Arkan had been the residences of the ruling class [spellcasters. Ed.], while the lands of Arkan served as the agricultural base. With Arkan gone, new food sources were needed. Such a movement was a major undertaking, taking six months to travel the 350 odd miles to their present location.
The Floating Arkans quickly set about occupying the Yannivey Chain to meld it to its needs. The Yannivey fared little better than their Yanifey forebears. The fate of the Yanifey tribesmen is uncertain and still under debate. The good news is that much of the criminal aspect of the chain was destroyed. All in all things are on an upswing for Arkan. The coming years should be very interesting.
Floating Arkan is a wondrous place. Each lofty piece of real estate offers the opportunity to amaze the average visitor. Just the way that the Floating Arkans have incorporated the aerial nature of the kingdom into everyday life is quite fascinating. One may also want to visit the Yannivey Islands to partake of the natural beauty. This visit could be an interesting conversation piece.