In the Southern Alliance, the furthest island to the south is known by its natives as Yheyn. Many in the far northern reaches Alliance refer to it as the Confine of the South, but the natives of this small island-country look further southward with the knowledge that they don't live on the end of the world - they just get the closest seats.
Yheyn is the furthest island to the south in the Southern Alliance, which is composed of the twelve islands in the eastern chain of the Southern Islands. On a map of the robot Mata-Nui (though canon ones cannot he used for this purpose, as many things about the south have been changed for the purpose of this RPG), Yheyn would be located about midway through the robots leg.
Yheyn is a geographically diverse island, as many in the Matoran Universe are. The island, and the smaller ones surrounding it as shown on the map, total to a square mile coverage roughly equal to the US State of the West Virginia - much larger than Metru-Nui, but still the smallest in the Alliance, which is itself composed of smaller, less populated islands.
Very little of the mainland of Yheyn is hospitable environment. The further southern areas are blanketed by rich agricultural ground, dotted by tiny villages and lined with canals and the occasional railway bringing trade goods from one place to the other witihn minutes. Heading north from this agrarian paradise is a forest that grows progressingly thick as one moves through it, until it finally comes to a dead stop at the mountains and desert.
The center of the island is the only other place on the island capable of supporting life. Surrounded by all sides by massive, jagged mountains filled with Rahi and deserted wastelands incapable of supporting sapient life, the lush, Kio spanning forest seems completely out of place. The forest, known as Karda-Vir ("Glade in the Heart", roughly) is centered around a large, unnamed lake. Attempts have been made to settle in the forest, but the lack of access to the sea and the occasional, random Rahi attack have let to it being deemed too much work. Nevertheless, a small group can make do with the area, and many rogue Toa are said to make their way here when things turn bad.
Like almost all of the major Southern Islands, Yheyn is highly volcanic - a large stretch of the islansd east coast, along with about the northern quarter, are still active, and it appears that some of the mountains in the great central ranges are simply dormant. The deserts surrounding the islands center are covered in igneous stones and show similar signs - it seems, though, that whatever quelled the island and made it more stable happened before the coming of the Matoran.
NOTE: PL refers to Pre-League, and progresses backwards from the first year of the League of Six Kingdoms taking power. IA refers to Imperial Age, the span of some 14 Millennia in which the League held power. After that is AL, or After League, which refers to time as it progresses from after the Leagues fall.
Yheyn was first settled by Matoran in 4,138 PL, and was actually one of the earliest islands to form a central government after the Great Spirit illuminated the universe. Turaga Gauraur was granted the title of Count of Yheyn, and was assisted in his duties by another group of Turaga, the Justiciars, who acted as the judicial system of Yheyn and dealt with all legal matters, as well as guarding the island.
The island remained at peace until 3100 PL, until Gauraur came to realize that he was slowly losing power to Justiciars, along with public face, and that the Justiciars had come to hold far more power than he had. He stood before the full court and disowned them for their actions. Unfortunately for him, he ws right about his loss of power - the group had his own guards grab him and sentence him to execution.
The Justiciars reigned for another 200 years, until a Toa of Earth named Gremost arrived on behalf of the Toa Council. Still young, and unsure of the Toa Code, he saw the cruelty of the group and realized they had to be ousted. He struck hard, and fast, holding in his hands a weapon known as the Legion Scepter and quickly cutting off the groups head by killing most of their leaders.
It took decades to finish the job - while Gremost won the support of most of the Justiciars forces, others were too loyal to the cause, and fled with the remaining leaders to the far corners of the Yheyn-Seas, with Nibar as their last bastion of power. Their rebellion against Gremost was far less succesful, and they were unable to reclaim their power. In the end, all of the Justiciars were crushed.
And with that, Gremost had claimed the title of Count of Yheyn. The people constructed Castle Sakrinil in his honor, the project spanning centuries in order to make sure that every detail was perfect, and that the strongest structure to ever stand would be built.
Almost immediately after the Castles construction, the thief known as Midnight began a crime spree the likes of which had never been seen before, leaving behind the distinct symbol of a crescent moon wherever items had been stolen. Among the items stolen was the Legion Scepter itself, though items stopped disappearing soon after that.
The millennia passed quietly until the year 8,619 AI. Most of the Matoran Universe rested in the hands of the Barraki, though the Southern Continent and most of the west still stood against them. The South never struck the Barraki as a prize, being self-sustaining but of little use internationally. As very little to verify that reached the ears of the Southerners, Gremost and the leaders of the other twelve countries in the eastern chain of the Southern Islands met on the sixth month of that year on the central island, Everok, to forge an alliance that could hold back the Barraki in case of an attack.
Thus the Southern Alliance was formed, a confederation of twelve conuntries joined together to defend their homes. Even their combined military would be helpless against the League, but they knew it was all they could do. Their was a great sigh of relief some six milennia later, when the League collapsed due to the reckless actions of their leades and the might of the Brotherhood. The Alliance, however, did not end there - the wealth and security it offered to the twelve islands made its continuation unanimous.
Gremost continued his annual visits of Everok, but the isolation of Yheyn from the rest of the Alliance led to him being absent from the island from a quarter to half of every year. Tiring of the constant voyages, he appointed a foreigner named Vamden to the position of Ambassador. Eventaully, he even declared the younger Toa his succesor. At the advise of both Vamden and a few of his close friends, Gremost began construction for the Shimmering Palace - unlike Castle Sakrinil, it stood more as a symbol of power to show off then as a fortification against attacks (not that the design wasn't heavily defensible).
Five hundred years ago, in the year 3,192 AL, Count Gremost passed away. Vamden, as Gremost had desired, was offered the title count of Yheyn. Vamden refused, instead taking up the title of Governor as many other leaders in the Alliance islands had done. Rather than aking his home in Castle Sakrinil, he took the Shimmering Palace as his seat of power. He chose the Turaga named Jovalik to take the title of Viscount, and the throne in Castle Sakrinil, under his direction.
The current year is 3,692 AL.
Population & CultureEdit
The people of Yheyn are, for the most part, a fierce and independent people who like to get work done, do it right, and then call it a day. The inhabitants are mostly Ga-, Onu-, and Le-Matoran, though representives of almost every common element can be found here. There are also numerous members of two Prime Species, and there is a strong presence of both Vortixx and Steltians. Those who are native to the island are almost all of the Matoran species, though a few Primes count themselves among that number, and any whose actions speak louder than their homeland can be counted as friends to the natives.
The most prominent religion is the reverance of Mata-Nui, as it is with most of the Matoran Universe.
Most buildings and other constructions here are meant to last - while a few more elegant crafts can be found, most are just as practical as they are awesome. It's a safe bet to say that Castle Sakrinil, the strongest of these constructions, could naturally stand for tens of thousands of years afterwards with its designs.
Despite not having any Toa at its beginnnings, Yheyn now boasts the second highest Toa to non-Toa ratio in the entire Alliance, with hundreds of Toa being present. Like most of the Matoran Universe, the Toa Council holds a presence here, and seeks to recruit any newly created Toa to join their cause of peace and order, or else imprison them. Unlike the rest of the universe, where the Xankah Order is considered insiginificant to the Council in size, it holds an even larger number. This can be accredited to the Orders founder, Toa Precentus, having once been a native Matoran of Yheyn.
Trade and commerce are as usual here. While there are numerous smaller guilds, all who wish to do business on the island (sometimes by bartering, and sometimes with the inter-Alliance system of widgets) must answer to the Traders Guild. Almost all of the islands wealth has flown through the hands of the Guild at least once, and standing up to them is more dangerous than attacking a Tahtorahk with a rusty dagger. They make sure that all businesses charge close to the same prices, making it so that all stay open, and none (save the Guild) ever enjoy greater success.
Very few natives of they Yheyn-Seas like being told what to do, though they accept tradition (such as the Toa Council and their rules, and the words of Mata-Nui) very fervently. The actions of Vamden, which benefit foreign affairs even when it means a blow to the worker of Yheyn, have led to some disruption. Those on the mainland are, for the most part, a bit more tollerant of his actions - Frumus, on the other hand, takes independence to heart, and refuses to honor any Southern Alliance treaties beyond providing assistance military troops.
Yheyn has three economic classes (lower, middle, upper). The upper class mostly resides in large manors and estates, and are for the most part incredibly wealthy. The middle class is composed mostly of merchants and soldiers, and a few of the major planation owners hover between it and the upper class. The lower class is mostly the common workers, miners, and farmworkers. Overall, they often fare much better here than further north, where there is a great population-land ratio. Still, there are the exceptions - especially in Sakrinil. These individuals work mostly in Traders Guild owned factories.
According to the Census Records, there are close to sixty thousand inhbaitants in the Yheyn-Seas, with close to a quarter of them residing in or owning property in the major city of Sakrinil.
Places of InterestEdit
The Yheyn mainland is an interesting place, but a few things stand out especially strong.
Shimmering Palace: The current seat of power on the island of Yheyn. The Shimmering Palace is quite large, and quite beautiful. It is composed of marvelous zoos, exotic gardents, and buildings of shiny marble that reflect the water that they tower over. The palace proper is home to Governor Vamden, and is the only walled location of the overall palace - however, the well positioned towers and twisting patterns of buildings make attempting to flee the guards capture, or a military ground assault, quite unlikely. The Palace is open to the public, up until one reaches the gates of the Palace proper, where only important individuals or ones with important news can pass - most are then diverted to the steward, and ones related to defense or military matters are directed to the captain-of-the-guard. Meeting the Governor is a rare privilege.
Sakrinil: The capital city of Yheyn, and its largest city, housing close to a quarter of the population - some fifteen thousand inhabitants of assorted races. It doesn't extend very far inland, but instead spreads for many Kio up and down the coast. For the most part, the buildings are nice, primarily of stone but occasioanly of wooden construction. Some areas, however, are simply hovels. Sakrinil was the seat of power from the Justiciars fall up until present day - now, the Shimmering Palace holds that honor. Within Castle Sakrinil now resides Viscount Jovalik, an elderly Turaga who was previously the mayor of a small village before his appointment to leading the city of Sakrinil by Governor Vamden. It is very spread out.
--- Castle Sakrinil - The seat of Alliance power and former home to Count Gremost, it is a well fortified and massive structure with a large force of well trained guards. All save the Viscounts chambers are opened from dawn to dusk. Information on the castle can be found on the linked page. The guards here are also the city guard.
--- Port Wardens Stone - The base of the Yheyn Coast Guard, Port Wardens Stone is one of the furthest northern ports of the city. Many ships can be found docked here, with ones leaving and returning throughout the day. There is a prison here to hold pirates caught out at sea. Toa working with the Coast Guard are provided their own accomadations.
--- Toa Council Chambers - The base of the Toa Council. The Council Chambers are quiet large, with multiple stories and numerous rooms to provide personal quarters for every Toa, and numerous armories or libraries to gain knowledge or weapons. The entire thing is centered around a huge chamber in the center, where enough seats can be found to host the entire Council and then many more during meetings.
--- Great Library - The home to the Sages Guild, this is the largest library on Yheyn, housing thousands of books and tomes.
Xankah Order Base - The main base of operations for the Xankah Order, located near the coast far to the west of Sakrinil. Unlike the Council Chambers, which is a single (if massive) structure, the Order base if spread out over a larger area, with numerous single story buildings. Private chambers can be found for all Toa, along with armories and libraries. Most meetings are held in the central courtyard while standing, and are often much longer than those of the Council.
Central Railway Station - Located halfway between Shimmering Palace, in the center of mainland Yheyn. This station is where most trains have to pass through along their routes. The only station rivaling its size is the one in Sakrinil proper. Almost any supply trains heading anywhere have to pass through here for inspection.