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Malatra was a jungle land in the south of Kara-Tur. In these lands there existed political states which were quite different in their culture and inhabitants from the rest of Kara-Tur. There were three states Purang, Laothan and the Kuong Kingdom.
Boundaries in these lands were irrelevant and many hapless adventurers and merchants met death here. In the dense jungles, swamps and misty mountains, are found a lot of terrible creatures and native wild tribes did not know the meaning of mercy. In these lands even experienced locals did not go far from the cities, and did not know what was happening in the heart of these wild lands.
In these lands there were three organized states. Purang, Laothan, and Kuong.The first represented a semi-primitive tribe much more developmentally advanced than other tribes. The second was strongly reminiscent of the culture and customs of the northern states of Shou Lung and T'u Lung. The third had its own unique culture and history, and was located in the deep jungle.
Malatra was practically covered by deep jungle but there are also existed small hilly areas. Shorelines as well had virtually no jungle, and many cities were located there. Several mountain ranges such as Himasla Mountains, Akashnu Mountains and Intan Mountains could also be seen poking above the treeline. There were also many villages and relatively large cities sprawling across all Malatra. In south-central Malatra, the giant Malatran Plateau rose thousands of feet above the rest of the nation.
Northern Malatra was dominated by countryside and many small villages were scattered over this territory. Most of the houses were made of bamboo, elevated above the ground by stilts and the roofs were made of palm leaves. These roofs were very useful for protection against rain and insects while the stilts kept the floor dry during the rainy season. Usually such constructions were common in tribal lands and Purang, though the Seng of Laothan had more impressive buildings. For example, a noble's house would be built from strong wood delivered from the rain forest, and many of these homes could reach a height of 2 meters. Some defenses in Laothan were made out of stone but most city buildings were crafted mostly of wood.
In the Kuong Kingdom most of the buildings in villages were made of wood or bamboo, and raised above the ground for protection from wild animals and monsters. In the cities, the majority of homes were made of strong wood and the houses of nobles or important public buildings were built out of stone. Usually, the stone was quarried far away from cities and hauled back over many miles. Many stone buildings were often painted and had beautiful murals. The central core of a city was a temple around which were placed less important buildings such as shops and taverns. Temples were usually the most beautiful buildings in the city. Also fortresses were often built of stone for obvious reasons.
Agriculture and CommerceEdit
In the fields of Malatra, mainly rice, fruit and vegetables were cultivated. In the lands of Laotan most cultivated just rice, maintaining their paddies near to their villages. In the jungle areas Kuong rice cultivation was less common, and villages often had to be nomadic to find suitable land with which to grow their crop. Because of unsuitable land in the jungle, the Kuong Kingdom saw fruit cultivation as a much more common practice.
The Purang hill tribes however were subsistence farmers, growing fruits and keeping livestock.
The Seng were skilled workers in leather and wood, but traded few of their goods outside their own country. Silver for jewelry-making was mined near Kwang Tre and then sold throughout Laothan and the Kuong lands. The Kuong were master stonemasons and their temples were magnificent. Malatra was rich in natural resources, as well as precious metals and gems.
Tribal hunters made good livings catching a variety of exotic animals to sell them in cities.
At a time when there were no people, the goddess Indra straddled her elephant and traveled across the sky. Where the elephant set foot it created mountains lakes and rivers. Thus was created Malatra. The goddess Indra then had a dispute with her brother Yama who claimed that the land for himself. Indra could not stop her brother and so she cried, sending the rains and terrible hurricanes that plague Malatra. At the same time Yama settled the land with people and animals and looked after their affairs. The people Yama populated the land with were demigods who lived on it for centuries, but eventually decreased in power, becoming the ordinary people who now inhabit Malatra. This heavenly origin is more strongly reflected in the Kuong Kingdom where the priests are considered the closest descendants of the gods.
Thousands of years ago, before the people of Malatra had recorded history, several alien spelljamming ships landed on Toril in the jungles of Malatra. The aliens were a pacifistic faction of the race known as the Nubari, whose utopian planets, which had been shared with other species in other crystal spheres, had all become embroiled in war. These Nubari used their powerful magic to create the Malatran Plateau as a safe haven where they could live in harmony with the native spirit folk and natural predators, determining that it would not be a desirable place for the other native peoples of Toril to live.
They weren't entirely correct. Humanity found its way into Malatra. The expansionist Kuong Kingdom, the tribal Seng of Laothan and the primitive hill tribes of Purang all made inroads into the nation from the north, though the magical Hallucinatory Terrain and Antipathy spells the Nubari had erected over the plateau, in conjunction with the sheer height of the plateau itself and the dinosaurs that lived around its base, dictated exactly how much contact there would be between the two races on the Nubari's terms.
The Nubari transplanted their utopian culture to their new home and lived in peace and near-solitude for millennia. The goddess Beshaba however, despised utopias and caused a disaster - the nature of which has been lost to time - to befall the Nubari. The Nubari lost the vast majority of their knowledge, culture and technology in the disaster and soon devolved to primitive barbarism.
During a long lull in the local predator population years afterward, human, korobokuru and hengeyokai explorers managed to reach the plateau despite its magical defenses. The humans and the Nubari interbred, creating a new subrace of humans, and the korobokuru and hengeyokai thrived too. It is thought that the saru evolved from the gorilla population around this time as well but no one can be sure as many from the other races did not immediately notice the difference in the primate's level of intelligence. The predator population was eventually restored, effectively isolating the humanoids on the plateau from the wider nation.
Away from the plateau, the peoples of Malatra warred amongst themselves and with T'u Lung, with the Kuong Kingdom acting most frequently as the aggressor. Since 1307 DR, there was a lasting peace. This hasn't been a good thing necessarily for Laothan however, as without a common foreign foe to fight, their nobles began fighting among themselves instead. However, unknown to them, the Kuong were just using those five decades to build up their military for yet another attempt to expand into Laothan.
Places of InterestEdit
Behind the scenesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 99. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
- ↑ Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 100. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
- ↑ Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 105. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 106. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.