Ymallea is the name given by the Wise to the regions of rolling hill country of southern Eosphora
a way to the south of the Silk Road between the Indo-Helladian Kingdoms to the west and the realms
of the Kemer to the east. To the south lies Sandhia which juts out into the warm waters of the Sea of
Sandh and is a land of verdant pasturage and well watered farms. The hills that hight Ymalli are also
known as the Southern Mountains, though in sooth they are not nearly so high or cragulous as to warrant
the name. They are ancient and worn hills, few being higher than six thousand feet, though there are
many deep vales and it is a land of many meres and rivers. Green they are and their valleys are lush
with running waters that flow in all directions from the highlands.
In the northern parts of Ymallea lies a vast steppe land dotted here and there by the ruins of many
kingdoms now long fallen and forgotten even by the loremasters who know best the history of those
times and places; for the ancient builders of these cities and roads and other works are long dead,
and anymore nothing is remembered of their histories or cultures or learning, except what little has
been gleaned from the architecture and objects they left behind. The cities are thought to have
been constructed anywhen from about eleven to fifteen thousand years ago, and most be now buried
under fields or woodlands.
Of the Daine and a few Men who now inhabit many of those lands in the reaches of central Eosphora,
some kindreds make use of several of the cities, while the rest lie abandoned and empty for most of
the Daine in those lands are wanderers tending more to their horses and herds than to any ruins of
ancientry. Most of the roads linking these cities are long greened over, though some are in good
condition, and are regularly used by Daine and also the caravans that wend their ways between our
lands in the East and the distant Empire of Sunset. At times, some adventurer will assay to explore
the ruins of one of these dead cities and some few come away again with their lives, for it is said
that they are home to little more than ghosts. And it is well known that ghosts that inhabit dead
cities are always hungering for the life force of those intrepid fools who will dare come nigh their
haunts and lairs. Far fewer indeed come away again with the treasures they seek.
Helmfast describes in his Account some of the ancient ruins to be found. Most notable are the pottery
and metal implements that may occasionally be found by digging amongst the tumbled stone walls.
Many yet bear elaborate designs and pictures of local animals and plants upon them. Wild boars,
leopards and serpents are found very commonly, and it is thought by some historiographers that these
animals were once worshipped there; though olifaunts, behemoths - which the Rumen do clep
hippopotamides - aurochs, dragons and many other beast may be found on objects in this land. Of
curious note are several objects that hight stamp seals, for they seem to be fashioned in order to
authenticate ownership or authorship of things, in likewise to a merchant or government seal in our
own country. It be impossible to learn the meaning of the writing on them though, if writing it be, for
it is thought that the writing may represent the owners name. The usual form the ruins are found in
be that of a large central complex surrounded by an oblong walled area with smaller buildings and
complexes within. Many scorched and blackened stones are thought to be part of ancient fire altars,
and these are often found at crossroads.
The ruins hight anau by the Daine who inhabit the region; although they can not say if this is the
native or true name of the people that built the places. Some historiographers hold that these ancient
peoples were ancestors of the Nibukians who later founded their empire at Hoopelle. Others believe that
the places were built by Daine or Teyor or perhaps some other long forgotten race in the dim and distant
past. Many of the cities bear the curious scars of some horrific and violent upheaval. In several places,
one may find in the middle of an abandoned roadway, a huge and vast pit and all the stones of the roadways
and walls are scattered and tumbled about as if thrown thence by some incredible tumult. The legends of
the local Men hold that in far ancient times, the gods came from the heavens in their flying cities and
made war there, thus destroying the once thriving kingdoms. There is for example, the curious story of a
battle between two kings, Carsanay and Salmay, which ends in a fiery cataclysm:
When the weapon of Admatam, a blazing missile of smokeless fire is unleashed, dense arrows of flame,
like a great shower of fire, issued forth upon the world, encompassing the enemy. A thick gloom swiftly
settled upon the enemy hosts. All points of direction were lost in darkness as fierce winds began to blow.
Clouds roared upward, showering dust and gravel. Birds reeled madly and the very elements seemed
disturbed. The sun seemed to waver in the heavens; and the earth shook, scorched by the terrible violent
heat of this weapon. Oliphants burst into flame, running to and fro in a frenzy and from the end of one
city to the ends of the other, over a vast area, other animals crumpled to the ground and died. From all
points of direction the arrows of flame rained continuously and fiercely. At the last came Carsanay
flying in his swift and powerful airship, hurling against the triple city a single missile charged with all the
power of the universe. And there an incandescent column of smoke and fire, as brilliant as ten thousand
suns, rose in all its splendor. Indeed the light of the weapon lit the heavens brighter than the sun at noon.
It was the iron thunderbolt, a gigantic and terrible messenger of death which reduced to ashes the entire
race of the Ourisnis and Antacas. Their corpses were so burnt they were no longer recognizable, and of
those who survived the first onslaught, their hair and nails fell out. Birds on the wing instantly became
ash and pottery broke without cause and the foodstuffs in every storehouse were poisoned. In order to
try and make an escape, the warriors of Ourisnis and Antacas threw themselves in streams to wash
themselves and their equipment. But try as they might to wash and cleanse themselves of the bitter ash,
none survived the mighty onslaught of king Carsanay and his mighty weapon.
The southern parts of central Eosphora are peopled by many tribes of wandering nomads and people of
moderate agricultural civilisation. The Rumeliard historiographer Mannios Tullios Cicero lists hundreds of
thedes both Mannish and Daine living in this area, but most of them have never been visited by reputable
scholars, and little or nothing is known of them.
There be four kindreds that wander the steppes: the Mung, who are most numerous and are swarthy Men
that have narrow eyes and black hair; the Aigheldaine, swarthy Wildings and also have dark hair and wings
and their eyes are shaped like almond nuts; the Turcs and Aryans, who be fairer, but no less barbarick.
Many thedes of the central and southern parts of Eosphora follow curious tribal religions. Yet there are a
number of folks that follow the Bodhian & Zoroastrusian religions and there are not a few Nestorian, or
Edezian Kristians as well.
In the midlands of Ymallea lies a beautiful land of lakes called Zampal-lay where it is said folk live in a
state of happiness and peace, where divine truth and pure thought and action find their home. Zampal-lay
is a land that no ordinary person may enter unless he is well upon the path of enlightenment. Those with
special affiliation may actually be able to go there through their karmic connection, nevertheless it is not
a physical place that we can actually find. We can only say that it is a pure land, a pure land in the human
realm. And unless one has the merit and the actual karmic association, one cannot actually arrive there.
So says the lama of the Idtotian monastery at Dang-lay, near the Silk Road, whose monastery is reported to
be in the vicinity of Zampal-lay. Idtotian monks, who spend their nights contemplating the wonders of the
all encompassing principle of Gogam or all encompassing love, produce verses on scrolls and banners in
their lovely ivy-script.
Beyond these wild lands, south of the Hills of Ymalli and east of Ehrran, there lie many rich and powerful
kingdoms yet the South of Eosphora be a land little known to us in the East, for few have travelled thither
and come back again alive. There be in those southern lands the Empire of the Sandhians; the Kingdom of
Congarashthiya; the Land of the Goat; Lomb; and the lands of the Mung.
If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away?
--- Wandalf of Angera