Akshay, a large territory in the north east, is a mixture of plains and scattered forest, flatland and hills. It is a wild place, populated mainly by elvish tribes. Gnomes and dwarves live in the hills and mountains on the western border, and humans have made themselves at home along the eastern coast. Havadar is a small male dragon who happened to be in the right place at the right time, and took possession of Akshay when the previous ruler died.
The winters here are not as fierce as in Mahday and, of course, get milder toward the south. However, during dry seasons Akshay suffers from wildfires that sweep across the plains, sometimes for hundreds of miles. There is always new life in the wake of these of devastating fires, and some grasses and flowers thrive only in the aftermath.
Herds of bison-like ungulates live here, frequently tended by elvish herders. These grazers are the primary source of meat, leather, and tools for most of the people of Akshay, and the elves are zealous in their guardianship. There is lively trading between the elvish herders and the coastal humans, exchanging meat and fish, leather and linen, horn and salt, and various other goods.
Iron, gold, silver, and gems flow out of the western mountains, but the elves have little use for any but the iron. They trade meat and leather for dwarven arrowheads, spear tips, and knife blades. Then they craft superior arrows, spears, and knives, often with magic inlaid. Their arrows fly true, their spears bite deep, and their blades never need sharpening. Though they are willing to trade everything else, the elves never trade their weapons. On occasion, human or gnomish raiders will attack elven bands specifically for these treasures. Weapons made by the elves of Akshay fetch a high price, especially on the black markets of Mohanshu and Lalika, where the magic is forbidden.
Havadar is not an involved ruler. He doesn’t micro-manage his resources, as Praha does. He doesn’t consort with his people as Bhanu and Tarlah do, nor does he pretend to be a god-king, like Janesh. He goes hither and yon, wherever the wind takes him. Akshay prospers under his gaze though, and benefits from his protection when other dragons try to claim what clearly isn’t theirs.
This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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