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This map is about 5500 miles north to south and 4200 east to west. It includes all of the Bordzvek, Platicivetri and Traguzar basins as well as parts of the Yondure, Vesh and Zil basins and a good part of the Knidola. By grouping these regions together, most of the ancient extent of the region can be shown. The three modern basins in this region all have their own sections of text, clicking the name of the basin will take you to that. We begin with the largest and oldest.
(Platicivetri Info) (Traguzar Info)
Though small in area and relatively small in population, the history and economy of this basin make it one of the great basins of Kassidor. It is a very long and difficult journey to reach it at this time, but it is an amazing place once you arrive.
In prehistoric times there were few human traces in the area. At that time there was only a thin band of habitability between the heat of the depth near the ocean, and the cold of the darks at high altitude. A series of rivers crossed that zone, each valley had a semi-civilized tribe living in it. In the valley of the largest river, now called the Bordz, the tribe was called the Awbash and their artistic motifs are still popular in the city. The artistic motifs of the tribes in other valleys could be quite different, and some of them are still seen in their areas today. Nothing else of that time remains. None had a written language and nothing is known of their spoken languages.
The first historical contact was made during the Energy Age by a scientific party under the leadership of an anthropologist known as Apprentice Bordz, after whom the river was named. In 3129bc he set up a base camp on what was then dry land, now about a half mile offshore of the left foot of the Kolerahbi statue on the modern harbor. From here he intended to study the whole region. He had quite a large team with him, quite a bit of gear including a steam engine, and regular contact via a road they built that would turn into a glideway track before the Energy Age was over.
By the time of The Fall in 2597bc, that camp had become a small city with a fine university of its own, a rowdy but thriving waterfront on the river, and settlements up to 200 miles upstream. There was a three hundred foot dam on the Bordz producing hydropower, and the abundant timberlands of the area were producing cordwood in quantities enough to fuel the local glideways. The glideway route went through the habitable zone in each river basin and went on thru the wilds of Traguzar to Zil and Trenst. The fact that the glideway followed the contour was significant for the canal that was to follow thousands of years later.
Instead of collapsing with the remainder of Dempala, this city maintained the Energy Age for generation after generation. The last of the old glideways broke down for the last time in 1176bc., over 1300 years later than the next closest installation. Immediately after The Fall the city began extending the canal along the contour in both directions. That canal eventually lead off this map to the north and very near the end on the south. Eventually it was a stretch of canal without a lock for 12,200 miles.
For a thousand Earth years the Bordzvek basin remained in total denial that there had been a Fall, and the Dempalan administrator continued to run his administration as he had been, while awaiting further instructions. The taxes that would have gone to Dempala stayed in the basin and was applied to local projects. Steam powered machinery went to work on the canals. The administrator, who's name was Hemptacon, understood that the prosperity of the common people was what drove a society and not the dalliances of the rich in their isolated palaces. He could see that the masses would never afford the glideway, even if he could keep it running, so he put more resources into the canal.
The city did not grow without businesses, and right after the fall there was one leading business in each of the staple commodities. Hemptacon fostered a strong alliance between his administration and the major businesses. It appears that part of the reason for this was a shared belief that the Energy Age need not end. Another reason was that seven of them had purchased the whole city's supply of eternal youth drugs just before The Fall occurred. At this time other peoples were told eternal youth was a property of the Elven race and not a medical treatment. Since the eternal youth of the aristocracy was not known to the public at the time, this move eliminated the remainder of the old aristocracy in a generation. Thus Heptacon and these six businessmen who formed the first city council knew each other for generations. In their private meetings they were known to refer to all other people as 'temps.' Unfortunately for them they did not hoard enough of a supply of the original eternal youth treatments, and by 979bc, all the survivors of the Energy Age in this basin had died.
In spite of a superior attitude, the men on that original city council shared a belief that the prosperity of the common people was the engine that drove a city's economy. The list of services available in the Energy Age that have been in use in the city continuously since then is impressive. Piped water, sewer, gas, and compressed air; regular air and coach service, reliable mail, telegraph service, gaslights, stylish dining and entertainment establishments. Other than occasional grumbling about this or that delicacy no longer available, the Fall of Dempala was a distant item on the news to most of the people of this basin.
Since that time their lot has only improved. Steam engines were refined and the cultivation of fuel plants was improved. Steamships still ply the rivers and the Great Canal. The ignitor button and later motion and IR detectors were added to the plumbed gas lanterns. Specialty woods, plastics and ceramics were substituted for metals, but artisanship continued to improve.
While the Old Lands fought the wars of magic, the people of the Bordzvek basin won administrative power from Hemptacon and his city council and placed it under control of a congress. Hemptacon accepted the will of the people with some grace and this was accomplished without blood loss. In 1881bc the first hall of that congress was started. One of the first things the congress did was appropriate the canal and rename it 'The Great Canal of the Republic.'
The Republic was more expansionist than Hemptacon. Over the next seven Earth centuries, until the fall of Troy, the Republic lengthened that canal and took control of all the land along the way. There could be little resistance at the time. The smiths of Bordzvek had figured out how to substitute ceramic and fiber for steel in making firearms. Wood-burning war machines, a little like mammoth tanks, could be ferried up and down the canal, as well as trade goods from the entire Republic.
In the days of the Republic, the city's builders first began to use large quantities of crystal, even though it would take generations for the project to be complete. That way they sold a floor about every decade, and could just keep adding more floors. The harbor was enlarged to its present dimensions in 1445bc. with a two and half mile dam up to 450 feet high. At that time the city was still a localized phenomenon near the first of the Great Bordz Locks, in what is today the canyon. The remainder of the harbor was a lon lake at the time.
Average people took to their connection to the canal with glee because a whole world of new goods could begin flowing their way. Membership in the Republic was extended to all in the added lands, not just the city. While the Energy Age had suntowers and palantirs, they also had blinker code, and after the suntower network went dead, Bordzvek continued the use of blinker code to the extent that messages could always move across the land in a single day, even as it became thousands of miles in extent.
Agriculture became more organized in the days of the Republic. Farmers tilled six to thirty acres and had six to thirty hired hands. The hired hands lived in the upper stories of the main house and quite often 'married in' within a few generations. This pattern of land ownership persists to this day and is why one sees fields of multiple acres in the Bordzvek basin while they are so rare elsewhere. The pooled resources of many allow keda-drawn mechanized equipment and for over a thousand years the basin's agricultural productivity was higher than any other basin on the planet.
More of the culture and ambience of the city were available to people in the country than in any other basin. By the time the Greeks and Trojans fought over Helen, most country villages had basin-wide printed matter, a skilled chef or two, a day school and a competent mechanic. One could send telegrams thruout the Republic, buy finery from far away cities, and dine to the sounds of the silta [a bango-fiddle with sympathetic strings]. Keda-drawn streetcars ran in most towns and coaches linked them.
But the constant extension of the canal was bound to run into something. In the north it eventually extended into the south of the ancient and populous Yondure basin. The heights it was at were a bit seasonal in those latitudes, but desirable just the same. They were not uninhabited however. The land was populated by mainly small clans of one hundred members or less, with much more Troll in them than was common in the deeper parts of the basin. Their language and culture was alien to the people of Bordzvek, and the Republic immediately set out to provide them with 'enlightenment' and membership in the Republic. That became a thorny issue for many generations.
Meanwhile in the south, the actual canal's water level eventually petered out in a dry plain hundreds of miles from anywhere. The nearest anywhere was a beautiful lake, but its far shore was settled by a rough and ready breed of Elves, a little stockier than you see in the Highlands and with dark brown or black hair. The Republic's navy could easily best them on the canal, but it would take a thousand miles of locks to get a ship of the line down there. The quick sloops on the lake proved too much for the small boats the Republic could bring down there and the young Knidola basin was never subdued by the Republic.
The government did not remain sound internally either. The business council continually pushed their interests and agendas and eventually formed a political party. Full color printing was just coming into use at the time, and they were able to use advertising dollars to elect quite a few seats by bamboozling the less educated and less intelligent.
In 1158bc., war broke out between the Republic and the empire of Hbanan in the north. Due to political shortsightedness, the war was botched badly, and the Republic was driven back. They backed first to the pass at DirstNarai, which they held for 41 local years, and finally to the pass of Forooth, which is considered to be the boundary of the Bordzvek basin today.
In the south the Republic continued to have a port on Lake Knidola until 281bc, but had to give up considerable territory from its greatest extent. From the war with Hbanan until the dissolution of the last vestiges of government by the Instinct, the territory encompassed by the Republic steadily shrunk from just about 9 million square miles, to the area considered to be the Bordzvek basin today.
In 721bc the constitution was changed to give official control of the congress to business in proportion to cash flow and do away with citizen elections, which had become as silly a media charade as in the late days of America. Thus they established Centorin's current system of government over 4200 years earlier. A vestige of that system of government could be considered to be functioning today. Though it is now entirely voluntary, the merchant's council has considerable influence over life in the basin and can enforce decrees by near total economic isolation.
The invention of eternal youth was adopted immediately in the Bordzvek basin and the peace plague lessened the authority of the Republic at about the same time. People in the west part of the basin were a difficult overland trek from the canal and began to shape a separate culture. By 500bc the city of Platicivetri was growing, and by 321bc, they declared themselves an independent Republic. There has been a special relationship between the two basins ever since, with Bordzvek leading in technology and culture and Platicivetri providing a bit of frontier.
By 281bc the peace plague had made governmental coertion all but impossible. The Republic re-cast itself as the Bordzvek Merchants Association and gave up the notion of borders, public service, recognition of private citizens and most other trappings we associate with government. Its seat was moved fifteen miles down the harbor from the decrepit republican capital to the entry to the Great Canal. Its meeting hall is at the end of the promenade from the statue of Hemptacon, the one closest to the canal. It became a governing body only of voluntarily associated businesses. In this sense it became structured like the merchant's associations in most of Kassidor's cities today. The association still attempted to collect taxes from members as late as 600ad, though by that time there was no way it could have been more than voluntary. Most public works have been taken over by private businesses, and the maintenance of the canal has been supported by voluntary contributions of time, materials and money, close to where the work is done.
During the rise of Rome, the merchant's association became concerned about the population of the Bordzvek basin. With universal eternal youth, the population soon shot over the one billion mark. The councilmen were well aware that they had built a much more prosperous lifestyle than all the basins around them, and that some of the basins around them were slower to adopt eternal youth. They began to fear massive immigration and began a campaign to limit the quantity and content of information reaching the outside world. Only in the most recent times has that limitation begun to break down.
The great statues on the city's waterfront were constructed while Rome was in decline. There are seven of them, they are each three hundred feet high, and they depict Hemptacon, Kolerahbi, who was the first chairman of the Republic, and the five leaders of the Merchants Association that are still active today. They stand at the end of the first seven large piers on the south side of the harbor. They are posed in attitudes of welcome and reverance. The general concensus is that they deserve this recognition because under their stewardship, life in the basin has continued to be prosperous. This is because they have continued to resist concentrating all wealth in the hands of a few. The building of these statues was not commissioned by these men themselves but by a separate private foundation that raised the money from millons of small donations. Three of the men depicted declined the honor for some time, in the case of Toobandi, for a local century.
During the starship age, Bordzvek was quick to start a photovoltaic industry, and it quickly became the most successful on the planet. Data service came to every village and to most urban homes. The affluent have home video screens and lanterns to run them in the dark. It is the only basin where the data network does not shut down for the dark. No more than one in a hundred carries a comm, but that is a hundred times more than in the Highlands. The only other basins where wireless service exists are the Dos, Trenst, Knidola, Norbin, Yclel-Vi and Kln basins and the major cities in a few others.
When tubes became available, Bordzvek was one of the first cities to put them in. They are Kassidorian in size, but they are more plush and comfortable than the Yakhan's, and a greater percentage of the population uses them. The city is of a manageable size with them, to fly to distant parts of the city takes hours. The tubes have been in service over seven hundred years, and a long line is now in service two hundred and fifty miles along the great canal to the south. It will still be centuries before it connects to the system in the Highlands.
The culture in this basin makes a lot more sense once you know something of its history. All of Centorin looks upon Kassidor as primitive, though we know the average resident of the Highlands lives better than the average resident of Centorin. The average resident of the Bordzvek basin has a better material standard of living than all but the upper crust on Centorin. Unlike the people of the land on Centorin, they all have youth, and have since 500bc. In addition, the hired field hands on the smaller farms have a better material standard of living than the owner of a Centorin farm employing the same number of people. Their work is less demanding and more automated, and they rarely work two full days a week. The field hands here have a short walk to a pub, and enough money to visit one weekly. They own fancy nightwear and have quarters nice enough to entertain guests.
In spite of the rather powerful and monopolistic business organization, there is not of lot of class distinction in this basin. There is a relatively small group of very poor, everyone else has all the material goods their culture requires. There are some palatial homes with many servants, a few large yachts and private airships, most of the remainder of the basin is somewhere between comfortable and luxurious.
Most of the urban people of the basin have careers that keep them occupied two days a week. This is a much higher percentage than the Highlands. They have larger homes, use elevators and data service more, and use more powered transportation, not just for people, but for freight. People fly in from long distances for business, but the lighter-than air balloons they use can do about 15 mph, have to fly routes sheltered from the wind and are often grounded by weather.
Clothing styles in Bordzvek are fairly unique. Other than when doing heavy manual labor, both men and women wear multiple layers of sheer robes of varying length and snugness. The material is usually woven, and quite often of artificial fiber. For the dark they have heavier quilted robes they put over them, but most homes are well insulated with thermal storage and/or heating keeping them warm enough that extra clothing is not needed indoors. The people of Bordzvek do not go for gaudy, and usually their layers of robes are white or off white. To look sexier, they wear less layers of sheerer, clingier, shorter robes.
The city was founded by a scientist and the sciences have done well here ever since. The great discoveries are not exported to other basins, so sometimes things are available in this basin that are not in others, such as motion/IR sensitive lighting, binary phosphors that store light for the dark and chemical heat storage systems. The automation of farming is one area where Bordzvek was far ahead of the Highlands until relatively recently, with automated drip irrigation systems based on chemistry instead of electronics. The smaller farms of the Highlands don't lend themselves as readily to the tools used in Bordzvek however.
In their homes, their transportation, their clothing, the average citizen of Bordzvek has more than the average citizen of the Highlands. In cultural opportunities, the two basins are about equal in what is available. There is a greater variety in the Yakahn, but the quality and quantity in Bordzvek is just as high. There are a lot of similarities, and some differences. The population of Bordzvek does not consume as much caffeine or yaag as the Yakhan, and not half as much psychedelics.
The music in Bordzvek sounds more oriented toward disco than the Highlands and some find it a little too sugary for their liking. There are other genres available, including those from Zhlindu, Trenst and Yondure, and some have large followings. There are lots of dance clubs and they are well attended. In most ways they would not look out of place in Kex, Navorkensville, Manaus or Nairobi, except that nudity and dry petting are permitted at many of them, but sex on the floor is usually not. Outside the major clubs, there is a lot of networked music in Bordzvek today and many feeds are carried over the network basin wide. As a general rule, music is still not exported from the basin, so if you hear something you like, you better buy it while you can. The recording format conversion will have to wait till you are back to the Highlands.
The cinema is beautiful, but none of it is exported. There are a lot of period pieces, a lot of action movies set in ancient history (before the Instinct), a lot of philosophical dramas and inventive and engaging erotic films that they consider romance. There is a strong Sci-Fi scene and a lot of fantasy. The animation has been good enough to exceed the sensitivity of the human eye since about 2400ad. For this reason everyone takes if for granted that you may doubt the existence of anything that you have only seen on a screen or printout.
Sexually Bordzvek has made much the same adaptation to eternal youth and beauty as most of the other basins. There is slightly higher than average long term cohabitation, 71%, and slightly lower than average percentage of the population having a encounter with another in any given week, 43%. The percentage of the serially monogamous is rather high, 17% of the population. The women of Bordzvek are as open to body contact as in the Highlands, though they might not initiate quite as much. The 'work hard, play hard' truism holds here also, and most people on the recreational sex scene in this basin are 'loaded' as they call those who are enhanced, and in Bordzvek city there is a large public square with the rowdiest public sex scene in human space.
You don't need to go that far if you don't want to sleep alone. There are many swanky sex clubs that are quite decorous where you and the lady can converse and share a beverage or two while she selects her companion for the sleep. She will take you to a well-appointed home much more stylish than you are used to and just about as convenient. But, just like the Yakhan, don't be flustered if her spouse is sitting there reading and chats with you a few moments before you retire to the guest bedroom. On the other hand don't be surprised if the spouse has a companion also and she suggests a four-way. Or they may tease each other about how they did. Usually she will have the house to herself, but those things do happen.
Dining in Bordzvek is more like the best of Centorin than anything else you will encounter in the human universe. There are pretty girls to show you to tables, soft music and lights but a dazzling array of exotic delights on the menu. Bordzvek is nothing if not experimental in the kitchen so few dishes show up at multiple establishments, and if they are the same item, each chef will put his own stamp on it. In Bordzvek you'll often find what can be most closely described as 'torch singers' of both sexes wandering the aisles belting out the words to the music being piped in. In the less staid places they'll have only one layer of very sheer clothing on.
The basin is full of sidewalk cafes, any village has at least one. There are chains of them in the city and in these you may find the same thing on the menu. Sandwich-like things are common, as is good cold beer. You are as likely to meet someone to sleep with at a cafe during lunch as at a sex club after dinner. You are more likely to get a business deal done at one of these cafes than you are in an office. If you do nothing else, you can watch the beautiful people go by.
Racially Bordzvek probably owes more to Yondure than the Elves or the Nordics, but unlike the natives of Yondure, the people of Bordzvek tend to be tall and slender. Very smooth and creamy skin is always in style here, as are big purple eyes and small noses. They like their hair long and straight. There is not a lot of interest in bulging muscles, and they value pertness in their breasts more than size. Women may find your skin a little rough, but there will be plenty who will accept you as well as a native if you can speak Kassidorian well enough.
The old language, which was a highly distorted dialect of Dempalan Valinese, hung on a long time. The merchant's council tried to halt the spread of Kassidorian, and some suspect the spread of the Kassidorian language might have had some viral assistance. Bordzvek did not have genetic science to compete with the Kassikan at the time, and there is no way to tell but the Kassikan's secret records. You find some who still speak Bordzvekian, you will hear it at the cafes now and then. It sounds a little like Sindaran, but it is the only other language you will hear in these basins. For anyone born after Europe's Dark Ages, it is a second language at best. All day-to-day conversation is now in Kassidorian.
The population is educated and literate and keeps up with the news. Almost all have heard about the stargate and Centorin, although the local media still do almost all they can to limit contact with other basins. Almost half believe in the stargate and two thirds of the population believe in the Yakhan and the Kassikan. Even so, two thirds is higher than the percentage of the population of the Yakhan that know the truth about Bordzvek.
Bordzvek is another Highland climate like the Yakhan. Much of it, including the city, is located a little deeper, as far into the atmosphere as the New Midlands. On average Bordzvek is considerably more humid.
The whole area of this map has climates ranging from seasonal deserts to the surface of hell, but the climates of the associated basins are discussed in their own areas. All of Bordzvek itself is universally equatorial with no detectable seasons and large, weekly fluctuations. Unlike the Elven Highlands, in over three quarters of the basin it can rain at any time of the week, and a dark without some precipitation is rare.
The swamp called Hell is now over 160 degrees F. It was only in the 150's before the wildhull covered it around 1200ad., and the technology of the Republic allowed it to be explored. No one has been there and back since. In modern times no one has been below two miles below sea level and made it back. All expeditions suffered heavy losses even though they went down from floaters on lines in the dark when the dactyls were sleeping.
Most of the land in the east basin is lower than the main basin and has temperatures in the 110's and 120's during Afternoonday. The whole million square mile area is essentially uninhabited since anywhere cool enough is too dry. The area could be inhabited by hotbloods, but there are only a very few in the Hbanan delta.
The east basin is also home to a lot of unfriendly wildlife. There is the obront, a relative of the kranjan, that is almost the same weight but with shorter legs and slightly shorter fangs. Unlike the kranjan, it runs in large numbers, feeding on the lentosour that also cover those savannahs in large herds. Lek are common, as are theropsoids of various kinds. In the lower reaches of the area is a sweltering rain forest that gets above 130F every week. In those forests, dactyls large enough to be dangerous can be found as well as hyadunes and a large carnivorous member of the chuff class called a blike. The Centorin military couldn't mount an expedition to go in there so we're not going to bother advising you not to consider going into those wilds.
On the farthest reaches of the Bordz River are the Pigorlands. Here rainfall extends to altitudes higher than the Kassikan's cartographer's depict, so there is at least another fifty thousand square miles of inhabited land at elevations between 14,000 and 15,000 feet above sea level with another five million inhabitants. That land and people are counted in the totals, but are not shown on the map. In that area the weekly temperature cycles are extreme and all the technology of the basin is required to live comfortably. No one can be outside at noon because of the heat, no one can be outside much of the dark because of the cold. However, there is enough rainfall for shaftwoods, so there is firewood for the dark. The range of crops that can be grown is similarly limited, but it's pretty country in its own way, and most Centorins can breath well enough at that altitude to visit. Be advised that the homes are not pressurized however, you will be exposed to that altitude the whole time you are there, and it takes weeks to get in and out of the area. There is no air service within a thousand miles of there.
In some respects this basin is the 'other Bordzvek', in some others it is the 'anti Bordzvek.' It is slightly drier in climate on average, and most precipitation falls during the dark. Most of the settlement is within a thousand miles of the city, with a 2000 mile long stretch of lightly settled land along the lower Hengton River that is regarded as being part of this basin, and has a similar culture and climate. It starts to get seasonal at the very end. Like Bordzvek, there is only one large city in the basin, and the basin is named after the city.
There is little separate history from the Bordzvek basin. It was originally settled by pioneers from the Republic starting a little before 1000bc. The people who came over the hills to this part of the basin were generally more agrarian than those who remained behind. There were a lot more herdsmen and loggers than in the Bordzvek part of the basin. As the population grew and there was less traffic with the main basin, some friction arose over the slightly different way of life. In 321bc. they declared themselves a separate Republic, and the overland journey from the canal was too great to move heavy war machines over, so the succession succeeded. Since that was after the peace plague had already had a couple generations to take effect, the new Republic never had any power and devolved into a business organization like any other on the planet within a generation of its founding.
Culturally Platicivetri is more of an 'average' Kassidorian basin than Bordzvek. There are some large farms, but most are smallholds run by a single person or couple. There is data service in the cities and towns, and vid screens at most public taps, even in small towns. Women go topless around the house and sometimes on the street. The sex clubs are slightly less gung-ho than in the Highlands. The people look a little more Nordic and muscles are more popular. While there is a lot of overlap in musical styles with Bordzvek, most music here is a little less sweet and a little more bouncy. The cinema is imported from Bordzvek, Knidola or Trenst.
The level of affluence is somewhat lower than Bordzvek. Most rural folk do not have piped gas or automated irrigation systems. Most will have half the wardrobe of someone from Bordzvek, and it will be plainer of cut and stitch but brighter of color. Like Bordzvek, most clothing is woven instead of knit, but it's more likely to be shirts and pants. Women often wear just a bigshirt with a belt, men a bigshirt and sling. Nightwear is more a jacket than a robe. Leggings are well-fitted padded tooled leather.
The city of Platicivetri stretches for many miles along the widest reaches of the Hengton River. There is no tubeway system, but there is a very good system of wood-burning, steam-driven river boats serving the city on regular routes. They are often crowded and noisy, but cheap and picturesque. It takes a day and a sleep from one end of the city to the other on one. The structure and furnishings are all woven of fanciful twists of rattan-like reeds cemented with layers and layers of paint. Some are big enough to have three decks and entertainment. Many other entertainment venues are on the river. Away from the river, streets are narrow and crooked and the steep riverbanks often makes them staircases. Any stonework is rough, held together by roots, but with a much more upland look than Borlunth.
People in this basin do not get many tourists since the basin can only be reached by an overland trek of at least 200 miles, two weeks on a coach, or three weeks on a freight canal thru over thirteen hundred locks. The entire upland separating this basin from Bordzvek is too high for floaters. In spite of that isolation, or maybe because of it, the people are quite open and welcoming to outsiders. Not as many will have heard of Centorin, but they might be a little more willing to believe in it.
You'll only sleep alone here if you want to, but there's little serious recreational sex scene. There are few designated sex clubs, but you will find women eager for encounters at most social gatherings, and any who aren't looking for an encounter will be polite about it if you ask anyway. People in this basin like to 'interview' several choices before picking one so they may sometimes seem a tease. Women like to be admired and many will gladly undress for your compliments even though they have no intention of making anything more of it. She may wrap your arm around her chest and flirt with you for some time and then say 'thanks for entertaining my tits' and walk away. But don't get discouraged, someone will take you home, maybe someone who only teased earlier.
The people of Platicivetri make more use of the great greenwood forest than do the people of Bordzvek. This forest is mainly of dinko, a type of archwood with anti-freeze that allows it to live at altitudes where frost is common. It is the main energy resource for the Platicivetri basin, and the steamboats on the upper Bordz. Logging competitions are a well attended sport in this basin, with competitions held in the countryside and in arenas in the city.
In general you'll notice more sports in this basin, and more social gatherings that will involve some sort of sport or game. Lawn games are common, but they are played in grazing fields instead of lawns and playing with the keda is often part of the game. It is not unusual to see a pair of kedas playing the part of benches for opposing teams. It is also not unusual to see the keda playing in the games. They seem to like lawn bowling, and do as well as a human.
The Traguzars are actually the plateaus that separate this basin from the Bordzvek, Platicivetri and Zil basins. They have given their name to the extreme eastern end of the basin complex.
This can't really be called a 'basin' in the traditional sense. There is no unified economy, though there is a fairly consistent culture. There are some geographers who will include this as part of the Zil basin because they are part of the same culture. In that case the Shimparan Waste becomes an island in the Zil basin. There are no large cities, the largest town is about 45,000. Most towns are smaller than 15,000, but they are fairly frequent along the canal and the larger rivers that drain into it. There are no forests to power steamboats on the canal in the Traguzars, so river and canal traffic is small sailing dhows, or tows. There are some packets taking up to fifty passengers, but most take fifteen or less. There are adequate public houses, nothing fancy, but most are clean and will provide a bleached ass rag for your stay.
The biggest digs on the canal are in this basin. The biggest is up to 147 feet deep and it is 71 miles long altogether. It was done in 1444-1431bc using steam power equipment sent by the Bordzvek Republic. Though the canal went thru here, the relatively dry climate was not popular with settlers, especially when the Republic would not give them water from the canal for irrigation. Some records that may be authentic show that the Republic intended to discourage settlement in this land until later.
Most of the area actually has a pretty tolerable climate. It's a little hot on summer Afternoondays, but not much more than Bordzvek itself. Rainfall is unreliable and crops cannot be grown without irrigation, but there are millions of square miles of densely populated land on Kassidor where that is true.
The real settlement of this basin starts in early modern times. The Republic had broken down centuries ago, and the canal was closed and drained. The Janek Migration left a lot of extra settlers in the Zil basin, driving some of the older residents into the Traguzars. The canal was rebuilt by the new settlers and enough water was gleaned from the local rivers to fill it. Its lower two thousand miles are still abandoned, but its route is still easily followed today. The part that is refilled has since been reconnected to the Great Canal and traffic flows unimpeded between the two basins today.
The main thing that seems to have retarded settlement in the area is the wildlife. Theirops are common, even today, and crop pests are a problem. Lek and quibarta are common, though the quibarta are the precursor variety that may be persuaded to give up a chase if other prey is available. Almost no one but some town residents is without a crossbow, and shooting is a popular sport. There are many big game safari's into the far east of the basin. Joining one can be quite an adventure, but you will be in abjectly primitive conditions for several weeks.
Much of the culture remains as it was in Zil. There are clan totems and most of the population is affiliated with one of the eight or nine leading clans. All public dining establishments post totems over tables where people affiliated with that clan will normally sit. Very small towns might have only one or two clans represented in the village dining hall. Most of the population makes use of these clan dining halls, most bring some of their crop as payment. The meals at the different tables may vary, or the clans may combine to cook a common meal. Unlike Zil, the ancient animosities between the clans have been forgotten in this region, and they function more like social clubs or fraternities. They also run many businesses, these dining halls being the most common, but business is not a big part of life in this basin.
The people in this area tend to be dark and rather petite. There are some of Bordzvekian style, but most have stuck with the Zil racial type and few enhance themselves unless they are born deficient in some way. Male's cheeks and neck tend to be beard-free and they have facial hair only on their chins and upper lips so they have small neat beards and mustaches. Eyebrows are thin and arched, lips a little thicker, hands and feet tend to be small. Their skin is very clear and body hair is especially downy.
Unlike the more clannish parts of Zil, travelers will have few problems in this area, though the accommodations may be somewhat primitive. You'll usually be accepted at whatever clan table you choose as long as you don't diss the totem. It's at dinner where you'll make your connections for the sleep in this basin, as in Zil. There may be a small vid screen in the place, and there may be a band after dinner. It will be primitive by Kassidorian standards, with manual weights and portable speakers. Quite often it's pick-up and they'll only play old standards. You've never heard them before, but everyone else has, and many will sing along, especially on nights when the beer gets cold. In general, any girl that gets cuddly with you won't tell you no, but ask a bit about her place first, you might want to stay at the inn.
The clothing styles in this area are in the tradition of old Zil, a long woven rectangle with a hole for the neck, laced up the sides from upper thigh to armpit and long enough to reach the knees. They are woven with patterns reminicent of the pre-American southwest. Few males wear slings under them. Women wear them narrow enough so they can lace the waist snug leaving a lot of beautiful and sexy curve of their hips showing. If you are conversing with a woman and she fusses a little with her laces to allow a little more slack in one area or another, she is inviting you to put your hand in there. She is likely to have a firm and curvaceous little body so that can be quite a bit of fun.
The biggest problem you may encounter is that the women (and the men too, if you are a woman who has made it this far) tend to be clingy, and if you satisfy them well you may find it a little difficult to take your leave. Some say this is because of the sparse population, some say it is because the primitive need for support was much more recent among these people (but still thousands of years ago). Make sure you tell her ahead of time to avoid a tearful scene in the morning. Or, if you think you might like to give pioneering a try, settle down with the girl for awhile. She might get over you in an Earth year or so, but be careful because this is one of the areas where children are most common on Kassidor.