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Toar (continent)

The history of Toar is difficult to piece together, as almost all the early records (the few written) were extirpated; history's traces remained in art, in song, in tiny clues like the word sarb meaning drum: later world-gate traveling mages discovered that sarn coresponded to the sabar of West Ghana around the 1600s--in exactly the same was a the word grii (high intonation) means evil, or falling into evil. This word corresponds with the notorious port of Goree, from which slave ships launched.

It is surmised that the crew of whatever slave ship took those people (mages think mostly a mix of trading Tuareg (with ponies, not camels), Ghanas, with Eritreans and Baka--a gathering of people who could not speak one another's tongue) into a storm and were forced through a world gate. As soon as the ship was clear of the storm the slaves rose and slew all but one of their captors. This was the Franciscan priest sent along, who had actually been humane, living belowdecks with the people in order to take care of them. All of these people left traces, but no written records: if the Father wrote any, those did not survive.

The Toarans sailed back toward what they thought was Africa, but more south so they could avoid Goree. When they landed and discovered few humans, they slowly realized what had happened. They seem to have split up according to tribe and vanished, connected only by the priest, who migrated from one group to another. The residue of the old ways led them to continue tribal warfare and slave taking; by the time the Venn made their way to those shores, the Toarans were quite ready to fight the newcomers, and a new fashion started for tall, pale slaves.

Over time the Toarans settled and evolved their own culture, once that had secrecy and distrust of outsiders as a defining characteristic. They gave up slave trading when they couldn't sell slaves except to one another, and when--after planning a massive raid against the Venn--both parties were dealt with by magic (see below) rendering slave raids no longer worth the risk.

Add in the violence of piracy, and there is another layer of exclusionism, secrecy, etc that embedded itself in the history of Toar, especially its west coast. The early mages, desperate to keep humanity from being annihilated as invasive vermin, left records of early contacts shrouded in distrust, with evidence of some retaliatory capture of whites who were kept as slaves, etc. The Fall added a further layer of mystery to early records, as much of the worst fighting was in that land. It can be said that the more or less homogenous honey coloring (cafe au lait) of people of Sartorias-deles comes from the gradual widening of Toar's trade interests and wholesale intermixing of people. Toarans along the northwestern coast still tend to show up a darker brown than further north, which may be genetic stubbornness and also may be because melanin was not a survival necessity in the north, which is cold and seldom sunny. Melanin certainly vanished in the morvende, and not because white skin was prized; the politics of color vanished with the early histories--except in the northernmost portion of Goerael, where mages punished Toar and Venn alike for slave-raids on one another, giving them "color".

The most lingering effect of the Toaran settlers was their effect on the music of humanity; Sartor adopted their chant and song modes wholesale. The rhythmic and percussive influences was less pervasive, though these did reach the far western coast--the Halian Subcontinent due to trade and raid, overseas, and the few hardy bands who managed to traverse the rocky Land Bridge.

The last part of Toar settled was the northeast corner. This area was known for centuries after the Fall under various names similar to the Ghost Lands, as there is a selense redian there, and (as happens around those) indigenous beings. One of the very old mage towers was also there, and for a very long time every single instance when rogues or runaways from other lands discovered it and tried to make it a hideout, the whispering voices, moving objects, and other disconcerting occurences forced them right out again, leaving tales of cranky ghosts.

The first exiles who stayed, finding it homely and appealing, were from Tser Mearsies. Their magical background might have made them more amenable to the area's oddities, or the indigenous life forms might have liked them enough to create a pleasant atmosphere. At any rate once the Mearsieans established themselves, others came, giving rise to the polities along that coast. As for the mysterious white castle, the "ghosts" ceased to haunt the place--a mystery that was not explained until the 4770s.

Countries in Toar

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Toar northeast (Eastern End--north)

Toar northwest (Western End--north)

Toar southwest (Western End--South)

Toar southeast (Eastern End--South)

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Page last modified on February 09, 2009, at 12:53 PM