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[Lore] The Stormlands


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The Stormlands - The Uncharted Southern Territories


For as long as the existence of civilization, there have been places in this world where four-legged beings fear to tread. In the majority of cases, heroic adventurers have time and time again striven to explore these forsaken regions in the name of gold, glory, and goodness. Yet for all that daring-do spirit, the storm-covered lands of the world’s southern hemisphere have proven for a thousand years to not only be unconquerable, but all but impenetrable.

Traditionally, the biggest obstacle separating the Stormlands from the Northern Hemisphere is the magically-corrupted Boiling Ocean at the world’s Equator. There, sailing ships get trapped in windless doldrums while the scalding hot seas literally burn away the doomed wooden vessels. Few equines have ever made it back from mishaps on the Boiling Ocean, while virtually none who’ve made it beyond the Equator have ever been seen again.

Of the Stormlands, little is known other than wild rumors and the scarce testimony of those southern emigrants who care to speak about their ancestral home. Everyone can agree however that down under, the inhabitants walk on two legs instead of four, and can come in all shapes and sizes. Cyclones and monster waves plague the southern seas; the lands aren’t much better, mainly comprised of treacherous mountain ranges, ice sheets, and arid sub-zero deserts. Marvelous wonders of nature like auroras and rainbows have purportedly not been spotted in Stormland skies for more than a thousand years.

What scarce habitable land exists is entirely occupied by grimy, densely-packed metropolises. The infernal engines of industry run unchecked in the cities; coal dust covers the streets and acid rain scars anything it falls down upon. Mountainside forests are remorselessly cut down to fuel the fires, while miners toil endlessly beneath the earth in search of the coal and metals that factories hunger for. Whatever food is produced in the Stormlands is, charitably speaking, so utterly vile that describing it violates all norms of polite conversation. However, it must be said that few nations match the Stormlanders in their ability to invent and manufacture steam-powered machines.

Beyond the cities and mines lie the domain of the Yeti; primitive tribes of abominable storm creatures who speak in guttural tongues. The Yeti and the Stormlanders have lived in a state of continuous hostility for the last couple hundred years, which may have played a role in convincing all the Yeti tribes to unite under the Storm King’s banner. Other creatures strike fear into the hearts of Yeti and Stormlander alike; prominent among them the Raijūs, three-eyed wolf beasts with bodies composed of lightning and cries of thunder. And then there are terrors of a more nameless nature; incomprehensible Others who are said to dwell in the dark holes and corners of the Stormlands, capable of driving those who foolishly gaze upon them into insanity... or worse fates.

As the Stormlanders are masters of air-zeppelin travel, immigrant communities in northern realms can be found here and there. Settlements like Waterhole in the Hesperian Outback, or Klugetown on the southern Equestrian-Aquellian border are — while nasty places to live in their own right — nowhere near as wretched as the deplorable slums back in the Stormlands. Relations between Stormlander settlers and other beings native to the north have always been tense... except in the case of the Yeti. Ironically, the very creatures who once served the Storm King most faithfully have proven surprisingly affable to living as pony neighbors, and they now live happily in the mountains between Equestria and the Crystal Empire.

No news has made it out of the Stormlands since the Storm King’s defeat. Without the satyr tyrant or his elite Yeti troops to keep the South enthralled by fear of pillaging and enslavement, it is unknown whether the rest of the Storm Armada is intact. Powerful relics and priceless treasures from the North stolen by the Storm King’s minions over the years remain unaccounted for, potentially forgotten about in secret stashes or in the possession of aspiring power-hungry successors. As the Stormlanders can’t be counted on to recover what the Storm King had stolen, it will be up to beings from the nations of Harmony to tread where no ungulate has trod before.....

~Mane's Intelligence Review: Dangers to Global Friendship & Harmony

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