Persh

Local Name: Persh, Persh-Top
Language: Persh, Togh (Elven slave language)
A nation built on two levels. The majority of the food is low-level, and there's a large variety of tree-travelling predators. The trees produce a sap at higher levels, that's greatly valued. The bulk of the population live in large, (covered) wide buildings on the ground, a slave-based underclass (originally composed of elves, now a mixture) live in tree-villages above these. Rain is common and it's not unusual for people to fall. Slavery is legal and entirely accepted.

The slaves live entirely independent lives, some will never touch the ground. They have to trade with the Persh for food and supplies (smelted equipment specifically) and pay outrageous prices. Slavery takes the form of Contracts, where the indebted gets paid even less for their sap, but is unable to sell to anyone else. It's common practice to mutilate unruly slaves, generally the removal of fingers or toes (drastically increasing their risk of falling).
Persho favour ranged weapons over everything else, hand weapons tend to be compact. Tiger Claws and Climbing daggers are common close combat weapons, as are Chain weapons (as they can be used to latch onto trees)

A land of thick forest and dense woodland, Persh's borders are marked where it's forests begin.
Earliest recorded history suggests Persh was originally wholly the domain of the Elves, who built a vast civilisation amongst base of the trees - even more than now the upper branches were a dangerous place - filled with vicious predators and lacking in resources, as their empire grew in size, it also grew up - the incredible qualities of the various forms of Sap were discovered and projects began to mine it. It's uncertain when this empire began, but it was already well developed by 2700BNA.

In 2200BNA, visitors arrived from the East, in boats pulled by strange creatures and speaking a strange language. These creatures who become known as Trulls were scared and injured - they had fled from another land where their tribes were being wiped out. The elves granted them areas of land rich in stone from which to build an empire (land the elves rarely used anyway, building almost entirely from wood). The two races lived peacefully but with relatively little contact for just over two hundred years, before more boats were seen on the horizon.
The boats heralded the arrival of the Lizardmen, who claimed to have been driven from their lands during a war by the Trulls (who in turn claimed the same thing). Although aggression was high between the two races, the Elves allowed the Lizardmen to stay granting them the remaining (resource poor) land, on the promise that the two races would try to live in peace.

This uneasy peace lasted approximately 50 years, eventually increasing hostility lead to a Lizardmen invasion of Trull towns. While the Lizardmen were better defended and more established, the Lizardmen had greater numbers, and struck without warning. What followed was 50 more years of guerrilla war. The elves, after several attempts at encouraging peace between the two races (resulting in the loss of many elf lives) eventually decided to leave the two races to it. By 1900BNA, the Trull civilisation was destroyed, and the remaining Trulls scattered. The Lizardmen moved into their cities and began construction of several low, wide stone keeps, strengthening their hold on their lands, and creating a near invulnerable base.
For one hundred years, the Lizardman empire slowly grew, they expanded into areas not held by the elves, building keeps and creating a hold on all the stone production available. Feuding developed between the two races as they vied for spaces, it's uncertain who began it, but eventually war began.
The war was quick and violent, the elves struggled to damage the Lizardman's stone keeps, the Lizardmen had brought with them supplies of a highly combustable, oily substance. Within five years, almost the entire elven race had been driven off the surface and into the trees. Here, around their tree-mines, the elves build tree-villages and knowing that those in the trees relied entirely on food produced on the ground, offered surrender. The Lizardmen accepted. (The elves were hampered by being predominantly peaceful race, while the Lizardmen arrived armed for war)

Living in the trees left the Elves in an awkward position, as part of the peace treaty the ground belonged to the Lizardmen, leaving them in control of the majority of food and equipment production, eventually a deal was struck - the Elves would supply the Lizardmen with Saps from the trees, in exchange for supplies. As time passed, the Lizardmen charged more and more for their food, until the Elves would have to work a full day purely to earn enough food to eat tomorrow, and extra expenses became paid in Service, and before a few generations were passed, the Elves had become slaves.
It should be stressed, it wasn't a neat divide - Criminals (commonly Lizardmen, occasionally other races) were also sent up, to work of a debt to pay for their crime) or those who could manage no other work, and occasionally Elves would earn their freedom, often moving down onto the ground. After an initial, violently repressed uprising, the state of Persh became institutionalised - the idea of mining sap without slaves became unthinkable.
Owning slaves is seen as a luxury, but also a charity - being a ground-slave is a safer, less laborious life than working in the mines. Ground-slaves are also paid more, and many manage to pay off their debt (these are generally also far more settled into Ground-Persh life, and liable to own slaves themselves).

When The Great Empire reached Persh, the population breakdown changed, but not the society - a lot of Elves fled Persh, but through the course of time, other races found themselves working in the mines, or living on the ground. The suddenly vastly increased demand for Sap reinforced the need for mining.

Native Races:
Lizardman
Lizardman are traditionally ground-based denizens, but over time several families have grown up in Upper-Persh. Very few are violent or aggressive towards the slaves (it's simply seen as How Things Are Done), and many have very little to do with Upper Persh - while they use the products it produces, and profit from some part of the process, very few have actually visited Upper Persh or appreciate quite what it's like, many that do view it with a degree of regret, but argue that if they stopped, far more people would be harmed as the economy collapsed. Only the wealthiest families own slaves, and many live lives entirely separate from them.
The average Lizardman has no particularly strong feelings regarding the state of things - it's how the world has worked for almost a thousand years and is simply the way things are.

Elves
Elves are traditionally upper-persh citizens, but several large families have established homes on the ground, either within the standard society, or in smaller, more isolated villages. Most dream of living on the ground, but accept their position and don't question their role, Upper-persh is not policed or repressed by ground-persh - aside from trading their contact is minimal. Elves tend to eschew wealth anyway, and get enough food that they don't worry about going hungry - life in Upper Persh is simple and without luxury, but isn't intentionally unpleasant. Elves are taught to fight at a young age - predators stalk the lower branches and will often raid the villages.

Trulls
There's a handful of remaining Trull tribes, surviving in hidden parts of the forest or in their ancient ruined cities. Those that survive are degenerate, angry creatures, violently lashing out at anything that comes nearby, and lurking in the ruined remains of their cities. Some have made dark pacts to ensure their survival, while others have come to survive by eating other sentient life.

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