The Dawnlands are the border region between the dark and light sides of Saylua. The sky in the Dawnlands is an eternal sunset, neither night nor day. Because of the moderate temperatures in the region, life thrives in the area. However, the Dawnlands are also very stormy because of the temperature difference in the two sides, causing extreme winds from one side to the other.
Very few humans inhabitat the Dawnlands because of its extreme weather and the dangerous creatures that live in the area. However, the Dawnland is a popular tourist location for travelers who enjoy visiting briefly to view the sunset sky. Humans who reside in the Dawnlands are called Dawnlanders.
Life in the Dawnlands
Among the three major climate regions on Saylua, the Dawnlands is the least populous. At first glance, it would appear the mild temperatures found here would be perfect for human life. The irony is that these temperatures, combined with constant soft twilight, lead to massive vegetation growth. The thick jungle forests of the Dawnlands are difficult to cross if one isn't following an established road. Newcomers are often jokingly warned not to sleep near the dense undergrowth lest they wake up overtaken by plants. Still, the rapid plant growth is no laughing matter for settlers and residents, who must constantly trim and prune to keep their houses and fields from being overgrown.
Aside from the dense plant life, the Dawnlands are also home to some of the most ferocious predators on all of Saylua. Many creatures hunt by ambush, using the abundant cover to get close to their prey before striking. Travelers are advised to bring along a companion with heightened senses such as an Arko or an Eydrun as their perception can help prevent hostile encounters. While the fauna of the Dawnlands may seem terrifying, it's important to remember that most aren't interested in fighting you so much as protecting themselves and their young. In some areas it is advisable to make noise while traveling, such as by wearing bells or conversing loudly, to give local wildlife plenty of notice as you approach.
Aside from the creatures living in here, visitors must also beware of the potential for stormy weather. Near constant winds rake the treetops, bringing torrential rain and sometimes even hail along with them. Swift winds and dense trees make it very difficult to predict the weather, so it is wise to prepare for the worst even on short journeys. Flash floods are common, so extra caution is required in low-lying areas. What used to be a trickling creek can quickly turn into a raging deluge. Tornados have also been observed, with the dense foliage acting both as a source of and a shield from flying debris.
The inhabitants of the Dawnlands comprise a few major cultural groups. The largest group of inhabitants by far is the city-dwellers. Cities like Estanya have been carved out of the undergrowth, with walls built on the outside to help keep them safe. Located near resources and/or along trade routes, these cities provide the best of both worlds to their inhabitants, allowing them to enjoy the temperate climate while providing protection from the elements. This all comes at a price of course, and living in these cities is quite expensive.
Outside the walled cities, some inhabitants choose to organize their properties into hamlets. These hamlets replace the walls of the cities with large areas of cleared foliage, keeping plants and animals at a safe distance. The clearings that result make for excellent farmland, and most hamlets sustain themselves growing crops and raising animals. Hamlet life has been criticized by some due to the disproportionate effect on the environment it has compared with other forms of living in the Dawnlands.
For some residents, even hamlet life is a bit too crowded. These individualists strike out on their own or with only their close family and friends. They set up hidden dwellings nestled into the jungle itself. While this may be anything from a treehouse high in the canopy to a dugout carved out of a hillside, the one thing that unites these dwellings is that they do not fight against the encroaching jungle the way the other types of settlements do. Instead, they adapt and incorporate elements of the local environment into their dwellings. Against predators and criminals their first line of defense is secrecy, with camouflage and concealment being a simple matter in such a dense forest. Individual families usually subsist by hunting, gathering plants, and some light artisanal craft work.
Creatures in the Dawnlands evolved to take advantage of the abundant resources and become extremely powerful in order to compete to survive. Thus, the creatures in the Dawnlands are some of the most potent magic users on the planet of Saylua. Pets found in the Dawnlands include: