So today’s character sketch is going to be just a bit different. Instead of a continuation of spotlighting the new and minor characters in the Dance of the Elements series, I’ve decided to showcase the setting. Ready to learn a bit more about this giant land mass I made up?
Firstly one of the first things you should know is that this world is relatively new as far as worlds go, less than two thousand years old. It was once lush and fertile until the release of the Everflame. The Everflame and its other destructive gods ravage the land, scorching the earth and changing the landscape forever. It was only when a group of individuals gifted with the ability to manipulate fire that the Everflame was finally captured.
You’ll notice that the majority of the continent is colonized by the Republic of the Sand Sea and indeed the entirety of the first book in the series, Ignited, takes place nearly entirely in the Glass Palace. Since Jura is the catalyst of our story, it only makes sense that we begin with her home: The Republic of the Sand Sea.
Language- Jangba, the common tongue of Jangbahar
Flag/Symbol- Purple background with golden flame at its center and thirteen black stars circling the flame.
The Republic of the Sand Sea sprawls across the majority of Jangbahar’s desert land and is made up of twelve provinces, each governed by their corresponding member. The entire Republic is governed by the Thirteen. The First and Second govern over the capital city and the provinces circle the Everflame in a pattern that mirrors the towers of the Glass Palace. Despite its vast size, the Republic is sparsely populated with the majority of its population living in the southern provinces such as Toik, Nutir, Irst and Elek. Toik and Nutir are the two largest of the twelve provinces while Ish, governed by the Thirteenth, is the smallest and most impoverished.
The Republic was founded after a series of Border Wars left the desert lands depleted. The Border Wars were a series of battles over the borders of Kitoi and the seven kingdoms of the Sand Sea. The people fought over water and access to the Everflame. Thousands died in war after war as people were deprived of water and murdered over nothing more than grains of sand. The face of the war changed with the appearance of Gregor the Great who seized power with a super-army he controlled through powerful blood magic. His reign of domination lasted for forty-three years before he was killed by Josper the Usurper.
Though originally known as an usurper, he was also remembered as a bringer of peace. It was Josper who united the kingdoms and Josper who suggested the system of the Thirteen for the seven ruling kingdoms and the six ruling merchants. The kingdom was united and Josper signed treaties with the Is’ Le Sp’Ar islands that were ruled by the sea king and the kingdom of Kitoi, which sat on the outskirts of the Sand Sea.
The people of the Republic speak the common tongue and nearly 100% of the population worships the Everflame, an inextinguishable flame where the people go to burn their prayers. The Everflame is housed in a glass tower in the palace and the flames are used to provide light and warmth throughout the entirety of the Republic.
The palace, arena dome, and government buildings are all constructed by Fire Builders. Similar to Dancers, these individuals have the ability to manipulate fire from the Everflame down into the sand, heating it to such a degree that it forms a smooth glass. Favored by Josper during the Dawn of Peace, this architecture is featured predominately in city buildings and courtyards. Since then, glass has become the chief export of the Republic, although its people also trade in dragon parts and bactrian. The largest import remains water, it is traded between the Sea King and The First, the First insuring that the life-giving substance is rationed out to all free citizens of the Republic.