In the east there is a region of lakes fed by several rivers that well up from the underground. These vast sparkling lakes. Connected by rivers both above and belowground the whole fertile region is dominated by two human factions and a third non-human one. The territory is rich in legacies of bygone ages though most of them prove rather inaccessable to conventional scavanger lords. Though the entire region is small compared to many of the great nations of the world it remains large to the locals.
Historically however in the region used to be home to merely one group of humans and the sea folk. Near 3 centuries ago a Lunar started to meddle and interfere leading to the division of the humans into two kingdoms. Whatever the Lunar was trying to achieve though isn't known as the Lunar ended up being slain by the relics of the past in the region though the two groups have never reconciled and continue more or less culturally how she divided them.
The western and southern parts of this area are home to a place called Kingdom of Kyrhan. Here the people uphold the ideal of the warrior. Even the farmers know how to turn common farm implements into deadly weapons. While the people of this land make for powerful warriors on an individual scale and have ambitions to match their martial nature their ability to wage war is rather hampered by that very culture. They fight as individuals and while on a one to one basis they can outmatch their neighbours in the Lakelands they can not overcome tactics and unified fighting units.
The capital city Dunshan(pronounced duns-han) is home to the royal family of Kyrhan. By tradition the crown passes to the eldest child with a tournament held to determine their partner. Any can enter even outlanders. Because of this the terrestial exalted have mingled their blood with that of the royal family several times. Whenever a Terrestial heir would become ruler often the kingdom would make gains against their enemies only to lose territory in the years after the eventual defeat of that powerful leader. They never did change the culture and no Dragonblood has been born to the family and lived long enough to be able to single handedly decimate trained and disciplined armies. The King is supported by 10 other noble families who live in relative wealth compared to the rather basic lives of the common peasentry. Still it is a land of honor. They have a saying. "An enemy can break your sword or shield but only you can dull the edge of your honor."
The Kryhanites put Mars at the top of their divine hierarchy. They of course acknowledge Sunipa and make offerings to her but her way of war is not their way. They also worship the Divine Sentinel who isn't a god or even responds but still receives their worship. The City Fathers and Mothers do not make themselves known to the people or rule as one might find in Great Forks. After Mars the second most important diety is Tayna, a fertility goddess. She has a great temple and often takes a personal and visable interest in the locals. They pray to her for numerous and strong offspring which she sometimes grants in a personal way. After those many minor terrestial dieties are venerated. Even a few temples to the Elemental Dragons established by missionaries from Greyfalls though they have had little success in diminishing the local Hundred Gods Heresies.
A rather heretical belief found in both regions which all would vocally denounce even if they may privately think there may be some truth to it. That their region is special and when they die they reincarnate as members of the enemy nation. Then when those die over they they will reincarnate in Kyrhan. In so doing they grow to possess a true spiritual legacy of martial excellence. The belief remains hard to root out because it seperates them from the rest of Creation. They are special, unique, blessed. In this way it appeals and spreads even if none would ever publicly admit it.
The region's dragonlines have all been tamed long ago by the Shogunate and the manses which remain show that architectural style. Perhaps half the hearthstones generated by the manses remain within the region as the rest have been traded or lost in the centuries and the people lack the ability and desire to make the probably lenghty effort to track down and retrieve them. The priesthoods of the dieties who often receive the ability to use essence as gives use and claim the remainder along with those nobles who have received the blessing of the Dragons or awakened their own essence next.
Near the northwestern most border with their neighbours where the rivers give way to open plains stands a gleaming statue. Worked in jade, moonsilver and orichalcum this 50 foot tall armored human figure stands in unmoving vigil looking eastward. This is the Divine Sentinel. Legends hold that this is Kyrhan the founder himself granted divinity by Mars and the chance to forever watch his people. Should they ever lose their way and turn from their path he shall turn his wrath upon them. Yet should they triumph against their neighbours he will grant true divine martial ability to claim the world for their own. It goes without saying that he also ensures that their lands will never be taken over by a foreign power.
The western edge of what the Kingdom defines as theirs stands a ruin. Once it was called the City of Silver and it was a place where Luna's worship dominated in the First Age instead of the Unconquered Sun. It was a wonderful city of art and culture, of learned and noble men and women. Guided by a powerful Lunar the people were prosperous and wise. In terms of percentages it is quite posible that no other city in the First Age possessed more mortals who could wield essence. The people claimed that it was a gift of Luna though Sidereals scoffed and explained on about auspicious locations, geomancy and the like they nonetheless if pressed by one who could press them would admit that there were rather more people with strong souls showing up there then the place had any explained reason to account for. The place is empty now. It remains sound of geomancy, its homes untouched, its temptes unlooted, its vaults still closed. Still it is empty. No ghosts, no version of it in the underworld, no visable gaurdians. Legends say the lady of the Moon herself deals with intruders. They say she took the people to the Moon during the Great Uprising and one day they will come back. The people of Kyrhan leave the place alone though every year it claims a life or 10 from those outsiders foolish enough to explore it.
The northern and eastern parts of the area are home to the Dominion of Fuelo. The place stands in stark contrast to their warlike neighbours. Here the soldier is idealized more than the warrior. This accounts for their successes generally. They lack the one on one fighting talents but with tactics and discipline and training the many fight as one and through their unified strength win. They have never tried to return the favor however. They realize that defeating Kyrhan would require a level of conflict they could not afford since incursions into their land have taught them how quickly the very populace will move to fight back.
The Dominion is ruled from Nosk. Rather then a king they instead have a council of 6 oracles. While a great deal of the management is handled by ministers and the regular bureaucracy under them these 6 chart the nation's course. Naturally to produce talented diviners the city incorporates a fair bit of astrology into its culture. Their stability brings its own advantages in other ways though. The area sees beneficial influx of Guild trade through it. The lands stability and organized military keep issues of banditry down in the region. Supplies are cheap, making this a good hub for caravans. The Guild has no desire to ruin a good thing and hasn't tried too many of their usual tricks in the region especially given the large leeway they get allready.
The nation is very civic minded. They too worship Mars and but also Sunipa heavily. Each month holds a celebration to a major diety of some kind to the people. Wether that be to Mars, or the local national diety. The priesthood holds less influence though then with their neighbours. People are more nationalistic here though they do nothing that would offend the gods. The place holds a few Dragonblooded. Those who do live here tend to live longer then their neighbours would mostly because they don't constantly throw themselves into battle to test and prove themselves.
Like its partner the territory is geomantically sound and cultivated. They carefully use the stones and manses as bargaining pieces for outside help and materials when needed. One of the places suffered a rather large overload and now the place remains a potent and untapped earth desmense. While they have yet to find a way to use the desmenses energies and have not capped it while examining the changed essence flows which lead to the overload they came accross a rare deposite of cutting diamonds. These rare gemstones are sharp as a diamonds point without being brittle. They only come in small pieces which makes them useless for weaponmaking but surve as useful components in various occult tools.
With more time not spent constantly fighting the people have expanded in other ways. Art, plays, literature, the things one finds in the great coastal cities of the inner sea or perhaps across it. They don't look down on outsiders generally...well at least not those who don't seem to think like the Kyrhanites. They see their fair share of immigrants given the rather safe and well off nature of the territory.
There is another group though that is spread throughout the entire region. However this group dominates the lakes themselves. Far from the great seas of the west live some more of the people of the sea survive in the water.