Iung is a region in the upper southeast quadrant of Appogia’s largest continent. It shares an area with the region of Watok. Both have coastal areas that border their southeastern sides and are butted along their western side by a high mountain range, on the other side of that range lies the country of Yjord.
The upper region is mostly grass plains with trees and small forest along the eastern coast bordered in the west by a high mountain range. The flat expanse of space in between is home to a tallgrass and the shortgrass prairie prone to rapid weather changes and high winds.
Flora & Fauna
Flora: Grass is the dominant vegetation, but there are also many wild flowers, sage bushes, cactus, trees along river beds and around lakes and bush in the wider spaces. Some of the vegetation may reach 10 feet tall.
Fauna: Because of the open landscape grasslands are home to large herds of grazing mammals such as buffalo and elk. The plains provide ample home for smaller animals such as rabbits, prairie dogs, coyotes and badgers.
The Great Plains of Iung are ruled by the Confederation of Tribes which is composed of the most populous tribes of the plains. These Lords of the Plains tribes include the Nilwek, Segano, Asache and Hoshi. There are many lesser tribes smaller in number but these four control the whole of Iung. The Nilwek and Segano roam areas of the eastern coast to the central plains while the Asache and Hoshi follow the heards from the Watok region north to the Ice lands and west to the great lake Hyaci and the mountain range.
The Confederation of Tribes was formed from common historical roots, clan and kinship ties, and cultural commonality. Each tribe has their own customs and chieftains but also recognize a Grand Chief with status over all tribes. The tribes gather formally once a year generally in the spring for Council and celebration.
Tribes generally migrate on a seasonal basis moving from ancestral summer to winter camps with specific activities defined based on the time of year and location. Tribes occupy three types of settlements during the year. Summer villages, located near rivers, are inhabited during the planting season in the spring and again when the crops were harvested from mid-summer to fall. The summer villages were semi-permanent and quite large, some including as many as 350 mat-covered longhouses. The tribes establish summer hunting camps in the prairies during communal bison hunts. These camps are occupied briefly and consist of temporary bark-covered lodges. After the fall harvest, residents of a summer village divide into smaller groups and establish winter villages. These villages are located in river bottoms where good hunting is expected, often many miles away from the summer villages. Typically, each winter village contains five to twenty oval mat-covered lodges called wigwams.
The Confederation has a diverse economy based on agriculture, hunting, fishing, and the gathering of wild foods. Subsistence activities are divided based on gender; women are responsible for agriculture and gathering, while men hunt and fish. Maize (corn) was the most important crop, but tribes also raise beans, squash, pumpkins, and watermelons. Women prepare their summer fields and begin planting maize in early spring. The first of two maize harvests come in late mid-summer, when ears are in the green stage. Green maize is preserved by scraping the tender kernels from the cobs using mussel shells, boiling them, and then spreading them out on reed mats to dry. The second harvest occurs in late summer when the maize has ripened. Women store vast quantities of dried maize in underground pits to be eaten during the lean winter months.
Hunting expeditions are generally undertaken by individuals or small groups. However, in early summer most hunting parties leave the villages for communal bison hunts in the prairies. Upon finding a herd, runners surround the bison on foot driving them toward the remainder of the hunting party where they were slain with arrows and spears. After skinning and butchering the animals, women and girls would preserve the meat by placing it on wooden drying racks and heating it with small fires.