Also known as the Dark Continent, Djana is mostly a tropical land of dark-skinned humans, dense jungles and searing deserts.
Little is known of this distant land of southern Djana. It is said to be a dry land nestled against the southern shores of the continent.
The people of the land are xenophobic and stick to their unwanted lands. Apparently though, the Al’Ahar (also the name given to the nomadic people of this land) have no military to speak of and are ruled over by a council of bards – though there is little evidence of a central government at all.
Being a peaceful folk with no military it is not surprising that fighters and barbarians are practically unheard of here, though some rangers are valued for their hunting skills. The love these people have of dance and music greatly elevates the popularity of the bard. Rogues who steal are rare at best. Divine spellcasters are mostly shamans.
Population: Human 65%, kreen 10%, lacertilian 10%, gnoll 5%, litorian 3%, theran 2%, dwarf 1%
Nestled on the open plains east of the northern Basalt Mountains, Bakari is the latest in a series of kingdoms to occupy this region.
Although a majority of the population are NaBula Djanans, Bakari culture is heavily influenced by the Kazari and is ruled by a Caliph. As a result of this Bakari is rich in Kazari learning, cuisine, religion and weaponry.
One tradition that has remained is that of nuba wrestling, a complex sport still practiced by the warriors of the land. These warriors along with nomads of northern Nyaat are the only people known to use horses in war also. Bards are common and most religious classes follow the one Kazari god as a version of the Overpower.
Population: Human 80%, dwarf 10%, harkrinn 3%, rhinoan 1%.
BASALT MOUNTAINS (61)
The largest mountain chain of Djana runs the length of the eastern coast. Sometimes called the Fireplace Mountains due to many areas of intense volcanic activity. Rich gemstone deposits are found beneath these heights.
Many human lands nestle at the foot of these mountains, but the heights and caverns of the range are mostly home to dwarves, harkrinns, aaracokra, gnolls and giants.
BATONGAN JUNGLE (13)
The lands between the Copper Mountains and the Bay of Bioko consists of valleys giving way to lowlands, all of which is covered in thick rainforest and jungle. To those not native to this environment, travel is brutal. The jungle is so vast it stretches along the north coast of the Bioko Peninsula all of the way around the bay to the south coast of Matusuland.
The jungle is the home of several human tribes as well as the wakyambi’rin elves, lacertilian and serpentine. The powerful nation of Gulambe overlaps with parts of the north-eastern jungle (see separate homeland entry).
Classes with wilderness skills such as rangers and druids are highly valued in the jungle.
Population: Human 50%, elf 25%, lacertilian 10%, serpentine 3%
COPPER MOUNTAINS (19)
This major mountain chain forms a crescent right around the Bay of Bioko. It is named because of its massive deposits of gold, silver and of course copper. Most of the gold is in the north and controlled by Gulambe. Within the portion of the mountains that lie within Nirobaan metals are scare but there are many gem deposits, including diamonds. Dwarves live in the central regions and ogres live in the western spur on the Bioko Peninsula. Humans from the area should choose a region that borders on, or includes, parts of the mountains for purposes of generating a homeland.
DJANAN EAST COAST (24)
Most of the east coast of Djana consists of cliffs where spurs of the Basalt Mountains drop off into the Sea of Sharek. However, along the coast’s length are many bays and sheltered ports that are well settled and fiercely defended by the sea-faring people that call these bays home.
For purposes of character generation this homeland describes the central part of the coast home to the East Djanan Merchant’s Confederation. This area consists of various city-states controlled by a grand council made up of representatives from the ruling merchant houses of each city-state. Zamarans are the predominant humans.
Classes that suit a life of trading and/or sea faring, namely rogues and unfettered fighters, are common. The Zamarans are also known for their extraordinary poets (bards). Unfortunately, they are also known to have a greater percentage of sorcerers among them – a point that does not please them or their neighbours. In fact hunts are often carried out to destroy them. Divine classes are rare, as Zamarans tend to have an inherent distrust of the spirits.
Population: Human 85%, dwarf 5%.
Gulambe is a large and wealthy empire of central Djana. It was founded by the Tembu, and is home to the most extensive gold mines of central or southern Djana. (Nyaat and nearby Matusuland also have rich deposits). The laws of this land are very harsh.
Classes with wilderness skills are very valued in the jungle areas. Trained soldiers (gamba fighters) are common, as are shamans and clerics as the Tembu view religion as a very personal thing.
Population: Human 82%, elf/half-elf 8%, dwarf 4%, lacertilian 2%, litorian 1%
Lashante is considered a sort of “netherworld” due to its distant location in southeast Djana. It is a hilly region with areas of rainforest and scrub flats.
Lashante is an insular, chaotic, and intimidating place. Visitors to these lands find its people to be unfriendly and unhelpful. Currently Lashante is a province of Nirobaan, but the people of the land (mostly flint dwarves) ‘govern’ themselves. (Those humans present enforcing Nirobaan rule should choose that homeland for character creation).
The dwarves have an aversion to open combat and any fighters or rangers are usually archers or part of a small guerilla-type strike force. Rogues are the most commonly encountered class and few arcane users exist. Shamans or runethanes often worship earth orisha. All other classes are rare to non-existent.
Population: Dwarf 60%, half-orc 20%, human 15%
MATUSU PENINSULA (45)
Matusuland is an exotic land of strange food, beautiful people and great wealth. The skilled folk here make excellent crossbows and fast ships. The people of Matusuland live on the strip of land jutting out to form the north coast of the Bay of Bioko where they avoid the jungles. They enter the mountains of their lands occasionally to mine for gold and iron.
The Matusu Peninsula is also home to Yosambian humans. The Matusu consider the Yosambians cowards who lock themselves away in walled cities. Lacertilian, serpentine and skralaar are all found in the lands also. The people of this land have had plenty of contact with the light-skinned explorers of the west too.
Matusu enjoy hunting the many vile races that are found in their lands. Thus, rangers and fighters, especially trained marksmen are common. Rogues are common as merchants, traders and seafarers. All spellcasting classes follow the general patterns of Djana; some divine users and very few or no arcane users.
Population: Human 94%, lacertilian 4%, serpentine 1%
This land is located on the south side of the mountainous peninsula that forms the southern coast of the Bay of Bioko. The Batongan Jungle covers the northern slopes of the mountains, whilst the southern slopes and lowlands are mostly covered in scrub and tall grasslands.
Although the central mountains are plagued by brutal ogres, on the southern side of the mountains the human nation of Nandola rules.
The kingdom was founded by Al’ahar fire priests. Today, Nandola is a theocracy still ruled by powerful fire clerics. Despite the chaotic nature of the people the land boasts a vibrant and complex culture with a great love of art, science, and commerce.
The Nandolans value speed and stealth. Rangers and rogues best allow for this and are thus common here.
Population: Human 89%, dwarf 5%, litorian 3%, centaur 2%
Nirobaan is a huge land of wide-open savannah.
Known to southern Djanans as “The First Empire”, Nirobaan is a feudal matriarchy where women hold political office, wage war, and run business whilst men are expected to farm the land or herd livestock. Few males become priests, scholars or artisans too.
Nirobaan society is very old, filled with ancient traditions and proud people (mostly Tisambe and Tuslan natives). However, a growing despair seems to have clouded the people’s outlook, as there is a lot of talk of the empire’s days being numbered.
Nirobaan’s armies were once well trained and amongst the first Djanans to employ iron weapons. Now its standing army is but a shadow of its former self. It is still home to some of the best archers of Djana and the razorsword-wielding Amazons are still greatly feared. Bards of this land are responsible for unearthly beautiful music. There are a few divine worshipers who mostly revere female ancestral orisha. Druids are common amongst the rural Tuslan population.
Population: Human 85%, dwarf 5%, litorian 2%, centaur 1%, canisaran 2%
Nyaat is an ancient land situated in the middle of the vast Zambir Desert along the Mighty Ahagin River. Life revolves around the life-giving waters of this river. It is said that the Armecs were the first humans of this land and that the gods from other planes gated them here where they ruled. Since, Nyaat has been influenced by Djanan and Near Eastern peoples. Much of its culture however remains unchanged.
Nyaatans have their own pantheon of gods and most people are quite religious. The rulers of this land were once gods too, but the Pharaohs are no longer immortal, though still sovereigns of the land. It is a society obsessed about death and elaborate tombs are built to house the dead.
The nomadic elves have provided an invaluable link between Nyaat and distant lands to the north, but generally the people care little for what happens outside of their influence.
Arcane magic is taught in colleges and many wizards hold positions of power here. Many soldiers serve in the Pharaoh’s Armies making fighters a common choice too. Rogues make their homes in the many cities and paladins serve some of the gods, but it is the clerics that are the most respected people of these lands.
Population: Human 66%, ibisil 15%, elf/half-elf 9%, harkrinn 5%, dwarf 2%
SAVANNAH, THE (CENTRAL DJANA) (55)
Nearly a featureless expanse, this land located between the two mountain ranges of Djana, is broken only by the occasional watering hole, or small stand of acacia or baobob trees. The grasses range in height from a few inches to six feet in the wild regions.
The Savannah is home to many thousands of big game animals. Herds of zebra, antelope and wildebeest gather in thousands here to feed and are in turn hunted by leopards, lions and hyenas.
Of the many intelligent races that also hunt here, two groups of humans dwell in the north; the ancient Azzazza, and the cattle-herding Shombe warriors. This homeland is described for members of these two ethnic groups for character generation purposes. Gnolls, linorans, and kreen are all common here and many other peoples and races venture into or need to cross this area for various reasons.
The azzazza enjoy the theatrical talents of their bards and value the skills of their stone-working artisans, whilst the shombe place a great deal of emphasis on courage and physical prowess and thus fighters (mostly gamba), rangers, barbarians, unfettered and even champions are highly popular in their lands. Other classes exist as they do in other parts of Djana. There are some divine spellcasters and few or no arcane users.
Population: Human 33%, gnoll 30%, litorian 20% hybsil 5%, wemic 5%, centaur 4%, theran 2%
ZAMBIR DESERT (64)
Once home to the Necromancer Kingdoms (now known as the Ruined Kingdoms), this region contained a vast inland sea until the fall of the last of the necromancer kings around 800 years ago.
The Zambir desert now encompasses several desert lands. It is an incredibly harsh desert, and aside from the occasional Djanan cactus or patch of scrub grass, there is little plant life to be found. Animals are even rarer than plants, but can be found in wider varieties.
There are no settlements in the interior of the Zambir. Humans are wanderers, mostly Matusu and should choose a neighbouring Homeland for the purposes of character generation.
CNote: Clearly Djana is Kage's African Setting. It was one of the first I developed many years ago and has been ported through a number of different 'Kages' over the years. My initial take was inspired by a series of articles in Dragon Magazine and then, during 3E I devoured Nyambe: African Adventures written by Chris Dolunt for Atlas Games. Obviously a lot of ideas have been inspired by, modified and ripped straight from these sources. Given Kage was written over years, I am not even sure which parts correlate with these sources. I hope there is nothing left that infringes copyright.