• Member Since 9th Feb, 2012
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Visiden Visidane


Is that a terrorist?!?

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    Upheavology: The Southern Barrier Land

    Upheavology: The Southern Barrier Land

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Jan
11th
2020

Upheavology: The Southern Barrier Land · 5:00am Jan 11th, 2020

Upheavology: The Southern Barrier Land

Terrain - an aerial view of the Southern Barrier Land reveals a vast carpet of green stretching southward as far as the eye can see. To the north is the southern portion of the Barrier Mountains protecting the Heartland. To the west rise even more mountains that mark the Western Barrier Land. The ocean of foliage gives way to an actual ocean to the east where Equestria’s territories meet the Eastern Waters. Farther south, the ziggurats that mark the cities of the Empire of Ophidus poke past the canopy like grave markers. The distant, ominous silhouette of Sesyth’s floating, pyramidal palace can be seen by the sharpest of eyes, deep within the Empire’s territory.

The Southern Barrier Land is a watery place, with several rivers from the northwest and the Heartland flowing through before emptying to the southeast. Along the way, these rivers feed several lakes, around which thrive swamps. The Southern Barrier Land’s climate can be divided into two seasons: hot, and hot and wet. Heavy and frequent rains also keep the South soaked. Even without the rain, the air of the Southern Barrier Land is muggy and humid. The ground is always damp and soft even along the trails and roads. Smaller streams frequently break off these rivers, crisscrossing the jungles then feeding back into either another river or the Eastern Waters. During monsoon months, some portions of the South are outright submerged.

Population - Despite the many hardships posed by the region, the Southern Barrier Land enjoys a fairly large population thanks its more manageable weather, compared to the North, and its vast if not dangerous to acquire and maintain resources. As the pegasus replacement elder city can be found here, the South holds the highest population of pegasi among the Barrier Lands. Attrition from Equestria’s struggles with the Empire of Ophidus produces a steady trickle of losses, but massive battles with the ophidites are extremely rare. Ophidus policy has always been to conquer Equestria with minimal destruction of its civilian populace. The South has very few cities of note and its populace is spread out among many many smaller settlements.

Unique among the Barrier Lands is the South’s population of zebras. Originally a pony-like race with its own shamanistic culture, the zebras fled to Equestria when their small territory that was the land of Zebrica was taken over by the Empire of Ophidus. A couple of the more peaceful tribes were taken in to the Heartland, but most were integrated into the Southern Barrier Land. Though not actually ponies, zebras are classified as Equestrian citizens and enjoy all pony rights and privileges. This is not to say that all zebras are allied to Equestria. Zebrica fell quite easily to Ophidus as a few tribes collaborated with the Empire. These zebra tribes have since been integrated into the Empire.

Resources - the South is a treasure trove of fruits, vegetables, spices, and lumber. It exports a good portion of it to the other Barrier Lands. Bananas, in particular, are highly prized in the North. Wine from Assassin Vine fruits are also considered highly luxurious and fetch a good price in places like the Great Delve. The South is also known as “Equestria’s Medicine Cabinet” thanks to its many medicinal herbs, plant parts, and even animal parts. An unfortunate side effect of this is that the South is also known as “Equestria’s Drug Hole” as many dangerous and addictive drugs, often refined by Ophidites, also have their origins in the region.

Dangers - the Empire of Ophidus is an constant and pervasive danger across the Southern Barrier Land. Their agents roam the borders between the Empire and Equestria, looking for poorly guarded settlements and supply wagons to attack, or even unwary travellers to abduct. Slaver bands are common and will launch swift raids whenever they can to add to their stock. Sometimes, ophidite harvesters brave crossing the borders to pick rare herbs only to be chanced upon by pony travellers resulting in skirmishes. The Southern Legion’s rangers do their best to root out and destroy imperial agents and they are successful more often than not, but the Empire sends so many infiltrators that many ponies still fall prey to ophidite machinations. Imperial agents are also known to work on dangerous illnesses and chemicals to unleash upon Legion outposts, requiring the Southern Legion to also work long and hard on developing cures and countering spreads. Sometimes, the danger of the Empire is more derivative. Imperial agents frequently experiment on wildlife, applying all sorts of hideous mutating magic and substances upon them until they turn into abominations of themselves. When these creatures lose purpose, the Empire simply dumps them near the borders to wreak havoc. The Crocodilians, former enslaved race under the Empire also settle in small camps between Equestria and Ophidus. They are powerful, humanoid crocodiles skilled in fighting and will not hesitate to resort to banditry for food and money.

Wildlife need not be mutated by the Empire’s experiments to be dangerous, however. The natural inhabitants of the South’s jungles are dangerous by themselves. Gigantic wasps build their nests among the trees, hunting down anything they can to feed their young. Swarms of acid spitting army ants travel through the jungle floor, dissolving anything unfortunate enough to come upon them. Sunflies also have their hives in the South and their golden honey is a highly prized for its taste and aphrodisiac effect. Those attacked by the swarm, however, are reduced to cinders in a few moments due to the fiery stings of these creatures. Dire jaguars and panthers stalk the greenery, though they themselves may fall prey to the dire crocodiles and alligators that lurk among the rivers, lakes and swamps. The waters are also home to leech swarms and dire piranha. Some wildlife threat are more insidious. Mosquitoes, large ticks, and horseflies, are incessant pests in the South, not only providing irritation and sleeplessness but also diseases.

The flora is about as dangerous as the fauna in the South. Assassin vines are prevalent in the jungle and will entangle those foolish enough to come too close either on accident or to eat the succulent-looking grapes that the vine presents. Weaker prey are outright strangled, their bodies dropped to the ground to fertilize the soil near the assassin vine. Stronger prey are entangled until some predator comes along to kill them. Yellow Musk Creepers wander the jungle, usually accompanied by the animated corpses of their previous victims. These zombies aid the plant by dragging victims to their master to be either eaten or turned into another yellow musk zombie. Blood Thorns are large bushes covered in large, hollow thorns. They are mobile but prefer to settle in one spot. When they seize a creature with their thorny vines, they plunge the thorns into the victim like syringes and suck out all the blood. Shambles look like pile of rotting vegetation but are able to rise up and smother even adult ponies, devouring them whole. Even plants that don’t prey on other creatures can be dangerous by being highly poisonous or being covered in deadly stinging nettles.

The terrain of the South itself is highly dangerous. Many ponies, especially visitors from the the North and West, end up lost in the jungle until they starve to death. Drownings are also common, especially during monsoon months when ponies are caught in flash floods. Quicksand also kills many ponies either by outright drowning their victims or trapping them until they are eaten by predators or starved to death. To travel the South without reliable guides is a foolish endeavor.

Prominent Settlements

Highstable - the replacement elder city of the pegasi as their original capital was completely destroyed by the windigos. The city is a wondrous sight thanks to its position atop a grove of tower boughs interlinked by great bridges. Highstable is the capital of the South by virtue of simply being the only major city in it. Most Southern Barrier Land settlements are walled towns and villages protected by Legion outposts and fortresses arranged to provide overlapping zones for patrols.

Cresshome - a large town situated near the Heartland River, though its continued growth may soon make it a city. Cresshome earns its name for its vast watercress plantations, covering large sections of the river. Corpses of those who drown up river often get entangled among the watercress. A common saying in the South is “they may have ended up in Cresshome” meaning that the pony referred to has been murdered and disposed of in the river. “They’ll be fishing you out in Cresshome” is a threat with similar connotations. There are rumors that chosen have been fished out of the watercresses on occasion, but no solid evidence has ever been shown.

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Comments ( 7 )

Yeah, gotta say, Western Barrier Land is looking pretty choice despite it having the most outright dangerous/militarily strong faction to occasionally deal with. Can see why it has the most population, and it isn’t just space. North probably wouldn’t be to bad either, but seriously screw this place. I can see why pegasi are the most common tribe here, they at least have a chance of avoiding some of this by flying.

Gotta say, these blogs have some really comprehensive world-building. I'd be interested to see some for the enemy nations like the Empire and Wolverngard, too.

Surprised not to see any mention of zebras, though. I would've thought if they came from anywhere, it'd be the south. So are they from the Heartland, then? Because they don't seem that common there. Even in canon, Zecora's the only one we've seen in nine seasons.

5188542
I’ll fix it later as I forgot to add them, but there are a few zebra tribes in the Southern Barrier Land.

5188544

Oh. Good to know.

Awesome. I realy love the world that you are building. I have to say that among all the the stories that i have read (and i read a lot) the world of uppheval is my favourite universe. It speaks to me in a way only few other worlds do.

Couldn't the rivers from The Heartland and Western Barrier lands be dammed and/ or rediverted into the ocean to deny the ophidites vital resources?

Is the upheaval series dead? I love your stories but the upheaval ones appear to be long overdue for an update. The legacy one hasn't been updated since like 2015 and the other one was like 2019 or 2020. Hope you're doing ok and will be posting updates at some point to finish your great stories!!

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