Usksumer is the corporeal realm of the supposedly-benevolent God-King – Suhmerfin – and founded by him over four-and-a-half millennium ago, after the Great Tharky Wars. It is an immense land, broader than it is long, that stretches for thousands of miles eastwards from the Sedhsiror Mountains, covering all the lands north of the Ortuhen Mountains, even unto the pole. Its capital is Usksulin, beneath Mount Leasururg in the far east.
Its inhabitants are called the Usksu (sing., pl., adj. and name of language), or the Perin (sing. Perï) by the Overlords of Orestol. They are of small stature, not much over five feet, and of slight build. All have two differently coloured eyes. They live for, about, two hundred years, with the obvious exception of Alentir. They become physically mature between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two, but are not considered to have reached the age of maturity till they are forty-four.
It has thirty-three provinces, varying hugely in size and population, which are (with capitals):
Ulkandreur, Domain of (Ulkandreur);
The land is essentially flat and arid, the only major internal water system being the Seranid River and its various tributaries, and the only internal heights of any note the Central Mountains. The Usksu, though, almost never live at any height, with the enforced exception of Usksulin, and the relatively low and exclusive heights of the Taniölamn Hills. The short summer is cool, with most of the rain then falling, but winter is cold even in the southernmost provinces; in the mountains and the far north it is bitter.
Usksumer’s history blurs back into myth, but always with the God-King as its absolute ruler. The population is entirely comprised of the slight Usksu, any other humanoids being eradicated, assimilated or expelled, other than in the province of Ar-sheeär. There, for reasons not known, the aboriginal peoples survive in the higher and more remote areas.
The population has grown slowly and steadily till it reached the order of sixty-to-eighty million circa 1000 C.E., then being by far the most populous realm on the fastland. There it stabilised, perhaps in part because the limit of readily-useable farmland had been reached; but the fact that it did not exceed sustainable numbers and then crash in hunger is probably due to the Civil Service and its tight control.
It is also unusual in that it does not have population slumps due to epidemics. The God-King claims this for himself, but it is more likely that it is because of the Usksu’s unusually high resistance to infection. Probably not due to their isolation, for then Alentir would easily have been struck down by illness after leaving.
The country is organised into thirty-three provinces. These have massive differences in population, some of the most remote ones having populations well under half-a-million, which is less than some of the larger cities.
Approximate populations for some of these cities (all provincial capitals) at the time of Alentir’s birth are:
- Ulkandreur – the Domain of (120,000)
- Lorki – in Tustuli (200,000)
- Kunglim – in Elblurhuen (220,000)
- Heekhee – in Neecan-non (260,000)
- Lagateeün – in Geöbol (300,000)
- Fohtan – in Huntoora (330,000)
- Ruëmah – in Kwee-tenen (450,000)
- Usksulin – in Brim-siror: also the realm’s capital (600,000)
The God-King’s capital of Usksulin is, in part, delved beneath Mount Leasururg, but the majority sits on the mountain’s slopes. Above it Suhmerfin’s immense tower of Uskproëm then rises out of the snows on the summit of Mount Leasururg – the tallest mountain on the fastland. It is pale and open to the north and east and south, with tall, unglazed windows. Although it is very cold there, it is not as freezing as it would normally be. In this at least Suhmerfin can exercise some power, though he likes the undecaying permanency of the cold.
No record or memory tells of its building, or of Suhmerfin leaving it after driving away the ancient darkness that threatened to overwhelm the world.
Usksumer’s second city is Ruëmah. This lies at the southern end of the Central Mountains. It is a completely soulless place, more so even that Usksulin, with few inhabitants save Civil Servants or their menials. It is the greyest of the grey, essentially barracks even for those Civil Servants with families. For though it is rare for Civil Servants to remain single – not in keeping with propagating the numbers and stability of the God-King’s subjects – it is other in Ruëmah: almost all of Ruëmah’s denizens remain single. It is the only city in Usksumer completely surrounded by walls. Before it can expand, a new set of rammed-earth walls are built. Very organised. Yet the place seems to serve no purpose.