Laba

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Laba is the birthplace of the human race on planet Teppala.

Geography and climate

Laba consists primarily of a pair of islands, Tapakunya and Tantatoma, with smaller islands between and outside them. Humans evolved in the southern reaches of both islands, and today the human population density is much grater in the tropical rainforests near the equator than in the semiarid and arid refgions further north.,

The island of Tapakunya is very large, stretching from 9°N to 30°N, and has many cultures. It lies entirely within trh tropics, according to the recknoing on planet Teppala. But there are notnehelesss a variety of climates, ranging from wet and tropical to hot deserts to subtropical areas with intermediate rainfall, alongside tall mountain ranges. Even in the highest mountains, though, there is almost never any snowfall.

Humans evolved mostly in the southern tropical regions, but temperatures here were only slightly warmer and more humid than in the far north. The only climates cool enough to be considered temperate were in the high mountains, and these mountains occurred only in the south. Thus, the hottest and coolest climates were close together, with intermediate but still tropical or subtropical climates occupying the northern half of the island.

A simplified map of Laba.

Demographics

All of the peoples of the mainland originated on Laba, and can be linked to groups of people still living there.

Languages

Laba remained very diverse throughout its history, and its people were divided among dozens of languages. The most powerful nation, however, spoke the Pejo language during their greatest era. Pejo is descended from the Mumba language, which also gave rise to Tapilula, which is the ancestral language of nearly all of the people on the continent of Rilola. Mumba is also the parent language of most of the rest of Laba.

The Mumba nation extended from about 15N to 21N, with an outlet to the ocean only on the east coast, not the west. This was due to the general slope of the land sucjh that the highest mtns were in the west, and dropped quickly to the sea, and the rivers leading there were not navigable, so connecting to the sea on the west was of little use.

History

Laba previously extended slightly south of the Equator. A major asteroid impact, however, crashed directly into Laba, heating the air to 500°F and burning all life to ash. It landed directly on a human city, because the human population in this area was so densely clustered that there were no wilderness areas. But it was no matter, because even areas far outside the impact were completely destroyed by the resulting heatwave of 150°F temperatures (this asteroid was made largely of metal, and therefore the volcanic winter effect was very weak). The oceans began to boil away, but the sea level actually rose because hot rains melted the glaciers that covered most of the mainland of Rilola and parts of Gitaipanu. The combination of rising sea level and the pressure of the asteroid impact itself caused much of Laba to sink underwater. Humans remained, but only in areas that had previously been inland mountains and plateaus. And there was almost no flat land near the sea. Thus Laba was no longer the paradise it once was.

Although nearly all plant life was killed, the seeds of those plants mostly were intact. Thus, trees and flowers grew back within a few generations, and although large animals mostly had gone extinct, many small animals survived, and birds flew in to replace others.

Many tribes that had previously been far apart found themselves livin g next to each other. Although the sea rose slowly, the people rose quickly. Those who had crawled upwards to live in the mountains during the first years after the impact had accumulated huge areas of land, full of plants and animals and with few dangers to worry about (as most dangerous animals had also been eliminated during the impact.) Now they were left with the choice of ceding their vast territories to the incoming lowlanders or moving downhill themselves to try to defend it. Most stayed in the highlands, which left them not only surrounded by lowlanders but also isolated from each other. These peoples are largely the ancestors of the Poswobs and spoke Outer Poswob languages, though their mother language split apart more than 15000 years ago and the descendants have few shared traits. Nevertheless, they were collectively known as Lagi at the time, and mostly lived in high mountains around 15-20°N, shielded by altitude from extreme heat and by latitude from extreme cold. Transportation in the mountains was difficult even by comparison to the primitive technology of the lowlands, so often each village would exist more or less as an independent nation, and develop culture highly divergent from all others. They never developed a true city, but some of their people moved to the city of Sasalupha once Sasalupha reached the coastline. (Note that the map on the right uses present borders: today Laba is much smaller than it was before.)

No Laban society had any agriculture, but towards the south (even in the mountains) there were many fruit trees from which people could freely pick to supplkenment their basic diet of meat and fish.

Bird invasion

When humans moved from Laba to Rilola around 0 AD in response to the asteroid strike, they were captured by birds and placed in rock nests from which escape was painful and nearly impossible. THey observed that humans cooked their food, and wondered if they had the ability to cook if they would be better nourished and require less food. Some birds flew to Laba to ask humans for a good recipe on how to cook humans, but found the local human population unhelpful. But they saw many more humans in Laba, and managed to make a new living swooping down on people in Laba and forgot all about Rilola.

Geography and climate

All tropical or subtropical. At about 20N there is a sudden transition from tiny densely populated countries with lots of water to large empty wastelands where people mostly live along the coast and rely on fish for food. There is not actually muchg difference in rainfall, it is mostly about mountains and rivers being mostly found in the south. Both the hottest and coldest climates are found in the south, because of the mountains. Near the southern tip of the south there is true tropical rainforest with little seasonal difference in rainfall, even though the ITCZ crosses over the region and "should" leave a dry season behind each time it does. The high sea surface temperatures and the presence of mountains directly near the coast make up for the loss os the ITCZ. This same effect provides ample rainfall to many places further north, even as far as 20N, making those areas capable of supporting the same kind of tropical rainforest that is found at the Equator.


Notes