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Tarwas is a nation founded in the year 2144 by Tarpabaps who had immigrated through Paba. For more than 5000 years, it had resisted being swallowed up by the empires around it, until finally voluntarily joining The Poswob Empire around the year 7700. For the next thousand years after that, it used its strategic location (just east of Blop, the imperial capital) to present itself as an alternate way of life for Poswobs wishing to escape the poor living conditions in Blop and other Poswob cities. The Poswob Empire refers to its divisions as states, not nations, but most people in Tarwas still consider Tarwas to be an independent nation that merely has signed a mutual assistance pact with the Poswobs.


Evolution from 1700AD to 3100AD

The Tarwasta people changed their language many times. During the peak of their power, they spoke a language of the Gold family. It was of the same branch as Babakiam, and despite breaking off early (around 2144 AD) it shared the change of /l/ > /w/ that led to Babakiam having no liquid phonemes and beginning Babakiam's transformation into a language that sounded like baby talk. This also removed the dative case from the lanuggae, since the resulting suffix of /w/ interfered with many other changes.

However, Tarwas also shared many sound changes with Khulls. These were independent developments, as the Gold language's vowel system happened to be unstable in such a way that a certain series of vowel changes occurred independently in the two languages with only minor differences in detail. The changes involved included /u ū/ > /o ō/, /ə/ > /u/, /ai əi/ > /ē e/, /au əu/ > /ō ū/. One minor difference with Khulls is in that Tarwa /aa/ > /ā/ rather than remaining distinct.

NOTE, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT əu could be /o/ since there are more diphthongs ending in /u/ than there were in Khulls, due to the /l/ > /w/ shift. For example, a common diphthong was /iw/, which never existed in Khulls. /iw/ would almost certainly have changed to /ū/, leaving əu free to change into /o/ (despite /u/ also changing to /o/).

The labialized conosnants became pure labials, also as in Babakiam. However, these were rare, since this sound change affected only true labialized conosnants, not the far more common sequences of /kw/, etc, that arose when Baba and Khulls both shifted srquences of /kua/, etc, to /kʷa/.

Tarwa also shared with Khulls the shift of /b d ġ/ > /ʕʷ r g/, though the /ʕʷ/ phoneme came to be spelled as /v/. This, again, was an independent development, not related to areal transmission from Khulls speakers. Nor was it related to Baba's similar shift, which, on the other hand, soon moved on to complete deletion of all but the labial. That is, Khulls and Tarwa shifted /b d ġ/ to /v r g/ (allowing for spelling difference), whereas Babakiam shifted /b d ġ/ > /v ð g/ and then on to /v 0 0/, losing all but the labial. By this time, the language had already become toneless, unlike Baba.

Further sound changes included the creation of voiced stops from intervocalic weakening of nasal+stop clusters. The voiceless ejective /ḳ/ came to be spelled /q/, but its voiced version was simply /ġ/, merging with that of the plain /k/.Tones did not affect voicing, however.

Thus, by 3100 AD, the Tarwa language had the consonants

Labials: /p b m f v w/
Coronals: /t d n s r/
Dorsals: /k ġ x g ḳ ʕ/

And the vowels /a e i o u ā ē ī ō ū/ (The local alphabet used a i u e o as its vowel order, however, due to Andanese influence.)

High tones caused following fricatives to become affricates; the resulting /kx/ shifted quickly on to /k/, thus filling a gap (*/ki/) that had been in the language for several thousand years. Probably also /pf bv/ > /p b/.

Note that in general, more than half of all nouns had high tone onf the first syllable, so this will lead to a lot of geminates, many of which must be pushed back out.

Note that final -k (aspirated) changed to and then on to -s because the high tone sound change had caused the inherited final -s to become -ts, which soon became -t.

Examples of sound changes from Gold to Old Tarwa

  • tìsi "cotton" ---> titsi
  • kùsa "marble (stone)" ---> šotsa
  • ʕătu "boil (skin)" ---> hato
  • ġassa (name of a league; see Ikassa) ---> žattsa
  • kidən "to bend over" ---> širun
  • pàna "snail, slug" ---> panna
  • nĭgʷu "fruit, vegetable" ---> nivo
  • duk "flower, blossom" ---> ros
  • tək "gem, crystal" ---> tus
  • maʕin "soap" ---> main (thus, vowel sequences such as /ai/ reappear)
  • ṁaġin "pattern" ---> bažin (tentative; assumes all syllabic nasals changed into sequences such as /bm/)
  • lăgi "backpack, toolbox" ---> waži
  • piḳlagi "purse" ---> pipaži (assumes kw > kʷ > p; this /kw/ could only occur over morpheme boundaries. Note that Babakiam did *not* participate in this shift, and that Tarwa and Baba were connected at the time. If Tarwa also does not participate, the word remains pikwaži.)
  • kùgi "paper" ---> šoži

The use of the phoneme /r/ came to be associated with Tarwas and its physically distinct people; however, Tarwas soon shifted /r/ to /l/, to match its neighbors.

Interaction with Babakiam

The Babakiam language at this time had a larger consonant inventory than Tarwa, but many of Babakiam's consonants were rare and found mostly intervocalically. As Babakiam's phonology shrank, it became smaller than Tarwa's. Tarwa at this time had /d v r h/, four phonemes which were present in Babakiam in 3100AD but soon disappeared from Babakiam. (However, the /r/ was not really present in Babakiam unless it is considered to somehow be /ð/).

Evolution from 3100AD to 4200AD

The year 3100 was roughly at a dividing point for the civilizations of both the Tarwastas and the Pabaps: see Lantern_Empire#Relations_with_Tarwas. This is the period of time when the light-skinned Lantern people began to colonize the land of the dark-skinned Tarwastas to their east, even as they themselves were being colonized by a league of dark-skinned tribes to their west, the Crystals. Note that despite their historical connection to Paba, only a subset of the Lantern people spoke Pabappa (then called Babakiam); most had instead adopted the Khulls language from the Crystals.

Tarwa was a fairly soft spoken lanuggae in 3100AD, but over the next thousand years it became even softer. The vowel system changed little during this time; like that of Khulls and Thaoa, it had become stable. (By contrast, Babakiam had left the parent language's vowel system mostly intact.) The (aspirated) voiceless stop /k/ shifted to /š/ in most positions, leaving the ejective voiceless stop /ḳ/ free to shift to a plain /k/. However, the old aspirate remained as /k/ in some positions, particularly clusters in which it was never possible to distinguish the two sounds to begin with. For example, the cessative aspect infix remained -okt- rather than shifting to *-ošt-.

At about the same time, the voiced stop /ġ/ merged with the voiced fricative /g/ and both shifted to /ž/ in most positions, leaving the language with no voiced velar fricative. Then, /ʕ/ disappeared or became voiceless, meaning that the lanugage now had a contrast between /x/ and /h/. There was still no /l/.

Climate and geography

Tarwas has a very simple climate regime. The main state of Tarwas stretches from 30°N to 35°N and has no perceptible differences in temperature from the north end to the south end. The average temperature in winter is 0°C, in summer it is 20°C, and year-round the average is 10°C. This is because the expected temperature gain towards the south is exactly compensated for by the smooth upward slope of the land. The same thing occurs to the west in Nama.

Since temperature variation is insignificant from one end of the region to the other, the wildlife and plant life is also similar. However, the southern end of Tarwas experiences a moderate dry season during the summer, whereas towards the north it is wet all year round.


Early history

The founders of Tarwas had come entirely from the nation of Paba. Paba was founded by the Pabap people, who had originated from an upland area of Laba's largest island called Haswaraba. The Pabaps were the world's smallest and shortest people, and were the only people in the world that had blonde hair and blue eyes, so they were easy to spot when they traveled to other nations on Laba. The Pabaps had a majestic civilization in the upland forests of Laba, but relatively little coastline and no navy. Rising sea levels were shrinking the habitats of the nations around them in all directions, and the Pabaps were ill-equipped to defend themselves from invasions even given the advantage of a mountainous habitat. Thus, while the sea ate away at the territories of the peoples around them, through repeated small-scale invasions the peoples around them ate away at Paba.

Roughly 500 miles to the south of the southernmost Pabap settlements on Laba, the Tarpabap people lived in the hot rainforests of Laba's equatorial region. The land here was flat and had many coastal indentations, and fish was abundant in the ocean. The Tarpabaps were among the world's tallest people, averaging about two feet taller than the Pabaps. Like most people in southern Laba, the Tarpabaps had dark skin and dark hair. The Tarpabaps had a luxurious lifestyle in their tropical homeland, but rapid sea level rise was swallowing their most cherished islands and they had no mountains in their territory to flee to. The Tarpabaps were not actually a single people, but a collection of tribes that saw each other as cultural allies in many ways, despite their differences of language and religion.

In a cocktail bar in a major city on the east coast of Laba named Sàhʷaluŭǯa,[1] a team of Tarpabap fishermen approached some Pabap traders and bought each of them two drinks of pineapple-flavored liqueur. Then they got to talking about the problems of their peoples. They were able to do this because Sàhʷaluŭǯa was so powerful that its language, Tapilula, had become a second language for the educated class of even the most isolated nations around Sàhʷaluŭǯa in all directions. They talked about the many people escaping the rising seas by moving to the continent of Rilòla. Many Tarpabaps wanted to move to Rilola, but despite their historical skill with building and driving boats, their habitats were entirely on the wrong end of Laba for such a journey because they would need to pass through the sea claims of many other hostile nations on their long journey to the north end of Laba, and none of those nations would let them in.

Many Pabaps also wanted to move to Rilola, because despite the warming climate, the Pabaps still had very poor natural resources, and even what little they had was being wrestled out of their hands by the peoples around them. But in order to build a navy, they would need to build boats, and their only sea access was in a desert fed by a river which was too rough to be navigable by any kind of boats the Pabaps could build. Moreover, few Pabaps had any knowledge of how to build a boat.

War of the Hills

Although the two peoples had had friendly contacts in the distant past, relations had gone downhill when the Tarpabaps responded to the rising seas by invading uphill towards Pabap territory. The people who suffered most in this invasion were not the Pabaps, but a third people known as the Tima who lived in between them. The Tima responded by invading Pabap territory, but the Pabaps were aware of the situation and laid the blame for the invasion on the Tarpabaps. Furthermore, the invading Tarpabaps did eventually reach Pabap territory, and set up invasive settlements there.

But the men talking to each other in Sàhʷaluŭǯa figured that if the Pabaps and the Tarpabaps could get along, they could solve each other's problems: the Pabaps would mostly abandon their upland homes, move into Tarpabap territory, and then ride the Tarpabap boats all the way around the coast of Laba in order to reach the small strip of land on Laba's north coast that was under Pabap control. From here, they could sail to Rilòla. The Pabaps needed the Tarpabaps for this plan because the Pabaps themselves had almost no boats. The Tarpabaps needed the Pabaps for this plan because no other nation in the north would let a Tarpabap boat so much as beach on their shores, and a trip from Tarpabap land all the way to Rilola without stopping was impossible. Moreover, the Pabaps had the advantage of numbers, as they were a rare example of a large united population amidst many smaller, disorganized tribes. Like sharp teeth in a lion's mouth, these tiny nations were ripping and tearing off pieces of Pabap territory, but none was strong enough to go after the Pabap homeland on their own.[2] Thus, no nation contested the Pabap claim to the land in the north, and no one contested their plans to allow Tarpabap boats to station themselves there.

Thus the Tarpabaps and the Pabaps reached their new homeland using boats owned by the Tarpabap Navy, housed in a port protected by the Pabap army.

Foundation of Paba

The Pabap government never formally acknowledged the agreement with the Tarpabaps because they were still fighting off Tarpabaps in their southern hills. Few Pabaps in this region believed that it was possible that they could be at war with a people who was offering to settle them in a new home on a faraway continent, and considered the agreement a hoax. The Tarpabaps were not a united people, however, and they sent diplomats into Pabap territory to explain that this was not a paradox because the Tarpabaps killing Pabaps and the Tarpabaps rescuing Pabaps were two different people. This, they said, is why they could not simply call off the invasion to prove that they truly were friendly.

Nevertheless, many thousands of Pabaps believed in the informal treaty, and thus moved into Tarpabap territory after the agreement, believing that they were about to start a thousand mile journey from Tarpabap territory back into Pabap territory, specifically the northern port of Pubam, Paba's only seaport, from which they would then set sail to the promised land of Rilola. A smaller number of Pabaps moved directly into Pubam, figuring they could skip both the journey into Tarpabap territory and the likely far more dangerous sea journey back into Pabap territory.

The Tarpabaps were surprised at the enthusiasm of the Pabaps for the alliance, as they figured a people who stood waist-high against the people whose territory they were moving into would react only with fear rather than eager anticipation to the realization that their fates would be forever bonded together. The Tarpabap leaders figured that perhaps they were getting not the Pabaps as a whole, but a subset of the Pabaps that was either so fearless or so naive to the possibility of abuse that they had absolutely no understanding of what could potentially happen to them. The Tarpabaps formed a wing of the police force dedicated solely to protecting the Pabaps from other Tarpabaps. They wanted to put the Pabaps in buildings and treat them essentially as children.

Settlement of Fox Island

Nevertheless, the Pabaps were not interested in living in Tarpabap territory. They wanted to get out, and get on boats headed to Pubam so that they could immediately set sail from Pubam and start a new life in Rilola. They mostly had no money and thus could not afford to buy themselves the right to get on board the boats, and therefore had to rely on the generosity of the Tarpabaps all around them in funding their way out. Some Tarpabaps said that because Pabaps were a small, physically delicate people, their natural place was one of servitude to the taller, stronger Tarpabaps. But the Pabaps knew that power in the alliance was balanced on both sides, and that Tarpabap ships reaching Pubam would not be allowed to continue on to Rilola if the Pabaps aboard claimed that they were being physically abused. Therefore the Tarpabaps allowed Pabaps to board the ships without needing to pay their way on, and on many ships, Pabaps were actually the majority.

When each ship reached Pubam, another group of Pabaps boarded the ship, adding to the Pabaps already on board. Conversely, some Tarpabaps actually disembarked, figuring that maybe they didn't need to escape the islands of Laba after all but just needed to start a new life in Pubam or some other part of Pabap territory. Thus, even while Paba was fighting off Tarpabap invaders in their south, they were soon outnumbered by the Tarpabaps entering them from the north. On the other hand, the population of most ships sailing towards Rilola was majority Pabap because so many Tarpabaps had changed their minds about where they wanted to move.

The ships were not headed towards Rilola, however, but towards an island about a thousand miles away from Laba, which soon came to be called Fox Island.[3] Direct journeys to Rilola had happened in the past, but the parts of Rilola that those journeys had gone to were both very cold and already inhabited. The Tarpabaps were looking to settle in a warm climate similar to what they had had in their old homeland on the islands of Laba, not a cold climate like what the Pabaps were accustomed to. Lands like these laid yet a further thousand mile journey away. Thus, both the Pabaps and the Tarpabaps were undertaking three consecutive thousand-mile journeys to reach their destination. This was approximately the maximum distance that a boat could travel given the technology of the day.


  1. Pabappa: Saspora; Poswa: Savvyva?
  2. Pabaps spoke of the hypothetical "War of the One-Toothed Lion" if such a war were to happen.
  3. Because the Poswa name is Vulpes. Which means that I need a new name. Hence why it is not bolded.