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Chennacatt as shown on a map cropped from a larger Middle-earth map.

Chennacatt was a region of Sirayn, that comprised of a plateau south of the Sîresha river, rising some 500 to 1000 feet above the water's surface.

Geography Edit

The terrain is very flat and extends south from the Sîresha to the Tûr Betark and east to the Bru Isra. The plateau was formed early in the First Age when a large volcano (south and west of the Bru Isra) erupted and slowly filled the area composing the plain of Chennacatt. The only feature that breaks the plateau is a tributary of the upper Sîresha. Most of the southern bank of the river is bounded by cliffs. Its eastern branch forms a large gorge that extends south from the city of Tartaust. The western branch runs between the plateau and the Tûr Betark. At the headwaters of the western branch, the carved tiers of whole mountain form the impressive secondary hold of Akhôrahil.

The under-populated plateau sees an average of 3 inches of rainfall a year. During the flood season (Sadayn), small ponds hold water until early summer, as non-porous rock layers underlie the plateau. The temperature is ten to twenty degrees cooler than in the lower lands to the north. Despite the lack of rain, water is available. Small ponds and artesian wells dot the plateau. The only fertile areas of Chennacatt lie along the Sîresha. Some farming is performed on the plain itself, but the fields yield scant harvests. Only short grasses flourish. Their abundance makes the plain highly prized for grazing sheep and goats.

Flora and fauna Edit

The flora of Chennacatt is typical of a semi-arid highland plateau. Fibrous grasses intermingled with nettles and gorse predominate. One particularly tough grass stalk is harvested to make a strong linen thread, excellent for weaving into sturdy fabrics. The climate of the plain does not permit the growing of food crops, and the human inhabitants who farm dwell near the river, relying on irrigation and annual flooding to water their fields. Their crops include wheat, barley, and some legumes. Most were imported from Isra, with but a few species domesticated from local strains.

  • Kafe - This native plant is used to make a local hot drink. The beans of the bush are dried and ground. The grindings are boiled to produce an aromatic hot drink served with sugar.
  • Wifwif - A small grey flower that pollinates at night. If the wifwif‘s pollen is inhaled, it causes a deep coma for up to a week in duration. The pollen may be collected carefully, stabilized in a powder base, and inhaled in small doses to promote sleep.

To supplement the limited agriculture, the inhabitants domesticated a number of the local animals. The first species to be bred in captivity were goats and sheep. Rabbits and cattle fonned later additions to the herds. Other animals that still run wild in Chennacatt include ground squirrels, foxes, some large predatory cats related to the a-lori-ma-lau, wild dogs, song birds, predatory birds, like hawks, eagles, and vultures, and lizards.

  • Caja - One of the most feared denizens of Chennacatt is the Caja, a snake with a highly poisonous bite. The serpent frequents remote rocky terrain and ruins. It often grows up to six feet in length, and, when moving, can easily outdistance a human runner. The only natural predator of the caja is the mongoose.
  • Hanajaib - This jackal-like scavenger is the scourge of Chennacatt. People say that whenever the hanajaib laughs, death is on the wind. The animals are easily scared off, but will fight to the death if cornered. In times of drought, they attempt to kill young herd animals, as well as travellers who are injured or ill.
  • Wild Goats - The wild goats of Chennacatt are highly prized for their wool. Bausairin, or Wool-theives, make their living by capturing the goats, shearing them, and releasing the animals to the wilds. The wool is sold to more sedentary folk who weave it into waterproof fabric which lasts for generations. The color of the wool ranges from white to medium brown.