Before the Quake
This article provides insight into the pure races and how they lived before The Great Quake changed the World of Mana.
In the generation before the Great Earthquake, there were four distinct races of man: the Tritons, the Sparrons, the Talponians, and the Gispaans. Each of the races was in despair.
The War for Tonori raged between the Gispaan Empire and the Talpon kingdom of Alensia. The Sparron and Triton kingdoms had grown reclusive despite peaceful relations with the empires.
Two cities incorporated 99% of the Triton population before the Earthquake. Both were ruled by King Peshtu Ungwalla. The underwater city of Cerulea, known only to the Tritons, was home to the vast majority, while the bay side surface city of Seratera in Central Argaes served as an industrial and trade city.
Even more so than today, Tritons did not enjoy leaving the water. While some Tritons had homes in Seratera, many Seraterans built their shelters in the bay's water near the reef, opting not to stay in the city. In fact, female citizens of Seratera never left the city, if even their water shelters. Cerulean women were not allowed out of the water at all.
Due to the Triton's seaside islolation, trade and resources were almost always brought in to the Seratera by the other races, who relished in trading for luxuries from the sea, such as coral, pearls, and fish oil.
In the decade approaching the Earthquake, trade had slowed tremendously. Talpa, once the greatest contributor to trade with the Tritons, had instead been stockpiling resources for war against Alensia. The second biggest contributor, the Sparron kingdom of Aeyer was coping with its own economic depression.
The Isles of Ancea were home to the Sparrons. A city flourished on each of the seven large islands. The cities were divided between two kingdoms, Aeyer and Ancea, who generally controlled the west and east isles respectively. The kingdoms were very peaceful with one another, even interdependent. It is presumed today that had the Earthquake not occurred, the kingdoms would have invariably joined to become one.
Sparrons had the greatest tie with the Tritons. In exchange for resources from the islands, Tritons provided the Sparron kingdoms with large fish from the deep sea, which became the primary staple of the Sparron diet.
In the decades before the Earthquake, the world's depleting mana supply meant less fish. As the islands provided little in the way of farming, the kingdoms redirected labor into fishing and hunting. The price of food rose enough to force the people to save money to eat, and the kingdoms' economies grew stagnant.
The Gispaans were a mining and ranching people who localized around the volcanic mountains of Tonori. The major city of Gispaa was the central hub for the people who otherwise tended to live in isolated ranches on the Tonori plain, or mining camps in the mountains. Although referred to by the other races as â€œThe Gispaan Empireâ€, the only distinguishable leaders were the Gispaa city managers, who were responsible for the few who lived within the city limits.
When the Talponian kingdom of Debury started to expand East into Tonori, it was the city managers that voiced concern and stopped the intrusion. King Lurich of Debury agreed to cease northern expansion if he could develop a city around Talpa Bay with contractually negotiated boundaries. In exchange, Gispaan goods, most notably the precious stones from the mountains and wares from the ranchers, could be sold to the city for trade with other kingdoms over seas.
As each race flourished from the benefits provided by Talpa, the cities grew and the people demanded more territory. Talpa's boundaries flexed, and the contract was broken. The War for Tonori began a century before The Great Quake.
The war united the Gispaans in a very strong way, and many of the miners left the mountains to join in the fighting. Precious stones became rare in the world and ranchers found their lands subject to terrorism. This meant less trade for both the Gispaans and the Talponians. Talpa's docks felt further stress as less traders made port for fear of attack on their boats by Gispaan Saboteurs. In the decades leading up to the Earthquake, the Gispaan force had Talpa's afluent citizens leaving in search of better investments, although many more citizens were still holding to the city in hopes of a miracle.
With a population almost four times that of any other race, the Talponians were spread between three kingdoms.
The first was the kingdom of Debury, which controlled many cities directly south of Tonori, as well as the territorially-detatched city of Talpa. The kingdom was under the rule of King Antony Lurich, the third generation in the Lurich Dynasty.
The kingdom of Layland was ruled by King Wayne Tanner who controlled all of Tempus, most notably the farming villages and city of Abel.
The North Kingdom lay in Kaizei, at the southern summit of the Warming Mountains. The kingdom was jointly ruled by brother and sister King Malcolm and Queen Lei Washburn
The Talponian kingdoms were all prosperous and self reliant, Debury most of all; sustained mostly through farming and hunting. When the War for Tonori broke, the kingdoms of North and Layland decided not to become involved in military action. Against King Tanner's wishes, the city of Abel in the kingdom of Tempus provided supplies by sea to Talpa during the Seige of Talpa.