The Ulan is a vast arboreal taiga in the south of the Mainland, populated by numerous feuding tribes of barbarians tied together only by a common religion, Zupanist Alexandrianism, and a common written language, known almost entirely by the priestly castes. Although, at the fringes, The Ulan serves as a rich source of rare timber for those in southern Flannary and Fresia, few right thinking people venture too deep inside. In addition to hostile barbarians, The Ulan is known to teem with shapeshifters and a wide array of exotic and dangerous creatures.
Geography and Resources
On the Alexandrian frontier, at the fringes of the great forest, there are great fortunes to be made, however, for those willing to suffer the difficult conditions of the Ulan Belt. The lack of complex industry among the Ulan tribes means that metals, metal tools, and especially metal weapons - silver most of all - are greatly coveted by the Ulan peoples. For the most part, for these luxuries, the barbarians are often willing to trade rare herbs and elixirs, magical potions and unguents, exotic furs and pelts, and even rare timbers such as dark- and ironwood.
The Ulan is believed to stretch for hundreds, of not thousands, of miles to the south of the Mainland proper. What, if anything, is on the other side is a complete mystery, although stories tell of a stark and wondrous land; free of vegetation (but not life), a hundreds of miles of cold desert, and even things as impossible as a frozen lake, a thousand times the size of the Stormchalice, resting atop the ground rather than in it.
Although the people of Alexandria refer to the Ulan and the Ulan peoples as one massive group, nothing could be further from the truth. The peoples of the Ulan are fragmented and fight amongst themselves nearly as much as they quarrel with the people of the Mainland or the lycanthropes of the deep forest. Interested sages have cataloged almost a dozen of languages in the Ulan, and theorize there might be several dozen more yet undiscovered due to the size of the area.