Lainousta

When we discuss the history and current affairs of Urando, most of our attention goes to the Big 5 states. However, there are about 60 other nations on this planet and each of them has it own interesting culture and history. Today we will have a closer look at the mysterious island nation of Lainousta.

Geography

The island of Lainousta is one of the largest of Urando and is separated from the main continent by both the Street of Colleya and the Street of Lainousta. And it lays south of the Sea of Aghper. From east to west, the country measures about 3,500 miles but north to south the maximum distance is about 200 miles.

The country is moderately mountainous but Lainousta also possesses substantial amount of arable lands. There is an abundance of fresh water in the form of rivers and lakes and large portions of the island are covered with forests.

History

Archaeological findings have shown that Lainousta has been inhabited for the last 20,000 years, however, the nation’s early history is shrouded in clouds. We know that in 507 AD there was a massive slave revolt that resulted in the complete extermination of the slave-owning class. Since then the country has been ruled by the former slaves and their descendants.

We know extremely little about pre-revolt Lainousta, because of the peculiar linguistic situation of that area. The slave-owners spoke and wrote in a language known as the High Speech, which was forbidden for their slaves. In order to communicate with their slaves, the slave-owners used what is called the Middle Speech. Among themselves the slaves used the Low Speech.

Since all the records of Ancient Lainousta have been written in the “High Speech” using a unique writing system, this society’s history has been lost to time. All attempts to decipher Old Lainoustan texts have failed so far.

The modern languages of Lainousta have been developed from the Low Speech and it is generally believed that the Middle Speech has disappeared in the 600s AD. The was no reason to keep the latter, since it was exclusively used for slave-owners to command their slaves. From what is known of this particular language, many linguists believe that it was hardly a proper language at all.

Ancient Lainousta has been of great interest for historians. The most renowned work in this field was published in 1925 by Benyan historian A. Djeben. He proposed to competing theories regarding the origins of the pre-revolt society:

  1. The slave-owning elite were foreigners who invaded the island and enslaved to local population.
  2. The slave-owners were the original inhabitants but raided nearby coasts for slaves.

Djeben cited evidence for both theories but concluded that further research was required. In the 1960s anthropologists conducted a large scale genetic investigation and the results were quite surprising.

One was that the population of Lainousta is highly genetically diverse – supporting the theory 2. However, the researchers could not link them to any other group anywhere on Urando, something that would support theory 1.

To make the mystery even greater, genetic studies done in the 1970s and 1980s has shown that the former slave-owners were neither related to their slaves nor to any other genetic group. Consequently the origin of the people of Lainousta remains a mystery.

To be continued.

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