Mainland Taraot (Vikti: [tæɾæɑt]; Höt: [tæræɔt]; Tuai: Talaoo [tælæɔ:]; Vata: Tharaoth [θaraoθ]; Saa: Folŏkŏr [ɸoɮɤ'kɤr]; Tuuma: T'uusaqan ['tʼu:sɑqɑn]) is the largest landmass of the Taraot continent, which also includes the Saa Archipelago, the Uhsaii Islands, and other smaller landmasses. It is also the largest landmass in the world of Talmer (Jial in Vikti). Taraot is considered the center for Hoiti (Northern) cultural world, which uses Vikti as a lingua franca and the Avitras Calendar as the standard method of timekeeping. The first settlers of Taraot arrived from the south-east between 17,000 and 12,000 B.A.C. (15,000 and 10,000 B.S.C.) and are now considered to be the ancestors of the Tuuma people.
The Vikti word Taraot is derives from Old Vikti tara-ot "great turtle" referring to Tuuma shamanism and Avitras beliefs that the Great Turtle spirit granted the Wiqta people permission to live freely on its shell—the landmass itself.
Taraot is referred to as Folŏkŏr in the Saa language, meaning "Western rock". In Tuuma, it is called T'uusaqan "turtle land".
Prehistory and Antiquity
The first settlers of Taraot can be traced back to a small, seafaring society originating from Kaetsino. They arrived to the continent between 17,000 and 12,000 B.A.C. This society created settlements in Southwestern Taraot are now considered to be the ancestors of the Tuuma.
This pre-Tuuma society lived in dispersed—but culturally connected—tribes across Southern Taraot for about 5,000 years. These tribes were autonomous familial groups which communicated via messengers on foot. During this time they maintained relative peace and it is speculated that they came together annually to inter-mate, exchanging sons with other tribes as husbands. These marriage gatherings were considered a fertility ritual and were held at specialized monuments as a tribute to the moon.
This period of stability was interrupted in 7,000 B.A.C. when sea nomads from the east coast of Amortunańm began to raid these pre-Tuuma tribes. Some tribes managed to maintain autonomy after being pushed north. Those that stayed in the south were forced to assimilate into multicultural tribes. These Southern Tribes sparred with one another for about 3,000 years before a distinct proto-Wiqta cultural identity emerged around the Vikti peninsula.
As the proto-Tuuma culture emerged in Northern Taraot and the Uhsaii islands, a period of volcanic eruptions began around 2,970 B.A.C. on the westernmost Saa island, lowering the global temperature. Proto-Wiqta society in the south associated these eruptions and subsequent volcanic winter with emerging Avitras beliefs of the serpent god, Jiaria. This resulted in a degree of unity among Wiqta city-states, as the Wiqta people sought to appease an angry god. The first written records in Taraot appeared in Old Vikti piahvaq epigraphs which recorded early Avitras tradition, beliefs, and rituals.
It is suspected that a Jiuvara Mountain culture emerged from mixed Tuuma-Wiqta heritage around 2,800 B.A.C. They occupied the northern half of the Jiuvara Mountain range and were characterized by animist beliefs. Through trade, some Jiuvara Mountain people came in regular contact with Avitras, converted, and then diverged from the Jiuvara Mountain animists. By 2,500 B.A.C. the Jiuvara Mountain culture dissolved into two distinct cultures—the Höt who practiced Avitras and moved further north, and Indao who practiced animism and moved east.
By 2,000 B.A.C, more than 70 major autonomous tribes existed across the mainland and its surrounding islands. During this time, trade and open borders were honored priorities. Turf wars were not common.
In 1,828 B.A.C, northernmost Wiqta tribe of Kaion, led by Hiwayah Kaiontian, attacked the southernmost Tuuma territory of Tha' in an attempt to claim Lake Rogof. This was the first large-scale conflict on the continent in centuries and sparked the Kaion-Tha' War. The war would go on for another 80 years before Tha' and the surrounding Tuuma territories fell. Those in the area who could not escape to the seven remaining Tuuma territories were subject to ethnic cleansing and genocide, where adults were gathered and publicly executed. Children were stolen as a means of ethnic cleansing.
By 1,500 B.A.C., Emperor Tavatsiar Haritanots had led the civilization of Kaion, now known as Taion, to expand its territory throughout southwestern Taraot and absorbed any surrounding Wiqta tribes to become the mainland's first empire. Skirmishes over borderlands was constant but made little progress until Taion conquered the civilization of Iqritosum. In response to this new threat from the west, 6 civilizations in southcentral Taraot conjoined their armies to defend their lands.
There are eight countries in mainland Taraot: Aiaipa, Ako Suokai, Höt, Imtairoth, Jiarijik, Ofthonon, Taracorro, and Uaitiaba Kiodisi. Four additional countries occupy its surrounding islands: Aáco-Xijiucio, Llari, Saa, and Uhsaii. Jiarijik is the most populous country on the continent, while Imtairoth is the largest in size. Aáco-Xijiucio is the smallest in both population and size; it is located on Jiariapaia Island and is the continent's only micronation.
There are two language living families native to mainland Taraot: the Wiqta and Tuuma languages.
Mainland Taraot is home to five major ethnic groups. The Wiqta people are the largest and most widespread ethnic group in Taraot—about 81% of the population identifies as Wiqta (~98.58 million). The Höt people are the second largest ethnic group and make up about 7% of the population (~8.5 million). The Saa and Tuuma peoples both make up about 4% of the population (~4.9 million and ~4.7 million, respectively). Lastly, the Indao people make up about 3% of the population (~3.6 million).