The Five Stars of Shou
The jungles of Siem are vast, and permeated by rivers. The jungles stretch all the way to the South Sea, an ocean known for its abundant fisheries, as well as its floating glaciers. In the north edge of Siem, many humans make their home, growing exotic fruits and serving as a major trade point between Siem and Shou. But more than a day’s journey down the river, human habitation all but drops off. Instead, halflings ply their riverboats up and down the many rivers and estuaries of the rainforest. The jungle itself is home to the Lamia, a half-serpent race that is known for their forestcraft.
Siem is a low-lying country, with none of the mountains of Shou or Kozakura. The jungles are vast, however, and very ancient. There are many rivers that flow through Siem, and these are the main mode of transportation, as through-jungle travel can be extremely hazardous. The climate gives birth to incredible fruits and spices, as well as dark woods nearly as hard as steel. The land does not have much in the way of mineral resources, as most places are too wet and soft to allow mining, but there are substantial exposed rock ledges in the areas of the ancient temples, leading some to speculate that Siem was once a rocky, barren land before the jungle grew.
The only human city in Siem is Kampot. They have a heavy export of fruits, spices, and wines. There are several villages attached to Kampot, as well as the major fruit plantations. The halflings have no permanent cities, although they do have a floating settlement known as Bendrider that offers nominal stability to the houseboats and fishing trawlers of the halflings. The Lamia have many forest settlements as well, the largest and most accessible being Can Tho.
The government of Kampot is an oligarchy of merchants. One of these merchants always goes to Shou as one of the Elders of the Senate on a rotating basis. The halfings have their own system of mayors and rulers, and are the most democratic of the settlements of Shou, although they pay the appropriate taxes and send their representative to the Senate. The Lamia have a familial based government, with the eldest members of society taking the governing roles, in accordance with their great respect for ancestors.