|1,300,000 km2 (500,000 sq mi) (guesstimate)
|5 (list of countries)
|Lahiri languages, Sanu-Jutean languages, Abugo languages, Neviran, Balak, Cazheil
|SCT +7/SCT +8
Lahan is one of the smaller continents (or larger islands) on Sahar. It is located east of eastern Baredina and south of eastern Miraria. forming the Sañu strait with Puzimm and marking the far eastern bounds of the Paršita Sea. It is [very] approximately 1.3 million km² and composed of just a few countries, with a population of [still very approximate] 120 million people. Besides the mainland, the geopolitical region of Lahan also includes the Tujuan Archipelago, the Haian Archipelago , the Ikang Islands, and (sometimes) insular Jute.
Lahan has a unique ecology, featuring very few mammalian species, a large number of of endemic bird species, and is the original source of the rubber tree and a few important fruit crops such as pineapple and kola nut.
The name Lahan comes from a Lahiri word for "homeland" or "mainland," probably a Thap language (cf. Old Thap lahén /lähé̞n/), which in turn traces back to the Proto-Ekuo-Lahiri root *láɨ:kɨg, of a similar meaning. (It is cognate with Adzo-Neviric terms for 'Sahar'.)
The word Lahiri is used exclusively to refer to the Lahiri languages and ethnic group, a distinctive group who are descended from the Ekuo-Lahiri people. The term Duthaji (High Thap: dòùtháájį /dɤ̀tʰɑ́ɟį/) is used to refer to all pre-Neviran native groups collectively, and the generic demonym for islanders is Lahani.
The history of Lahan is characterized by ongoing waves of migration. The island has been inhabited by modern humans for at least 20 thousand years, and the remains of pre-modern humans and various hominin relatives have been found in the archaeological record. Records of early inhabitants are sparse, in part due to lack of funding for archaeological expeditions on the continent, but also because of adverse climate and soil conditions that have buried or eroded much of the available evidence, and because of the materials used for tools and building for most of the continent's history.
Pre-colonial peoples include a diverse array of groups today known as the Dowa peoples, the Abugo peoples, the Sañu-Jutean peoples, and the Lahiri peoples. For most of its history Lahan was a 'end route' of sort, with people migrating from Puzimm across the Sañu strait, often by way of the Ikang Islands, and then spreading out through Lahan proper.
Lahani peoples were principally nomadic for most of their histories, but by the 8th century CE many had become more sedentary, developing more advanced agricultural methods and settling into more complex and interconnected societies. Several moderately sized kingdoms and confederacies cropped up in the south, primarily among Lahiri-speaking peoples, which involved powerful city-states and tributary villages. This era saw a period of invention, including advances in rubbermaking, other textiles, and metallurgy.
By the 14th century sizeable Lahani dynasties had begun initiating intercontinental trade routes with nearby landmasses. This brought attention to the natural riches of the island, especially the usefulness of vulcanized rubber products.
From the early 17th century until the mid 1900s, much of Lahan was under colonial rule, initially by the Neviran Saruan Empire and later by the Balak Empire. This drastically affected the history of Lahan, with far-reaching impacts into the modern-day structures and demographics of the continent.
The modern geopolitical borders of Lahan are largely linked to when a certain region gained independence from Nevira and/or Balakia.
The last of the countries were granted independence shortly after the Great Ekuosian War.
Geography and climate
Lahan is a small continent, tilted on its axis to point northeast and southwest. Most coastal areas are low-lying, creating expansive sandy beaches that lead to the thick inland tropical forests; some areas also have extensive mangroves and other wetlands. It is nearly evenly split between equatorial (in the north/west) and tropical monsoon (in the south/east) climates.
Lahan has a unique ecology, with many endemic species. The only megafauna native to the island are birds, mostly flightless; all mammals and reptiles are small-to-medium in size. Many of the flora species are also unique to Lahan.
The native apex predators in Lahan are all bird species. The undisputed highest rung is claimed by the giant Haast's eagle, which can prey on all mammalian and flightless bird species on the island, including the giant moa, and are known to sometimes attack people, especially children.
Some of Lahan's more famous endemic bird species include the kea, moa, kākāpō, kiwi, weka, and giant eagles, including Haast's. The only mammals native to Lahan are small-to-medium arboreal marsupials like sugar gliders, tree kangaroos, and possums, as well as some bat species, including the burrowing bat. The continent is also home to some oversized insects, such as wētā.
Lahan is also the original source of the rubber tree, the main source of natural rubber, and a handful of tropical fruits, including the king coconut. Other endemic plants of economic or cultural importance include the massive kauri, tōtara (a favoured boatmaking wood), makomako (wineberry), the cabbage tree, hala trees and the common screwpine.
Many endemic species are critically endangered, generally attributed to overhunting, deforestation, and outcompetition by human settlers, and the introduction of predatory or opportunistic mammals, including cats, dogs, pigs, ad rats. Some animals have become extinct since human arrival, including at least three moa species.