Distant Lands

Distant Lands

Inspired by the Earliest Historians at the Edges of the Known World
Inspired by the Earliest Historians at the Edges of the Known World
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Shandu

Shandu

        A walled countryside encompassing many miles, the Emperor's private hunting grounds were only accessible through a fortress of marble - the Summer Palace.  Ornately gilt and painted all throughout with the images of animals, hung with trophies of hunts, trophies of battle, here the Khan's retinue passed the easy months away from war.  Shandu.

 

        His lands were spread with small forests and grain-sown plains, wild orchards and cold quick streams.  Obsessed with birds, the Emperor surrounded himself with swans, herons, cranes, and other water fowl, all provided with ample fisheries and foliage from a series of artificial lakes.  Roosts were built for partridges, pheasants, and quail to flourish in exuberance.  All manner of boar, roe deer, antelope, and bears roamed the royal park.  Feed was provided in winter.  During breeding season, hunting was forbidden.  In this management of the land, the Khan was an early practitioner.

         An unparalleled falconer,  the Khan's hawks and gyrfalcons were his summer pleasure.

         A collapsible pavilion of lacquered bamboo and silk followed the Khan's horses to the hunting grounds.  From his heavy leather glove, the Khan's falcons would rise high into the air and dive upon scores of ground fowl and water birds, hares, foxes - even wolves.  On some days the Khan would let loose his hunting leopards from horse-mounted cages to take down a deer or a bear, only to feed it to his beloved raptors...

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