Agrayanos, sometimes called "Northerns", are a genre of stories set in the northern reaches of the Agras Plain, during the "wild frontier" era of early reconstruction following the Battle of the New Day. While most authors of Agrayanos tend to be very artistic with the details, the actual period of time is understood to be between N.D. 30 and N.D. 60; when settlement of the region became widespread enough to warrant trade but before the New Day Alliance full coalesced and the first city-states formed. Most fictional stories assume the time period to be much longer, having begun in N.D. 0. However, since Samuel Fate was not destroyed until N.D. 7, this obviously is incorrect.
Unlike Sun's Beacon, the city of Water's Grasp, which had been a major trade hub before the Long Night, was now a totally abandoned ruin. The entire Three Baras area, once a major metropolitan area, was entirely devoid of population. As such, the destruction of Samuel Fate and the beginning of the New Day, left the land open and ripe to be re-settled.
Because the land was largely open and cheap, the first major industry to come to the region was cattle ranching. Most settlers coming to the interior of the Agras were homesteaders, former slaves of Fate looking to start new lives and carve out a place for themselves. The coastal areas already had a higher population than the near-empty interior, and with industry on the rise, a huge demand existed for food and particularly meat. Raising cattle then became a lucrative enterprise, with many roaming cattle hands who lived a semi-itinerate lifestyle.
Travel in the region was limited to horses and wagons. During the old Alliance era, the Lower Thenius was navigable all the way to the Three Baras; however over the course of the Long Night, many cataracts had formed along it. With no motor vehicles to speak of, travel in the region was limited to horses and wagons. Industry was also slow to return, leading to various low-tech innovations. In this particular part of the world, hand-made guns were rapidly developed, including various repeating firearms.
The region was effectively totally lawless. Land could be claimed by anyone who set foot on it, and held so long as they could defend it. There was no central authority of any kind. As towns sprang up, local magistrates were named or elected in order to keep the peace. It was a dangerous time, but also one of great adventure.
History of the Genre
As the period of resettlement ended, numerous figures from the northern Agras found their way into the then-burgeoning entertainment industry. Circuses featured trick-shooters, story-tellers, and shows based around purportedly "True" events. These feats were then adopted into the film industry, where the stories played well with audiences all over the Greater Continent. The fad was fairly short-lived in the late first-century ND, but spawned a generation of novels. These(largely fictional) stories found a captive audience in the early second century N.D. amongst youngsters who yearned for the freedom and adventure they felt had existed in the Reconstruction Days.
Though the public's fascination with Agrayanos would ebb and flow, they remained a popular fixture in the culture all throughout the Age of the New Day.
What is perhaps most captivating about the Agrayanos is the strange dichotomy they represent. At the sametime as outlaws on the Agras were fighting each other on horseback with hand-made iron revolvers; elsewhere on Aren the Trans-Draconic Federation was constructing guided missile destroyers with fully computerized weapon systems. In fact, the first nuclear reactor in Serpentia went critical around a year before the first repeating rifle was perfected on the Agras.
The time is also frequently conflated with Conri Jusenkyou, who traveled on both sides of the High Mountains in around N.D. 35. While he did spend some time in the Agras, it was only early in his travels, and much further north than the region generally associated with Agrayanos. This has not stopped numerous artists, writers, and film-makers from portraying him as a horse-riding, gun-shooting man with no name. In point of fact, the real "wild frontier" was over a hundred miles from the part of the Agras he traveled through, with the area he was in still mostly controlled by dragons.